Top 10 Dogs For a Small Yard – You’ll Love These Space-Savvy Companions!

dogs for a small yard

Ever wondered what breeds are in the top 10 dogs for a small yard? Listen up, dog lovers living in a small home or apartment! 

You need not let your small square footage discourage you from keeping a dog. Research shows that over 2,500,000 Australians live in homes with small yards or apartments. And a vast majority of these people have pets. Statistics also show that dogs are the most common pets in Australia.

The list given below consists of dog breeds that are ideal for an apartment or a home with a small yard. Please consider factors like the breed’s shedding, barking, and energy needs before committing to getting a dog.

Top 10 Dog Breeds for a Small Yard (In No Particular Order!)

1.   Cavoodle

best dogs for a small yard

Weight – 5-12 kg or 12-25 lb.

Height – 25 to 38 cm or 10-15 inches

Lifespan – 13-15 years

Shedding – Very low

Barking – Moderate to low

Energy – Moderate to high

A Cavoodle is a hybrid of a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a Poodle. These dogs come in different sizes depending on the Poodle parent. Over the past decade, Toy or Miniature Cavoodles have become increasingly popular in Australian households. Cavoodles are cute and providing you buy your puppy from a responsible breeder, the size of your dog can be determined by it’s genetics, which ethical breeders have a sound understanding of. Toy Cavoodles weigh less than 5kg while Mini Cavoodles can be as big as 15kg!

Cavoodles are intelligent and gentle, and they do not need much space. They also don’t need much exercise. Since they have Poodle genes, their shedding is also minimal. These petite characteristics, along with its suitability as a family dog, make this breed our favourite dogs for a small yard.

2.   French Bulldog

dogs for apartments

Weight – about 13 kg or less than 28 lb

Height – 11–13 inches or 28–33 cm.

Lifespan – 10-12 years

Shedding – light shedding throughout the year; much less than most breeds

Barking – Low

Energy – low to moderate

In 2022-23, French Bulldogs ranked third as the most popular dog breed in Australia. They love to play as much as they love to relax on the couch next to their owners.

However, they also need gentle handling and consistent training. They are also prone to separation anxiety and do not take well to being left alone. Puppy training that focuses on developing life skills such as independence and confidence, can help prevent separation anxiety from developing into a behaviour problem.

3.   Miniature Dachshund

low-maintenance dogs for apartments

Weight – 11 lb. or 5 kg

Height – 5-6 inches or 13-15 cm.

Lifespan – 11-16 years

Shedding – moderate

Barking – high

Energy – moderate

Miniature Dachshunds have gained popularity over the years as one of the best apartment dog breeds. They are lively, intelligent, and affectionate dogs that generally get along with kids and are content to have fun indoors and outdoors. Their tiny size and affectionate nature make them one of our top dogs for a small yard.

You will need to train your Dachshund from an early age to prevent misbehaviours like excessive barking, digging, etc.

4.   Maltese

low-maintenance dogs for apartments

Weight- 7lb. or about 3 kg

Height – 7–9 inches or 18–23 cm

Lifespan – 12-15 years

Shedding – very low

Barking – moderate to high

Energy – moderate

The cute and fluffy Maltese is an ideal pet for apartments and they are popular dogs for a small yard. Although they are more energetic than most toy breeds, they are also content with short walks or a game of fetch around a small, fenced yard. 

Barking could be an issue with the Maltese, so you need to consistently train your pet to prevent it from becoming a habit.

5.   Mini Groodle (Golden Doodle)

dogs for small yards Australia

Weight – 15 to 35 lb., or 6 to 16 kg.

Height – 13 to 20 inches or 33cm to 50cm

Lifespan – 12 to 15 years

Baking – low to moderate

Shedding – very low

Energy – high

Mini Groodles are a cross between miniature or toy Poodles and Golden Retrievers. They are known to be happy, loving, highly trainable, playful, and affectionate dogs.

They are also hypoallergenic with low-shedding coats. If you’re looking for a sweet and intelligent lapdog that loves to run and play indoors with anyone who gives it attention, the Mini Groodle is a great choice. Just be prepared to engage this smart dog physically and mentally.

This medium designer dog breed requires regular grooming and is slightly higher maintenance than their smaller Cavoodle relatives. Although these are wonderful dogs for a small yard, they are not ideal for people who are short on time.

6.   Jack Russell Terrier

small dog breeds

Weight – 13–17 lb. or 6–8 kg

Height – 13-14 inches or 33-36 cm

Lifespan – 13-15 years

Shedding – moderate to heavy

Barking – high

Energy – very high

Jack Russell Terriers are smart, compact dogs that are great for apartments and small yards. However, they have endless energy, which means you need to keep your dog engaged constantly. Jack Russell Terriers also shed a great deal, and they are quite the barkers.

Furthermore, without consistent training, this dog’s behaviour can get out of hand. While they are suitable dogs for a small yard, they require extensive dog training and stimulation to prevent unwanted behaviours.

7.   Spoodle/Cockapoo

non-shedding dogs for a small yard

Height – about 14 inches or 25-38 cm.

Weight – 6-14 kg or 15 lb.

Lifespan – 12-15 years

Shedding – very low

Barking – moderate to high

Energy – high

The Spoodle, or Cockapoo, is a cross between a Cocker Spaniel and a Poodle. These high-energy dogs do well in small spaces, provided they receive plenty of exercise and training. They also need positive and consistent training and socialisation from early on. On the bright side, they learn quickly, get along very well with kids, and are affectionate and playful dogs.

If you have the time to devote to their training and mental stimulation requirements, the Spoodle is among some of the best dogs for a small yard.

8.   Pug

small dogs

Height – 10 to 13 inches or 25.5 to 33 cm

Weight – 14 to 18 lb. or 6 to 8 kg

Lifespan – 12-15 years

Shedding – moderate to heavy

Barking – low

Energy – moderate

Pugs are sweet, affectionate dogs. They make excellent companion pets for elderly people or those living in small apartments. Due to their facial structures, they tend to have several health issues. Pugs usually don’t need too much exercise; a short walk or a game of fetch indoors is adequate. 

If you can manage their breathing and keep them cool in the Summer months, the pug has the potential to be one of the best dogs for a small yard

9.   Bichon Frise

dogs for small houses

Height – 9.5–11.5 inches or 24–30 cm.

Weight – 12–18 lb. or 5–8 kg.

Lifespan – 14-15 years

Shedding – very low

Barking – low

Energy – moderate

The Bichon Frise has become an extremely popular companion dog for elderly owners. Their compact size also makes them the ideal apartment dog.

The breed also sheds very little, which is a huge plus. The Bichon’s cute looks and fluffy coat have made it one of Australia’s favourite dogs for a small yard.

Bichons don’t need a lot of exercise. However, they do need early training and socialisation. They also need a lot of professional grooming – at least once every four weeks. They are also prone to separation anxiety and cannot be left alone for long periods.

10.   Greyhound

best medium size dogs for small yards

Height – 27 to 30 inches or 69 to 76 cm

Weight – 60 to 70 lb. or 27 to 32 kg

Lifespan – 10-14 years

Shedding – low

Barking – low to moderate 

Energy – low to moderate

We included the Greyhound in our list of the best dogs for small yards, mainly because it is content to sleep all day. 

The breed also does not need much grooming since it sheds lightly; it can also be bathed just 3-4 times a year. Greyhounds also don’t bark too much- which can be a blessing if you have neighbours nearby.

FAQs – Best dogs for a small yard

Which dog is best for a small house?

From Bichon Frises to Yorkies to Maltese to small-sized Doodles (Cavoodles, Labradoodles, Groodles, and Spoodles), there are several choices when it comes to selecting a dog for a small house.

Which dog needs less space?

Japanese Chins, Mini Cavoodles, Boston Terriers, French Bulldogs, Tibetan Spaniels, Pugs, and Dachshunds all need very little space.

What is the most popular dog breed in Australia?

In 2022, Australians voted for the Cavoodle as one of the most popular dog breeds.

Conclusion – Best dogs for a small yard

When considering the top 10 dogs for small apartments, breeds like Cavoodles, French Bulldogs, Pugs, Maltese, Bichon Frises, etc. stand out for their adaptability and size. 

However, it is important to remember that regardless of the breed, all dogs require proper training, grooming, daily walks, a balanced diet, and your company to ensure their well-being and happiness. 

By providing the necessary care and attention, any of these breeds can thrive in a small living space and make loving companions for home dwellers with small yards.

If you’re looking for Puppy Training Tips or needing help choosing the perfect dog breed for your living situation, visit Foresight Dog Training for expert tips.

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Hi! I’m Tres! I’m passionate about dog behaviour and training. My dog training methods are effective for all breeds and goals. I have trained dogs for protection, obedience, manners, loose leash walking, crate training and have solved common behaviour problems such as reactivity, barking, separation anxiety and more. Let’s connect, sign up to my free newsletter (above) for helpful tips and upcoming training events.
dog trainer Sydney
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Hi! I’m Tres! I’m passionate about dog behaviour and training. My dog training methods are effective for all breeds and goals. I have trained dogs for protection, obedience, manners, loose leash walking, crate training and have solved common behaviour problems such as reactivity, barking, separation anxiety and more. Let’s connect, sign up to my free newsletter (above) for helpful tips and upcoming training events.
dog trainer Sydney

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