15 Best Small Indoor Dogs

By on November 10, 2014

There’s no denying that tiny dogs are just super adorable, and when it comes to to small indoor dogs, these 15 are some of the best. These diminutive pooches love to spend their days indoors with their human families. That’s not to say that any dogs do well kept outside and we would recommend that all dogs spend the majority of the day and night kept in the home. However, these little pups are so cute that their owners never want to be far from their side. If you’re thinking of bringing a new canine companion into your house, we’d like to remind you that there are many wonderful dogs in shelters waiting for homes, and you may even be able to find a pedigree rescue pup, if that’s what you want. Check out this list of the 15 best small indoor dogs.

1. Chihuahua

The Chihuahua is 6 to 10 inches tall and weighs 4 to 6 pounds, making it the world’s smallest breed of dog. Originating from the Chihuahua area in Mexico, these dogs have been faithful companions for thousands of years. These dogs are very clever and quick to learn, so owners should make sure they do some form of trick or obedience training to keep their minds engaged and stop them from getting bored. It’s vital that owners don’t spoil these dogs (people who carry their Chihuahua around in a clutch all day, we’re looking at you guys!) as they can pick up a whole host of behavioral issues.

2. Maltese

Maltese dogs don’t shed as much as some, so they’re an ideal indoor breed for people who suffer from pet hair allergies. These ever-friendly dogs are generally easy to introduce to a household which already had pets, as they tend to get on with both dogs and cats. They love people and like to hang out with their humans as much as possible, so a Maltese is not for you if you’re not at home most of the time and can’t take your pup with you. These gorgeous dogs have iconic long, white coats which need a lot of grooming to stay in excellent condition. Although, you can choose to have their fur clipped into a puppy cut for easier maintenance.

3. Pug

Pugs are the darlings of the canine world, their little wrinkled faces stealing hearts wherever they go. Everyone knows that pugs make excellent companion dogs, but owners should be aware that they can be independent and like to do as they please. These dogs don’t need too much exercise, but they still like to be kept entertained with play sessions, trick training and short walks. One downfall of this breed is that over-breeding and their flat head shape means that they do tend to have a number of health issues.

4. Papillon


Although you don’t see many Papillons around, these tiny dogs make excellent house pets. They stand at just 8 inches to 11 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh roughly between 4 and 9 pounds. Because they’re highly intelligent and sensitive towards humans, they are often used as therapy dogs and assistance dogs. They adore human attention and thrive when learning and being mentally stimulated, for instance taking part in agility. What’s more, their long, silky coats and pointed ears make them as cute as a button.

5. Boston Terrier

boston terrier
Their sweet nature and affinity for kids means that Boston terriers make excellent family pets. Known as “American Gentlemen,” because of their tuxedo-like markings, these little dogs are impossible not to love. These extremely intelligent dogs are full of beans, so owners need to make sure they keep their Boston terriers busy or they might make their own fun, which likely involves more chewing of personal possessions than you’d like!

6. French Bulldog

french bulldog
The French bulldog is also known as the “Frenchie,” and is an extremely popular breed of small dog. They do well as indoor dogs, even in apartments, as they’re small, friendly and don’t need an abundance of exercise. These loving dogs enjoy spending time with their human friends and are the quintessential lap dog. Due to their short, flat noses, they don’t do well in very hot climates and need to be kept cool during the warmest parts of the day.

7. Yorkshire Terrier

yorkshire terrier
Hailing from Yorkshire, England, the Yorkshire terrier is a sweet and loving small breed dog. In fact, they’re amongst the most popular small dogs to be kept as pets. While they are loving towards the people they know, these dogs can be difficult with strangers, so they may not be the best dog if you have a lot of guests coming in and out of the house. While they’re only small, they were originally working dogs, used for hunting rodents, so they require a decent amount of exercise. They also need plenty of mental stimulation, as bor3ed Yorkies often bark at every little thing.

8. Pomeranian

These little balls of fluff are wonderful pets and insanely cute, to boot. Nobody can resist their adorable eyes and sweet, fox-like features. This means that some owners let them get away with more than they should, so they can be quite spoiled. However, these dogs are highly intelligent and actually love to learn, so owners who work on training their Pomeranians will likely end up with a well-trained and obedient pooch. Measuring just 7 to 12 inches tall and weighing 3 to 7 pounds, these diminutive dogs can do well even in smaller houses or apartments, as long as they’re taken for regular walks.

9. Pekingese

Pekingese dogs are loving friends to their human family and make great lapdogs. As they don’t need a huge amount of exercise, they are excellent indoor pets. However, this doesn’t mean that they don’t enjoy going on regular short walks and being kept busy with obedience training and fun games. Due to their mid-length coats, they do need fairly regular grooming, so owners need to be prepared to keep up with brushing their dog’s coat. On the whole, these dogs are fairly laid back and are terrific family pets.

10. English Toy Spaniel

toy spaniel
The English toy spaniel – also known as the King Charles spaniel – is a sweet and even natured dog that is excellent with humans young and old. This little spaniel makes an excellent addition to any home and just loves to spend time with her people. They were actually bred as lapdogs and don’t have particularly high energy levels, which means they’re ideal for owners who can’t or don’t want to go on long walks with their dog. Their silky coats do need semi-regular grooming, but on the whole this is a fairly low-maintenance breed.

11. Miniature Dachshund

mini dachshund
Dachshunds are often referred to as “sausage dogs,” due to their lengthy bodies, which are longer than they are tall. Miniature dachshunds are a breed in their own right, weighing just 8 to 11 pounds and standing between 5 and 7 inches tall at the shoulder. While they do make great family pets, they’re not recommended for families with very young children, as their long backs make them more prone to injury from toddlers who don’t yet understand how to properly interact with their canine family members. These dogs were originally bred for hunting and therefore need more exercise than other dogs of a similar size.

12. Shih Tzu

shih tzu
The Shih Tzu was bred as a companion dog and therefore have sweet, gentle natures. They’re great with kids and so are often brought home as family pets. While they don’t shed an extremely large amount, they do have fairly long coats that need regular brushing to avoid matting. They don’t need tons of exercise, but do require short daily walks, plus plenty of energetic play sessions to keep them both physically and mentally stimulated and stop them from acting out.

13. Miniature Poodle

minature poodle
Miniature poodles are sometimes seem as being prissy and snooty, but are really just misunderstood. These pups are often aloof with strangers, but bond closely with their owners and are friendly with other once they get to know them. While these dogs are easy to look after in many respects, grooming is not one of them. If their coats are kept in their naturally curly state, they need daily brushing to prevent mats and tangles. However, some owners prefer to have their fur trimmed short for easy maintenance, or like to have that classic poofy poodle haircut. Originally bred as a working dog, these pooches need a decent amount of exercise each day.

14. American Hairless Terrier

american hairless
While they might look a bit unusual, American hairless terriers are extremely lovable scamps and are wonderful pets. They’re sweet, loving and have huge personalities. As terriers, these dogs do have huge amounts of energy and require a lot of exercise for their size. They’re very playful dogs and love playing games, such as fetch or tug, at home. These dogs aren’t suitable for owners who want an easy ride, but are amazingly rewarding companions if you give them a chance.

15. Shetland Sheepdog

The Shetland sheepdog, or Sheltie, looks like a miniature Lassie dog. These gorgeous pooches are sweet natured and very friendly, so they’re ideal for keeping in the family home. One thing owners much be aware of is that their long coat needs daily grooming to keep it in excellent condition, which some people may find to be too much work. These dogs are very intelligent, so they’re easy to train and quick to learn new things. They were originally used as herding dogs, so they’re energetic and need owners who can take them on long daily walks.

Photos courtesy of Pinterest.com


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