Skip to content
Home » Blog » Top 5 Best Small Dog Breeds

Top 5 Best Small Dog Breeds

    Want a dog but don’t have the space for a big dog, or a fenced in area for them to run? Medium to large dog breeds require lots of space to run, sleep, and to live in general. Luckily small dogs, also known as toy dog breeds, can be more manageable and live in smaller houses, flats and gardens.

    The average size of a dog varies depending on its breed. Larger breeds such as Great Danes and Saint Bernards typically weigh over 25kg. They usually take up a lot of room in their owners’ homes and require a lot of food and exercise. Smaller dogs can be easier to care for and weigh under 10kg, with some toy breeds even weighing 1-2kg! 

    What is the best small dog to get?


    Maltese Puppy

    An energetic and playful breed. They are great companions and very easy to train. They are not aggressive towards other dogs, but can be vocal at times. They need regular walks and play time. They are small, compact, and don’t tend to shed their silky coat. They are also very smart and love to play, but their coat can get matted so ensure that you are prepared to groom regularly. 

    Miniature Schnauzer

    The Miniature Schnauzer is a tiny breed of dog that is very friendly and loves to play.They are very smart and need lots of exercise and mental stimulation. They like a lot of love and attention, and will get along well with other dogs and children. Miniature Schnauzer’s also need lots of daily exercise so are perfect for an active family. 

    Border Terrier

    Border Terriers are an active breed of dog that originated in England and were originally bred to hunt rabbits. They are very energetic dogs and need lots of exercise, they love to play and are great at fetching balls. They’re ideal for active families who can provide them with lots of exercise and keep them from practicing their escape artist skills. They have short rough coats which is actually a double coat, with softer hair underneath which sheds seasonally. 

    Japanese Chin

    Chins are friendly, gentle, and affectionate dogs. They are very intelligent and eager to please. Chins are great family pets and will enjoy spending time with children and tend now to be aggressive towards other dogs or strangers. Chins are usually calm and relaxed around strangers and are great in all living situations and can be good apartment dogs. Their smooth coats are long and silky, requiring regular grooming. 


    One of the most popular toy breeds, a dachshund is a versatile hunting dog that is also an excellent companion. They are not just great at finding tunnels, they are also very smart and trainable. Dachshunds originated in Germany and were bred to hunt rabbits and other small game. They are very friendly, playful and love to run around and play fetch. Dachshunds can have long, medium or short coats. Those with long coats shed around twice a year, whereas Dachshunds with short coats lose fur throughout the year

    Which is the friendliest small dog breed?

    The Maltese is one of the friendliest breeds of dogs, and are also known for their intelligence. They are also very cute and cuddly. If you want a pet that is friendly and intelligent, then the Maltese is the perfect canine companion for you.

    Is there any difference between small dogs and toy dogs?

    Small dogs are often called “toy” dogs because they’re simply toy sized. Toy dogs are generally very playful and energetic. Medium to large dogs are much bigger than toy dogs. These dogs are usually bred to be good companions and guarders. 

    How do I choose which small dog breed is right for me?

    It depends on your lifestyle and what you want from your pet. If you are looking for a pet that requires little time and effort then a small to medium sized dog may be perfect for you. Make sure you do your research and look at adopting a dog rather than getting persuaded by popular breeds at the time. All dogs need different attention levels and will need training and it is important that you do research into reputable breeders prior to meeting a litter. A miniature schnauzer may suit you if you prefer something with a bit more personality, but is also quite clever. If you want a calm companion who won’t cause too much trouble then a Pekinese or Yorkshire terrier would be great options. Both these breeds are friendly and gentle, they love people and other animals.

    What is the easiest small dog to take care of?

    The best small dogs to take care of are Chihuahuas, Maltese Poodles, Yorkshire Terriers, Shih Tzus. These breeds are easy to train, they don’t shed much hair, and can be relatively inexpensive. They require little grooming, and they don’t need a lot of exercise when comparing to other popular dog breeds such as Huskies and German Shepards. 

    What small dog breed is the calmest?

    The Maltese is the best small dog for traveling because they are quiet, friendly, and easy to handle. 

    What is the most cuddly lap dog?

    Maltese are great lap dogs and companions. They love to sit next to you while watching TV, playing games, or reading books. Some even like to lie down beside you at night. If you’re looking for a lap dog, a Maltese could be for you. 

    Website | + posts

    Emma Wally is the founder of, a website for dog owners in the UK and the rest of the world. Emma has a lifelong love of dogs and has devoted years to learning and training dogs of various kinds and ages.

    Emma’s Experience
    Emma’s love for dogs and animals started as a child with looking after many different pets from fish, to dogs and even sheep. This love for animals led her into the world of dog training; with a real passion in positive reinforcement techniques.

    Dog training specialist
    Emma has completed multiple certifications in dog training, focussing on positive reinforcement techniques.

    Puppy socialisation group
    Emma is also the founder of 'Stony Stratford Puppy and Dog Group'. This growing community of dog enthusiasts provides weekly socialistion for new puppies and dogs wanting to integrate into socialisation, as well as giving specialist training advice for dog owners wanting to address problems... Or just wanting to give their pup the best life they can!

    Meet Kobe!
    Kobe is Emma's current fluffy best friend. Being a Tibetan Terrier she can be stubborn at times but has the biggest personality for such a small dog.

    Passionate about Dogs
    Emma Wally is more than just a dog trainer; she is a mentor, a guide, and a friend to all dog owners seeking to build a better relationship with their furry companions. Her commitment to enhancing the lives of dogs and their owners is evident in every piece of advice she shares, making her a trusted and respected figure in the dog training community. Trust Emma, and you trust a true dog geek.