A dog is a man or a woman’s best friend. We all heard this saying no matter our upbringing or cultural background and this statement is completely true.
The small dog breed is one of the most popular types of dogs in the United States. According to recent surveys, the most wanted small dog breed is the Boston terrier. This breed is known for its friendly and playful personality, as well as its small size.
Many people choose toy dog breeds as their first pet, for many reasons.
Each dog and each breed is different, has distinct character traits, temperament, and of course, size. A dog will become rapidly a part of your family and a close companion for someone living on their own.
When you start thinking of getting a dog, size is one of the most important criteria, especially when living in a flat or a small house.
So, if you fall into the category that needs a dog that requires a little amount of space, and it’s easier to take care of, acquiring a small size dog should make sense.
Small dog breeds are particularly suitable for first-time dog owners as most of them require low maintenance and are easily trained. Toy dogs, by definition, are toy breeds of dogs.
Many of these dogs look like adorable tiny teddy bears, but you need to keep in mind that they are living, breathing beings with personalities and demand a high standard of care if you accept them into your life.
What dog breeds are considered small?
To be considered a part of a small-sized breed, dogs should be up to 16 inches tall, weighing between 10 to 22 pounds when they reach adulthood. Here are the most popular small dog breeds:
- Patterdale terriers – are confident dogs, originally bred to hunt. They are lively, enjoying their time playing outside, especially chasing. Bing full of energy, they need to be taken out on long walks and are suitable companions for active dog owners. This breed is known as being amongst the longest living breeds.
- Chihuahua – is an extremely affectionate dog, faithful and playful. It is considered one of the smallest breeds globally, making it suitable for smaller- sized dwellings.
- Pomeranian – Highly intelligent, curious, and energetic, this little mass of fluff makes for the cutest addition to any household. It doesn’t require a lot of care, making it ideal for single working dog owners or working families.
- Maltese – intelligent, full of life, and extremely affectionate, this type of dog is suitable for families with children. It is also one of the longest living breeds
- Mini Yorkie Terrier – very close to its owner, full of life, and easy to care for
- Shih Tzu – very popular in ancient China as a royal dog, playful and easy to fall in love with it.
- Dachshund – friendly and extremely devoted. Their playful character requires daily walks and playing sessions in the park. They are happy to be left on their own for a longer time and are ideal for working owners.
- Prague Ratter – is similar in size and appearance to the Chihuahua. Easy to teach, obedient, and friendly, good for families with children.
- Beagle – cheerful, intelligent, and affectionate, it makes for a great companion. It requires low maintenance and is great for more mature owners as well as for families.
- Pug – cheerful, sociable, and easy to get on with. It likes to spend time indoors but gets active around children.
Small dog breeds that don’t shed
For people who suffer from allergies or simply want less hassle when owning a dog, keeping a dog that doesn’t shed too much is a top requirement.
- Australian Terrier
- Chinese Crested
- Bichon Frise
- Miniature Schnauzer
- Coton De Tulear
- Brussels Griffon
- Lagotto Romagnolo
- Silky Terrier
It is true that some small breeds do not shed or shed minimally; this shouldn’t imply that they require zero maintenance.
Easiest to train small sized dogs
Training is an important aspect of owning a pet. When you don’t have too much experience, it might seem a daunting task. There are several small breed dogs that are easily trained:
- Poodle – is leaning towards a medium-sized dog, however, is still suitable for living in a flat or a smaller home. A highly intelligent dog, the Poodle is easy to train and it will understand fairly rapidly what it’s expected.
- Havanese – this gentle and lovable dog is happy to please its owner. It is a very trainable dog that has a good tonal sensitivity giving it a good understanding of what it is supposed to do or what the owner requires from it.
- Miniature Schnauzer – is an obedient and very intelligent specimen that learns fast. However, there should be a well-maintained schedule and the activities should be varied.
- West Highland Terrier – with a firm and consistent training, this dog does well in an urban area.
- Jack Russell Terrier – although it tends to be stubborn, this dog is a fast learner. Its mischievous character will require consistency whilst training.
If you are worried about caring for your new friend or want to buy a less disposed dog to illness, you need to find advice on dogs that remain healthy for longer periods.
Healthiest small dog breeds
- Chihuahua – usually a healthy breed, will need regular vet check-ups to ensure its wellbeing.
- Beagle – a healthy and active dog. Dog breeders will screen your dog for genetic diseases before selling it to you.
- Boston Terrier – generally a healthy type of dog. Needs attention for its eyes.
- Affenpinscher – a very sturdy dog breed. It doesn’t like hot temperatures, and it might develop breathing problems, so care, and attention should be given.
- Pembroke Welsh Corgi – generally healthy, attention should be directed to their back due to its body style.
Most common dog diseases in small breeds
Even if you find long lists of conditions that could affect certain breeds, it is probable that your pup will never suffer from any of them. This information is useful to prepare you for the future and to predict something that might happen.
Most small-sized dogs are easy to care for but attention should be given to any signs of:
- Eye diseases
- Displaced hips
- Back pain
- Dental and gum issues
- Respiratory diseases
- Issues with digestion
Deworming and vaccination should be observed as for any other breeds at the advice of a veterinary specialist.
Where to buy a small dog from?
Until 2021, small dogs are the most wanted small dog breeds among American Kennel Club (AKC) members. You can buy one directly from other dog owners or from specialised pet shops.
It is advisable to buy from established dog breeders. They will be prepared to answer all your questions and give you the best advice on how to take care of your new pet.
Another place to consider is an animal shelter or rescue center. Sometimes shelters are specialized in certain dog breeds.
This is a good option if you prefer not to start from zero with a puppy. There is also a high chance of getting a dog that was previously trained.
Small dogs are a great choice for people who are looking for adorable dogs that don’t require a lot of exercise. Toy dogs can be easy to train and most of them are very friendly.
Whatever your choice will be, please remind yourself that buying a dog is a responsibility for life. If you want to learn more, please read our latest article: 33 Cool and Interesting Dog Facts (some of them might surprise you).