Top 10 Best Small Dog Breeds for Kids

It’s time to grow your family with a pet for the kids, but they’re still young, your backyard is small (or non-existent), and you aren’t sure which breed would be the right fit. You know you’re looking for a smaller dog; however, rumor has it they can be high-strung and aren’t good with kids. Is it true that there are no small dog breeds for kids?

There are a number of pint-sized pooches that will ably fit the bill as long as you keep in mind that you’ll want a dog that is sturdy enough to withstand the rough-and-tumble playtime a child will deliver, is friendly, even-tempered, and more importantly, is easy for both you and your kids to train. Always remember that establishing kids as mini-alphas through early training is crucial in order to ensure their commands are obeyed – especially if walking the family pet will become part of their current or future responsibilities.

With these criteria in mind, here are our picks for 10 best small dog breeds for kids.

Miniature Bull Terrier

Best Small Dog Breeds for Kids: Miniature Bull Terrier

This mini version of the Bull Terrier grows to only 10-14 inches in height and weighs in at approximately 15 pounds. A great size for kids, the Miniature Bull Terrier loves to play, is friendly, affectionate and while he can be high-energy, his small stature means exercise needs are easily met and a small home or apartment will fit the bill. His short, flat coat requires minimal weekly grooming and provides a perfect opportunity for kids to care for and bond with this friendly little guy.

Boston Terrier

Best Small Dog Breeds for Kids: Boston Terrier

If there was ever a breed that goes with the flow, this is it. The Boston Terrier is gentle with kids, amusing, bright and friendly. Compact – his height will reach 15 to 17 inches and weight between 10 to 20 pounds – this urban pooch is easily trained, people-oriented, always up for a walk and known to be spunky. Who doesn’t love spunky! Nicknamed the American Gentleman for his tuxedo markings, he’s a family oriented charmer that requires minimal grooming to keep his coat clean and shiny.


Best Small Dog Breeds for Kids: Havanese

This family pooch is in high demand due to his affectionate disposition, highly trainable personality and hypoallergenic, non-shedding coat. While originally bred for Cuban aristocracy in the 1800s, he fits into any family dynamic playing the role of loyal and loving lap dog or playful childhood companion. Standing a mere 8-11 inches in height he weighs in at only 7-13 pounds. Longer-haired versions of this breed can be clipped short for easy, weekly grooming.


Best Small Dog Breeds for Kids: Maltipoo

Who doesn’t love anything poodle! This cross between a Maltese and a Poodle is a fun-loving, feisty and affectionate dog with the hyper allergenic properties typically associated with poodles. He is highly trainable, does well with everyone from older kids to seniors and enjoys interactions that include both cuddles and games. His smaller stature; 8-14 inches tall and 5-20 pounds means regular walks are typically shorter and a simple daily brushing keeps him looking his best.

Scottish Terrier

Best Small Dog Breeds for Kids: Scottish Terrier

Also known as a Scottie, this highly animated breed has the stubborn, independent streak of a Scot but thrives in a family environment due to his sensitive, loving and endearing nature. He’s surprisingly agile for such a solid little dog and while he loves a good long walk, obedience and leash training should begin early as the instinct to chase can be strong. At just 10 inches in height and 18-20 pounds, his wiry coat requires weekly grooming and provides a great bonding opportunity for kids.

Bichon Frise

Best Small Dog Breeds for Kids: Bichon Frise

This plucky little dog’s sweet nature and lack of shedding make him a great fit for kids with allergies. His high energy level means daily walks or play times are required to keep him out of mischief and early training to avoid small dog syndrome is key, with older kids involved to ensure he learns to respect their commands. This little guy reaches 9-11 inches in height and weighs just 7-12 pounds. Frequent brushing will be required to maintain his fluffy, white coat.

Miniature Schnauzer

Best Small Dog Breeds for Kids: Miniature Schnauzer

This is one cheerful, loving and intelligent little dog. His playful energy means he does well with kids enjoying romps in the yard and his personality is described as alert and spirited, yet obedient to command and keen to please. Obedience training will help ensure this wilful pooch learns to heed commands and become an ideal family pet. He stands 12-14 inches high, weighing just 10-15 pounds with regular clipping required to maintain his distinctive coat and profile.

Cardigan Welsh Corgi

Best Small Dog Breeds for Kids: Cardigan Welsh Corgi

These solid pooches are among the best small dog breeds for kids for many reasons. A loving, intelligent personality makes them easy to train, and their need to have a job to do means the physical and mental stimulation that comes from active, playful children is a perfect fit. A herding background requires early training as the “Urge to Herd” may result in nipped heels. By adulthood they reach 10-12 inches in height and can weigh up to 30 pounds. Weekly grooming and an occasional bath keep them looking their best.


Best Small Dog Breeds for Kids: Pug

This versatile little dog is great with kids or seniors, as the sole pet or one of many. As a result they have become a family favorite who want nothing more than to hang with their peeps and sit on laps. Named the Clowns of the Canine World because of their sense of humor and love of showing off, they weigh in between 14-18 pounds and stand just 10-14 inches. Frequent grooming is required because of their double-coat and heavy shedding in the summer months.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Best Small Dog Breeds for Kids: Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

A friendly, gentle and quiet breed, this little pooch is highly intelligent and easily trained making them a perfect family pet. Though lively and outgoing, they aren’t considered a high energy breed so shorts walks should meet their physical needs. A wonderful pick of small dog breeds for kids, these pooches have an eager and willing to please personality but won’t tolerate rough-housing. Naturally well behaved, they get along with other dogs and non-canine pets. They stand a mere 12-13 inches and weigh 10-18 pounds with a need for regular but not frequent grooming and trimming.