Small dog breeds weigh up to 25 pounds and are often called "lap dogs" because they can easily fit on the owner's lap. Each dog breed was developed for a specific purpose. Some small dog breeds were developed for companionship while others had different purposes such as hunting or even exterminating small pests. Most miniature dogs need constant human companionship as this was the initial goal of developing smaller dog breeds that can spend as much time as possible with the owners. Lap dogs enjoy giving unconditional love and companionship to people of different ages. Small dogs are best for families with older kids as some miniature breeds can be too fragile for young kids that may unintentionally hurt the dog. Lap dogs do really well in households with senior owners. Small dogs are popular among the older people as smaller size makes it easier to care for the pet. Oftentimes elderly people have plenty of time to spend with the small companion dog and some seniors enjoy grooming and caring for their miniature dog. Smaller breeds are also easier to walk as they don't have the strength of a large or medium dog to pull on a leash. Small dogs are much easier to control during walks and many elderly people find small dogs more suitable for their lifestyle in comparison to larger breeds.
Many small dogs are comfortable living in either an apartment or in a house. While some small breeds are ideal for apartment living, others may be more suitable for a country life for various reasons. Jack Russell Terriers, for example are small dogs, but their original purpose was to be a hunting breed. Despite little size, even mini dogs may have too much energy for living in an apartment and may exhibit dog behavior problems when they are left in an apartment with nothing to do. Jack Russell Terriers do much better in a home with a yard, where the dog has the space to run, explore and play. Small and toy dog types are more popular in cities because of the limited living space.
Exercise needs, temperament and energy levels in small dogs vary from breed to breed. If you are looking for a pet live in an apartment, look for low energy dog breeds. High energy small dogs that live in an apartment need to get plenty of daily exercise and long walks to burn off that excessive energy, otherwise behavior problems may start as the dog is trying to find an outlet for his unused energy. Some small dog breeds are completely not fit for living in an apartment due to abundant energy level.
Traveling with a little dog is easier due to the compact size of the pet. People that make frequent trips may find smaller breeds more suitable as the small dog doesn't need much space and will fit into most airline approved pet kennels. Lifting a small dog up is also easier with a smaller breed. Note: brachycephalic small breeds are banned by most airlines.
Smaller breeds have a longer lifespan than medium and large dogs. Life span for small dogs can vary from 10 to 16 years and in some cases even longer. If you are interested in getting a small dog who is already an adult, there's no need to worry about a short lifespan of the dog in many cases because smaller breeds have much longer lifespan and you will get many happy years together with a small dog even if you get an adult dog rather than a puppy.
Are smaller breeds more affordable? That depends on a breed. Smallest breeds have less puppies in a litter and as a result, miniature breed puppies are usually more expensive because of the low number of puppies in litters. Small breeds may require a veterinarian's help when puppies are delivered, and dog breeds such as the French Bulldog even requires a vet to artificially inseminate the female dog as the physiology of the breed does not allow the male French Bulldog to successfully mount the female dog in order to produce puppies. This is another reason why some small breeds can be so expensive. On the other hand, a smaller dog doesn't require large amounts of dog food daily in comparison to large breeds.
Some small dogs have more genetic diseases than others. When you are doing a research on any small dog breed, pay attention to the health issues associated with the small breed you are interested in. Chihuahuas, for example have few genetic diseases associated with the small breed. Brachycephalic breeds such as the Pug or Pekingese, on the other hand may have a set of potentially serious genetic diseases associated with these breeds. As an owner of any small dog breed, it is important to take into consideration the small breed's health to be able to provide the right care for the small breed of your choice.
Keep in mind that some small dog breeds may have high coat maintenance needs and may be more expensive as they need to visit the professional dog groomer once every six weeks or so. Bichon Frise dog breed, for example needs an owner who is ready to spend time every day to care for the fluffy coat by brushing the dog. His luxurious coat needs to be trimmed once every six weeks or so. Many small dog breeds are easier to care for when it comes to coat grooming and may be more appropriate for an owner who is not looking to spend much time on dog's coat maintenance.
Keep on reading to learn about different small dog breeds and you will be more prepared to be a great dog owner who understands the unique grooming, care, training and other needs of the small dog breed of your choice.
French Bulldogs are low energy small dogs that are also quiet and don't bark much. Frenchies make great apartment dogs and are suitable for families with older kids as well as for older people who are looking for an affectionate pet companion.
Yorkies are among the smallest dog breeds. Yorkies are active and enjoy mental and physical exercise during the day. This small breed is suitable for owners with pet allergies as Yorkies are low shedding and produce lower of allergens in comparison to many other dog breeds. Spend some time with the dog before final commitment to be confident that the breed doesn't aggravate your allergies if you have asthma or pet related allergies.