25 of the Best Dog Breeds for Suburban Dwellers

Some dogs need long walks, hours of exercise, and strenuous play every day to stay happy and healthy. However, not all dog lovers have the time to attend to high-grooming dogs.

While all dogs need daily exercise and mental stimulation, not all breeds need a huge landscape or garden to stay fit and healthy. According to the American Kennel Club, some are also suitable for city or suburban living – and enjoy a daily walk and play time in a park.


Although Dachshunds are small, they need regular exercise to stay fit and build strong muscles to support and protect their backs. The AKC recommends two medium-length hikes daily.

Two dogs in the Best Dressed Dachshund competition in Melbourne, Australia in 2019
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Greyhounds are known for reaching top speeds, but basically they’re pretty lazy. While they enjoy lying around the house, greyhounds need regular exercise time and the ability to run at full speed. Fortunately, many cities and suburbs have fenced dog parks so pets can run safely.

Greyhounds are known for their speed, but are quite sedentary dogs
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Whippets love to relax for hours and enjoy the company of their owners. Although they prefer a fenced yard to run, they can also be apartment dogs as long as they are allowed to walk properly and run safely. Whippets tend not to bark too much, which is another bonus for apartment residents.

Whippets are a breed of greyhound
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French bulldog

A quick walk or outdoor play session with their owner each day should provide enough exercise to keep the Frenchie happy and healthy.

French bulldog
French bulldogs are a popular small breed of dog
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These tiny dogs love to run and play, but they don’t take up much space, according to the AKC. Short, slow walks will help your dog stay healthy.

Chihuahuas are tiny, which makes them ideal apartment dogs
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Once favored by Chinese emperors, these aristocratic dogs are friendly and docile, yet still enjoy a leisurely stroll.

Their small size makes Pekingese a good choice for apartment living
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Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

The Cavalier was bred to be a lap dog and enjoys spending time at home with its owners. However, the AKC states that they are descended from sport dogs and still require moderate exercise.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are laid-back dogs who love to be at home
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Brussels Griffon

Handles need to walk for at least half an hour a day, which makes them good for suburban residents who don’t mind long walks. They also enjoy playing and are happiest when doing activities with their humans.

Brussels Griffon
A Brussels Griffon at a dog show in New York City in 2014
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West Highland White Terrier

Westies love to play and they are entertaining to watch chasing a ball. These cheeky little dogs enjoy walks and can go on longer hikes, but they are content with a few shorter walks a day and a run in a safe area.

West Highland White Terrier
Westies are cheerful dogs who require moderate exercise every day
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Great Dane

Although these dogs are giants, they require relatively little exercise and only need to walk a few miles a day, advises the AKC.

Great Dane
Mastiffs are very large dogs, but are known to be gentle, loving, and lethargic
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Boston Terrier

Some Boston Terriers are content with shorter walks, while others prefer to run and hunt toys to let off steam. You have to keep these little dogs busy with play to train them properly.

Boston Terrier
Boston Terriers are affectionate companions with tuxedo-style badges
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Basset hound

Although they are known to be lazy, Basset Hounds actually require moderate exercise and daily exercise to keep them from becoming obese. These dogs also love to play.

Basset hound
Basset Hounds are a laid-back breed.
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Tibetan Spaniel

Tibbies love to run and play in a fenced area, but they also love to laze around at home, which makes them relatively easy to care for pets.

Tibetan Spaniel
Tibetan Spaniels are a social breed that needs regular contact with their humans
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Border terrier

Although these dogs were bred in the countryside, they like to live in cities or suburbs as long as they get enough exercise. A quick half-hour walk should be enough to keep her happy and healthy, according to the AKC.

The border terrier is a gentle dog
The Border Terrier is known as a gentle breed of dog
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These laptops actually have quite a bit of power, but only require occasional exercise to stay healthy. A daily walk or run in a safe garden may be enough.

Maltese dogs only need a moderate amount of exercise
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Pugs like to spend much of the day lying around the house and eating, but this means the breed is at risk of obesity. These dogs can be playful and energetic, so require daily walks and play.

NYC Maltese Dog Show 2014
Maltese dogs like to be at home with their owners
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The ultimate lap dog, Pomeranians enjoy relaxing with their owners. But they also need some exercise and like to run, play and go for a walk.

Pomeranians are small lap dogs
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Papillons can be good for homes, but still need regular exercise as they are active. These dogs love to run, fetch, and hunt so it is important that they are trained in a safe area.

Papillons need regular exercise, but are good indoor dogs
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Havanese need a brisk daily walk or a fun play session with their owner in a back yard, but it’s important not to overexert these dogs.

Havanese were originally bred to be the companion dog of the Cuban aristocracy
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Miniature Schnauzer

Miniature Schnauzers need regular daily exercise to avoid boredom and to stay physically fit. However, their energy levels are not too high and they are content with walks and some play time.

Mini schnauzer
Miniature Schnauzers need daily exercise for mental stimulation
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Italian Greyhound

Italian greyhounds, known as Iggies, are an active breed and need regular exercise. They love to play and go for walks, but the AKC warns that they should be kept on a leash to prevent them from being distracted and endangered.

Italian Greyhound
Italian greyhounds need up to an hour of exercise a day
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These small dogs like to live in apartments but need regular exercise. A good walk can keep them healthy, but they also love indoor games.

affenpinscher nyc
An Affenpinscher seen at the 2013 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in Madison Square Garden in New York.
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Bernese Mountain Dogs

Although these dogs are large, they don’t need hours of exercise every day to stay happy and fit. According to the AKC, Bernese Mountain Dogs need at least half an hour of moderate exercise a day, but are happy to be at home.

Bernese Mountain Dog
Bernese Mountain Dogs are big but good pets
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Shi Tzu

These dogs were bred to be regal company in palaces, and they adapt well to living quarters – and are happy to be a lap dog. However, you still need daily walks and exercise for mental stimulation.

Shi Tzu
A Shi Tzu requires two walks a day of up to 30 minutes each
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English toy spaniel

English Toy Spaniels are moderately active and like to play, but they are relaxed at home. The AKC states that these are carefree dogs that make good companions for city dwellers in small apartments, as long as they allow daily walks on a leash.

English toy spaniels
English Toy Spaniels are a separate breed from Cavalier King Charles Spaniels
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