If, like us, you love small, cute dogs and are thinking of getting one, it’s good advice to consult a list of small dog breeds first. The sheer number of different types of small dogs to choose from can be quite overwhelming. And it can actually be very difficult to decide upon the best small dog for you and your circumstances. So in order to help you, we’ve put together a comprehensive list of small dog breeds (fluffy ones, of course!) along with a short description of each breed to help you choose which best meets your needs.
List of small dog breeds
The following list of small dog breeds should help you to choose the most suitable small fluffy dog for you and your circumstances.
Very affectionate and friendly towards family and friends, the American Eskimo can be wary of strangers. American Eskimos are very intelligent dogs that are also vocal, and are constant chewers. They’re very good with other dogs and children.
The American Eskimo sheds a lot and needs grooming. Also requires a fair amount of exercise.
Good with young children and very affectionate, the Australian Terrier is intelligent and makes a very good watchdog. Bred as a working dog and has strong instincts to hunt and kill small animals.
The Australian Terrier loves digging so not the best dog if you like your manicured lawn!
A good family dog, the Bedlington Terrier is affectionate and playful. They are good with children and fairly good with strangers. Bedlington Terriers are energetic diggers and fast runners, they need plenty of exercise.
They are usually okay with other dogs, but they need to learn to get on with cats and other animals.
They can suffer from separation anxiety so not the ideal choice if you will be leaving your dog alone for long periods.
A brave and loyal companion, they are great family pets. They also make very good watchdogs.
The Bolognese is a clever and loyal small dog that is also quite shy and reserved. They are also playful and happy little dogs, getting along fine with other dogs.
A good hunter and an energetic digger, the Border Terrier is a very energetic dog with a loving and good-natured personality.
Determined and loyal they require a lot of attention and exercise and so are more suited to active families. Not the ideal choice for a pet that is to be left alone for long periods.
A sensitive dog that can be moody, the Brussels Griffon requires lots of attention and so is more suited to those who can give them this throughout the day.
They can be irritable with children but usually get on fine with other animals. A very affectionate dog.
A confident and intelligent dog, the Cairn Terrier is small and sturdy. Cairn Terriers are independent but like attention and can become bored and unhappy if left alone, which can lead to chewing and barking.
They are good with children and makes a great family pet.
Lively and outgoing, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is friendly and affectionate. They get along well with other dogs and pets and are well-behaved and eager to please.
As they love attention they are not suited to being left alone all day. They can also develop small dog syndrome if allowed to.
The Cesky Terrier is a calm and patient dog, but is also curious and playful. Brave and intelligent, they are good with children and are easy to train. They get along well with other dogs and pets, and they make an ideal family dog.
They do require firmness to prevent small dog syndrome.
The Chow Chow is a quiet and attentive dog but can also be territorial. Chow Chows are reasonably good with children, but definitely better with older children as they tend not to tolerate being fussed over or manhandled.
They will also get along with other dogs and pets if they get to know them when young. They require firmness and to know who is the pack leader.
Affectionate and friendly, the Cockapoo is always happy and full of life. Cockapoos get on great with children, strangers and other pets.
They’re good for people with allergies, although they do require a fair amount of grooming (but less then poodles).
The Cocker Spaniel is a gentle, friendly and happy dog that makes a great companion.
They are very good with other pets and children. They do need a fair amount of grooming.
A sweet and cuddly dog, the Coton de Tuléar has a very gentle personality. They are very intelligent dogs but don’t like to be alone so not ideal if you will be away from home for long periods.
They are easy to groom and are good with children, strangers and other pets.
The Dandi Dinmont is an independent dog, but is also friendly and affectionate.
They get along well with children and other pets as long as they are exposed to them when young, but they are wary of strangers.
The Dandi Dinont is intelligent and bold. They have modest exercise requirements.
Quiet and laid back, the English Toy Spaniel is an unassuming but independent dog that requires little exercise.
They make devoted companions making them ideal for the elderly or those with mobility problems.
They can suffer from separation anxiety so they’re not for those who will be away from home for long periods.
They get along with other dogs but can be timid and reserved with strangers.
Very affectionate and loving, the Havanese gets on well with other dogs, children and strangers. They need company or will suffer from separation anxiety.
The Havanese is an energetic and playful little dog that is curious and intelligent, making them easy to train.
Very friendly and affectionate and also very cat-like and athletic, the Japanese Chin is a loving, intelligent dog.
They are independent but well-behaved and ideally suited to apartment living.
Despite their coat, they require little grooming.
They gets along well with other dogs and cats and older children. Their small size means they aren’t really suited for younger children.
The Japanese Spitz is a playful and intelligent dog whose alertness makes it great watchdog.
They are high-spirited but well suited to apartment living.
They do need firmness to avoid small dog syndrome.
A very friendly and sociable dog, the Keeshond loves children. They will also get along with dogs and other pets if introduced to them at an early age.
The Keeshond is full of energy, active and intelligent. They need a fair amount of exercise.
Gentle but playful, the Kyi-Leo is almost cat-like in its abilities. They are a very friendly and affectionate dog, and are good with children as long as they are shown firmness and leadership.
They need to be socialized at a young age to prevent wariness of strangers.
Very protective though not aggressive, the Lhaso Apso needs socializing and training at a young age. They are very independent and intelligent dogs.
Their coat requires a lot of grooming.
They are not the most patient with young children.
A brave and surprisingly robust little dog, the Lowchen is nevertheless gentle and playful. Loving and affectionate, Lowchens require attention to thrive.
They get along well with other pets but can be wary with strangers if not socialized at a young age.
The Maltese is an elegant and intelligent dog that is well suited to apartment life.
Very energetic and intelligent, they require a lot of attention or they can suffer from separation anxiety.
They are considered to be hyopallergenic so great for those who suffer with allergies.
They’re not too good with young children.
A good-natured and intelligent dog, the Miniature Schnauzer is friendly and affectionate.
Playful and energetic, the Miniature Schnauzer likes attention and gets along well with children. They can get along with other dogs if socialized when young.
They need firm training to avoid small dog syndrome.
Outgoing, lively and energetic, the Norfolk Terrier is friendly and outgoing.
An independent but affectionate dog, they get along well with children if raised with them.
They needs lots of toys and attention to keep them occupied.
Full of personality and very energetic and active. Brave but not aggressive, the Norwich Terrier is friendly and affectionate.
Their high energy means they require a lot of attention and exercise.
Brave and independent, the Pekingese is also a very affectionate dog.
They are likely to develop small dog syndrome if allowed to, so firmness is required. They are wary with strangers and may not get along with other dogs.
The coat requires a fair amount of grooming.
The Pomeranian is an independent yet loyal dog who gets along well with other dogs if socialized from a young age.
Their independence makes them a good choice for the elderly or those with a busy lifestyle.
Very friendly and curious, the Papillon is a bright and energetic dog.
They have an outgoing personality and love to be with people. They are good with children, dogs and other pets.
Their coat doesn’t shed much.
A very intelligent dog, the Toy Poodle is affectionate and likes to be with people.
They are likely to get lonely if left alone for long periods.
They require a fair amount of exercise and may develop small dog syndrome if allowed to.
They are very intelligent and eager to learn, making them one of the easiest dogs to train.
Clever and confident, the Puli is an intelligent dog that is great with children and also the elderly.
The long coat requires a lot of grooming.
They are wary of strangers but not aggressive towards them.
They require firmness to know who is the boss (that should be you!).
The Scottish Terrier is a clever and independent dog, that can also be stubborn.
They need little exercise other than a short walk each day.
The Scottish Terrier gets on well with older children but is not really suited to younger children and babies as they don’t like to be prodded and poked.
They do like digging!
The Sealyham Terrier is an affectionate and loyal dog.
They can develop small dog syndrome if allowed.
The Sealyham Terrier is an inquisitive and good-natured dog, good with older children.
They require little exercise.
The Sheltie is a loving and affectionate dog that gets on well with all members of the family. They can be wary of strangers though.
The Shetland Sheepdog is clever and eager to please but does require attention to prevent them getting bored.
Little exercise is needed other than a daily walk.
They require plenty of attention and exercise.
They get along great with children, pets and other animals.
Elegant but full of character, the Silky Terrier is a true terrier who loves chasing and digging.
They requires exercise daily and are best when not left alone for long periods.
The Silky Terrier is loyal and friendly, but better with older children than younger ones.
The Tibetan Spaniel is alert and active, and a loyal and affectionate companion.
Tibetan Spaniels are clever and happy, getting along well with other animals.
They require firmness to avoid small dog syndrome.
Brave, but gentle and friendly, the Tibetan Terrier is a clever dog that is full of life and personality.
They requires a fair amount of exercise and attention but can be wary of strangers.
Tibetan Terriers are good with older children.
Affectionate and loyal to those close to it, the Volpino is nevertheless wary of strangers.
Volpinos are quick and agile, and they love to play. They get on well with all members of the family and make a good watchdog.
Independent and friendly, the Westie loves life.
Westies are intelligent and quick to learn, making them easy to train.
They can usually be left alone while you go to work.
The Westie gets along with children of all ages, and enjoys the company of other dogs.
The final dog on our list of small dog breeds is the Yorkie. The Yorkie is friendly and affectionate to those they know but can be wary of strangers.
They like lots of attention, so are not ideal for being left alone for long periods.
They require daily exercise but not excessive amounts.
Yorkies are better with older children rather than younger.
It can be hard to decide which is the best small dog for your needs. All breeds have different personalities and needs that you need to match with your own requirements. The above list of small dog breeds should help you to choose the perfect dog for your situation.