Discover the top 27 best small dog breeds for families. Get insights on popular and lesser-known breeds. Choose the right dog for your family’s lifestyle.
Dogs are known as man’s best friend for a reason. They provide companionship, protection, and unconditional love. However, choosing the right dog breed for your family is crucial.
It’s important to consider factors such as size, temperament, activity level, and grooming requirements before bringing a dog into your home. Small dog breeds have become increasingly popular amongst families due to their compact size and charming personalities.
They make great indoor pets and are well-suited for apartment living. But with so many small dog breeds, it can be overwhelming to determine which is best for your family’s lifestyle.
This post will discuss the importance of choosing the right dog breed for families and highlight the advantages of owning a small dog breed.
We will also provide an overview of the 27 best small dog breeds for families based on temperament, exercise, and grooming requirements.
Choosing the Right Dog: Best Small Dog Breeds for Families
Choosing the right dog breed is crucial to ensuring that you and your furry friend have a happy life together. Dogs come in all shapes and sizes with varying temperaments and energy levels.
It’s important to do research before bringing home a new pet to ensure you find one that fits well within your family dynamic.
For example, if you have young children at home, you’ll want to choose a breed that is friendly towards children and has a low risk of aggression or biting incidents.
Similarly, if you live in an apartment or small home without access to outdoor space regularly, you’ll want to select a breed that doesn’t require excessive exercise or extensive outdoor playtime. Additionally, certain breeds require more grooming than others.
If you don’t have ample time or resources available for grooming responsibilities such as frequent brushing or professional grooming appointments every few weeks, then it may be better suited to find another breed.
By considering all these factors, choosing the right dog breed for your family will ensure a happy and healthy relationship between you and your new pet.
Best Small Dog Breeds for Families: Advantages
Small dog breeds offer many advantages that make them popular amongst families. They tend to be more suitable for apartment or condo living due to their size, and they don’t require as much exercise as their larger counterparts.
Additionally, small dogs are more manageable when it comes to grooming since they have less fur. In terms of temperament, small dogs often exhibit an endearing personality that makes them particularly lovable.
They are known for being affectionate lap dogs who enjoy spending time with their owners but can also be independent when necessary. Small dogs are also generally easier to train compared to larger breeds.
Overall, owning a small dog can benefit families who want the companionship of a dog owner’s best friend without the added responsibility or space requirements that come with owning a large breed.
The next section will provide an overview of the 27 best small dog breeds that make great additions to any family dynamic.
Best Small Dog Breeds for Families: Popular Breeds
Beagle: The Lovable Hound
The Beagle is a popular small dog breed that makes for an excellent family pet. They are known for their friendly and lovable personalities, making them great companions for both adults and children.
Beagles are also highly trainable, so they can be easily taught basic commands and tricks. As a bonus, they have a short coat that requires minimal grooming.
Boston Terrier: The American Gentleman
The Boston Terrier is a small breed that has earned the nickname of “the American Gentleman” due to its tuxedo-like markings. They have a playful and affectionate personality that makes them great with children and adults alike.
They are also known for being highly adaptable to apartment living, making them an ideal choice for families living in smaller spaces.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel: The Royal Companion
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a regal-looking small dog breed with a gentle temperament that makes it ideal for families with children.
They are affectionate, loyal, and easy to train. Cavaliers love nothing more than spending time with their owners, whether it’s snuggled up on the couch or going on long walks outdoors.
Chihuahua: The Mighty Miniature
The Chihuahua is one of the smallest dog breeds in existence, but don’t let their size fool you – they have big personalities! These tiny dogs are full of energy and spunk, making them an entertaining addition to any family. Chihuahuas are also known for being fiercely loyal to their owners and protective of their homes.
Cocker Spaniel: The Classic Family Pet
Cocker Spaniels have been popular family pets for decades due to their friendly and gentle personalities. They are also highly adaptable to different lifestyles and living situations, making them a versatile choice for families. Cocker Spaniels are known for their long, silky coats that require regular grooming, but the effort is worth it for their charming appearance.
Dachshund: The Little Hot Dog
The Dachshund, also known as the “Wiener Dog,” is a small breed with a distinctive long body and short legs. They have an energetic personality and love to play, making them great companions for children and adults alike. Dachshunds can be stubborn at times but with proper training, they make loyal and loving pets.
French Bulldog: The Trendy Companion
French Bulldogs have become increasingly popular in recent years due to their trendy appearance and affectionate personalities. They are small in size but big on personality, often described as playful yet calm.
Frenchies are also highly adaptable to different living situations, making them ideal for families living in smaller spaces.
Havanese: The Cuban Charmer
The Havanese is a small breed originating from Cuba but has become increasingly popular worldwide due to its lovable personality. They are affectionate and social dogs that thrive on human interaction. Havanese dogs have long coat that requires daily grooming, but their adorable looks make it worth the effort.
Jack Russell Terrier: The Energetic Explorer
The Jack Russell Terrier is a small breed with boundless energy and intelligence. They love to explore the outdoors and make great companions for active families who enjoy hiking or other outdoor activities.
While they can be stubborn at times, Jack Russells are highly trainable dogs that thrive on mental stimulation.
Maltese: The Fluffy Lapdog
The Maltese is a small breed with a long, silky coat that requires daily grooming. They are affectionate and loyal dogs that make great lap dogs for families looking for a cuddly companion. Maltese dogs also have a playful side, making them great for families with children.
Miniature Pinscher: The Mighty Miniature
The Miniature Pinscher is often called the “King of Toys” due to their confident and fearless personality. They have a sleek coat that requires minimal grooming and are highly adaptable to different living situations. While they may be small in size, Min Pins have big personalities that make them entertaining companions.
Papillon: The Butterfly Dog
Papillons are named after the French word for butterfly due to their distinctive ears that resemble butterfly wings. They have an energetic personality and love to play, making them great companions for families with children. Papillons are also highly intelligent dogs that excel in obedience training.
Pekingese: The Regal Lapdog
The Pekingese is a small breed with a luxurious coat that requires daily grooming. They have a regal appearance and can be quite stubborn at times but their affectionate nature makes them loyal lapdogs for families looking for a cuddly companion.
Pomeranian: The Fluffy Ball of Energy
Pomeranians are small dogs with big personalities – they love attention and lots of it! They have thick coats that require daily grooming, but their adorable looks make it worth the effort. Poms make great pets for families who want an energetic and playful companion.
Poodle: The Elegant Show Dog
Poodles come in three different sizes – toy, miniature, and standard – but all share an elegant appearance and intelligent personality. They have curly coats that require regular grooming, but their dignified appearance makes it worth the effort. Poodles are also highly trainable and make great pets for families looking for smart and loyal companions.
Pug: The Comical Companion
Pugs are known for their comical personalities and wrinkled faces, making them a popular choice for families looking for a dog with a unique appearance. They have a laid-back nature that makes them great pets for apartment living. Pugs do shed quite a bit, but their charming personality more than makes up for it.
Shetland Sheepdog (Sheltie): The Loyal Herder
The Shetland Sheepdog, also known as the Sheltie, is a small breed that resembles the larger Collie breed. They have an affectionate personalities and excel in obedience training, making them ideal pets for families who want an intelligent and loyal companion.
Shih Tzu: The Adorable Lapdog
The Shih Tzu is a small breed with a long, flowing coat that requires daily grooming. They have an affectionate personality, making them great lap dogs for families looking for cuddly companions. Shih Tzus can be stubborn at times but with proper training, they make loyal and loving pets.
Tox Fox Terrier: The Spunky Hunter
The Toy Fox Terrier is a small breed with big energy – they love to play! They have short coats requiring minimal grooming and are great pets for active families who enjoy outdoor activities. Toy Fox Terriers are highly trainable dogs that excel in obedience training.
West Highland White Terrier (Westie): The Scottish Charmer
West Highland White Terriers, also known as Westies, are small breeds with adorable scruffy coats that require regular grooming. They have lively personalities and love to play outdoors.
Westies are highly adaptable to different living situations, making them a great choice for families who want an energetic and loyal companion.
Overall, these small dog breeds offer a variety of personalities and traits that make them great choices for families. From affectionate lap dogs to energetic explorers, there is a small breed out there for every family dynamic.
Less Common Small Dog Breeds for Families
Affenpinscher: The Charismatic Companion
The Affenpinscher is an excellent dog breed for families with older children who can handle a small dog. These small and charismatic companions are lively, affectionate, and always ready to play.
They are intelligent dogs that can be trained easily and require moderate exercise. However, it’s important to note that they have a high prey drive, so it’s crucial to supervise them around smaller pets such as cats.
Bichon Frise: The Happy-Go-Lucky Pal
The Bichon Frise is a happy-go-lucky companion that loves to snuggle up with family members. They are gentle in nature, making them ideal for families with younger children.
These furry friends are also highly adaptable and don’t need much space to keep them happy and healthy. Although they require regular grooming due to their fluffy coat, this breed is perfect for families seeking a low-shedding dog.
Brussels Griffon: The Lively Entertainer
The Brussels Griffon is an energetic little dog that loves entertaining its family members with its playful antics. This breed requires daily exercise but doesn’t need too much space to run around in – making them perfect apartment dogs! While these pups can be independent at times, they form strong bonds with their owners and make excellent companions for families seeking an affectionate and loyal pet.
Cairn Terrier: The Adventurous Buddy
The Cairn Terrier is a brave little adventurer that loves exploring the great outdoors! This high-energy breed requires plenty of exercise but will happily join you on your daily walk or hike in the mountains.
Their friendly nature makes them great around children and other pets alike; however, their natural instinct to chase smaller animals should be monitored. Their loyal and affectionate personality makes them an excellent choice for families seeking a small dog with a big heart.
Chihuahua (Long Coat and Smooth Coat): The Loyal Lapdog
The Chihuahua is undoubtedly the most recognizable small dog breed, but did you know there are both long-haired and short-haired varieties?
These loyal lap dogs are often seen as fashion accessories due to their tiny size but make no mistake. They are full of personality!
They adore cuddling up with their owners but can be prone to anxiety if not socialized correctly. However, with proper training and early socialization, they make excellent companions for families seeking a loyal lapdog.
Chinese Crested: The Unique Companion
The Chinese Crested is a unique-looking breed that has hairless or furry varieties. They have lively personalities and love nothing more than being around people.
This breed requires daily attention regarding their skincare routine, making them perfect for those looking for a high-maintenance dog.
While they’re not ideal for families with young children due to their fragility, they make excellent companions for older children who can handle them gently.
Dandie Dinmont Terrier: The Courageous Defender
The Dandie Dinmont Terrier is a courageous defender that loves protecting its family members. They’re naturally friendly dogs that bond closely to their family members but can only be wary of strangers with proper socialization.
Despite their protective nature, these pups require moderate exercise and don’t need much space to keep them happy – making them perfect apartment dogs!
Final Thoughts: Best Small Dog Breeds for Families
Choosing the right small dog breed for your family can seem overwhelming; however, selecting one that matches your lifestyle and personality is essential. With so many options available, you’re sure to find a breed that is perfect for you and your family.
Always consider the time, attention, and care required when selecting a breed for your family. With proper training and socialization, any of the 27 best small dog breeds can make an excellent addition to your household – providing years of companionship and love.