The 10 Best Dog Breeds in NYC for Outdoor Enthusiasts

Looking for a pup that can adapt to apartment life but is happy to go with you on adventures? Here are the 10 best dog breeds in NYC for outdoor enthusiasts. 

dog walking greenwich village

Photo by Matt Nelson on Unsplash.

New York City is a vibrant, exciting place to live! There’s something for everyone, including amazing sights to see (and photograph), a wealth of museums, luxury stores, bright nightlife, excellent food, and even more than a few outdoor activities. If you love being outdoors but you want a furry friend to share your experiences with you, here’s our list of the 10 best dog breeds in NYC for outdoor enthusiasts! Choosing the right breed is the first step in making sure you and your pooch can share many adventures together. 

For Small Apartments 

1. Cockapoo 

The fluffy, lovable Cockapoo recently won top spot on Rover’s list of most popular dog breeds in NYC. Both of its parent breeds—the Poodle and the Spaniel—are also on this list, and the Cockapoo is generally the best of both worlds! 

They don’t bark a lot, drool or shed and they’re typically hypoallergenic, which makes them perfect for living in close quarters. Cockapoos are also small enough to live comfortably in an apartment, but love a bit of exercise, so they’ll happily join you on your outdoor adventures. 

2. Boston Terrier 

The tuxedoed Boston Terrier is nicknamed the “American Gentleman”, partly due to their markings and partly due to their sweet temperament. This little breed is very playful and can disappear in the blink of an eye if given a chance. Although they do well in apartments, they need plenty of exercise. 

They’re up for adventure of any kind, but make sure they don’t overheat. Their short snouts make it difficult for them to get enough breath in when they’re too warm. If you’re taking your Bostie on an outing, be prepared to go slow and carry him when he starts to lag. 

3. Poodle 

Poodles come in three different sizes—toy, miniature and standard. It can be hard to tell what a puppy will grow up to be unless it’s background is known. Poodles were originally bred as hunting dogs. They need exercise, and can easily become overweight if they don’t get enough.  

They’re good family dogs, although they should be socialized early. Their elegant curly coats and regal manners make them as much a fashion accessory as an outdoor companion! Be prepared for your Poodle to swim if you’re on an excursion near water - they used to be duck hunters! 

4. Spaniel 

If you need a medium-sized, fluffy apartment dog who likes outdoor activity, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel or Cocker Spaniel is a good choice. English Springer Spaniels are slightly bigger, but they’re all fluffy dogs with a lovely temperament. 

Spaniels are calm and extremely happy to cuddle with you on the sofa or follow you lazily around the apartment. But they were also bred to be hunters, so get them outdoors as often as you can! They often enjoy a good run and sniff, as well as a dunk in any nearby water. 

5. Beagle 

These little jokers are active and lovable and would make a willing companion to any outdoor activity. They were bred to hunt rabbits, so they adore a run and chase. Be careful to keep them on-leash when out and about, otherwise they could get lost! 

Apart from their love for the outdoors, Beagles make good apartment dogs too. They don’t shed much and need little upkeep. Note that they get destructive when bored and may eat your belongings. They also bark if bored, so take steps to keep them busy! 

For Larger Properties 

6. Labradoodle 

Labradoodles are a mix between a Poodle—which we’ve already mentioned—and the highly energetic Labrador. They often have the curls of a Poodle and the excitement of a Labbie, so be prepared for a dog that wants to be outdoors even more than you do! 

They can adapt to a small apartment, but would do better with a bit of space. There’s a chance of them leaving curly fur all over the place, and they need regular brushing to keep their coat unmatted. 

7. Golden Retriever 

You won’t find a friendlier and more loving dog than a Golden Retriever. They’re ideal for NYC families with kids, as they live for outdoor activity. Trying to keep a Golden in a small apartment can be chaotic, though! They’re more suited to larger properties with some space to let out that energy. 

They’ll enthusiastically greet everyone they come across on your outdoor adventures. Keep a tight hold on the leash, because if they spot a squirrel they’ll forget everything else! Goldens are big enough to take part in longer hikes and runs but make sure they always have enough water. 

8. Australian Cattle Dog 

These beauties are eye-catching dogs with unique coloring. You’re sure to get a few admiring stares while out in and around NYC with one of these breeds. Be prepared for an almost tireless dog, though. They may even try to herd small groups of people, and be extra careful around animals! 

Australian Cattle Dogs are highly intelligent and energetic. They’re not suited to an apartment, but they would be a fantastic companion for outdoor enthusiasts who need a buddy with energy and drive. 

9. Boxer 

Boxers are goofballs who can adapt to an apartment but would do better with more space. If you’re looking for constant entertainment and a highly active lifestyle, choose one of these dogs! 

They’re up for anything, be it a happy run, a hike or just playing fetch in the nearest park. Make sure they don’t overheat, though—their short snouts can cause breathing difficulty. 

10. Shiba Inu

shiba inu adventure

Photo by Oleksandr Horbach on Unsplash. 

The Shiba Inu is a less common breed, but they’re beautiful, bouncy and make the perfect furry friend for an active human. These medium-sized dogs usually bond closely with one person and may not like the presence of other dogs, so they’re a good choice for people without other pets or children. 

Despite being picky eaters, these dogs are always raring to go. They need a minimum of an hour to 75 minutes of exercise per day, so they’d be ideal for outdoor enthusiasts who hike or run. 

About the Author

Mike Powell is passionate about dogs and being outdoors and loves to take his dogs along for the ride when he’s on adventures. He’s been caring for dogs since he was a child and shares his knowledge at

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