Dogs have long been a part of the family, but, until the last five decades or so, many people did not allow the pets to come indoors. Even today, there are those who love dogs but simply don’t want Fido to come inside. Why is that?
First, an indoor dog or house dog needs a lot of training, and it has to begin on day one. With our busy lifestyles, we are often reluctant to add any other responsibilities to our routines. However, within six months of training, your patience will pay off, and you can enjoy the benefits of a house dog.
Second, house dogs do require some extra cleaning. Even the most well-trained indoor dogs will have an occasional potty accidents, and you’ll need to be prepared with pet-safe products that can both clean topically and keep any odor from setting in your floors like today’s best pet stain removers. That’s not to mention cleaning up after a dog that is shedding (and if you’ve never had to clean up behind a breed with a double coat, one that “blows,” you’ll never understand how frustrating cleaning up after a dog can be). Finally, your indoor dog will need occasional baths and other grooming occasionally.
However, once you get Fido properly trained and you learn how to groom him properly, then having one of best indoor dog breeds is a great reward. Let’s take a look at some of the best house dogs considered by many pet lovers.
1. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
The adorable Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a small dog that has a great deal of energy. He loves to play and cuddle, and he tends to get along with other dogs as well as kids.
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel will require periodic grooming in order to be happy and healthy. He’ll need a bath at least once a month, and you’ll need to brush his silky long fur at least once per week. You could easily do DIY dog grooming at home with this adorable pet.
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is one of the most highly intelligent indoor dogs, and he’ll learn how to frolic and play with your kids rather quickly. In fact, they may wear down before Fido does! He gets along with kids of any age, but it is important that kids have some experience with dogs before getting a Cavalier King Charles—the breed is small and rambunctious kids could unwittingly hurt the pup.
It’s also important to remember that this breed tends to be prone to separation anxiety. If you are away from home for work a lot and the kids are away at school, you will want to crate train the Cavalier King Charles so that he feels safe and happy in his dog crate.
2. The Bernese Mountain Dog
This big beauty is a gentle giant for the most part, but, some anecdotal evidence shows that the Bernese Mountain Dog is actually highly protective of its family.
The Bernese Mountain Dog is considered a large breed. It was utilized for herding and companionship, and those qualities are still present in the breed today. The Bernese Mountain Dog can reach an adult weight of 100 pounds.
The Bernese Mountain Dog will need a fair amount of grooming. The dog will need monthly to six-week interval baths, and you’ll need to brush his hair weekly to avoid matting and tangles. It is important to brush him daily during spring and fall when the Bernese Mountain Dog loses his coat.
The Bernese Mountain Dog is gentle with kids and with other dogs, as long as he is socialized properly. However, some anecdotal stories state that the Bernese Mountain Dog will defend its owner if necessary.
3. The Alaskan Malamute
If you’ve ever watched Iditarod racing, you’ve seen the Alaskan Malamute. This is one of the oldest dog breeds in the world. They were bred to pull heavy sleds, of course, but they also served as great companions to those traveling in the harsh conditions of the Yukon.
The Alaskan Malamute is not a lap dog. He will need a good bit of exercise each day, which makes him a great dog for kids with lots of energy. He also tends to bond with children, and the Alaskan Malamute will protect the kids in his “pack.”
You’ll definitely want to keep an eye on his coat come spring or fall. The Alaskan Malamute has a coat that will “blow” twice a year. Otherwise, he’ll benefit from weekly brushing and monthly baths.
4. The Boston Terrier
If you want a smaller dog that has loads of energy to play with kids but will calm down enough to be a lap dog after a fun day, look no further than the Boston Terrier. This pint-sized package of dynamite is loads of fun, and the breed absolutely adores children. In fact, the Boston Terrier is one of the smaller dogs that can handle the rough play of a small, inexperienced child.
The Boston Terrier only needs a bath around once a month (or every six weeks) and you only need to brush him about once a week. Otherwise, grooming the Boston is a breeze.
The Boston Terrier is easily housebroken, but, the breed can be a tad stubborn too! You’ll want to start early on training, and remain consistent. Offer lots of praise and treats as the Boston Terrier is one that thrives under positive reinforcement.
The Boston Terrier WILL become anxious if left alone a lot. Some people will purchase two at a time so the pups have constant companionship, but, if this is not an option for you, crate training is a great way to keep Fido happy while you’re away and the kids are at school.
5. The Labrador Retriever
The Lab is a sweet, loving dog that simply loves to play—definitely one of the best indoor dogs. However, if you aren’t into a dog with lots of energy, or you don’t have the ability to take Fido out for long walks or a trip to the dog park, you may want to rethink purchasing a Lab as a house dog.
Once you’ve let Fido run off all that energy, the Lab makes an excellent house dog. However, when keeping him indoors, you’ll want to provide him with plenty of dog toys. Unfortunately, the Lab DOES love to chew (and he’ll chew furniture, his dog bed, anything, and everything). The key is to provide the best chew toys for indoor activity and to make sure to help him burn off any excess energy each day.
Keep in mind that the Lab was originally a working dog. For the Lab to be happy, he must have an outlet for that energy and a way to “work” and serve his purpose. For the first two years of his life, your Lab is going to want to stay busy. He may become destructive if he doesn’t get enough exercise.
Otherwise, the Lab is a great dog for kids—Labs are great family dogs. In fact, if you have some rambunctious, energetic young children, the Lab could be the perfect fit!
You’ll definitely want to crate train the Lab, as he can become bored and chew on important furniture or other belongings.
6. The Golden Retriever
This is perhaps one of the best, most loyal of all dogs. Frankly, there is not a mean bone in the body of a Golden Retriever. They can be trusted around children of any age, even those with no experience with dogs. They tend to not only protect little ones, but they may even overprotect them!
The Golden Retriever is also one of the smartest dog breeds, so training this dog will be somewhat easier than with other breeds. Keep in mind that the Golden Retriever wants nothing more than to please his family, so positive reinforcement dog training is the way to go when raising a Golden.
You will need to brush the Golden at least once a week to prevent the matting and tangling of his fur. He will need a bath at least once a month, but should he find a mud puddle, it is ok to bathe him more than once a month.
Unlike some other energetic dogs, the Golden Retriever WILL become a lap dog whenever the opportunity arises.
7. The Bulldog
The Bulldog is distantly related to the Boston Terrier, but he does not share the Boston Terrier’s energy and enthusiasm. In fact, if you’re looking for a lazy house dog, the Bulldog could be the breed for you!
The English Bulldog is a medium-sized dog. He loves to play and has short hair that is easily groomed about once a month (bath + brushing). You WILL need to consider that this breed DOES drool at times, and they are infamous for snoring.
The American Bulldog is larger than the English. They are still muscular and tend to have an athletic swagger. The American Bulldog loves children, and he has few needs in the way of grooming. He will snore, but most aren’t as prone to drooling and the brachycephalic issues one will experience with an English Bulldog.
Some Pit Bulls are associated with the “Bulldog” breed. Unless you’re willing to devote time to working with the Pit Bull—as well as providing play so Fido can work out that pent-up energy—the Pit isn’t the house dog for you. Although many Pits have a bad reputation, Pits that are raised with kids tend to be very protective of said children. They are also great guard dogs if that is a quality you’re looking for.
8. The Pug
The Pug is a darling small dog that loves children and adults. Plus, he loves being a lap dog!
The Pug needs to be around children who are experienced with pets. The Pug has a few health issues  that require him to be around kids who understand how to treat him.
The Pug needs little in the way of grooming, just a monthly bath, and the occasional brushing. You’ll also want to be careful about the rough play; in fact, play sessions with the Pug should last no longer than fifteen to twenty minutes at a time. He should be allowed to rest in between. The Pug is brachycephalic, which means he has difficulty breathing normally. If he becomes overheated, he could have heart failure.
The Pug is a sweet dog that will add some zany personality to your family, and he’s a great house dog that’s also perfect for apartment living as they are generally quiet.
1. Which dog is best for home indoor?
That really depends upon your family’s unique needs. While some families prefer the Labrador Retriever or the Golden Retriever, others prefer a small dog, such as the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Look at the characteristics of each “house dog” breed and decide which is right for you and your family.
2. What is the cleanest house dog?
Overall, there are several dogs that are considered “clean,” however, the Poodle seems to take the top spot.
Other “honorable mentions” include the Whippet, the Dalmatian, the Bichon Frise, and the Maltese.