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11 Best Indoor Dogs: Who's Happy With a Domestic Lifestyle?

Amy Aitman
Sept. 30, 2015

Most dogs love to snooze on the couch, but some breeds love to be inside much more than others. Here are the 11 best indoor dogs who seem to prefer the comforts of home more than most.

Most dogs love the comforts found indoors. A cozy bed, good food and plenty of toys -- who wouldn't want to spend days inside cuddling on the couch? While most dogs love to be indoors (they are domesticated after all), there are some breeds that gravitate more to the indoor lifestyle than others.

Maybe you can't get out for too many walks or you live in a really cold climate. Whatever the reason, these are the best indoor dogs for you:

  1. Bulldog
    Not too big, not too small, this gentle breed is content to curl up next to you. They don't require much grooming or exercise and prefer the perfectly cool climate of indoor life, especially in the summer because of their flat, short noses.

  2. Pugs
    Known for their playful, social and please-you attitudes, pugs can be the greatest of domestic companions. Not only do they require the minimum of exercise, their short coats require little to no grooming and maintenance.


  3. Chihuahua
    Extremely adaptable and fiercely protective of their owners, Chihuahuas make great indoor dogs because they're small and require minimal exercise and grooming. They can't be let out in the cold and need to stay warm. They also won't take up too much room!
  4. French Bulldog
    A breed that originated as a companion dog, French bulldogs are prized for their personable and affectionate nature, according to the American Kennel Club (AKC). They're active and energetic but also happy to be inside. Because of their short, flat faces, they don't do well in warm weather and like to cool off in a building.
  5. Maltese
    One of the best indoor dogs, these little guys can be quite protective of their owners and love being pampered. They don't do well with extreme temperatures of either hot or cold, so they need to be inside while getting exercise. They generally weigh up to 7 pounds, so they have tiny little bladders, but an indoor pee pad should solve that problem.

  6. Greyhound
    Even though greyhounds can jump over high fences, they make a perfect indoor dog. With short hair, they need to be inside. Even though they're fairly large, they don't need much exercise and are quite submissive. If you want a big, docile buddy to lounge around next to you on the couch (they aren't great lap dogs), then choose a greyhound!
  7. Boston Terrier
    One of the most affectionate, people-pleasing breeds, Boston terriers make great domestic pets because they're easy to house train, unlikely to cause havoc when you're not home and only need the occasional brushing. They aren't yappy and generally weigh between 10 and 25 pounds, so they're a manageable size too.

  8. Papillon
    Commonly used as service dogs, according to the AKC, Papillons are a great indoor breed because they don't shed and love lounging on your lap with you. They're happy to run around, but don't require a lot of exercise -- a short walk outside once a day will do. You can keep them inside as long as you maintain a schedule and they don't mind waiting for you to return.
  9. Bolognese
    Once a gift for Spanish nobility, says the AKC, these guys are docile, smart and small. They only need short walks for exercise and will romp freely around your pad to get it. And they're hypoallergenic, so even if you have allergies, you can still enjoy spending most of your days indoors with this little sweetheart.
  10. Affenpinscher
    A central European toy breed, this adorable little guy is around 6 to 13 pounds, so he won't take up much room around your house. Although he loves a daily walk, affenpinschers can be perfectly content to play inside with you. And because this breed doesn't really shed, you won't have to constantly clean up hair!

  11. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
    Naturally curious and playful, these dogs can adapt to any environment and will be satisfied with your affection and a room full of dog toys. They make great companion dogs for medical patients and the elderly because they do so well indoors.

Have other questions about the best dog for you? Read The Best Dogs for Apartments for more information.

Amy Aitman is a freelance writer who writes lifestyle and parenting articles, including some for pet parents. She has her own little Westie, who loves a cuddle on the couch, that is now almost 14-years-old.

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