If you are looking for a new family pet for your family, then you have your work cut out for you. Researching dog breeds to determine the best fit for your family is an important step. Many people decide that a small dog breed is best when kids are in the picture. Small dog breeds have really gotten the reputation for being more like accessories, but you shouldn’t underestimate their uncanny ability to be a great companion to children.
While small breeds may lack a little bit size-wise, they make up for it in other areas. They are extremely playful and have delightful personalities. Many small breeds are extremely loyal as well, and have a great temperament– which are important qualities to have when you have children in your home. The biggest question you have to ask yourself if you are considering a small breed is whether you have the energy it takes to keep up with them. Many of the small breeds need to run and play a lot to keep a healthy weight.
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Choosing a small dog breed for your family will depend greatly on a variety of different factors, including your lifestyle, family size, children’s ages, and whether or not you want to have to groom and train them extensively. Some small breeds have a whole lot of pros, while others may have more cons. We have put together a list of the top 10 small dog breeds for children & babies, based on their personalities, ability to train, and other considerations.[/su_note]
Before you just go into your local animal shelter to adopt a pet, you will want to do your research and determine what qualities make these breeds ideal for children. The good news is that you don’t have to go out and look for the research because we have put it all together for you in one place!
10 Small Dog Breeds
The Maltese breed is the breed of royalty. In fact, they have been around for 28 centuries and counting, and have been right up there with the royalties. They not only have a beautiful, silky coat, they also have a gentle disposition and are constantly cheerful. Kids love the Maltese breed because they are affectionate and playful. Despite the fact that they enjoy lounging around, they are also really enthusiastic when it comes to learning, making them easy to train. They do, however, require you to brush them every day, and this may be a responsibility best taken on by older children that have a sense of responsibility.
The pug is another small breed that is great with kids! They are very playful and outgoing, but are also trustworthy and loyal. Pugs are bred to live with families and are great around other animals as well. They have a flat, wrinkled face that gives them a distinct look. This distinctive face also makes them more prone to having respiratory issues, which is usually exacerbated in harsh weather conditions. If you do choose a pug for your family, you will want to make sure that you keep them out of the extreme heat or cold. Another possible drawback is that they tend to shed, which could be a problem for people that have allergies.
3. Yorkshire Terrier
Yorkshire Terriers, often just called the Yorkie, is a dog that has a whole lot of expendable energy! If your children want a pet that they can play with a whole lot, then this could be the perfect choice! Yorkies are tiny dogs, and they are very active, not to mention they are also very intelligent and cute! Dog specialists say that Yorkies, while cute and playful, can have a tendency to play rough from time to time. Aside from being social and friendly, they can also be somewhat nippy from time to time. This, however, is a behavior that can be changed through behavior modification and positive reinforcements.
4. Miniature Schnauzer
The Miniature Schnauzer is probably one of the smartest, most cheerful small breeds available. They are pretty outgoing, and they are really protective of those that are close to them. This makes them a great companion for a child. As for trainability, the miniature schnauzer is really easy to train. They are pretty happy, whether they have a whole lot of room to run and play or not. Also, consider the fact that they rarely shed, making them great for people that suffer from allergies. All in all, this is a great breed, especially for those that have smaller children in their home.
When we think about the beagle breed, we automatically think about Charlie Brown and Snoopy. Snoopy really put the Beagle breed out there in terms of popularity! Beagles are really very happy pups, and they are also easy going, intelligent, charming and social. That sounds like a recipe for greatness in a home with kids, right? The key is to also take a look at the potential drawbacks. Beagles are often known to get in trouble when they are left for long periods of time alone. If you spend a lot of time out of the house, they may make a mess while you are gone. While this is a great breed for homes that have kids and stay active, it may not be the best choice if you work long hours and the kids stay in a childcare setting.
6. Brussels Griffon Terriers
The Brussels Griffon Terrier is a really lovable animal that also has extremely sensitive qualities. They like to follow you around like a little lost puppy in hopes to get more attention from you. They are protective of their families and remain loyal to them for the long haul. With these great qualities, it is easy to see why they are great for homes with children. To top it off, they are really obedient and they are great as watch dogs and playmates! Despite the fact that they are active and energetic, they are also known to snooze and sun bathe from time to time- giving the kids some quiet time as well.
7. French Bulldog
French Bulldogs are extremely smart and intelligent, and they love to play. They are social and lively, but they don’t bark a whole lot or get yappy like other small breeds. They enjoy lounging around, and they don’t require a whole lot of exercise. You don’t have to spend a ton of money on grooming either, making them easy to care for. If you don’t want a small breed that will be delicate and ‘easy to break’ so to speak, then a French Bulldog is a great choice! They are fearless and heavy boned, and can typically hold their own- even with the rougher and tougher kids! Just remember, they are better off in mild climates, so when the heat starts to rise, they need to be inside in the air conditioner.
8. King Charles Spaniels
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are named after King Charles the II of Britain. They are high spirited and they are natural charmers. Friendly and lively, they typically show no aggression or nervousness, which is really important when you are dealing with children. This type of Spaniel is adaptable, and they enjoy going out and exercising, but they also appreciate time to relax and get some rest. Intelligence, obedience, and ability to learn are all great qualities of this breed. If your family wants a pup that doesn’t require a lot of grooming or maintenance, then this is a good choice. They typically only need to be brushed once a week to keep a soft, lustrous coat.
For a small, easy going breed, the Havanese may be a great choice. This is a dog that is native to Cuba, and they have fluffy coats that help to keep them cool in the heat of the Havana. They don’t shed, which is good news for those that suffer from allergies; however, they do require a good deal of grooming. They are well known for being smart and well mannered, just as long as you start the training process early. Positive reinforcement works well with this breed. They are pretty compact, but they are also sturdy, great for active families!
10. Shih Tzu
Last, we have the Shih Tzu. This breed is pretty small, and they are rather gentle pups. They are usually alert and lively, and don’t really get snappy or nervous very much at all unless they feel threatened. The main drawback to this breed is that they have a long, lustrous coat that requires a fair amount of upkeep. It is important to have them groomed regularly to help keep their hair out of their eyes and free of mats. If you don’t mind the added upkeep and grooming, then this may be the perfect dog for your family.
As you can see, there are a lot of small dog breeds for kids. If you still don’t know what breed is best for you, why don’t you take a trip to your local animal shelter and take a look at some of their pets available for adoption? You will be able to get to know them on a personal level and make the selection easier for you.