Great Breeds for Indoor Dogs (Part I)

It’s easy to assume that the best indoor dogs are very small in stature. If a dog is very small, it is actually much preferred for them to be inside rather than out, but dogs of any size can be well suited for indoor living.

The biggest considerations (other than size) are the general temperament of a dog, its natural instincts, and even the climate may or may not suit a particular dog. Here is our list of excellent choices in several categories (look for Part II tomorrow).

Great Indoor Dogs — Small Breeds

If your living quarters are very small and crowded or you have difficult access to the outdoors, a very small dog is the best option. Thanks to their small size, you can even train them to go to the toilet on pee pads with more limited walks outside, though it’s preferable to walk them on a daily basis.

Most every small breed can work in tight spaces, but some will steal your affections more easily than others and so we will give you some guide lines to choosing a pet that will fit your home to a tee!

pet, shih tzu, dog
Shih Tzu

The Shih Tzu is the modell indoor breed. They don’t even appears as if they would look out the window, let alone go outside.

And it is true. They can be perfectly content and devoted watching Netflix, “helping” in the kitchen, or following the Roomba around. As a bonus, they don’t shed much and most people are not allergic to their dander.

But they do love to eat, so be careful with the table food and treats. Every pound shows when you are only 18” long!


If you want excellent temperament, you can’t do better than a pug. In spite of their frowny forehead, this breed exhibits usually very good natured. They are a loving and affectionate breed that tend to bark a bit, but they rarely get their dander up. Makes a really great family pet.

It’s fun to have them around the house because they are so curious and tend to putter around checking out what people are doing. They stay busy and content. They also stay very small with the average length about 12” and average weight about 15 pounds. They do fit nicely in a tote bag.

Japanese Spitz

The Japanese Spitz is one of the cleanest breeds and therefore prized by apartment dwellers. These bulldogs are always ready to play when invited (not like some bulldogs that can take it or leave it). It’s enjoyable that they are generally very alert and responsive. Though small, they are stout and can weigh close to 30 pounds.


Dachshunds are on the active side, which is quite a surprise given their odd proportions. Their short little legs and long bodies are surprisingly athletic. You won’t believe how high they can jumpa and how fast they can run.

They require attention, but are actually well-suited and adapt readily to apartment living. Dachshund are very intelligent and housetrain easily. Either the miniature or the standard breed make some of the best house dogs.

They have a close resemblance to a Pomeranian, only slight bigger with a thicker chest—and without the saucy personality often association with Pomeranians.

The amazing texture of their hair seems to repel dirt. Even wet mud brushes off easily. As a result, a Spitz can go for months without washing (usually only the chest fur needs saliva wiped off). And their skin secretes very little oil so you don’t have that typical dog smell.

French Bulldog

Some people want a small dog, but something not too predictable. Many in the US are increasingly choosing a French bulldog, sometimes called “Frenchies”. The have so many great qualities, it is not surprising that in the United State, the French bulldog has climbed to become the sixth most popular registered breed with the American Kennel Club (AKC).

Their calm temperament makes them good to have around children and they are extremely charming in their gait and mannerisms.