One of the oldest dog breeds in existence, pugs are the perfect household companion. They are adaptable, and can live happily with one person or a large family, in the country or in the city. Mischievous and loving, they require little grooming and are small enough to not need extreme amounts of exercise. Weighing 14 to 18 pounds, people describe them as the perfect “housedog.”
Playful and curious, bichons have an even, happy temperament that makes them enjoyable pets. Since they have hair, not fur, it does require daily brushing. However, they do not shed, which is a huge plus, and they only need a bath and a haircut once a month. Bichons are easy to train and make great family pets. Expect to give the bichon a daily walk, but receive lots of affection in return.
These small dogs can have long or short hair, with both types requiring minimal grooming. While they enjoy the outside, they prefer the indoors, which makes them a good choice for those living in an apartment. Chihuahuas, since they are fragile, do better away from children. They are loyal and playful, and prefer warm weather – during winter, they will steal your blanket!
Originally bred to hunt badgers, dachshunds have become one of the most popular household breeds. They come in smooth, wirehair and longhair, with all coats needing regular grooming. Owners can learn to do their own grooming, saving some time and money. While dachshunds can be stubborn, obedience training will curb this issue, as will early socialization. Dachshunds are smart and playful and need moderate, regular exercise.
Small and agile, rat terriers love to play, especially with a ball. They are affectionate and enjoy being held and cuddled. Sometimes they can get grumpy if they feel they are being ignored, but they have an overall easygoing temperament. Homeowners will find this dog a good fit, as they need a larger, fenced-in space to run in. They get along well with other household pets and are easily trained.
These dogs have a variety of different personalities – some can be goofy and high-energy while others can be calm and sweet. Overall, though, these dogs are low maintenance, enjoying chasing balls and snuggling with their owners. First-time owners will find the Boston terrier a good choice, as they are adaptable and affectionate, if somewhat slow to housetrain.
Needing minimal grooming – around 15 minutes every six weeks – toy poodles shed the least and are the most hypoallergenic of all coated breeds. These dogs are incredibly smart, easily trained, and highly athletic. They love playing games and spending time with their owners. For those who often travel or are away from home, this breed is not the best fit, as they get lonely if left too long. While not the ideal choice for children, toy poodles are a perfect companion for those looking for an attentive, small, sociable dog.
Also known as the Little Lion Dog, this breed does require frequent grooming, but in every other respect, they are low maintenance. They are playful without being hyperactive, and gentle and sweet with everyone. They do like spending time with their owners, and can get depressed if left alone for too long, so these dogs are better suited for those who are frequently at home. They don’t need much exercise and are easy to train.