What Type of Small Dog Is Right For You?

You know you want a small dog, but what type of small dog is best?

Small dogs, dogs that weigh under 10 pounds, make great lap dogs and are well suited for small homes or apartment living. Although they are cute and cuddly, they are also often high strung and may not be the best pet for all households, especially ones with small children. Small dogs can fancy themselves to be ferocious watch dogs and may get to be quite yappy, so if you live in an apartment where sound is an issue, you may want to pick your dog carefully.

Any type of small dog, however, can make a wonderful and loyal companion. These dogs typically live for about 10 – 12 years but your good care can extend their life even longer. Some of the most popular small dogs are:

  • Chihuahua
  • Maltese
  • Mexican Hairless
  • Min Pins
  • Papillons
  • Pekingese
  • Pomeranians
  • Pugs
  • Shih Tzu
  • Silky Terriers
  • Toy Poodle
  • Yorkshire Terrier 

The terriers are a popular type of small dog. The silky terrier is typically about 10” to the top of the shoulder and is an alert and friendly dog (although some can be nervous or shy). It’s silky coat is odorless and non shedding but does require about 10 minute of brushing every day to keep it from getting matted. They get along well with other pets and tolerate children fine if the children are gentle. The Yorkshire terrier or “Yorkie” is similar in appearance to the silky with a long coat that also needs regular grooming. The breed standard weighs under 7 pounds and these little dogs are independent but devoted companions. Due to their small size they can be injured if treated roughly and should be supervised around children.

The Shih Tzu is a type of small dog with a luxurious coat that needs quite a bit of grooming. These little dogs are often seen with their fur tied up in a bow on top of their heads which looks cute, but also serves to keep it out of their eyes. Plan on spending about a half hour a day on grooming one of these little dogs. They weigh about 9 to 11 pounds and stand about 10” to the top of the shoulders. They are bright lively dogs who are very affectionate and friendly. Like all small dogs they should be supervised around children as rough play can injure the dog.

The Toy Poodle has been a favorite type of small dog since they were first bred. The breed standard is 10” or under at the shoulders and he comes in a variety of colors. Who doesn’t recognize a dog with the standard poodle cut – fluffy head ears and ankle. This dog can also have a more simplistic grooming of just curly hair all over. These dogs are easy to care for and are very intelligent and active.

The Pug is one of the oldest type of small dog. He is very sturdy for a small dog. The short hair makes him easy to care for. He is typically about 14 pounds and is even tempered playful and loving.

The Pomeranian is an intelligent and lovable companion. These little dogs look like they are always smiling and it’s amazing how smart they are (I know because I have one!). He has a fluffy coat that is fairly easy to care for – about 10 minutes of brushing a day will keep it free from matts and a regular 4-6 week grooming is all that is needed. These dogs are tiny with the breed standard being from 3 to 7 pounds. They are hearty for their small size and very spirited.

The Pekingese is a type of small dog that requires quite a bit of grooming. Their coat is very thick and requires daily brushing. They can be rather stubborn but are good natured and loving once they get to know you! They typically weigh under 14 pounds.

The Min Pin looks like a miniature Doberman Pinscher and stands about 11” to the top of his shoulder. This short haired dog is regal looking and very active and playful. He can become possessive of his family and makes a good watch dog.

The Maltese has a long coat of white hair that requires daily grooming. This type of small dog is quite fearless although he only weighs about 5 pounds! He is trusting and affectionate and gentle as well as lively and spirited. Due to his small size he must be supervised when around children as this dog can be injured easily.

The Chihuahua is a great dog for apartment living. This type of small dog comes in 2 flavors – long and short haired. Weighing under 6 pounds, this little dog is very hardy and adaptable and makes a wonderful traveling companion. His short hair makes him easy to care for, but of course he must live inside. He is very alert and independent but devoted to his family.