17 Small Dog Breeds in India That are Best as Apartment Dogs

Every dog breed requires different care and is suitable for different lifestyles. Big dogs require extra efforts in terms of training, food, exercises and socialization.

Small dogs are suitable for apartment living as they are easier to care for and look after. Despite their small size, many small dog breeds are excellent guard dogs.

They are easy to train, remain puppy-sized forever and prove the best companion for humans. Food consumption and health concerns are considered to be much less as compared to those of bigger dogs.

If you are planning to adopt or buy one, this article will help you know the different small dog breeds that you can choose along with the pros and cons of having one.

Pros & Cons of Having Small Dog

Having a small dog has many pros but it comes with a fair share of cons too. Some pros and cons of raising a small dog are listed below.


  • Smaller breeds are considered richer and have a prestigious reputation
  • Small dogs remain puppy-sized forever and require less space
  • Guests are not scared of small-sized dogs and they can be easily controlled and held back
  • Owners can easily travel with small dogs especially in public transports
  • They do not gain much weight and do not demand daily walks
  • Small dog breeds have a longer life than large breeds


  • Smaller dog breeds are very close to their owner and families but unfriendly with strangers
  • They have a tendency to bark a lot compared to bigger breeds
  • They are very easily distracted and difficult to train
  • Small dogs are very protective of their families and tend to be more aggressive than large breed
  • The cost of buying a small dog is much higher
  • They require quality maintenance of skin and hair which may add to the expenses

17 Small Dog Breeds in India


Beagles are small, active, friendly and playful. They are perfect for families with kids as they are very gentle.

This hunting dog has an exceptional sense of smell and is single-minded and determined. They have a loving, affectionate, balanced and gentle temperament.

It is important to give them tiresome exercise before night as they have high energy and tend to bark a lot.

These dogs are difficult to train as they are easily distracted but are easy to maintain and thrive in Indian weather conditions.

Indian Spitz

Indian Spitz is a highly intelligent dog breed with a high ability to learn new tricks. They usually have longer hair which makes them look bigger than they are.

They have a decent, confident, alert and energetic temperament. They are friendly, loyal and playful with kids but aggressive towards strangers if untrained.

It is a noisy dog but is very smart and easily trainable. They are excellent watchdogs and perfect for novice owners.


Pugs were bred as companion dogs and love bringing joy to their families. They are inactive, stubborn, take naps often and need patience as well as dedication while training.

These dogs have a balanced temperament and a balanced personality. They do not like exercising which may lead to weight gain that needs to be controlled with daily walks and a strict diet.

These apartment-friendly dogs are very quiet and calm. They may suffer from eye problems and breathing issues which may require regular attention from the vet.

Jack Russel

Jack Russel is a small terrier-type dog that was bred to hunt foxes and rats. They have alert and lively behaviour.

They possess an energetic, athletic, intelligent and fearless temperament. They are very fond of kids and love their human families.

These dogs are noisy and have limitless energy, hence require regular exercise. They are easy to maintain with less grooming as they have low shedding.


Dachshund dog breed has an elongated body and webbed paw that help in digging into borrows to find mouse, badgers or rodents. It is a small companion dog with a powerful nose.

It is usually close to a single person in the family and it is safer to keep them away from children to avoid attacks. Early training and socialization can also help solve this problem.

They have an unusual shape and are playful, active, bold, affectionate and loyal. These dogs are suitable for apartments but with sufficient space.

Shih Tzu

Shih Tzu is a small-sized dog with affectionate, happy and outgoing behaviour. They have beautiful coat colours with long flowing hair, big bright eyes and distinct moustache.

This dog is great for novice dog owners as they are small in size and affectionate by nature. They need extreme care during hot and humid climate conditions.

They are alert, active and may bark and bite if they feel threatened. They have a fine sense of smell and hearing which makes them excellent guard dogs.

Lhasa Apso

Lhasa Apso is a small dog breed that originated from Tibet and was bred as a guard dog. This dog has long hair with low shedding but requires daily grooming.

They are independent, intelligent and loyal companions with calm and composed attitude and are friendly with visitors. Early socialisation, training and regular exercises are also needed.

This dog breed is stubborn and has a fearless attitude which can make it difficult to train. They are excellent watchdogs but are very noisy.

French Bulldog

French Bulldogs have a round head, with cute bulging eyes and bat-like ears. They are excellent companions for children and older members of the family.

They are lovable, easygoing and very friendly but must be trained for their barking. They have small noses which may lead to the development of breathing difficulties.

These dogs like to stay active but must not perform vigorous exercises. They are excellent apartment dogs but are very rarely bred in India.

Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkshire terrier, also known as Yorkie, is an active breed with high curiosity that originated from England. It is a small dog with a glossy coat and is protective of its family.

They are bold, emotionally secure and mentally balanced. They do not shed their hair and are perfect watchdogs for apartments.

These dogs are courageous, smart, confident and always thrive for attention. They are sociable but are not the right choice for families with babies.


Chihuahuas are the smallest dogs in the world which originated from Mexico and are considered excellent family pets. They have a round apple-shaped head with erect ears and big expressive eyes.

They are charming, confident, active and very vigilant. They have a large appetite despite their small size and require 2-3 walks a day.

Early socialisation and training are required to prevent it from snapping on humans and other dogs. They require special care during the winter season.

Cocker Spaniel

Cocker Spaniels are skin dogs that make excellent companions for humans. There are two types – American cocker spaniel and English cocker spaniel.

They have a friendly, loving, and loyal temperament. They are charming and have a gentle character with an active and intelligent attitude.

They are affectionate and friendly with children and can be easily trained. Their grooming takes a lot of time and they require regular exercising.


Poodles come in different sizes which divide them into types – standard poodle, miniature poodle and toy poodle. It is the second smartest dog on the planet.

They can perform several tasks and their fur does not shed to cause allergies. This dog is quite popular in India as an excellent indoor pet.

They are instinctual, alert and require the right training to maintain an even temperament. They require frequent grooming and are may have a few illnesses leading from genetics.

English Bulldog

English Bulldogs is a short, muscular medium-sized breed that proves an excellent family pet. They are courageous watchdogs but are sweet and friendly with kids and adults.

This dog is attractive, affectionate and has a docile nature with a willful attitude. They have an easy-going, gentle and well-developed temperament.

They are stubborn and require to be trained at an early stage. They enjoy a laidback, lazy lifestyle and are quiet dogs that do not bark a lot.


Pomeranian is a small, adorable canine with bright eyes. It has a tiny body covered in thick, double-coated fur and comes in many colours.

They have a fox-like appearance with alert ears and are easily recognisable due to their fur. These dogs are intelligent, social and require regular exercise as they are highly active.

They have a dominating behaviour but are easy to train and form excellent watchdogs. They shed heavily and require regular brushing.

Irish Setter

Irish Setters are exquisite red dog breed developed by Irish hunters. It is an active dog and will need regular exercise.

These dogs are affectionate, energetic and lively and come with a playful attitude. They are intelligent, easy to train and do not bark quite often.

They need large space to play and are suitable for larger apartment spaces. They have a healthy body and are extremely friendly with kids, other pets and strangers.


Maltese is an extrovert kind of dog that loves to meet new people and play around the house. It is one of the best apartment dogs but requires extra effort while taking care of them.

They are energetic and require walks twice a day. They are prone to allergies that may affect their coat quality and hence require good quality dog food.

They have long hair but no undercoat which makes them prone to get sunburn. These dogs shed less and are easy to groom.

Australian Terrier

Australian terrier is a small dog breed with a spirited and lively attitude. It has a long torso, a distinctive coat around the neck and a top knot of soft silky hair.

They have a confident attitude and are not fit for multi-dog households. They are active and require regular exercises due to their high energy level.

They require consistent training sessions to overcome their stubborn behaviour.

They may require special care for health conditions related to knee caps, itchy skin conditions and flea control.

Why Are Small Dogs Ideal for Apartment Living?

Not all dog breeds are made for apartment living which is preferred by inhabitants in metropolitan cities. Some dogs are small in size and fit well for apartment living.

Small dogs require less space to perform their daily exercise and activities. Small dogs can run around in the apartment to vent out their energy.

Dog breeds that are smaller in size are less intimidating to their neighbours and have softer barks as compared to larger breeds. This makes them easy to handle and ensures lesser complaints from neighbours

Smaller dogs are easier to handle but require a proper amount of training and socialisation. These dogs are much easier to train than bigger dogs.

In metropolitan cities, majority of people stay in apartments in buildings. People lead busier lives as well which makes it difficult to train, handle and care for bigger dogs.

For apartment owners and first-time owners, small dogs are a perfect choice. They also have lower food consumption expenses and can be handled easily.

However, small dogs tend to require more grooming and health care needs and are usually more aggressive compared to bigger dogs. Every dog requires training, socialisation and health care regardless of its size.


We hope to have helped you get all the information about the small dog breeds so that you can make the right decision of adopting or buying one.

Ensure to check the list and decide which dog suits your lifestyle and the city you live in.