Small dogs are often seen as easier to care for than larger dogs. You can carry them anywhere, whether by hand or in a doggy purse. They also don’t require much space, making them ideal for puppy parents with small apartments. Also, who can deny the cuteness that many small dogs seem to have?
What most dog parents don’t know is that small dogs almost always have big personalities. We mean it—many little dogs don’t realize (or don’t care) about their small size, and can be hard work to keep them happy.
If you think your home needs a small four-legged family member, here are 10 popular breeds that make terrific pets!
Standing at only 5-8 inches tall, the Chihuahua is one of the smallest dogs in the world. Their tiny size, however, is nothing compared to their big personalities. Chihuahuas are known for their sassy and charming attitude in everything they do. If not trained or socialized properly, these little pooches will display a “big-dog” demeanor around the house, and may try to rule over you. They can be lovable, affectionate and loyal furry friends with the right family.
2. Miniature Schnauzer
Known for its thick, wiry coat and long beard, the Miniature Schnauzer is an active little dog that’s both friendly and tough. These pooches are fiercely loyal and protective over their loved ones—sometimes a little too much. They’re very vocal, and tend to bark loudly at any strangers and unfamiliar guests they see. Because of this, you will need to socialize and train your Miniature Schnauzer puppy early so they can grow accustomed to seeing new faces. Fortunately, this breed is quite smart and easy to train!
3. Yorkshire Terrier
A popular breed among dog lovers, the Yorkshire Terrier is a small yet sturdy pooch that’s won the hearts of many over the years. Yorkies are most known for their beautiful, glossy coat that can be styled in numerous ways. And yet despite their glossy beauty, these little dogs can be very tomboyish, often displaying their bossy side to their owners. This breed also makes for a great watchdog, and their bark will alert you to anything going on in your home. They shine best as a furry companion to their families!
4. Shih Tzu
There’s something deeply charming about the Shih Tzu. With their small stature, gleaming brown eyes, and long, lustrous coat, Shih Tzus has been a longtime favorite breed. And like their Yorkie cousins, these furry cuties prefer curling up on your lap for a good cuddle session! We mean it, Shih Tzus are super affectionate and outgoing, and always want to be at your side. They aren’t meant for the outdoors either, which means they require just a little exercise to be physically fit.
The Maltese is a small dog with straight, white silky fur and a charming yet bold nature. They’re very lively and affectionate creatures, and don’t mind being flaunted as “purse dogs.” Although often mistaken as too prissy, Maltese puppies are fearless, and will bark at any strangers. This breed can be stubborn and independent, but with enough training, the Maltese is a wonderful furry friend that is happy to make new friends!
Mischievous and high-spirited, the Pug is well known for its round head, large eyes, and wrinkled face. Pugs normally stand 10-13 inches tall, making them an ideal furry companion for just about anyone. Pugs tend to be very happy and playful little pooches. They enjoy being around other people, and do well with families that have young children. They are rarely aggressive and can adapt to small living spaces. With enough care and attention, Pugs may just be the furry soulmate you’re looking for!
7. Italian Greyhound
The Italian Greyhound is a slender, elegant-looking dog that enjoys running just as much as it likes being a couch potato. Its long, thin legs are a defining feature of this breed. Despite their slender build, Italian Greyhounds are pretty small, barely over a foot tall. This beautiful breed has a playful personality, often displaying a love for running and chasing after small animals. They are always on-alert, making them great watchdogs. Greyhounds can be highly sensitive to harsh training methods so be sure to use lots of doggy treats!
8. Brussels Griffon
The large, black eyes and fringed beard of the Brussels Griffon is enough to melt anyone’s heart! Brussels Griffon dogs are small (only 7-10 inches tall), but they possess a sturdy body and confident walk. They are sociable with both humans and other dogs, and can be friendly to strangers. They also love playing with their loved ones. Like Italian Greyhounds, these dogs can be very sensitive to negative training methods. They also do not do well with young children due to their small size. Because of their social and friendly personalities, they will attach themselves to their owners, giving them all the love their little hearts can give!
The Dachshund is not only cute, they’re also spunky and bold doggies! Dachshunds are almost unaware of their short stature—they are fearless and aren’t afraid to let you know it! Often, you will see a Dachshund peering out a window. That’s because they are very vigilant, and will alert you with their “big-dog” bark. In an effort to prove themselves, Dachshund may become too impulsive and even stubborn. Rewards-based training is the best way to win these guys over.
10. Cocker Spaniel
What’s not to love about the Cocker Spaniel? As the smallest member of the Sporting Group, the Cocker Spaniel is a gentle, intelligent, and merry little dog. Their beautiful, dreamy eyes and fluffy ears have earned them a place on many “popular dogs” lists over the years. These furry cuties are incredible with young children, and easy to train. Cockers need regular grooming to keep its coat lustrous and beautiful. They also need regular playtime sessions and walks to be happy and healthy!
Small dogs are a handful if not given the proper care and attention. Most of these breeds require special hands-on training to let them know who’s boss. Otherwise, they may try to rule over you and your household as a pack leader—trust us, that’s the last thing you want! We hope this list helps you find the perfect furry friend for you and your family.
Don’t forget to check out our blog, 6 Best Short-Haired Dog Breeds for more wonderful dog breeds to choose from!