Even pet-friendly apartments can have their own limitations when it comes to your four-legged friend. You should be mindful of everyone around you while renting an apartment with a pet. If you plan to buy or adopt a new dog, it’s important to consider their characteristics and personalities. It’s also important to consider the regulations on your lease and personal living limitations before adopting a new dog, as some apartments have size and breed restrictions for pets moving in.

All dogs come in different sizes and different barks. Some breeds are known to bark more frequently or louder than other breeds. Likewise, some breeds may be easier to train not to bark than others. It can be difficult to find the perfect combination of characteristics you desire in a dog that’s also a perfect fit for living in a small apartment.  Luckily, we had experts weigh in to deem some of the best small and quiet dogs for apartment living. Plus, some useful tips on how to help train your doggo for your apartment.

Quiet dog breeds for apartments

Keep in mind that any dog breed can be quiet or loud depending on their personality, temperament, and level of socialization. Not all dogs fit their standard stereotype. In fact, Michael Accetta, founder of Matador Canine Brilliance, notes “the quietest dog breed that I have come across is the trained one. Noise, tone, and intensity might change from small to large breeds, but the frequency with which they make noise can be heavily influenced by training.”  

Here are some recommended quiet and small dog breeds for apartments by experts:

  1. French Bulldogs

Frenchies are cute dogs that tend to bark less than other breeds. In fact, these pups like to communicate in unique ways, such as through yodels and chirps that are more low-pitched than your typical bark. A French Bulldog is also small enough to easily live in a studio apartment, which might be a big space for them. Their energy levels are not through the roof, and they’re great as a family addition. Dani Miles, an expert in pet health at The Daily Dog, tells us that “French Bulldogs are known to be well-mannered dogs. A French Bulldog would love to spend their days cuddling on the couch instead of barking and whining.”

A puppy French Bulldog

  1. Shih Tzus

A Shih Tzu can make a  great apartment companion, especially if you have guests often. They are known to be friendly and calm around strangers, kids, and other pets. Not only that, but they are affectionate creatures and prefer to stick close to their owner. A plus is they fit nicely on your lap cause they’re so small in size.

A Shih Tzu running in the grass

  1. Pugs

Apartment living can sometimes feel cramped, so having a big dog could take up more space than you want. Also, many apartments have size restrictions on animals allowed to live in apartment units. Consider Pugs, they might be the best apartment dog for you. They’re relatively low energy, not yappy, and they typically weigh around 30 pounds. 

A happy Pug on a leash

  1. Chihuahuas

Known to be one of the smallest dog breeds, Chihuahuas are cheerful and lively pups. Since they’re such small dogs, this could be an apartment owner’s best option because they don’t require much space or require much exercise. They’re huge apartment dwellers. Early socialization and training will encourage them to be their most delightful selves.

A Chihuahua laying on a white mat

  1. Greyhounds

Although a Greyhound doesn’t necessarily fit the “small dog” category, they are known to be quiet and calm. Greyhounds are known to be delicate and affectionate in nature which makes them easy to train. “Greyhounds are notoriously quiet and do not have a strong bark instinct, making them great apartment dogs. They are active dogs, however, and will need to go on regular walks,” recommends Alex Klinghoffer, CEO of Quiet Spot.

Sleeping greyhound dog wearing a collar

  1. Boston Terriers

A Boston Terrier is a great dog for apartment living. They also don’t have a strong bark instinct, and they’re pretty small. As long as you remember to take them on frequent walks, they’ll be more than happy to chill out on the couch with you. They can be considered a great pet choice if you’re looking for a quiet dog breed.

Grown Boston Terrier at the dog park

  1. Yorkshire Terriers

Yorkies are so small in size that they don’t need lots of exercise to be comfortable staying indoors. This small dog breed belies its personality, which is considered feisty and energetic. Just make sure you create a pleasant living environment for your pet Yorkie. They’re sensitive to the cold so they’re prone to shivers.

Yorkshire Terrier puppy with a ponytail

  1. Havanese

Named after Havana, these dogs were born to live in the city, no matter if you’re renting in downtown Boston, MA, or in the suburbs of somewhere more temperament like Austin, TX. Havanese dogs are perfect for small apartments due to their tiny stature. They’re thrilled with snoozing on the couch and exploring the apartment daily.

Havanese dog running through a patch of flowers

  1. Small Poodles

Poodles can be known for their wild hair-dos, but they’re also an intelligent breed, making them some of the best apartment dogs. You’ll find training on the easier side, and even an indoor environment can be enriching for them.

Fluffly poodle with soft ears

  1. Bernese Mountain Dog

The big, lovable Bernese Mountain Dogs can be less active than other breeds and do not need much stimulation. Cora Caiffone from Dogs Love 2 Train recommends “Bernese Mountain Dogs as a great apartment dog. Although they are quite large in size, they don’t seem to bark much.”

Two Bernese Mountain Dogs sitting together

  1. Golden Retrievers

Golden Retrievers are an amazing family addition to your home, as Cora Caiffone also mentions that Goldies do not seem to bark much. With lots of love and socialization, you will find your Goldie to be comfortable and happy inside your apartment.

A Golden Retriever at the dog park

Tips to prevent your dog from barking too much in the apartment

Dogs are beautiful creatures that bark as a form of communication. There are many reasons why your dog might be barking. Maybe they’re looking for your attention, want to go for a walk, use the bathroom, or alerting you about a possible intruder or strange noise they heard. If you’re dealing with noise complaints about your dog’s relentless barking, figure out why your dog is barking in the first place. When you finally find the root cause, you may be able to diminish the “barking” factor and help your dog to be a good neighbor.

Here are some expert tips on how to prevent your dog from barking in your apartment:

  1. Training

Most dogs respond well to training. Here are some tips from Dani Miles of The Daily Dog on how to use the “quiet” command:

Take the following steps

  • When your dog is barking, say “quiet.” Repeat the command if necessary.
  • When your dog stops barking, immediately give them a treat and praise them.
  • Repeat this whenever your dog barks to reinforce the message.
  • Additionally, do not give your dog attention (i.e., petting or playing) when they bark. If you are playing and your dog begins to bark, turn away from them and ignore them until they stop barking.
  1. Provide entertainment

A leading cause of the excessive barking is boredom. Ruben Montes, a dog trainer at Kindred Dog PDX, says, “Training your dog to be quiet in your apartment doesn’t have to be complicated. Simply make sure their needs are met. Environmental socialization can go a long way in ensuring your dog is not disturbing your neighbors.” It’s extremely important as a dog owner that you provide your pet with a rich environment to live in. That means providing lots of one-on-one playtime and toys. Some ways to provide unique experiences for your dog to stay entertained is filling a Kong toy with peanut butter before leaving the apartment. 
Dog pulling on their toy

  1. Physical exercise

Another method of dealing with relentless barking from boredom is providing plenty of exercise for your pup. Owners and trainers at Canine Companion Consulting, Beth Friedman and Wayne Bolen, stress, “Physical and mental exercise for all dogs is extremely important to their well-being.” A simple morning walk before work can do the trick. Your dog has lots of energy to burn, especially young ones.

  1. Block their view

Sometimes dogs bark because they’re alerting us there’s a potential threat to you and your home. Maybe they’re barking because they see something interesting, like a squirrel outside, or hear a loud truck drive by. Another way to stop your dog from barking while your’e gone is cut out your dog’s line of sight from outside. “For example, if your pooch barks at people, vehicles, or other animals it sees out the window, you could limit what it can see by drawing blinds,“ explains Galen Kauffman from My Golden Retriever Puppies.

Dog owner petting a husky on the floor

  1. Control the noise

Galen also provides an expert tip on how to block off outside sounds from disturbing your dog alone at home. “If your dog barks at what it hears outside,try to manage or control that noise with other forms of noise. Use white noise, the TV, or the radio. Some of these alternative forms of noise will help your dog feel less alone and enjoy its day at home without disturbing the neighbors.”

  1. Use anti-stress devices

If your dog is barking from anxiety issues, you can look into anti-stress relieving methods. Stress relieving collars, for example, produces pheromones that mimic the chemicals produced by female mother dogs for their pups. Professional Groomer and Behavior Specialist at Little Barks Boutique, Kim Kier, also recommends trying crate training. “It will give your dog a safe space to relax and go to when they feel overwhelmed.” This might also minimize the amount of barking when they are triggered by something. Anxiety jackets have also been known to help easily stressed dogs.

  1. Use positive reinforcement

Every time your dog shows you restraint from barking, give them a treat. It’s important to acknowledge your dog’s good behavior. This is positive reinforcement, which could result in your dog not barking when you’re absent. Rachel Salant, an Animal Behavior Specialist from Veterinarians.org, says it’s important to also positively reinforce your pup when they aren’t barking, “For example, do not feed them their bowl of food if they are barking at you to be fed. Sometimes owners just want their dogs to be quiet so they feed them to stop the barking, but that is actually teaching your dog to bark more. Wait until they are quiet before feeding meals. Similarly, give them lots of love and affection when they are quiet.”

  1. Get a pet sitter

While you’re away, a pet sitter can give your dog the necessary attention, potty time, and walks it requires. You can also “consider hiring a dog walker for multiple visits or investigate dog daycare options,” suggests Jess Ritchie, from Kathy Santo Dog Training.

A dog walker walking dogs on leashes in the countryside

Final thoughts for dog parents

Finding the dog that’s the perfect match for you and your living arrangement can be difficult, but every dog parent will do anything to make sure together they’re happy and comfortable. Even dogs known to be a “quiet breed” can be yappy, and even a well-trained dog can be too. Remember, try much as possible to be patient and not scold your pup when they are barking. They are doing what’s in their nature and just need help on how to be a good neighbor. 

Holly Hooper

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