Small breed checklist
The Bichon breed – often referred to as the Bichon Frise or the Maltese – has an intriguing history and an equally delightful personality. This small dog is affectionate and easy-going, and is well-suited to family life either in the city or the country. His loyal nature and eager personality makes him an excellent guard dog, and this small dog adores fun and games. Many people choose a Bichon for its beautiful long or curly coat which comes in a range of colours, from pure white through brown to black. Daily brushing is a must.
The Chihuahua is the smallest dog in the world and can actually live for up to 18 years. If you choose a Chihuahua, you will never have a dull life as this small dog is full of surprises! He bravely defends the people he loves, and he will never say no to play-time or walk-time. The Chihuahua’s big eyes and affectionate nature are hard to resist – but don’t be fooled! This small dog is very intelligent and he needs to be trained with a firm hand. Chihuahuas have a short or long-haired coat in various colours which is very easy to groom.
Cavalier King Charles
An excellent small dog for families is the Cavalier King Charles spaniel with his soft, silky coat. Named after King Charles II, the flamboyant king loved this small dog breed so much that he carried his own pets into parliament! Daily coat brushing is recommended, and occasional baths will keep your Cavalier King Charles spaniel’s coat clean and healthy – especially if you’ve been out exercising together. This small dog breed loves playing active games outdoors because it gives him plenty of opportunities to follow his nose!
Perennially popular, the Dachshund is easy to identify with his short legs and long ‘sausage-shaped’ body – perfect for the breed’s original job as a badger hunter. This small dog breed is loving and loyal – and sometimes a little too possessive! – but he is relaxed and happy with children, and always keen to play with balls and toys. Although the Dachshund makes the perfect city pet, this small dog is surprisingly energetic and will eagerly go for long country walks, too.
Intelligent, playful and loyal, a Fox Terrier will worship you and your family. This small dog’s history as a fox-hunter is now in the past and, instead, he directs his irrepressible energy into outdoor fun and games. Your Fox Terrier loves town or country, and will follow you everywhere – especially if there’s a game of fetch on offer! This small dog breed needs lots of entertainment and can get easily bored if left alone; he also prefers to be the only pet in the home. On the plus side, your Fox Terrier will be smart and easy to train, as long as you are patient and firm.
If you’re looking for a small dog with a great sense of humour, the French Bulldog is an excellent choice. This sweet-natured, happy breed originated in England in the 1850s before becoming a classic small dog breed in France. Compact and muscular, this brave little dog is not afraid to stand his ground, but his intense loyalty makes him a steady and committed companion. French Bulldogs can be fawn, brindle or quail (white and brindle) and his coat is short and neat. This is an excellent indoor small dog and he is happiest with short walks and lots of love.
Fun-loving and faithful, the Jack Russell believes he’s really a huge hound in disguise! This small dog was bred to wriggle down fox-holes and his hunting instincts remain today. The lively and long-lived Jack Russell terrier makes a terrific family pet but he doesn’t mix well with cats or other small furry animals. His bark is very loud for his diminutive size, and he’s prone to mischief if allowed to become bored. His short-haired white and tan coat is easy to groom, and his high energy levels requires plenty of exercise and lots of games.
The Miniature Poodle has brains and beauty which makes this sweet-natured small dog easy to train and a joy to walk. The breed has been highly fashionable over the years, and is now popular as an indoor pet, particularly in urban locations. Choose from a variety of colours – from black through brown and grey, to apricot and white – and be prepared for lots of grooming to keep that curly coat in fabulous condition. The Miniature Poodle is affectionate, observant and happy to be the boss, so make sure yours knows his place in the household!
The Pomeranian’s superb coat and jaunty stance is paired with a smart and confident nature – this makes him a fascinating pet, and an excellent guard dog. This small dog breed is calm, loyal and intelligent, and he isn’t fazed by modern city living – despite originating from some harsh outdoor environments across the globe. And when you do have messy fun outdoors together, you’ll be surprised by how quickly his coat will clean up, leaving him looking as handsome as ever.
Few can resist the Shih Tzu, a charming small dog breed with an intriguing history – it originally came from Tibet where it is known as the ‘lion dog’. Calm, loyal and very affectionate, the Shih Tzu rarely barks and he loves to play with adults and children alike. This easygoing small dog is also happy to share you with other pets in the household, including other dogs. If you choose a Shih Tzu, be prepared to groom his dense coat daily and check his shaggy ears which can be vulnerable to infection. Otherwise, this small breed is a delight to live with – quiet, intelligent and always happy to trot by your side.
Terriers were bred to hunt and their brave and tenacious nature means they love to bring a prize home. This small dog breed is lively and inventive, and happy to share you with other pets; he also adores the outdoors and his boundless energy means he thrives on plenty of exercise. Although endlessly affectionate and always loyal, your Terrier needs to be trained with a firm and steady hand, and he’ll appreciate being kept busy. As a pet, this small dog is never boring – once trained, you’ll have endless fun together.
Larger than life and full of energy, the Yorkshire Terrier makes a great family pet and loves to explore the world outside. This small dog breed is affectionate and adventurous, with a hunter’s instinct and a desire to run free. If you decide to welcome a Yorkshire Terrier into your home, you’ll have a loyal friend for life but it’s important to train him properly from the very beginning – if not, he may nip you to get his own way. The Yorkshire Terrier has a long, silky coat in a blend of blue and tan which looks its best when brushed every day.