6 Best Dog Breeds for First-Time Owners in Apartments


The best dog breeds for first-time owners in apartments are usually small-sized, low-maintenance, and easygoing. If you’re an apartment dweller who wants to adopt a dog that fits your home and lifestyle, here are the six best dog breeds for new owners.

1. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is an adorable and affectionate toy dog with a gentle, friendly, and playful nature. It gets along well with other dogs and kids, making it a great family companion. It is also generally quiet, attentive, adaptable, and responds well to training because it is always eager to please. 

The Cavalier is moderately active, so it needs only a basic amount of daily exercise for good health. Ensure that it gets regular walks as it has a tendency to gain weight. 

This small dog has a medium-length coat, but its grooming needs are minimal. Brush its coat regularly to avoid tangles.

2. Dachshund

This apartment-friendly dog has a unique body shape and size that arises from the mutation of a retrogene. It comes in standard and miniature sizes and is known for its feisty temperament.

Its name in German means “badger dog” as the breed historically hunted badgers. This makes it prone to chasing small animals and contributes to its stubborn and wilful personality.

“House training, I must tell you, is a formality that can elude young dachshunds for some time.”

                                                                                         ― Mary Doria Russell

The Dachshund is also slightly hard to train, but it ranks high on friendliness and playfulness, which makes it highly suitable for families. Just give it enough mental stimulation to ensure that it doesn’t turn your house upside down or ransack your pantry.

It could end up eating anything that catches its fancy, including fruit and vegetable peels! In case that makes you wonder, can dogs eat dragon fruit skin, the short answer is no, because it could be dangerous. 

So keep things out of your Dachshund’s reach.

3. Papillon

Small and delicate, the Papillon is a playful breed with a friendly temperament. Its stately looks and striking coat made it a popular subject among famous artists like Rembrandt, Johannes Vermeer, and Titian.

The Papillon is adaptable and loves to please its owners. But make sure to train it properly to prevent it from becoming a constant barker. 

The Papillon is kid-friendly as long as children are gentle with it. It enjoys a moderately active lifestyle, making it an excellent exercise partner. This dog also needs a moderate amount of grooming, which makes it one of the best dog breeds for busy owners.

4. Pomeranian

Despite its petite size, the Pomeranian belongs to the family of sled dogs. It has a bold and feisty yet affectionate personality. The breed makes an excellent watchdog and does well in families.

The Pom is generally laidback and great with gentle older kids. It is moderately active and needs some basic amount of exercise every day to stay happy and healthy.

But, you will need to train these dogs to teach them about boundaries and prevent them from becoming stubborn. Luckily, Poms respond well to regular, positive-reinforcement based training.  They are also highly adaptable in nature and therefore can accompany you everywhere. 

This dog’s gorgeous, fluffy coat may steal the show but is low-maintenance. So, you only need to brush it regularly to ensure it is healthy. This makes it one of the top dogs for new owners with busy lifestyles.

5. Poodle

The Poodle is a popular, playful, intelligent, and versatile dog that adapts well to different environments. It comes in toy, miniature, and standard sizes. So, you can easily choose a size that fits your home and lifestyle.

“Even the tiniest Poodle is lionhearted, ready to do anything to defend home, master, and mistress.”

                                                                            ― Louis Sabin

Active and energetic, the Poodle is a fine watchdog. It also responds well to training and needs adequate mental stimulation and exercise with regular walks. It also requires frequent grooming to maintain its long, curly coat.

6. Shih Tzu

The Shih Tzu is an ideal companion dog as it is lovable, affectionate, easygoing, quiet, and eager to please. It gets along with people, making it one of the best dog breeds for first-time owners in apartments.

It loves spending time with its family and is great with other dogs and kids. So, don’t be surprised to see it relaxing on the couch beside you or playing with your children and other pets.

The Shih Tzu is very intelligent and therefore needs mentally stimulating playtime along with regular exercise. Otherwise, it can become obese. This ancient Chinese dog breed has a beautiful silky coat that sheds very little. But you must still brush it regularly to keep tangles at bay.


What dogs are good for first-time owners who live in apartments? Low-shed, laidback, and gentle dogs like those listed above are usually the best dog breeds for first-time owners in apartments. Pick one that suits your living space, lifestyle, and other needs, and enjoy the companionship of a four-legged friend.