17 Best Dogs for Tiny Houses

Are you wondering which dog to get for your tiny house living? Well, since several breeds can comfortably live in small spaces, you’ll most likely be spoilt for choice.

The best dogs for tiny houses are preferably small in size and have moderate energy levels. Take, for example, the Chihuahua, the Coton, Pugs, and the Poodle. Having a pup that doesn’t take too much space is a plus for tiny house owners. That said, big dog lovers can also find their ideal breeds.

To help you select your preferred pooch, we’ve compiled this extensive list of the best dogs for tiny houses. Read on.

Boston Terrier

Nicknamed the “American Gentleman,” the Boston Terrier is one of those friendly dogs that enjoy the company of their owners and are also friendly towards strangers. If you have kids, the Boston Terrier will be happy to play with them.

This dog adapts well to living in small spaces. Even though it has relatively high energy levels, it’s content taking brisk walks outside to use it all up. Also, Boston Terrier is quite playful, so you’ll have a lively furball to brighten your days in your tiny home.

Another great advantage of getting a Boston Terrier for your tiny house is its low maintenance requirements. This dog’s tuxedo-like coat is easy to groom and does not shed too much.


The comical pug is such a delight to have in a home. Its flat and wrinkled face produces a wide range of human-like expressions that will leave you smiling all day.

Pugs have been said to be the best house dogs since they enjoy their owner’s company so much. They like lazing around and eating, so you’ll need to be cautious about their weight. At a height of 10-13 inches (25.4-33.02 cm), pugs generally weigh 14-18 pounds (35.56-45.72 kgs).

The pug is an ideal breed for first-time dog owners. Their affection and adaptability to different living spaces make them easy to care for and a great companion to live with. You only need to avoid extremes of temperature as the pug does best in a moderate climate.

Japanese Chin

The Japanese Chin has a distinct, elegant, and warm coat. The long fur makes for a very cuddly lap dog. Japanese Chin enjoys the company of their owners, but interestingly, they also don’t mind being left alone for hours.

This dog breed is playful and mild-mannered. It has some cat-like nature, which includes the tendency to climb to high places and self-grooming. It’s a pretty smart dog and can easily adapt to living in small spaces.

Since it loves neatness, it’s easy to house train a Japanese Chin. And if you need to get your pup a crate to start him off on crate training, try out the MidWest Homes for Pets Dog Crate. It has double doors, which makes movement in and out of the crate easier.

Bichon Frise

The Bichon Frise is an adorable white-furred companion dog with dark-colored eyes. It looks like a baby-doll and is often mistaken for a poodle. It’s one of the best dogs for novice dog owners because of its kind and friendly nature. 

This dog is really playful and always cheerful. They also learn quickly hence are easy to train. They love their owners and are friendly towards strangers and other dogs. 

A Bichon Frise can weigh up to 15 pounds (6.8 kgs), so they are small enough to not take up too much space in your tiny house. 


The Chihuahua is one of the world’s smallest dogs weighing no more than 6 pounds (2.7 kgs). Its erect ears and full eyes give it a cute alert look. But despite its small body size, Chihuahuas have a huge personality and a big heart for people. 

This dog is an all-time friendly pup. It’s very affectionate to its owners, friendly towards strangers, and can also hang out with kids so long as they can handle this furball carefully. 

The Chihuahua is easy to train. It’s well adaptable to small spaces and is good for novice owners. As for maintenance, this pup is easy to groom and doesn’t shed too much. These are some of the reasons the Chihuahua is so ideal for tiny houses.

French Bulldog

The popular French Bulldog looks very much like a mini-version of the Bulldog except for its erect bat ears. It has a cool disposition and rarely barks (probably one of the reasons it’s so likable by city dwellers since it won’t disturb the neighbors). 

This “indoorsy” dog doesn’t require a lot of outdoor exercises. A short brisk walk daily is enough to keep them in shape. The Frenchie is a great watchdog due to its high level of alertness.

French Bulldogs are easy to live with because they love their owners, are friendly with strangers, and easygoing with other animals. They can also comfortably live with kids in the same house.   

Coton de Tulear

The Coton de Tulear, Coton for short, is a relative of the Bichon Frise and the Maltese. This dog is the closest you’ll get to having a perfect tiny house pooch. This is because it loves the company of humans and can spend the whole day just hanging around its owner, even if that means staying indoors.

The Coton was bred to be a companion, and he’s exactly that to date. He bonds well with every member of the family, apart from the young toddlers who may mishandle him- though often without meaning to. 

For exercise, you can play with your Coton indoors or take him for short walks. Their energy levels aren’t too high. And when it comes to grooming, it’s important to take extra care of the Coton’s coat to prevent mats. Brush him three or four times per week and give him a good bath as often as he gets dirty, weekly, biweekly, or monthly.

Shi Tzu

The Shi Tzu is an affectionate little pup that was bred for Chinese royalty. But even though this pooch historically lived in palatial homes, it’s one of the best dogs for tiny houses. 

The Shi Tzu’s small size means they don’t take up too much living space, and what is more, they don’t require too much activity to stay in shape. A Shi Tzu’s exercise needs are easily satisfied by playing with toys or simply walking around in the house. 

For the rest of the time, this furball enjoys just laying on your lap. Having a nice dog bed is a great idea, so your Shi Tzu can comfortably lie down near you when he can’t sit on your laps. Try the MIXJOY Orthopedic Dog Bed. It’s super soft and cuddly, so your fluffball will always be comfortable.

Due to his love for humans, the Shi Tzu bonds well with all family members and is good at making friends with guests. 


This family companion and show dog was bred to be a companion of the Chinese Imperial family. To date, it’s as if Pekingese continue to hold themselves in that regard. They treat everyone with dignity and respect if the same respect is accorded to them.

The Pekingese has a stubborn personality and can, therefore, be quite difficult to train even though they are really intelligent. They don’t easily accept being made to do things. The best way to train a Pekingese is by using rewards and treats rather than hard discipline and harsh training.

For tiny house owners, this little pooch with a big heart will make a great companion. They are very loyal and will show you much love and affection. And since they aren’t too friendly with strangers, they make good guard dogs.

Poodle (Toy and Miniature)

This cute and regal breed is commonly known as a show dog, but they make affectionate family-dogs as well. The Poodle loves human company and can easily get lonely if left alone for too long.

Poodles are bred in three different sizes: Toy, Miniature, and Standard. The smaller sizes, Toy and Miniature, are ideal for tiny houses. They are full of energy and enjoy running around indoors. It’s also advised to take your Poodle for walks every so often.

The Poodle is one of the most intelligent dog breeds in the world, and that’s one of the reasons they are so easy to train. If you train yours early enough, you’ll have a well-mannered pet that’s very easy to live with, especially in your small space.


If you’re one to keep a perfectly neat and tidy tiny house and are looking for an equally clean dog, then the Basenji is your kind of dog. This pup has almost feline grooming habits and doesn’t shed too much. He also makes a great companion for tiny spaces due to its small size.

The Basenji has an attractive short copper coat and a muscular body that suits its protective nature. This pooch would make one of the best guard dogs if it wasn’t for its small stature. But even that doesn’t stop the Basenji from defending his people and property when faced by an intruder.

When it comes to training, this “barkless” dog from Africa is intelligent enough to learn commands. But the tricky part is getting him to do what you want at any given moment. The Basenji is so stubborn that you can never be completely sure he’ll obey your next instruction even if he understands you.


For people who love big dogs, living in a tiny house doesn’t have to limit you from getting yourself a large pooch. But one of the key things you’ll have to look out for is a furball that is well adaptable to a sedentary lifestyle. With that in mind, the Mastiff could be one of your best options.

This pup may be big, massive even, with a minimum height of 30 inches (76.2 cm) for males and 27.5 inches (69.85 cm) for females. But despite their size, they are calm and docile. 

The Mastiff loves lazing around and being a couch-potato companion, so you’ll need a big couch to accommodate him. He rarely barks and is happy to just sit with you all day. But you still have to provide your canine friend with a moderate exercise regime.

If you are not so sure about getting a Mastiff, here’s more information about this gentle giant of a dog to help you make a decision:


This is another big dog that can surprisingly do well as a tiny house pet. The Greyhound is well known as the sprinter in the dog world. Its body is built for it, and as a result, Greyhounds have been raised as racing dogs for the longest time.

But one thing you may not know about this breed is that its favorite pastime is actually sleeping. A Greyhound will gladly spend his day on the couch, keeping you company as you carry on with your work. This is why they make such good dogs for tiny houses.

You will only need to take your pup out for a walk to use up his high energy levels. Also, Greyhounds are very friendly to family members and other dogs. Their calm nature and loyalty make them great companions.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are truly Spaniels; hence they are sporty to the core. You’ll quickly spot them chasing down birds and rodents when outside. But this cute dog is so attached to its people that it’s content spending the whole day on the laps of its owner. 

The Cavalier enjoys belly rubs and yummy treats. This breed can easily grow fat, so you’ll need to be deliberate in scheduling playtimes and exercise sessions every day. But for the rest of the time, your tiny house is your pup’s haven where he can be close to you.

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is so loveable, with his big brown eyes and constantly-wagging tail. He’s friendly towards family members and guests alike. His dependent personality means he can’t stand being left alone for a long time.


This compact toy breed is playful and friendly. He’s one of the best dogs for tiny houses because it’s got relatively low energy levels. That means the Lowchen is easily satisfied with walking around the house and playing with his toys. Going out for a short walk is enough to keep the Lowchen in good shape.

The Lowchen is a friendly breed. He enjoys playing with people and other pets as well. In a family, this petite pooch is great with both adults and children. His cheerful nature can be quite infectious and easily warms everyone’s heart.

The Lowchen is easy to train, especially if you reward him with treats every time he does something you want. You’ll soon realize he’s doing all he can to please you.


At a height of not more than 11.5 inches (29.21 cm) and weighing no more than 13 pounds (5.89 kg), the Havanese is a real petite fluffball. Its distinct silky coat comes in a variety of colors. 

The hair on this pooch needs daily grooming to keep him looking neat and prevent mat and tangle formation. You’ll need to invest in a good brush to groom your furry buddy. A great choice of brush is the Glendan Dog Brush. This is a rotatable slicker brush so you can easily reach and brush various places.

The Havanese has moderate exercise needs. You can take him out for brisk walks or have a few play sessions where he gets to play with his toys and bond with you.

Shiba Inu

The Shiba Inu is a unique, fiery toy dog. It is the smallest of the six native breeds of Japan. Don’t let this pup’s small size fool you. The Shiba Inu is a ball of energy. He’s very sporty, enjoys chasing down birds, squirrels, and anything he sees as potential prey. 

To spend all his energy, you’ll need to take the Shiba Inu out for a brisk walk or a jog every day. When outside, keep him on a leash to prevent him from running off. 

The Shiba Inu is a wonderful family dog, but training him can be an uphill task. Even though he’s intelligent, he’s also quite stubborn. He likes to do as he pleases, so the best way to get him to obey is by giving him the impression that it’s his idea. Using reward methods during training can also help.


Dogs are indeed, man’s best friend, and finding the right one is every pet lover’s desire. If you live in a tiny house, getting the best dog for your small space is very important. You want a companion who’s well adaptable to living in a small area. At the same time, you need a dog that doesn’t have very high energy levels. 

The good news is that several dog breeds effectively meet these requirements. Some of these include the Bichon Frise, Coton de Tulear, the toy and miniature Poodles, and the Lowchen. 

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