Facing Space Crunch? Check Out These Small Dog Breeds

Lack of space should not deter you from getting a dog, simply because life with a four-legged companion is infinitely better than without. Just go for smaller dogs that can stay inside for a long time without feeling bored or stressed. These dogs are also easier to manage, especially if you have a humble home.

Here are 12 of the best indoor small dogs that can work for anyone who wants an indoor pet.


If you’d love for your dog to have personality and intelligence while being largely hypoallergenic, the Maltese can be a good match for you. These dogs have playful personalities but are not needy, which makes them one of the best small dogs for first time owners.

Easy to house train, these dogs like routine. You can plan regular bathroom breaks and walks to suit your schedule. The Maltese is also one of the best small house dogs with no shedding, which makes them a good choice for people living in small spaces who are allergic to dander.

Shih Tzu

Initially bred as a companion to royalty, Shih Tzus are affectionate but low-energy dogs. This makes them ideal for small apartments and families with young children.

They might need regular grooming to maintain their long fur, but they shed very little and are considered to be generally hypoallergenic. Shih Tzus enjoy human company and need minimal training, which makes them one of the best small dogs for families.


Cute with distinctive ears, Papillons are highly sensitive dogs ideal as therapy and anti-seizure pets. Although bred for companionship, their trainable nature makes them a good choice for dog shows.

They might require regular grooming for their fur, but their silky hair is not prone to matting. They also do not shed much, which makes them ideal for people with allergies. On the whole, the Papillon is one of the best small dogs for apartments.

French Bulldog

Considered one of the best indoor small dog breeds for their gentle and easygoing nature, French Bulldogs are very sociable and adapt quickly to city living. But they are also excellent watchdogs and will alert their owners without barking too much.

This family-friendly dog also thrives on attention and is ideal for families with small children. They are quite mellow by nature and do not have high energy levels, so they require very little exercise.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Also called the English Toy Spaniel, this is one of the friendliest and most affectionate small dog breeds known to us. Also considered one of the best behaved small dogs, they are easy to train and can be housebroken quickly, especially if you reward them with affection.

They are natural athletes, so they can enjoy a romp in your backyard or the woods. But they will also be content staying at home, as long as they get to nestle beside you on the couch or bed.

This makes them excellent therapy dogs too, as Dr. Mary Burch, a dog behaviorist explaines,

“Cavalier King Charles Spaniel might be the perfect dog for visiting a hospital—it could be placed on a cover on the bed and comfort the hospitalized patient.”

Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkies are one of the best indoor small dogs packed with personality and beauty. While they do have long coats, they are still working dogs at heart. That’s why these dogs need regular exercise. However, short walks or a play of fetch in the park is enough for the small Yorkie.

They are great family dogs and love the attention they can get from anyone in the family, especially children. Since they are small, they are easy to carry around anywhere, making them ideal city dogs.

Miniature Schnauzer

Highly trainable, extremely friendly, and fiercely protective – Miniature Schnauzers are good for families with small children. They can adapt to living in small apartments or big farms with equal ease. Quick learners by nature, they love getting trained and will quickly learn new things when prompted with affection.

Animal lover Rosalie Reese explains that Schnauzers are ideal for young children and the elderly, though early socialization is needed.

Bichon Frisé

The Bichon is a small dog with a soft hypoallergenic coat. They are smart, friendly, and curious, which makes them ideal watchdogs and one of the best apartment dogs too.

However, they love to play and need regular exercise to bond with their owners. If your home has a backyard, a Bichon Frisé will love to frolic in it.

Though they are sociable, they still need early socialization and training. Using rewards and positive reinforcement works well, especially if the reward is to spend more time with their family.

Miniature Poodle

Poodles are one of the most intelligent and active dog breeds out there and Miniature Poodles share the same traits. Affectionate and athletic, these dogs are definitely one of the best breeds you can leave alone when you go to work.

If you have ever wondered which small dog can be left alone, the miniature poodle is the answer.

Easy to train, these dogs are hypoallergenic too!

However, like most small dog breeds, they can have snaggle tooth issues. If that’s the case, you need to feed them smaller treats and softer meals. So can dogs eat peaches? Only if it’s chopped into tiny pieces or pureed!

Boston Terrier

These French Bulldog lookalikes make for good city pets that enjoy going on short walks and similar activities. Yet, only short bursts of playing ball and running with their owners is enough for this breed.

 Sociable and loving, they also make for good watchdogs, despite their diminutive size. One of the best small dogs for indoors, a Boston Terrier’s alert and curious nature makes them an easy choice for people who want their pets to guard their homes.

Bonus:  If you have ever wondered what is the easiest small dog to take care of, Boston Terrier is the answer.


The pug is one of the most charming and loving breeds in the world. Bred for companionship, they are outgoing dogs with an even temperament. They are easy to train and respond to positive reinforcement-based gentle training methods.

Pugs love company, so if you work from home or live alone, a pug will love staying close and doing activities with you. However, they are not very active and prefer nestling with their owners, which makes them low maintenance dogs for apartments and one of the best indoor small dog breeds to consider.


Pomeranians have everything experienced dog owners love: a cute appearance, intelligence, and manageable grooming and activity levels. This breed is ideal for families with older children, as these dogs have big personalities and might not like small children handling them.

They love activity, so walking and fetching can burn off a lot of their energy. They are considered one of the best small companion dogs in the world, as they love being with their humans.

Get a Small Dog That Suits Your Lifestyle

All dogs can make for ideal companions if they receive proper training, early socialization, and an ample amount of love. But do consider your lifestyle and environment before bringing one home.

Now that you’re aware of the best indoor small dogs, choose one that best fits your lifestyle.