If you have a small(ish) dog what dog do you have and why did you choose them?

(85 Posts)
SummersB Mon 06-Jan-20 08:40:16

Having lost our beloved Lab some time ago, we are thinking of getting a new dog at some point in the future. Due to circumstances, we are thinking of getting a smaller breed this time, however, having only ever had Labs we are a bit clueless about smaller breeds, their characters and their challenges. So if you own a small(ish) breed - why did you choose it? What traits first attracted you and what challenges have you encountered?

OP’s posts: |
hiredandsqueak Mon 06-Jan-20 09:12:45

We have Bella a Lhasa Apso she weighs just over 4kg. She's a rescue so didn't really consider her attributes other than she was small and non shedding and good with children as my teen and adult dc have autism and are nervous.
Bella had had a rough life so many of her challenges are down to her past more than her being a small dog IYSWIM. She was very fearful of other dogs but with time and patience she can play with some dogs, greet most dogs nicely, ignore a few dogs and only a tiny minority will she growl at.
She also is fearful of men wearing hoods, carrying carrier bags, pulling shopping trollies again down to her past. Because she is tiny though people just laugh at her growling and barking as they don't perceive her as a threat added to which she never moves from my side whilst she growls and barks.
Bella is a barker though, a trait of her breed as the breed was bred to be a guard dog so nothing goes past the house without her noticing and barking. Thankfully we live in a cul de sac which limits traffic and footfall and if she really drives me mad I close the blinds.

frostedviolets Mon 06-Jan-20 09:17:04

I'm not really one for small dogs myself, we are getting a second dog soon and were considering three different breeds, one giant, one large and one small, we've decided to go with the large but the small breed we were considering was a Papillon.

We were considering that breed because:

- I met some at crufts and they seemed extremely gentle and sweet
- We love the look of the long coats but don't enjoy the maintenance their coat is allegedly very fine and easy to care for
- Being relatively unpopular we hoped it would be healthier
- They are absolutely beautiful

Decided against it because our home is fairly loud and rambunctious with three children and a big bouncy adult dog, they are prone to dental problems despite brushing and dental cleans aren't covered on insurance, I was concerned about barking and like most small dogs they are apparently noisy, i hate barking and a noisy dog barking at everything would drive me crackers and then I met one on my way back from the shops who was going crazy spinning in its leash barking and growling at a passerby and that put me off even more.

Keepaddingpets Mon 06-Jan-20 09:31:15

Are working cockers small enough? Fantastic loyal pets. Love their exercise but mine then just sleep for the rest of the day.

PrincessHoneysuckle Mon 06-Jan-20 09:32:20

I've got a Chihuahua so very small rather than quite grin Hes a sweetheart and very loving but also feisty and funny.Hes my first small dog and I'd previously dismissed anything other than a medium or large as it wouldnt be "a proper dog".My mind totally changed once I brought him home,I just fell in love with him.

PrincessHoneysuckle Mon 06-Jan-20 09:34:18

That face

adaline Mon 06-Jan-20 09:45:34

How small are you considering?

We have a beagle and they're small compared to labradors but ours still weighs 17.5kg.

He's a stubborn thing and is very determined - but he's fantastic and caring and cuddly and my best friend. He was bloody hard as a puppy/teenager but now he's two he's fantastic.

I'd only recommend them if you have lots of time and someone home most of the time, though, as they tend to suffer from separation anxiety and can be destructive when left. You also need to be careful letting them off the lead as they're prone to chase deers and rabbits!

They're amazing companions though and I've never met a more loving breed.


IrmaFayLear Mon 06-Jan-20 09:50:13

Beagles are cute but I've never encountered one off the lead when out and about. They just don't come back!

I too would like another dog but like OP would like a smaller one than my current hooligan. I would get a giant breed but unfortunately they do not statistically (I know there's always an anecdote of a St Bernard living to 15) live very long lives and I don't think I could stand the distress of that.

happycamper11 Mon 06-Jan-20 09:56:53

My sister has a beagle, he's always been very good off the lead but she could have never imagined in her wildest dreams how much a short coated dog could shed. Brushes clumps from him each day and everything is still carpeted in his fur. He's 13 now though and still going strong- very loyal

ByeGermsByeWorries Mon 06-Jan-20 10:02:17

I have a Jack Russell X. He is adorable and I'd never considered a small dog before. It's amazing how convenient and portable they are. He is very loving and clever and very gentle with younger members of my family. He is very friendly and approachable and loves fuss from strangers on a walk and gets on with other dogs very well but is often wary for the first minute of meeting very large dogs. Absolutely loves playing with toys and solving puzzles as he's so clever he gets bored quite easily so he has to have plenty of exercise. Doesn't eat vast amounts of food either.

Glitterb Mon 06-Jan-20 10:05:14

I’ve got a cavalier king charles spaniel, she was bought after we lost our labs. Very nice dog who will go out for long walks or happy enough sat on your knee as well as she loves the company, has never chewed anything but does need a good brush everyday!

exexpat Mon 06-Jan-20 10:11:32

I grew up with labradors, but chose a border terrier when I was looking for a first family dog.

I had met a few borders around the place, and they kept coming up on lists of relatively trouble-free family dogs. They are a more manageable size for small city gardens, won't pull over children when walking on the lead, love country walks but don't need as much exercise as labs or spaniels, are generally very people- and child-friendly (not so good with cats...) and have a lot fewer health problems than most breeds. Our border is 11 now and he was absolutely the right choice: happy with a good daily walk and then spends the rest of the day snoozing on the sofa or accompanying family members around the house. Also loves tug-of-war games and chasing tennis balls.

adviceneededon Mon 06-Jan-20 10:13:32

We wanted a small dog and after much research decided on a Lhasa Aspo. He was the perfect dog, never chewed, doesn't bark, happy for long walks or to not walk at all. But they're very stubborn dogs with poor recall. I walk everyday but sometimes he will lay down flat point blank refusing to go! Also a very fusser eater. Can no longer give him human food as he will then go says without eating anything. He doesn't play at all.

We thought he might be lonely so invested in another just over a year ago. Total polar opposite Lhasa. Very vocal and annoys my neighbour. Loves to walk and roll around in mud. Plays with the kids. Eats everything but thankfully has never chewed.

Great dogs and easy to look after, but you don't know what personality they will have no matter how much research you do.

happycamper11 Mon 06-Jan-20 10:24:40

I was going to suggest border terrier too, so cute, look like little old men. Every one I've met (many, I'm from the area they originate) has been fun but evenly tempered. Very trainable too. I've got my heart set on a Boston terrier once my situation allows which are absolutely amazing affectionate dogs but perhaps not for everyone.

MurrayTheMonk Mon 06-Jan-20 10:27:00

I have Jack Russells. Lovely characterful Dogs. Love a walk but equally will laze about and just potter in the garden on any given day.
People say they are yappy and nippy-but both Of mine are good as gold

GrumpyMiddleAgedWoman Mon 06-Jan-20 11:23:15

Random terrier from a farm. We wanted a small, tough but friendly dog. She was great. Lasted 15 years.

If you get a terrier, look into its family tree a bit. Ours came from generations of ratters and had a lot of prey drive. Working JRTs can be a serious handful.

Outnumb3red Mon 06-Jan-20 11:31:00

We used to have a GSD.
We recently decided to get another dog and we're looking for a small breed.
I was looking for a low excercise breed and low maintenance in terms of grooming. As our GSD was high for both. I also didn't want a puppy that was capable of the destruction of our last. I wasn't set on a specific breed per se.

We now have a Chihuahua/Pomeranian cross. He's really quite tiny at the moment. He's been great. He's easy to clean up after if he has an accident, he chews lots of things but pretty much unable to cause any damage. He's been really good and receptive to training.

adaline Mon 06-Jan-20 12:17:12


Ours does go off the lead but we do have to be careful where! He's fine on the beach, for example but in the woods we have to be super watchful as he'll be off after a deer before you know it 😂

He doesn't really shed much although I know others who do.

longearedbat Mon 06-Jan-20 12:21:44

We have had quite a few small dogs. I would say the most fun was a jrt but he was a bit of a bugger and not the easiest of dogs when he was young. We have also had many Yorkies, a cairn and a shih tzu. We currently have a toy poodle, selected for intelligence and lack of moulting, but we also wanted a dog who likes a decent walk, which she does. She also loves water and chasing crows and rabbits and rolling in fox shit, so there is nothing poncey or delicate about her either.
I love jrt's, but they do moult like mad, and I still find the odd hair from ours even though he's been dead for 4 years.

Gingerninja4 Mon 06-Jan-20 12:28:12

I have a lab now but if get another dog in future. I be going with miniature schnuzwers(spelling) friend has 2 they are not yappy and are happy with long or short walks .They play happily with my lab and other dogs we meet when out
Do not seem to she'd much hair but need clipping regulary

MurrayTheMonk Mon 06-Jan-20 13:44:53

Yes that's true about the shedding with the JRT's. Black clothes are a no no for us now as the white hairs get bloody everywhere!

picklemepopcorn Mon 06-Jan-20 14:09:39

I wanted a puppy (first and only time), so there was a limited choice at the rescue centre. I'd only ever rescue.

He is a bit of a mixture, poss Frenchie JRT cross. He's feisty, neurotic and utterly adorable- everyone seems to love him despite his peculiarities! He's 14kg.

Think about the size of your car, the size crate if you crate train etc.

The usual traits are regardless of size- do you want an independent thinker or something more docile, for example. If you want a placid, laid back adoring dog you may want to avoid working breeds.

MrsGolightyly Mon 06-Jan-20 14:20:09

We have a small labradoodle. A lab x miniature poodle. She’s a brilliant dog, quiet, only barks occasionally, retrieves a ball, good with dogs and people, very healthy, at 11, people think she’s still a puppy.

I know the hatred doodles attract on here and all the reasons why but ours is perfect.

Beautiful3 Mon 06-Jan-20 14:22:44

We recently got a cockapoo. I'm really happy with him. He's a nice size, doesnt malt/smell, and loves walks also curling up on the sofa.

Whynosnowyet Mon 06-Jan-20 14:29:01

2 Lurchers..
They fold up very small!!
*were supposed to be beds for our dcats!!

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