Top 10 Calmest Small Dog Breeds

Crazy pups are cute and their antics can be hilarious but if you would prefer a pooch that will grow out of that wild phase then one of these chilled-out pooches may be for you. Small dogs are fantastic, they are accepted in many apartment buildings and on transport systems, are super snuggle-bugs and can be fantastic company for senior citizens or, couch-potatoes.

In this article, we will go through some of the important facts about these ten breeds of small dog to help you choose which may be the one for you.

Bichon Frisé dog

 

1. Bichon Frisé

Stats

Roughly translated from French as “furry lap-dog”, these fluffy, white clouds weigh-in at 3-7kg (6-15lbs) with an average lifespan of 12-15 years. Regular grooming and bathing will keep a Bichon's coat in tip-top shape and while they are a relatively hypoallergenic pet for humans, unfortunately Bichon's can suffer from sensitivities and allergies themselves. Originally bred as companion dogs on sail boats, these moderately intelligent dogs are easily trained and tend to live well with children and other dogs.

Pros

+ Easily trained
+ Bred to be hypoallergenic
+ Loves human company
+ Happy to curl up on the couch or go for a frolic in the forest

Cons

- Lots of grooming required to maintain their coat
- Can be territorial and vocal
- Prone to skin conditions, cataracts and liver shunts
- Some dogs may show separation anxiety if left alone too long

Lhasa Apso dog

2. Lhasa Apso

Stats

One of the oldest dog breeds in the world, Lhasa apsos were developed in Tibet as an indoor guard dog for Buddhist monks. These long-haired beauties weigh between 5-8kg (10-18lbs) and their lifespan averages from 12 to 14 years. Lhasa's can be different colours but all will have dark eyes and noses with curled tails wagging happily over their back. Lhasa coats tend to be long and dense, needing regular brushing and grooming to maintain.

Pros

+ Loyal to loved ones
+ Needs little exercise
+ Low shedding breed
+ Protective, good watch dog with excellent hearing

Cons

- Can be stubborn if they don't want to do something
- Need early socialization to prevent aggressive tendencies
- Can be territorial with other animals
- Rowdy as pups, Lhasas need patience when training

Shih Tzu dog

3. Shih Tzu

Stats

Another pup from the Tibetan Plateau, this toy breed are sturdy, long-haired and weigh-in at 4-7kg (8-16lbs) with a lifespan averaging 10-15 years. These cuties tend to have an underbite and quite a confident strut to their walk while carrying their tail over the back. The Shih Tzu's silky coat requires daily brushing and regular grooming to maintain its glossy glory. These pooches tend to be suitable for families but can be possessive of toys and food with other pets.

Pros

+ Need little exercise, snuggly couch-potatoes
+ Friendly and loves human company
+ Good with children and other dogs
+ Easily trained

Cons

- May bark excessively
- Can be aggressive or snappy if not properly socialized
- Can show signs of separation anxiety if left alone for too long
- Prone to dental disease from an early age

Pug dog

4. Pug

Stats

The third pooch on our list from the Far East, China; these pampered pets were popular with royal families and even had their own chef! Small and usually fawn coloured, pugs should weigh between 6-8kg (14-18lbs) and can live up to 12-15 years. Minimal grooming is required to keep a pug's short coat in good condition and their curly tail wagging happily.

Pros

+ Happy-go-lucky pooch and very affectionate
+ Good with children and other pets
+ Loves a cuddle on the couch and doesn't need much exercise
+ Playful and friendly, even with strangers

Cons

- Prone to health problems, particularly breathing difficulties
- Can show signs of separation anxiety if left alone too long
- Suffers in excessive heat, prefers a more temperate climate
- Can be stubborn

Havanese dog

5. Havanese

Stats

The national dog breed of Cuba, these precious pets were bred for companionship and their playful, springy movement sets them apart from other toy breeds. True family pets, the Havanese breed are incredibly loyal and love nothing more than being with their human. These sturdy little dogs weigh-in at around 3-6kg (7-14lbs) with a glossy, long coat that needs daily brushing to keep it silky-soft. As a generally healthy breed, Havanese have a lifespan of between 13-16 years.

Pros

+ Easily trained
+ Playful and are good with children and other pets
+ Eager to please and loves human company
+ Low shedding breed

Cons

- Prone to separation anxiety and associated destructive behaviors
- Regular brushing and grooming needed
- May bark excessively due to their watchful nature
- May be aggressive with strangers if not fully socialized

Miniature Schnauzer dog

6. Miniature Schnauzer

Stats

This breed originated in Germany as vermin catchers in the 1800s but tend to be more laid-back than traditional terriers. Easily trained, Miniature Schnauzers love to please their owners but won't tolerate negative reinforcement in training due to their intelligent minds. As a relatively healthy pooch, these dogs are happy to curl up by a fire or go on an adventure with you. Weighing in at 4-8kg (10-18lbs) and having a lifespan of approximately 12-14 years, these loyal pets will always watch out for you.

Pros

+ Hypoallergenic coat with low shedding
+ Excellent watchdog
+ Devoted and eager to please
+ Sturdy and a pretty healthy breed

Cons

- Can be stand-offish with strangers or snappy if nervous
- Stubborn and doesn't like harsh reprimands
- Doesn't usually get along with cats
- Invents their own “fun” when bored which may include digging up the garden

Italian Greyhound dog

7. Italian Greyhound

Stats

This breed are over 2000 years old and were popular during the Renaissance in Italy. Affectionately called “Iggys”, these slim sighthounds were developed as companion dogs that could hunt small game and from this they form a close bond with their owners and love curling up under blankets with their human on cold days. With an average weight of 3-5kg (6-11lbs) and a lifespan averaging 12-15 years, these adoring pups will be intensely loyal to their owner.

Pros

+ Athletic yet needs little exercise
+ Affectionate and trusting
+ Excellent watchdog
+ Good with other dogs

Cons

- Wary of strangers
- May show signs of separation anxiety if left alone too long
- Energetic and rowdy as pups and loves to dig
- Can be difficult to train

Welsh Corgi Pembroke dog

8. Welsh Corgi Pembroke

Stats

Some of the best known corgis are those owned by the British Royal family, but the original purpose of this breed was to be quick herding livestock while being small enough to slip under the legs of a kicking cow. Naturally active, these dogs enjoy learning new things and play time and may even herd the cat. Protective and outgoing, corgis live between 12-15 years and at a robust 10-14kg (22-30lbs), these are great cuddle-bugs after a busy day.

Pros

+ Outgoing and friendly
+ Good with children and other pets
+ Intelligent and easily trained
+ Eager to please and adore humans

Cons

- Herding tendencies, including small children
- Can be overprotective if not socialized while young
- Stubborn if you're not a strong leader
- Need mental stimulation to prevent destructive behaviors

Yorkshire Terrier dog

9. Yorkshire Terrier

Stats

Can you believe, these precious pixies were once working dogs in the mines of Yorkshire, England?! “Yorkies” were bred as ratters but have adapted incredibly well to a more relaxed lifestyle. A daily walk is generally enough exercise for these pups, and they adore snuggling their tiny 1.5-3 kg (4-7lbs) fluffy bodies on their owners lap for a snooze. You can anticipate 13-16 years of affection from these intelligent and curious dogs who fit perfectly with older families.

Pros

+ Brave and protective of family
+ Loyal and very affectionate
+ Low shedding
+ Good watch dog

Cons

- Can be aggressive toward strangers and dogs if not socialized properly
- Long coat needs regular grooming and brushing
- May snap at small children
- Stubborn and willful without training

French Bulldog dog

10. French Bulldog

Stats

A descendent from the English Bulldog in France, the breed was developed in the 1800s as a companion animal. “Frenchies” are instantly recognizable with their upright, bat-like ears and short nose. While appearing lazy, enjoying long naps these pups also have bursts of energy for play-time but don't require a lot of exercise overall. The average lifespan of frenchies is 10-12 years but they are prone to weight-gain and should be maintained at a trim 9-13kg (19-28lbs) depending on their frame size.

Pros

+ Affectionate and playful
+ Even-tempered and adaptable to new environments
+ Generally good with children
+ Sturdy breed

Cons

- Doesn't do well in hot climates
- Can be stubborn if not trained properly
- May be territorial with other animals
- Can have breathing difficulties due to the shape of their noses

And a sneaky extra...

Shelter pooch

11. Shelter pooch

Stats

Adorable and loving dogs in need of homes, some shelter pets may be the best friends you could ever dream of having. Not a regulation size or shape, a shelter puppy may surprise you with their size as they grow up in your family. Generally speaking, shelter dogs are incredibly affectionate and loyal once you gain their trust and will be your strongest ally.

Pros

+ Full of personality
+ Mixture of breeds
+ Affectionate and loyal
+ Trusting once a bond is built

Cons

- May require extra training and socialization
- Unknown history and may require experienced care