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8 Best Off Leash Small Dogs And 8 To Avoid!

Many people are searching for the perfect small dog to leave off-leash in their yard or when going for a walk or at the park. There are many breeds of dogs that fit this description, but some breeds should be avoided as they may not be able to handle being left off-leash without supervision.

This article lists 8 best off-leash small dogs and 8 you should avoid, so you can make an informed decision on which breed is right for your family.

8 Best Off Leash Small Dogs

1. Shetland Sheepdog

 Shetland Sheepdog
Image by JackieLou DL from Pixabay

The Shetland Sheepdog is a breed of herding dog. It has many jobs and can make a good pet for families with children, or people who are looking for an active companion. The Sheltie’s gentle temperament makes it well-suited to life as an off-leash family dog. Many people love the Shetland Sheepdog because they have so much energy and want to be constantly doing something – this is especially true when they’re outside!​​​​​​​

2. Pembroke Welsh Corgi

Pembroke Welsh Corgi
Image by Elena Rogulina from Pixabay

Pembroke Welsh Corgi are small dogs with big hearts. They make excellent companions for the outdoorsy types who love to hike, bike, or just spend time in nature. The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is a breed that was originally bred as herding dogs and some have even been known to herd livestock on their own! These little guys are great at keeping you entertained while they run around off-leash because they will follow you wherever you go. 

3. Papillon

Image by gayleenfroese2 from Pixabay

The Papillon is a small, happy breed of dog that loves to play and explore. They are very agile and have lots of energy which means they need lots of exercise! The Papillon’s long hair makes them prone to overheating, so they should not be off-leash for too long in the summer. However, because the Papillon has such an energetic personality, it can make a great companion for an active family or person who will provide plenty of outdoor activities.​​​​​​​

4. Miniature Australian Shepherd

Miniature Australian Shepherd
Image by Mr_niceshoot from Pixabay

The Miniature Australian Shepherd is a small dog breed that can make an excellent off-leash companion. These dogs are smart, obedient and eager to please their owners. They’re great for agility training or just playing fetch in the backyard. Miniature Australian Shepherds have high energy levels which makes them perfect for running around outdoors with you.  They are intelligent and strong dogs that can be trusted to run free without getting into trouble. 

5. Miniature Pinscher

In the past, miniature pinschers were thought to be on-leash dogs. Today, however, some experts say that they make good off-leash dogs. This is because of their high energy levels and intelligence level which allow them to explore new environments without getting lost or chasing other animals. These are not aggressive breeds, so they will not attack other animals out of fear. They do require a lot of attention though so this type of dog may not be suitable for everyone.

6. West Highland White Terrier

West Highland White Terrier
Image by No-longer-here from Pixabay

West Highland White Terriers are one of the most popular breeds for families with children. The Westie is friendly, loyal and eager to please its owner, making it a perfect off-leash dog. West Highland White Terriers are intelligent dogs that learn quickly and have an independent streak. These qualities make them excellent hunting companions as well as active pets for the outdoorsy family. Westies need daily exercise, or they can become bored and destructive in their home environment. 

7. Pomeranian

Pomeranian dogs are small, fluffy and adorable. These dogs can be a great addition to any family with kids or other pets. The Pomeranian is also an active dog that will need plenty of exercise outside the home. But are they good for taking on walks without a leash? Yes! They’re not very likely to run away from you if they’re out in public so it’s ok to let them roam around while you take care of business. ​​​​​​​

8. Bolognese

Image by Micky Dunn from Pixabay

Bolognese dogs are very playful and friendly, but should they be left off-leash? Many people assume that Bolognese dogs are not good to leave off-leash because of their size. However, these dogs have a strong sense of self-preservation so it is unlikely that they will run away from home or get into trouble with strangers. This breed loves playing outside and can often find new friends in the neighborhood.

8 Worst Off Leash Small Dogs

1. Beagle

Image by jmw02824 from Pixabay

The Beagle is a popular breed of dog that was originally bred to hunt hare and other small game. This particular breed has been around for centuries, with some saying it dates back as far as the 12th century. Beagles are not known for being obedient dogs; they can be quite stubborn at times. They have a strong prey drive and will chase anything on four legs, including cats or squirrels if given the opportunity. As such, this might not be the best choice for off-leash.

2. Dachshund

Image by Sabrina St. from Pixabay

Dachshunds are known for their long, wiry coats that keep them warm in cold weather. They’re a hunting breed that loves to chase prey through holes and under bushes, so they need a lot of space. A Dachshund is not an ideal off-leash dog because it will run after any moving object and may get lost or hurt in the process. If you have plenty of room outside your home to let your pet roam free, then by all means go ahead.

3. Miniature Poodle

Miniature Poodle
Photo by Alison Pang on Unsplash

Miniature Poodles are known for being well-behaved, intelligent and easy to train. They make great family pets because they’re gentle with children and tend to be affectionate towards other animals in the household. Miniature Poodles are also very clean dogs that don’t shed much or smell bad. Some people think they would make good off-leash dogs, but this is not recommended due to their size and potential prey drive.

4. Cairn Terrier

Cairn Terrier
Image by hazelw90 from Pixabay

Cairn Terriers are dogs that need a lot of attention and socialization. They have a high prey drive, so they will chase small animals such as squirrels or chipmunks if they are not on a leash. If you live in an area where these animals aren’t prevalent, Cairn Terriers can be good pets to have without a leash. But otherwise, it is best to keep them on one when outside the house.

5. Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkshire Terrier
Image by maja7777 from Pixabay

Yorkshire Terriers are very small dogs, and they can be perfect for people who don’t have a lot of space in their home. But what about taking them outside? It’s not always easy to take a Yorkshire Terrier on walks without using a leash because of how short they are. They’re also prone to getting into trouble if left unattended or unleashed outdoors. If you do want to take your Yorkie out without one, there are some safety precautions that you should keep in mind.

6. Jack Russell Terrier

Jack Russell Terrier
Image by JenniGut from Pixabay

Jack Russell Terriers are a good dog to have, but they’re not good dogs to have without a leash. Jack Russell Terriers can be easily distracted and curious by other animals, or small children who may come into their territory. Without the restriction of a leash, this type of terrier will run off after anything that it sees as prey – which is usually any animal smaller than itself!

7. Miniature Schnauzer

Miniature Schnauzer
Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

The answer to this question is both yes and no. Miniature Schnauzers are a breed of dog that can be high-energy, stubborn, and dominant. They do not like being on the leash for long periods of time or staying in one place without roaming around or running. No, you should not leave your miniature schnauzer without a leash if they’re prone to escaping out the front door when someone opens it because they might run off before you get them back inside.

8. Norfolk Terrier

Norfolk Terrier
Image by sevenpixx from Pixabay

Norfolk Terriers are known for their feisty and stubborn personalities. They were originally bred to hunt vermin, but today they are often kept as family pets. Norfolk Terriers can make good off-leash dogs if they have a lot of space in which to run around, but it is not recommended that you keep them off leash on busy streets or anywhere near another dog without supervision.​​​​​​​


  • Karin S

    Welcome to All About My Small Dog, where my love for small dogs and years of hands-on experience meet your need for trusted information. As a dedicated small dog enthusiast and pet parent, I'm deeply committed to sharing expert insights, reliable advice, and a community of support. Every blog you read here is crafted with the utmost care, guided by my passion and expertise. You can trust that you're in the right place for valuable insights and a warm community that understands the unique joys and challenges of small dog ownership. Together, we'll make sure your small dog's world is filled with love, care, and knowledge.