Best Small Dogs for Families

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Having a small dog as a pet can be a wonderful addition to a family who loves dogs. A smaller dog is often preferred due to their compact size and ease of care.

In general, this is true, however, not all small dogs are appropriate for family life. If your family has one or more small children, you’ll want to find a dog that has an easy time adopting to an environment where young children are romping about. When playing with a small dog, children can be a little rough at times, and you want a breed who can go with the flow of things and not lash out or become frightened by a child’s sudden moves.

Your first decision when looking for the best small dogs for families is to decide on if you want a puppy or adult dog. Keep in mind that if you decide on a puppy, you’ll need to put a lot of time and effort into helping it get adjusted to your home, as well as, training it to become a house pet. If your home has a baby or toddler, you’ll be doing double duty trying to keep up with both human and dog children.

If you're serious about wanting a calm, well-behaved little dog... this is the training method for you.

On the other hand, if you select a dog that has already been socialized, it will be much easier for the dog to assimilate into your home and get used to being around active children. Remember, small dogs are very cute and cuddly, but they can also be temperamental and fragile. Dogs deserve a safe, comfortable home environment just like their owners. This is why it’s important to do your research on the best small dogs for families before making a final decision.

Here are 4 breeds that qualify for the best small dogs for families:


Picture of pug and baby eating cakePugs are instantly recognizable because of their distinctively pudgy face and permanently curled tail. Pugs are very playful and will want to interact with both children and adults in the household. After playtime is over, the pug will take it easy and relax, which is great if you’re looking for a low maintenance dog. Pugs can be the perfect pet for a small home or apartment because of their compact size. They are generally welcoming to strangers, but will bark to warn you when they hear strangers approaching.


Picture of beagle and boyThe most famous beagle in the world is Snoopy and Charles Schultz captured this breed’s spirit for adventure perfectly. They are extremely sociable little dogs with a taste for the wanderlust. The family who brings a beagle into their home must be prepared to provide them with constant stimulation. They are more suitable for families who have plenty of yard space and who love outdoor activities. Known for their short attention span, they do not take to training very well, but some training is definitely needed to keep their stubbornness in check. Because beagles love to explore, you’ll need to keep a close eye on them and provide adequate fencing, as well as a sturdy leash when out walking. They have a tendency to chase cats, squirrels and rabbits at will.

Boston/Jack Russell Terrier

Picture of boston terrier and babyTerriers are smart, courageous and are always looking for a good time. These little dogs can be one big ball of energy, which makes them great playmates for energetic children. Terriers hate to be bored and require a lot of stimulation. They will probably want to spend a lot of time outdoors exploring things. Originally bred to be independent hunters, this breed has keen instincts and will block out everything when they focus on something of interest. While Jack Russell terriers are easy to train, they need to be socialized around people and other dogs at an early age.

Bichon Frise

Picture of bichon frise and girlOriginally from the Mediterranean area, the bichon frise is considered gentle, playful, sensitive and very affectionate. These little dogs are also as cute as a button. They have a white curly coat that doesn’t shed a lot, which makes them a good selection for people with mild allergies. The breed’s easy going personality will fit right in with any size family.

If you're serious about wanting a calm, well-behaved little dog... this is the training method for you.

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