Small Dog Breeds – Is A Small Dog Right For You?

The popularity of Small Dog Breeds

Today there is even greater interest in finding a pet listed among the favourite small dog breeds. Smaller dogs such as Cocker Spaniels, Beagles, Poodles, Yorkies, Maltese, and Wire-Haired Terriers have always had their share of fans but now movies, television shows, and A-list Hollywood celebrities have made owning a small dog a trendy fashion statement.

No one should select a pet just because they are impressed with the clever small dog breeds represented in a blockbuster movie or best-selling book, but there will be those who choose a dog simply because they think the animal ”looked cute.” Responsible pet owners know that there are many other reasons for the continuing popularity of small dog breeds over the years.

A small dog may be ideal for you or your family but take the time to think about all of the facts before you rush to bring one of these furry canines into your home. Popular appeal should not be the main reason that you are choosing one of these dogs. You should select one of the small dog breeds only if you understand the time and commitment that pet ownership involves.

Why Choose a Small Dog Breed

There are several reasons why you might want to consider choosing a small breed of dog. These are wonderful dogs that can fit perfectly into many different settings. A little dog can feel at home on a large farm in a rural setting, in a suburban home, or even in a condo.

Many people gravitate toward small dog breeds because they feel that these animals allow them to be more nurturing due to the dog size. Small dogs’ petite size also makes it easier to house, exercise, feed, and transport them.

Advantages of Owning Small Dogs


The advantages of owning small dog breeds can tip the scale in favour of these pint-sized pets:

  • It costs less to feed a smaller dog than it does to provide for the larger breeds.
  • If you need to travel or board your pet, it is easier to do when your dog is a small dog breed.
  • Smaller dogs are well suited for life indoors, and they generally make great ”couch potatoes.”
  • If you enjoy sharing your home, bed, and daily routine with a four-footed canine, a small dog is a perfect choice.
  • These dogs are easier to control during exercise, play periods, and walks than their larger, stockier counterparts.
  • These dogs can be very noisy, which means they are good at alerting the household if a stranger should approach. This is not the same as being a good guard dog, however.
  • Many of the small dog breeds seem to be born into a life of pampering, which means you can usually adorn them with couture outfits, bows, boots, and sweaters without too much fuss and bother.
  • The small size of these dogs has generated a booming business regarding dog products such as treats, clothing, beds, and other canine accessories. If you want to dress your pup to the ”nines” and colour coordinates their wardrobe to match yours, then a small dog breed is the one you want.

Disadvantages of Owning Small Dogs

Of course, you should also consider that there will also be a few drawbacks related to owning a small dog:

  • Small dog breeds can require a lot of time at the groomers, which adds to their upkeep expense
  • Small dogs can be stubborn and difficult to train, especially since their tiny size causes many owners to baulk when it comes to setting rules
  • Although these dogs are often very loyal and protective, they are not going to be good guard dogs due to their diminutive size
  • Small dog breeds can be injured more easily than larger dogs.
  • Even a slight illness can mean a trip to the vet if it involves a tiny breed of dog.

Grooming for Small Dog Breeds

The long-haired dogs will require more frequent grooming. A monthly trip to the groomers is not enough to keep these animals in peak condition. Owners will have to take into consideration the fact that daily grooming at home is a must.

Best Small Dog Breeds for People with Allergies

If you stop to think about it, no dog is truly hypoallergenic. All dogs will shed at least a few hairs and bits of dander, although some breeds are less prone to aggravate allergy symptoms for members of your household.

If allergies are a problem, you will be better off selecting small dog breeds such as Maltese, a toy poodle, some of the Chihuahua breeds, or even a regal Mini-Pinscher. These dogs have coats that shed much less than many other small dogs, and poodles are often considered one of the best breeds for canine-loving allergy sufferers.

Top Small Dog Breeds:

  • Poodles
  • Rat Terriers
  • Dachshunds
  • Papillon
  • Yorkie
  • Maltese
  • Chinese Crested Chihuahua
  • Chihuahua
  • Cocker Spaniels
  • Mini-Schnauzer
  • Affenpinscher

Size Counts for Dogs

When someone is discussing small dog breeds, they are most likely referring to a dog with a height less than 16 inches and a weight that is less than 22 pounds. However, in the broadest sense, any dog that weighs less than 40 pounds can also be classified as ”small”. These are just general guidelines for you to use when looking for a breed of dog that truly fits the definition of “small.”

Some people also use other categories to differentiate size differences in the small dog breeds. For most purposes, a tiny dog weighs between 5-12 pounds, a miniature dog weighs 13-25 pounds, and for dogs weighing less than 5 pounds, the term ”pocket breed” is also applicable.

It is up to you to choose which of the small breed dogs you want to bring into your home. You can easily find small dogs such as the tiny toy poodle weighing about 4.5 pounds, as you can a Staffordshire Bull Terrier that weighs about 25-35 pounds.

Choosing Small Dog Breeds is a Personal Preference

Remember that each canine is an individual and may or may not have all of the characteristics listed for that particular breed of dog. You need to determine what type of dog you are looking for in advance so you can narrow the scope of your search.

Most small dog breeds can interact well with kids, adults, and other animals if given proper socialization, training, and discipline. It is up to the owner to make sure that their dog is aware of the rules early in the game and that consistency is maintained in both discipline and daily routine.

There are small dog breeds that are:

  • Low maintenance
  • High maintenance
  • High energy
  • Laidback
  • Social
  • Aloof
  • Playful
  • Easily trained

Once you determine which breed of dog will fit perfectly into your home and lifestyle, you can then begin choosing the perfect fit dog.