Want a furry little friend but worried it might end your lease? We have covered you with the best dog breeds for renters in small to medium-sized apartments. Dogs are an essential part of everyone’s family, and it is only fair for them that you do your research before adopting a dog breed. A dog is a gentle animal requiring much care and attention. Don’t adopt a puppy on a whim and later return it, as this might permanently alter the dog’s behaviour. 

Living in a rented apartment can mean following certain rules in the area or a common space. This does not necessarily have to alter your plans of adopting a dog. Here is a list of 10 small dog breeds that can fit into any place and do not require a lot of playtime and walks. These dog breeds sleep most of the day and are easily trainable, and they can learn housebreaking and steal the hearts of your guests. These pups are friendly and adjust easily to little children, family members, or fellow tenants. 

French Bulldog

Known for its unique squashed face and bat-like ears, the French Bulldog is one of the best dog breeds for apartments because of its tiny size and high adaptability. These dogs are usually extremely affectionate and playful, making them the number one choice for families with kids or multiple pets. French Bulldogs generally weigh up to 28 pounds and barely grow up to 13 inches, which means they can adjust to compact apartments. 

They don’t have long hair and shed only during the spring, making it easier to clean the house. French Bulldogs form strong bonds with their families and are typically not aggressive, barking only in dangerous situations so you don’t have to worry about noise complaints. Although these dogs face spinal and respiratory problems at some point in their life span of 10 years, they are low-maintenance dogs and require only 1 to 2 walks a day. French Bulldogs adjust well in small to medium-sized apartments or houses with tiny yards and few stairs. 

Why is the French Bulldog One of the Best Dog Breeds for Renters?

    • French bulldogs are easily trainable and adaptable.
    • They rarely bark and shed, only once a year.
    • These are low-energy dogs that don’t require much walking or playing.
    • They are not aggressive biters.
    • French Bulldogs are short in height and can fit in compact spaces.

Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkshire Terrier Canine Companions for Renters in Canada

Yorkshire Terriers are among the best dog breeds for apartments and small rented houses. They weigh only 7 to 8 pounds, usually with an average height of 8 inches, and love to take naps all day. This breed does not require much exercise and hates extreme weather outside, cold or hot. You should keep a litter box for your dog at home. Yorkshire Terriers are not great guard dogs as they have fragile bodies, but they can be easily trained and socialised. 

They are perfect for renters who love to invite guests over and like to party. Although we should warn you, this little munchkin might steal the show! Yorkshire Terriers don’t bark much and barely shed any hair, saving you time and effort in removing their hair off the couch. Terriers, usually low-maintenance dogs, might face dental or respiratory problems during their 12-year lifespan. They don’t require much walking and can stay engaged in games for long periods indoors. 

What Makes the Yorkshire Terrier One of the Best Dog Breeds for Renters?

    • Their compact size makes them perfect for smaller living spaces.
    • They have minimal shedding and are low-maintenance.
    • Yorkshire Terriers are not prone to excessive barking.
    • This breed can comfortably stay indoors or in crates for extended periods.
    • They are well-socialised and interact positively with others.


Getting a pug as a renter might be one of the wisest decisions you make, as they are extremely low-maintenance dogs and have a small body size. With a body weight of only 14 to 18 pounds and a height of 13 inches, pugs make great pets for small apartments or homes with pre-existing pets and children. They require some playing and walking time but are asleep for more than 14 hours daily. 

Pugs shed moderately throughout the year, which basic grooming can easily manage. They are bred to be lap dogs and are ideal for full-time working families, as no one can be with the pet all day. Pugs usually face breathing problems in their 12 years of life. They don’t usually bark at guests, so you don’t have to worry about neighbours’ noise complaints. 

Why is a Pug One of the Best Dog Breeds for Renters?

    • They hone a compact stature suitable for flats or small houses.
    • This breed has minimal shedding and requires modest exercise.
    • They are effective at guarding the home.
    • Pugs are comfortable staying in crates for extended periods.
    • They are good-natured with other animals and young children.


Though a bit untraditional, the Greyhound may be one of the best dog breeds for renters in Canada. This dog grows up to 30 inches tall and weighs around 70 pounds. It is known for its sleek and athletic build. Contrary to popular myth, Greyhounds love to spend all day napping on the couch and require only 30 minutes of daily exercise. They are relatively low-shedding dogs with patient personalities and can live in medium-sized apartments or homes with lawns. Greyhounds are well-suited for families with children but don’t like the company of other pets. 

This breed is easily trainable and social, so you can take it for more off-leash walks. However, due to its gentle nature, greyhounds are poor guard dogs and are more prone to bone cancer than other breeds. Greyhounds love playing with kids and sleep 18 hours daily throughout their 10-year lifespan.

Why are Greyhounds the Best Dog Breeds for Renters?

    • They are gentle and extremely playful with guests, especially kids.
    • Greyhounds require less walking and exercise time.
    • This breed is easily trainable and seldom bark.
    • Their slender and athletic shape suits small living spaces well.
    • They easily adapt to new places and people.

Shih Tzu

The Shih Tzu breed is known to be one of the best small dogs for apartments. They barely stand at 9 or 10 inches and weigh only 9 to 16 pounds, meaning they can fit into any small apartment with little to no garden space. Shih Tzu is great with adults, kids, and other pets, fitting perfectly with your multi-pet family. Because of their friendly nature, they are not good guard dogs but are known to bark at random objects. 

Shih Tzus require very little walking time, as they cannot tolerate much heat. They are usually happy being indoor-only dogs, happily greeting the guests and being the life of every party. Shiz Tzus have long wavy hair that requires professional grooming. You can also tie a rubber band to prevent the hair from getting into the dog’s eyes. Although double-coated, Shih Tzu shed only a few times out of their 10-year lifespan. 

Why is a Shih Tzu One of the Best Dog Breeds for Renters?

    • They need minimal exercise or playtime.
    • It can fit into any place because of its small size
    • They are extremely friendly and can adjust to any new family member
    • This breed is simple to train. 
    • Shih Tzu has minimal shedding and is too short to reach high surfaces.

Great Dane

You would not expect the Great Dane to be on the list of best dog breeds for renters, but here we are. This giant dog breed weighs between 140 and 175 pounds and stands between 28 and 32 inches tall, yet frequently overlooks its considerable size. It is highly trainable, extremely social, and requires only 40 minutes of playtime. While Danes shed a little all year round, they have comparatively smaller fur than other breeds. Great Danes don’t bark usually and can live comfortably with many kids and pets. They require only short walks and can sleep up to 18 hours daily. They are well suited for families who live in medium—to large-sized rented apartments. The only downside of having a gentle Great Dane is that their heavy diet might require a little more food storage area. 

Why is the Great Dane One of the Best Dog Breeds for Renters?

    • They are friendly and easily trainable.
    • They need minimal walk time.
    • This breed has less hair fall than other breeds.
    • Great Danes don’t bark at guests or new members.
    • It can live with any number of pets and kids.

Miniature Pinscher

A miniature pinscher is only miniature by its name and size, 10 to 12 inches. This is one of the best small dogs for apartments, but is not low maintenance. These dogs weigh only 8 to 10 pounds and are some of the best guard dogs for small to medium-sized apartments with large gardens. Miniature Pinscher requires 40 minutes to 1 hour of exercise daily and will be very happy playing with plush toys for the rest of the day. 

If socialised properly at a young age, a miniature pinscher is happy in the company of other pets and kids but is best suited for people who don’t plan to expand their families. With a life expectancy of 12 years, this breed barks if it senses danger but is usually quiet. Despite not having a hairy coat, it requires proper grooming and a fancy diet, or the dog might show tantrums.

Why is the Miniature Pinscher One of the Best Dog Breeds for Renters?

    • They are small in size and can live in compact places
    • They are best guard dogs in unsafe neighbourhoods
    • It gets comfortable near kids and other dogs over time
    • They do not bark much 
    • Miniature Pinscher dogs require only 1 hour of walking time


Basenji is one of the best dog breeds for people wanting only one pet. With a life expectancy of 12 years, this dog breed has many cat-like traits, such as cleaning itself every day and climbing on high counters. It is also an extremely smart dog breed that can easily guard your home from intruders. Despite having a fine long coat, this loyal cat-dog hybrid has minimal yearly shedding. 

The Basenji is a highly active dog breed and is well-suited to families with older children who can play with it. However, it is unsuitable for young kids who might pull their hair. This dog breed gets uncomfortable around other dogs and requires only a 30—to 40-minute play area. The Basenji does not bark often but sometimes makes high-pitched noises during the day. 

Why is the Basenji One of the Best Dog Breeds for Renters?

    • This breed requires less playtime and walking.
    • Basenji are excellent guard dogs.
    • They shed less and clean themselves every day.
    • They can play with adults and children.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is one of the best dog breeds for renters who live in small to medium-sized apartments. They are 12 to 13 inches tall, extremely playful, happy, and suited to all lifestyles. Even though it weighs 13 to 18 pounds, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel has quite a lively personality and is considered a companion dog. This dog breed requires 30 to 40 minutes of exercise daily and is extremely comfortable as an indoor dog. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels bark little and are suited for families who often have guests or host parties. They can live for 9 to 14 years but are prone to eye and ear problems. It sheds moderately and requires grooming every other month.

Why is the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel One of the Best Dog Breeds for Renters?

    • Spaniels are extremely adaptable.
    • They can fit anywhere because of their small size.
    • It does not require too much playtime.
    • They are comfortable with guests and children.
    • This breed sheds only moderately despite having long hair.


Standing only 10 inches tall, the Havanese is a small dog breed best suited for small to medium-sized apartments. They weigh between 7 and 13 pounds, possess a moderate level of energy, and are highly adaptable to new places. Havanese dogs need brief walks and a bit of play to stay healthy, making them quite easy to look after.

Havanese dogs, who live between 14 and 16 years, are quiet unless they feel threatened, which means they rarely cause any issues with noise for neighbours or landlords. These dogs don’t shed much, making them relatively low-maintenance in grooming, and you won’t have to spend much time cleaning up after them. They are easy to train and, with proper socialisation, can adapt well to living in homes with young children and other pets.

What Makes Havanese One of the Best Dog Breeds for Renters?

    • They are small in size and, thus, can live in compact apartments.
    • This breed does not bark or create much noise.
    • Havanese requires only a little walking and playtime.
    • They shed less.
    • These dogs are comfortable with young kids.

Time for Walkies!

Well, that was it for the best dog breeds for renters living in apartments and small homes. While the dog breed does ensure a certain size, weight, and personality traits, it does not provide the true behaviour of any dog. Some poochies, regardless of breed, are energetic and are quite disruptive. It might affect your daily routine, but having a dog is ultimately rewarding. Dogs need plenty of love, time, socialisation, and training. Consider carefully and research before adopting any of the breeds mentioned.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the easiest dog breed to train for housebreaking?

Greyhounds are one of the easiest dogs to train for housebreaking.

What breed of dog is quiet and calm?

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is known for their calm and quiet behaviour. It does not exhibit high levels of noise or hyperactivity.

What is the laziest house dog?

Greyhounds sleep more than 18 hours daily and require minimal playtime, making them the laziest house dogs.

Which dog requires the least maintenance?

Basenjis require minimal maintenance. They clean themselves and have short fur, so they need minimal grooming.

What is an indoor-only dog?

An indoor-only dog is a breed that prefers to stay indoors and does not need extensive outdoor activities to live a healthy lifestyle. Some examples of such a breed are Shih Tzu, Havanese and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.