There tends to be a stigma surrounding small dogs, especially amongst people who have never owned one before. Many future pet owners believe that they yap a lot, have the tendency to nip and like to stand up against bigger dogs, even against their better judgment. Though there are small dog breeds that tend to act bigger than they are, there are plenty of breeds that are considered as the best small dogs.
Top Choices for Small Dogs
1. Pekingese: The Protector
Ideal for people who are interested in owning a dog that will protect their family but that isn’t large in stature, Pekingese are frequently seen as the small protectors of the household. They have incredibly fierce personalities, but their fierceness is what gives them the ability to be such great watchdogs and faithful companions that will be with you every step of the way. There are two downsides to Pekingese though; they are not recommended for families with small children, and they have a dense undercoat which means you’ll have to groom them almost daily.
2. Dachshund: The Adventurer
As another dog that isn’t recommended for families with small children, though there are exceptions, a Dachshund is likely one of the most popular small dogs that you’ll see out in the real world. Not only are they known for their need to go out on adventures and to explore, but they are incredibly curious and have the tendency to be interested in chasing vermin, tracking, and digging around the yard. They are highly active dogs, especially when fed a healthy diet, so they will require regular exercise.
3. Shih Tzu: The Family Dog
A Shih Tzu is the type of dog that will fit in perfectly with your family, even if you’ve never owned a dog before. They don’t have a strong personality, especially when compared to Pekingese, which is what makes them the perfect partner for smaller children. They’re compassionate and loyal, but they also love to take time out of their day for playing and snuggling when tired.
To keep your Shih Tzu clean and comfortable, it will need to be groomed daily, and you’ll have to watch out for staining on their coats.
4. Boston Terrier: The Lover
Boston Terriers are slightly larger than the dogs that we’ve discussed this far, but they are still classified as one of the best small dogs. In the past, they were bred for fighting, but today, you’d never notice as they’re one of the most loving dogs that you can get your hands on. You’ll particularly be able to see the Terrier side of their lineage if you have a male dog, and the only time your Boston Terrier might seem slightly inapproachable is if another dog is invading their territory. With their iconic short coats, they require far less grooming than other dogs, which makes them great for first-time dog owners.
5. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel: The Beauty Queen
If you’ve ever taken the time to view dog competitions, you’ve undoubtedly seen a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel or two because they are one of the most beautiful small dogs that you’ll set your sights on. Their luscious coats are something to be envied but are also a tough job to keep clean and healthy if you’re someone who doesn’t particularly like the idea of grooming. This breed is also incredibly simple to train and will love absolutely everyone in your family, especially as they are so eager to be pleased.
6. Coton de Tulear: The Sweetheart
If you’re searching for a dog breed that is going to give you unconditional love and be the sweetest thing in your life, a Coton de Tulear is a fantastic companion to have. Also referred to as Coton, this breed is fantastic for children or an owner who is looking for a true best friend since they love to follow you around and even sit on your feet while you’re working at your desk. There’s nothing that a Coton de Tulear loves more than pleasing their owner and spending time with them as much as possible, not to mention they are incredibly adorable.
7. Havanese: The Needy One
As mentioned with the Coton de Tulear, Havanese is another needy dog breed, though they are arguably one of the neediest regarding affection and attention. This is one characteristic that adds to their loving nature as they are more than willing to play with absolutely anyone they come across, whether it’s strangers, children, or even cats. With the heart of a lion, you can guarantee that your Havanese will give you everything within them just to gain your love, though it can work against them as when they are left alone, they become anxious.
If you’re the type of family that spends a lot of time away from the house, this is not the recommended breed for you since they will find it very difficult to entertain themselves and not be surrounded by the ones it loves.
8. Lhasa Apso
Like a pet that will always appear wise and full of knowledge, a Lhasa Apso is the type of dog that you will be able to confide in. What makes them so unique is that although they are small dogs, they have the mind and soul of a huge dog, which makes them excellent watchdogs for your home. You’ll also find that its confidence could get it into trouble with larger dogs, as they tend to be a little territorial. That said, they are fantastic defenders and will remain loyal to you and your family for their entire life.
The best small dogs are seemingly everywhere, as long as you’re able to find a breed that fits in perfectly with your lifestyle and what your family expects from a pet. Even though they are small in size, you can guarantee some breeds are strong defenders and will stop at nothing to make sure their territory is protected. On the other end of the spectrum, some breeds are more relaxed and perfect to have around small children.
At the end of the day, you’ll easily be able to find the perfect small dog to add to your growing family.