What Are The Best House Dogs?

If you’re not that keen on running through the open fields and hiking with your dog, instead hoping to find a sweet companion to cuddle up next to you on the couch…you’re looking for a house dog.

Not every dog can be a house dog. But some dog breeds are a little more easy going and relaxed, not requiring as much space and effort as some active breeds. Of course, that doesn’t mean you can leave them to be lazy couch potatoes.

Let’s see what dog breeds make for decent house dogs. 

A dog inside the house wearing Sparkpaws Cotton Candy Dog Hoodie


Important Note!

House dogs, like the ones listed below, are often low-maintenance dogs, not no-maintenance dogs. Almost all breeds of dogs will still require some form of daily exercise and enrichment.

Many house dogs find themselves at risk of health problems, such as obesity and anxiety, as well as behavioral problems from a lack of proper behavior training. This is often caused by neglect of their personal needs from well-meaning owners.

We implore all dog owners to be responsible and do more research on the needs of the specific dog breed that they wish to adopt and to give the dog the proper care and training that they deserve.

Qualities of a Good House Dog Breed

While not universal, there are certain qualities that can help determine whether certain dog breeds make excellent family pets that can stand being indoors for a relatively long period of time.


Generally, small and medium dog breeds don’t require as much daily exercise as large breeds. They also may not mind being in a smaller confined space than a big dog. E.g. A Chihuahua is probably going to have an easier time in an apartment than a Great Dane

Activity Levels

An active breed or working dog is not going to make for an easy housepet, e.g. Australian Cattle Dog or Jack Russell Terrier. Calmer dogs will be less destructive on the furniture and may not need a huge yard to run in to release steam.

Calm Behavior

It is better for a house dog to get along well with other pets and people without being too aggressive or stressed. Most dog owners prefer their house dogs to be good family dogs who don’t mind a cuddle.

Hypoallergenic and Grooming Needs

While not a major concern for everyone, dog owners with allergies will prefer hypoallergenic dogs if they are going to be in an enclosed space with them for most of the time.

Dogs that require a lot of grooming may also be difficult for children, the elderly, or people with limited mobility to properly care for. 

A dog sitting on the chair wearing Sparkpaws Hoodie


What Are Some Dog Breeds That Are Typically Regarded as Good House Dogs?

Going off the criteria above, there are certain dog breeds that are more suited to a domestic indoor lifestyle than others. Some of these may be good family dogs or just good companions, so feel free to do more research.

1. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Image of Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel was originally bred to be a lap dog and bed warmer in the 16th century, they are considered excellent family pets for their warm and easy going temperaments.[1]

They have pretty average walking needs. One of their large selling points is that they are very affectionate, intelligent, and enjoy company. Very few individuals show signs of aggression or shyness.

Their biggest downside is that all of that long, luxuriant coat needs to be groomed quite regularly to stay unmatted. Some people complain that they bark quite a bit, but they are far from the noisiest small dog breed.

2. English Bulldog 

English bulldog and the owner wearing a matching  Sparkpaws Fluffdreams Blanket Hoodie


Bred from the original bull-baiting dogs, the English Bulldog is a well-recognised dog breed. They are known for being stubborn and tenacious, but also for being very good companions who will actively seek human companionship.

They are one of the few dogs whose owners are largely discouraged from walking far due to their difficulty breathing and keeping up. They don’t really require a yard and can live fine in an apartment. They also tend to get along well with children and need little grooming.

The downside is that many are inbred, and their breathing difficulties mean that they snore, drool, and have a shorter lifespan than most. Though they generally get along well with other pets, they may be aggressive towards other dogs they don’t know well.

3. Pugs 

A pug wearing Sparkpaws Dog Hoodie


A favorite of both Chinese emperors and the internet, pugs have been popular for a long time. These good-natured dogs were bred for companionship and generally get along well with most people and other dogs.

Pugs don’t require a lot of exercise and are often lazy, but unlike bulldogs, they have been known to be quite lively too. They don’t require a lot of grooming, just a standard weekly brush. 

Unfortunately, like most short-faced dogs, pugs struggle in hot weather and may have breathing difficulties. Pugs also often struggle with eye problems, given their shallow eye sockets. Always make sure your pug is from a reputable breeder.

4. Bichon Frise

Image of Bichon Frise dog

The bichon frise is widely considered one of the best family dogs. Though they look similar to some poodle types, this friendly dog breed is actually descended from French Spaniels. They are regarded as quite intelligent and normally have friendly, confident, and outgoing personalities.

Bichons may require a little more exercise than some other breeds on this list, but they still come in at around average for a small dog. The Bichon Frise is also considered a hypo-allergenic dog, since their undercoat caught a lot of shed hair, preventing it from falling out and circulating.

They also have relatively few genetic health concerns for purebred dogs, only really being susceptible to hip and gum problems.

The main issue with the bichon is its lovely coat, which requires frequent grooming and washing to remain unmatted and a nice clean white. They may need to be groomed multiple times a week to stay fresh-looking. However, their charming and calm demeanor makes it worth it.[2]

5. French Bulldog 

A french bulldog wearing Sparkpaws Cuban Link Chain Dog Collar


The French bulldog, or as they're sometimes affectionately known ‘The Frenchie’, is a small bulldog breed with little square heads and friendly and affectionate personalities. 

They are generally considered ‘the quiet type’ as they don’t tend to bark as much as other smaller dogs. They also don’t need much exercise, getting by with a daily walk instead of needing a whole yard, making them the ideal furry friend for apartments, townhouses, and family homes.

The Frenchie’s short coat also doesn’t require much in the way of maintenance, only needing a weekly brush to promote hair growth. Like all bulldogs, they can be stubborn, but their intelligence makes them easy to train.

Frenchies fall under the ‘flat-faced dog’ category, which as already mentioned makes it difficult for them to live in very hot climates, and they may struggle with breathing and eye problems. Their stocky frame means that they struggle to swim and shouldn’t be left near open bodies of water.

6. Greyhound

Image of the Greyhound dog

This may come as a surprise to some people who know greyhounds as racing dogs who are fast and energetic, but they make surprisingly good housepets.

They do require a bit more exercise than most of the other dogs on this list, especially access to a place where they can really open up that engine and run, but they are actually quite docile and lazy most of the time.

Bred to be calm around groups of dogs, greyhounds are normally quite docile and content to be around children and other pets, getting along well with most families. They also don’t eat too much and don’t require a lot of grooming on their sleek, smooth coats.

Their nails do grow quickly, however, and will need to be trimmed quite regularly. They are also somewhat prone to stomach and heart problems given their slim physiques.

They are described as relatively easy to train, with short attention spans for learning complicated tasks. They are also very reliant on sight over smell, which can make training them a different task than training most other breeds. However, they are very loyal and like to accompany their owners around.

7. Chihuahua

Image of the Chihuahua

One of the smallest dog breeds, the Chihuahua really doesn’t take up much room in the home. A national symbol of Mexico, these tiny dogs are one of the oldest breeds in North America and have hundreds of years of companionship with humans.

Chihuahua’s are confident and petite, making them an ideal city dog. They don’t require a lot of exercise or food and can be quite easy to transport and care for. They also come in a wide variety of colors and patterns. Short-haired chihuahuas require little grooming, but some longer-haired individuals may need more care.

The Chihuahua is generally quite a healthy breed, but their small stature can put them at high risk of being injured by small children or larger dogs, meaning they may not be the best for a young family.

They are also an easy dog breed to train. Unfortunately, due to their small size, many owners neglect to properly train their Chihuahuas on how to behave, especially since they can be quite temperamental. 

Always take the time to properly train your dog, regardless of their size or temperament. 


There are a number of points to consider when looking for the best dogs for domestic living. One should consider… 

The size of the dog - if they are small enough to live comfortably in a house or apartment

The dog’s activity levels - Some small dogs still need a lot of exercise, looking at the needs of the breed will give you a better idea of their exercise needs. Remember, all dogs still require some exercise and enrichment.

Calm Behavior - Is the dog going to be able to get along with everyone else in the family?

Hypoallergenic - If the dog is going to be inside all the time, what are their grooming needs and are they going to be hypoallergenic?

Seven dogs that fit the criteria above are Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, English Bulldogs, French Bulldogs, Pugs, Bichon Frises, Greyhounds, and Chihuahuas. However, these are just a few of the options, take the time to read up on some other breeds so that you can find the best dogs to suit your family's personal needs.

Whatever dog you settle on to bring into your family, why not show off your close bond by sharing your sense of style? Check out Sparkpaws’ Human & Dog Matching Sets as a way to show off your unique bond.

Happy Walking!

Ext Links

[1] https://www.hillspet.com


[3] https://www.akc.org