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10 Best Indoor Dog Breeds for Apartment Living

Uncover the secrets to a harmonious indoor living experience with our guide to the best dog breeds

a woman sitting on a kitchen counter next to a black dog
By Dr. Jen Sikoski
a woman with dreadlocks holding a remote control
Edited by Lucia Gcingca

Updated January 22, 2024.

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A woman sitting on a couch with her dog next to her.

Did you know that owning a dog not only brings joy but may also contribute to a longer, healthier life? Studies show dog owners have a lower risk of death, lower blood pressure, and improved stress responses.

Now, as you choose a dog to share your indoor living space, it's not just about companionship; it's about creating an environment that enhances your and your pup's well-being.

10 Best Dog Breeds for Indoor Living

  1. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
  2. Miniature Poodle
  3. Chihuahua
  4. Shitzu and Cairn Terrier
  5. Pug
  6. Greyhound
  7. Poodle
  8. Great Dane
  9. Bernese Mountain Dog
  10. Old English Mastiff

1. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Probably one of my favorites. They can be energetic if you're unfamiliar with these little guys. But out of all the Spaniels, they're the sweetest, calmest, and best with many people. Keep in mind that they can inherit a range of health issues due to their genetics.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel running through a forest.

2. Miniature Poodle

Most people are familiar with these little guys. There are a ton of mixed or designer breeds at the moment so that you could get a Schnoodle or another kind. Mini poodles adapt quickly to living in smaller spaces, such as apartments or houses with limited outdoor areas.

a group of four poodle puppies sitting in a dog bedFour Miniature Poodles laying in a bed.a

3. Chihuahua

Chihuahuas generally come to mind when people think about little dogs that fit in your handbag. From the temperament standpoint, they can get blamed for being slightly nasty, but I've met adorable chihuahuas, too.

An angry Chihuahua

4. Shihtzu

Tied for fourth place, we have the charming Shihtzu with buggy eyes. Often spotted with a cute bow in their hair and adorable Cairn Terriers—think of Toto from Wizard of Oz.

Two small Shihtzu dogs sitting on a couch

5. Pug

Wrinkles and charm secured the pug's spot in the top five. Their lovable nature makes it hard for them to resist despite some of their pesky health issues.

A small pug running through the grass.

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6. Greyhound

Greyhounds are famous despite their racing background. Known for short bursts of energy, these gentle giants are generally calm and sweet, making them an unexpected but delightful choice.

A Greyhound standing on top of a lush green field

7. Poodle

A classic, more giant poodle breed that brings elegance and adaptability to apartment living. Their intelligence and friendly nature make them a top pick.

A white poodle sitting in the grass next to a river.

8. Great Dane

Majestic in size, Great Danes surprisingly fit well into apartment life. Their calm demeanor and affectionate nature make them stand out as one of the best big dog breeds indoors.

A Great Dane.

9. Bernese Mountain Dog

Known for their gentle disposition, Bernese Mountain Dogs are not just for rural living. They are a big dog breed that can thrive indoors, bringing warmth and companionship.

A Bernese Mountain Dog laying in the grass next to a bush.

10. Old English Mastiff

Personal experience sheds light on the laid-back nature of Old English Mastiffs. Despite their size, their relaxed demeanor makes them excellent indoor companions.

An old English Mastiff.

Factors To Consider With Indoor Dogs

Look for dog breeds that are generally calm, well-behaved, and require moderate exercise. Working breeds, for instance, have a strong desire to go outside, so keeping them happy will need some time commitment.

Characteristics of the Best Indoor Breeds

  • Easy Going: Look for dogs that keep things relaxed indoors.
  • Friendly Nature: Choose breeds that enjoy human and canine interactions.
  • Adaptability: Pup that can adjust to any home, especially apartments.

Tip: It's always best to be mindful. Beagles, for instance, are sweet but loud barkers, which can cause noise issues in smaller spaces.

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Happy Hound, Happy House

Having small or large dogs as indoor companions can bring a delightful diversity to daily life. Selecting a companion that suits your lifestyle ensures a great bond and contributes to your well-being.

So, take a step closer to finding your ideal indoor sidekick with these dog breeds and create a harmonious living space for a blissful journey.

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