When it comes to small dogs, people seem to have very divided opinions. For some, they are seen as no more than toys (in fact, some dogs breeds are known as toy dogs). For others, they are likely thought to be more for apartment living, or for kids. For still others, there is the negative idea of them being status symbols for the rich. However, the case may be, small dogs really do have a place in the lives of dog lovers.
Small dog breeds seem to be more popular within the urban setting, and that’s no surprise. With smaller living spaces, a large or even mid-sized dog would have trouble running around and getting the proper exercise, both physical and mental. Also, there is some truth to the matter that smaller dogs are better for kids and older people, but this may be mostly more to the dog’s actual breed, as some smaller dog breeds do tend to be more high strung, and can be more prone to injuring people (however small the injury may be).
Pros and Cons
There are many advantages and disadvantages to small breed dogs, including the following:
- They are easier to bring around, by virtue of size alone, and for some apartments, a small dog can squeak (or yip) around the rules.
- Malls, shops, and other similar establishments take more kindly to dogs if they’re small.
- If you have a tight budget, smaller dogs are a definite plus. Less food!
- If you have other pets, like cats, a small dog will have a better chance of getting along with them.
- They tend to be more personable with owners, and can bond very closely with them.
- If you’re a sociable person, a smaller dog may be better, since smaller dogs usually do not feel threatening to other people.
- On the other hand, small dogs tend to get injured easily, thanks to their small size. If you’re not careful, you might end up squishing your own dog.
- Small dogs do not make good guard dogs – yes, they can be noisy, but that’s about all they can do.
- Many small dogs aren’t aware of just how small they are, and this can be a bad thing if they pick a fight with a larger dog who isn’t a part of his “family pack.”
Smaller dogs tend to love being the center of attention. They will act like the baby of the household. However, proper training should be done to make them friendly and sociable to outsiders, if the attitude isn’t there to begin with. Do remember that some of these little pooches require a lot of physical and mental health care to be the classic cute and cuddly dogs you hear about.
In general, all dogs age around 10-12 years, but with small dogs, if you want them to live to a healthy old age (around 14 years), then you should do the following:
- Keep your dog active – a healthy lifestyle and proper mental stimulation will do any dog a lot of good, just as it would people.
- Do the research and find out which dog food suits your dog best. Find out if his particular breed has some special needs. If you are very concerned about the food you eat, then do realize that you should be aware of what your dog eats, too!
- Make sure your dog has a complete set of shots, and regular visits to the vet can keep him healthier and more active for a longer time.
- Smaller dogs clearly live longer than larger breeds, historically, so it’s a good idea to give them the best of food and exercise to make sure they stay fit.
Is this kind of dog for you?
Can you afford it? Small dog breeds by and large cost less than any other dog size – but if you find that you will have trouble taking care of a small dog financially, then it might be better to get something like a fish. Second, if you’re the kind who spends a lot of time at home, or someone who likes bringing a pet everywhere, a smaller dog would be good for you. But if you’re the type who likes a bit of outdoorsy fun, a larger dog breed might be better.
Complete List of Small Breed Dogs
We have 75 breeds in our database and you can find detailed breed’s profile by clicking the links, or use this tool to narrow down your search using different breed characteristics.