Small Dog Breeds That Make Excellent House Dogs and Companions

By: Richard Livitski

Small dog breeds are becoming increasingly popular as companion dogs because they are extremely portable, adaptable to nearly any living environment, easier to take care of and cheaper to upkeep. With an overwhelming number of small dog breeds available, this may makes finding the perfect small companion a difficult task.

Breeds of small dogs have a reputation for being excellent companion pets for someone living alone or for an older couple. This is because these types of small house dogs are happy and energetic, making them a great pet for a family, but are also small enough to do well in a small apartment because they don't require much exercise.

Another benefit of small dog breeds is that they have an average life expectancy of 14-16 years. While some are prone to ailments simply because of their size, many experience less health problems than large breeds that deal with hip dysplasia, arthritis, or joint problems. Before selecting a small dog breed, you will want to do some research regarding potential breed specific health issues.

Often small dogs, usually less than 15 pounds or so, are considered part of the "toy" or "miniature" group. Some small breeds like the Poodle, are actually a tiny version of the Standard Poodle. You may find some small dog breeds available in weighs as little as 4-6 pounds at full growth, while others will weigh closer to 14-16 pounds.

Although there are great benefits to owning a small dog, you will need to be especially careful with some of the smallest breeds outdoors in the cold, as well as around other large dogs, as they are more vulnerable to injury. If you live in a cold climate zone and are interested in a small dog, you might want to consider small fluffy dog breeds, like a Shih Tzu or a Pomeranian.

As well, just because these dogs are small does not always mean that they are instantly cute and sweet. Many small dog breeds, like the Chihuahua and Pomeranian, have a reputation for being temperamental, jealous and downright spoiled at times. Depending on the breed, some may also be difficult to train and housebreak, as they are often known for being headstrong to make up for their small stature. Before deciding on a small dog, you will also want to do some research, as some are better suited with children or other pets, while others may not be suited in these homes.

Their benefits as pets far outweigh any downfalls and this shows as they continue to rise in popularity. They are wonderful family dogs, as well as easy going companions that are usually content doing whatever their owners do. Most just enjoy snuggling up while their owners watch a movie and many are content with a little romp in the backyard.

Some of the most popular breeds of small dogs include...

Chihuahuas: This pup is known for being fiercely loyal, as well as having a big dog attitude. Although this works well for couples looking for a little watch dog, Chihuahuas may not do well with children because of this loyalty and attitude. Because of their short hair, they will do best in a warm climate zone or where they can be kept indoors unless they are of the long-haired variety.

Dachshunds: Most recognize the "wiener dog" right away and this has helped to make them one of the most popular small dog breeds in America. They are popular because of their fun and fearless attitude, a happy personality as well as being a great companion dog. Owners need to regularly exercise them and be careful of overfeeding because they are short and long.

Pomeranians: This breed loves to be spoiled, so will do well with a companion that wants to make their pet the center of attention. They don't mind sitting on their companion's lap all day long, although they are known for being jealous. Poms are one of the most popular small fluffy breeds that have more bite than its bark, making it a great watchdog.

Pugs: A sweet and lovable small dog with lots of energy, Pugs fit well with any type of family, although they will need regular exercise because of their tendency towards being overweight.

Shih Tzus: Often referred to as the little lion because of their lion face and big personality, this breed commands attention and respect. Surprisingly, although they are long-haired and require regular grooming, Shih Tzus are actually considered hypoallergenic.

Yorkshire Terriers: One of the smallest of the small breeds, Yorkies are actually pretty hardy and can stand up to a little rough housing. These dogs are extremely loyal companion dog that will usually pick their favorite owner, and have a tendency towards being jealous.

These are just a few of the many small dog breeds out there, and if chosen carefully, both you and your pup will benefit with years of love and companionship.

When Richard Livitski isn't busy digging up information about various dog breeds, he's working on his dog names website http://www.dog-names-and-more.com where dog names and puppy names in all shapes and sizes can be found.

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