1½-year-old Pom-a-poo named Tala (left) and 1-year-old Bichon Frise named Sadaf (right), from Toronto, Ontario, Canada
This is a list of breeds that are considered "good" for apartment life. If you do not see a breed listed here, it does not mean that it cannot live in an apartment. This list only covers the breeds considered "best" for apartment life. Do not assume that just because a dog is small that it will get enough exercise running around your home. Your home is like a large cage. If you have a yard, it’s a larger cage. The key to keeping any dog in an apartment is providing enough exercise. Dogs are canine animals that have retained the instinct to migrate. Therefore, even small dogs need to be taken out for daily walks. High-energy dogs can live in an apartment if the owner takes them out for long walks, bike rides or jogs. Enough daily exercise is the key to keeping any dog stable and happy. Be sure it is the right type of exercise, an exercise that drains both the dog’s physical and mental energy. Only providing excited exercise (i.e. playing with other dogs or tossing a ball) does not drain the dog’s mental energy. Find out more—read The Proper Way to Walk a Dog.
NOTE: Almost any dog can live in an apartment, IF...and this is a Big IF...it gets enough of the right kind of exercise. If you plan on jogging with your dog, and as long as you can make the dog heel on the jog so the dog is not worrying about being your leader but rather relaxing as he is following you, you have a very wide range of dogs to choose from. Most dogs in the shelters are there because their owners ONE, did not provide proper leadership and TWO, did not exercise them properly. A big backyard is not going to cut it. So those people who live apartments who actually walk their dogs (assuming they make them heel on the lead) are often better off than those who are simply only let out into the fenced backyard for exercise. Dog park exercise is excited exercise and it is not recommended as the only source of exercise a dog receives. It keeps the dog in an excited state of mind.
There are SO MANY great jogging companions in shelters. If you plan to jog every day then you would even qualify for a higher energy dog even though you are in an apartment. But if you plan on only jogging two or three times a week and plan to only walk the dog the remaining days, I would go with a medium-energy dog.
The thing to remember is it is not necessarily the breed you are looking for but the energy level of that particular dog. There are pups born within every litter that are higher energy than other pups within the same litter, dogs within the same breed that are higher energy than others. That is why some folks will, for example, get a Lab as a pet and think it is wonderful and when that dog passes away, they get another Lab and find the next one to be a nightmare. Their first Lab was low energy and low dominancy and the second one is high and high. Sure, a Pointer is going to always be higher energy than a Clumber Spaniel, but they will still vary from dog to dog within the same breed.