The small dog breeds are known for their compact, manageable size. In some instances, their petite size benefited their working or hunting abilities, as they were able to go into spaces that their owners (and larger dogs) couldn’t reach. Other times, they were simply endearing pet companions and lap dogs. Small dogs are typically easier to transport than large breeds, and they typically cost less to feed and medicate than larger animals.
We have compiled a list of the top 10 small dogs to have as pets.
There are several types of small dogs, including those that are very compact and low to the ground and those that are tall and lanky. Dogs under 10kgs are generally considered to be small. While some small dog breeds like to be crated and cuddled, others have more energy than their larger counterparts. To find the right breed to adapt to life in a small house, try to choose one with a calm temperament.
Despite their small size, small dogs still possess huge personalities, which means that they benefit from consistent training and positive reinforcement. And even the smallest, low-energy dogs still require daily physical activity to keep their minds stimulated.
1. Yorkshire Terrier
It’s common for Yorkshire terriers to be carried or to sit on their owners’ laps, but they’re not a wimpy dog. Yorkies make up for their small size with big personalities. They can be excellent watchdogs, alerting you to any movement around the house. Nonetheless, they are first and foremost affectionate companions and do not require much space to get adequate exercise.
The dachshund has many nicknames, including doxie, wiener dog, sausage dog, hot dog and more. Obviously, these names refer to the breed’s distinct appearance. Dachshunds can come in standard or miniature sizes, the latter being ideal for small-dog enthusiasts. They are affectionate with their families but can be wary of strangers.
There are three sizes of poodles: toy, miniature, and standard. A standard dog is relatively large, while a miniature or toy falls into the category of small dogs. The smaller poodles are known for their longevity, intelligence, and curly coats. Although they can be loving companions, they require activity to keep them entertained. Poodles are smaller than the average dog, so they don’t need as much space to run around.
4. Shih Tzu
The Shih Tzu breed originated as a companion dog, which is why it is the poster dog for lap dogs. Many owners trim the coat short to make maintenance easier on these dogs, but they have long, silky hair. Generally, they have an alert, confident disposition and are fairly hardy.
5. Miniature Schnauzer
Schnauzers are spunky little dogs with a friendly, yet tough personality. The terrier that has a distinctive beard is very loyal and protective towards its family, which is apparent by its distinctive grooming. Known as a vocal breed, it requires a solid foundation of training. Even so, with daily walks and playtime, it’s suitable for a small home.
Chihuahuas are the smallest dogs in the world and are often carried around in carriers, but they have huge personalities. Chihuahuas are loyal and lovable, but they are also sweet and sassy, with a very ‘tough dog’ attitude. They bond closely with their favorite humans, but are wary of others. Their small size means that they don’t need a lot of space to play and burn off energy.
They are jovial little dogs. The pug was once the pet of royalty and companion of Tibetan monks. Affectionate, even-tempered, and adaptable to many different situations, they can live in small places, too. However, they do have a tendency to develop breathing problems and eye issues, so regular health checkups are essential.
Their long, fluffy coat makes them look like a cross between a stuffed animal and a tiny lion. Intense loyalty to their family tends to make them alert and bossy dogs. Training and boundaries are necessary to control their strong-willed nature. Since they are small, a couple of daily walks and playtime should suffice to meet their exercise needs.
9. Boston Terrier
Boston Terriers are cheerful, loyal, and even-tempered dogs. It was created by crossing an English bulldog with a white English terrier and named after the city where it was created. Bostons tend to be playful, but they also enjoy spending time on their owners’ laps. In general, they are very adaptable to apartment living.
The Maltese are known for their gentle, yet brave disposition. Dogs of this breed are usually playful, friendly, and attached to their families. The breed dates back to ancient times, when it was the favorite companion of royalty and nobility. Maltese dogs today love to be pampered and don’t require a lot of space.
Breeds to Avoid
For small-dog owners, it might seem obvious to stay away from large dogs, such as German shepherds and Siberian huskies. It’s just as important to rule out any undesirable characteristics, such as high energy levels or the need for vigorous exercise, before choosing a breed. Many small- to medium-sized dogs, such as Jack Russell terriers, have high activity needs and might not be suitable for small spaces.
If you need Pet Insurance for your small dog, speak to us to get cover.