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10 Best Small Dog Breeds for Kids (not toy breeds)

10 best small dog breeds for kids petrage

When it comes to choosing a pet for a family with kids, it’s important to find a breed that is both friendly and safe for young children. While toy breeds are cute, they are also delicate and can be easily injured by a playful toddler. Larger breeds may provide protection and security, but small breeds can make good watch dogs, are easier to handle and can provide just as much love and affection. In addition, smaller breeds generally have a longer life expectancy than big dogs. In this article, we will be discussing the 10 best small dog breeds for kids that are not toy breeds. For the sake of this post-we will consider any breed UNDER 12 pounds when fully grown as a toy breed. Explore more and try our Ultimate Small Dog Breed finder with over 70 different breeds!

1. Beagle – up to 30 pounds

The Beagle is a friendly, outgoing breed that loves to play and is well-suited for families with kids. They are known for their high energy levels and playful personalities, making them a perfect match for families who love to be active and enjoy spending time outdoors. Beagles are known to be patient and tolerant, which is essential when interacting with younger children. With their short, smooth coat and minimal shedding, they are also low-maintenance and easy to care for.


2. Miniature Schnauzer – up to 20 pounds

The miniature schnauzer is often considered one of the best small dog breeds for kids due to its friendly and playful nature. These dogs are known for their affectionate and outgoing personalities, making them great companions for children of all ages. Additionally, miniature schnauzers are highly intelligent and easy to train, which can be beneficial when teaching children about responsibility and pet care. Their small size also makes them suitable for apartment living or homes with limited space. Furthermore, miniature schnauzers have a low-shedding coat, which can be ideal for families with allergies.


3. Shetland Sheepdog up to 25 pounds

The Shetland Sheepdog, also known as the “Sheltie,” is a friendly and intelligent breed that is great with kids. They are very playful and affectionate, and love to spend time with their families. Shetland Sheepdogs are known for their herding instincts and high energy levels, so they need plenty of daily exercise and playtime to keep them happy and healthy. These energetic dogs are also highly trainable and excel in activities such as obedience and agility, making them a great choice for families looking for a versatile and active companion. Their long double coat requires regular grooming, but it also makes them extra huggable and cuddly.


4. Jack Russell Terrier – up to 20 pounds

The Jack Russell Terrier is often regarded as one of the best small dog breeds for kids due to its energetic and playful nature. These dogs have a boundless amount of energy and love to engage in various activities with children, such as playing fetch or going on walks. Their small size makes them suitable for families living in apartments or houses with limited space. Jack Russell Terriers are known for their intelligence and trainability, which makes them easy to teach and allows them to adapt well to family routines. Additionally, these dogs are incredibly loyal and protective, making them great companions and watchdogs for children. With proper training and socialization, the Jack Russell Terrier can be a loving and devoted family pet that brings endless joy and laughter to the household. If you can provide enough exercise and mental stimulation, the JRT may be the right dog to add as one of your family members.


5. Boston Terrier up to 25 pounds

The Boston Terrier is widely regarded as one of the best small dog breeds for kids, and for good reason. With their friendly and affectionate nature, these adorable little dogs make great companions for children of all ages. They are known to be patient and tolerant, making them ideal playmates for energetic kids. Boston Terriers are also highly intelligent and easy to train, which can be a huge advantage when it comes to teaching children about responsibility and pet ownership. In addition, their small size makes them suitable for both indoor and outdoor living spaces, making them a versatile choice for families. With their short coat and minimal shedding, they are also low-maintenance and easy to care for.

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6. Corgi (both breeds) – up to 40 pounds

The Corgi is widely regarded as one of the best small dog breeds for kids due to its unique combination of intelligence, affection, and playful nature. These adorable little dogs are known for their loving and loyal personalities, making them excellent companions for children. Corgis are also highly intelligent and easy to train, which means they can quickly learn commands and tricks that will impress and entertain kids. Additionally, their natural herding instincts make them great watchdogs, always keeping a watchful eye on their young charges. Corgis are also energetic and enjoy physical activities, making them perfect playmates for active children.


7. West Highland White Terrier – up to 20 pounds

The West Highland White Terrier, also known as the “Westie,” is a friendly and playful breed that is great with kids. They are highly intelligent and easy to train, making them a great choice for families who want a new pup that is well-behaved and obedient. Westies are known for their love of adventure and their ability to adapt to different environments, making them a great fit for active families. They have a high energy level and enjoy being part of the family’s daily activities, whether it’s going for walks, playing in the yard, or simply cuddling on the couch. They have a thick, double coat that requires regular grooming to maintain, but their friendly and affectionate nature makes them the right choice for families with kids.


8. Scottish Terrier – up to 25 pounds

The Scottish Terrier, also known as the “Scotty,” is a confident and independent breed that is great with kids. They are highly intelligent and easy to train, making them a good choice for families who want a pet that is well-behaved and obedient. Scotty’s are known for their big personality, so they require a firm and consistent hand in training. With their sturdy build and compact size, Scottish Terriers are well-suited to handle the energy and playfulness of children. Their protective nature also ensures that they will always watch over their young owners, providing them with a sense of security and companionship.


9. Cairn Terrier – up to 18 pounds

The Cairn Terrier is widely regarded as one of the best small dog breeds for kids due to its playful and friendly nature. This breed is known for its high energy levels, which make it a perfect companion for active children who love to play and explore. Cairn Terriers are also highly intelligent and easily trainable, making them great at learning new tricks and commands. Additionally, they have a natural instinct to protect their loved ones, making them excellent watchdogs. With their sturdy build and resilient nature, Cairn Terriers can handle rough play and are less prone to injury. Furthermore, they are known to be social and get along well with other pets, making them a great addition to any family. They have a dense, wiry coat that requires regular grooming to maintain.


10. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel – up to 20 pounds

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a friendly and affectionate breed that is great with kids. These pups are known for their playful personalities and love of cuddling, making them a great choice for families who want a pet that is easy to love. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are also highly adaptable, making them a great choice for families who live in both small apartments and larger homes. They have a long, silky coat that requires regular grooming to maintain, but their friendly and affectionate nature makes them a great choice for families with small children.


FAQ – Best Small Dog Breeds for Kids

How do you choose a small dog breed that is good with children?
faq q and a section

When choosing a small dog breed for kids, look for breeds that are known for their friendly and patient nature. Consider the dog’s energy level, size, and temperament. It’s also important to interact with the dog before bringing them home to ensure they get along well with children.

What kind of training is necessary for a small dog breed to get along with kids?
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Training small dog breeds to get along with kids is crucial for their safety and the well-being of both the dog and the child. Basic obedience training, socialization with kids from an early age, and teaching kids how to interact gently with dogs are essential for a harmonious relationship.

What are some common misconceptions about small dogs and how can you debunk them?
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Common misconceptions about small dogs include being yappy, fragile, and not suitable for kids. However, small dog breeds can be trained to be well-behaved, they can be sturdy and resilient, and many small breeds are great with kids.

Best Small Dog Breeds for Kids – Final Thoughts

Any of these 10 breeds are great choices for families with kids who are looking for a small dog that is friendly, safe, and easy to care for. While all dogs require time, effort, and commitment, these breeds are generally well suited for new dog owners with children. Whether you’re looking for a high-energy playmate or a cuddly companion, there is a small dog breed out there that will be the perfect fit for you and your family.

You can try our Ultimate Small Dog Breed Finder with over 70 different breeds (including toy breeds) by clicking the button below. Narrow your search by weight, temperament, intelligence etc.

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