What is the best small dog to have?-A Complete Guide With Pictures To The Best Small Dog Breeds

When it comes to choosing a dog breed, size is one of the first and the most critical factor that many people consider. Especially for city dwellers where an ideal dog breed for apartment living is needed, dog size, temperament, and level of energy play a huge role in ticking the boxes of what is considered to be the best dog. 

So, what is the best small dog to have?

If I could have the best small dog today, here’s the list of best small dog breed list I would choose from:

  1. Norfolk Terrier. 
  2. Norrbottenspets. 
  3. Dandie Dinmont Terrier. 
  4. Lhasa Apso. 
  5. Skye Terrier.
  6. Swedish Vallhund. 
  7. Parson, Jack Russell and Russell Terriers. 
  8. Bichon Frise.

And here’s why I would pick any of the above as my Ideal small dog breed to have…

Admittedly, dogs come in all different sizes and can be chosen based on many various reasons too. However, in this post, the focus is small dog breeds you are likely to find in many of homes across America and around the globe.

In the dog world, small dog breeds can mean a lot of things, either Miniature dog breeds or medium-sized crossbreeds. The good news is that if you are looking for small dog breeds, there are exceptions to flexibility depending on your ideal pet choices along the lines of dog size.

Small dog breeds are one of the most loved breeds, but don’t just take our word for it! 

Here are a few reasons why the majority of households in America and around the world prefer small dog breeds over large dog breeds. 

Interestingly, these facts we share here might just help you see how excellent a miniature dog breed is for you.

1. They are easier to carry around. You can easily transport them to the vet or take them with you on family trips and fit them in your car.

2. Small dogs are cheaper. As obvious as it may sound, small dog breeds are less expensive because they won’t require so much food and supplies for them to be looked after properly as you raise your puppy into an adult dog.

3. Small dogs shed less fur than bigger or medium-sized dogs. Their small bodies means they do not have alot of fur as compared to other dogs. So having small dogs means you won’t have to vacuum so regularly as you would with other breeds.

4. They are good at cuddling and they can fit in your lap. After a long day of work, it always feels good to have a small dog to cuddle with. 

Small dog breeds are usually those dogs that weigh less than 22 pounds and stand shorter than 16 inches. 

Now that we have looked at reasons why you have considered adopting a small dog, let’s take a look at the breeds and see which one suits you.

1. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

As the name states, this breed is a cross of Cavaliers and the Spaniel. They are mostly white and brown in Colour. 

These breeds have energy like that of a big dog and are very playful. They also have a natural gentle behavior which makes them suitable around kids.

The Cavalier King Charles dogs are usually called “Therapy Dogs” because being around them makes one feel calm. These dogs are very well mannered.

2. Bolognese

bolognese dog

These dogs breeds are known for their loyalty and attachment to their owners. 

They need their owners to be around them longer and tend to develop separation anxiety. This makes them suitable for people who are mostly around the house. 

These fluffy white dogs are very playful and will definitely be your best friend.

3. Italian Greyhound

These dogs are very recognizable in the U.S. and they are mostly seen with celebrities. This is because they are very cute dogs, of course. 

They weigh up to 14 pounds when they get older, and they are known to live longer (up to 15 years)

If you like to carry your dog around with you and you are very out-going, then this is the dog for you. It will also make great pictures for your social media.

4. Bichon Frise

bichon frise

These dogs date back from the 1200s when the Bichon Frise was seen with the nobles. Due to the French Revolution, they became adapted to becoming circus performers and many others left the kingdom.

These Breeds are very friendly and very easy to train. Their intelligence allows them to remember their tricks and understand commands. 

On top of that, they are cute dogs and very cuddly.

5. Basenji

Basenji Dog

 These breeds are taller than the average small breeds and are very Catlike when is comes to their behavior. 

They mostly do not bark, and they like to groom themselves just like cats do. They are perfect for people who are not very social.

On the other hand, Basenji breeds are very rare to find since this is a unique breed.

6. Australian Terrier

The Australian terrier dog Breed
The Australian terrier dog Breed

The Australian Terrier is a unique dog breed that was bred for a sole purpose of hunting of small mammals like snakes. They are very fearless and easily trained.

The Australian Terrier breed grows to about 20 pounds and are one of the smallest in this category of breeds. 

If you stay in a cabin in the woods or like go out camping, this dog is perfect for you.

7. West Highland White Terrier

These breeds grow up to only about 20 pounds and like working alone so don’t worry to much about this dog developing separation anxieties.

They are very adventurous, easy to train and they always enjoy challenges. 

8. Chihuahua

The Chihuahua Dog Breed

These are well known for being called “Purse Dog” because they are very small. Their height does not exceed 8 inches, making them one of the tiniest dogs.

They can live in almost every environment but are mostly available in the city. This breed, however, needs extra covering during the coldest seasons.

Furthermore, being the tiniest dogs means that they shed way less dander than other dogs.

9. Maltese

These dogs weigh about 7 pounds and have a very long silky coat. The coat usually touches the floor as they move. Despite having such a long coat, they don’t shed and they are excellent for people who are allergic to dander. 

The Maltese breed loves to make friends and they can easily be trained so don’t be afraid to take this dog with you when you go out.

10. The German Spitz

This breed can weigh up to 26 pounds, which is heavier than alot of small dog breeds. They also adapt very easily to the environment around them as well as the weather. 

The German spitz is very protective of its home so it’s sense of disgust in strangers makes it an excellent watchdog.

11. Dachshund

The Dachshund is a very friendly breed and appears to be very curious about people or things around them. 

If you want a dog that will swim with you and play all day then this is the breed for you. They only hate long runs or long swims. They have a very loud bark and can also make good watchdogs.

12. The Pug

The Pug Dog Breed

The name comes from the Latin word “Pugnus,” which means fist. This is because alot of people say that the breed looks a little like a tightened fist. 

These breeds are, on the other hand very cute and friendly to everyone so don’t be afraid to meet people when you have this dog around.

13. French Bulldog 

This breed was very popular in france in the 18th Century but later spread in other countries. 

They look like the pug and terrier which makes it possible that they were crossed some years. Despite that, it easy to tell them apart due to its bat-like ears and domed skull.

The French Bulldog is very territorial, which makes it an excellent watchdog. Other than that, it loves to stay in one place and sometimes playful.

14. Miniature Pins 

This breed comes from a cross of the Dachshund and Italian Greyhound, which means that it also takes the characteristics of those breeds. They like to play outside and are very loyal to their owners

Despite the name miniature, these dogs like to show big dog traits. If you want a breed that will keep up to your long runs, this is the breed for food.

15. English Toy Spaniel

The English Toy Spaniel dog breed originated from British toy spaniels that were crossed with Asian Toys dating back in the Victorian Era. 

They have a flat face and are very cute. 

The English Toy Spaniel like challenges and are very adventurous dogs. If you like hunting, take this dog with you. 

16. Boston Terrier

These dogs are heavier than alot of dogs in the small dog breed kingdom. They weigh about 26 pounds. They are very cute dogs and very lovable for their big round eyes.

They love playing. This is the dog that you can leave around your kids and worry less.

17. Cardigan Welsh Corgi 

This dog breed has small legs and low chest. Despite that, they run very fast and were once known for herding cattle in European countries some years back. 

They are probably the heaviest small dogs as they weigh about 38 pounds and can adapt to weather and any environment.

18 Havanese

havanese dog

These dogs have a very long coat that doesn’t shed. This means they are perfect for people that are allergic to dander. 

In cold times, the coat keeps them warm and in hot times it keeps their skin from being sunburnt. 

The Havanese are very friendly and very easily to train as long as it is not a harsh training method.

They are city dogs and are native to the country of Cuba.

19. Affenpinscher


The Affenpinscher dog breed is well loved by women in the house as they have the ability to chase and kill pests. In Germany back in the 1600s they were used to exterminate rats. 

They are very obedient and active listeners, which makes them easy to train.

20. American Eskimo Dog

These dogs are small and cute dogs and love being carried around which is quite the opposite of what you think when you hear the name “American Eskimo Dog”. 

They are playful, friendly dogs and also very clever so they are not afraid of challenges.

21. Brussels Griffon

These dogs have a big coat which is very smooth called “Brabancons”. They like cuddling and they will keep up to your activities.

Brussels Griffon dogs are very loyal to their owners and sometimes territorial when it comes to strangers. They are also very alert and curious. 

22. Cairn Terrier

These dogs are very active as they like to keep themselves busy. They are very curious dogs and like to go outside. 

Cairn Terriers are not very good with other dogs and they also don’t get along with cats. This dog is not suitable around very young kids, unless if they are kept under supervision.

Other than that, they play all day so you may need to keep up to their dynamic behavior. 

23. Lhasa Apso 

These dogs are very loyal to their owners and excellent listeners and can be trained without too much effort. 

However, they are not so good with strangers and will often bark when suspicious of anything that comes to their attention.

Their alertness and loud bark make them very good watchdogs. 

24. Miniature Poodle 

The Poodle weighs about 15 to 17 pounds, which is manageable compared to most dogs. They are very playful and easy to get along.

These dogs are considered to be very intelligent, adventurous, and are always open to challenges. 

Miniature poodles are also a very cuddly dog breed that is popular with millennials who are fashion conscious… 

The poodle clip is designed to protect their joints and organs in cold temperatures.

25. Norwich Terrier 

This is a unique breed and they are mostly called “a big dog in a small package” because of their hardworking characteristics.

If you want a dog that will be a companion to every family member, this is the dog i would recommend for you. Plus, they are easily trained.

In conclusion, its always to know the dog before you welcome that breed into your home. 

You don’t want to but a breed and realize that it is actually not the breed for you. I hope you have selected the right breed for in the 25 breeds above. Take care of your dog.

Eddie Mcfarren

Eddie Mc Farren has been proudly advocating for pets and animal welfare for countless years and he's been doing so with passion and commitment to excellence. Because of that commitment, he helps Pet Referred.com maintain a completely friendly support team who help you navigate the complex choices you have to make for your pet food, best dog travel beds, skincare products for your pet and many more. Being on the constant hunt for 100% best pet supplies and service satisfaction for your pet is a task we approach with unprecedented intensity. Eddie also helps with the selection of our partners of choice and are carefully vetted to make sure that you get the best results possible for your pet.

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