Popularity of Small Dog Breeds
Today there is even greater interest in finding a pet that is listed among the favorite small dog breeds. Smaller dogs such as Cocker Spaniels, Beagles, Poodles, Yorkies, Maltese and Wire Haired Terriers have always had their share of fans but now movies, television shows and A-list Hollywood celebrities have made owning a small dog a trendy, fashion statement.
No one should select a pet just because they are impressed with the clever small dog breeds that are represented in a blockbuster movie or best selling book, but nonetheless there will be those who choose a dog simply because they think the animal ‘looked cute’. Responsible pet owners know that there are many other reasons for the continuing popularity of small dog breeds over the years.
A small dog may be ideal for you or for your family but take the time to think about all of the facts before you rush to bring one of these furry canines into your home. Popular appeal should not be the main reason that you are choosing one of these dogs. You should select one of the small dog breeds only if you really understand the time and commitment that pet ownership involves.
Why Choose a Small Dog Breed
There are a number of reasons why you might want to consider choosing a small breed of dog. These are wonderful dogs that can fit perfectly into many different settings. A small dog can feel at home on a large farm in a rural setting, in a suburban home or even in a condo.
Many people gravitate towards small dog breeds because they feel that these animals allow them to be more nurturing due to the size of the dog. The petite size of small dogs also makes it easier to house, exercise, feed and transport them.
Advantages of Owning Small Dogs
The advantages of owning small dog breeds can tip the scale in favor of these pint sized pets:
- It definitely costs less to feed a smaller dog than it does to feed the larger breeds.
- If you need to travel or board your pet it is easier to do when your dog is one of the small dog breeds.
- Smaller dogs are well suited for life indoors and they generally make great ‘couch potatoes’.
- If you enjoy sharing your home, bed and daily routine with a four footed canine a small dog is a perfect choice.
- These dogs are easier to control during exercise, play periods and walks than their larger, stockier counterparts.
- These dogs can be very noisy, which means they are good at alerting the household if a stranger should approach. This is not the same as being a good guard dog however.
- Many of the small dog breeds seem to be born to a life of pampering which means you can usually adorn them with couture outfits, bows, boots and sweaters without too much fuss and bother.
- The small size of these dogs has generated a booming business regarding dog products such as treats, clothing, beds and other canine accessories. If you want to dress your pooch to the ‘nines’ and color coordinate their wardrobe to match yours then a small dog breed is the one you want.
Disadvantages of Owning Small Dogs
Of course you should also consider that there will also be a few drawbacks related to owning a small dog:
- Small dog breeds can require a lot of time at the groomers which adds to their upkeep expense.
- Small dogs can be stubborn and difficult to train especially since their tiny size causes many owners to balk when it comes to setting rules.
- Although these dogs are often very loyal and protective they are not going to be good guard dogs due their diminutive size.
- Small dog breeds can be injured more easily than larger dogs.
- Even a slight illness can mean a trip to the vet if it involves a tiny breed of dog.
Grooming for Small Dog Breeds
The long haired dogs will require more frequent grooming. A monthly trip to the groomers is not enough to keep these animals in peak condition. Owners will have to take into consideration the fact that daily grooming at home is a must.
Best Small Dog Breeds for People with Allergies
If you really stop to think about it there is no dog that is truly hypo-allergenic. All dogs will shed at least a few hairs and bits of dander, although there are some breeds that are definitely less prone to aggravate allergy symptoms for members of your household.
If allergies are a problem you will be better off selecting small dog breeds such as a Maltese, a toy poodle, some of the Chihuahua breeds or even a regal Mini-Pinscher. These dogs have coats that shed much less than many other small dogs and poodles are often considered one of the best breeds for canine-loving, allergy sufferers.
Top Small Dog Breeds:
- Rat Terriers
- Chinese Crested Chihuahua
- Cocker Spaniels
Size Counts for Dogs
When someone is discussing small dog breeds they are most likely referring to a dog with a height less than 16 inches and a weight that is less than 22 pounds. However, in the broadest sense any dog that weighs less than 40 pounds can also be classified as ‘small’. These are just general guidelines for you to use when are looking for a breed of dog that truly fits the definition of “small”.
Some people also use other categories to differentiate size differences in the small dog breeds. For most purposes a tiny dog weighs between 5-12 pounds, a miniature dog weighs 13-25 pounds and for dogs weighing less than 5 pounds the term ‘pocket breed’ is also applicable.
It is up to you to choose which of the small breed dogs you want to bring into your home. You can just as easily find small dogs such as the tiny toy poodle weighing about 4.5 pounds as you can a Staffordshire Bull Terrier that weighs about 25-35 pounds.
Choosing Small Dog Breeds is a Personal Preference
Remember that each canine is an individual and may or may not have all of the characteristics listed for that particular breed of dog. You need to determine what type of dog you are looking for in advance so you can narrow the scope of your search.
Most small dog breeds can interact well with kids, adults and other animals if they are given the proper socialization, training and discipline. It is up to the owner to make sure that their dog is aware of the rules early in the game, and that consistency is maintained in both discipline and daily routine.
There are small dog breeds that are:
- Low maintenance
- High maintenance
- High energy
- Laid back
- Easily trained (make it easier with this training course)
Once you determine which breed of dog will fit perfectly into your home and lifestyle you can then begin the process of choosing the perfectly fit dog.