The love of a dog is limitless, no matter his size. Generally, dogs that weigh more than 50 pounds are considered big, 20-50 pounds are medium-sized while 20 pounds and less are classified as small dogs.
The best small dog breeds are appealing and their popularity continues to grow. Various reasons like the aging human population and shifting preferences are contributing factors.
In the US, surveys show that a higher percentage of households own small dogs that are under 25 pounds. The American Kennel Club lists the most popular small dog breeds as the Chihuahua, Beagle, Dachshund and Yorkshire Terrier.
Some small dogs occurred naturally while others were selectively bred. Their ancestry can be traced back to the Middle East to the gray wolf which happened to be the smallest of the wolf family.
Just like that expensive diamond in the ring box, these pooches prove that the best things come in small packages. If you ask a dog lover why they love small dogs you will probably get one or all of the following reasons:
1. Small dogs are cute
It is easy to fall in love with a small dog that looks like a tiny puppy even when fully grown. The internet is full of images and videos of cute small dogs doing all sorts of antics and living their best lives.
Have you heard how some dog parents refer to their small dogs as fur babies? This is because these pooches have the same big eyes and chubby cheeks that are attractive in human babies.
A small dog’s cuteness is appealing to everyone. It is undeniable that their adorable faces can melt the coldest of hearts.
The Chihuahua is the smallest breed and one of the most popular because of his charming and sassy personality. This cutie has a long list of celebrity owners including music icons like Madonna and famous actors like Mickey Rourke.
2. Small dogs are bred solely for companionship
Big dogs were bred to work jobs like hunting, herding and guarding while small breeds’ main purpose was to sit by their human companions. This is why the best small dog breeds are often amiable and personable.
Many small dogs were bred as lapdogs for royalty and will be happy to sit on your lap while you binge-watch your favorite television series or work from home.
A companion animal has been scientifically proven to provide benefits like reducing blood pressure and cholesterol and influencing people’s emotional states and outlook on life.
Remember that even though the best small dog breeds are known to be friendly and eager to please it is important to provide adequate training and early socialization to make sure they have well-rounded personalities.
3. Small dogs take up less space than big dogs
Small dog breeds are compact and can adapt easily to living in tiny spaces. With increased urbanization and many people opting to live in apartments, these dogs make the perfect companions.
Many residential buildings have tenancy agreements that restrict dogs to a certain weight limit. Choosing to adopt a small dog won’t leave you scrambling to find a new place to live.
If you love to snuggle up on your bed and couch with your furry friend, you will find it easier with a small dog breed that will not take up as much space as a big dog. You won’t be forced to squeeze into a tight spot and there will always be a lot of wiggle room.
4. Small dogs are cheaper to feed
Because of their size, small dogs eat less than their bigger counterparts. A Pug needs only ¼ of the calories that are required by a German Shepherd.
Significant differences in food for the different sizes of dogs include the kibble size, ingredients and calories. Small dogs need smaller pieces that are easier on their mouths and digestive systems.
5. Small dogs have low maintenance costs
The cost of owning a dog depends on various factors like where you reside, your lifestyle, the dog’s individual needs and the dog’s age and size.
Everything is smaller for tiny breeds. Dog supplies like dog beds, collars, leashes, harnesses, bowls and toys are smaller and therefore cost less.
6. Small dogs create less of a mess to clean up after
All dogs are messy. The smaller the dog, the less of a mess they create. The poop size of a small dog is not the same as that of their larger counterparts.
Some tiny dogs can be housetrained to use pee pads and even litter boxes like cats.
Big dogs will shed more than small ones. More often than not big dogs have double coats and their size means they will have more hair that will be shed around the home.
7. Small dogs are easy to carry around
Small dogs are portable and easy to carry around. They can be scooped up and rest comfortably on their owners’ arms and laps.
Small dog breeds weigh less and are more compact. It is easier on the knees and back to pick up a dog like a Maltese than a large dog like a Rottweiler.
This is especially convenient after the dog has undergone a medical procedure like spaying or neutering, or after surgery.
Small breeds need fewer doses of medications, and flea and tick treatment.
8. Make excellent traveling companions
Small dogs are cheap travel dates because they are allowed in the cabin on most airlines. They can be tucked away safely under the seat, unlike larger dogs who have to take the flight among the luggage.
If you are looking for a canine travel companion, a small dog breed is ideal. Indoor spaces like hotels, restaurants and shopping malls tend to be accepting of them more than bigger dogs.
There is a wide variety of pet carrier bags and backpacks that owners can use to keep their small companions secure and comfortable from one location to the next.
Whether they are riding in the car or using public transport, small dogs are easy to travel with. Restraining and securing a small dog in a moving vehicle can be as simple as attaching his harness to the seat belt.
9. Small dogs live longer
In the animal kingdom, large animals like elephants live longer than smaller ones like mice. Even large birds have longer lifespans than tiny ones.
But dogs are different. The bigger the dog, the shorter his lifespan. Large breeds can live up to 8 years while smaller dogs can live for as long as 15 years.
Toy Poodles can live up to 15 years while Great Danes have a life expectancy of seven.
Studies have proven that large dogs age significantly faster than small breeds. Because of their size, there is more strain on large dogs’ physiological processes meaning their bodies wear out quicker.
10. Minimal exercise needs
Every dog requires regular physical and mental exercise, regardless of size. Small dogs are like any other dog except they come in a small package.
Because most small breeds are bred solely for companionship they don’t need as much activity and movement as larger dogs. For this reason, people with mobility, health issues or the elderly make a great pairing with small dogs.
Regular short walks or play sessions are sufficient. Your small dog may even be happy to walk on the treadmill in the warmth and comfort of the house, especially on those days when the weather is not so good outside.
11. Small dogs have lower energy levels
Small breeds have less energy than big dogs. When walking a small dog, they won’t push up against other dogs or people with their little bodies.
It is important to match up with a dog with the same energy needs. If you are highly energetic, a larger dog would be a better fit.
12. Minimal grooming needs
Grooming expenses for small dogs are significantly lower than for a large breed. It is possible to bathe a small dog breed in the bathtub or kitchen sink. Bath time and cleaning sessions are easier and shorter.
A big dog’s nails are larger than a small dog which means you would need to use a smaller nail clipper.
But generally, the dog breed’s fur type and color will dictate how much more is needed for grooming.
13. Fancy dress partner
When a big dog is dressed up, the look can be ridiculous. But a small dog breed that is all kitted up is just about one of the cutest things you will see.
Many companies specialize in designing beautiful clothes for the best small dog breeds and it has become popular to dress them up for special events.
Halloween and Christmas can be so much fun with your small dog all dressed up for the occasion.
There are events that showcase fashion trends for little pooches. Annual events like National Dress Up Your Pet Day offer wonderful opportunities to have light-hearted fun with your small dog and dress them up in cute costumes.
14. Easier to manage on a leash
All dogs need to be trained to walk on a leash. Small dogs are definitively easier to manage. Tackling a larger dog can be a strain, especially for people with physical limitations.
When walking outdoors a small dog can get attracted by moving objects, other animals or dogs, especially if they have a strong prey instinct. It is easier to control a small dog breed and prevent them from getting hurt or running into a dangerous situation.
15. Good conversation starter
Because of their size, small dogs are more approachable and people automatically assume they are friendly. When out and about, don’t be surprised when passers-by stop to pet and talk to you about your little furry friend.
Having a small dog breed is a great conversation starter in social settings like dog parks. In a world where most relationships begin online, your pooch offers a good alternative to get to know new people in your local community and form friendships.
16. Excellent playmates for children
A well-socialized small dog makes an excellent playmate for children. His size doesn’t scare the little ones and it also helps that he doesn’t have a big bark which will most likely bring kids to tears.
Although small dog breeds have delicate bodies and are at risk of injury during rowdy playing, children who are taught how to play safely with them can enjoy many hours of fun with their small dogs.
17. Small dog, small problems
Everything about these dog breeds is small, even any problems that may arise during your life together.
Some dog parents claim that many things that they don’t accept from large dogs are cute in small dogs like face licking and face pawing.
Whether it is related to their behavior, bodily functions or health, their small stature means their effects on people’s lives are not as much as a large dog.
When behavioral issues are left unchecked with large dogs, they can be dangerous and destructive because their size magnifies everything. Even a small problem will require more attention and time investment.
18. Small dogs stink less
Sure, all dogs have a doggy smell because they have body odor from their sweat, glands and natural body oils.
When dogs have bacterial or fungal infections or their systems aren’t functioning as they should, they may produce unpleasant smells.
When you have a small dog breed, the stench is minimal and won’t funk up the whole house like it would with a larger breed.
19. Perfect snuggle buddy
All dogs crave a connection with their human companions and sleeping next to them at night is a way for them to create a special bond.
The best small dog breeds are affectionate and love to cuddle up to their human companions. They are the perfect size to hold and snuggle on the couch or in bed.
20. Appear non-threatening
Have you ever been scared to visit a friend who has a large dog because you don’t know how he will respond to you? Will he bark at you or jump up on you for attention?
Small dog breed owners don’t have that problem. Neighbors and friends associate the dogs’ size with fun and friendliness. Even their small barks are not deemed as menacing.
All dogs rock!
Here at All The Small Dog Breeds (ATSDB), we are crazy about dogs, big and small. All dogs have quirks and qualities that make them unique.
Little paws leave huge prints and they offer the same amount of joy, companionship and loyalty. We encourage a glance at our small dog breeds list with pictures.
When considering dog ownership, whether as a new or experienced dog parent, it is important to know about the specific breeds you have in mind. Choose a breed that suits your lifestyle.
Your level of activity, living space and physical and financial limitations are important factors to help you find the appropriate breed.
Our team at ATSDB has detailed small dog breed descriptions to help you make an informed decision so you can discover even more reasons why people love small dogs.