Not all dogs are right for all families, so if you are considering a small dog breed be sure to look through these descriptions and make sure you find a dog breed suited to the age of your kids, their special health needs, and the conditions around your house.
You can choose your new dog based on what is important to you. Are you looking for a dog that does not shed much? How about one that does not bark a lot? All dogs need to go out and walk, but some a lot less than others.
Finally, you have to choose the dog that looks right to you. The seven dogs I have chosen for this list all look great, but all of them are very different. I love the way a French Bulldog looks, but if the health concerns are more of an issue with you, consider a healthier dog like a Miniature Schnauzer.
Shedding: Very little, and almost hypoallergenic if bathed and brushed frequently.
Barking: Normal; some dogs bark a lot.
Health: Some serioius health issues.
Frailty: Not too bad. There are sturdier breeds available, but Bichons are large enough to avoid many problems.
This wooly little guy is one of the best for any family looking for an easy-to-care for and good natured small dog. They only weigh about 10 to 20 pounds, so are unlikely to be banned by any lease that allows dogs.
They are cheerful and cute. Bichons are one of the “hypoallergenic” dog breeds since they do not shed much and, if they are groomed and bathed properly, do not shed much dander into their environment. (They do need to be clipped every month or two, brushed daily to keep from matting, and bathed every so often to stay clean—no one said hypoallergenic is easy.)
Most of them like water—just in case you have a pool. If you don´t, they are also nice to hang around in the back yard with and are obedient dogs if trained.
Bichons have a good lifespan, usually about 12 to 15 years. Some of them have skin problems, recurrent ear infections, and allergies, but the more seriously affected dogs have knee problems, diabetes, and heart problems. This breed can also be affected by severe liver shunts and an autoimune disease.
Shedding: Very little, especially when groomed consistently.
Barking: Many Schhauzers bark a lot, so training is essential if you do not want to hear this all day long.
Health: Some serioius health issues, but not as bad as some small dog breeds.
Frailty: Sturdy small dogs; if you have playful children this is one dog that can handle their wrestling.
This small German dog breed is popular with families all over the world, and for a lot of reasons. They are small (about 10 to 20 pounds) but not frail at all. In fact, they are bred down from larger farm dogs (the Standard Schnauzer) and can handle wrestiling and playing with kids of all ages.