Best Dog Breeds for First-Time Owners in Apartments

Are you thinking about getting your very first dog but don’t know where to start? Do you live in an apartment and think that your hopes of getting a dog are dashed? Well don’t worry! There are lots of dog breeds that are very well suited to apartment life and are easy for first-time owners! Check out our list of best dog breeds for first-time owners in apartments down below!

There are lots of important things to consider before getting your first dog. Can you afford the time and energy to train them? Will you be at home enough so they’re not alone too long? Can you exercise your new dog regularly enough? If you know you’re ready for a dog in your life, make sure you think about all of these things when making the next big decision: the breed for you!

Energy Level

Energy level is very important to consider if you live in an apartment and all different dog breeds can be somewhat predictable in this department! Your dogs energy level will determine how much exercise they need and also possibly how much space they may require at home. This is why it is so important to look into the energy level and exercise requirements of each breed to make sure you can keep them happy!

If you’re looking for a low-maintenance lap dog, you might not want a dog with a lot of energy like the Boarder Collie!


Size is often seen as the most important factor for choosing a breed with the space you have. However, for apartment living, there is often a misconception that smaller dogs are always better. Some smaller dog breeds, while seemingly fitting into the space better, sometimes do not do well at all in smaller spaces. While some small dogs do very well in these environments, some medium sized dogs are also reasonably well suited to apartment life and is very much breed dependent. 

You do need to make sure your dog has enough room for their bed or crate and for them to walk around comfortably. Other factors such as energy level also need to be considered as well as in depth research of each breed and advice from your vet.

Ability to be Trained

Ability of your dog to be trained easily is an often overlooked but important factor for first-time dog owners. This can very not only between individual dogs, but between breeds too and can rely on their intelligence or willingness to be trained at all!

Their ability to be trained will affect house training (which is even more important in apartments!) and training them not to be destructive or bark. This is especially important for first-time dog owners who may not know many techniques of training difficult dogs. For any dog, always remember that professional dog trainers are always available too!


How vocal your new dog is will be even more important if you live in an apartment. While every dog is different, some dog breeds are known to bark and howl more than others. Excessive noise from your new dog could get you in a lot of trouble if you live very close to neighbors, especially apartment living! This is why you should try to choose a breed which has a low tendency to bark and whine, and keep the peace with your neighbors! 

All dogs have the tendency and training can help to reduce this. However, some breeds have a naturally low tendency to bark which is bound to be much easier for first-time owners in apartments!

Shedding and Grooming

Shedding is a large factor which many dog owners consider when choosing a breed. Different dog breeds can vary widely in how much and when they shed fur. Some dogs shed all year round and a constant rate. Some instead shed seasonally and then very little for the rest of the year. 

Water dogs such as poodles characteristically shed very little fur. However, this has the downside of them requiring a lot of grooming to remove their excess fur. This might require special brushes or grooming equipment or even professional grooming treatments. These are both important factors to which dog breed will best suit your lifestyle!

Best Dog Breeds for First-Time Owners in Apartments

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

These sweet looking and gentle dogs are affectionate and a perfect companion for first-time owners. They are both affectionate and are relatively low maintenance, both in terms of grooming and training. They need some grooming to ensure their coat doesn’t get knotted and respond very well to training, while requiring a regular level of exercise.

These dogs are not keen on being left alone so like a lot of company. But if it is a companion you’re looking for, they love nothing more than a cuddle and a belly rub! These small to medium sized dogs are ideal for apartment living and have been seen to adapt extremely well to this. They are an extremely friendly breed, both to their own family and any children.

Shih Tzu

the Shih Tzu is the ideal candidate for both apartment living and first-time dog owners! If you want a small, affectionate companion which is easy to keep but extremely loving, look no further than the Shih Tzu. Being bred souly as a companion, this breed is loving with their owner and also gentle with children. They are relatively easy to train and have a reasonably low energy level, making them ideal for apartment life with a regular level of exercise.

These playful dogs love affection and aren’t too keen on being left alone for too long. So make sure you can keep them company as much as possible! They also require a reasonable amount of grooming to keep their coat healthy. Despite this, these ideal small dogs are great for apartment life. This applies especially for novice owners as they have a low tendency to bark and high adaptability to the apartment lifestyle.


While it is important to give Greyhounds plenty of chance to exercise and run, they also adapt surprisingly well to apartment life. They are generally calm when indoors and have a sensitive, gentle nature. They are low maintenance in terms of grooming making it easy to keep a tidy apartment with not too much work. 

With an extremely high level of intelligence, Greyhounds are fast learners and easy for first-time owners to train. You can afford not to worry as much about disturbing the neighbors with this breed, as they have a low tendency to bark and howl. One of the main downsides to this breed are the fact that they do shed some fur, so you may have to clean up after them slightly more. Despite this, Greyhounds make great companions 

Bichon Frise

This small and fluffy breed are an ideal choice for first-time dog owners in apartments. Their small size makes them suitable for smaller spaces, while their coat is characteristically low shedding. This does however mean that they require a lot of grooming time and effort, so make sure to look after their coat well with trips to professional groomers.

Their temperament makes them an extremely friendly and also great for new owners with families. They have a low tendency to bark which will definitely keep you in good favor with the neighbors. They are also reasonably quick learners, making them able to adapt to many different lifestyles!

child friendly dog breeds that don't shed


These intelligent and varied breed are popular and excellent companions for first-time owners in apartments. They are within the water dog group meaning they shed very little fur, making it very easy to maintain and neat, clean apartment! Poodles are found in three sizes, standard, miniature and toy. This means you can choose the perfect size for your lifestyle! The downside to this breed is that they need a lot of grooming to take car of their coat, either regular grooming at home or trips to the groomers!

Their playful and affectionate nature make them great family dogs or perfect companions for first-time dog owners. They are a highly intelligent breed, meaning they are fast learners and respond very well to training with a low tendency to bark as well. It’s very understandable why they are such a popular choice for many owners, including first-time owners in apartments!

child friendly dog breeds that don't shed

Final Thoughts

Getting your first dog is extremely exciting and it is important to know which dog breed best suits your lifestyle. If you live in an apartment, you need to make sure your chosen dog breed does well in apartment living. 

For first-time owners, certain breeds are also much easier to care for than others. Knowing which traits are important to suit your lifestyle will help to make an informed decision about which dog breeds are best suited to you. This is important to make both you and your dog as happy as possible!

For picking up your new dog, don’t forget to check out our list of what to take when you pick up your new puppy. And for caring for your dog, check out our best ways to entertain your dog when you’re not home!

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