10 Cute Dogs That Stay Small and Don’t Shed

Updated on June 28, 2019
daxamite profile image

James Livingood has been a dog sitter for several years. He has written numerous articles and a book about the topic because he loves dogs.

Dogs are amazing companions. They enhance our lives so much that we should want to give them the best home possible. Part of providing an excellent home means fitting the right dog to the right environment. For those of us who do not have a large yard and need minimal shedding, there are still many adorable options. Here are 10 cute dogs that stay small and don’t shed.

Photo taken by: Ger Dekker
Photo taken by: Ger Dekker | Source

1. Affenpinschers Can Be Employed as Rodent Removers

This dog has been around since the 1600s and was often employed as a rodent remover. This dog is often active, curious, and perhaps a touch stubborn. Without training, the dog's stubbornness can make housebreaking more difficult. The median lifespan is around 11.5 years.

Photo taken by: Fugzu
Photo taken by: Fugzu | Source

2. Basenjis Were Originally Bred as Hunting Dogs

This dog was originally bred as a hunter. When this dog “barks,” it makes a unique, yodel-like sound due to its oddly-shaped larynx. These dogs are reserved around strangers but love to climb. They become very attached to their owners.

Photo taken by: Jonathan Day
Photo taken by: Jonathan Day | Source

3. Bichon Frisé Are Playful and Sociable

The French meaning behind this name means curly lap dog. These dogs are often cheerful, playful, and are very sociable. The average lifespan is 12-13 years. They need grooming every 1-2 months to keep their fur from matting.

Photo taken by: Hemlit
Photo taken by: Hemlit | Source

4. Havanese Are Great for Families

This bichon-type of dog is spirited and makes an ideal family dog. Havanese are also known for being intelligent and easy to train. These dogs typically live for 14 to 16 years.

Photo taken by: Ann Gordon
Photo taken by: Ann Gordon | Source

5. Maltese Are Awesome Lap Dogs

With its extremely cuddly temperament, Maltese make fantastic lap dogs. They are playful, but may be snappish towards children. Socializing these dogs will help them become better suited as family pets. They may require daily eye cleaning to prevent tear staining.

Photo taken by: Jean
Photo taken by: Jean | Source

6. Norwich Terriers Are Sensitive and Intelligent

These are hardy dogs that are often very intelligent but may be very sensitive to scolding. These dogs often live 13-14 years. Daily walks are a minimum with this breed as they were originally bred to be working dogs.

Photo taken by: Yasuhiko Ito
Photo taken by: Yasuhiko Ito | Source

7. Poodles Are Energetic and Beautiful

Poodles come in three main sizes: standard, miniature, and toy. Regular coat maintenance is required to prevent matting. These highly energetic dogs can turn destructive if they get bored. Some poodles may be snappy and aggressive, though with proper training this behavior can be removed.

Photo taken by: Acid Pix
Photo taken by: Acid Pix | Source

8. Tibetan Terriers Are Gentle With Children

Oddly, this dog is not actually a terrier, but it has terrier-like qualities. Some may consider this a medium-sized dog as it can grow to weigh around 20-24 lbs. These dogs are fantastic family dogs and are often gentle when first introduced to kids. They are also excellent dogs for dog agility training.

Photo taken by: Jeffrey
Photo taken by: Jeffrey | Source

9. West Highland White Terrier Are Hardy UK Breeds

This dog has a low tolerance to children pulling on their ears or messing with their toys. However, this dog is very hardy and has an average lifespan of 12 to 16 years. These dogs have been very popular in the UK since the 1600s.

Yorkshire Terrier’s Love Halloween

Photo taken by: Pets Adviser
Photo taken by: Pets Adviser | Source

10. Yorkshire Terriers Are Cute but Bark a Lot

When their coat is cut shorter, their fur maintenance is considered very easy. These dogs may not make the best family dogs and are known for excessive barking. However, these traits can be resolved with constant training. They typically live between 10 to 15 years.

Seven Reasons Why People Love Cute, Small Dog Breeds

As if having a perpetual puppy was not enough reason, here are seven reasons why people love smaller dogs.

1. Apartments are more likely to allow small pets.

Places that have pet restrictions will often let smaller breeds in, so having a smaller dog means more apartment options. Furthermore, small dogs need less space to run, so an apartment may fit them better than a giant yard full of potential problems.

2. Small dogs consume less food and leave less of a mess

Large dogs can create huge messes very quickly. A small dog can still create a large mess, but creating that mess will take them a lot longer—which gives their owner more to find out and scold them before the mess gets any bigger. Furthermore, smaller dogs consume less food, which results in reduced monthly costs.

3. Small dogs live longer.

Larger dogs are prone to shorter lifespans, while smaller dogs tend to live longer. Getting a smaller dog allows an owner to spend more time with their canine friend.

4. Smalls dogs have a better toy selection.

While there are toys for every level of dog, there tend to be more small dog toys than larger ones. Furthermore, smaller dog toys are cheaper than their larger counterparts. Getting a smaller dog means more access to cheaper dog toys.

5. Small dogs can sit on your lap longer.

Both large and small dogs can make excellent lap companions. However, smaller dogs tend to make less of an impact on a person’s lap. The less weight on a person’s lap, the longer they can sit there. Small dogs allow an owner to sit for an indefinite amount of time, while larger dogs may only be able to be lap dogs for short time periods.

6. Small dogs are easier to travel with.

Smaller dogs are easier to travel with because they are easier to carry. A large dog that needs to be carried can only be held for a short amount of time, if at all. Smaller dogs are also easier to put into a bath if they get stinky.

7. Small dogs have smaller repercussions of aggression.

Small dogs are often the most aggressive. Owners sometimes don’t train their smaller dogs on aggression because of the smaller repercussions. While a large dog can do serious damage quickly, smaller dog's nips may barely hurt (depending on the dog). Furthermore, smaller dogs are aware of size differences and often quickly back down when pressed.

Small dogs may not be ideal in every circumstance, but these seven reasons help show why lots of people choose cute and small dog breeds.

Which Is Your Favorite Small Dog Breed on the List?

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Questions & Answers


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      • profile image

        Jane Sullivan 

        13 months ago

        My daughter has a miniature dachshund and is the cutest thing ever. He has lots of personality, is lovable, and playful. He loves to perch on pillows and hide his chews in blankets and such. He loves to play catch. He has three distinctive barks all of which are a bit annoying though. The only real maintenance on him is his toe nails and a quick wipe of the belly to dry him off if the grass is wet. A nice knitted sweater in cold weather helps keep him warm. He loves to go for walks as well. I can’t say enough about this cute wonderful little guy!

      • daxamite profile imageAUTHOR

        James Livingood 

        5 years ago from Seattle, WA

        Thank you for the suggestion! I'll take a look!

      • Teeuwynn Woodruff profile image

        Teeuwynn Woodruff 

        5 years ago from Washington State

        Good article. You might want to consider the Chinese Crested for your list. The hairless variety is very low on shedding!


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