There is a common misconception that inside dogs are all small and cute little toy breed lap dogs, but this just isn’t true! We know a few giant breeds that make great inside dogs too! What makes an inside dog isn’t only the breed, but also the personality of the fur baby. Of course, if you have a smaller living space you should go for a dog that is small enough to not feel confined. For those with large properties, you have a myriad the best indoor dog breeds to choose from.

Other than deciding whether a dog is suited for indoor living, you should also consider if an inside dog breed suits your lifestyle. If you live in a colder climate throughout the year, getting out and doing things may not be at the top of your list. In this case, indoor dogs would suit you. We said breed and size aren’t the only factors to take note of in the best indoor dogs, but their personalities matter as well. So let’s take a look at what makes the best indoor dogs.

What Makes the Best Dog Breeds for Indoor Life?

It almost comes down to a science. Contributing factors are coded in their genes and the way these dogs were bred. Just because your dog is an indoor dog, it will still require sufficient time outdoors to explore the world. Socialization is important for dogs of all breeds and without enough time in nature and on walks, your dog could grow to be timid, fearful and not understand how to interact with other dogs. So what makes a good indoor doggo breed? Read on to find out!

Low Exercise Needs

All dogs can benefit from some movement, but there are some that need a lot less than others. For example, if you plan on getting the beautiful and majestic Siberian Husky, there is no way you won’t spend at least a couple hours outside every day. Here is where size does come into play. The smaller the dog, the less movement it would need. Even if you have a large lazy fur baby, the few walks he can go on will last longer than if you had a chihuahua.

Puppies love to play, they are full of energy and zip around like fuzzy little balls of lightning and stage, they will need plenty of movement. When they eventually grow out of this crazy stage their personalities will shine through. Some are still hyperactive but other breeds may mellow out. This then leads to a different problem – obesity.

A lot of dogs that do not get enough exercise could be prone to putting on weight. It’s important to feed them according to their daily energy output to maintain their ideal weight.

Do They Even Like Going Out?

This section is more related to each dog’s unique personality. In general, working dogs and hunting dogs won’t like to be indoors all that much, although there are always exceptions to the rule. We found that mixed breeds can take after either parent. So for example, if you have a labradoodle, the dog may take after their toy breed parent and enjoy the indoors more. However, the opposite could be true and one that is more like the labrador retriever parent won’t be able to wait to get outside.

Their Favorite Past Time

A dog who is easily entertained by his toys or humans will enjoy being indoors more. They will never be bored if they have the right doggy toys and they are content just being with their pawrents. Dogs that don’t need much external stimulation can spend a significant amount of time indoors and be completely fine. So which breed dog are the best for spending time indoors? Let’s take a look!

Best Indoor Dog Breeds

French Bulldog (or most Bulldog breeds)

French Bulldog

This particular breed has become exceedingly popular over the years. Their cute short snouts and ever-curious eyes make them one of the cutest breeds of dogs around. They are low maintenance in terms of grooming and exercise as well. They aren’t very big, about a foot tall but can be quite heavy due to their sturdy and stocky musculature. They are pretty relaxed little dogs but can be quite high energy at times, especially when you’re around!

It doesn’t take much to tire them out and exercise doesn’t always need to be done outside. Throwing around their favorite chew toy in your living room or maybe just a quick spin out in the yard should be enough for a French Bulldog.

Boston Terrier

Boston Terrier
Looking a little like the Frenchie, we have this next breed. They are cute bundles of joy and love to please their people. They are also a low maintenance breed and their smaller sizes (around 10-25 lbs) make great inside pets. If you love a labrador retriever, the Boston Terrier displays a similar temperament that is gentle, affectionate and loyal.

Shih Tzu

Shih Tzu with ribbon smiling
The Shih Tzu is the definition of a lap dog and popular with dog owners all over the world. These dogs are not only adorable to look at but display lots of character. Their small size makes them very adaptable to indoor and city living and are an excellent breed of dog for small spaces. They are a friendly breed but they can be a little yappy at times.

Japanese Chin

close-up portrait of japanese chin puppy
This adorable breed with silky fur is also another great breed of dog for apartment and inside living. They may look small and dainty but don’t let their appearance fool you. The Japanese Chin is a very agile dog and can jump on any furniture you have in the house. Their small size and general nonchalant feelings towards the outdoors makes them great house pets. The only thing that will require more of your attention with the Chin is the frequent brushing and grooming.

Bichon Frise

Long haired Bichon Frise dog

These teddy bear-looking dogs are a dream come true for pawrents who want a cute indoor pet. They are hypoallergenic and don’t mind spending most of their days in the house with their favorite human. Just because they don’t need much time outside doesn’t mean they don’t need their fair share of exercise. They are little dogs with big personalities and need to run and play – in the house that is.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier King Charles SpanielsThey are like the Golden Retriever but in a smaller package. These dogs are one of the best dogs for indoor living because they love to cuddle and lay around all day with their humans. The Spaniel also makes a great therapy dog and this is due to their loving, affectionate and calming nature. These furry cuddle buddies can get quite attached to you, so some may suffer from separation anxiety, which is why early training with lots of positive reinforcement is recommended.

Pomeranian

Pomeranian

Perhaps one of our favorites, the Pom also makes a great indoor breed. Dog breeds that are small like the Pom can generally get enough exercise just trotting in the house. They are the epitome of a big dog’s personality in a small dog’s body. Their cute faces and fluffy appearance hides a fierce bark and feisty energy. Like most other fluffy double-coated breeds, the pom needs a good daily brushing to keep fur from accumulating all over the house.

Pug

Pugs

We can’t forget about the pug! They are also a breed of dog that has gained popularity over the years. Their adorable ever-questioning expression and small size make them great apartment dogs. They don’t generally like to bark, which makes them a good fit for apartment and community living as they won’t disrupt the neighbors. They find their joy in being with their owners and getting some good snuggle time in.

Greyhound

a greyhound's close-up photo

But wait, aren’t these dogs super fast runners? How can they be indoor dogs? We said before that size doesn’t account for everything and the Greyhound is proof of that. While they do get a random burst of energy, but that isn’t something a brisk quick walk in the neighborhood can’t fix. They spend most of the day sitting around and just being content with their humans.

Chow Chow

chow chow
To us, Chows just look like larger versions of the Pomeranian and they can act like them too. Here is another example of a dog that isn’t small and loves to be indoors. We will say that they do have an attitude similar to the Pom that you need to be aware of. Once you welcome a Chow Chow into your home, get ready for him to establish his reign. They are just so floofy and cute, but are similar to the Huskies in that they are difficult to train, so patience is key!

Chihuahua

Chihuahua Puppy

One of the smallest dog breeds, the Chihuahua is one of the best dogs for keeping at home. They usually clock in at 5 pounds and any home would be suitable for a dog this small. They require a lot of exercise as well but in moderation. Their tiny little legs and small bodies will have to work twice as hard as other larger breeds, so all they really need is a quick walk down the block or having a good run indoors.

Miniature/Toy Poodles

Group of Toy Poodle puppies on a white background

The poodle comes in three different sizes: miniature, toy and standard. The standard poodles are actually as big as a husky or lab! The toy and miniature sizes are the ones best for apartment and indoor living. Poodles at any size are amazing dogs and are easy to train. This is why they are often at the top of the list for therapy dogs. They are in tune with their humans and show lots of love and affection. They are also hypoallergenic and don’t require too much grooming.

Are Indoor Dogs for Me?

Are indoor dogs suitable for you? Well, that depends on a few factors and we have listed the most common ones below.

Your Living Environment

If you live in the concrete jungle with little to no access to parks, we would say an indoor dog is a good choice. Yes, you can walk your dog on the sidewalk but that just doesn’t cut it for some dogs. A lot of people in bustling metropolises do not own cars, if so, it can be difficult to take your dog out further out of the city to hike on trails. Some dogs want to run free in an open space and if you cannot give them access to that, then indoor pups are the way to go.

Do You Have the Time?

If your work schedule is super packed, your fur baby will be forced to take a backseat isn’t fair for any breed. You may be a great dog parent, but without a decent-sized house and lots of time your canine will suffer. If you just don’t have the time to dedicate to your dog, we would suggest going for indoor pups as a companion.

What’s the Weather Like?

If you live in areas with extreme heat or cold, we would also suggest a dog that loves to stay in the house. You don’t want to be out walking your pup in sub-zero temperatures and we’re sure that without the double coat present in certain breeds, your dog won’t appreciate it much either. In hot desert climates like in Arizona where the heat is infamous, your dog can be put at risk if he’s taken on a walk in the summer.

Conclusion

Even with a dog that loves to be in the house, he will still require enough exercise. It really just comes down to what your dog likes. The key to keeping your canine happy and healthy is to tailor their exercise routine and how much they get to suit his individual needs. Don’t force them to go out on walks when they don’t want to and do let them run free when they need it. The right balance of outdoors and indoors time will lead to happy and healthy dogs.