small calm dog breeds

The Best Small Calm Dog Breeds

Deciding to get a pet dog is quite easy, what is rather difficult for some though, is choosing what breed is the best fit for them, especially if you are looking specifically for small, calm dog breeds.

The good thing is, that there are many small and toy breeds of dogs that are out there and you can save them and give them a loving forever home and in return that will significantly enhance your life.

Since all dog breeds have some degree of difference between one another, picking one suitable dog breed for you is pretty important.

What factors can affect how calm dog breeds can be?

As there are difference between breeds, there is a difference between any individual dog in regards to behavior, so technically there is never a written guarantee that a breed will be calm around other pets that they will interact with. However, you can increase your chances of the dog ending up calmer than others by picking a breed that’s known for exactly just that such as a French bulldog, a pug, a Japanese chin, or a Bichon Frise – even though they are a bit more on the pricier side.

Another thing you should definitely do is to introduce your new pup to other animals at a fairly young age, so you familiarize them with the others. If you plan to have your new dog be an indoor dog, then you can find many creative ways to meet their daily exercise needs, this is especially easier with smaller calm dog breeds.

A crucial thing to keep in mind is that not all dogs within one given dog breed will act the same or even have the same traits, each individual pup will have their own individual personality, so do not make assumptions when researching small dog breeds.

Now that you have made it through the first step by simply narrowing down your adoption criteria and choosing a small and calm dog breed, you can be rest assured the next steps are just as easy. Remember though, even though it may be relatively simple, this is still an important decision that will impact your day to day life going forward.

There are many great lazy breeds that work well for some pet owners that simply prefer to just cuddle with their lovable companion in front of a TV or to read a book instead of going on an intense run or hike every day.

However, in this list we are taking a detailed look at small calm dogs specifically, and before we even get to that, there are a few things you need to ask yourself, just to be certain.

How do you know if a small dog is the right one for you?

It is more than likely that you have already considered this, but in the case that you haven’t, then remember to you still need to ask yourself the following questions to know whether or not any of the small calm dog breeds we have listed below are right for you, rather than for example a moderately active dog.

  • First off, what kind of lifestyle do you lead? Do you frequently go outside for a run or walk, or do you simply prefer to watch some TV or read a book on your couch in your free time?
  • Are you and outdoorsy person preferring to go out and travel most of the time, or would you rather to stay indoors at home?
  • What is your living space? Are you currently residing in a house with a backyard or a small apartment?
  • Are children in the picture, or is there someone else living with you such as a significant other, family member or even a roommate?

All of the above questions are pretty self explanatory, however there is a lot more to consider if you have decided to adopt a pup. It would be of best interest to make sure that everyone that is currently residing with you, if any, agrees to add a new companion into the mix.

Another thing you should definitely do is to look at the prices of health related things for your dog such as veterinary bills, pet health insurance as well as needed dog supplies like collars, leashes, harnesses, a bed or a crate and of course food.

Making a comparison on everything needed for small dogs and medium dogs will make you have a pretty good idea with what option you are going to go for if costs are concerned.

So, if you are absolutely sure that you would prefer to have a small calm dog in your life, and you are ready to go to the adoption center and get one, here is a list of the 9 best mild tempered breeds of dogs that will give you a pretty good idea of each dog’s pros and cons and what to expect when caring for them.

Here are 9 small calm dog breeds: 

  1. The Pug

Coming up first we have the pug, also known as the entertainers in the doggy world. It may come as a surprise to some since they have a lazy look, but these dogs are pretty energetic.

However, they are still calm enough and make a great companion if you live in an apartment or a house. Pugs usually weigh anywhere from 15 to 20 pounds, and if you are an indoor type of person, they are the perfect cuddling partners.

The pros when it comes to pugs is that they have versatile energy that usually matches up with the owner, so they can be as energetic or as lazy as you are. They do shed a bit though, so brushing them will become a necessity. The biggest pro is that they are small in size so they can fit in both a tiny apartment and a big house.

The cons on the other hand are pretty serious, pugs are a type of dog breed that has come to be with a lot of inbreeding. Due to that their pushed up cute faces can actually lead to some pretty bad breathing problems, and their big round eyes are prone to infections and ulcers forming. Because of the inbreeding they also may suffer from genetic heart condition and easily become obese, so monitoring their health will be a must if you want a cute pug in your life.


  1. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel


The King Charles Spaniel has been specifically bred to be the gentlest furry companion to any human, their all time favorite thing is to be with or around people. They are one of the most calm small dog breeds.

They usually weigh anywhere from 15 to 20 pounds, and will be happy to reside in a small apartment or a big house. They don’t really bark much either, and that makes them all the more sought after as a pet.

The pros of owning a King Charles Spaniel is that they have a loving temperament and are a very polite breed of dog, no matter who they meet. Their coat is also very beautiful and soft too, if we are talking about aesthetics.

They do come with their fair share of cons as well, and separation anxiety is one of them. If you leave them alone for a longer period of time, they will begin to chew and bark until you return. You also need to socialize them properly, so they do not become fearful and timid when around other dogs and people.

They do require a bit of exercise since as a breed they love to chase things around, so be careful when taking them off leash as they will definitely try to chase whatever caught their attention. King Charles Spaniels are also big shedders, so consistent grooming whether at home or at the vet is necessary. Genetic illnesses are also prevalent in this breed so take great care of them because if they do get them, it can shorten their life span.


  1. Corgi


This is another pretty popular breed of small calm dogs, but they are usually used as working dogs on farms to herd animals, they were pretty much bred for this despite their size. If around children they will automatically try to herd them but don’t worry as they won’t harm you or the children, and is a pretty funny scene actually.

Having a corgi makes for a great companion whether you live alone or with family. They usually weigh around 20 to 31 pounds. They are pretty calm and mild tempered, but a corgi is made for work, and is happiest when they have work to do.

The pros of corgis are that they are a really intelligent breed of dog that will learn any command quickly, with that comes the need and love to please their human. Because of their intelligence they work great in agility competitions, obedience or even rallies. Corgis love being outside, with hiking being an activity they thoroughly enjoy. The biggest positive thing about them is that they are really protective of their families.

They do have some cons though. As we mentioned before they will try to herd humans, and you should expect to have your feet lightly nipped when playing roughly with them. Like the King Charles Spaniels, they need a lot of socialization so they do not fear strangers. Corgis require a regular amount of exercise, which if not provided with one they will become bored and really destructive. Hereditary illnesses are also an issue with this breed. Another thing you should watch out for is their weight, if your corgi gets to the overweight mark, they may have some back issues.


  1. Boston Terrier


Boston Terries are a great breed of small dog with an amazing temperament. Coming up at 10 to 20 pounds in weight, they are very gentle and can fit right into either an apartment or house. Boston Terriers are also known to be good with kids.

They are known for their interesting “tuxedo” coat pattern and their mild but still active temperament.  You will find that they much rather prefer to sit with their owner on the couch though.

The pros that come with owning a Boston Terrier are that they don’t shed a lot, so they’ll save you the hassle of regular boring grooming, they also don’t bark a lot. If you get one it will be like you are connected at the hip, everywhere you go your dog will follow, since they are by nature very interested in what their owners are up to. Sleeping will be no problem and they are good for apartment settings.

The cons though are the following: they are a really stubborn breed of dog, so expect a little struggle at first when it comes training them. Like pugs, due to their short and stubby face they may face many breathing problems and other health issues. Because of that they do not handle or even tolerate heat well, so make sure that you have an air conditioned place before adopting a Boston Terrier.

  1. Yorkshire Terrier


This dog breed is such a tiny ball of energy and one of the more popular breeds on this list. They enjoy doing everything from car rides, to walks and playtime, they will feel at home in both an apartment and a house. A Yorkies’ weight can vary from 5 to 12 pounds, and are a pretty portable breed that you can even carry in a doggy purse.

Yorkies love playing with toys and enjoy fetch games, but can also be a lazy couch potato.

The pros of this breed are that they are pretty tiny in stature so that makes it easy to take them anywhere. They are also known to be pretty affectionate and do not shed much, which is a relief. They don’t need a lot of exercise and unlike other small dog breeds on this list they don’t suffer from many inherited health issues.

The cons however are that their long coat can tangle easily, so constant brushing is necessary, and they are quite the hassle to housebreak. When left alone for longer periods of time they can become destructive, and they need to be socialized properly so they don’t become snappy or scared of others. Yorkies are also really fragile and can easily break a bone if they fall off of furniture, or can be damaged internally when playing rough. Additionally, they do not like the cold.


  1. Miniature Schnauzer


The Miniature Schnauzer is the smallest and most popular out of the three different sized Schnauzer breed – mini, standard and giant.

Mini Schnauzers are really intelligent and generally easy to train, but they also are curious by nature and love to get into things that aren’t theirs when they get bored. They love to stretch their legs after long walks. This breed weighs anywhere around 12 to 20 pounds and can find a home in both house and an apartment.

The pros of owning a Miniature Schnauzer are that, like we mentioned before, they are very intelligent dogs that learn quickly, they are loyal to their family and very eager to please their humans. They work well as a watchdog, but due to their small frame are not fit to be a guard dog. Mini Schnauzer adapt easily to their surroundings and generally enjoy activities such as agility and obedience.

The cons are that they do have a so called prey drive, so if it’s best if you don’t own any pocket pets at home. To keep their coat looking good they need special grooming and can be quite the barkers if not trained properly.


  1. Havanese


A Havanese lands somewhere in the toy breeds, making them a really tiny dog. This breed’s silky coat does not shed a lot and are pretty hypoallergenic making them great for everyone.

Havanese weigh around 9 to 16 pounds and really enjoy cuddling up to their owners as well as chasing the kids in the yard, making them a great choice as a family dog. They are the perfect size for any home whether it be an apartment or a house in the countryside.

The pros to owning this type of dog are that they are pretty adaptable to any home. While they are small, they are still pretty sturdily built. They are also child friendly, do not bark a lot and are easy to house train.

The cons on the other hand are that their coat needs to be groomed often to keep it clean and healthy. Havanese are also prone to hereditary conditions such as hip dysplasia, juvenile cataracts, luxating patellas (bad knees), and cherry eye.


  1. Shetland Sheepdog


Don’t let the name confuse you, a Shetland Sheepdog is a pretty small dog breed weighing around 14 to 27 pounds. Also known as a “sheltie” these long-haired sweeties are perfect for an active family and would feel more at home in a house with a backyard or farm because they are an active breed.

Since they are bred to be a herding dog, they are naturally intelligent and enjoy agility classes.

The pros are that shelties are smart, eager to please their humans and also very loyal. They make great pets for families and enjoy to perform in obedience and agility competitions.

The cons though, are that they have a lot of grooming needs since they are double coated, that also means you have to deal with a lot of shedding. Like other small dogs, they are also prone to developing separation anxiety when left alone for longer periods of time. Frequent barker, so better to not put them in an apartment. Not good with disrespectful kids that annoy them.

  1. Miniature Poodle


Last but certainly not least on this list we have the miniature poodle. They are a mid-size poodle in the range of toy, miniature and standard. They can find a home in both house and apartment. A perfect all-rounder that enjoys both activities such as walks and car rides as much as lying on the couch to cuddle or do nothing. Another thing is that they are hypoallergenic and shed little to no hair, but their coat requires heavy grooming and care.

Poodles are also great with both adults and children alike.

The pros are that they are a really intelligent breed with a great temperament. They are also great with kids and love to please their owner.

The cons of owning a poodle are that their coat needs frequent grooming, and they need to have their daily exercise needs met. Miniature poodles also suffer from many genetic problems such as progressive retinal atrophy, epilepsy, thyroid issues…

Leave a Reply