15 Best Small Dogs For Families With Kids


best small dogs for kids

A childhood spent with a friendly, joyful companion around an extra special one! As we all know, dogs have a historical track record for being great members of families and companions of children. Although one should keep in mind that not all dog breeds go well with children, especially the small ones. Nevertheless, there are still many dog breeds who are able to get along well with them. 

Deciding to own a pet dog requires a lot of thought about the right breed to choose and base your decisions on your lifestyle. This is a very important aspect when adding another member to one’s family because having a pet requires extra attention, budget and time. Moreover, parental responsibility should be in mind when having dogs and children living in the same household. The children should be prepared to be responsible pet owners and parents should teach children how to be a good companion to the new happy member of the family.

Are you excited to pick the breed that best fits you and your kids? We came up with our top 15 best small dogs for families that parent dog owners picked as the best ones to welcome to your home soon:


pugThe pug is very sociable dog breed with a joyful personality. They are great companions for children and adults alike. While pugs are goofy and always ecstatic, they do not require rigorous amount of exercise, although they will always get your attention.

Pugs are laid-back homey types who love to clown around with their squishy faces. They are gentle to small children and even toddlers. They are not intimidating to children. They love entertaining and playing with children and do not play rough with them. Pugs require average to low maintenance due to their neat, short coat. They do not shed as much and do not bark a lot as most big dogs do.

Boston Terrier

boston terrierThe Boston Terrier, also known as the “American Gentleman”, is specifically bred to be a companion dog. Throughout generations, they are well-suited to be with families who have small children.

A Boston Terrier is a silly, jumpy and sociable breed that is a true joy to have around. Boston Terrier breeds have an alpha vibe even though they are small in stature. With their playful and patient personality, they can easily keep up with children. They are adaptive, quick learners, loyal and are very loving to their owners, too.

Boston Terriers are easy to maintain. They have a short coat that does not require frequent grooming. Shedding is very minimal to this breed.


mini dachshundThe Dachshund, also called “hotdogs”, “wiener dogs” or “doxies”, are easy to notice due to their physically unique, short stature and long bodies that resemble a sausage. Moreover, this breed has a spunky personality to match their look.

As a pet, the Dachshund does not require rigorous exercise and their physical activities are limited due to their unique form. They are laid-back lap dogs who cuddle and kiss their owners a lot.

They are capable of being good companions to children and can play with them. However, they can become a bit high-strung, especially when the children play rough around them. They are more apprehensive to strangers that other small dog breeds. However, Dachshunds are loyal and loving pets to their owners.

Dachshunds have smooth and short coats that do not shed. They are very easy to maintain.


malteseThe Maltese dog breeds have a gentle and sweet personality. As pets, these lap dogs love to spend downtime with their owners. They also love occasional walks and are content to stay in the house. They are gentle and moderately energetic as companions to children. A Shih-Tzu is a Maltese hybrid, which became very popular due to their more energetic personality and the subtle, careful personality of a pure-breed Maltese. An alternate would be a maltipoo which has some poodle in it and is a little less expensive to buy.

Maintaining a Maltese requires regular grooming due to their long hair. Grooming a pet Maltese and accessorizing its hair is a fun bonding activity to do with kids.


Cocker Spaniel

cocker spanielThe Cocker Spaniel canine breed has English and American varieties. They are bred as hunters but are domesticated to keep up well with families. Both varieties are quick learners, smart and affectionate to people. They are loyal and loving to their owners, too. When it comes to children, Cocker Spaniels are suitable companions even to small ones because they are careful and have moderate energy.

They have medium to long hair so they need moderate to high maintaining. Cocker Spaniels are also fun to accessorize due to their soft and fluffy coat.


Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier King Charles SpanielA Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a toy spaniel that is small in stature. This dog variety is gentle, playful, and very affectionate to people, as well as adaptive and smart. They, too, have moderate and laid back personalities that fit perfectly for families with small children.

Maintenance for Cavalier King Charles Spaniels should be done more frequently than shorthaired breeds but they give added fun and excitement for the family when they are accessorized.




BeagleThe Beagle is among the most popular and most prized breed. Beagles are physically unique with their flap ears and coat. They have a relaxed, gentle personality. Beagles are traditionally bred as excellent hunters who have a strong sense of smell. The Beagle varieties are small to medium sized in stature.

As pets, a Beagle is very gentle and patient. This breed is even-tempered and not apprehensive to people, even strangers. Their moderate energy and laid-back personality make them excellent companions to children.

A Beagle’s coat has short hair that requires minimal maintenance. Its physical activities are more strenuous and demanding due to their hunting physique and instincts. They are an explorer breed who are easily taught and are very smart.

Norfolk Terrier

Norfolk TerrierThe Norfolk Terrier is a small-sized variety of Terriers that has the most gentle temper among all others. They are very social dogs and energetic. These dogs make excellent companions to family members, including small children. These dogs can be toy Terriers because of their playful and smart personality. The Norfolk Terrier is upbeat and fun-loving. They are extra loyal, affectionate and loves attention from their owners.

They have dark, good-looking coat that requires moderate maintenance. Physical activities of this breed can be playtime with children because they do not demand regular, more strenuous activities.


Bichon Frise

bichon friseThe Bichon Frise breed are fun-loving toy dogs. This popular breed is a fluffy, pure white energy ball. A Bichon Frise is really fit to be around with playing children because they really enjoy it and can keep up with their energy. They are also moderately tempered and tolerant to children. Children love to accessorize this dog breed and include them in their play because of their cute appearance.

On maintaining Bichon Frise, their fur rarely shed but they need regular grooming because it is not short. Bichon Frise dogs love regular walks but do not engage in very strenuous, sporty activities.


Yorkshire Terrier

YorkieThe Yorkshire Terrier or “yorkie” is the most popular toy dog breed in America. This dog breed that is fit for minimal lifestyle due to its small in size and elegant looks.

Yorkies are smart, very energetic dogs that are highly adaptable. They are affectionate and sensitive to the family members. Yorkies are good companions to children because they are all around friendly and have average temperament. For first-time dog owners like young children, Yorkies are one of the best picks. Yorkies are also very friendly to other dogs but have the right amount of apprehension to strangers. Moreover, Yorkies are very smart, capable of being trained and playful to children.

On grooming, Yorkies require it regularly due to their soft and medium-length coat. Although, the good side is that these breeds hardly shed.


bulldogThe Bulldog is recognized to have a distinctive face characterized by its short snout. Due to this, they have a funny wheezing and snoring. They also tend to drool. They have a muscled, small in stature and are very strong breeds. History has is that they are traditionally bred in England by fighting bulls! Thus, Bulldogs are known to be tough and ferocious.

However, this dog breed is also very warm, charming and showers its owners with so much affection. Family members cherish bulldogs because they are companion dogs.

Bulldogs are also reserved and patient. They rare obedient but also has their share of stubbornness. They are comical dogs who make ways to please from time to time. They act pleasantly to strangers and do not become hostile to children.

The extent of their physical activities involve walking and exploring but an owner cannot expect this dog breed to walk or run long distances due to their dense bodies. They have short hair that needs fairly low to semi-regular grooming.

French bulldog

French BulldogThe French Bulldog is a traditional companion dog and is extremely domesticated. They are show dogs who are smart and highly trainable.

French Bulldogs are best for new owners because they are friendly, affectionate to the family and are very sensitive breeds. Interaction with other children and their dogs are not a problem for this one, too. However, they are also friendly to strangers. French Bulldogs are very smart and have great potential to learn new tricks. They are also an energetic and playful breed.

They require regular exercise by walking them outside and much running. Regular grooming is needed to keep them clean especially under the wrinkles.

Bull Terrier

Bull TerrierThe Bull Terrier hybrid is part Bulldog and part Terrier. The breed originated in England and are a popular mix. They are highly energetic, very curious and require constant entertainment. Besides those characteristics, a Bull Terrier is capable of prim and proper behaving because they are smart and trainable. An important behavior to note for this mix is its strong personality so they are most fitting for families with older children.

The Bull Terrier has long been a good companion of growing children because they have the right amount of energy and affection. This charismatic and elegant canine has the most muscles among all other dog hybrids. They have a very distinctive look, too.

Bull Terriers would like rigorous exercise. Grooming is easy due to their short coat.


ChihuahuaThe Chihuahua dog breed was first discovered in Mexico thus, the name. It is known as the smallest dog in the world. Chihuahas have soft, smooth coat and pointy ears. Other varieties can have long, soft hair that is straight or wavy. Its body and stand is small.

Chihuahuas are known for their varied temperament but are generally friendly and affectionate to owners. They always have an alert attitude and are expressively lively. However, to strangers, they appear to be reserved. These dogs are barkers. They are very courageous, protective, and devoted to their owners.

As indoor pets, a Chihuahua is a perfect example. An extension of its exercise is by walking for a short while outside. They love just walking around, exploring the house with the children. The coat of a Chihuahua is neat and short which requires minimal maintenance. 

A good way to teach a child responsibility is by making them pet owners. Owning a pet teaches children affection and care. However, parents of growing children have more precautions and responsibilities to take when they have pets in the house.

Small dogs of different breeds have different varieties, who also have different attitudes, behaviors towards family members and children, strangers and other dogs. They also have different attention needs, physical activities, food choices and grooming and health requirements. Thus, the right breed or mix of dog, their personalities, and physical, emotional and health requirements should be taken into consideration when choosing a pet. These factors are exciting as well as quite challenging to learn for parents. Despite these added efforts by parents, having a dog is priceless because of a certain level of security, loyalty, affection and shared fun times they bring to the family.


So what little dogs do you think are good with kids? Let us know!


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