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According to the American Kennel Club, “the Shih Tzu is known to be especially affectionate with children.” Like many of the breeds on this list, these pups don’t need a lot of space to be happy. What’s more, they shed very little, so they’re a wonderful choice for people who are sensitive to allergies or don’t want a lot of dog hair in their home. Loved by royalty for centuries, Shih Tzus were bred to be lap dogs – snuggled up on someone’s legs is their favorite place to be! One of the bigger “lap dogs” on this list, Frenchies can grow up to 28 pounds. Their affection toward humans, mild nature, and dashing good looks make them a popular choice for families, single folks, apartment dwellers, homeowners – just about everyone!

Unfortunately, this pup’s popularity — which may have exploded because they’re a favorite among celebrities — has lead to some overbreeding, leaving Frenchies from irresponsible breeders plagued with serious health issues. If you want to add one of these sweethearts to your family, make absolute certain that you seek out a reputable breeder… or better yet, rescue! These adorable dogs are wonderful for sportier owners who’d love a companion that enjoys being active as well as being lazy on the couch. These super-affectionate pups will always be by your side (or on your lap!), but a fast-moving critter can still ignite their prey drive. Because of their delicate limbs, these little dogs may not be suitable companions for young children, and definitely shouldn’t be played with too roughly. What’s more, their lean bodies and short coats mean they get cold once the temperature plummets, so in the wintertime, they’ll need a coat — and a cuddle! They’re cute, they’re cuddly, and they pack tons of personality into short stature. Small dog breeds come from a variety of backgrounds, and they vary widely when it comes to personality, activity needs and maintenance requirements.

The most popular small dog breeds include French Bulldog, Toy Poodles, Dachshunds, Corgis, Pugs, Pomeranians, Beagles, Yorkshire Terrier and Chihuahuas, but each is loved for their own unique reason. Others are spirited, smart, or need the space of the wide-open country. Some are perfectly content in cities and small apartments. Each animal is, of course, an individual, and you should meet any potential pet to see if you’ll be a good match, but these 25 small dog breeds are a good place to start. Read on, and see which might be the perfect fit for your family. As mischievous as they are fearless and loyal as they are funny, these little dogs pack big personality into a tiny package. Personality: Plucky and curious, these fuzzy fellows bound through life with bold curiosity. Temperament: Affenpinschers are inquisitive, eager to learn and can do well with older children, but they’re one of a few small dog breeds that need attentive and consistent training. His small stature suits the Affenpinscher for apartment life, but he’ll still need plenty of play time and daily walks. The Affenpinscher’s coat and signature beard and mustache need regular grooming to keep from getting scruffy. A knack for following their noses made Beagles a faithful companion on 16th-century hunting excursions. Today, these small dogs are known more for their role as good-natured family pets. Personality: Agreeable, easy-going and likely a bit on the talkative side. Beagles’ vocal cords are more robust than many other dogs’, allowing them to make unique noises like bays, barks, and howls. Temperament: Some may have a stubborn streak, and they tend to follow their noses when they catch a scent. But Beagles are known as one of the best small dogs for kids, as they are quite trainable and prefer to be around company. Beagles enjoy long romps where they can follow a scent and explore. A Beagle’s short coat is pretty easy to care for and can be maintained with occasional brushing, though they do shed. Part adorable puff-ball, part cuddly companion, the Bichon Frise is sweet, sensitive and just one of the many toy dog breeds that makes a great family pet. Personality: Typically friendly to all he meets, the Bichon Frise has a playful side and an inclination toward curling up for snuggles. Temperament: Has some barking tendencies, but is generally responsive to training, and is good with children and other pets. The Bichon Frise is a small dog, but still active, needing daily exercise in the form of indoor play or short walks on a leash. This pup’s coat doesn’t shed much, but does need regular trims and brushing to keep from matting. during the Civil War era, this little dog breed is known for a sturdy stance, playful demeanor and dapper doggy tuxedo. Personality: Sensitive, clever and lively, the Boston Terrier thrives on interaction with his people and loves to play. Temperament: Some Boston Terriers may have a stubborn streak, but they are generally eager to learn.

Bust out the toys for fetch or Frisbee, but be careful in extreme weather, as Bostons are prone to wheeze and may not tolerate heat well. Plan on an occasional brush to remove dead hair, but not much more for this short-coated companion. He may be small, but the Brussels Griffon doesn’t lack confidence. Like the Affenpinscher and other similar little dog breeds, he’s expressive, intelligent and endearingly mischievous. Personality: Curious and affectionate, the Brussels Griffon is an upbeat pup with a bold and bouncy nature.

Temperament: Brussels Griffons can be stubborn, but they are intelligent, too, and usually get along well with other dogs and pets. Brussels Griffons need physical and mental exercise daily, or they may resort to climbing or escaping your yard. The former needs an occasional brushing and grooming to remove dead hair.

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