Little dogs or small dog breeds are the ideal pet canines for children since they are easy to take care of and are very affectionate pets. If you plan on getting your child a dog, you need to know the best small dogs for kids that are suitable for them.
There are many potential good dogs for children that will make excellent pets, and you have to choose which canine is the best dog for kids. Below is a list of small to medium dog breeds below should help you in your decision of choosing a pet canine for kids.
Table of Contents
- 1. Beagle
- 2. Yorkshire Terrier
- 3. Boston Terrier
- 4. Shih Tzu
- 5. Bichon Frise
- 6. Poodle
- 7. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
- 8. Maltese
- 9. French Bulldog
- 10. Shetland Sheepdog
- 11. Havanese
- 12. Pug
- 13. Miniature Schnauzer
- 14. Staffordshire Bull Terrier
- 15. Keeshond
- 16. Dachshund
- 17. Papillon
- 18. Pomeranian
- 19. Border Terrier
- 20. Pembroke Welsh Corgi
Kids love a dog that has friendly, comical as well as a happy-go-lucky personality. The Beagle has those traits and is one family dog breeds for kids. Another beautiful thing about this canine is that its short coat is easy to groom, and children (with guidance) can do the grooming with ease. The Beagle, due to its pack animal instincts, will get along with kids hence making it one of the favorite canines for kids.
The dog has a remarkable nose that possesses a fantastic sense of smell, and this trait makes the Beagle a good hunting dog. Even as a pet, the Beagle is one of the best dog breeds that can hunt and track game such as rabbits. The dog has an even temper and gentle disposition, making it a poor guard dog. Nonetheless, the breed is an excellent pet companion for kids and families.
2. Yorkshire Terrier
This breed is one of the world’s most glamorous small dogs, and you can see them as a pet to celebrities. The dog is an attention-getter due to its cute looks, perky topknot, and coat that is long as well as silky. The combination of being a small size canine and adventurous spirit is one of the things that endear people to these little dogs. The Yorkshire Terrier’s personality has many facets. Sometimes the dog can be self-assured and smart; it can be perky, outgoing, mischievous, adventurous, and affectionate.
Like some the small to medium dog breeds, their personality is influenced by its bloodline. From the dog’s Terrier heritage, it will bark at strangers for being suspicious. The breed acts aggressively against strange dogs and other animals. Finally, this canine tends to yap a lot loudly. Training will moderate the yapping. Spending time and attention to this dog is a must since it cannot stand being alone.
3. Boston Terrier
People dub this dog as the “American Gentleman” and are one of the best dog breeds for families with kids. The original purpose of the canine is to be a pet companion, a role that even today still fulfills and excel. The Boston Terrier is a gentle pet, yet can be silly and a friendly animal. This canine is brilliant and easy to train. Training is a necessity for the canine to curb its rambunctious antics that often go too far.
Like most dogs, the Beagle has an active mind and a playful demeanor. Also, the breed likes to stay by their owners’ side whether they are an adult or child. Grooming the dog is easy, making it one of the ideal small canines for families with a busy lifestyle. Finally, the Boston Terrier needs indoor and outdoor physical exercises along with mental stimulation. The dog is a suitable playmate for children, but younger kids need supervision during playtime.
4. Shih Tzu
Some small to medium dog breeds originally bred to be pet companions of nobles and rulers. The Shih Tzu is one example of these breeds. Today they are the best small family dogs for kids of any social standing. The Shih Tzu is a dog that likes to play and run a lot. Sometimes it can be calm, gentle, and relatively in their demeanor. Exercises for the canine are minimal, though training this breed can be hard work due to the breed’s stubborn nature.
Small dog breeds can easily get hurt; the Shih Tzu, on the other hand, is sturdier. The dog is famous due to its non-allergenic coat of hair. If your child has an allergy to dog hair, then the Shih Tzu is an excellent alternative dog pet for them. Due to the canine’s long hair, it needs lots of grooming. An alternative to the long hair problem is to trim the dog’s coat for easy grooming.
5. Bichon Frise
The best pets for kids are usually those that want attention from their owners, and Bichon Frise is one example. They are one of the most child-friendly dog breeds with their affectionate, playful, and gentle manner. Also, the dog is hypoallergenic, meaning that despite its thick coat, the canine doesn’t shed. People who suffer from an allergy can have them as a pet since it will not agitate their condition. The coat’s thickness requires some regular grooming to keep it clean and tidy.
The dog is an intelligent pet, and training is easy and fun, but bear in mind that the canine’s feelings are sensitive. These doggies will respond to positive training methods, along with lots of encouragement. Avoid harsh punishments for the dog if it fails, but instead, encourage it to do better next time.
Poodles are some of the best pets for children. They have a playful nature, eagerness to please their families and fondness for humans. The canine is one best dog breeds that have a keen intelligence, unlike other dog breeds. As a result, training the dog is easy and fun. A Poodle will excel at performance sports like hunt tests, obedience, and agility. Your kids can bond with a Poodle over performance sports. Training is also necessary to curb the dog’s tendency to take the part of the alpha dog, making it a bossy pet, as well as instilling good manners. Since the Poodle is a people-pet, you should not leave it alone for long periods.
The Poodle comes in Standard, Miniature, and Toy sizes. Regardless of the dog’s size, it needs exercise and mental stimulation to prevent it from being destructive. Poodles are excellent pets for kids, but be aware that this breed needs constant grooming every 3 to 6 weeks to keep its coat neat and beautiful.
7. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
When choosing a pet for children, you can consider dog adoption and find gentle breeds like the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. They are adaptable to an apartment room or a house with a backyard to keep it happy. If this is the kind of pet you want for your children, this breed is your best choice. Aside from its adaptability, they are naturally suitable for kids and is an excellent pet for any family. The canine is affectionate, gentle, and playful to anyone (as well as other pets) aside from its family.
The dog fits in with active families and children that like to play. As a pet, it doesn’t frequently bark as well as loudly and usually behaves. Their affectionate nature makes ill-suited to be watchdog though it can be wary of strangers.
Many family dog breeds have a long history of being favorite pets and lapdogs, and the Maltese have an impressive record of being a pet companion for at least 1000 years. The Maltese is a sweet and intelligent dog who is also courageous and gentle. You could mistake the dog for having a snobbish and arrogant manner due to its looks. But the Maltese is a good pet companion, and you can find the dog serving as a therapy dog.
Whether your family is living in a condo, apartment, or house, the Maltese fits right in and can act as a watchdog. Since the breed is fond of the company, it will suffer from separation anxiety from being alone. The result is that the dog becomes destructive and will bark loudly. Pampering the Maltese will result in being too protective and will bite humans or pets. Daily grooming is a must for the dog’s coat hairs. Depending on your preference, you can keep the canine’s hypo-allergenic hair short or let it grow long. While the Maltese are the best dog for kids, it is not suitable for very young children or toddlers.
9. French Bulldog
The best dogs for families should also be physically active and energetic, but even canines that are couch potatoes can be great pets too. The French Bulldog falls in the latter category. Even though they require little exercise, the dog loves to be the center of attention and is content with daily walks to keep in shape. These dogs are gentle with children, happy, loyal, and friendly. Unlike its Bulldog cousins, the dog’s looks are adorable.
This breed tends to be idiosyncratic due to its humor and mischievous personality. Despite the canine’s peculiarities, it is an alert and excellent watchdog. Due to its short hair, grooming it is easy and only needs an occasional brushing.
10. Shetland Sheepdog
Some family dog breeds started as guard or game dogs. Take the Shetland Sheepdogs as an example; they defend their owner’s property, and they can herd flocks of sheep. Today these dogs make excellent pet companions and are good guard dogs. The Sheltie is gentle and loyal though it has a broad range of temperament. Sometimes the dog can be boisterous, then calm or sedate, then outgoing. Sheltie’s are highly intelligent, which makes them a great family dog.
A Sheltie’s protective nature makes it an excellent watchdog and will bark it senses something wrong. Lack of training, however, will turn the dog’s barking into irritation or nuisance. Shelties love their families along with their kids, but to strangers, they are shy. Socialization can deal with the shyness and teach the dog to discriminate imagined threats to real ones. The canine can live in an apartment. The dog is a heavy shedder, so be ready to clean up its shed hair.
If you want lapdog that can be an excellent playmate for kids, the Havanese is one of the Toy dogs that fulfill those criteria. Many families prefer this breed due to their affectionate nature and even-temper. The Havanese’s attachment to families means that you can’t leave it alone for an extended period. Intelligence is another trait of this dog. Training is an easy job when it comes to this dog, thanks to its intelligence. The training exercise is the perfect means of having the dog and children bond together.
At a casual glance, the Havanese has a wavy coat that looks like it sheds a lot of hair. Surprisingly despite the dog’s thick-haired coat, it is non-shedding or sheds very little hair. This fact means that cleaning up the dog’s hair is an easy chore. A bonus to the canine’s thick wavy coat is its hypo-allergenic properties. A dog’s hypoallergenic coat means that it will not affect a person who has allergies. This trait makes the Havanese a perfect pet for those with allergies.
Sometimes little dogs often have a “small dog, big attitude” vibe to them and the Pug is one good example of such a dog. The dog has a tough and rough look, but it is also friendly. They are one of those small dogs good with kids. The canine’s joyful, loving, and playful nature makes it an ideal playmate for children. Those very same traits make the Pug friendly to not just it’s family, but strangers as well.
The Pug feels comfortable in an indoor or outdoor home, be it an apartment or house with a backyard. The canine’s coat has little hair, so grooming it shouldn’t be a hard task. However, the dog will shed hair a lot. You will need to give the Pug an exercise like a daily walk to keep it in shape. Too much feeding, along with little or no activities, can cause obesity in a Pug.
13. Miniature Schnauzer
Some of the best small dogs for kids look like, while other dog breeds like the Miniature Schnauzer look like grown-ups. The Miniature Schnauzer’s bushy eyebrows and walrus mustache do give the dog a dignified gentleman look. The dog’s looks are not the only thing that is attractive about the breed. The canine has an extroverted mindset as well as being affectionate, humorous, enthusiastic, and intelligent. Despite being a lapdog, the Miniature Schnauzer likes to the center of attention.
The breed is originally a ratter (a dog that chases rats), but nowadays, the canine is a family pet. The Miniature Schnauzer requires exercise and likes big spaces like those in a suburban or farm. The dog will alert its family to strangers making it an excellent watchdog. When it comes to agility and obedience competitions, the dog is an expert, but it still needs training as well as discipline.
14. Staffordshire Bull Terrier
This dog looks tough on the outside due to its strong-looking muscular body and powerful stance. In reality, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier is a gentle dog. The dog loves the company of people and spends time with them doing activities. A vigorous daily walk will suffice as an exercise. However, the dog can do other activities. Flyball, therapy work along with agility and obedience exercises, are suitable for an energetic dog like these bully breed.
As a companion pet, these babies must not be left alone since it will suffer separation anxiety. Due to the breed’s origin as a fighting dog, they tend to act aggressively towards other dogs and other animals. Socialization training will make the dog more accepting of other animals. This canine needs a consistent and confident owner, not a timid one. The dog’s coat requires weekly brushing, and it sheds a lot of hair only once a year.
The breed’s other name is “Dutch Barge Dog” since it used to be a guardian and companion on the small boats as well as barges in Holland. The Keeshond is a people-oriented animal, loves to play with kids (with supervision) and is accepting of other pets. This canine makes for a great competitor in agility, obedience, and conformation competitions. When it comes to family activities, the Keeshond should always be included.
Dachshunds are playful, loveable, active, and responsive to training. They are bred to run after vermins; thus, they require regular play sessions and exercise. They may not do well with other small pets as they go for occasional adventures whenever they take up a scent.
The Doxie or Weiner dogs are known for their trademark low-slung bodies, floppy ears, and pointed snouts. They are one of the most recognizable breeds around. Some of them have short hair, and others have long wiry coats. But almost all of them share the same vigorous and kid-friendly personalities, which make them one of the small dogs for a family with kids.
This dog breed is known to have a hearty constitution and active little bodies. While they have tiny structures, they are far less dainty than they look. Paps have fluttery and wing-shaped ears that make them appear delicate. On the other hand, they take to training and socialization eagerly, making them an ideal small dog for families.
These dogs are high-spirited, good-natured, and great with children. Likewise, they are eager to join family fun and be the center of attention. Papillons are suitable for families with older kids. Very young children may not know how to handle these dogs’ delicate frames yet.
These bubbly canines have a glorious fluffy coat, foxy face, and perky ears. Their adorable features make them one of the most popular toy dog breeds. They sport an adorable constant smiling face and a dynamic personality. Aside from being a wonderful purse pup, they are also brilliant, vigilant, and wonderful around children.
If raised well with kids, they will do very well, but if they live in an environment without kids, they may also be reserved. Likewise, it is important to remind kids that dogs the size of Pomeranians are not as sturdy as their larger cousins; thus, playtime should still be supervised by adults.
19. Border Terrier
This popular breed is well-known for its upbeat and spirited attitude. They come in with wiry coats and intelligent eyes. They are highly-trainable and are always eager to please. These canines have lots of powerful energy to hunt and dig despite their small frames. They can even keep up with their hunting owners who are on horseback during a hunt.
They are bred in the countryside, thus in England and Scotland; therefore, they love outdoorsy playtime and roughhousing with the kids. These canines do well around other pets when raised with them in a home. However, you should still watch over their strong prey drive and keep small critter pets away. Though they make an excellent companion for kids, they can be quite rambunctious when young and can hurt small children unintentionally. Likewise, they are also obedient and well-mannered. These dogs are entirely affectionate and loyal to their owners.
20. Pembroke Welsh Corgi
Corgis have this permanently smiling faces that are indicative if their happy headspace. These furballs have a solid combination of alertness and loyalty. They make excellent watchdogs, but they are also great with kids of all ages. These canines love outdoor playtime and roughhousing with their tiny human friends. Early socialization and training will make your Corgis the best family pets you’ll ever have. Fur parents swear that having a Corgi is like having another affectionate kid at home instead of a dog!
Having a dog at home is like having an addition kid around. Choosing a pet that will do great with kids young and small is a tough challenge for parents. We highly recommend that you scour rescue shelters and consider dog adoption if you are thinking of welcoming a fur baby to your family. These small canine breeds on our list could be the next one to steal your hearts out! Do you have a tiny fur baby at home? Which one is your favorite breed?