Dog BreedsDog Health & Care

5 of the Best Apartment Dogs That are Hypoallergenic

In the world of purebred dogs, breed type is paramount, as it must be, because without breed type, there are no breeds.” (Seppala Kennels)


1. Coton de Tulear     2. Havanese     3. Lowchens     4. Poodles     5. Yorkshire Terriers


One of the top trending questions regarding dogs is …”What are the best apartment dogs available?” The best apartment dogs that are hypoallergenic have become the epitome for many dog breeds, as there are several dog lovers with allergies who live in apartments or duplexes; small homes; retirement homes for one to two people; long term care homes; college students who live off campus; and families who live in large cities yet have to live in affordable but small living quarters. And…apartment-sized dogs are good for dog lovers with larger homes as the small to medium sized dogs make good companion dogs.

non-allergenic apartment dogs
Poodles come in toy, miniature and standard.      Credit: Wikimedia Commons

It is important to think seriously about what you want in a pet, as dog breeds not only differ in personality but they differ in what they want and need to feel happy and content. This is why, as a responsible dog owner, lots of dog research needs to happen to understand what works out best for you. Meeting somewhere in the middle will make you and your dog incredibly happy and content.

The primary thing to remember is that no dog, anymore than a child, a disabled person or elderly adult, is able to stay in an apartment for long periods of time….alone. Unfortunately, that occurs quite often. Students go to school and sometimes work more than one job. Older owners usually have one full time job and maybe or maybe not have a part-time or two job. At the top of your list should always be this one question, “How much time can I devote to loving and caring for my dog?” It is not a sin to not get a dog if you do not have the time for it. But it would be emotional abuse to leave your dog to fend for itself for long periods of time.

General questions to ask yourself are: “If I am gone a lot, what quality of care can I offer my dog?”, “Why do I need a dog if I am gone a lot?”.  The best apartment dogs of any breed can become depressed and self-destruct with negative behaviors if they are left alone too long. Bringing home a puppy like one of the Terrier breeds and then leaving it alone too long is just begging for problems. Truly, all breeds have good and bad behaviors, just like people. It just takes a while to work out the kinks.

  • What size of dog works best for you?—the best apartment dogs range in size from small to large, yet the gentle giants {i.e. Great Danes or rescued Greyhounds) can work just as well as smaller dogs.
  • Older dogs or older rescue dogs work well, regardless of breed, in smaller living areas. They sleep a lot and have low energy levels, which makes them ideal for the elderly or people who are not super-joggers nor have high-energy levels.
  • As a dog owner, are you super energetic or does your best friend call you a couch potato?
  • Is your preference for a high-maintenance dog, enjoying a dog who needs lots of grooming, or do you prefer a short-haired dog that requires as little as possible?
  • How much experience do you have training a dog, or do you want who catches on pretty fast and will train themselves? (Good luck, by the way!)
  • Do you wish for a dog who is cuddly and needy, requiring lots of loving, or a dog who is happy with just a pat or two on the head?
  • Is the breed you are looking at yappy, biting and nipping other pets or children? Rat terriers, some Pomeranians and Chihuahuas have this tendency if they are not around a lot of people all the time.
  • Is your choice of breed fragile, and you have small children in the household.  and can be hurt when handled roughly by small children? The toy breeds easily break bones if handled too roughly or fall off couches or chairs, left alone by children who know no better?
  • Are you allergic to dogs, but love them at the same time?

The best apartment dogs that are non-allergenic

When a person is allergic to dogs, it means he or she is allergic to the proteins found in dog dander, dog saliva and/or dog urine. Or, the person is allergic to what is on the dog’s coat in its environment, not the dog itself. As you can tell, being allergic to a dog does not mean anything unless you know what is going on inside your own body.

However, any vet will tell you that no dog is 100% allergy free. Anyone who tells you different is denying the truth or belongs to the large group of people called the “lying idiots” ….trying to make money off the sales of hypoallergenic dogs to unsuspecting customers.

1. Poodle or Poodle hybrids

best apartment dogs
Credit: Wikipedia Commons

The number one non-allergenic apartment dog is the Poodle or Poodle hybrid mixes (a registered father of one breed and a registered mother of another breed; the poodle can be either side). However, Poodle hybrids, with over 80 hybrids to choose from, require a non-allergenic breed on both sides, not just one. The poodle mixes and the poodle hybrids are the most popular non-allergenic dog in America, as they have hypoallergenic fur.

You would think that most apartment dogs are small to medium sized. If so, you have probably never met a Great Dane or retired Greyhound, as both are soft and gentle giants…couch potatoes, in fact. As we all know, both breeds are super tall, large and leggy; it would appear that living in an apartment would be out. Not so, as it has been surmised that the size of the dog does not matter as much as their personality and behavior.

Price: $300 to $5,000 plus shipping

2.  Coton De Tulear

apartment dog
Credit: Wikipedia

Another popular breed is the velvety soft “cotton-ball” dog with soft hair instead of dog fur. Called the Coton de Tulear (“the Cotton dog”), it is one of the calmest and friendliest dogs on the list of dog breeds.

Developed on the island of Madagascar, it is the island’s national dog, first brought to America in 1973. It weighs around 8.8 to 13.2 lb for males and 7.7 to 11.0 lb for females with a 9 to 13 inch height.

A companion dog, the Coton de Tulear is a little dog that has very little prey drive that would make it a good hunting dog. Instead, its uniqueness and exceptional personality make it a wonderful show dog and a loving companion dog.

non-allergenic best apartment dogs
Credit: Wikipedia

Other than shedding its puppy coat, this breed is a non-shedding dog that has low dander. Like the Poodles or Havanese breeds, this little dog has low allergic effects and is considered hypoallergenic to those who suffer from dog allergies.

Considered high-maintenance when it comes to grooming, the Coton de Tulear does not have the  usual “doggie smell” that comes with dogs. When properly bathed and groomed, it has little to no odor due to having doggie hair instead of doggie fur.

Prices begin at $1,200 to $2,500

3. Bichon Havanais (the Havanese)

non-allergenic apartment dogs
Credit: Wikipedia

The beautiful Havanese is a breed of the Bichon type, the name for a related non-sporting category of dog breeds. It is descended from the ancient ancestors of the poodle, the barbet ( a medium-sized French water dog).

The Havanese is also the national dog of Cuba.

A small yet sturdy dog, the Havanese can adapt to any environment but cannot thrive in an isolated environment for several hours a day, due to their very strong social need for human connection. If you work full time all day or work two jobs, and do not have a partner to help out, then you would need someone to check in with the dog daily, find a pet sitter or search out a quality dog boarding kennel.

non-allergenic apartment dogs
Credit: Wikipedia

The Havanese ranges from 7 to 14 pounds and is 9 to 11 inches in height. It has a very soft double coat, which means it is well insulated against the hot or cold, and does not require total cuts of their coat.

What sets the Havanese apart from others like it are their spirited personality and curious personality. This is a breed with a very characteristic “flashy gait” combined with a highly curious personality. Therefore, apartment living would require an owner who enjoys this breed enough to spend time playing, loving and searching out and working with the breed’s characteristics.

An an ideal family pet and/or an excellent companion dog, the Havanese is highly intelligent, sweet and has a non-quarrelsome temperament, on top of being non-allergenic to dog allergy sufferers. Also, this is a breed that becomes cold very easily,  so keeping their coat longer in winter time is essential to its care.

Prices: $695 to $1,800

4. Yorkshire Terrier

hypoallergenic apartment dog
Credit: Wikipedia

High maintenance, the Yorkshire Terrier never sheds and has very little dander. Weighing in at 7 lbs. and 7 inches tall, this is considered a purse-sized apartment dog who prefers to be held or carried around as much as possible. It is listed as a Toy in the Terrier group and the Companion group due to its small size and breed background.

In the mid-1800s, the Yorkshire Terrier arrived in Yorkshire, Northern England, carried in by the craftsmen from Scotland seeking work along with other breeds: Clydesdale, Paisley, Skye and the Waterside (some are now extinct).

If any dog can be swift, intelligent, and graceful all at once, it is the little Yorkie. It requires very little exercise and is extremely peaceful in any environment, excerpt when it verbally keeps tabs on strange noises and people to better care for its owner.

Price is $600 to $5,000

5. Löwchen

apartment dog
Credit: Wikipedia

The bright and happy little Löwchen dog, referred to as the Lion dog, is known for its sensibility and low-key personality.  Considered a non-hunting toy dog, it is a people-oriented dog that mixes this with a healthy bit of curiosity.

This is a dog who will be sitting on the back of the couch or chair while watching out the window, keeping tabs on arriving visitors or for family to come home from school or work.

The dog’s peacefulness and gentleness are shared equally for people and animals alike, making it one of the top companion dogs for families and those with children and other pets.

The Löwchen is one of the dog breeds that demands nonforceful and gentle training due to some of the Löwchen lines of breed being shy and timid, yet working well in competitive obedience and agility sessions. Because of this, early socialization is necessary for all the Löwchen lines.

best apartment dogs
Credit: Wikipedia


apartment dogs
Credit: Wikipedia



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1 Comment

  1. November 23, 2016 at 10:33 am — Reply

    I have been looking for a dog that doesn’t shed often! I think the Yorkshire Terrier would be an excellent dog to keep in my apartment as well. I appreciate that you mentioned the price. Hopefully, I can afford one soon!

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