A pet is, arguably, the best gift you could give to your kid since it fosters responsibility while making them value animals and show kindness towards them.
Among the most preferred pets by both children and adults are dogs, probably because they are cuddly and loyal.
Kids will often favour small dogs to big ones, mainly because the former is likely to be more endearing and exciting. So, which small dog breeds for kids should you go with?
It would be incorrect to assume that all small dogs and children will get along well. If a dog has not been correctly socialised, size doesn’t matter, and they may prove to be unsafe for your kids.
Besides, there are small dog breeds for kids that are naturally inclined to be patient and, thus, safe for your children, as discussed below.
Either way, it’s best to adopt the dog as a puppy and invest time into training it or reach out to a trainer to give you a hand. On the same note, the child should understand that hurting the dog is a big no-no, no matter its size.
Without further ado, let’s take a quick look at the best small dog breeds for children.
Like Yorkies, Havanese dogs are hypoallergenic, so you don’t need to worry about shedding or about your kids becoming allergic to their new companion.
Small in size but sturdy in structure, these dogs are highly adaptable and have a curious disposition, making them a great addition to any family. However, they have vital social needs, so they don’t do well when they have to spend too much time alone.
As far as their appearance is concerned, Havanese dogs have a silky coat that can come in various colours. Most are 10 to 16 pounds and 8 to 12 inches.
They are very loyal and love to be active. These dogs enjoy playing, long walks, and following their owners around. In other words, they will thrive as long as loved ones surround them.
No kid can resist this entertaining, and loyal little dog that is brimming with personality. Chihuahua dogs exhibit a bigger-than-life persona that can be very endearing to both children and adults.
They will often amuse kids with their evident intelligence, agility, and enthusiasm. You can train your Chihuahua to perform simple tasks efficiently as long as you use praise and food rewards as favourable reinforcement.
While Chihuahuas are not recommended for homes with children under the age of eight, older kids find them delightful as they are feisty and often more than willing to stand up to larger dogs. A Chihuahua’s unique personality makes it an excellent companion for families, while its small size makes it very easy to carry around.
#8. Tibetan Spaniel
You may compare the Tibetan Spaniel to a cat thanks to its independent nature, coupled with his quick agility and remarkable intelligence. This good-natured pet dog is easy to live with, playful at times, laid-back at others.
You will often find the dog playing with your kids – Tibetan Spaniels are incredibly family-oriented and don’t appreciate being left alone for long. This dog is the ultimate kids’ companion, managing to be sensitive to their feelings and moods.
Besides, children will be delighted by the dog’s agility. They are sure-footed climbers, and you will often find them perched on the window looking out or on the high back of a chair.
More interestingly, Tibetan Spaniels are creative problem-solvers, used to relying on their skill in getting what they want. For instance, they will figure out how to pry open a cabinet door using their paws, making them an appealing small dog breeds for kids. Just make sure you keep accessible cabinets free of any dangerous items or substances.
#7. Shih Tzu
Kids love this small, proud and eye-catching breed. Shih Tzus have a sweet-natured temperament, aren’t happy, and are generally less demanding than the majority of the other small dog breeds for kids.
The dog is solidly built and enjoys playing in the yard, making it an ideal playmate for toddlers. Besides, with its love for comfort and attention, you will often find it cuddling in your kid’s lap or hiding under comfy pillows.
#6. Bichon Frise
This white powder puff of a dog boasts a merry temperament that is evidenced in its dark-eyed inquisitive eyes, coupled with his plumed tail that is carried jauntily over the back.
The dog is easy to live with as it exhibits a cheerful mood and enjoys playing games, snuggling into pillows, and perching on your sofa to peek out the window.
The Bichon Frise will delight your kids as it enjoys learning new tricks while being extremely friendly and dependent on human companionship.
#5. American Eskimo Dog
A striking dog with a white coat, black eyes, and sweet expression, the American Eskimo Dog is beloved by many thanks to its beauty and ability to entertain. The dog won’t shy away from joining in on family activities, from cuddling on the couch to running through the park.
This Spitz-like breed with thick ears comes in miniature and standard versions. The dog is incredibly sweet and docile, making him an ideal companion for all family members, including kids.
#4. Miniature Schnauzer
This is arguably the most popular dog among the three schnauzer breeds, which include the standard and giant sizes. Kids prefer this dog due to his intelligent and cheerful nature, which allow him to hang out comfortably in the house, as well as romp outdoors in the yard or park. The charming and incredibly friendly Miniature Schnauzer features a distinct beard, wiry coat, and bushy eyebrows.
#3. Yorkshire Terrier
This tiny canine is among the best small dog breeds for kids thanks to its big, adventurous personality. The engaging, pint-sized pup is an ideal pet for families that love travelling as he will keep your children entertained in the back seat while you are en route.
Yorkshire Terriers are tiny, pointy-eared, silky-haired dogs with yappy voices that measure around 9 inches and weigh between 4 and 7 pounds. They’re also hypoallergenic, which makes them a safe choice for any household. However, Yorkies can become snappish if they’re teased, which makes them better suited for families with older children.
The main characteristics that render this type of dog ideal for children are its curiosity and its lively, energetic disposition. These features will come in handy since children are usually running after dogs – dachshunds can more than take on that challenge thanks to their incredible stamina.
Dogs weigh between 11 and 32 pounds, are easy to please, and are usually extremely joyful. There are three kinds of dachshunds – wired-haired, long-haired, and short-haired.
Depending on your child’s age, you might want to choose one that is medium-sized rather than toy size, lest they get hurt by your children while playing together.
Pugs are among the friendliest small dog breeds for kids you will ever stumble upon. Your children can chase the dog around the house safely without the fear of being bitten or even getting barked at. They often come in black or silver and have short coats, squished-up faces, and black snouts.
This dog does not grow taller than around 11 inches. Also, it doesn’t get more massive than 8 kilograms. It stays indoors mostly and, since a pug is often very playful, it enjoys receiving plenty of attention. Something your kid will appreciate.
Bottom Line on Best Small Dog Breeds for Kids
When choosing small dog breeds for kids, go for one that is sufficiently loyal and gentle. Small dogs are not always kid-friendly since some can be too nervous, too susceptible to injury, or too hyper to be genuinely compatible with toddlers.
Ideal small dog breeds for kids, as listed above, are sufficiently patient and sturdy enough to handle the heavy-handed hugs that children often dish out.
Kid-friendly dogs are always ready and waiting for action as they will often be engaged in retrieving games and endless jumping. Your selected small dog must have enough stamina to handle significant exercise and mental stimulation.
Further reading: Most Beautiful Dog Breeds in the World – Top 18