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  • Cheryl Cole

Adopting in Vancouver? These breeds make the best apartment dogs

It's important that your new pup is suited to apartment living, and these 15 breeds are perfect for Vancouverites living in smaller spaces.


With so many Vancouverites living in apartments, and a huge surge of interest in dog adoptions in recent months, it's especially important that perspective dog parents consider how suited their new dog would be to their lifestyle.


With many apartments being on the smaller side, and weight restrictions on the dogs allowed in the majority of the already limited number of dog-friendly apartment buildings in Vancouver, larger breeds may not be the best choice for renters in the city.

Luckily, there are plenty of smaller dog breeds that are more than happy in an apartment. Taking into consideration size, as well as energy level, shedding, friendliness and noisiness (important if you don't want angry neighbours!), we've compiled a list of the best breeds for apartment living. According to breed information from Dog Time, and American Kennel Club, these cute breeds are all very well-suited to small living spaces, so, if you're thinking about welcoming a new pup into your apartment, here are 15 breeds that would happily become your new flatmate!



1. Maltese

Born and bred companions, this all-white breed is low-shedding and although they are full of energy, occasional exercise and daily walks will keep them 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


2. Dachshund


Friendly, curious and spunky, these tiny dogs make great apartment pups as their short 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.

Size: 16-32lb

Mood: Lively and Playful

3. Bichon Frise


Playful and curious, this breed has short bursts of energy so daily walks and play sessions are recommended. Although low shedding compared with similar breeds, they should be brushed 2-3 times a week to keep their coat in top condition. Their small size, low bark-rate and friendliness towards strangers make them a great apartment dog.

Size: 12-18lb

Mood: Affectionate and Cheerful


4. French Bulldog


A very popular breed in Vancouver, their compact size and low activity needs makes them great apartment dogs. 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: Easygoing and Sociable


5. Greyhound


This may come as a bit of a surprise, but this breed is great for smaller homes. Despite having lots of energy, they can be very calm when properly exercised - a brisk daily walk should suffice. Friendly and gentle, they are easy to groom and prefer being with their human than being alone.

Size: 60-70lb

Mood: Quiet and Gentle







6. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel


Affectionate and gentle, these dogs love to cuddle and are very attached to their humans, meaning a smaller home is great for them. Friendly with strangers and great with children, this breed enjoys moderate exercise and will just as happily go on walks as they will curl up for hours on the sofa.

Size: 10-18lb

Mood: Loving and Playful

RELATED: Looking to adopt in Vancouver? Here's how to find the right dog for you in the city RELATED: Here’s a list of 12 dog-friendly apartment buildings in Vancouver

7. Shih Tzu

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. Bred to be a house companion, short daily walks and indoor playtime will satisfy their activity needs. Training can be amusing as they know how to get their own way!

Size: 9-16lb

Mood: Lively and Friendly





8. Pug


Charming, mischievous and very loving, this breed makes the 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!

Size: 14-18lb

Mood: Laid-back and Charming


9. Chihuahua


Their compact size and simple grooming requirements make this breed a great choice for apartment dwellers. They love quality time on their owner's lap, and although devoted to their human, they can be untrusting of strangers so be aware of this if hosting parties is your thing. Following their humans around is usually enough exercise for this breed and short, slow walks will keep them happy and healthy.

Size: 3-6lb

Mood: Alert and Devoted




10. Boston Terrier


Compact and eager to please, this bright and amusing breed is a great apartment dog. Nicknamed 'The American Gentleman' due to their impeccable manners, this pup will always be up for playing, and brisks walks around the neighbourhood.

Size: 10-25lb

Mood: Friendly and Intelligent







11. Pomeranian


Inquisitive, bold and lively, these small dogs have big personalities. Pomeranians make great pets for older people and those who are busy, because they aren't an overly dependent breed. Their small size makes them ideal for apartment dwellers or homes that don't have a backyard as they are very active indoors. They have a short attention span so several short walks or play times work a treat.

Size: 3-7lb

Mood: Energetic and Loyal








12. Shiba Inu


This independent medium-size breed will do well indoors, but they need rigorous daily exercise so are best suited to owners who already live an active lifestyle. Although training may be more difficult for this breed, they make for an attentive and excellent companion. They are extremely clean, generally quiet and easily house-trained.

Size: 17-23lb

Mood: Alert and Confident









13. Yorkshire Terrier

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. As their beautiful, silky coat is more like human hair, it needs to be brushed daily.

Size: 4-6lb

Mood: Energetic and Independent




14. Bulldog


Incredibly gentle, docile and devoted, this breed is content to laze around at your feet and snooze, with a short walk enough to keep them happy. Although very easy-going, they aren't lazy and do enjoy the occasional brisk walk - just make sure it's not on a hot day as their short snout can cause breathing difficulties when it's too warm for them.

Size: 40-55lb

Mood: Gentle and Friendly


15. Pembroke Welsh Corgi

Affectionate, smart and alert, this breed is a great companion without being needy. Despite their little legs, they love adventure and physical activity so are a great choice for Vancouverites. 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





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