MooshMe - Shih Tzu

If you’ve decided that the emotional support animal that you want to register is going to be of the canine variety, good for you! There’s nothing quite like getting that ESA dog letter through the mail, registering your faithful companion as the emotional support dog that is going to help you through thick and thin.

However, if you’re yet to choose a breed of dog and happen to live in a major city then it’s best to consider all of the elements involved in keeping a dog as a pet. Although your emotional support animal is there to give you the love and confidence that you need to make it through each day, the relationship has to run both ways. You have to respect its needs and make sure that your emotional support dog can relax and enjoy a happy life in a suitable home environment.

Here are six dog breeds that are well suited to city living.


This one is going to divide the audience. Chihuahuas are a curious breed of dog and often seen as a novelty companion as opposed to a proper pet. However, these tiny dogs aren’t just for taking up room in celebrities handbags; they can sit in yours too!

Seriously, not a lot of guys will opt for a Chihuahua due to their size and effeminate reputation.  However, if you’re looking for an emotional support dog that requires a minimal amount of exercise and is practically pocket-sized, then look no further.

MooshMe - Boston Terrier

Do you want that face in your apartment? Yes you do!

Boston Terrier

These little fellas may have a tougher name than the Chihuahua but they’re not a lot bigger and will fit into a smaller apartment relatively easily. They will need a lot more exercise though, so if you can get into a routine of walking it around the park every day, you’ll give it (and you) the work out that it needs.

Some owners report that Boston Terriers are excellent guard dogs, barking only when necessary. With a mental acuity higher many than other breeds, they tend to get on very well with friends and strangers alike.


Given their reputation for sprinting around tracks, it might surprise many of you that these dogs are well cut out for city living. However, despite their athletic prowess and seeming hunger for electric rabbits, Greyhounds are a very relaxed breed of dog and as long as you top them up with around half an hour of exercise each day (similar to the Boston Terrier, but they move faster – a lot faster) then they will happily plod around the apartment for the rest of the day.

One other positive aspect is their sleek, short coat, which does not shed anywhere near as much as other dog breeds, so this is another plus for Greyhounds being your choice when filling out your ESA dog letter.

Shih Tzu

Anyone who’s seen Dumb and Dumber will know what you get when you cross a Bulldog with a Shih Tzu (ha ha!), but if you’re serious about getting an emotional support dog then this small and hardy little pup should be high on your list to consider.

They require a fair amount of attention but will pay back your affection in spades. Due to their small size, they’ll fit snugly into most city center apartments and do not require a lot of exercise.  One thing to consider is allergies; these little chaps shed their coats like nobody’s business, so make sure that you are going to be OK with this.

MooshMe - English Bulldog

An English Bulldog is a great emotional support dog for city living.

English Bulldog

Over the pond, these guys have a fearsome reputation and many tough guys will have the image of a ‘British Bulldog’ tattooed on their arm. Don’t let this fool you. Aside from their infamously grumpy face, English Bulldogs are usually very kind and loving creatures that will serve well as emotional support dogs due to their genuinely affectionate nature.

They don’t require lots of exercise so feel free to chill out in the flat on some days and just trundle off to the shops when you want to buy your new friend a treat for dinner.


If you’re looking for a dog that is happy to get on board with whatever you fancy doing, pugs are your go-to breed.  Small, cute and very amenable, these guys will hang around the apartment with you on days that you don’t feel like going outside and walk around the park on days that you do.

The only challenge that you might face with pugs as an ESA dog is house-training. Perhaps it’s their inherent apathy or maybe they are a little defiant in where they do their business, but they have a reputation for messing on the floor.  But they’re so cute!


Just to reiterate the point made at the start of the article: your emotional support dog is as much your responsibility as you are its, so think carefully when choosing the right breed. No matter how adorable you find a Golden Retriever or just how gorgeous English Setters are, it is simply not fair to keep them cooped up all day.

Assess your lifestyle, home space and realistic ability to give daily exercise when you are selecting a breed.  You’ll be grateful in the long run as your emotional wellbeing will not be improved if you feel guilty.  However, having a happy emotional support dog that respects and loves you will boost your spirits no end, which is the defining reason why people choose to get an emotional support animal.