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  • Cheryl Cole

Adopting in a city? These 14 breeds make the best city dogs

City dwellers looking for your perfect pup? These 14 breeds can all thrive in busy cities and small living spaces.

If your dream for the new year is to welcome a dog to the family, you may find the process of finding the perfect pooch for your lifestyle a little overwhelming - especially if you live in a city.


Getting a dog in a big city does come with it's challenges as it usually means smaller living spaces, high rise apartment buildings, plenty of noise and less outdoor space - and with Vancouver in particular there's the added challenge of finding dog friendly apartment buildings.



Although some breeds definitely aren't suited to city living and need a lot of space and exercise, there are actually a number of breeds that will thrive in a city.


According to breed information from Dog Time, American Kennel Club and Rover, we've compiled a list of breeds that are all well suited to city living.


So, if you're a city dweller thinking about getting a dog in the new year, here are 14 breeds you should definitely consider.


1. Corgi

Affectionate, smart and alert, this breed make a great companion, and as they are usually extremely friendly to strangers, they are very well suited to city life. Despite their little legs, they love adventure and physical activity so are a great choice for city dwellers that also love the outdoors. Apartment guests are generally greeted warmly by this friendly breed, and your neighbours will be pleased as they make very little noise.


Size: Up to 30lb

Mood: Fun-loving and Playful


2. Dachshund

Friendly, curious and spunky, these tiny dogs make great apartment pups as their short little legs mean that two walks every day of moderate length should be sufficient. Dachshunds love to be with their humans and have an average tolerance for being left alone, which is great for busy city dwellers.


As they are generally a quiet breed, this will no doubt please any next door neighbours! Size: 16-32lb

Mood: Lively and Playful



3. Yorkshire Terrier

No garden? No problem! These affectionate and sprightly dogs can be exercised easily indoors due to their small size. A short walk twice a day will likely be enough for your Yorkie to burn off all that energy. Yorkie's love their humans and are very eager to please which comes in handy when training, and their tiny size makes them great shopping buddies for trips to the dog-friendly stores in your city.

Size: 4-6lb

Mood: Energetic and Affectionate


4. Pug

Charming, mischievous and very loving, this breed makes a perfect apartment pup - small size, infrequent barking and shedding, affectionate towards strangers, the list goes on and on. Their love of snuggling on the sofa combined with their fondness of food means obesity is a real possibility, so regular, moderate exercise is a must.


This will be no problem as although they have relatively low energy levels, they'll still be happy to wander around the city with their owner.

Size: 14-18lb

Mood: Laid-back and Charming




5. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Affectionate and gentle, these dogs love cuddles and are very attached to their humans, meaning a smaller, city home is great for them.

Friendly with strangers and great with children, this breed will just as happily go on walks as they will curl up for hours on the sofa, and can be happily entertained playing fetch in a small space.

Size: 10-18lb

Mood: Loving and Playful



6. French Bulldog

A very popular city dog breed, with good reason. Their compact size, content and chilled out attitude, and relatively low activity needs make them great apartment dogs and city companions.


They love to be right by their human's side and also make great watchdogs, rarely barking without reason.

Frenchies love to play and have an above average tolerance of strangers which will come in handy if you have lots of neighbours. Size: Under 28lb

Mood: Easy going and Sociable


ALSO READ: 9 of the best breeds for first-time dog owners


7. Boxer

If you love getting active, going for hikes outside the city, or running in the evenings, this breed could be a perfect choice for you as they are high energy and very active dogs. Intelligent, alert, fearless and friendly, boxers are instinctive guardians who love human affection and being close to their owners, and make great family dogs and loyal companions.


Size: 60-70lb

Mood: Devoted and Friendly




8. Boston Terrier


Compact and eager to please, this bright and amusing breed is a great apartment dog and can be lazy and quiet indoors when trained well.

Nicknamed 'The American Gentleman' due to their impeccable manners, this pup will always be up for playing, and brisk walks around the city.


Size: 10-25lb

Mood: Friendly and Intelligent


9. Schnauzer

Handsome and dignified, the Standard Schnauzer is a very adaptable dog and can live as comfortably in a city apartment as on a large, country farm, provided they get enough exercise each day.

Exercise is key for a schnauzer to thrive in a city as they have a surprising amount of energy, so be prepared for plenty of time at the park to keep your new pup happy.


Size: 14–20 kg Mood: Loyal and Energetic




10. German Shephard

If you're lucky enough that your city apartment has no size restrictions for dogs, and you want a larger breed, a German Shepherd may seem like a surprising choice, but will adapt well to city life.


They are easy to train which is great with the hustle and bustle of city life, and as long as they get plenty of exercise outdoors, this loyal, affectionate and playful breed will make a wonderful city companion.

Size: 22-40kg

Mood: Reserved and Protective




ALSO READ: Looking to adopt in Vancouver? Here's how to find the right dog for you in the city


11. Bichon Frise

Playful and curious, but also adaptable and easy to train, this breed can thrive in smaller living spaces.


They do have short bursts of energy, so daily walks and play sessions are recommended to keep them content. Their small size, low bark-rate and friendliness towards strangers make them a great apartment dog.


Size: 12-18lb

Mood: Affectionate and Cheerful




12. Shih Tzu

Easy going and bred to be a house companion, short daily walks and indoor playtime will satisfy their activity needs, so busy owners don't need to worry too much about long outdoor trips!


Training can also be very amusing as they know how to get their own way!


Charming and playful, this small breed is known to be especially affectionate with children and are more than happy to spend the day relaxing on your lap. Size: 9-16lb

Mood: Lively and Friendly


13. Maltese

Born and bred companions, this calm, all-white breed is low-shedding so if you like a tidy apartment, they could be a great choice for you. Although they are full of energy, occasional exercise and daily walks will keep them more than happy. Affectionate and playful, they are known to suffer from separation anxiety, so are best suited for those who spend more time at home.

Size: 4-6lb

Mood: Alert and Active





ALSO READ: Vancouver vet advice on how to prepare for your dog's potential separation anxiety post-lockdown

14. Greyhound

Perhaps not the most obvious choice, this breed is actually great for smaller homes.


Despite having lots of energy, they can be very calm when properly exercised - a brisk daily walk should suffice. They prefer being with their human than being alone, and can be sensitive, so may need a little help adapting. But once they do, they will be very happy to be your city companion. Size: 60-70lb

Mood: Quiet and Gentle