If you are looking for a small dog which is suitable for living in an apartment or which you can easily take traveling with you, you should consider what type of dog you want, the energy levels of the different breeds as well as some specifics which are typical for each small dog breed.
This is essential before you commit to getting or adopting a dog – for your and for the dog’s best interest.
Remember that not all small dogs are “lap dogs.” Some require quite a bit of walking and exercising. Others may be more suitable for families with younger children than others, and some small dog breeds make much better companions for older people.
Here are brief descriptions of the most common small dog breeds in alphabetical order, with all the basic features and highlights you need to know before welcoming your new furry friend into your home.
This is a German breed which is full of energy and is as feisty as it is small. In German, the name Affenpinscher means “Monkey Dog” which is particularly suitable for these mischievous little pups. The breed descended from the multitude of small terriers which were used back in the 17thand 18th century as rat and mice catchers in the shops and stables throughout Europe.
Another name for this cute hairy little breed is the “mustached little devils” as they are known in France. These dogs reach an adult height of 9 to 11 inches and a weight of 7 to 10 lbs. They are amazingly cute but need to be befriended rather than trained. The Affenpinschers are very loyal and entertaining dogs perfect for anybody looking for a small sized companion.
American Eskimo Dog
The American Eskimo Dog can be standard, miniature or toy sized. The smallest ones will reach a mere 9 inches of height at the shoulder. They have a sparkling white fluffy coat with a lion-like ruff around the neck, and a Samoyed-like smiling face.
Their cute black nose and lips are in stark contrast with the white coat, but sometimes they come in biscuit cream color too. They are happy, social animals but can become problematic if not properly tended to or entertained. They are eager to please and one of the most trainable small breeds.
The tiny Bichon Frise will reach a height of just 9-11 inches at the shoulder when it is fully grown. These adorable fluffy white pups have a good-natured disposition and are quite perky and happy animals. They are very easy to train and are great for family pets.
They love to play and are very gentle and affectionate dogs. Their shiny black eyes and nose and their proud look will always bring a smile to your face. Plus, they don’t shed which is great news for those of you who don’t want to deal with dog hairs or for people with allergies. The only minus is that they don’t like to be left alone, so keep this in mind before getting an adorable Bichon Frise.
The Bolognese-dog is part of the Bichon family and is another white, fluffy little creature which is very intelligent and loyal and loves spending all of its time around people and children. You will be getting an excellent companion for just about any errand, walk or other activity you enjoy if you get a Bolognese.
They are little manipulators though, so keep that in mind when you are housetraining your Bolognese dog and be consistent and patient if you want positive results.
Also known as the “little American gentleman”, the Boston terrier was originally bred to be a pit fighter.
Today, it is a loving little breed which will become your favorite four-legged friend as soon as it enters your house. Some of the males, like other terrier breeds, feel a bit defensive when other dogs enter their territories, but they are not aggressive or too boisterous.
This little buddy will reach a mere 10 inches of height by the shoulder when it is fully grown. With its human-like eyes and incredibly cute looks, it will steal your heart away as soon as you set eyes on it. .The Griffon is a popular house pet which is cheerful, affectionate and curious. They can be a bit moody and sensitive when they don’t get enough attention, so if you are ready to spend time petting and playing with your pup – the Brussels Griffon is perfect for you. A dog of this breed stole the show as “Verdell” in the Oscar-winning movie “As good as it gets.”
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Remember the amazingly beautiful “Elizabeth Taylor” – Charlotte’s beloved dog in “Sex in the city”? Well, this is Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. It is a perfect combination between the toy breed gentleness and the athleticism and verve of the spaniels. The regal outlook and grace of these wonderful animals, along with the large beautiful round eyes and the silky and richly colored coat make this breed a very popular one. This breed gets along with other animals and with children very well. They are very adaptable, so no matter whether you are an active person or prefer spending time at home, your Cavalier dog will be your perfect companion.
Known as the world’s smallest dog breed, the Chihuahua also has one of the biggest personalities when it comes to canines. A national symbol of Mexico, and a popular “purse dog”, the Chihuahua is a loyal, charming dog with a Napoleon syndrome, which makes it feel like a really large dog. They are ideal for city pets, but keep in mind that they are so tiny, that they are not suitable for rough games and treatment from children. Also, they need to be dressed and cared for particularly in the cold season, so if you want a perfect miniature dog which has its own miniature wardrobe – go for a Chihuahua.
If you want a dog which will stand out from any other pup, and a great conversation starter – the Chinese Crested is the perfect dog for you. It looks like no other dog, with its spotted pink skin and the crested hairdo, the feathery tale plume, and the furry socks. These dogs are very affectionate, alert and lively tiny dogs. The height they reach is up to 13 inches, and they can be either coated or hairless. Both are elegant, playful and very loyal to their families. They obviously don’t shed as much hair as other dog breeds and are perfect companions for young and old.
One of the most beloved breeds, the Cocker Spaniel is loyal, intelligent, affectionate and full of a desire to please. This makes training a Cocker quite easy.
The sweet expression and the large dark eyes and the long, lush ears make it impossible not to want to pet and love the Cocker Spaniel. The coat comes in a wide variety of colors, and the sturdy and solid body and smooth and easy gait of this small dog make it stand out from the other breeds.
Cockers are great with children and are easy to train as companions as well as for competitions. They are portable and yet sporty. Yes, that fur does require some extra grooming, but if you take care of your pet’s beautiful coat – it will surely be the prettiest dog in the neighborhood!
Coton de Tulear
The Coton-de-Tulear or just Coton is a sweet-natured and smart dog which wants to spend all of its time with its person. These exceptionally cute dogs have a cotton-like coat which is not real fur. The special hair doesn’t shed and has low dander levels, which means that if you have a dog allergy – the Coton can be the perfect pet for you. It does need daily grooming and brushing, but this breed is known to lack the common dog smell or any other odor which some people tend to find bothersome. This cotton ball like doggie comes in white, black or tricolor colors. It is an excellent companion if you are prepared to have your dog follow you around just about anywhere inside and outside of the house!
Dachshunds are legendary dogs. They are also known as “Wiener” dogs and their long backed body paired with the short legs and dropping ears cannot be mistaken for any other canine breed around. The dachshund can be regular sized or miniature. The miniatures are less than 11 lbs. and can have long hair, smooth hair or wired hair. The coloring differs
The dachshund was originally bred for catching badgers and has a vivacious and ever-alert personality. You can expect a tireless, vigilant and smart little pet with a big bark if you decide to add a dachshund to your family. It is loyal, brave and stubborn, and of course is a lot of fun to be around.