Main Content

Ideal Dog Breeds if You Live in a Small House

Adding a dog to the family can be a great source of joy. Of course, not all dogs are suited to all living environments. If you have a small house, choosing a dog that will thrive in such an environment is crucial both to your sanity and the dog’s health. While there is something to be said for the traits of the dog as an individual, it’s often most helpful to look at breeds more suited for smaller homes when starting your search.

Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkshire terriers are the smallest of the terrier breeds. They tend to be about seven to eight inches tall and weigh about seven pounds. Don’t let their size fool you though. These tiny dogs are full of personality. They can be a bit stubborn, but are overall eager to please and fairly outgoing. Yorkies don’t shed a lot, but their coat needs regular attention. It has more in common with human hair than dog fur, and can grow to be quite long. Make sure you keep it trimmed or pulled away from their eyes to prevent eye irritation. A fairly healthy breed of dog, these pups will still need regular exercise to stay in shape. Going for short walks twice a day can be a good way to get both you and your dog up and moving.


Slightly taller than the Yorkie and also falling into the toy group, Havanese dogs can range anywhere from 7-13 pounds. Their coats don’t need quite so specialized attention, though regular grooming is still a must. They shed a bit more than Yorkies tend to as well. Havanese are very social, friendly, and eager to please. They get along quite well with people and other pets that aren’t aggressive. Havanese need a moderate level of exercise. A romp in the backyard or even inside can be enough to get them the exercise they need.

Bichon Frise

The Bichon Frise tends to resemble a fluffy cloud with eyes and a nose. This cute pooch is super friendly and confident. They love spending time with their owners. Bichon Frise dogs tend to range between 9.5-11.5 inches tall and weigh 12-18 pounds. They make good dogs for small houses thanks to their relatively low exercise needs. You can expect long periods of calm interspersed with high bursts of energy. Running around the house or the backyard should be enough to burn it off. Just make sure you install a good fence. You may find it difficult to get them to come back if they take off on their own.

Mini Goldendoodle

One of the common barriers to owning a dog is the presence of allergies. With the Mini Goldendoodle, that isn’t an issue. Thanks to the Miniature Poodle half of their parentage, these dogs are hypoallergenic and don’t tend to shed much. They only need about 20-30 minutes of exercise a day. While excitable, these dogs tend to mimic your energy levels. Another great benefit is that Mini Goldendoodles are easy to train. Both the Golden Retriever and Miniature Poodle breeds that the Mini Goldendoodle comes from are highly intelligent and easy to train. Those traits are passed down to the offspring, making the Mini Goldendoodle fast learner.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Bred as a lap dog, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is content to lounge in small homes, though these dogs will still enjoy moderate levels of exercise. That said, if you don’t have a fence, you need to keep them on a leash. The breeds they originate from were hunting dogs, and they have retained some hunting instincts—though they aren’t suited for hunting themselves. Overall, they are well mannered, friendly, and eager to please their owners. These dogs fit into the toy group, if only barely. They are among the largest toy group dogs, measuring at 12-13 inches, and 13-18 pounds.


Sound often carries quite well in small homes. If you want a dog that doesn’t bark, a Basenji might be a good option. They don’t bark, but they do make a yodeling sound. This dog falls into the hound group, and they have lots of energy as a result. That may make them sound like a bad fit for a small home, but as long as they get enough regular exercise, they tend to do fairly well. There are a lot of fun activities you can do with this dog. Keep them on a leash or in an enclosed area to prevent them from running off. Though they tend to be independent, they can get bored quickly if left to their own devices for too long.

Toy Poodle

Poodles are among the most popular dog breeds, the smallest of which is the Toy Poodle. Like the Goldendoodle, Toy Poodles are good dogs for those with allergies. Their coats do need daily attention though. You may find grooming easier if you keep their coat short. They pack a ton of energy into those tiny bodies. They need regular exercise and may enjoy activities like swimming, retrieving, and going for a jog or long walk. Their small size and friendly personality make them a fun option for homeowners of small homes.


Known for their speed, you might be surprised to see Greyhounds listed as a good dog for a small house. As long as you can keep up with their exercise needs, though, they’re often quite content to lounge around your house. These dogs have a strong chase instinct, so they need to be kept in an enclosed area or on a leash. Males tend to grow to be 28-30 inches and 65-70 pounds while females are usually around 27-28 inches and 60-65 pounds. If that’s more dog than you want, the much smaller Italian Greyhound might be a good option for you instead.

When choosing a dog to join your family, it’s important to take your living situation into consideration. Smaller dogs are often better suited to smaller homes, though there are exceptions to that. Take your time and research the traits and needs of the breeds you’re interested in to find one that’s most likely to thrive in your home.

Read this next:How to Transform Your Drafty Home Into a Cozy Retreat This Season

Skip to content