What Breeds Make Good House Dogs?

Some dogs are extremely independent, relying on their people for food and the occasional affection. That’s not the case with these good house dogs. All these lovable pets really want is to be with their favorite people, and that means staying in the house. If you don’t want a pup that would rather be by itself in the backyard, then any of the breeds listed here may be a good choice for you.

Keep in mind that keeping these dogs in the house isn’t merely a suggestion. These dogs thrive based on the attention they get from their favorite people. They are especially dependent on human interaction for social engagement and mental stimulation. Moreover, the physical health of many of these pups benefits from being kept indoors. Members of several of the breeds listed here are not able to successfully regulate their own body temperature. This means that when temperatures soar or drop, these pooches are particularly vulnerable. Leaving one of these dogs outside in the elements can literally be dangerous. Accordingly, be prepared to spend some serious one-on-one time if you go with one of these breeds.

1. Affenpinscher


This breed’s name translates to “monkey dog” from its original German, and it’s easy for people who have lived with an Affenpinscher to understand why. This mischievous dog is lots of fun to have around. Members of the breed tend to be feisty and full of energy. They are also intelligent and pick up new things with incredible speed. Affens are really adaptable, which makes them laid-back companions both at home and on the road. Most Affenpinschers are alert to everything that’s happening around them and their people. This makes them very good watchdogs. You’ll always know when someone is approaching your property when you have one of these pups around. Like many toy breeds, the Affenpinscher likes to spend all of his time in close contact with his family. This is certainly not a pooch that would be content to be tied up in the backyard. Keep him with you as much as possible so he can get all of the mental stimulation and exercise he needs to lead a healthy life. It’s important to bear in mind that Affenpinschers do not always do well with small children. These dogs far prefer adults or older children as companions.

2. Basenji

The exceedingly clever Basenji finds his way into the hearts of most people who meet him. Originally a hunting dog bred in Africa, the Basenji stands at just below one-and-a-half feet tall and weighs between 22 and 24 pounds. Most people recognize the Basenji as a barkless dog. However, this is something of a misnomer. While they do not bark, they are not silent as some people presume. Basenjis are capable of making a wide range of sounds like whines and whimpers as well as yodels and screams. Of course, some members of the breed are quieter than others. Basenjis tend to be extraordinarily intelligent, a trait that is matched by their stubbornness. Many who have lived with these dogs report that while Basenjis may be well trained and understand a wide variety of commands, they will often think before obeying a command or choosing to ignore it. In fact, some people argue that these dogs are exceptionally good at training them. Nonetheless, Basenjis are loyal companions who love to play with their people. They are also very good at keeping themselves clean and they shed remarkably little. Their need for constant stimulation makes them the ideal indoor dog.

3. Pekingese

Once the companion of royalty in China, the Pekingese is now at home with ordinary families around the world. They get just six to nine inches tall at the shoulder, weighing in at between seven and 14 pounds. This small size puts them on the list of good house dogs. Even in the coziest of apartments and condos, this fellow can be right at home. Independent, stubborn and smart, training the Pekingese can be a challenge. That’s why these pups tend to do better with experienced dog owners. They are extremely affectionate with people they know, but can be quite stand-offish with strangers. This means that they are likely to bark at the approach of strangers, which may make it essential to train them when to stop barking. With a long coat, the Pekingese needs lots of grooming attention. Most devotees of the breed don’t mind the work, and they supplement their own grooming efforts with regular visits to a professional groomer. Pekingese dogs don’t tolerate heat well, which is just another reason why it makes sense to keep these pups indoors.

4. Maltese

His looks are noble, but his personality is friendly and vivacious. The highlight of his day is spending every waking minute with his family. This is definitely not a dog that can simply be left outside. Plus, their height of about eight to 10 inches and weight of approximately seven pounds makes these pups ideally suited to the indoor lifestyle. This toy size makes him adorable, and so does his silky, white hair. Despite that abundance of hair, the Maltese doesn’t shed much. Again, this makes him the perfect indoor companion because you won’t find an excess of hair on your floors and furniture. Maltese have been bred throughout the centuries as companion dogs. Accordingly, they may suffer from separation anxiety if they are parted from you for too long. Keep him at your side, and he will be completely happy. Keep in mind that the Maltese breed tends to get chilled easily. It’s just another reason why he belongs inside with his family.

5. Brussels Griffon

Brussels Griffon
An adorable little dog that typically grows to between seven and eight inches tall and seven to 12 pounds, this breed has been given the nickname “monkey face.” Actually, there’s something almost human about their facial expressions, which only endears them to their families all the more. Affectionate and curious, these dogs like to be in on everything that’s going on in the house. They are intelligent and lively. However, they can also be demanding. Griffons love to have an excess of attention from their people. This simply means that this pup needs to be in the house with his family rather than in the backyard by himself. As adorable as they are, the Griffon is also an athletic dog. They may need a bit more exercise than other dogs of comparable size. It’s important to recognize that these dogs are vulnerable to heat stroke. At the same time, the cold can be bothersome thanks to their short coats. These are certainly indoor dogs. Their tendency to bark at any noise they hear can be trying for some owners. That’s why consistent, firm training is a necessity. This dog may not be for the novice owner, but it’s the perfect pet for someone who is willing to devote the time and energy to give this pup the attention he craves.

6. Japanese Chin

Japanese Chin
It’s hard to believe, but this little dog has amazing leaping powers. Weighing in at between four and nine pounds at adulthood and standing just eight to 11 inches tall at the shoulder, the Japanese Chin might be found on your mantle or tabletop. Much like a cat, he wants to be at the highest point in the room. To that end, he climbs as well as leaps. Also like felines, the Chin washes himself quite a bit. With his small stature and catlike tendencies, this is the perfect indoor companion for many people who want a dog. Moreover, this dog thrives on being with people. He’s sociable and affectionate, definitely not the kind of dog that likes to be independent or spend a lot of time on his own. The Japanese Chin doesn’t require a lot of grooming despite his luxurious coat. A weekly brushing is typically all that is required. Trimming is completely unnecessary. Graceful, lively and small, the Chin is capable of tearing around the house during a play session without disturbing anything. He just might be the ideal indoor companion.

7. Bulldog

Gentle, kid-friendly bulldogs are wonderful indoor companions. Short walks and long naps is precisely their lifestyle of choice. The bulldog stands at just over one foot at the shoulder and typically weighs between 40 and 50 pounds. They are short and sturdy with broad chests, and their short-muzzled head just might be their most distinctive characteristic. Brief play sessions are ideal for these pups. Mostly, they are just content to be at your side, perhaps taking a nap or just enjoying a snuggle. Heat and humidity are the bulldog’s enemies. If you have him outdoors, keep your bulldog in sight. He can overheat very quickly. Of course, they also prefer to be with their people. If everyone is gathering outside, pick out a shady spot for a kiddie pool. Put some water in it, and your bulldog will have the perfect lounging spot for a lazy summer afternoon.

8. Coton de Tulear

Coton de Tulear
Incredibly sweet and cuddly, the Coton is a fun and faithful companion. He looks a bit like an Old English Sheepdog in miniature, standing at just under one foot in height and weighing in at between eight and 13 pounds. His preference is to be your constant companion whether he’s napping in the same room, talking to you using his distinctive grunts and growls or playing fetch. His shaggy coat is especially easy to care for with brushing a few times a week and an occasional bath. Routines are his forte. Introduce anything new into his schedule and he’ll quickly come to expect it every day. However, what he expects most of all is your companionship. These sociable little guys need to be with their people for the majority of the day. Don’t adopt a Coton unless you plan to keep him company.

9. Schipperke

With his black coat and pricked ears, the Schipperke is an exceptionally good-looking dog. Most members of the breed have a huge personality to go with their little dog size. They are extremely loyal and smart, seeking only to be with their people throughout the day. Schipperkes are also lively and active. Once bred as working dogs, these pups thrive when they are kept busy. This means that they’ll enjoy patrolling the yard for rodents and other furry invaders and will probably bark at the approach of a stranger. Regular playtime is a necessity to keep him out of trouble. More than anything, these cute little pooches need the constant companionship of their favorite people. They don’t shed much except for once or twice a year, making them a good choice for fastidious homeowners.

Any of these good house dogs would be a wonderful addition to your household. As long as you’re prepared for a constant companion, you and your pup will have a long and happy life together.

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