If you have kids, then choosing the right dog breed is essential. You don’t want a too-large dog with herding instincts that can easily run your child over or nip them because they don’t “listen.” But then some small dogs are fragile and get anxious with busy little ones around.
So what are the best small dog breeds that are ideal for your kids and household?
If you are looking for the best small breed dog that cute and cuddly and good with kids, then consider:
- Boston Terrier
- Pembroke Welsh Corgi
- Miniature Schnauzer
- French Bulldog
- Cocker Spaniel
- Biewer Terrier
- German Spitz
- Norwegian Lundehund
- Border Terrier
- Shih Tzu
Let’s get into detail with each of these small dog breeds so you know what to expect.
15 Cute and Small Dog Breeds for Kids
Here’s the best small dogs that are cute and ideal for families with children:
A Boston terrier grows to be between 15-17 inches tall, and with a life expectancy of 12-14 years, your child will have a companion all throughout their childhood years and possibly even when they are in college (depending on when you get a small dog for your child).
This breed is animated and friendly, and they love kids. The Boston terrier was bred with one purpose in the late 1800s in Boston, and this was to be a devoted companion.
Originally from Havana, Cuba, this breed was the lap dog of rich plantation owners. At 8.5-11.5 inches at the shoulder, this cute small dog is social and charming. Your child and a Havanese will be quick pals.
With a life expectancy of 14-16 years, provided your pup is well looked after, the Havanese can learn endless tricks.
This sturdy toy breed is recommended for respectful kids.
Known for the bond they form with kids, it’s no wonder a pug is on our list for cute small toy breeds. A pug is friendly, silly, and very outgoing. They love lapping up all the love and attention your kids will spoil them with.
At 10-13 inches at the shoulder and a life expectancy of 13-15 years, this kid-friendly small dog needs daily walks. Ensure your pug doesn’t overheat on hot days.
Pembroke Welsh Corgi
With a smiling face, a Pembroke Welsh corgi is bound to bring a smile to your child’s face too. An excellent watchdog, a Pembroke Welsh corgi is alert and loyal.
These affectionate dogs will be best friends with your kid in no time. And it may just feel like you gained another child – instead of a dog!
These dogs grow to be 10-12 inches at the shoulder. If you take good care of them, they can be a friend to your child for 12-15 years.
A Bolognese dog grows to be 10-12 inches tall and their lifespan is 12-14 years. This intelligent dog breed is easy to train.
A Bolognese is curious and will keep you entertained. In terms of exercise, take your Bolognese for a daily walk.
If you have other pets, you don’t need to worry about a Bolognese not fitting in since they have natural socialization skills.
There’s three words that perfectly sums up the miniature Schnauzer. They are adorable, outgoing, and obedient. This pup will make an excellent addition to your home and your child will love their new best friend.
These dogs like to play and they are quite protective of their owners. They are also trainable.
Miniature Schnauzers live for 12-15 years and they grow to be 12-14 inches tall.
You can expect your French bulldog to live for 10-12 years, provided the pup is well taken care of. At 11-13 inches at the shoulder, the Frenchie is playful and adaptable.
With their bat-like ears and friendly and curious nature, it’s no wonder people are drawn to this dog, and your child will be too.
Teach your kid to be respectful and how to interact with the Frenchie, and your child and pooch will be best friends for life.
As a brachycephalic breed, a Frenchie should only get a moderate amount of exercise. Beware that your pup doesn’t overheat.
A happy small dog, the Cocker Spaniel grows to be 14-15 inches at the shoulder. This breed was originally bred to be a companion dog and live peacefully with adults, kids, and other pets.
If your child is peaceful and respectful, a Cocker Spaniel will make a great addition to your family. This dog also likes to play, so if your child loves a game of fetch, a Cocker Spaniel will happily run to and fro to retrieve a ball or stick.
Cocker Spaniels need moderate amounts of daily exercise. Let this pooch run freely in your backyard or take them on daily walks.
Their life expectancy is 10-14 years.
With a lifespan of 16 years, a Biewer terrier grows to be 7-11 inches tall. Easy to train, a Biewer terrier takes direction well.
Your kid and Biewer terrier will be BFFs before you can blink since these small dogs are more cheerful and less stubborn than a Yorkie. If your kids like playtime a lot, then you don’t have to worry about the Biewer terrier tiring too easily.
A super cute dog that looks like a fox, you don’t have to worry about the German Spitz being cunning or wild. Instead, these pooches are very obedient and love to have fun.
These dogs grow to be 12-16 inches tall at the shoulder and they live 14-16 years if you take good care of them.
Originally from Norway, the Norwegian Lundehund was bred to hunt puffins. These dogs are quite energetic and will happily play for hours with your kid.
A two-in-one deal, this pooch is a watchdog and is more than happy to cuddle.
These dogs grow to be 12-15 inches at the shoulder and they have a life expectancy of 12-14 years.
A Border terrier is another small kid-friendly dog you can consider for your family. At 11-16 inches at the shoulder, these dogs live for 12-15 years in a good environment.
Border terriers are affectionate and easy to train, and they’d make an excellent playmate for your child. These pups are also even-tempered and obedient.
If you have other dogs, the Border terrier will get along with them.
At only 15 inches tall at the shoulder on average, beagles were originally bred to hunt groups or herds of rabbits.
A friendly dog that tolerates loud noises (think of your boisterous 2-year-old), a beagle will fit in well with family life and your kids. This breed is athletic and sturdily built, so they will enjoy playing with children.
Beagles may exhibit destructive behavior when they aren’t given enough attention or physical and mental stimulation. These dogs are also known to howl and bark.
When out and about, keep your beagle on a leash so it doesn’t find its way into trouble.
With a life expectancy of 10-15 years, your child will have a lifelong friend into their late teens or early twenties.
If your child would like a cute small dog that they can cuddle with and dote on, then the chihuahua is a good option. They have a life expectancy of 12-14 years on average and grow to be 6-9 inches tall.
Your best bet is to train a puppy; this will ensure they follow the house rules.
Teach your kids how to respectfully treat and handle your chihuahua since these small dogs snap at people who seem threatening.
Another kid-friendly dog, a Shih Tzu loves well-mannered children. This toy breed only grows to be 8-11 inches tall and they can live for 10-16 years.
Originally from China, Shih Tzus were bred to be lap dogs for Chinese royalty so they are low-energy.
Most breeders recommend that your child should be at least 5 years old before you should consider a Shih Tzu; however, an adult dog is sturdy enough for most kids.
Other Small Dog Breeds Alternative
Other cute and small dogs you can consider include:
- Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
- Bichon Frise
- Cairn terrier
- American Eskimo
- Rat terrier
- Welsh terrier
- Australian terrier
- Basset hound
- Brussels Griffon
- Parson Russell terrier
- Chinese Crested
- Norfolk terrier
- Tibetan Spaniel
- West Highland white terrier
Choosing the right family dog for young children is essential. In the small breed category, there are dogs that are highly energetic, those that are low-energy, and others that do well with high-energy kids.
So when you consider getting a cute small dog breed to join your household and become your child’s new best friend, look at:
- The age of your child as small breeds are relatively fragile, so it’s recommended to get one for a child of 5-6 years of age
- The temperament of your kid as low energy dogs wouldn’t like a child who runs everywhere and wants to play non-stop
- The temperament and energy level of the dog and whether they will fit in with your household and lifestyle
- How much care the dog requires
Good luck choosing the best small breed dog for your child!