Small Dog Breeds

Toy Chihuahua and Great Dane
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Small Dog Breeds

Owners of small dog breeds often seem to have a closer bond with their pets than do owners of large dog breeds. One of the reasons for this intimate relationship is that small dogs live longer than large dogs, anywhere between twelve to fourteen years depending on the breed. Another reason may be that larger dogs are often not allowed in the house, while smaller dogs are almost always inside companions.

A small dog provides companionship, protection and a sense of joy because of their playful and funny nature. As a member of your family you must ensure you will be able to provide for the dog’s needs before you buy or adopt. Choose the dog carefully by studying the breeds personality and traits to see if it will fit in your household with the rest of your family.

Selecting Your Dog

Finding the best breed to fit in your environment will require a little effort on your part. Every breed has qualities that you might like or not be able to tolerate. Small dog breeds are very energetic until they settle in their new environment and get used to the routine of what is taking place. When selecting a dog you should find the answers to the following questions for the particular breed in which you are interested:

• Are there any unusual health issues?

• Will it create allergy problems?

• What will the expense be?

• Can it be easily house trained?

• Is it a watchdog?

Training Small Dogs

The growing pains of training a dog can be frustrating; once you overcome this small hurdle, you will be able to enjoy your pet for a very long time. A few of the small dogs that are easy to train include:

• Shetland sheep dog

• Papillion

• Pomeranian

• Miniature pincher

• Norwich terrier

Of course, every dog has its own personality, but typically, small dogs are easier to train than their larger counter parts. Housetraining is part of this process and small dogs can go under or behind furniture making it hard to detect where they have relieved themselves. One thing to consider when you train your dog is you have to be very patient and remember that they are dogs.


Small dog breeds are great watchdogs. If you are getting a dog for security reasons, you must understand the difference between a watchdog and a guard dog.

• A watchdog will create some sort of commotion when they feel a stranger in their environment. This commotion is usually incessant barking until the owner responds.

• Guard dogs generally attack if the intruder is not recognized or if the dog perceives the intruder as a threat. Some of the breeds considered good watchdogs include:

• Chihuahua

• Boston terrier

• Miniature schnauzer

• Yorkshire terrier

• Dachshund


Dog dander is the cause of the allergic reactions some people experience when they are around dogs, and not the hair. Dander is the dead skin flakes from the dog, if you inhale this microscope particle or it lands in your eye you will experience an allergic reaction if you are allergic to the dander.

All dogs produce dander, if you want a dog anyway you should get a dog that produces less dander and does not shed too much. Small dog breeds with these qualities include:

• Affenpinscher

• American Hairless Terrier

• Chinese Crested- Hairless and Powderpuff

• Italian Greyhound

• Lhasa Apso


The biggest expense you will incur when owning a pet is the trip to the veterinary clinic. Every breed has at least one genetically pre-disposed condition. Small dog breeds such as Chihuahua, Pomeranian, Yorkshire terrier and poodles are at risk of odontoid process dysplasia. This is a condition where the vertebrae in the neck are not formed properly or partially dislocated; this may result in the compression of the spinal cord. Your dog will need vaccinations, medications, grooming, boarding costs if you occasionally leave town and maybe a dog walker. Getting a good pet insurance will help reduce some of these costs.

yorkshire terrier puppy

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