24/07/2013 07:56 BST | Updated 23/09/2013 06:12 BST

Top Five Dogs for Inner City Living


Nearly all young professionals are now living in small city flats and apartments, but this clashes heavily with dog-lovers' need to have their own pup. That doesn't mean that having a dog is completely out of the question, but there needs to be some careful thought on what kind of dogs are suitable for small spaces. Here's a top 5 list of the best dogs for city living that should help, but remember that all dogs will require some form of exercise to keep them fit and healthy, alongside a lot of love and attention. These are ranked on their need for space, exercise and grooming.


'Wait, what?' you say. Yes, they're pretty big dogs, but they actually make great companions for apartment living. We'll get the big one in at the start because the rest are tiny in comparison.

Exercise - Medium - Mastiffs don't require particularly intense exercise, but they do need some form of walk every day. This shouldn't be a problem if you're near a park, but beware of flats without a lift as they'll struggle with lots of stairs.


Space - Medium - Despite their size, they cope well in small spaces. The downside to this is that they are kind of clumsy at times, and their soft jaw means they can fill a room with slobber easily. Keep wipes at hand.

Grooming - Low - Short hair = less mess, so it won't be too bad, despite all that slobber.

Negative points - the Mastiff is at least as tall as most bins, meaning they have free reign of it while you're out. This could cause problems for you if you don't counter them, leaving you with some hefty vet bills.


If these guys were a clothing line, they'd be in the novelty section of the store, but they seem to be a gimmick that's lasted in celeb culture, due to their tiny size and ability to sit in a handbag without appearing to care at all. These are an obvious good pick for someone who can't be running around with their mutt.

Exercise - Low - Just look at them, they don't need much running at all. In fact, they'd probably get worn out running through the living room a few times.


Space - Low - On a similar level to their exercise, they don't need much space at all to live. The only thing worth noting is that, like lots of small dog breeds, they often have something to prove, making them very loud and yappy. This can make you the target of noise complaints if you're living in modern, thin walled apartments.

Grooming - Medium - They do require some grooming attention like bathing and nail clipping, but then they're short-haired so it's nothing major.


Known for their vibrant personality, pugs are another celeb favourite, although these even get to act in films (Frank the Pug: Men in Black). Probably the most compliant dog on the list, they absolutely love whatever you decide you're doing.

Exercise - very low - While they can walk outside, indoor exercise is plenty for these little ones.


Space - very low - again, they are content with laziness in ways you will struggle to imagine until you meet one.

Grooming - hmm - While they are short haired, however, they have a stubborn quality that matches their laziness, making them pretty difficult to housetrain. They're also prone to medical problems, which can cause knock-on effects on the owners' time and money if they're living the busy city life.


It's so surprising that the internationally renowned racing dog is great for apartments that it's now not that much of a surprise at all to most dog lovers. While they need some kind of exercise, they are more than happy to chill out.

Exercise - Medium - They only get medium because of their capacity to run more than anything else. As said before, they are just as happy to lounge while you're at work. As long as they receive some form of daily exercise (30+ minutes) you're all good.


Space - Low - They don't need a large space to be happy. The only thing worth noting is that, due to their strength, they will easily knock things over when excited. This isn't such an issue with smaller dogs, but these are perfectly table height...

Grooming - Low - Light shedding, low maintenance, although expect a bigger mess compared to the smaller dogs.

Shih Tzu

Despite their small size, they are often described as defiant and brave. They fit well into any small living space and are only let down by their need for constant grooming. Not always a problem if you like giving them attention, though.

Exercise - Low - They will entertain themselves.


Space - Low - Extremely relaxed and loving so don't need much room. They don't, however, deal well with extreme temperatures, so particularly hot or cold flats will be unsuitable for them.

Grooming - high - Their long coat needs a lot of brushing. Expect to be occupied for some time every couple of days. People have tried to get round this issue by breeding them with poodles. This slows their shedding, but the side effect is the unfortunate name of 'shih poo'.

The Winner - Greyhound

It's a tough call to make, but the greyhound wins the race for the best indoor city dog, not only for their amazing practical qualities, but also for their companionship. What's even better is the opportunity for people to adopt old racing dogs who are always in need of a home.