Here Are the 5 Best Small Family Dogs

Families, especially ones with small children around, are often leery about getting a large dog as a pet. While most dogs, large or small, are very loyal and have fantastic temperaments, accidents can happen. When they do, your child is much more likely to be okay with a little dog than a big one. If you're looking for a dog to add to your house, you'll want to look at these five best small family dogs!

One of the Best Small Family Dogs: Pug

The pug is arguably one of the best small family dogs out there. Adorable and playful, pugs are a kid's delight. Their muzzle has a very distinct appearance, with plenty of wrinkles and folds. Pugs' wrinkled brows give them a unique ability that not many dogs have: human-like facial expressions. You can see looks of happiness, surprise, bewilderment, and more on your pug's face. Being able to see those looks creates an instant connection between owner and dog. 

The fact that pugs are only 15 lbs or less and play nice with children makes them good small family dogs. 

Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkies are some of the cutest, most lovable dogs out there. With vibrant personalities, high levels of intelligence, and a very active lifestyle, they're perfect for children that need to burn off energy. These dogs tend to be very friendly and love to socialize. 

These dogs have other attractive properties that make them small friendly dogs for families. They live for many years, so your little ones will have plenty of time to befriend the new dog. While they're not hypoallergenic, they don't emit allergens as freely as some other pets do. So, they work well in households where one or more family members are mildly allergic to dogs.

Another one of the Best Small Family Dogs: Beagle

Thanks to Snoopy in Peanuts, the Beagle has a soft-spot in Americans' hearts, both young and old. In reality, Beagles are fantastic choices as small family dogs. Weighing less than 20 lbs and standing less than 13 inches tall, Beagles are lovable, love to seek companionship, and be quite happy.

Beagles are energetic and intelligent dogs, as well. You can train them relatively quickly. While Beagles don't require too much in regular grooming, they do shed quite a bit. Therefore, if you have someone in the house allergic to dogs, the Beagle isn't the ideal option. All other families would be hard-pressed to find an excellent small family dog that beats the Beagle.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Weighing around 15 pounds and standing at 12 inches tall, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a fantastic choice as a small family dog. One nice thing about these dogs is that they tend to adapt to the owner's lifestyle. For families with children that require a lot of play, these dogs will be up to the task. They also tend to be very playful and intelligent, which works well for families with kids.

One "downside" to the Cavalier is that it has a coat that won't get by with brushing it here and there. It requires regular brushing to keep it looking nice. Therefore, it's not as low maintenance as some of the other dogs out there, but its personality more than makes up for it!

Shih Tzu

The Shih Tzu is another excellent small family dog. It is relatively small in terms of weight and stature, and the coat on it looks phenomenal. As the American Kennel Club puts it, "few dogs are as beautiful as a well-groomed Shih Tzu."

Shih Tzus are affectionate dogs that are great with children, and they love smaller spaces. If you live in an apartment, Shih Tzu is a dog breed that will be happy living in such an enclosed area.

Prospective owners should be careful when it comes to dog training, though. Since the Shih Tzu is so adorable, it can often charm its owner into giving it what it wants. Unfortunately, doing so doesn't train or teach the dog anything. If you wish to have a well-tempered dog, you should make sure that you don't give in to them while crying. Doing so can sometimes lead to positive reinforcement of undesirable behaviors.

There Are Many Quality Small Family Dogs

Some of the best small family dogs are the pug, Yorkie, Beagle, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, and the Shih Tzu. While other dogs are excellent with small children, the dogs mentioned in this list are some of the best small family dogs if you're looking to get a new pup.

Fortunately, if you're ready to get a dog, there are quite a few of these types of pups in the various shelters nationwide.

What's the best small dog for a family?

The best small family dog is purely subjective. The pug, Yorkie, Beagle, and Shih Tzu are fantastic choices for a family. All of these breeds are small, lightweight, and therefore perfect for children.

Are beagles good family dogs?

Yes! Beagles make fantastic family dogs. They are playful, loving, and tend to be excellent with children. Their only "downside" is that they do require a decent amount of grooming, so if you're not used to brushing your dog regularly, you'll have to get into that habit. Other than that, you cannot go wrong with a Beagle as a family pet!

Are corgis good family dogs?

Corgis are a mixed bag in terms of whether or not they are suitable for families. In general, corgis are good with the right children. As herding dogs, Corgis are used to getting their way and tend not to respond favorably to children pulling their tail or doing other young child-like things. Most people recommend waiting until the kids are around five before bringing a Corgi home since it's difficult to reason with children below that age. However, with older children, Corgis are a wonderful breed. They tend to be active, requiring quite a bit of exercise, which works well with older children. They also make phenomenal watchdogs, which can give you some peace of mind.

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Written by Leo Roux

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