10 adorable small dog breeds to choose from for your family
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When it comes to small dog breeds, size is likely one of the few traits they share!
Certain breeds are known for their outgoing and bold personalities, while others are more laid back and content with their independence. Short and straight hair to long, flowing locks or even tightly wound curls are all possible coat types. You’ll meet small furry friends who can’t wait to curl up on your lap—and others who are brimming with vitality and always up for a game of fetch.
The ideal small dog for you will depend on your personality preferences, grooming commitment, and activity level. Ten of the best small dog breeds to consider are listed below.
Read till the end to find out our favourite adorable dog breed to own
While the Poodle is frequently associated with dog shows, these curly-coated, muscular dogs make excellent house pets.
Toy and Miniature Poodles are intelligent, sophisticated dogs capable of sporting the most elaborate, iconic haircuts. Both dogs are highly intelligent, trainable, and athletic.
Temperament: Although the Toy Poodle is slightly smaller in stature, the Miniature Poodle is a better fit for families with younger children, as the Toy Poodle prefers a calmer environment.
Poodles are hypoallergenic and almost completely shed-free, but their thick, curly hair requires daily brushing and maintenance
Exercise: Poodles are extremely energetic dogs who enjoy long walks, runs, sports, and swimming!
Fun Fact: Originally, this breed’s show coat served a practical purpose; hunters desired Poodles to be able to move freely while remaining warm while retrieving ducks in cold water.
The Bichon Frise is known for its white, fluffy coat and endearing smile.
Temperament: This breed is sociable, affectionate, and cheerful. The Bichon adores entertaining their family and spending as much quality time with their pet parents as possible. They get along well with older children, adults, and other pets, and are even friendly towards strangers.
Grooming: Despite being a hypoallergenic dog breed that sheds very little, the Bichon Frise’s coat requires daily brushing. Their eyes should be cleaned on a regular basis to avoid tear stains and skin irritation.
Exercise: Because these dogs have bursts of energy, daily walks and playtime are required.
Fun fact: The Bichon Frise was frequently used in street performances and circus acts during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, charming audiences with their adorable appearance and impressive tricks.
The Yorkshire Terrier, also known as the “Yorkie,” sports a distinctly grey and tan silky coat and is a fashionable, popular small dog breed.
Temperament: Yorkies are true terriers—playful and fearless with an energetic spirit. They get along well with other pets and are intelligent dogs that are easy to train. Yorkies make superb watchdogs. However, they can be possessive of their pet parents and tend to follow them around because they dislike being alone.
Grooming: A long-coated Yorkie should be brushed daily and the hair in front of their face should be trimmed often or maintained in a topknot. Pet parents typically keep this breed’s hair cut short to simplify grooming, although their coat still requires regular brushing.
Exercise: Yorkies are active dogs that enjoy moderate exercise, such as accompanying their pet parents on walks, playing outside, or running errands.
Fun Fact: The first therapy dog was a Yorkshire Terrier named Smoky. She toured hospitals during World War II and offered comfort to injured soldiers, according to Psychology Today.
The Maltese, with its soft and silky white coat, is almost certainly one of the first breeds that come to mind when considering small dogs.
Temperament & Nature: While this breed is a devoted lap dog, it also has a lot of energy and enjoys playing. Maltese dogs are fearless—a trait believed to have been passed down from the breed’s rat-hunting days. They get along with people of all ages, are relatively easy to train, and enjoy performing tricks.
Grooming: While Maltese can have a long, elegant coat, most pet parents keep their dog’s coat short to make grooming easier. Their eyes must be cleaned frequently due to their susceptibility to tear stains.
Exercise: The Maltese require only occasional exercise, such as a daily walk or playtime in the backyard or indoors.
Additionally referred to as the “Roman Ladies’ Dog,” this breed was associated with prestige throughout the Roman Empire. According to the American Kennel Club, women aristocrats frequently carried Malteses in their sleeves or on their laps (AKC).
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are a stunning small dogs that are unquestionably contenders for the title of “top tail-wagger.” Indeed, one of the characteristics that Cavalier breeders strive for is a tail that is constantly moving when the breed is on the move.
Cavaliers have a reliant nature. They thrive on human interaction and should not be left alone for extended periods of time.
Cavaliers shed, particularly in the spring and fall. Brushing and combing are required on a regular basis. Because he is a spaniel at heart, if he is not kept on a leash or in a fenced yard, he may attempt to chase birds, rabbits, and other small prey.
Cavaliers may bark when someone approaches your door, but their friendly nature makes them ineffective guard dogs.
Cavaliers are house dogs and should not be allowed to roam freely.
Choose a reputable breeder who tests her breeding dogs for genetic diseases they may pass on to the puppies and for sound temperaments.
If the distinctive wagging of the Cavalier’s plumy tail does not melt your heart, his large, dark, round eyes almost certainly will. They are warm and lustrous, with sweet expressions, and possess the ability to coax constant petting and an endless supply of food from those who fall under their spell.
Not surprisingly, this breed is prone to obesity, which marries its lovely lines; therefore, be strong and offer your Cavalier a walk or playtime instead of potato chips and pizza.
Cavaliers paw their way through the house on slippered paws, always following in their people’s footsteps. You’ll never be alone in the house with a Cavalier — not even in the bathroom. Because they are so attached to their people, they thrive when someone is present to keep them company during the day.
Pomeranians are traditional small dogs with a fluffy coat, a fox-like appearance, and an eager grin.
Temperament: This breed is sociable with other dogs, devoted to its owner, and makes an excellent lapdog. Pomeranians are cheerful and intelligent small furry companions who are constantly interested in what is going on around them. Additionally, they make excellent watchdogs! When properly trained, they are capable of learning a plethora of endearing tricks.
Grooming: Pomeranians are constant shedders and require thorough brushing on a regular basis.
Exercise: Keep a plentiful supply of dog play toys on hand, as this breed thrives on regular exercise! They take pleasure in walking, running, playing, and remaining close to their pet parents.
Fun fact: Pomeranians gained popularity after Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom brought one home from Italy. The breed quickly gained worldwide recognition!
Chihuahuas are known for their small size and big personalities—not to mention their pointy ears and adorable round eyes.
Temperament: Chihuahuas are extremely loyal, as are their pet parents! Indeed, owners of Chihuahuas frequently have more than one during their lifetime. This breed is intelligent, brave, and loving, and will earn—and demand—your respect. Chihuahuas are devoted (or excessively devoted) to their pet parents. Most are good with other pets but dislike the personalities of certain dogs.
Grooming: Longhaired Chihuahuas require frequent brushing, whereas shorthaired Chihuahuas require only occasional brushing to maintain their appearance. Their eyes should be cleaned frequently; due to their proximity to the ground, these dogs’ eyes collect dirt and debris.
Exercise:Daily walks or accompanying their family members around the house are ideal for the Chihuahua.
Fun Facts: Chihuahuas have the largest brain of any dog breed, relative to their size, according to the Central California Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (CCSPCA).
With its wrinkled brows, glistening eyes, and curly tail, the Pug is one of the most recognisable dogs in the world.
Temperament: The Pug is an affectionate, playful, and even-tempered breed. This endearing breed is considerate of other people and animals and gets along well with both children and adults, making them a popular choice for everyone. Pugs enjoy sleeping, though they are prone to snoring and snorting as a result of their flat faces and small nostrils, which restrict their breathing.
Grooming: While the Pug’s short coat requires little maintenance, it does shed. Take special care of your face and eyes, as those adorable facial wrinkles may accumulate dust and dirt.
Exercise:Daily walks or yard playtime are required for this breed.
The origin of the name “Pug” is unknown. According to one theory, the name derives from the Latin word “pugnus,” which means “fist,” because a fist resembles the wrinkled face of this adorable breed.
The Shih Tzu’s petite stature and bright eyes have enchanted humans for generations — and continue to do so.
Temperament: Shih Tzus are cheerful companions who sparkle with friendliness. They are excellent for families with younger children. Due to the fact that their forefathers spent the majority of their time lounging in royal Chinese palaces, this breed naturally makes a happy lapdog.
Grooming: If a Shih Tzu’s coat is to remain long and flowing, it must be brushed daily and the hair in front of the face should be kept in a topknot (tied up neatly and away from the eyes). You can also keep the coat short—which requires less grooming and does not require a topknot.
Exercise: This breed thrives on a daily walk or brief indoor playtime.
Because Shih Tzus were the exclusive pets of Chinese emperors, they lived behind the walls of royal kingdoms and were largely unknown to the outside world until the 1930s.
The Dachshund is an instantly recognisable breed available in miniature and standard sizes and an array of colours. They are extremely attractive and entertaining dogs.
Temperament: Dachshunds are unmatched in their self-confidence and bravery, a reminder that they were bred to fight the ferocious badger. They adore their pet parents, are devoted protectors of their family, and can be a little stubborn at times. This breed is a cross between a hound and a terrier, which makes them independent and feisty dogs.
Grooming: Compared to other Dachshund varieties, the smooth-coated Dachshund has a short coat that requires the least amount of grooming. Meanwhile, the longhaired variety requires more frequent grooming and sheds most of the three varieties (though other breeds shed more!). To keep a wire-haired Dachshund’s coat neat, it must be brushed frequently and trimmed.
Exercise: This breed benefits from several daily walks. The walks should not be strenuous, as a Dachshund is not built for such activity.
Fun fact: Dachshunds, frequently referred to as “wiener dogs,” actually inspired the name of the hotdog, not the other way around. According to hot-dog.org, the hotdog’s original name was “Dachshund sausage.”
Bonus in the list – Our Favourites Cavapoo & Havanese
The cavapoo( a.k.a caboodles) is an instantly recognisable crossbreed – A cross between Cavalier King Charles and poodles. They are extremely attractive and entertaining dogs.
Temperament: Cavoodles are unmatched in their self-confidence and loving nature. Crossbred dogs have the best trait of their purebred parents and they have a learning nature, playfulness and are sociable.
Grooming: Cavapoo puppies are hypoallergenic and are totally fit for people with asthma & allergies. They have fur styles ranging from coarse and curly to silky and straight. Grooming needs attention and time to keep their coat clean and soft. Regular bathing and daily brushing help to prevent tangles. Regular clipping and professional grooming every 4 to 6 weeks are recommended.
Exercise: This breed benefits from daily 30 min walks. The walks should not be strenuous, as a cavapoo is not built for such activity.
Cavapoo Coating: Cavapoos poo? Yes, however, most owners report almost no shedding because it is so minimal. Their coat type, DNA, generation, and sire (dad) and dam (mum) can all affect how much they shed. Regardless, they are an excellent alternative for allergy sufferers.
We have written an article on cacapoo coating-cavapoo Coating: How to take care of your cavapoo Coatings
Read this Blog –Pros and Cons of Owning a Cavapoo To know more about cavapoo breed
Fun fact: Cavapoo puppies have great learning aptitude and they respond well to training techniques. Cavapoo puppies are also therapy dogs as they have a sweet nature and love for humans.
Read these articles to know more about cavapoos:
- 10 Effective methods to bond with your cavapoo
- Do cavapoos like to cuddle?
- Costs of owning a cavapoo
- Calming down a cavapoo
They’re smart, extroverted, and don’t need a lot of space. Learn more about Havanese puppies and dogs.
They were known as the Havana Silk Dog because of their beautiful, flowing locks. The Havanese is a smart, friendly, and clownish toy breed. The Havanese is a little lapdog that is ideal for city dwellers and apartment dwellers.
Temperament: The Havanese Dog is a natural extrovert who enjoys entertaining.
He gets along nicely with youngsters and pets of all sizes, including family cats. This dog’s loving temperament makes him a popular therapy dog.
While small, a Havanese can bark confidently and warn his family of any danger, including the mailman. An early introduction to new people, animals, and situations will help a Havanese puppy feel more at ease.
Grooming: The Havanese’s flowing coat won’t brush itself! Brush him a couple of times a week to prevent mats and knots. Some Havanese owners get their hair cut or corded to save time. The Havanese sheds very little, so you won’t have to worry about flying fur.
Exercise: This breed benefits from daily 30 min walks. The walks should not be strenuous, as a Built is not built for such activity.
In addition, because Havanese is a petite breed, regular dental cleanings at the vet’s office—or brushing at home—can assist. They have the same number of teeth as any other dog, including big breeds. They’re just crammed into a little mouth.”
We have written an article on Is Havanese a Good First dog
About the Author: Dog Behavioural Consultant
Jennifer W loves Pets! She is an animal lover. She loves caring for and sharing her knowledge of all kinds of pets.
Her Love for pets made her Join the pet paws hub Team, to share knowledge with the world.
Jennifer W – Dog Behavioural Consultant