10 Small, Quiet Apartment Dogs That Don’t Shed Much

Do you live in an apartment? If so, then it makes sense if you can’t have a loud dog or one that will annoy the neighbors. Perhaps you’re also looking for a small dog who won’t mind the confines of an apartment complex? Oh, and a low-shedding dog would be great, too!

Which dogs meet these three unique criteria?

Here’s a list of our top 10 picks:

  1. Basenji
  2. Toy Poodle
  3. Affenpinscher
  4. Border Terrier
  5. Bichon Frise
  6. Bedlington Terrier
  7. Boston Terrier
  8. Chinese Crested Dog
  9. Havanese
  10. Maltese

The following dogs are less than 20 inches tall and typically don’t weigh more than 30 pounds, so they’re small enough that they won’t create catastrophes in your apartment. Keep reading for more on these quiet, low-shedding breeds!

1. Basenji

Basenji dog trotting in forest.

Starting the list is the affable, short-haired Basenji.

This breed does blow its coat, but due to the length of the Basenji’s hair, cleanup isn’t so disastrous. The dog’s close-cropped fur makes grooming easy too.

Basenjis are about 17 inches tall and weigh up to 26 pounds.

The Basenji is both energetic and curious, so you will have to take your pup to the nearest dog park and augment that with some indoor play to keep him satisfied.

You won’t hear a Basenji bark much, but they do vocalize in other ways, including screaming, whining, and yodeling.

This dog is wicked smart, but behavioral training to control its other sounds ought to reduce their frequency.

2. Toy Poodle

Happy looking Toy Poodle running outside on the green grass.

Beloved for its intelligence and posh looks, there are lots of reasons to want to adopt a Toy Poodle. The dog’s propensity for low shedding is another.

Admittedly, keeping your Toy Poodle groomed is a struggle, but that’s mostly because you have so many fashion cuts to select from. If yours is a show dog, then you’ll spend a lot of time maintaining the Poodle’s coat.

The average size of a Toy Poodle is 11 inches tall. To your dog, your apartment will seem like a palace.

Although they’re not especially athletic, Toy Poodles are very energetic. You need to give them a place to run and play, typically outside at a dog park.

Shy around strangers, the only time you’ll likely hear your Toy Poodle barking a lot is if the dog perceives a threat.

3. Affenpinscher

Affenpinscher laying on green grass

The scruffy, toughie little Affenpinscher is a favorite among many.

This German dog with its Ewok face doesn’t shed much, which is surprising considering its unkempt coat. The reason is that the Affen is a single-coated breed with rough fur.

Even grooming that fur is surprisingly easy with a tool like a slicker brush.

Weighing no more than 13 pounds, Affenpinschers are also about 12 inches tall, so they won’t hog up too much room in your studio apartment.

Affens aren’t overly energetic. You still have to take your dog outside, but since they’re smaller, they tire out easily. You’ll also love how often the Affenpinscher barks, which is rarely.

4. Border Terrier

Border Terrier laying on grass.

Are you into shaggy-looking dogs? Then the Border Terrier should be right up your alley!

This working dog sheds a decent amount, but nothing crazy. You should expect seasonal shedding ahead of both the winter and the summer.

Keeping your Border Terrier groomed is one of the best ways to control its shedding. The wiry outer coat can be a little tough to comb, but a slicker brush can tame those locks.

Borders are about 16 inches tall and weigh 14 pounds, so they’re a good companion dog for apartment-dwellers.

Do keep in mind that the Border Terrier is quite the energetic breed. Be sure to take him to the park often for some long walks.

Far from a yappy dog, Border Terriers are active guard dogs who will bark to let you know someone is at the door.

5. Bichon Frise

Portrait of Bichon Frise outside on paved walkway.

If you don’t mind committing to a bit of extra grooming, the adorable, fluffy Bichon Frise checks many of the boxes you’re looking for when it comes to a dog.

The Bichon is apartment-friendly, as the dog is 12 inches tall and 15 pounds on average. Plus, they’re usually quiet.

To top it all off, the Bichon Frise is a low-shedding dog! This is despite the double-coated fur the breed possesses. 

So, onto those grooming requirements, right? 

You’ll have to use a pin brush or a metal comb to combat all the fluff your Bichon has. Do this about every day or at least every few days. You’ll also have to detangle the coat layers.

Oh, and since the Bichon Frise’s coat is always growing, you’ll either have to get good at trimming the fur or find a groomer who is.

All the effort is worth it for such a sweet fur baby.

6. Bedlington Terrier

White Bedlington Terrier dog standing outside on a sunny day.

Maybe he’s not the smallest dog on this list, but the Bedlington Terrier still meets my criteria for a small dog per the intro. The dog weighs 22 pounds and stands 18 inches tall.

An English dog with coarse, curly fur akin to a Poodle’s, the Bedlington Terrier is expectantly low-shedding. The dog is single-coated as well.

It’s no wonder some have proclaimed that the Bedlington Terrier is a shed-proof dog!

Grooming your four-legged friend is moderately challenging, but it’s nothing a good slicker brush can’t handle! Just be sure to brush in the same direction you see the wavy fur growing.

Requiring only moderate exercise and barking infrequently, the Bedlington Terrier is the perfect dog if you want to avoid complaints from your apartment neighbors.

7. Boston Terrier

Purebred Boston Terrier outdoors in the nature on a sunny day.

The third and final Terrier I want to talk about today is the Boston Terrier.

This American-dwelling dog with the bug eyes and bat ears may shed seasonally, but it’s nothing overly noticeable. 

The Boston Terrier has short fur that prevents mountains of hair from accumulating here, there, and everywhere.

Keeping its cropped coat looking good is about as easy as pie too.

Barking? Not here! The Boston Terrier has a low barking tendency so you can enjoy peace and quiet in your apartment after a long day.

The dog is about 16 inches tall and weighs 25 pounds on average. He’s a little big for apartments but not too big by any stretch.

The Boston Terrier will have energy to burn. This will be especially prevalent in puppyhood. As the dog matures, his energy tapers off.

That said, you still have to keep your dog entertained. Without physical and mental stimulation, the Boston Terrier can become hyperactive and possibly destructive. 

8. Chinese Crested Dog

Portrait of purebred Chinese Crested Dog.

Is it the most conventionally appealing dog? Maybe not, but if you have room in your heart (and your home) for a Chinese Crested Dog, you can rest assured that you’re making an excellent choice.

You can choose between two varieties of Chinese Crested Dog, including the Hairless and the fluffy Powderpuff (which sort of looks like a dog I’ll talk more about shortly, the Maltese).

The latter sheds more, so if you want a mess-free apartment, the mostly naked Chinese Crested is the better pick for you.

Since this breed has so much exposed skin, you’ll have to moisturize it and apply sunblock. At least you don’t have to worry too much about combing and trimming!

This 12-pound dog is about 13 inches tall. The Chinese Crested Dog will love playtime inside or outside, but the breed isn’t super energetic.

Will you hear a peep out of the Chinese Crested Dog? This breed can suffer from separation anxiety, but otherwise, they don’t bark too much.

9. Havanese

White Havanese dog standing on a tree trunk.

Many people take one look at the Havanese and fall in love. It’s hard not to, considering this dog is so low-shedding!

You might not think so from looking at this dog, but it’s true. The longer fur of the Havanese goes through the four stages of hair turnover more gradually than a short-furred breed like the Boston Terrier.

That results in less shedding and less cleanup for you!

Apartment dwellers, rejoice. The Havanese is about 11 ½ inches tall and weighs up to 13 pounds, so the dog should be acceptable for most apartment leases. 

Will your neighbors hear your Havanese? They shouldn’t. This dog doesn’t squeak, grow, grumble, mutter, or bark much at all.

Their mid energy level means you can enjoy a chill (but still active) lifestyle with a Havanese at your side.

So what’s the catch, you must be asking? Well, you have quite a lot of work on your hands when it comes to grooming the Havanese.

The dog is double-coated, with soft insulating fur close to the body and then longer fur atop that. You’ll have to comb through both layers of fur and detangle any knots in the outer layer.

Daily brushing will keep your Havanese’s coat tidy!

10. Maltese

Small white Maltese Dog standing on large rock.

Last but certainly not least is the Maltese, which sets the standard for what a low-shedding dog is.

With one layer of fur that grows slowly since it’s longer, the Maltese releases fur very infrequently.

This toy dog is only about nine pounds and nine inches, so any apartment is going to feel roomy at that size.

Since the Maltese is small, the breed doesn’t require too much exercise. You could even run them around in your apartment if you don’t have neighbors below you.

Those neighbors won’t hear your Maltese bark. Well, unless you leave the dog alone for too long, that is.

The Maltese thrives on attention and has a bad case of separation anxiety. Try not to be gone for longer than six or eight hours if you can help it!

Bottom Line

The 10 apartment dogs I discussed are tiny, low-shedding, and quiet. So they shouldn’t raise the ire of your neighbors or your landlord.

That being said, I must add a caveat. Your dog is only as small as you make them. If you overfeed your dog or don’t give them enough exercise, then they can easily weigh over what the breed standard is.

A poor diet can also influence shedding, leading to more puffs of fur lingering throughout your apartment. So, I recommend checking out our list of top-rated dog foods for a healthy coat and speaking with your veterinarian to make sure your dog’s diet is optimal.

How quiet a dog is also depends on its care. For instance, I mentioned separation anxiety several times. A neglected dog will bark. So too will one that’s sick, injured, or in otherwise bad condition.

If your dog is barking more than usual and its environment and lifestyle haven’t changed, it may be a good idea to take them to the vet.

Either way, I hope you found this post helpful! And if you’d like to share your ideas of different dog breeds for apartments, feel free to chime in below.

10 Small, Quiet Apartment Dogs That Don’t Shed Much

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