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Best Small Family Dogs For Apartment Living

Best Small Family Dogs For Apartment Living

If you live in an apartment then you may believe that dog ownership is out the window. The good news is that there are a number of dog breeds that do quite well in smaller settings. Here, our Toledo vets offer five of the best small family dog breeds that can thrive while living in an apartment.

What are the best small dogs for an apartment?

Living in an apartment doesn't mean that you can't have a dog. In fact, many dog breeds come in compact sizes and are well-suited to laidback apartment living. Here, our vets at Shoreland Animal Hospital offer some of the best small dogs for apartment living:

French Bulldog

Height: 11 - 13 inches
Weight: Less than 28lbs
Life Expectancy: 10 - 12 years

Also known as the Frenchie this affectionate, playful, and intelligent dog is even-tempered and charming. Their sleek smooth coat, muscular body, flat nose, and bat ears give this dog a recognizable look that you just can't help but love.

French bulldogs make great pets for singles, couples, or even families living in apartments. With low exercise requirements and minimal barking, it's easy to see why. These small dogs crave companionship and love spending time with their people, children, and other pets.

Shih Tzu

Height: 9-11 inches
Weight: 9-16lbs
Life Expectancy: 10-18 years

Get a Shih Tzu and you'll be giggling every day. These little dogs are the perfect size for apartment life, and are brimming with fun-loving character! While their lustrous coat does require a fair amount of grooming to keep it looking beautiful, you won't regret a minute of the effort.

Although these little guys do enjoy barking, they are friendly with strangers, children, and other pets and don't require much exercise to stay healthy and happy. Shih Tzus simply adores curling up on their owner's lap to be petted and adored. 

Hairless Chinese Crested

Height: 11-13 inches
Weight: 8-12 pounds
Life expect: 13-18 years

If you're looking for a dog that will adjust well to apartment living and doesn't shed or smell 'doggie', the Hairless Chinese Crested is the dog for you! These adorable dogs have a hairless body with spotted skin, and fluffy tufts of fur on their head, feet, and tail.

Chinese Crested dogs are incredibly devoted to their people and will follow their owners around from room to room. This is the ideal breed for people who work from home, not those who are out for several hours each day. Fun and with very little need for outdoor exercise, these dogs are ideal for apartment living.


Height: Miniature 5-6 inches | Standard  8-9 inches
Weight: Miniature under 11 lbs | Standard 16-32 lbs
Life Expectancy: 12-16 years

Immediately recognizable, whether you call this breed a 'sausage dog', 'Weiner dog', 'Dashie' or 'Doxie' the dachshund is the perfect size and personality for apartment living. This breed is available in two apartment-friendly sizes (standard and miniature) and three different styles of coat (from smooth to long and luxurious).

Their tiny legs mean that they do not require (or tolerate) very much exercise, although this breed does have a relatively strong prey drive that can lead them to behave rashly or be stubborn. While it can be somewhat difficult to train these curious dogs to get along well with kids and other dogs.


Height: 10-13 inches
Weight: 14-18 lbs
Life Expectancy: 13-15 years 

Cuddling is one of a pug's favorite pastimes. These solid little dogs are an ideal breed for apartment dwellers! Typically very quiet,  pugs are happy to lounge around at home and just hang out with their people.

Playful and loyal, these dogs are very social and require lots of social activity with their people, children, or other dogs. Their laid-back and lazy personality does make them prone to weight gain so it's essential to be careful of their diet to keep them healthy.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Once you have your new puppy home and settled, you should bring them in for a wellness examinationContact our vets in Toledo to schedule a visit.

Welcoming New Patients

Shoreland Animal Hospital is accepting new patients! Our veterinary team is passionate about the health of Toledo pets and is looking forward to meeting you and your furry friend. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!

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