Best House Dogs – Which Breeds are the Best Inside Pets?

House dogs are also referred to as indoor breeds. These dog breeds typically have a low energy level, but can be large or small. The size of the dog breed is not the number one factor in deciding if a pooch is a good house dog. Every breed is unique and we can only give a generalization. Your fur baby could also be the exception to the general rule and be the most rambunctious “lazy dog breed” out there! A house dog is a good option if you are not an outdoorsy person or don’t have the time to take your pooch out for long walks every day.

To decide if a house dog is best for you, you need to consider your lifestyle. How much money, time and effort you are willing to devote to your pooch and how much space you have to offer will affect the breeds you choose. Below are the top house dogs regardless of breed size. Hopefully, you will be able to find one to call family!

Golden Retriever/Labrador Retriever

golden retriever and labrador retrieverThey are not the same breed, but they are very similar in many ways so we decided to combine them as the first indoor house dog option. A Labrador Retriever and a Golden Retriever make the best house dogs because of their temperament. They can get pretty big in size, so that is definitely not the reason why they make the list. If you have seen Marley and Me, you might doubt our reasoning for this choice.

Rest assured that no matter what breed you get, the puppy stage is known to be tough to handle, as you may have noticed in the movie. But once your Retriever has calmed down past the age of 1 or 2 depending on the breed, they become excellent pups!

French Bulldog

black french bulldog biting on a dead branch

The French Bulldog was a popular breed a few years ago. It was almost impossible to visit a dog park and not have at least 1 of these adorable canines. Their popularity doesn’t seem to be slowing down and while they can be quite hyper, they don’t really need plenty of outside exercises. One of the best things about a French Bulldog, or Frenchie, is their size. But don’t let that fool you, because they are quite hefty pups that can weigh up to 25 pounds or more!

They are also incredibly friendly, which is also what makes them good house dogs. House dogs need to get along with all members of the family, and Frenchies are loving and gentle, making them great with children!

Bichon Frise

Long haired Bichon Frise dog

The little teddy bear-like Bichon Frise is one of the best dog breeds for house life. They make great family dogs not only due to their small size but also their cute personalities. They are very playful little creatures, which also makes them great with children. Dog owners without much space and looking for apartment dogs will love the little Bichon Frise.

Don’t let their small size create a false impression of a dainty breed, the Bichon is actually a very agile canine that is easily trained and compete to win many agility contests!

Cocker Spaniel

Cocker Spaniel Dog
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Not all dogs suitable for apartment living are small dogs, and the Cocker Spaniel can attest to this. They are a medium-sized breed that is also great family dogs. They are lively and are great house dogs, plus they are relatively low maintenance. House dogs still need their share of exercise but they don’t necessarily need to run free for hours as a Siberian Husky does.

This breed would need a short walk a day and some playtime at home. They can be quite affectionate and need your attention a lot of the time, but that’s just another one of their endearing traits!

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels

You can’t have the Cocker Spaniel and not have the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. They are known to have very mild temperaments and make great therapy dogs too. They are very in tune with your feelings and have low activity levels. When you’re feeling down, you will really feel the love from this breed and they are usually content to go wherever you go, making them some of the best indoor dogs.

Basset Hound

Basset Hound

Known for their impeccable sense of smell and stout stature, Basset Hounds are another low maintenance family dog. Since they belong to the hound family, their original purpose was to hunt. However, over the years the Basset Hound has become a fun-loving house breed that takes well to basic training. When they aren’t on the trail of their next prey, the Basset Hound spends most of his time lumbering around indoors and benefit from short walks every day.


Dachsunds puppy

Speaking of dogs with short stature, the Dachshund, also known as the weiner dog, are great house dogs too! They are far from a border collie, who needs a ton of exercise and lots of open space to wander, the Dachshund is a small breed with a big personality. Even for their small bodies, the sausage dog is considered to have high energy levels. So what makes them good house dogs? Other than their size, they don’t really need regular exercise.

When you do decide to tire them out so you can have some peace to yourself, the Dachshund only needs so much space, which makes them among the best dogs for apartment living and city dwellers.

Brussels Griffon

Brussels Griffon

This dog is a grumpy-looking canine that is considered a small to toy breed. Dog owners love these adorable dogs for their scrunchy faces and bearded appearance. They are very alert, which could make them good guard dogs. However, due to their small size, they may not be able to scare off intruders. At the very least, they are able to alert you of potential dangers.

As some of the best indoor dogs, this breed is another small dog with a big personality. They aren’t a very popular breed and aren’t as widely known as some of the other ones on our list. But it doesn’t matter if you are getting a new pet or one as a companion to an existing fur baby, the Brussels Griffon will shower you with love.



Since we’re on the topic of dogs with scrunched up faces, we move on to the next breed on our list – the Pug! Pugs are adorable canines that the AKC recognizes as ones among the most popular breeds. Kids and adults in every family will love this small dog thanks to its social and affectionate attitude. Pugs are excellent house dogs due to their low need for exercise and short coats. While other dogs in the sporting group will take you out of the home multiple times a day, a Pug only demands a few short walks a week.


Maltese Puppy

The Maltese is one of the most popular house dogs. They look like they are related to the Bichon, but the Maltese have longer and silkier fur. This popular dog loves to be pampered and spoiled, it’s no wonder they were cute purse dogs back when they were in fashion. They want to be around their owners most of the time and demand a lot of your attention.

They are not a very adaptable breed to extreme climates, which makes them among the best breeds to keep at home. Even their exercise routine can be done at home with a few rounds of fetch.



This next pet could be surprising to some dog owners. A greyhound is a very sleek-looking dog that is known for its extreme speeds. So how could they be good house dogs? Their personality attributes to a spot on our list. Keep in mind that we are generalizing and you may come across a greyhound that loves to play outside. However, most of the ones we’ve met are perfectly content just lazing around on the couch.

Even though they are physical specimens in the dog world, they don’t need much exercise and can just be a cuddle buddy in your living quarters.


papillon dog in front of white background

French for butterfly, the Papillon earns its name thanks to the shape of its ears. These dogs are great for families with kids and make great companions. Due to their calm personality, the Papillon is often used as service and therapy dogs. Since they are a small breed, this dog won’t require a lot of outside time with their owners. Just schedule a short walk every day or every other day to keep your Papillon healthy and active.



The tiny toy breed Pomeranian dogs are the epitome of what a house breed should be. Owners of this breed have nothing but the most flattering things to say about them. Families with kids tend to gravitate towards smaller breeds as they take up less space, and the Pom will put every worry about dog ownership out of your mind with their mellow personalities.

One thing we will say is to reach that mellow stage, you will have to go through the crazy puppy stage! But during this trying time, the cute appearance of your Pom and the loveable cuddles you get every day makes it well worth it.


Three Chihuahua dog on a sofa

Are you looking for the lowest maintenance dog with the least amount of time needed to spend outside as possible? If so, you will hit the jackpot with a Chihuahua. They are a tiny yet very popular dog in all parts of the world. They are great with kids and are easy on their owners. One thing to keep in mind is these pups are among the smallest breeds, which means they have a tough time warming themselves.

Depending on where you live, make sure you give your tiny pooch a sweater during the winter months! It’s actually not advised to take your chihuahua out when it’s too cold or too hot. This is what makes them the best apartment dog.


Group of Toy Poodle puppies on a white background

The Poodle is another great breed that’s excellent with kids and are beneficial for owners with allergies due to their hypoallergenic coats. Weirdly enough, their wiry coat doesn’t require frequent brushing, so you won’t have to blow your money on grooming products. They don’t shed a lot, which is a godsend to many owners with heavy-shedding breeds.

During the blow-out season, your home could be covered in fur inside every nook and cranny, but this will not be the case with a Poodle! So if you are allergic, don’t have time to clean or exercise your pooch, the Poodle makes the best pet.

Chow Chow

A young beautiful fawn, cream brown, Chow Chow puppy dog walking on the lawn. The Chowdren has a distinctive dense coat, ruff behind the head and around the neck and curly tail and looks like a lion.

Perhaps one of our favorite breeds, the Chow Chow is the cuddliest-looking fur baby ever! They resemble a lion due to their long and luxurious mane that can come in 3 different colors. The Chow is a proud breed and their chunky appearance is only due to their thick double coat. It’s also due to this coat that these dogs don’t fare well in the heat, making them not suited to exercise in hot weather.

That doesn’t mean you have an excuse to never take these dogs out, but you will find little to no resistance when it comes time to head home.


A large Mastiff dog laying against a white backdrop with an alert and attentive expression

You might laugh incredulously when you read our last option on the list. The Mastiffs are considered giant dog breeds and you would think they would be the last option for an indoor dog. It’s understandable that many people have this misconception. But remember, we mentioned that size is not the deciding factor for house breeds. In fact, a lot of large to giant breeds such as Saint Bernard can be a good house pet for families with kids thanks to their laid-back nature.

They are large but lazy and can be quite a useful house or apartment dog as they strike fear within the hearts of intruders. Just make sure you have enough space to house these pets as their weight can reach up to astonishing proportions.

Traits of a Good House Dog

While all breeds need some time outside, the definition of a house breed is one that needs minimal time outdoors. In the United States where most houses have a yard, people often opt for larger breeds. But if you are stuck living in a tiny abode, a small breed may be a better choice. To find a good house dog, look for the following traits.

Minimal Exercise

A breed that requires minimal exercise like the Chihuahua, Pug or Greyhound is good places to start. This doesn’t apply to the puppy stage where almost every breed has a crazy stage. After your dogs reach a year and over, they should calm down and make it easier for you to gauge their requirements.

Content Being Indoors

It could also be possible that your dog just loves being indoors. It may not like interacting with people and other dogs on walks and prefers alone time inside the house. To get to know your dog and his or her preferred lifestyle will help you determine if he or she is a suitable indoor house pup.

Not Easily Bored

Another characteristic of a good house dog is one that is easily entertained with toys in the house. If you can keep their attention with puzzle toys and other gadgets, then the less your pooch will require outside time.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the #1 dog breed in 2022?

The #1 dog breed in 2022 is the same reigning pup since the 1990s. The Labrador Retriever still takes the top spot. They are kind-natured dogs that are easy to train and the best choice for families with children. They are also incredibly easy to train and eager to please.

What is the best house dog to get?

The best house dog to get really depends on your personal circumstances and preference. To figure out the best one for your situation, consider your living space, the time you have and the money you are willing to spend. Some dog breeds are more prone to illnesses than others, and will undoubtedly rack up more medical bills. The best house dog would need sufficient space indoors if they don’t venture outside as much.

What is the cleanest house dog?

The cleanest house dog would probably be the Poodle. This isn’t to say the rest are dirty, but we place them as the cleanest due to their minimal shedding. They won’t cover your house with layers upon layers of hair during shedding season. Other dogs that are very clean include the Pomeranian and Japanese Spitz dogs whose fur is almost dirt repellent. All you need to do is comb them out to get the dirt and grime out.

What dogs can you leave at home?

With proper training from a young age, you can leave most dogs at home when they mature. However, there are select breeds where exploration and freedom are ingrained, such as the Siberian Husky. They are known to be escape artists and may need to be kenneled in your absence for their entire lives. We would not suggest leaving a puppy at home alone, but once your dog has become a well-behaved adult, you can attempt to leave the house at will.

What are some dog breeds that are small?

Small dog breeds are easier to manage and less expensive to raise. Some common small dog breeds that are excellent with children include the Bichon Frise, Poodle, Pomeranian, Maltese, Pug, Dachshund, and the French Bulldog.


A house dog is usually one that requires minimal exercise, is content staying indoors and has had proper training. Without consistent training from a young age, it’s possible that your fur baby will develop destructive tendencies due to boredom or anxiety. A good way to alleviate these moods is to take them out. Even a dog who requires the bare minimum will need to venture outside once in a while. Just because you have an indoor-loving breed, this doesn’t mean you should keep them confined inside the house.

Did You Know?

Dogs need physical and mental stimulation. If outdoor exercise is not something your dog loves, try giving him a puzzle toy to stimulate his mind.

Expert Tip

To satisfy your apartment dog’s exercise requirements, try playing a few rounds of fetch at home.

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