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10 Best Small Dogs for Kids

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If you love small dogs and have kids, it can be hard to find the right breed. There are many small dogs that shouldn’t live in homes with young children because they are fragile or scared of them. But it is known that some small dogs get along well with kids of all ages.

Even though there are breeds of dogs that are great for families with kids, many pet experts say that you should wait until your youngest child is at least five years old before getting a dog. By age five, most kids have a good handle on their impulses and can understand and follow the rules about the dog. For safety’s sake, an adult should always watch when kids and any kind of dog are together.

To make sure you have a lifetime of happiness and love with your dog, take your time choosing the right one, teach your kids how to treat dogs with kindness and respect, and take the time to socialise your new puppy the right way using positive reinforcement. This will show your kids how to take care of a pet well and give your puppy a good start in life. Even the most “kid-friendly” breed can be shy and nervous around kids if it hasn’t been socialised.

We’ve put together a list of the best small dogs for kids so you can find the right one for your family.

When picking a breed for a family with kids, think about how they act, how patient they are, and how easy they are to train. It’s also important to teach your kids to treat your dog and their space with respect.


The Beagle is in the Hound Group of the American Kennel Club. It was made to hunt rabbits in packs. Beagles worked happily with large groups of people, horses, and other dogs. A Beagle that has been socialised and trained well is very friendly and doesn’t mind the loud noises and chaos of family life. Even though the Beagle is small, it is strong and active, and it loves to play with kids of all ages. Beagles are known to bark and howl, and if they are left alone too much and don’t get enough exercise and mental stimulation, some of them may become destructive or try to get away. Beagles should always be on a leash when they’re out and about so they don’t get into trouble by following their sharp noses.

Bichon Frise

The playful and fun-loving Bichon Frise comes from France, where the small dogs were once the pets of French nobility and lived a life of luxury. After the French Revolution, the common people got hold of Bichons, and they became street dogs. Because they were smart, lively, and charming, the fluffy white dogs became popular circus dogs who did tricks that amazed crowds.

Bichons Frises still love to play and only want to be with their loving families. They are kind and loving to all ages of people.

Even though Bichons are small, they are not weak or delicate. Remember that the fluffy, hypoallergenic coat needs to be groomed by a professional. As long as kids know how to treat them with kindness and respect, they can be great friends.

Small children may not notice that Bichons are nervous because of their colour, coat, and small size. Being all white makes it hard to see small changes around their eyes, and their fluffy fur can make it hard to notice small changes in the height or movement of their tails that could mean they are getting nervous. Make sure you and your kids know how dogs show fear and anxiety in more subtle ways so you don’t corner a small dog and make them very scared.

Boston Terrier

The Boston Terriers are friendly and lively, and they love everyone, even kids. The breed was made in Boston in the late 1800s with one goal in mind: to be a loyal companion. Because of this, Boston Terriers make great family dogs who want to spend most of their time with their people.

The Boston is a small breed, so it can live happily in an apartment. Daily walks are an easy way to make sure it gets enough exercise.

The Boston Terrier is a fun pet for kids because it is friendly and always ready to play. Bring your Boston with you wherever you go, like to the baseball games your kids are playing or for a walk through the park.

Boston Terriers are very active, so it is very important to teach them how to behave. Even though they are small, they can jump high and move very quickly, so you don’t want to play chase with them. Teaching your Boston clear commands with positive reinforcement will keep his mind active and give everyone in the family a clear idea of what is expected of him.

Cairn Terrier

The Cairn Terrier is a member of the AKC Terrier Group. It is probably best known for playing Toto, Dorothy’s little dog, in the 1939 movie The Wizard of Oz. More than 200 years ago, they were used to hunt foxes, rats, and other pests in rock piles called cairns in the Scottish Highlands.

Not all terriers get along well with kids, but the Cairn Terrier loves kids and will even go looking for them. Even though they are small, Cairns are strong, tough, and always ready to have fun.

As with any dog, kids should learn to be gentle with Cairns, but this breed is usually forgiving if they accidentally bump into it. Cairns have a high prey drive, which is the instinct to chase and hunt furry or feathered animals or running children. This means they might not be able to be trusted with the family cat and should be watched around children who are excited, loud, or run a lot. Some Cairns can fight with other dogs, just like most terriers.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

The happy, even-tempered Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is good with everyone, especially family members and their children. This breed is friendly and loves to be cuddled and play gently. These small dogs don’t like rough play, so show the kids how to act around them.

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is, along with the Pug, one of the largest dogs in the AKC Toy Group. However, it is still small enough to live in small spaces and is easy to take on trips.

Even though Cavaliers are lively and active, it’s easy to give them enough exercise with daily walks in the park or neighbourhood. The coat is easy to take care of and doesn’t need much trimming. But regular brushing and grooming will keep the fur from getting tangled or matted, which can be painful and lead to skin infections.

Cocker Spaniel

The Cocker Spaniel is a happy little dog that loves to be with its favourite people. They were bred to get along well with people, other dogs, and even cats, just like many other dogs in the AKC Sporting Group.

Well-socialized Cocker Spaniels make great pets for kids, as long as the kids are kind and polite. Cockers love to play and will get as many balls as the kids can throw and join in on almost any game or adventure.

Cocker Spaniels are very active, but they don’t need a lot of exercise. Daily walks and running around the backyard without a leash are enough. Their coat, on the other hand, needs regular grooming by a professional.

French Bulldog

The French Bulldog, or “Frenchie” to his friends, is an adaptable and playful breed that loves to do whatever you are doing.

The French Bulldog looks a lot like the Bulldog, which is also good with kids and is sometimes called the English Bulldog. One big difference is that the Frenchie has large ears that stand up like bat ears. When you combine the Frenchie’s unique look with the fact that he or she is friendly and curious, it’s easy to see why people of all ages are drawn to them.

Frenchies, which are small but strong, can be great pets for kids if they are taught to play nicely and treat the dog with respect. The breed needs about an hour of exercise every day, and the smooth coat doesn’t need much care. To get rid of loose hair, just brush once a week.

Be aware that short-nosed breeds like Frenchies can have breathing problems and are more likely to get too hot.


This breed was made in Havana, as the name suggests, more than 300 years ago. Havanese are the only breed of dog that was born in Cuba. Before the mid-1900s, most people outside of the island didn’t know much about them.

Havanese are friendly and charming, and wherever they go, they make friends. Even though many toy breeds are not good for kids, this dog is small but strong and is known for being great with well-behaved kids.

The Havanese is also very active and quick-witted, so kids will have a lot of fun teaching them lots of fun tricks. The silky, hypoallergenic coat needs to be brushed every day. The kids can help, or you can cut it short to make it easier to care for.


The Pug is another AKC Toy Group dog that is known for getting along well with kids. It is friendly, outgoing, silly, and just plain fun. The Latin phrase “a lot in a little” is used to describe the Pug in the breed standard, which is a written description of the ideal dog of the breed. These dogs are small but chunky and strong, and they love getting lots of love from kids who are kind.

Pugs only need to go for walks once a day to stay in shape, but you should be careful on hot days because their pushed-in muzzles can’t handle the heat. The short coat is easy to take care of, but these dogs shed a lot, so brush them every day to get rid of as much hair as possible.

Shih Tzu

The Shih Tzu is friendly and cute, so it likes people of all ages, even well-behaved children. Shih Tzu puppies are very small, so some breeders might not want to give them to families with kids younger than 5 years old. But Shih Tzu that have grown up are strong for their size. So, the Shih Tzu can be a great playmate for gentle kids as long as extra care is taken to watch how the puppy plays with the child.

The breed comes from China, where it was a prized lapdog of the royal family for hundreds of years. When left long, the Shih Tzu’s luxurious long coat needs to be brushed every day, but some owners keep their dogs in a shorter pet clip for convenience.

All of these dog breeds get along well with kids. But it’s important for the family to know and pay attention to the dog’s signs when it starts to feel scared or nervous. Small dogs can sometimes be hard to read because, well, they’re small. Crowding a nervous dog can hurt people and break the bond between people and animals that we try so hard to build when puppies are young.

Before buying a dog, you should always find out what the breed standard is. Find a breeder you can trust, and make sure you have a good relationship with a vet near you who can help you with medical and behavioural care when you need it. Plan ahead and teach your kids about these great dogs to make sure they fit in well with your family.