Top Ten 'Small Breed' Dogs

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PetMD Editorial
Published: December 01, 2011

Great Things Do Come In Small Packages

Sure, small dogs are cute, and some of them look cuddly, but not all small dog breeds have meek personalities. Like people, small dog breeds come with different personalities, so before you pick up your small, cute friend, it’s a good idea to know exactly what you’re getting. Here are our 10 favorite "small breed" dogs.


Image: B.Stefanov / Shutterstock

#10 Skye Terrier

Not a dog to get if you own cats, as it dislikes those of the feline persuasion. Otherwise, the Skye Terrier is extremely dependable, gets along fine with people, and is a great family pet. It is also a great dog for avid outdoorsmen.

Image: Eric Isselée / Shutterstock

#9 Pekingese

This small but ferocious dog is a faithful companion. The Pekingese's aggressive nature, however, does make it unsuitable for a family with other pets and kids. Its thick undercoat and coarse overcoat also requires a lot of grooming.

Image: ludovic / Flickr

#8 Dachshund

Believe it or not, the Dachshund actually makes an excellent watchdog and was bred to exterminate vermin! It is very attached to owner and family, but can be aggressive around unfamiliar children. The daring, adventurous and curious Dachshund is also fond of digging, hunting, chasing game, and tracking by scent.

Image: Soggydan / Flickr

#7 Bichon Frisé

The small-framed Bichon Frisé gets along well with children and other animals. Known for its white puffy coat and curious name, the Bichon Frisé is considered an active, easily trained dog. Overall, a wonderful breed for families and individuals alike.

Image: mikeledray / Shutterstock

#6 Shih Tzu

While it does no shed, it does require daily grooming. The Shih Tzu, also known as the "mini lion," makes for a good family dog -- it is very friendly and gets along with all creatures (even children).

Image: gyverchangphotos / Flickr

#5 Maltese

A good dog for those with allergies (it’s not a big shedder), the Maltese is friendly and often gets along well with other dogs and even cats. The Maltese doen't like to be left alone too much, though, as it was bred as a companion dog.

Image: Kevin Poh / Flickr

#4 Jack Russell Terrier

Do not choose this breed if you’re looking for a quiet dog that likes to lounge around being pampered all day. The Jack Russell is an active breed that loves to jump up on furniture, run around and lead a generally boisterous, happy existence. However, proper training can help make the dog calmer.

Image: desmorider / Flickr

#3 Boston Terrier

A great family dog, the Boston Terrier is friendly and bonds well with kids. Another plus is it doesn’t require a ton of grooming. But be warned, it loves to munch on household items, so lots of chew toys are definitely recommended. You should probably keep anything you don't want destroyed out of this dog's way, too.

Image: Sendai Blog / Flickr

#2 Chihuahua

Meek though it may look, the small Chihuahua can really pack a punch in attitude. It is known for nipping at children (probably not the best choice for a house with kids) or barking incessantly at strange dogs. It can also be loud and demanding. But before you say no, the Chihuahua is loyal and affectionate, and it's even been known to get along with cats (after an adjustment period, of course).

Image: Tambako the Jaguar / Flickr

#1 Pomeranian

The Pomeranian is an adorable, mellow and gentle dog, but it can sometimes get noisy (just like children). As a matter of fact, if you want a Pomeranian, it is great with kids, just as long as it's introduced as a puppy. Despite this, the Pomeranian, which sheds profusely, may not be the best choice for a house with very small children.

Image: leungchopan / Shutterstock