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18 Best Small Dogs for First-Time Owners (Explained)

What is the best small dog for first time owners? It really depends on the breed. In most cases, you will have to spend some time getting to know and understanding all the traits of a dog before buying one.

It takes time to become accustomed to all the different personalities of different dogs and their different quirks. The last thing you want is to have your new pet to act out of character, especially if it’s an unfamiliar breed.

The key is to be patient and understand what your little bundle of joy is capable of in terms of temperament. The best small dog breeds for first time owners are those that are very well-socialized and have very low aggression levels.

If your goal is simply to own a companion, then it might be a good idea to buy one of these. You should also look for an animal that can be trained to go for walks, play fetch, or any other type of outdoor activity.

A dog that is highly energetic and friendly towards people may not be right for you. So keep these things in mind when selecting the perfect dog for your needs.



Poodles make great pets because they are very loyal and will always make sure that you are taken care of no matter how old you get or what your age is. They can work very well as companions for the senior in your life, because they are so devoted to their master.

Poodles love humans and make great pets. You will see this devotion almost immediately after you get one for yourself.

They will jump on you with excitement and start looking at you like you are the best thing that ever happened to them. Poodles make great pets because they love attention, and they are very energetic.

Boston Terrier

Boston Terrier

There are several factors that make Boston Terriers good pets. One, they require very little training and require little space to exercise.

They are easy to housebreak, and they like to bark when you come home from work. These dogs love to see people, and they have a natural affection for children and other animals.

Because of their adaptability, Boston Terriers is very popular with families who want a dog that will be great in an apartment but will also tolerate some degree of extra attention. The dog is not meant to live all day long by itself.

They do need some exercise, though, and should be socialized from an early age, so they know how to act around you and your family members. 

Bichon Frise

Bichon Frise

Bichon Frise have a lot of energy and will just love to play a lot, so if you do not have a lot of free time in your day, then this may not be the breed for you. They do require daily walks, some food and water, and maybe some TLC once in a while.

They can be great companions for the elderly and disabled. Also, they have a natural curiosity about the world around them. If you want to spend some quality time together as a family, this may be an ideal fit for you.

As far as personality goes, the Bichon Frise is very laid back and very loving. They need to know their owner first and foremost, so if you do not feel like you are ready, just give it some time. However, if you take the time to train the dog, you will find that this dog is the most well-behaved dog in the world.



Although these dogs are smaller, they are considered to be great family pets because they have very sweet personalities and can easily fit into any family setting. This is why they are so popular with the elderly and even with children.

A Pug is friendly and outgoing, and a great way to introduce a small child to owning a dog. In addition, because they are so small, they are not prone to shedding hair very often. This makes them an ideal pet for apartment dwellers, because they are not as likely to shed hair in your living room as a Chihuahua would.

Although these animals will shed a lot of fur, this usually does not happen until their puppy years. Most of the time, these dogs have no problem shedding only a few times throughout their entire lifetime, which is why their appearance is usually so clean and white.


Havanese dog

Are Havanese good for first-time owners? The answer is yes, they are. Havanese have a very large amount of energy, which makes them a great dog to own for a family. They are also good because they don’t get as nervous as other dogs and they have very low maintenance requirements, so they are also a great choice for the apartment dweller.

Another great thing about Havanese is that they do not shed as often as other breeds. So if you are looking for a great pet and are looking to add a new member to your family, then Havanese are the perfect breed.

If you are looking for a dog to take on long hikes, to guard your house from burglars, or to protect you from strangers then Havanese are your best choice. These dogs have great stamina, intelligence, and a very high level of happiness.


Maltese dog

Are Maltese good for first-time owners? For the most part, yes, Maltese are very playful, loving pets, and they are good to have around the home.

If you have never owned a Maltese before then they are great for the first-time owners. They do not require that you be a professional breeder.

You simply need to be prepared to spend time with them, and spend money on training them. If you take care of them properly then they can be very rewarding pets.

The problem is that some people simply do not have the time or patience to train their Maltese properly, it can still be a great choice for someone who does not have the time to devote to the proper care. If you want a healthy, happy pet, then buy a Maltese puppy or an older breed.

Norfolk Terrier

Norfolk Terrier

The Norfolk Terrier is a long haired, small dog with an easy-going disposition and friendly nature. His beautiful white and black coat makes it easy for him to blend in with the surroundings, and he has a sweet disposition.

He is intelligent, friendly and playful, and is great for people who are not easily frustrated or bored. He is a very sociable dog, making him ideal as a first time owner.

Because of this unique personality, some people might find that they have a problem adopting a young or very young Norfolk Terrier because of his age. The Norfolk Terrier has a fairly long life span, of approximately 12-15 years old. This breed has such an enthusiastic following – people really like the personality and the attention that this kind of dog can bring.


Papillon Dog

There are many benefits to owning a Papillon dog, especially if you have never owned a dog before. It is an excellent family pet, and because it only weighs around twenty pounds, it makes a perfect first-time owner.

The breed is also very gentle and affectionate, making it great for children, seniors, or pets that have any sensitivity to loud noises or harsh scents. One of the best things about owning a Papillon, though, is that they are very easy to train.

Another great thing about owning a Papillon dog is that they are extremely intelligent. They will be able to learn just about anything you tell them.

You can teach your dog how to use a litter box, stop barking, and even to sit, just by having your pet do it. This makes owning a Papillon an ideal pet for anyone who is looking to have a unique pet, and will be a joy for everyone for years to come.

French Bulldog

French Bulldog

When it comes to owning a dog, you have to know that one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make is which breed of dog you’re going to get. There are so many types of dogs out there, but the French Bulldog seems to be one of the more popular breeds out there today because of all the adorable features they have. 

The first thing you should remember is that the French Bulldog is not as large as other breeds that are considered to be larger, like the German Shepherd. They are usually around twenty pounds in weight and can be used to provide protection for small children and even smaller pets.

This makes them perfect for small apartments, as they are quite easily controlled and can be a great pet to have at home. They are also great for apartment dwellers, since they are very easy to take care of.


Pomeranian dog

If you’re new to owning a Pomeranian, you will probably find that this breed is great for first-time owners. As an example, a lot of people who own Pomeranians have found that these dogs are very trainable.

This isn’t always the case with other dogs. Some people claim that Pomeranians are very lazy, but I’ve been able to train my dogs to go outside whenever I leave the house! So, I’d say Pomeranians are perfect for new owners who are trying to establish a strong bond with their pets.

Finally, Pomeranian dogs are pretty laid back and peaceful dogs. When you get a Pomeranian, you’ll usually find that they are happy to sit quietly by your feet while you read a book, or while you have a nice long nap.

You don’t have to worry about having a lot of noise in the house, because Pomeranian dogs aren’t very social animals by nature, so they don’t mind being around other dogs.


Beagle dog

Beagles are very social animals and will be happiest with a family who has regular exercise. Beagles will get bored easily and it is important to keep an eye on them. They can be easily distracted and need to be kept busy at all times. You will have to exercise a lot if you want to make your beagle happy.

They will usually do the things that you would want them to do if you spend the time together. Beagles need to exercise a lot too. Beagles are used to working and need plenty of physical activity.

You will find that your beagle will be very energetic and active if they are given enough exercise. If you don’t have a lot of space or if you live in an apartment or a condo, you will want to find a good home for your beagle.


Chihuahua dog

Chihuahuas are small dogs, so they are usually very healthy and playful. Also, since these little dogs are very intelligent, they tend to become very well-behaved.

They are very easy to train, because they love attention and love to please their owners. You will have to be very careful when training your dog though.

They can be very stubborn and are very stubborn dogs themselves. If you want to keep the relationship with your Chihuahua healthy, you will have to exercise patience and consistency.

However, many people who own these dogs love them so much that they do not have any problem taking care of them, and are Chihuahua good for first-time owners. They are very much like babies and need to spend more time outside their environment.

Therefore, your Chihuahua will need plenty of exercise and will need to have lots of playtime with you. Your dog will also need lots of love and attention. These are some of the reasons why most Chihuahua is very good for first time owners, and why so many people end up owning Chihuahuas.

Japanese Chin

Japanese Chin dog

A Japanese Chin is a very beautiful pet, but with proper care, they can last a lifetime. Chins are a delicate creature, so handling and training them can be a little scary at first, but as your pet becomes more comfortable and confident, you will be rewarded with a wonderful pet. Here are some tips on how to properly care for your new pet.

When it comes to caring for a Chin, first-time owners often want to rush right in and train their pet immediately. This can result in a stressed-out pet, and that can lead to some of the problems we have seen with other pets, including aggression.

Training a Chin takes time, and it can become frustrating if you do not spend time with your pet. A better way to handle this is to train your pet first, then introduce him or her to other dogs or cats in your household.

A great tip is to get a professional to help you train your Chin. They can give you advice on what to do to help your dog learn how to interact with other animals. 


Dachshund dog

One of the main things that makes a Dachshund so special is the intelligence that they have. The reason for this is because they have a very high-speed intellect and they are able to learn quickly.

As long as they are able to gain the attention of their owner, then they will be able to learn quickly as well. Because they are intelligent, they are also able to handle themselves in a lot of situations as well.

Even when they are not around, it will be easy for them to figure out what to do and how to do it. They will not have a lot of issues with handling the dog that they are going to get with the first time that they get it.

Also, when it comes to the personality of the dog, you can expect that it will be one that is very friendly and loving. You will be able to use this trait when dealing with your dog. As long as you are able to spend a lot of time with your dog, it will be easy for them to get along with everyone. 

Shih Tzu

Shih Tzu dog

Does Shih Tzus to make good dogs? The short answer is yes, but they need some special training to prove it! The Shih Tzu isn’t a hard-working dog like the Chihuahua or the Poodle. But they are extremely loyal, and they really do well at home. They would make a great family pet!

They can also get very territorial, if you don’t know what they want. They are naturally curious and will always want to explore everything. They can also get bored and lose interest in everything they used to love.

As mentioned earlier, they will always want to explore. Give them some time to do this and when they start to feel comfortable to let them out, they will be fine!

Make sure that they always have someone to go to when you aren’t around, because when you are there they will be too anxious.

Italian Greyhound

Italian Greyhound

Well if you want a dog who is easy to groom and that can be trained without much fuss then this dog is for you. The most important thing to look for in an Italian Greyhound is the temperament.

If you buy a dog with low-spirited disposition then it is more likely to get aggressive. The aggressive behavior is usually caused by stress and if you can avoid this then your puppy can be less aggressive.

You should also watch out for any behavior which you think could be harmful. Remember that they tend to have short attention spans so they may not always know what you want them to do.

In order to ensure that your Italian Greyhound will be gentle with you and that your relationship with your puppy will be healthy, it is advisable to start off by taking it to a trainer. He or she will teach you the basics of training your dog.

If you want to keep them safe and happy, you will have to make sure that the training is ongoing. This breed can be extremely sensitive. If you do not handle their sensitivity well they could easily snap at you.

Miniature Schnauzers

Miniature Schnauzers

There are several things to consider when considering how miniature Schnauzers will be used at home. For one thing, they are known for being friendly and loving.

They are also known for being extremely obedient. Some of their characteristics also make them excellent watchdogs. These traits make them a wonderful addition to the family.

There will be times when they will be used to a lot of play time and you will want them to be well trained as to who can take their toy away. But on the other hand, they are also known for being extremely playful with kids and will be great companions for little kids.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

The great thing about owning a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is that they are very one of the most intelligent dog breeds and very easy to train. They are also known for their loyalty, which is why these dogs are commonly used as a guide for people who have lost everything.

It is really no wonder that they are also the most popular dogs around. Although the breed was originally bred to be used as a hunting dog, today their size and temperament make them ideal companions for many households.

You will definitely love to have a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel as your first pet because of their affectionate nature, their intelligence, and their willingness to please. Although these dogs tend to be a little on the expensive side, when compared to other dog breeds, these dogs are great for first time owners


  • 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.