Small dog breeds for Families
If you’re looking for a family dog, and you have small children, you’ll need to carefully consider which breed will best tolerate toddlers and kids. You probably think small child, small dog. Hold on there, pal – a lot of small breeds are prone to nipping and out-and-out biting. Sometimes these breeds are inherently nervous or high strung.
Another reason a small or toy breed might not be the best for kids is because of their vulnerability. They’re small and they know it. Kids can be rough, so the dog often lashes out in perceived self-defense. The pooch might not be “mean” – it might just be afraid, and often with good reason.
Small dogs do have their advantages, too. They cost less to feed and care for in general. They’re often easier to exercise, and most small breeds are long lived. These petite pups don’t take up a lot of room on the couch, in the bed, or in your favorite chair. But are there small breeds that tolerate, and even enjoy, the company of children? Yes!
One breed that gets on well with kids is the Beagle. This is a sturdy little dog that’s easy to groom and care for. They're very playful and intelligent, and because of their desire to please their master, they're easy to train. Beagles weigh twenty to twenty-five pounds and do fine living inside, even in small apartments, as long as they have a daily walk or playtime outside with the kids. Since these little guys are natural scent hounds, they'll sometimes wander off while following an interesting smell, so it's best to keep them contained or on a lead when outside. Be vigilant about this – my grandson’s Beagle followed her nose on a hunting adventure, and we never found her. Another negative is that most beables are known for their howling yodel. A well cared for Beagle will give its family up to fifteen years of companionship.
Another small breed that’s a good choice for kids is the Pug. Like the Beagle, the Pug has a thick, sturdy body and a short coat. Pugs are playful and affectionate, with a pugnacious attitude. And don’t tell him he’s little – he thinks he’s "a big dog in a little dog's body." They make great alarm dogs for inside, and they’re very intelligent, even if they are a little stubborn. Like other breeds with short noses, pugs often have breathing-related problems, so they shouldn’t get too hot or too cold. Also, you should never let a Pug get too tired from over-exertion. Pugs are pretty calm indoors and don't bark much, even though they love a little vigorous play outside. A short walk every day will meet their need for exercise. Pugs weigh between fifteen and twenty pounds and often live for fifteen years.