What Are Australia’s Best Apartment Dog Breeds?

Dog Breeds

What Are Australia’s Best Apartment Dog Breeds?

Does size really matter? When it comes to your home, bigger isn’t always better. Data from the 2021 Australian National Census revealed that a massive 10% of Australians have chosen an apartment for their humble abode. Being in such a small home, hosting guests isn’t always practical but your home can get lonely!

 What better way to curb your loneliness than with a furry friend? Choosing a dog to share your apartment with can be challenging. You have to consider the size of the dog, how energetic the breed is and how loud they’re likely to be (ie: barking) when you’re not home. You’ll find a list of our favourite “small home” breeds below.

Are Chihuahuas Good Dogs For An Apartment? 

(Image: Herbert Goetsch)

Chihuahuas are known for their small stature and big attitudes. Weighing as little as 1 kg, these pocket-sized pups are perfect for apartment living. They require minimal exercise due to their size, any walking or running (also read, zoomies) they get around your apartment will be sufficient enough exercise for your tiny friend. Training a Chihuahua is also super important especially when you live in an apartment, no one wants to live next door to a yappy dog, namely when you’re in such close proximity to one another, sharing walls, a floor and a ceiling with your neighbours. 

Their temperament is what turns people away from owning a Chihuahua, however, they are very kind, loyal and affectionate when trained and treated properly. Training can be a little difficult as they’re quite stubborn, but stick to it and you’ll have a best friend for life. Chihuahuas have a lifespan of 12-20 years, so if you don’t think you can commit long-term, maybe another dog breed would be best suited. If you’re up for the commitment, then yes, a chihuahua makes for a great apartment dog.

Can Greyhounds, As Larger Dogs, Live In An Apartment?

(Image: SJ)

These calm, placid and often misunderstood dogs are built for speed, not for stamina. A short walk is all that’s required to keep them happy and to get their energy out before they’re in for a night of Netflix and cuddles on the couch. A word of warning, greyhounds like to chew, so keeping things out of reach is a must! These beautiful apartment dogs have an average life expectancy of 15 years, if you’re in the position to do so, look into getting a rescue. They’re often ex-race dogs and are just looking for a place with love and affection where they can live out their days. Often dismissed for apartment living for being not only big but also high energy and a high maintenance animal, greyhounds thrive in smaller homes, so are ideal for apartment dwellings.

Dachshunds Are Small, But Are They Right For An Apartment?

(Image :Katie Bernotsky)

The humble sausage dog, low-rider or wiener dog – same dog, different names. These fun-sized dogs are playful, boisterous and clever little things with unmatched loyalty. They thrive on affection and can get jealous if they’re not paid enough attention. They tend to form a really close bond with just one person, so would suit a single person perfectly (no one to fight with for the other side of the bed!) Dachshunds require a small amount of exercise a day due to the size of their little legs. They’re known to be cuddly and affectionate and love to be close to you. As Dachshunds were bred to hunt, they do tend to bark a bit, so training is vital for these precious pooches. The life expectancy for a dachshund is between 12-16 years. Their size and personality are what makes them one of the best apartment dogs in Australia.

Is a High-Energy Breed Like a Basenji Suitable For An Apartment?

(Image: Edvinas Bruzas)

Not a common household dog breed, these beautiful dogs are almost perfectly made for apartment living purely for the fact that they don’t bark. That’s right, the Basenji doesn’t bark but makes a sound likened to that of a yodel. 

I did say almost perfect. These apartment dogs are very high-energy and will need a lot of exercise and stimulation. Once they’ve gotten their energy out, this apartment dog can be very cuddly and affectionate. These dogs only cost about $500 to buy as puppies, but the Basenji breeding period only happens once a year so there are waiting lists – the Basenji is the perfect dog to adopt. A quick internet search will take you to your nearest Basenji rescue. The Basenji has a lifespan of 12-16 years. Their high energy aside, a basenji is a great addition for apartment living.

Are Cavalier King Charles Spaniels Good For An Apartment?

(Image: Courtney Mihaka)

King Charles Cavalier Spaniels are known to be one of the most friendly, easy-going dogs around. They are intelligent and easy to train, they’re small and cuddly but also love to run around on their little legs. A little bit of exercise will go a long way. These indoor dogs are the ideal lap dog and apartment companions. They love to be around other people, so when walking them be prepared for a couple of stops for pats. They’re sociable and great with other dogs, children and anyone who will show them love and affection. Whilst their mainly docile and calm nature means they’re not big on barking, if they get bored and aren’t provided with adequate stimulation, they may become destructive and yappy. They’re expected to live 9-14 years. Their cuddly and docile nature makes them perfect for someone in an apartment.

How Does a French Bulldog Handle Apartment Living?

(Image: Alexandru Sofronie)

The French Bulldog loves to play as much as they love a cuddle on the couch. 

These pooches are loyal, affectionate, and love being around people. Frenchies are full of personality, outgoing and inquisitive. They’re trainable with consistency and patience. If they’re not given enough stimulation they will get bored and they will get destructive. French bulldogs are a perfect apartment dog breed for apartment living because of their compact size and their relaxed demeanour. Their slight stature makes exercise a breeze as running around your lounge area will get their energy levels right down. The french bulldog has a life expectancy of 10-14 years. Being so trainable, the french bulldog is a great dog to house in an apartment.

Would A Bulldog Suit Living In An Apartment?

(Image: Sebastien Lavalaye)

Whilst they shed like crazy and may bark a little (and I mean a little), this lazy dog breed is low energy and require very minimal exercise for energy exertion. Any exercise required for them would be purely for weight loss if their diet isn’t adequately managed. They’re great with kids and love to cuddle and please, pleasing their owner is their main life goal. Their coat needs to be crushed regularly to avoid shedding hair all over your home, but if you’re not afraid of some hair and a little drool, the bulldog may be your perfect apartment dog breed. Originally bred for bull baiting (hence bulldog), these dogs make for excellent watchdogs. 

Their ‘scary’ looks may deter strangers, but anyone with the pleasure of having a bulldog in their family knows they’d never hurt a fly. The Bulldog has a stubborn temperament so may be challenging to train but voice commands and treats will have your best friend obeying your commands. The Australian bulldog lifespan has an average of 8-10 years. The bulldog is the perfect apartment pet. 


Finding the perfect dog breeds for your apartment isn’t just about how compact they are, their temperament and energy levels also play a big part. You also need to consider your lifestyle; if you have a job where you’re always working from home and can be there to entertain a dog you may be able to get one that’s higher energy. Still, if you’re working from the office 40 hours a week and you are gone for the majority of the day, it might be wise to consider one low-energy like a bulldog. If you’re always travelling, a more compact dog breed like a chihuahua might be your best bet, purely because they’re easy to travel with. 

There are so many tiny home-appropriate dogs, when looking for a forever furry friend, consider looking at rescues and giving a lonely dog a cosy home to spend the rest of their lives in knowing nothing but love.

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