When you’re a city-dweller living in an apartment, finding the right pup for you can be a challenge. There are plenty of small dogs out there, but their energy levels might be too high to confine in a small home with all of your valuable, breakable stuff. And with no wide-open backyard to roam free, you might be looking for a pooch that doesn’t need you to spend half of your day going for walks. The pups on this list might be the solution to your tragically dog-less situation. Here are five small, low-energy dog breeds perfect for apartment living or for those of us who lead a lazier lifestyle.
The name “Shih Tzu” actually means “little lion, ” which may explain why this breed loves a good cat nap. Shih Tzus weren’t bred to hunt, herd, guard, or really move at all. They were bred only to be friendly little lap dogs and companions. They are happy to follow their owners around the house, but that’s plenty of exercise for them. One play session a day will have them tired out and ready to rest. And with a Shih Tzu on your lap, you’ll feel like a Chinese emperor. Or at least the emperor of Netflix.
Despite its name, the French Bulldog was created in England as a miniature Bulldog. They were companions to lacemakers who made trips to France where they got their name. These days they’re happy to stay put in a nice, air-conditioned apartment. French Bulldogs are known for being stubborn, and when they don’t want to walk, you’ll have trouble getting them to stop digging in their heels. They’re happy to play for a bit and can fetch and tug-of-war with enough strength to make your arms tired, but they’ll quickly go back to relaxing and living the couch potato life.
The Pekingese was bred to be the companion of Chinese emperors and were a fixture in their royal palaces. They haven’t changed much since then. They’re great at staying inside and being treated like royalty. They have a dignified air about them, which can make them stubborn and temperamental, but the Pekingese is a great guard dog. They’ll bark at any sign of strangers and don’t take well to new people coming in to their environment. The Pekingese’s loyalty is not to be tested, as they’ll defend their owners to the death. So you’ll have no worries while you’re binging on an all-night CSI marathon.
In their native land of Tibet, the Lhasa Apso was considered sacred and only allowed to leave the country when it was presented as a gift from the . In fact, it was thought that when its owner died, the human soul would would enter the dog’s body. The Lhasa Apso is playful, independent, and protective and acts like a puppy well into old age. They’re tough little pups, and their coats make them able to handle extreme temperatures. While they can get riled up by strangers, the Lhasa Apso doesn’t need to play for a long time to burn off nervous energy. They’re happy with a little bit of exercise and a lot of time relaxing while you summon the energy to take a trip to the fridge.
The Japanese Chin is almost a cat. They’re capable of some amazing leaps and will climb furniture you never thought a small dog could scale. But don’t worry, they’re a lot like cats in another way. They love to lounge around and take a nice nap. Japanese Chins are friendly with just about anybody, and though they may bark when a stranger comes to the door, their barks are fairly quiet and almost melodic, like a “Whoo-woo, ” that you let out as you watch the kiss at the end of while you drift to sleep. They’re happy to watch with you and snuggle up for an evening at home.