Best Dogs for First Time Owners in Apartments

Just because you live in an apartment and have never owned a dog before doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the joys of pet ownership. There are many dog breeds that are suitable for apartments and appropriate for first-time owners.

A common misconception is that smaller dogs are always suitable for apartment living. However, some small dogs have high-energy needs, which makes them inappropriate for first-time owners and apartments.

If you’re looking for a dog that is suitable for both first-time owners and apartments, check out some of these breeds.


This African dog breed makes absolutely no sound. They are “barkless”. As you can imagine, this makes them pretty fitting for apartments. They also have very low maintenance needs, hardly needing baths and only shedding occasionally.

These canines are very cat-like, however, and require strict training. As a smart dog owner, you should get them into training classes ASAP. They can also be quite energetic, so plan to take plenty of walks.

Basset Hounds

Basset Hounds are renowned for being easy to take care of. They don’t require much grooming at all, with only the occasional bath and brushing every now and then. They’re small, at only 14 inches at the shoulder. Despite their small size though, they are quite strong.

They require very little exercise – mostly opting to lay around on the couch all day. While they aren’t extremely easy to train, their friendly demeanor means they require less socialization than other breeds. 

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

These canines require little exercise and are very easy to train. They’re eager to please and very friendly, making them perfect for those who like to have company over. Their small size makes them fit easier into smaller living spaces as well. 

Because of their long coat though, they do require regular brushing. Luckily, because off their train-ability, this shouldn’t be too much of a chore.


Despite how it may appear, Greyhounds are actually extremely laid-back dogs. They don’t require much exercise, hence their name “40-mile-per-hour couch potato.” Due to their very short fur, they don’t require much bathing or brushing at all. They do shed occasionally with the seasons.

These canines are also extremely friendly, though they can be independent as well. Unlike many dogs, they also tend to be quiet, which is very fitting for an apartment.


A Whippet is like a tiny Greyhound. They only reach around 30 pounds and look almost identical to the Greyhound – only in a smaller package. These smaller dogs can more very quickly when they want to, but typically choose to not move much at all. They need only occasional bathing and shed seasonally.

Like many dogs, they do require a regular walk but are more than happy to just lay around on the couch most of the time. They aren’t aloof with strangers but tend to be somewhat reserved. Their independent nature can make them somewhat more difficult to train, but it also makes them a great choice for those who work during the day.

Coton de Tulear

These fuzzy dogs are a good, healthy alternative to the Shih Tzu and other small dogs who tend to come with lots of health problems. Their longer coats mean that they need daily brushing, but besides that, they’re very easy to take care of.

They take to training rather quickly and are very friendly with strangers. As long as they are taken for a regular walk, they make perfect companions in an apartment due to their smaller size.


These low-to-the-ground dogs make fitting companions for those that live in apartments. This iconic dog requires somewhat regular brushing and occasional baths. Typically, they’re fine with being brushed once a week and bathed whenever they get dirty. They need regular exercise, but their small size means that a short walk typically suffices.

It doesn’t take much to train one of these dogs and they’re pretty friendly with strangers. The only real downside of this breed is that they tend to have back problems due to their shape. Luckily, this can be prevented by discouraging jumping. You will need to invest in a good set of dog stairs for your bed or the couch.

Best Dogs for First Time Owners in Apartments

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