Looking for the perfect pup? Take our dog breed selector quiz to find get results based on your lifestyle.
Looking for a small dog? We definitely understand the appeal. Dog breeds that weigh under 25 pounds have a lot of benefits. They’re usually low maintenance, high on affection and it’s totally legit to dress them up in cute outfits. We’re not saying they’re a fashion accessory, but we’re also not saying they’re not a fashion accessory.
If you live in a smaller space, like an apartment, small dogs won’t take up much room. The same applies to bringing your dog on planes, trains and automobiles. Some may not be able to walk that far (a good thing for some owners!), but they can still see the world. Small dogs are also more likely to be welcome at hotels, in retail stores and even restaurant patios. In a pinch, you can also pop these pups into your tote bag.
Another plus? You won’t break the bank caring for a small dog. They tend to have lower vet bills, eat less food and need less grooming. Many little breeds come with a big bark, but just think of it as a cheap house security system. Then, with all those savings you can easily fund their long life spans. This is a dog that will be by your side for over a decade—at least!
The popularity of French Bulldogs is nothing new. These small dogs have been hot on the scene since 1850, fashionable with Parisian society and artists. The Rockefellers and J.P. Morgans? Big fans of French Bulldogs. It’s likely because these dogs are affectionate companions that rarely bark and need little exercise. They’re a great family pet and usually get along with everyone.
Beagles definitely embody the idea of “man’s best friend.” They’re handsome, hardy, and loyal companions. They’re also one of the most popular dog breeds in Canada for being lovable, athletic and having eyes most commonly described as “soulful.” Beagles were originally bred as hunting dogs and trained to travel in packs, so they’re made for family life and will get along well with other dogs—even if they bark at them at first.
Poodles are highly intelligent and easy-to-train breeds with a true air of elegance. If you want an obedient dog that fits into your life seamlessly, a miniature poodle is a great option. They’re social, good with strangers, and love to play with their owners. A genetic background in hunting makes them primed for long games of fetch and even dips in the water. Another great quality for many owners is their curly single layer coat, which can be considered hypoallergenic.
Yorkshire Terriers are little bundles of energy that will keep you on your toes. They love being around people, especially their people. After a solid play session, they’ll happily curl up and snooze for hours next to you. Many owners love Yorkshire Terriers as companions for a busy lifestyle because they tend to be highly adaptable to many different situations.
Who doesn’t love a wiener dog? Those funny little legs and long sausage body will bring you joy every time you see your pet. They’re also highly intelligent and very loyal to their owners. You’ll be charmed by their independence and seemingly inability to realize that they’re not a bigger breed. When they’re feeling cozy, you’ll find Dachshunds burrowed deep in a pile of blankets looking snug as can be.
A favourite of British Royalty, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi are quirky and cute. They’re one of the smallest breeds of herding dogs which means they’re more robust than you might initially think. They love being part of the pack and make for great family dogs. If any suspicious strangers threaten their owners, Corgis will bark up a storm but they generally have an easy disposition.
Miniature Schnauzers are the smallest of the three Schnauzer breeds. They have a big personality, are often outgoing, and fairly active. Bred with strong observant skills, Miniature Schnauzers make for great watchdogs, protective of you and your home. This breed is adaptable, able to go from roaming large expanses of farmland to small apartments. They enjoy physical activity and love spending time kids.
Is it a super model or a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel? These beautiful dogs will take over your heart, and social media account, in no time. A textbook lap dog, this breed loves being around people and shouldn’t be left alone for too long. They’re one of the rare small breeds that’s also eager to please, which makes them easy to train. Playful and affectionate, they make great therapy dogs and easily adapt to both city and country settings.
Sporting a stylish underbite and long silky coat, the Shih Tzu was originally bred in China to resemble a lion. That long mane is also considered hypoallergenic, which makes them popular for sensitive owners. Shih Tzus are a toy breed that rarely weighs more than sixteen pounds and lives almost twenty years. Not quite a lion—but definitely a portable companion that will be a great friend for a long time.
The Boston Terrier might look tough but they’re really big ol’ softies. They’re super friendly and easy to train because they love pleasing their owners. With their white and black markings, it looks like they’re wearing a permanent tuxedo. This, along with their nice nature, has earned them the nickname of “American Gentleman.”
Although there’s no such thing as a truly hypoallergenic dog breed, some dogs tend to evoke less allergic reactions for sensitive people. If you are allergic to dogs, but still want to adopt a pup, look into low-shedding options. Smaller dogs have less opportunity to shed dander, and are easier to brush regularly, so they’re a good place to start. Other tips for people with allergies include keeping your dog out of your bedroom, bathing your dog regularly, choosing carpet-free flooring and use air purifiers/vent filters to reduce airborne allergens.
Small dog breeds that are “hypoallergenic” include:
When you’re selecting the right breed, it’s important to consider your whole family. Do you need an easy-going dog that can deal with pokes and prods from younger children? Are there lots of people coming and out of your house to keep an energetic dog entertained? Not every breed is good for every situation and you should make sure a breed’s temperament and behavioural qualities align with your lifestyle.
Small dogs, especially if they’re not socialized correctly, can be snappy and yappy with young children or busy atmospheres. That being said, highly affectionate and eager-to-please breeds are a great addition to your family.
All of the small dog breeds listed in the Top 10 above are kid- and family-friendly.