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Dog Breeds

55 Best Small Dog Breeds

January 8, 2020
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55 Best Small Dog Breeds

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We hear this question all the time: What are the best small dog breeds?

The truth is, there’s no single answer to this question since size is just one factor to consider when you’re searching for a new best friend.

Personality, potential health issues, activity level, and grooming needs are some other things you’ll want to keep in mind.

The good news is that we’ve done the research for you! We have to admit that it was fun – after all, we love dogs large and small alike.

Since there’s no single best small dog breed (they’re all different!) we’re sharing our list of 55 amazing little dogs in alphabetical order. Enjoy!

#1 Affenpinscher

Affenpinscher
Photo by Erin Wilson on Unsplash

Have you ever seen an Affenpinscher? These adorable little dogs are as energetic as could be – perhaps that’s why their name literally translates to “Little Monkey” in German! With a shaggy coat, a mischievous face, and a very playful attitude, the Affenpinscher makes a loyal, intelligent companion.

Affenpinscher colors range from beige to black, with silver, grey, red, and black and tan colors being among the most common. They shed very little, but they do need regular bathing and nail trims. Unfortunately, affenpinschers are not the best with little kids but they’re among the best small dog breeds for mature, fairly active families.

Breed Overview:

  • Height: 9-11 inches
  • Weight: 7-10 pounds
  • Activity level: High
  • Grooming needs: Moderate
  • Shedding: Low
  • Hypoallergenic: Yes
  • Tendency to Bark: Low
  • Kid Friendliness: Moderate
  • Typical Price Range: $$$
  • Potential health issues: Musculoskeletal disorders

#2 American Cocker Spaniel

American Cocker Spaniel
Photo by Ashley Anderson on Unsplash

American Cocker Spaniels (Cockers, for short) were developed as hunting dogs, and are listed in AKC’s sporting group. Their soft, silky coats come in a variety of colors, so you have your pick of everything from blonde to black!

These days, most cocker spaniels are family pets – and there are lots of reasons why they’re so popular: They’re loyal, intelligent, easy to train, and great with children so long as boundaries are set. Since cocker spaniels can be shy, it’s very important to socialize pups from the very beginning. While these lovely little dogs need plenty of exercise each day, they’re happy to relax and nap between outings. If you’re looking for a small dog to share your apartment and accompany you on daily walks, a cocker spaniel might be the ideal choice.

Breed Overview:

  • Height: 13.5 -15.5 inches
  • Weight: 15-30 pounds
  • Activity Level: Moderate
  • Grooming needs: High
  • Shedding: Moderate
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Tendency to Bark: Moderate
  • Kid Friendliness: High
  • Typical Price Range: $-$$
  • Potential health issues: Ear problems

#3 American Eskimo Dog

American Eskimo Dog
Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

What’s fluffy, pure white, and cute as can be? The American Eskimo Dog, of course! These lovely pups come in standard, miniature, and toy sizes, with the smallest reaching a maximum height of just nine inches. American Eskimos may be small, but they pack a big personality.

Like their cousins, the huskies and malamutes, American Eskimos are very intelligent and highly trainable. On the downside, they can develop destructive tendencies if left alone and allowed to become bored. If you’re looking for a fantastic friend who will happily accompany you on adventures though, you can count the American Eskimo in!

Breed Overview:

  • Height: 9-15 inches
  • Weight: 5-20 pounds
  • Activity Level: High
  • Grooming needs: High
  • Shedding: High
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Tendency to Bark: High
  • Kid Friendliness: High
  • Typical Price Range: $$$
  • Potential health issues: Skin problems, diabetes, musculoskeletal disorders

#4 Beagle

Beagle
Photo by Marcus Wallis on Unsplash

Love big dogs but have a small home and yard? If so, you might want to consider a beagle. From the outset, these dogs are loving, loyal, and friendly. Their soft, short coats do shed but not quite as much as those of some other dogs.

Beagles need lots of attention and playtime. They’re best suited to active lifestyles, but once you’ve worn them out, they’re happy to relax with the family. Since beagles tend to follow their noses, they need plenty of training and a secure harness and leash for walks. As they can bark and howl when lonely, they’re best for people who spend plenty of time at home, or have multi-pet households.

Breed Overview:

  • Height: 13-16 inches
  • Weight: 16-30 pounds
  • Activity Level: High
  • Grooming needs: Low
  • Shedding: Moderate
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Tendency to Bark: High
  • Kid Friendliness: High
  • Typical Price Range: $
  • Potential health issues: Skin problems, musculoskeletal disorders

#5 Bichon Frise

Bichon Frise
Photo by Gabriel Crismariu on Unsplash

Besides being one of the best small dog breeds around, the Bichon Frise is among the most adaptable. These perky pups are happy to share a small apartment with you so long as they get daily walks, and they’re notorious for loving their couch time. Netflix, anyone?

With adorable white coats that can be left long or trimmed for far fewer tangles, the Bichon Frise doesn’t shed – perfect for those who need a hypoallergenic dog! Personality-wise, this pup has a very friendly attitude and plenty of intelligence. The Bichon is playful yet gentle, good with kids and other pets, and excellent all around.

Breed Overview:

  • Height: 9-11 inches
  • Weight: 6-13 pounds
  • Activity Level: Moderate
  • Grooming needs: High
  • Shedding: Low
  • Hypoallergenic: Yes
  • Tendency to Bark: Moderate to high
  • Kid Friendliness: High
  • Typical Price Range: $$$
  • Potential health issues: None

#6 Bolognese

Bolognese
Photo by Fredrik Öhlander on Unsplash

Wait, aren’t Bolognese and Bichon Frise the same? Yes and no. The Bolognese is related to the Bichon Frise – in fact, it’s sometimes called a Bichon Bolognese. Besides sharing a similar appearance, with a low-shedding white coat that can be tightly trimmed or allowed to grow longer, this adorable pup has a very friendly attitude toward people and pets in general.

There are a few personality differences between the Bolognese and the Bichon Frise, though. Bolognese are on the shyer side of the spectrum and they’re easily overwhelmed by eager, enthusiastic children. They’re a bit less playful and active than their close cousins, so if you’re looking for a dog to share an easygoing lifestyle, the Bolognese might be perfect.

Breed Overview:

  • Height: 10-12 inches
  • Weight: 6-9 pounds
  • Activity Level: Low
  • Grooming needs: High
  • Shedding: Low
  • Hypoallergenic: Yes
  • Tendency to Bark: Low to moderate
  • Kid Friendliness: High
  • Typical Price Range: $$$
  • Potential health issues: Skin problems, eye disease

#7 Boston Terrier

Boston Terrier
Photo by IgorTheGoodBoy on IG — Boston Terrier on Unsplash

With their short, shiny brindle or black-and-white coats and their adorable little mugs, Boston Terriers are friendly, intelligent, joyful little dogs who are thrilled to spend time with their owners. They like kids and they tend to get on well with other pets. At they same time, they’re proud to raise the alarm whenever anyone knocks at the door.

Boston terriers take some time to train as they have ideas of their own, but with time and patience, they learn basic obedience and fun tricks. They need a bit less exercise than many other small dog breeds do, making them one of the best choices for people who prefer lower activity levels. Since extra weight can contribute to joint problems, it’s important to keep your Boston terrier fit and trim.

Breed Overview:

  • Height: 15-17 inches
  • Weight: 15-25 pounds
  • Activity Level: Moderate
  • Grooming needs: Low
  • Shedding: Moderate
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Tendency to Bark: High
  • Kid Friendliness: High
  • Typical Price Range: $$-$$$
  • Potential health issues: Eye injuries, breathing difficulties, joint problems, allergies

#8 Brussels Griffon

Brussels Griffon
Photo by FLOUFFY on Unsplash

The Brussels Griffon is closely related to the affenpinscher – take a look at these two side by side, and you’ll see that there are quite a few similarities! Like its cousin, this wonderful pup is an excellent choice for someone who wants lots of personality and playfulness in a compact package.

There are two types of Brussels Griffon: Smooth and Rough. The smooth variety has a short, softer coat, while the rough variety has a very wiry, tough haircoat. Both varieties are red, black, or black and red in color. Both are friendly, dependable, and playful. They aren’t the best with other small pets, but they do tend to get on well with children. If you’re looking for an active companion with a cheerful attitude and lots of personality, then you’ll probably enjoy life with a Brussels Griffon.

Breed Overview:

  • Height: 7-8 inches
  • Weight: 5-11 pounds
  • Activity Level: Moderate
  • Grooming needs: Moderate
  • Shedding: Low
  • Hypoallergenic: Yes
  • Tendency to Bark: High
  • Kid Friendliness: Moderate to high
  • Typical Price Range: $$$
  • Potential health issues: Eye injuries, breathing difficulties

#9 Cardigan Welsh Corgi

cardigan welsh corgi
Photo by Caleb Fisher on Unsplash

Playful, smart, courageous, and best for experienced dog owners, the Cardigan Welsh Corgi comes in a compact package but has plenty of personality! Their coats come in a full spectrum of colors and only shed moderately; a bit of daily brushing, nail trims, and regular bathing are all that these pups need in terms of grooming.

Sized for apartment-dwellers and happy with a couple of short walks each day, Cardigan Welsh Corgis love to play with toys with you or all on their own – they can be very entertaining to watch! They’re OK with older children but can attempt to herd younger ones, even nipping around the ankles as so many herding breeds do. They’ll also attempt to herd small pets, but are otherwise very friendly toward familiar people and animals.

Cardigan Welsh Corgis often distrust strangers so be sure to make socialization a priority if you decide that this is the best small dog breed for your lifestyle.

Breed Overview:

  • Height: 10.5 – 12 inches
  • Weight: 24 – 37 inches
  • Activity Level: Moderate
  • Grooming needs: Low
  • Shedding: Moderate
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Tendency to Bark: High
  • Kid Friendliness: Moderate
  • Typical Price Range: $$-$$$
  • Potential health issues: Eye disorders, back trouble

#10 Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Photo by Hannah Oliver on Unsplash

One look, and your heart will melt. Meet the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel! This lovely red and white dog has a soft, silky coat, lovely round eyes, and an adorable button nose.

Since looks aren’t everything, let’s talk personality. The King Charles Cavalier Spaniel has it all: A friendly demeanor, a kind attitude toward children and other pets, and a willingness to learn new things and experience life by your side. The only “downside?” These pups need plenty of grooming to keep their coats in tip-top shape. Make brushing part of your daily bonding ritual, and both of you will look forward to grooming time.

Breed Overview:

  • Height: 11-13 inches
  • Weight: 11-18 pounds
  • Activity Level: Moderate
  • Grooming needs: High
  • Shedding: Low to moderate
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Tendency to Bark: Low to moderate
  • Kid Friendliness: High
  • Typical Price Range: $$$
  • Potential health issues: Heart disease, eye disease, musculoskeletal disorders

#11 Chihuahua

Chihuahua
Photo by Alicia Gauthier on Unsplash

A short coat, a “big dog” personality in a tiny body, and a playful attitude: The Chihuahua has it all! This perky little pup has claim to fame as the world’s smallest dog breed. Its short coat makes it the natural choice for someone who’s looking for a low-maintenance pup, and its Mexican heritage makes it ideal for those who live in warm climates. Long-haired chihuahuas are available, but can be difficult to find.

Chihuahuas come in every color imaginable. Extremely intelligent and very active, they are charming companions who require good training from the outset to prevent bad habits from setting in. Chihuahuas can be great family dogs, but kids will need to remember that it’s easy to injure a tiny pup. Lots of daily play and exercise will keep you Chihuahua in good health.

Breed Overview:

  • Height: 6-9 inches
  • Weight: 2-7 pounds
  • Activity Level: Moderate
  • Grooming needs: Low
  • Shedding: Moderate
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Tendency to Bark: High
  • Kid Friendliness: Moderate to high
  • Typical Price Range: $-$$
  • Potential health issues: Eye disorders, hypoglycemia, heart disease

#12 Dachshund

Dachshund
Photo by Henry & Co. on Unsplash

The beloved “Doxie” or “Weiner Dog” is among the most loyal and loving around. With short legs, long bodies, long, flappy ears, and wagging tails, it’s no surprise that they’re among the most popular small dog breeds around. Best for people who have moderate to lower activity lifestyles, these dogs don’t need a ton of exercise – just enough to keep excess weight off will do.

There are actually six different types of dachshund, including the classic black and tan smooth-haired variety, miniature smooth haired, wire haired, miniature wire haired, long haired, and miniature long haired. Since dachshunds were developed to hunt burrowing animals, you’ll find that they love to dig. A sandbox makes the perfect addition to any dachshund’s backyard, where they’ll happily play with you, children, and other pets.

Breed Overview:

  • Height: 5-10 inches
  • Weight: 9-25 pounds
  • Activity Level: Low
  • Grooming needs: Short-haired – low; Long and wire haired – high
  • Shedding: Low to Moderate
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Tendency to Bark: Moderate to high
  • Kid Friendliness: Moderate to High
  • Typical Price Range: $$-$$$
  • Potential health issues: Spinal problems, elbow dysplasia, diabetes, epilepsy

#13 Dandie Dinmont Terrier

Dandie Dinmont Terrier
Photo by zibik on Unsplash

Like most terriers, the Dandie Dinmont has a personality that’s as stubborn as it is silly. These wonderful dogs are favorites for their loyalty, but they have a tendency to be very shy with strangers.

Dandie Dinmont terriers are happy to play on their own, and they’re content with short daily walks although they can easily keep up with families who are more active. They have hard topcoats with soft undercoats, and shed very little.

The Dandie Dinmont is nearly perfect. One downside: This breed has a very high prey drive, and has been known to injure cats and other small animals unless raised alongside them.

Breed Overview:

  • Height: 8-11 inches
  • Weight: 17-24 pounds
  • Activity Level: Low
  • Grooming needs: Moderate
  • Shedding: Low
  • Hypoallergenic: Yes
  • Tendency to Bark: Moderate to high
  • Kid Friendliness: High
  • Typical Price Range: $$-$$$
  • Potential health issues: Spinal problems, thyroid disease, cushings, glaucoma

#14 English Cocker Spaniel

English Cocker Spaniel
Photo by Ja San Miguel on Unsplash

Are you surprised to learn that there are different types of cocker spaniels? Like the American cocker, the English cocker spaniel is cheerful, affectionate, and adorable, with a long, silky coat that requires plenty of attention each day.

Lively and outgoing, English cockers need more exercise than their American cousins. They’re friendly toward children and other pets, but they have minds of their own and do best with families who provide consistent training and boundaries. English cocker spaniels are usually red, black, blue, or liver colored. Some have white markings and others have roan spots. If you’re looking for a small, energetic family dog with a loyal, cheerful attitude, you might find that the English cocker spaniel is the ideal pet.

Breed Overview:

  • Height: 15-16 inches
  • Weight: 28-32 pounds
  • Activity Level: High
  • Grooming needs: High
  • Shedding: Low to moderate
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Tendency to Bark: Moderate
  • Kid Friendliness: Moderate to High
  • Typical Price Range: $$-$$$
  • Potential health issues: Eye disease, epilepsy, hypothyroidism, heart disease

#15 English Toy Spaniel

English Toy Spaniel
Photo on shutterstock.com

Looking for a wonderful little lap dog? The English Toy Spaniel might be perfect for the job. While shy around strangers, these loyal dogs are usually wonderful with children and other pets. They need less exercise than the average dog, but they don’t do well when left alone for hours on end.

English toy spaniels have long, silky coats with a slight curl. They need daily brushing, which gives you the perfect opportunity to bond. They’re among the best small dog breeds for seniors and others who prefer a pet that needs only a little bit of walking each day.

Breed Overview:

  • Height: 9-11 inches
  • Weight: 7.9-14.1 pounds
  • Activity Level: Low
  • Grooming needs: High
  • Shedding: Low to Moderate
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Tendency to Bark: Low to moderate
  • Kid Friendliness: High
  • Typical Price Range: $$-$$$
  • Potential health issues: Heart disease, joint disease, skin problems

#16 French Bulldog

French Bulldog
Photo by Aaron Bookout on Unsplash.com

Nicknamed the “Frenchie,” the French Bulldog is beloved for its adorable face, alert ears, playful attitude, and soft, silky coat.

French bulldogs come in just about every color imaginable. Their personalities are charming and friendly, and they’re usually fantastic with kids and other pets. They need a little bit of walking each day, and are content sharing a laid-back lifestyle or an active one.

Breed Overview:

  • Height: 11-12 inches
  • Weight: 24-27 pounds
  • Activity Level:  Low
  • Grooming needs: Low
  • Shedding: Moderate
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Tendency to Bark: Moderate
  • Kid Friendliness: High
  • Typical Price Range: $$$
  • Potential health issues: Eye problems, skin problems, musculoskeletal diseases

#17 German Spitz

German Spitz
Photo on shuttershock.com

Sometimes called by its full name – the “Klein German Spitz” – this pup looks quite similar to the Pomeranian, with a lovely fluffy coat, alert ears, and adorable, foxy features. Their curled tails add to their adorable appearance. It’s worth noting that unless they’re taught to be brushed from an early age, they might be resistant to grooming, making this essential daily task difficult for everyone involved.

Where many of the best small dog breeds are happy to spend most of their time lounging, the German Spitz is full of energy. While easy to train, they do have ideas of their own and require consistency and plenty of exercise. Their thick coats need plenty of care, but make them the ideal choice for those who live in colder climates. Loyal to family and friends but wary of unfamiliar people, the Spitz dog will raise the alarm whenever noises are heard.

Breed Overview:

  • Height: 9-12 inches
  • Weight: 17-23 pounds
  • Activity Level: High
  • Grooming needs: High
  • Shedding: High
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Tendency to Bark: Moderate to high
  • Kid Friendliness: Moderate
  • Typical Price Range: $$-$$$
  • Potential health issues: Eye disease, epilepsy, musculoskeletal disorders

#18 German Hunting Terrier

German Hunting Terrier
Photo by Wade Austin Ellis on Unsplash.com

Playful, energetic, and eager to please, the German Hunting Terrier has a very high prey drive that makes this breed best for households without other small pets. With a wiry coat that simply requires hand stripping a couple of times each year, this breed is easy to groom – regular baths and nail trims will do the trick!

While smaller animals shouldn’t be left unattended around German Hunting Terriers, these dogs are typically friendly with other canines. They have a reputation for loving their families and being fantastic with children. If you’re looking for a high-energy dog to help you stick to a regular exercise routine, the German Hunting Terrier might be the perfect companion.

Breed Overview:

  • Height: 12-15 inches
  • Weight: 20-22 pounds
  • Activity Level: High
  • Grooming needs: Low
  • Shedding: Low
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Tendency to Bark: Moderate to high
  • Kid Friendliness: High
  • Typical Price Range: $-$$
  • Potential health issues: Eye disease, Joint disease

#19 Havanese

Havanese
Photo on shutterstock.com

Gentle, devoted personalities and moderate exercise needs make the Havnese a wonderful pet for someone who likes daily walks and plenty of companionship. A favorite with active seniors, the Havanese dog has a long, silky coat that can be snipped short or brushed daily.

These dogs have marvelous attitudes. Not only do they display lots of affection toward their families, they are typically excellent with children and very friendly toward other pets. They are wary of strangers at first but are quick to make friends. Havanese dogs do not like to be left alone, so they’re best for people who can provide plenty of companionship each day.

Breed Overview:

  • Height: 9-11 inches
  • Weight: 6-13 pounds
  • Activity Level: Moderate
  • Grooming needs: High
  • Shedding: Low
  • Hypoallergenic: Yes
  • Tendency to Bark: Low to moderate
  • Kid Friendliness: High
  • Typical Price Range: $$-$$$
  • Potential health issues: Cataracts, joint disease, hypothyroidism

#20 Italian Greyhound

Italian Greyhound
Photo by Mark Galer on Unsplash.com

Lovely little dogs with slender, delicate limbs, Italian Greyhounds have an elegant look that might remind you of a tiny deer! These adorable creatures need a bit less exercise than their larger cousins, but they do love to play chase and they’re eager for their daily walks.

While Italian greyhounds can be standoffish toward strangers, they’re very affectionate with their families. They’re typically excellent with children and their short, fine coats shed a bit less than average. Since Italian greyhounds don’t grow winter coats, they need to wear sweaters when the weather turns chilly. Adorable!

Breed Overview:

  • Height: 12-15 inches
  • Weight: 8-10 pounds
  • Activity Level: Moderate
  • Grooming needs: Low
  • Shedding: Moderate
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Tendency to Bark: Low
  • Kid Friendliness: High
  • Typical Price Range: $$-$$$
  • Potential health issues: Autoimmune diseases, eye disease, joint disease

#21 Jack Russel Terrier

Jack Russel Terrier
Photo by Giacomo Alonzi on Unsplash

Looking for an active, playful companion? If so, the Jack Russel Terrier is probably one of the best small dog breeds for your lifestyle. This wonderful pup is very popular: Loyal, intelligent, and full of tricks, a Jack Russel terrier will keep you entertained!

These dogs have short, wiry coats call for very little grooming. They’re highly attentive to their owners, but not ideal for families with young children as they’re prone to exhibiting herding and nipping behaviors.

Breed Overview:

  • Height: 9-10 inches
  • Weight: 9-16 pounds
  • Activity Level: High
  • Grooming needs: Low
  • Shedding: Low to moderate
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Tendency to Bark: Moderate to high
  • Kid Friendliness: Moderate
  • Typical Price Range: $-$$
  • Potential health issues: Skin problems

#22 Japanese Chin

Japanese Chin
Photo on shutterstock.com

A charming, laid-back personality and a soft, silky coat make the Japanese chin a wonderful companion for anyone who prefers to spend lots of time indoors. This friendly little dog is happy to play fetch, go for short walks, and of course, jump up on your lap for some well-earned relaxation.

Japanese chin dogs do need lots of brushing, so they’re not the best for someone who’s looking for a low-maintenance pet. They’re excellent with children, and they’re normally very friendly toward other animals. They’re also kind to strangers, which is ideal for someone who prefers dogs with sociable, outgoing personalities.

Breed Overview:

  • Height: 9-10 inches
  • Weight: 5-9 pounds
  • Activity Level: Low
  • Grooming needs: High
  • Shedding: Low
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Tendency to Bark: High
  • Kid Friendliness: High
  • Typical Price Range: $$$
  • Potential health issues: Eye injuries, heat stress, breathing difficulties

#23 Japanese Spitz

Japanese Spitz
Photo by Yuliya Strizhkina (Cartier) on Unsplash

The Japanese Spitz looks quite similar to the American Eskimo, with a fluffy white coat, an adorable black nose, and cute, perky ears. Like their American cousins, these beautiful dogs need plenty of grooming to keep their coats looking fresh and feeling soft. They’re a bit less energetic and need only a moderate amount of exercise. Give these dogs plenty of toys, and they’ll do a pretty good job of keeping themselves entertained.

As family pets, Japanese Spitz dogs are ideal: They love children, they get on well with most other animals, and they’re fairly easy to train. At the same time, they are excellent watchdogs who are quite wary of unfamiliar people.

Breed Overview:

  • Height: 12-14 inches
  • Weight: 11-13 pounds
  • Activity Level: Moderate
  • Grooming needs: High
  • Shedding: High
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Tendency to Bark: Moderate to high
  • Kid Friendliness: High
  • Typical Price Range: $$$
  • Potential health issues: Skin problems, joint problems

#24 Lakeland Terrier

Lakeland Terrier
Photo by Tiaan Janse van Rensburg on Unsplash.com

Looking for a small dog that doesn’t shed much? The Lakeland terrier might be ideal for you! With a low-shedding coat that has a wiry feel, these little dogs are ready to go in all kinds of weather. The Lakeland Terrier is a highly active dog that loves long walks and extended play sessions. Boredom and loneliness can lead these pups to exhibit destructive behaviors, so they’re not ideal for those who spend lots of time away from home.

Like most terriers, the Lakeland has a strong prey drive and isn’t well-suited for life alongside other small pets, unless they were raised together. At the same time, these dogs have a reputation for being excellent with children, and they’re always devoted to their families. Training can be a challenge, since Lakeland terriers have ideas of their own!

Breed Overview:

  • Height: 13-15 inches
  • Weight: 15-18 pounds
  • Activity Level: High
  • Grooming needs: Low
  • Shedding: Low
  • Hypoallergenic: Yes
  • Tendency to Bark: High
  • Kid Friendliness: High
  • Typical Price Range: $$$
  • Potential health issues: Cataracts, hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia

#25 Lhasa Apso

Lhasa Apso
Photo by Sticker Mule on Unsplash

A long, silky coat and an adorable personality make the Lhasa Apso perfect for someone who wants a friendly indoor companion. These little dogs do need a daily walk, but overall, they’re less active than many other breeds.

Despite having a small stature, the Lhasa Apso has a big attitude! Stubbornness and excessive barking can be a problem, particularly if left untrained. Proper socialization is very important as this breed has a reputation for being standoffish and unfriendly if not introduced to lots of different people and situations from the outset. With plenty of exposure to people and other pets though, the Lhasa Apso can be just as friendly as any other breed.

Breed Overview:

  • Height: 10-11 inches
  • Weight: 13-16 pounds
  • Activity Level: Moderate
  • Grooming needs: High
  • Shedding: Low
  • Hypoallergenic: Yes
  • Tendency to Bark: Low to moderate
  • Kid Friendliness: Moderate to high
  • Typical Price Range: $$-$$$
  • Potential health issues: Spinal disorders, joint problems, eye disease

#26 Maltese

Maltese
Photo by mandy zhu on Unsplash

Sweet, gentle, and very sociable, the Maltese is consistently rated as one of the best small dog breeds overall. These lovely little dogs aren’t quite as intelligent as some others, but they make up for it with willing, affectionate attitudes. They’re an absolute joy to spend time with.

The Maltese has a white, silky coat that needs lots of attention. Leave it long and brush it daily, or have it snipped short for lower maintenance. If you’ve ever met a Maltese, then you know that this breed has a very friendly personality: They love just about everyone, including children and other pets!

Breed Overview:

  • Height: 8-10 inches
  • Weight: 5-7 pounds
  • Activity Level: Moderate
  • Grooming needs: High
  • Shedding: Low
  • Hypoallergenic: Yes
  • Tendency to Bark: Moderate to high
  • Kid Friendliness: High
  • Typical Price Range: $$-$$$
  • Potential health issues: Eye disease, hypoglycemia, hypothyroidism, joint disorders

#27 Manchester Terrier

Manchester Terrier
Photo on shutterstock.com

With its short black and tan coat, pointed ears, and slightly curved tail, the Manchester terrier looks almost like a miniature pinscher. These eager little dogs are very smart, fun-loving, and easy to train. They need plenty of exercise to prevent destructive behaviors from setting in, and like most other terriers, they’re prone to nipping and herding small children and other small pets.

While Manchester terriers love their families, they can be standoffish toward strangers. They never hesitate to raise the alarm when the doorbell rings, so you’ll never be caught by surprise. Proper training, socialization, and daily activity are keys to living an enjoyable life with a Manchester as your companion. There are two different sizes to look for: Toy Manchester terriers reach a maximum of about 12 pounds, while standard Manchester terriers can reach about 22 pounds.

Breed Overview:

  • Height: 15-16 inches
  • Weight: 11-22 pounds
  • Activity Level: High
  • Grooming needs: Low
  • Shedding: Moderate
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Tendency to Bark: High
  • Kid Friendliness: Moderate to high
  • Typical Price Range: $$-$$$
  • Potential health issues: Seizures, hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism

#28 Miniature Australian Shepherd

Miniature Australian Shepherd
Photo on shutterstock.com

Miniature and toy Australian shepherds look almost exactly like their full-sized cousins, and they share the same zest for life. With medium-length coats that call for daily brushing, they come in a variety of colors and have alert, expressive faces.

These little dogs require plenty of exercise and mental stimulation. They’re ideal for multi-dog families, but they’ll attempt to herd cats and small children (although they won’t be interested in causing harm!) Socialization is very important – without it, miniature Australian shepherds tend to become suspicious and distrustful. They’re very cheerful, attentive, and determined, making wonderful companions for active people who want lots of “big dog” characteristics in a small package.

Breed Overview:

  • Height: 10-18 inches
  • Weight: 7-35 pounds
  • Activity Level: High
  • Grooming needs: Moderate
  • Shedding: Moderate to high
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Tendency to Bark: Low to moderate
  • Kid Friendliness: Moderate to high
  • Typical Price Range: $-$$$
  • Potential health issues: Skin problems

#29 Miniature Pinscher

Miniature Pinscher
Photo by 🇨🇭 Claudio Schwarz | @purzlbaum on Unsplash

The “Min Pin” is a brave little dog with a playful attitude and a cheerful nature. Just like the much larger Doberman, the miniature pinscher has a sleek, smooth coat that’s normally black and red, with occasional chocolate, solid red, solid black, or solid rust colors.

While miniature pinschers do need plenty of exercise each day, they’re very well-suited to living in small spaces – and they love their families, including children and other pets they’re familiar with. If you’re looking for the best small dog for an active lifestyle, the mini pinscher might be the ideal companion!

Breed Overview:

  • Height: 10-12 inches
  • Weight: 9-11 pounds
  • Activity Level: High
  • Grooming needs: Low
  • Shedding: Low to moderate
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Tendency to Bark: High
  • Kid Friendliness: High
  • Typical Price Range: $$-$$$
  • Potential health issues: Eye disease, skin disease, joint disease

#30 Miniature Schnauzer

Miniature Schnauzer
Photo by Chris Child on Unsplash

Just like their larger cousins, miniature schnauzers are highly intelligent dogs with massive personalities. They need regular grooming, plenty of playtime, and a consistent environment, so they’re a bit more demanding than some other breeds.

Miniature schnauzers never fail to alert their owners to the fact that there are visitors at the door. Once introduced to strangers, they warm up fairly quickly. Affectionate and cheerful with their families, they’re perfect for those who have plenty of time and energy. On the downside, when they’re left to their own devices, miniature schnauzers can quickly become destructive and bark excessively.

Breed Overview:

  • Height: 13-14 inches
  • Weight: 13-16 pounds
  • Activity Level: High
  • Grooming needs: High
  • Shedding: Low
  • Hypoallergenic: Yes
  • Tendency to Bark: Moderate to high
  • Kid Friendliness: Moderate to high
  • Typical Price Range: $$-$$$
  • Potential health issues: Juvenile cataracts, hypothyroidism, epilepsy, bleeding disorders

#31 Norfolk Terrier

Norfolk Terrier
Photo by Tyler Waters on Unsplash

Often confused for Norwich terriers, Norfolk terriers are distinguished by their ears, which are folded rather than standing straight up. With wiry, medium-length coats that shed very little, they’re easily cared for with just a small amount of brushing and regular bathing.

Norfolk terriers are happy to spend lots of time indoors so long as they’re treated to plenty of toys and a couple of good walks per day. They love their families but can be difficult to train, as they have somewhat stubborn attitudes. Last but not least, these dogs have a very strong prey drive and aren’t the best with cats. They do get on well with other dogs, particularly when raised together.

Breed Overview:

  • Height: 9-10 inches
  • Weight: 11-12 pounds
  • Activity Level: High
  • Grooming needs: Medium
  • Shedding: Low
  • Hypoallergenic: Yes
  • Tendency to Bark: High
  • Kid Friendliness: Moderate to high
  • Typical Price Range: $$$
  • Potential health issues: Heart disease, epilepsy, joint disorders

#32 Norwich Terrier

Norwich Terrier
Photo by Åsmund Gimre on Unsplash

Perky ears and alert face make the Norwich terrier irresistibly adorable. Like its close cousin, the Norfolk terrier, the Norwich terrier was developed as a rodent catcher. High prey drive and high energy make this breed best for life with an active family that doesn’t have other small pets.

Norwich terriers are very smart and easy to train. They love games and toys, and they’re typically great with children. Their coats are wiry and medium-length, requiring regular brushing and occasional trips to the groomer.

Breed Overview:

  • Height: 9-10 inches
  • Weight: 11-12 pounds
  • Activity Level: High
  • Grooming needs: Medium
  • Shedding: Low
  • Hypoallergenic: Yes
  • Tendency to Bark: Moderate to high
  • Kid Friendliness: Moderate to high
  • Typical Price Range: $$$
  • Potential health issues: Heart disease, epilepsy, joint disorders

#33 Papillon

Papillon
Photo by Mack Fox (MusicFox) on Unsplash

Lovely little dogs with delicate features, Papillons get their name from their ears, which might remind you of butterfly wings. These adorable pups need lots of socialization early in life as they tend to be overly shy and standoffish without it. Their long, silky coats need to be well-brushed each day.

When properly socialized, the Papillon makes a wonderful companion for every member of the family, including other pets. They’re playful and lively, and they’ll burn off quite a bit of energy while entertaining themselves with their favorite toys. Papillons do need a walk or two each day, but in general, require less exercise than many other small dogs.

Breed Overview:

  • Height: 8-11 inches
  • Weight: 9-10 pounds
  • Activity Level: Moderate
  • Grooming needs: High
  • Shedding: Low to moderate
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Tendency to Bark: Moderate to high
  • Kid Friendliness: High
  • Typical Price Range: $$-$$$
  • Potential health issues: Eye problems, joint disease

#34 Parson Russel Terrier

Parson Russel Terrier
Photo by Joe Hepburn on Unsplash

Looking for a small, active dog that loves long walks, runs, and playtime? The Parson Russell Terrier might be the perfect companion! Best-suited to life with experienced owners who can be fair and firm while providing the training and leadership a strong-willed pup needs, this dog has a tendency to test boundaries. Frequent exercise and lots of fun toys help keep trouble at bay.

When properly socialized from a young age, Parson Russel Terriers get along well with children and other dogs. They do have a very high prey drive, so they’re not ideal for homes with cats and other small pets. Without socialization, these dogs have a tendency to be snappy toward other dogs and children. Proper training is an absolute must – and when it’s provided, the PRT dog is a fantastic and loyal friend for life.

Breed Overview:

  • Height: 13-14 inches
  • Weight: 11-18 pounds
  • Activity Level: High
  • Grooming needs: Low
  • Shedding: Low to moderate
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Tendency to Bark: High
  • Kid Friendliness: High
  • Typical Price Range: $$-$$$
  • Potential health issues: Eye problems, joint disease

#35 Pekingese

Pekingese
Photo on shutterstock.com

Looking for the perfect lap dog? If so, your search may be over. Pekingese love nothing more than relaxing, napping, and spending time in the company of their people. Their long, luxurious coats have a soft, silky feel, and their whimsical, short-snouted faces are wonderfully expressive.

The Pekingese does have an independent streak, and requires a bit of playtime and a short walk each day. These dogs usually like children, but unfamiliar kids should be cautioned to play gently to avoid injuring delicate limbs.

Breed Overview:

  • Height: 6-9 inches
  • Weight: 9-12 pounds
  • Activity Level: Low
  • Grooming needs: High
  • Shedding: High
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Tendency to Bark: High
  • Kid Friendliness: Moderate to high
  • Typical Price Range: $$-$$$
  • Potential health issues: Spinal injury, joint injury, eye injury, joint disease

#36 Pembroke Welsh Corgi

Pembroke Welsh Corgi
Photo by Andrew Santellan on Unsplash

Foxy faces, rounded, alert ears, and short, thick coats give the Pembroke Welsh Corgi a distinctive appearance. These beautiful dogs are born with short legs, long bodies, and no tails. They’re traditionally a herding breed so they’ll nip at the heels of unwary children and other pets. Some will nip at strangers, as well.

While outgoing and cheerful, corgis require a bit less exercise than the average dog. They’ll keep themselves entertained with toys, and so long as they are well socialized, they’ll get along well with other dogs. The Pembroke Welsh Corgi isn’t terribly demanding in the grooming department: Regular bathing and nail trims keep this pup in good shape, and frequent brushing removes loose hair and helps cut back on shedding.

Breed Overview:

  • Height: 10-12 inches
  • Weight: 20-25 pounds
  • Activity Level: Moderate
  • Grooming needs: Low
  • Shedding: Moderate
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Tendency to Bark: High
  • Kid Friendliness: Moderate to high
  • Typical Price Range: $$-$$$
  • Potential health issues: Spinal disorders, eye disease

#37 Pomeranian

Pomeranian
Photo by ipet photo on Unsplash

There’s nothing quite like a “Pom!” The Pomeranian is an alert, lively little dog with a big dog attitude. Full of hilarious antics and always eager to please, these cheerful pups will bark loudly to alert their families when anyone is at the door. They’ll bark when bored, too – so be sure to keep them entertained!

Pomeranians are easy to identify by their thick, luxurious coats, upright ears, and eager faces. While they do shed, frequent brushing can help. The Pomeranian dog is typically friendly, and normally enjoys spending time with children and other pets. Early socialization brings out the best in this dog, as does consistent training.

Breed Overview:

  • Height: 9-11 inches
  • Weight: 4-6 pounds
  • Activity Level: Moderate
  • Grooming needs: High
  • Shedding: High
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Tendency to Bark: Moderate to high
  • Kid Friendliness: Moderate to high
  • Typical Price Range: $$-$$$
  • Potential health issues: Joint disease, eye disease, hypoglycemia

#38 Poodle

Poodle
Photo by Fredrik Öhlander on Unsplash

Toy poodles are as frisky and friendly as their larger cousins, but in miniature bodies that are perfectly sized for napping on laps. These lovely little dogs come in every color imaginable. Their long coats are normally kept clipped to prevent mats and tangles.

Just like standard and king size poodles, toy poodles love to run and play. They’re happy to walk long distances with you, but they do just as well when given the opportunity to play on their own and take shorter walks. Poodles are very intelligent. They love to learn tricks, and they’ll do anything to make their families happy. They love children and they normally get on well with other pets. If you’re looking for a fantastic all-around dog with a wonderful attitude, a poodle may be the perfect choice!

Breed Overview:

  • Height: 10-15 inches
  • Weight: 14-30 pounds
  • Activity Level: Moderate
  • Grooming needs: High
  • Shedding: Low
  • Hypoallergenic: Yes
  • Tendency to Bark: Moderate to high
  • Kid Friendliness: High
  • Typical Price Range: $-$$$
  • Potential health issues: Epilepsy, hypoglycemia, eye disease, heart disease, musculoskeletal disorders

#39 Pug

Pug
Photo by Mink Mingle on Unsplash

Soft, silky fur, a silly face, and expressive eyes make the pug a favorite! These adorable dogs love to play, but don’t require long walks. They’re perfectly happy to spend time indoors, and they love nothing more than a good snuggle.

Pugs make excellent family pets. They get along very well with children, and they’re almost always friendly and curious toward other animals. They learn very quickly and are always eager to please. Pugs do have a tendency to pack on extra weight. Be sure to feed your pug carefully since being overweight can lead to painful joint problems later in life.

Breed Overview:

  • Height: 10-11 inches
  • Weight: 13-18 pounds
  • Activity Level: Low
  • Grooming needs: Low
  • Shedding: Moderate
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Tendency to Bark: Moderate
  • Kid Friendliness: High
  • Typical Price Range: $$-$$$
  • Potential health issues: Eye problems, joint problems, breathing difficulties, obesity

#40 Puggle

Puggle
Photo by Tom Hills on Unsplash

The puggle is a cross between two of the most popular small dog breeds, with the best characteristics from both! Adorable floppy ears come from the beagle, and a soft, velvety coat comes from the pug’s side of the family. This beagle / pug mix has a longer nose than the pug, a very cheerful, willing attitude, and a love of lounging.

Puggles are wonderful family dogs. Playful and curious, they love kids and get along well with other pets. They need bathing and occasional brushing, particularly if they inherit a downy undercoat that sheds in warm weather.

Breed Overview:

  • Height: 12-15 inches
  • Weight: 15-30 pounds
  • Activity Level: Moderate
  • Grooming needs: Low
  • Shedding: Moderate
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Tendency to Bark: Moderate to high
  • Kid Friendliness: High
  • Typical Price Range: $-$$$
  • Potential health issues: Eye disease, joint problems, obesity

#41 Puli

Puli
Photo by Matthew Henry on Unsplash

The Puli is an adorable little creature that’s often described as a miniature dustmop or rasta dog! With a floor-length coat that develops natural dreadlocks, Puli dogs need plenty of grooming. They’ll reward you for your attention by offering an endless amount of love and affection, and by accompanying you on all your adventures.

Puli dogs are very playful and active. They do very well with older children but may not tolerate young kids who grab and pull hair. While they’re reserved around strangers, they warm up quickly. Once you’ve let them know that a new person or pet is welcome, they’ll regain their friendly demeanor.

Breed Overview:

  • Height: 15-16 inches
  • Weight: 20-24 pounds
  • Activity Level: High
  • Grooming needs: High
  • Shedding: Low
  • Hypoallergenic: Yes
  • Tendency to Bark: Moderate to high
  • Kid Friendliness: Moderate to high
  • Typical Price Range: $$$
  • Potential health issues: Eye disease, hip dysplasia

#42 Rat Terrier

Rat Terrier
Photo by Sarah Chavez on Unsplash

Playful, eager, and full of energy, the rat terrier can be quite a handful if you’re not prepared. If, on the other hand, you’re looking for a little dog with tons of stamina, this might be the best small dog breed for you!

The rat terrier is smart and easy to train. This dog loves to learn tricks and show them off, and in general, is friendly toward everyone once he’s been introduced. Rat terriers have short coats that require minimal care, and they tend to live long, healthy lives. Like other terriers, these dogs aren’t well-suited to life with cats they haven’t been raised with. As hunters, they naturally want to chase and catch smaller animals.

Breed Overview:

  • Height: 9-10 inches
  • Weight: 4-7 pounds
  • Activity Level: High
  • Grooming needs: Low
  • Shedding: Moderate
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Tendency to Bark: High
  • Kid Friendliness: Moderate to high
  • Typical Price Range: $-$$$
  • Potential health issues: Skin problems, joint disorders, bleeding disorders, hypothyroidism

#43 Schipperke

Schipperke
Photo by Basic Division on Unsplash

The schipperke is an eager, intelligent little dog with silky black fur, pointed ears, and a highly alert nature. Always ready to announce the presence of strangers, these dogs are highly protective of their owners, wary of strangers, and not always interested in making new friends. Proper socialization is a must, as these characteristics can pose a problem in polite society.

As part of your family, the schipperke will demonstrate plenty of affection along with unwavering loyalty. This breed is good with children when socialized and raised alongside them. Schipperkes are quite athletic. They need plenty of exercise and their coats require regular brushing to stay in tip-top condition.

Breed Overview:

  • Height: 8-13 inches
  • Weight: 12-16 pounds
  • Activity Level: High
  • Grooming needs: High
  • Shedding: Moderate to high
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Tendency to Bark: Moderate to high
  • Kid Friendliness: Moderate to high
  • Typical Price Range: $$$
  • Potential health issues: Eye disease, hip disease, hypoglycemia, epilepsy

#44 Scottish Terrier

Scottish Terrier
Photo by Piotr Stefański on Unsplash.com

The beloved “Scottie Dog” is easy to recognize thanks to alert, upright ears, a shaggy coat, and eager, intelligent eyes. Scottish terriers may come in small packages, but they pack big, outgoing personalities. They’re highly courageous and always ready for an adventure. Their strong-willed nature calls for stability, training, and plenty of socialization – without it, they’re prone to snappy, unsociable behavior.

Scottish terriers do need regular grooming, but don’t shed much at all. They require regular exercise – a couple of good walks each day will help keep them in good physical and mental health. While they can be good with older kids who can respect their feisty nature, they’re not the best choice for homes with small children. Like other terrier breeds, Scotty dogs have a high prey drive and will go after cats and other small animals.

Breed Overview:

  • Height: 10-11 inches
  • Weight: 19-22 pounds
  • Activity Level: Moderate
  • Grooming needs: High
  • Shedding: Low
  • Hypoallergenic: Yes
  • Tendency to Bark: High
  • Kid Friendliness: Moderate
  • Typical Price Range: $$-$$$
  • Potential health issues: Joint disease, lymphoma, hypothyroidism

#45 Shetland Sheepdog

Shetland Sheepdog
Photo by Krisztian Tabori on Unsplash

Also known as the Sheltie, the Shetland Sheepdog looks like a miniature collie. These beautiful dogs have long, luxurious coats with prominent manes and pretty feathered legs. Their faces are delicate and expressive, and their personalities are both intelligent and affectionate.

Shetland sheepdogs make excellent family pets. They’re loving and attentive toward children, they tend to get on well with other pets, and they’ll alert you when strangers arrive. At the same time, they’ll make friends with new people very quickly. So long as you have time for a daily walk and regular brushing, you’re likely to find that the Sheltie is one of the best small dog breeds overall.

Breed Overview:

  • Height: 14-15 inches
  • Weight: 13-15 pounds
  • Activity Level: Moderate
  • Grooming needs: High
  • Shedding: High
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Tendency to Bark: Moderate
  • Kid Friendliness: High
  • Typical Price Range: $-$$$
  • Potential health issues: Digestive disorders, epilepsy, eye disease, joint disease

#46 Shiba Inu

Shiba Inu
Photo by Tisma Jrdl on Unsplash

The Shiba Inu has a short, dense coat, an adorable foxy face, upright ears, and a tightly curled tail. Less affectionate than some other breeds, this dog is well-known for being reserved and wary around strangers while displaying intense loyalty toward its family.

Happy to spend lots of time relaxing, the Shiba Inu needs just a couple of good walks per day. Regular bathing and brushing keep this dog’s coat looking good. If you decide that a Shiba Inu is the best small dog breed for you, be sure to socialize from an early age and ensure that you provide plenty of training.

Breed Overview:

  • Height: 14-16 inches
  • Weight: 18-22 pounds
  • Activity Level: Moderate
  • Grooming needs: Moderate
  • Shedding: Moderate to high
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Tendency to Bark: Moderate to high
  • Kid Friendliness: Moderate to high
  • Typical Price Range: $$$
  • Potential health issues: Hypothyroidism, joint disorders

#47 Shih Tzu

shih tzu
Photo by Edson Torres on Unsplash.com

Thanks to a calm, friendly personality and lower exercise requirements than most other dogs, the Shih Tzu makes an excellent companion for anyone who prefers to stay indoors most of the time. These lovely little dogs have long, silky hair that’s usually clipped short to cut back on daily grooming and keep mats from forming.

While Shih Tzus are among the best small dog breeds for senior citizens, they’re also very good with children. They tend to be friendly toward other pets, too.

Breed Overview:

  • Height: 10-11 inches
  • Weight: 10-17 pounds
  • Activity Level: Low
  • Grooming needs: High
  • Shedding: Low
  • Hypoallergenic: Yes
  • Tendency to Bark: Moderate
  • Kid Friendliness: High
  • Typical Price Range: $$-$$$
  • Potential health issues: Blood disorders, kidney disease, joint problems

#48 Silky Terrier

Silky Terrier
Photo by William Moreland on Unsplash

Silky terriers are sometimes mistaken for yorkies due to the similarity in coat color, shape, and personality. The silky terrier isn’t just adorable: This dog is very intelligent and easy to train. Friendliness is a key trait, so long as proper socialization is provided from the very beginning.

Unless you opt for a close clipped haircut, your silky terrier will need lots of brushing on a daily basis – otherwise, that long, fine hair will tangle and mat. In terms of exercise, this pup needs a bit less than most others. Indoors, provide plenty of toys to keep boredom from leading to excessive barking and destructive chewing.

Breed Overview:

  • Height: 8-9 inches
  • Weight: 9-11 pounds
  • Activity Level: Moderate
  • Grooming needs: High
  • Shedding: Low
  • Hypoallergenic: Yes
  • Tendency to Bark: Moderate to high
  • Kid Friendliness: High
  • Typical Price Range: $$-$$$
  • Potential health issues: Liver disease, joint disease, hypoglycemia

#49 Skye Terrier

Skye Terrier
Photo by Åsmund Gimre on Unsplash

Skye terriers may be small, but they pack big personalities into their long-backed, short-legged bodies! Devoted to their families and aloof with strangers, they share a high prey drive with others in the terrier group and aren’t best for homes that include other small pets. Like most other terriers, this breed requires good socialization from a young age, as well as firmly established boundaries. Skye terriers are very smart, and they have their own ideas about the way life should be. Proper training is a must!

The Skye terrier has a long, silky coat that requires professional grooming or daily brushing to prevent tangles and mattes. They’re happy with just a couple of short walks each day, so long as they have the opportunity to play with toys between nap sessions.

Breed Overview:

  • Height: 10-11 inches
  • Weight: 18-23 pounds
  • Activity Level: Moderate
  • Grooming needs: High
  • Shedding: Low to moderate
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Tendency to Bark: Moderate to high
  • Kid Friendliness: High
  • Typical Price Range: $$-$$$
  • Potential health issues: Spinal injuries, hypothyroidism, elbow dysplasia, joint and bone disorders

#50 Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Staffordshire Bull Terrier
Photo by Victor Grabarczyk on Unsplash

Muscular, agile, and athletic, the Staffordshire bull terrier has a short, broad head, wide shoulders, and  a sleek, short coat that requires minimal care. These dogs were originally developed as fighters, but beneath their muscular bodies, they have hearts of gold. Excellent with children, devoted to their families, and tolerant of other pets when properly socialized, the Staffie is a marvelous all-around dog.

Just like other terriers, the Staffordshire has an instinctual prey drive. You’ll want to introduce them to various people and animals as pups and provide them with sound, gentle training. When you do, you’ll have a wonderful companion with a friendly but watchful nature. Ample exercise is key for this energetic breed, particularly during the first few years of life.

Breed Overview:

  • Height: 14-16 inches
  • Weight: 24-38 pounds
  • Activity Level: High
  • Grooming needs: Low
  • Shedding: Low to moderate
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Tendency to Bark: Moderate
  • Kid Friendliness: High
  • Typical Price Range: $$$
  • Potential health issues: Skin problems

#51 Tibetan Spaniel

Tibetan Spaniel
Photo by Dimitar Stevcev on Unsplash

Just like their Pekingese cousins, Tibetan spaniels are playful, lively dogs with happy attitudes and adorable features. They have a medium-length top coat with a soft, silky feel, and a dense undercoat that provides good insulation in cooler climates. A daily brushing will keep shedding to a minimum and prevent tangles.

Tibetan spaniels are great with children and friendly toward other pets. They do tend to bark more than the average dog, particularly when feeling bored, so probably aren’t ideal for apartment dwellers.

Breed Overview:

  • Height: 9-10 inches
  • Weight: 9-16 pounds
  • Activity Level: Moderate
  • Grooming needs: Moderate
  • Shedding: Moderate
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Tendency to Bark: High
  • Kid Friendliness: High
  • Typical Price Range: $$-$$$
  • Potential health issues: Eye problems, musculoskeletal disease

#52 Toy Fox Terrier

Toy Fox Terrier
Photo by Biljana Martinic on Unsplash

Tiny, active, and curious, the toy fox terrier is a highly intelligent little dog with an enormous personality. Alert, pointed ears, slim legs, and a short, fine coat lend a look of graceful elegance.

Toy fox terriers are very playful and require lots of exercise. The good news is that they’re content to run and play indoors, so long walks aren’t a must unless you’re up for them. While toy fox terriers are devoted to their families, they can be nippy with small children who don’t respect boundaries. Proper socialization and training is vital.

Breed Overview:

  • Height: 9-10 inches
  • Weight: 3.5 – 7.5 pounds
  • Activity Level: High
  • Grooming needs: Low
  • Shedding: Moderate
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Tendency to Bark: High
  • Kid Friendliness: Moderate
  • Typical Price Range: $-$$
  • Potential health issues: Skin problems

#53 Volpino

Volpino
Photo by Christian Bartolone on Unsplash

Want a dog that nobody else has? If so, you might want to look for a Volpino. This rare breed has a close resemblance to the Spitz, with alert, pointed ears topping a friendly, foxy face. Intelligent and highly trainable, Volpino dogs are quick to display affection toward their families, but are somewhat reserved around strangers.

These adorable pups have fluffy coats in a variety of colors ranging from jet black to pure white. They’re excellent with children and tolerant of other pets.

Breed Overview:

  • Height: 10-11 inches
  • Weight: 9-12 pounds
  • Activity Level: Moderate
  • Grooming needs: High
  • Shedding: High
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Tendency to Bark: Moderate
  • Kid Friendliness: Moderate to high
  • Typical Price Range: $$$
  • Potential health issues: Musculoskeletal disorders

#54 West Highland White Terrier

West Highland White Terrier
Photo by Zoe Ra on Unsplash

Also known as the “Westie,” the west highland white terrier is an active, energetic dog that requires lots of exercise. Always pure white in color, these dogs have somewhat wiry topcoats over soft, fluffy undercoats that don’t shed much.

West highland white terriers never fail to alert their families to knocks at the door and bumps in the night. They hear and react to just about everything, barking more than average. This characteristic is fantastic for those who want a small watchdog, but not ideal for apartment and condo dwellers with neighbors nearby. Brave, loyal, and affectionate, Westies are generally good with kids. Just like others in the terrier class, they long to chase smaller animals.

Breed Overview:

  • Height: 10-11 inches
  • Weight: 15-23 pounds
  • Activity Level: High
  • Grooming needs: Moderate
  • Shedding: Low
  • Hypoallergenic: Yes
  • Tendency to Bark: High
  • Kid Friendliness: Moderate to high
  • Typical Price Range: $$-$$$
  • Potential health issues: Eye disease, skin disease, musculoskeletal disorders

#55 Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkshire Terrier
Photo by Shanna Beasley on Unsplash

The beloved Yorkie makes it onto just about every list of the best small dog breeds, and for good reason! This fantastic little dog is highly intelligent, watches over its family, and is very eager to please. Yorkshire terriers need plenty of exercise but between walks and indoor play sessions, they’re content to snuggle up and nap next to you.

Yorkshire terriers are good with kids and other dogs, but have an instinctual desire to catch smaller animals including cats. They’ll share a home with other pets so long as they are raised together and socialized from a young age.

Yorkies have long, fine coats with a soft, silky feel. Most people opt to have these pups clipped as it can be difficult to prevent matting and tangling otherwise.

Breed Overview:

  • Height: 9-10 inches
  • Weight: 5-8 pounds
  • Activity Level: High
  • Grooming needs: High
  • Shedding: Low
  • Hypoallergenic: Yes
  • Tendency to Bark: High
  • Kid Friendliness: High
  • Typical Price Range: $$-$$$
  • Potential health issues: Hypoglycemia, musculoskeletal disorders, eye disease, liver shunts

 

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