The Littlest Dogs
Having a small dog is like having a permanent puppy. They’re usually playful, bright, spirited dogs. Apartment living is fine with them as long as they get their exercise either in the form of play or a walk. Don’t forget dogs like to walk; they get to sniff new smells and see new things. Here are the littlest breeds.
Size/weight: Chis should weigh no more than 6 pounds.
Temperament: Peppy and smart. Chis are good as a family dog if the children are older and understand this is a very small dog that needs gentle care. No roughhousing for this little guy. Apartment living is just fine.
Exercise: Those little legs will scamper to the end of the block and back and be pooped. OK for apartments, but he must have lots of toys to keep him occupied.
Grooming: Smooth-coated Chihuahuas need next to no brushing; long-coated Chis need some brushing.
Life Expectancy: The Chihuahua can live 15 years or longer.
Other Info: The Chihuahua is the smallest breed of all dogs.
Size/weight: The Chinese Crested is no taller than 13 inches at the shoulder and weighs about 10 pounds.
Temperament: This little doggy needs people, doggies who need people, but only gentle people. He will do well in apartment living.
Exercise: Daily walks are good. Some good play time works well also.
Grooming: The true hairless Chinese Crested needs sunscreen. The other type of Chinese Crested, the Powder Puff, has fluffy fur all over and needs a little brushing, but essentially doesn’t shed.
Life Expectancy: The Chinese Crested can live 10 to 12 years.
Other Info: The Chinese Crested was originally bred as a ratter and still has that tendency.
Size/Weight: Lhasas are from 10 to 11 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh 12 to 18 pounds.
Temperament: Intelligent and spirited. They love adults but are not for small children.
Exercise: Daily walks keep them in good trim and can help to eliminate any inappropriate behavior.
Grooming: Brush daily and groom frequently. Some owners prefer the puppy cut because it’s easier to maintain. It does shed.
Life Expectancy: Lhasas can live 15 years and longer.
Other Info: The Lhasa was originally a guard dog.
Size/weight: Papillons are no taller than 11 inches at the shoulder and weigh 7 to 10 pounds, depending on the gender.
Temperament: They’re happy go lucky little guys, and don’t forget those ears. Does well with families with older children. Apartments are OK, but they are property-protective, so may be barkers.
Exercise: Indoor or outdoor play is OK with this dog. Walks are always good.
Grooming: Daily brushing.
Life Expectancy: Papillons can live 15 years or longer.
Other Info: This breed has existed for hundreds of years.
Size/weight: These little ones can be from 8 to 11 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh 7 to 10 pounds, depending on the gender.
Temperament: The dog was bred to be a companion dog and so is friendly and outgoing. He’s also sprightly and fun-loving.
Exercise: House play is sufficient exercise if it lasts for more than a few minutes. Daily walks are always a good idea.
Grooming: Brush and brush and brush this little one daily. Groom frequently. He is high-maintenance.
Life Expectancy: Shih Tzus can live 15 years or longer.
Other Info: Shih Tzu means lion, and don’t they look it with all that fur around their faces. The Chinese Ming Dynasty considered this dog the pet to have. The West learned about the dog during WWII when English soldiers first saw it.
Size/weight: The Toy is 10 inches or less and weighs 6 to 9 pounds.
Temperament: They’re smart and do well in apartments if they have plenty of toys and human time.
Exercise: Toys need lots of exercise. Walking is probably a necessity.
Grooming: The toy like all poodles needs to be groomed to keep his coat styled even if it’s a puppy cut.
Life Expectancy: Toys can live 12 to 15 years.
Other Info: Poodles were originally water dogs.
Size/weight: Yorkies are between 6 to 7 inches and weigh between 4 to 7 pounds.
Temperament: They may be small, but they are terriers, the holy terrors. They’re smart, lively, inquisitive and stubborn. They do well as a family dog with the usual caveat about small children.
Exercise: He needs daily walks not only for exercise but to keep that active little brain interested. Lot of play may do the trick. Remember he’s a terrier, so will want a lot of play. Also, he needs real interaction with people.
Grooming: That silky fur needs lots of brushing and frequent grooming. They don’t shed very much.
Life Expectancy: Yorkies can live 12 to 15 years.
Other Info: Yorkies were originally bred as vermin control.