How to Pick a Small Dog Breed
- 1). Determine the reason for getting a small breed dog. Some people choose small dogs for companionship, while others choose them for watchdogs or even for rodent control or to perform specific work-related tasks. Small breed dogs are ideal for working in small, cramped spaces because they can go where many other dogs can't. If you are looking strictly for companionship, you might consider a Maltese, Chihuahua, pug or Pekingese. These dogs are small, unobtrusive and are natural companions. If you are looking for a small dog with the drive to keep your property free of rodents or to try your handle at agility trials, try a Jack Russell terrier or Boston terrier. If hunting small game is your hobby, try a dachshund. Corgis make great farm hands as they have been bred to have a natural herding instinct.
- 2). Determine how much time you are willing to devote to grooming. Many small breed dogs have longer, flowing coats that require much effort in the way of brushing and trimming. If you are not averse to bathing, brushing and clipping dog hair, Maltese, Yorkies, Pekingese and long-haired Chihuahuas will provide you with hours of dog-grooming fun. If you would rather spend less time hassling with your dog's grooming, try a short-haired breed. Many small breeds come in both smooth- and rough-coated varieties, giving you an option.
- 3). Determine the personality you are looking for. While it is true that no dog will exhibit a personality and behavior identical to any other dog, certain breeds have tendencies that may make them unsuitable for your home. For example, homes with small children can be unsuitable for Corgis as they instinctually herd and can nip at children to get them to comply. Dogs at the smaller end of the breed spectrum may also exhibit fear behaviors and revert to biting or nipping if cornered or injured. Other small breeds such as Boston terriers and pugs are more stoic and a better choice for children. Some small breed dogs are extremely energetic and require lots of exercise like Jack Russell terriers, while others are content to spend their time quietly. Jack Russells are also notorious diggers and can cause considerable damage to your home or yard if you do not exercise and train them.
- 4). Do your homework. Understand that every breed is different and that every dog within a particular breed is different. Learn the difference between aggressive and submissive behaviors, and base your decision on what breed will most likely flourish in your home instead of which puppy is cuter.