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Small dog breeds may lack in stature, but their personalities can pack a real punch. When it comes to our beloved dogs, small is definitely mighty. They may be cute and cuddly, but don’t be fooled into thinking you have a shrinking violet on your hands. Small dog breeds have a lot to say for themselves. Those little bodies are packed full of loveable quirks, often with a side order of sass. 

But small dogs are also some of the most loyal and loving companions you could ask for. Here are our top 5 small dog breeds with unforgettable personalities. 

Shih Tzu

small dog breeds

The name Shih Tzu literally translates to ‘little lion,’ and looking at their majestic mane you can see why! The Shih Tzu’s personality combines affectionate lap-dog, with the pride and confidence of a lion. 

All Shih Tzus want is to love, and be loved. They’re eager to be part of the family and will happily follow you from room to room. But that’s not to say they don’t have a mind of their own. Shih Tzus can be stubborn, making them sometimes difficult to train. But as intelligent little dogs, they love to learn. Shih Tzus are born charmers and show their confidence when meeting new people and environments. 


small dog breeds

The Cockapoo is a cross between a Cocker Spaniel and a Poodle. As one of the first ‘designer dogs’, these bouncy balls of fluff were bred for their loveable nature and low shedding coats. 

Cockapoos love their people and are desperate to please and entertain. You’ll feel neither bored nor lonely with a cockapoo around. They are high energy, intelligent dogs which makes them easy to train. While they’re happy blowing off steam in the park for hours on end, they also love to curl up on your lap and receive endless petting. 

Border Terrier 

small dog breeds

Border Terriers are affectionate dogs and easily trained. They were originally bred to work alongside foxhounds to drive foxes out of their dens. As such, they will live peacefully with other dogs. 

Like other small dog breeds, they want to be part of the family. But unlike others, they won’t demand your attention. They’re simply keen to be in your company, whatever you’re doing. 

Border Terriers aren’t yappy dogs, but due to their working background they can be eager diggers.  

Bichon Frise

small dog breeds

The Bichon Frise is a happy and enthusiastic dog. They love to play and can be mischievous if left to their own devices. But as intelligent little dogs, they’re easy to train and are great for first time dog parents. Due to their gentle nature, they’re also great with other pets and children. 

Bichon Frises aren’t overly barky and are happiest when in your company. With their powder puff coats and teddy bear faces, they never fail to light up the room.

Yorkshire Terrier 

Feisty but affectionate, the Yorkshire Terrier is a popular companion dog for doting dog parents. They want lots of time and attention from their family, and won’t tolerate being left alone for long periods. 

small dog breeds

Yorkshire Terriers can be yappy little dogs and can bark at unusual sounds and strangers. They’ll live peacefully if raised alongside other pets, but can become protective of their owner if introduced at a later stage. These tiny dogs are adventurous with a determined personality.

Originally published on Tails.com and republished here with the kind permission of the author, Sophie Van Der Veken.

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