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Owning Small Dog Breeds: The Pros And Cons

Nowadays majority of people are interested in owning smaller dog breeds. As per the American kennel club, more and more smaller dogs are registered each year than any other dog breeds.

This trend is increasing rapidly everyday and is quite the reverse of what we had couple of decades ago. (When medium and large dog breeds used to be more popular than the smaller breeds.)

Why this change though? Well, if you think about it, the reason is pretty simple. Smaller dogs are more convenient and easier to maintain.

It seems only logical to have smaller dogs where the space is limited; Right? Since more and more people are moving into urban areas and into apartments than ever before, we see this drastic increment in owning smaller dogs as pets.

Besides, owning some smaller breeds is sort of a status symbol for being rich. It is also increasingly becoming a fashion statement due to the actions of celebrities we so dearly follow.

Another reason being, small breeds of dogs can easily adapt to the surroundings which medium or larger dogs may not. However, whether small or big all breeds of dogs have their own pros and cons.

If you are wondering about the pros and cons of smaller breeds before you actually get the dog, don’t fret my friends. This guide is going to spell it out for you in detail, so you can decide for yourself.

Before we go any further please note that the information provided here is generalized for smaller breeds of dogs and there are always going to be exceptions.

The dog’s features and characters also vastly depend on the breeds of dogs, the genes of their parents, other pets they are with and of course the owners.

So let us get started…


The pros (advantages) of small dog breeds:

  1. No matter how big or small your place is, small dogs always tend to easily fit in.

The benefits of having small breeds of dogs are immense if you live in the city. Small dogs fit in perfect in the apartments as well as in small houses in the suburbs.

  1. Smaller breeds don’t usually require big spaces to play and exercise like the big breeds do.

Also, you might not really have to take small breeds for regular daily walks. A lot of times, they may require less exercise as compared to larger breeds.

  1. Smaller breeds are definitely easy on your wallet.

They usually eat smaller amount of food compared to larger breeds. Veterinary care including spaying and neutering or any kind of surgery usually would also be less expensive for smaller breeds.

Their accessories/ apparels may also cost less when compared to bigger breeds. This means you save a lot of money overtime while keeping smaller breeds.

  1. If introduced to other pets, smaller breeds might get along a lot quicker than larger breeds.

They might also get along a lot quicker with people but don’t forget the fact that this really depends on the dog’s breed, personality, temperament and the situation as well.

  1. Smaller dogs are easier to travel with in a car, bus or a train.

Airplanes are also more tolerant towards small breeds of dogs. Some small breeds can be kept along with you in the plane. This makes it less expensive as you do not have to buy a crate or pay a fee for the baggage section. If it is a larger breed then you definitely have to buy a cage/crate and comply by the rules and regulations of the airlines.

  1. Even though this really depends on a lot of factors, smaller breeds usually live longer than larger breeds.

The average life expectancy is between 12-15 years or maybe even more for smaller breeds of dogs (as long as the dog lives a healthy lifestyle.)

  1. Small breeds usually get to break the rules that are in place for the big dogs as people tend to be more lenient towards smaller dogs.

If you are someone who wants to take your pets everywhere, small breeds could definitely be the right one for you. They are lighter and you can easily carry them in your arms or in a bag.

Smaller breeds are also easily accepted in a lot of establishment like restaurants, hotels, malls and motels.

  1. One of the main reasons why smaller dogs are bred is because of their comforting purpose.

It is not that big dog aren’t comforting but small dog breeds can usually be kept as lap dogs and as a result the bonding could be greater and faster.

  1. It is not that larger breeds aren’t beautiful dogs but majority of people tend to think that smaller breeds are cuter and cuddlier.

We just looked at nine major pros of owning small breeds of dogs. There are definitely some demerits/ disadvantages when living with small breed of dogs as well.


The cons (disadvantages) of small dog breeds:

  1. Training smaller breeds of dogs tend to be lot harder than training larger breeds as they have a tendency to be more stubborn. And I am not just talking about training your dogs to do tricks.

It is harder to house train small dogs and as a result, they tend to soil in the house more often. This could turn out to be really ugly if you are not consistent with taking your dog outside the house to pee and potty while they are still a puppy.

Some small dog breeds may also require special training to be sociable and friendly to others that are not part of the household.

  1. Smaller dogs may be small but their attitude is nowhere close to being small.

This may not necessarily be good for them as they might get in the face of a big breed and get hurt or even be killed. Due to this reason they might always have to be kept in a leash or held in your hand when in contact with bigger breeds of dogs.

  1. Excessive barking is a common trait in a lot of small dog breeds.

Small dogs especially breeds like Chihuahua tend to bark a lot which can cause a serious problem within your household or with your neighbors.

I personally had this problem for couple of years with my next door neighbor before they finally moved out. I love dogs but excessive barking just gets on my nerves. Finally, when they did move out of the property, boy was I so glad (O:

  1. If you think that your dog is too cute to do anything wrong, you are so very mistaken.

This is a very prevalent problem among small and medium breed owners. Also referred as the small dog syndrome, this is when the dogs tend to be real mean when someone touches them or their food or toys. They tend to snap a lot, growl and be very aggressive.

If you give them the authority to do whatever they want, they will take charge of you, your household and your life. They will be the boss. This is a serious problem and it occurs because you spoil your dog to the extent where you don’t discipline them anymore.

You love your dogs but you need to show them who the boss is before it gets too late. No matter how cute they are, they still need to follow the rules.

  1. If you are trying to get a pet for your child, small breeds of dogs may not be a good idea because of 2 reasons.

Reason number one, they tend to be aggressive and harder to train like I mentioned above and reason number two, they might easily get injured while playing with a child. Children may unknowingly hurt little dogs especially if they are a fragile breed.

  1. Since small breeds are more in demand than bigger breeds, they tend to be more expensive as well.

To make matters worse the number of puppies in a litter is not usually as many as compared to larger breeds of dogs.

  1. Smaller breeds of dogs are not really good guard dogs, if that is what you are looking for in your pet dog.

I mean some species like Chihuahuas tend to bark a lot but that is about all they can do.

  1. If you are looking for a pet dog that is good for the outdoors, small breeds may not be as good as the larger breeds.

There are certainly some special cases however. Terriers, Beagles and Shiba Inu are some of the great exceptions to this point.

There we go. We just looked at 9 major pros and 8 major cons of small dog breeds. If you do want a dog as a pet, it is always best to do some research to find out what dog suits you best before you get the dog.


So what are the popular small breeds of dogs? Here are some in alphabetical order (not ranked in terms of popularity):

  1. Affenpinscher
  2. American Eskimo Dog
  3. Australian Terrier
  4. Basenji
  5. Beagle
  6. Bedlington Terrier
  7. Bichon Frise
  8. Biewer Terrier
  9. Border Terrier
  10. Boston Terrier
  11. Brussels Griffon
  12. Bull Dog
  13. Cairn Terrier
  14. Cavachon
  15. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
  16. Cesky Terrier
  17. Chihuahua
  18. Chinese Crested
  19. Cocker Spaniel
  20. Coton de Tulear
  21. Dachshund
  22. Dandie Dinmont Terrier
  23. English Toy Spaniel
  24. Finnish Spitz
  25. French Bulldog
  26. Havanese
  27. Irish Terrier
  28. Italian Greyhound
  29. Jack Russell Terrier
  30. Japanese Chin
  31. Japanese Spitz
  32. Kyi-Leo
  33. Lakeland Terrier
  34. Lhasa Apso
  35. Lowchen
  36. Maltese
  37. Manchester Terrier
  38. Mi-Ki
  39. Miniature Bull Terrier
  40. Miniature Italian Greyhound
  41. Miniature Pinscher
  42. Miniature Schnauzer
  43. Norfolk Terrier
  44. Norwich Terrier
  45. Papillon
  46. Parson Russell Terrier
  47. Pekingese
  48. Pembroke Welsh Corgi
  49. Pomeranian
  50. Poochon
  51. Poodle (Miniature / Toy)
  52. Portuguese Podengo Pequeno
  53. Pug
  54. Pyrenean Shepherds
  55. Rat Terrier
  56. Russell Terrier
  57. Russian Toy Terrier
  58. Schipperke
  59. Scottish Terrier
  60. Sealyham Terrier
  61. Shetland Sheepdog
  62. Shiba Inu
  63. Shih Tzu
  64. Silky Terrier
  65. Swedish Vallhund
  66. Teddy Roosevelt Terrier
  67. Tibetan Spaniel
  68. Toy Fox Terrier
  69. Toy Manchester Terrier
  70. Toy Poodle
  71. Welsh Terrier
  72. West Highland Terrier
  73. Wire Fox Terrier
  74. Xoloitzcuintli
  75. Yorkiepoo
  76. Yorkshire Terrier

If you know of any other small dog breeds please let us know, in the comment, so it can be included in the list. 

Lastly, don’t forget to share this post in your favorite social media outlets.

3 thoughts on “Owning Small Dog Breeds: The Pros And Cons

  1. I can definitely see this trend continuing as more people move to big cities. Celebrities also continue to set the trend for small dogs as you mentioned. Until those two things change this trend will continue.

  2. […] you get your choice wrong, your life as a dog owner will become a lot harder than it should be. A small dog offers you so much more convenience, and save you a lot of problems later […]

  3. Fantastic post. 🙂

    I totally agree with your opinions on small Breed dogs. I have 2 small breed dogs: Jack Russell Terrier and Shih Tzu. What I have figured out that they need extra care in comparison to big dogs. On top of it, they are extremely adorable ans can be easily taken anywhere.

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