10 Best Small Dogs For Children

21 Jan, 2020 by Sylvia

Choosing the best dog breed for your child can be challenging. After all, each comes with its own set of unique traits. Just remember that cuteness should never be the deciding factor. You have to compare your lifestyle with each breed’s characteristics to find the best fit. To point you in the right direction, here is a selection of small dog breeds that are perfectly suited for your child and family life.

Bedlington Terrier

Bedlington terrier dog

Bedlington Terriers are a fantastic breed to have around children. In part, because they’re bold and great watchdogs with a high prey drive, making them natural protectors. These very inquisitive canines simply love pleasing their owners, though are nevertheless sometimes stubborn when it comes to training. Expect loads of energy that needs to be matched with regular exercise. Still, this makes them excellent play companions for kids!

Pros

  • A great watchdog
  • Smart
  • Loyal

Cons

  • Stubborn with training
  • Very energetic
  • Overly protective

Chihuahua

Cream long haired chihuahua walks on embankment in big city

Chihuahuas certainly enjoy seeking out plenty of attention and love. While their tiny size makes them look cute and cuddly, they are usually more suitable for slightly older children who can more carefully handle their fragile physique. They want nothing more than to be by your side. This is to the point where they can actually become destructive when left alone. Therefore proper training is important. Nevertheless, these dogs are eager to please, full of energy and always ready to play. They will make a very fun pet for children.

Pros

  • Very friendly
  • Energetic
  • Easy to train

Cons

  • Noisy
  • Sensitive to heat and cold
  • Destructive when alone
  • Fragile

Dachshund

dachshund on the bed, home comfort, warm

Dachshunds certainly love their fair share of playing, though are no strangers to taking a few relaxing naps throughout the day. Just like kids, they have their time to get wired up followed by some well-needed downtime. They can become somewhat aggressive if they perceive a threat. So making sure they receive plenty of obedience training will be essential if you have highly energetic kids. These dogs are very smart, but also stubborn. However, as they are quite responsive to positive and strong leadership. So experienced dog owners should have no trouble making this breed into a lovable and well-behaved addition to the family.

Pros

  • Friendly
  • Adaptive
  • Smart

Cons

  • Hard to potty train
  • Irritable
  • Nervous
  • Stubborn

Havanese

Happy little orange havanese puppy dog is sitting in the grass

Havanese are a lap dog that will always be by your side. Kids will love their gentle and affectionate nature. They do tend to get some separation anxiety when alone and will usually bark. Training these dogs definitely takes some patience, but the end result is well worth the effort. Havanese don’t shed, which makes them tidy little pups great for kids prone to fur allergies. Just keep in mind that they will require frequent grooming to keep their coats healthy.

Pros

  • Loving
  • Friendly
  • Gentle
  • Smart

Cons

  • Nervous
  • Excessive barker
  • Stubborn with training
  • Separation anxiety

Italian Greyhound

Portrait of nice italian greyhound

Italian Greyhounds are very athletic with a calm and loving personality. This makes them great backyard buddies for your child. They can be shy, especially around strangers, and require positive reinforcement to help build their confidence. Their sensitive nature makes them very docile and calm, especially around children. However, they do require patience for training in order to reach their full potential as a family pet that everyone will adore.

Pros

  • Loving
  • Gentle
  • Smart

Cons

  • Hard to train
  • Sensitive
  • Fragile
  • Shy

Maltese

beautiful woman working on laptop at home on bed. Cute small maltese dog besides. Lifestyle

Maltese are definitely playful and a lot of fun. That being said, they also have a very gentle demeanour. This makes them a perfect choice for your child. Just be sure to go ahead and socialize them with kids early since they become quite protective of their owners one they reach adulthood. They enjoy running and playing. You’ll find that they are actually quite easy to train and are great at learning tricks. This will make them extra easy for your child to interact with once they are trained. Just be prepared, because that cuddly coat requires constant grooming.

Pros

  • Playful
  • Smart
  • Easy to train
  • Energetic

Cons

  • Separation anxiety
  • Impatient with kids until trained

Miniature Schnauzer

Miniature schnauzer puppy

Miniature Schnauzers are a vibrant little breed, who are full of life, playful energy and a very loving personality. Just make sure to give all of that playful energy somewhere to go with plenty of exercise to keep them out of trouble. They get along swimmingly with most other pets and are phenomenal around kids. Part of this is simply due to the fact that they are so easy to train, making them a great family dog. Your kids will have fun teaching them all sorts of new commands.

Pros

  • Smart
  • Easy to train
  • Playful
  • Gentle

Cons

  • Very energetic
  • Destructive when bored

Pug

pug on grass

Pugs are sturdy little dogs that are great for kids. In fact, they are one of the fewer small dog breeds that are equally great for younger and older kids alike. Small dogs are prone to fragile physiques, making them too delicate for some kids to handle. Pugs, on the other hand, are a durable, tough and tumble breed. You won’t have to worry too much about even the most energetic child being overly rough. They’re not always full of energy but still enjoy moderate exercise. Their stubborn nature makes them hard to train, so you’ll want an experienced dog owner in the home to help lead the way. Still, they have a fun personality and are a joy to have around the home.

Pros

  • Friendly
  • Playful
  • Fun personality

Cons

  • Mischievous
  • Health problems
  • Sensitive to heat and cold

Shih Tzu

Lovely Shih Tzu

Shih Tzu’s are quite easy to train and very eager to please. They’re full of energy and require plenty of playtime, training, and walks. This breed will definitely keep your child busy with lots of games and times running around. They really enjoy companionship and bonding. So much so in fact that they also benefit from a second Shih Tzu as a companion to learn from and play with. While it is not essential, you’re child certainly won’t mind two puppies instead of one.

Pros

  • Friendly
  • Playful
  • Adaptive

Cons

  • Very energetic
  • Requires a companion

Toy Poodle

cute toy poodle standing inside house and looking outside

Toy poodles are friendly and outgoing, making them great around kids. Just keep in mind that they can become bored causing problematic behaviour. This means they need a strong leader to avoid aggressive behaviour. Though they will certainly mellow with both proper training and age. This is one of the smartest breeds in the world. They require constant grooming to avoid matting, so be prepared to keep up with the maintenance. It’s a decent trade-off though, as they are one of the few breeds that are hypoallergenic. Overall this is a fabulous choice for children, especially for those who are prone to allergies.

Pros

  • Very smart
  • Easy to train

Cons

  • Noisy
  • Irritable
  • Impatient

Remember that while these small dog breeds are great for children, they still require proper and consistent training. Your time and patience are required to ensure your dog becomes a welcome addition to your family. When you put in the effort to develop a routine for your dog, they will enhance your and your children’s lives in so many meaningful ways!

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