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Best Small Family Dogs

If you're thinking about adding a new fur baby to your family, you might be wondering which breed will best fit your family. Today, our vets in La Pine are sharing a few small dog breeds that families love.

Small Breeds Suitable for Families

Doing a little research ahead of time is crucial for choosing the right dog for your family. The breed that best suits your family's lifestyle may differ from another family's ideal breed.

However, many small dog breeds can serve as excellent playmates for energetic older kids, while others possess gentle and patient personalities suitable for younger or less active children.

An older adopted dog with a gentle temperament can be the perfect fit for families with very young children since these dogs typically need less training and may exhibit more tolerance toward children.

It's essential to remember that every dog has its own unique personality, and temperaments can vary.

Small Dogs That Love Family Life

When shopping for a new pet, research thoroughly. Steer clear of disreputable breeders and pet shops that may source pups from puppy mills. Finding a responsible and loving breeder can guarantee your new puppy's happiness, health, and proper adjustment.

If you're uncertain about where to find your small dog, consult your vet. Vets can often recommend local breeders with excellent reputations.

Cocker Spaniel

  • The Cocker Spaniel, the smallest member of the sporting group, loves being around older children. These dogs adore romping around in the garden with the kids or playing with other dogs. They adapt well to apartment life but crave companionship and don't thrive if left alone for long periods.

Bichon Frise

  • The Bichon Frise exudes playfulness and love, craving nothing more than fun! With their low-shedding coat and long lifespans, these little characters are adored by kids. They forge strong bonds with their people and prefer not to be left alone for extended periods. For fun-loving families, the Bichon Frise stands as an ideal small dog breed.

Boston Terrier

  • Boston Terriers typically weigh just under 25 pounds and brim with personality! This delightful breed craves companionship and adores being with the family. Some Boston Terriers exude high spirits, while others exhibit gentleness and sweetness. Make sure to visit the breeder and closely observe the puppies at play before adopting, enabling you to select the pup best suited for your family lifestyle.


  • Perfect for apartment living, Pugs make peaceful family pets. Like humans, this sturdy breed loves to eat and sleep and may need a little encouragement to get out and get some exercise. If your family loves curling up on the couch together to watch movies or read, a pug should fit right in! 


  • Yorkipoos are an intelligent and playful mix of Yorkshire Terrier and toy or miniature Poodle. This breed is both hypoallergenic and energetic. These dogs make the perfect pet for active families who don't mind a bit of barking.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

  • The cuddly snugly Cavalier King Charles Spaniel loves to spend quiet time with their family, but also requires a fair amount of exercise to remain contented. A home with a fenced yard is ideal for this little sporting breed since chasing squirrels, chipmunks and butterflies are favorite pastimes of these small dogs. Cavaliers need plenty of companionship and thoroughly enjoy spending time with kids and other dogs.

The Mutt

  • Though mutts aren't officially recognized as a breed, they can indeed become excellent family pets. Explore the wide variety of characters awaiting their forever homes at your local animal shelter or puppy rescue agency. Mutts exhibit diverse shapes, sizes, personalities, and temperaments. By exercising some patience and determination, you could rescue a puppy and discover the perfect small dog for your family.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet. 

Looking for more information to decide on a dog breed? Contact our La Pine vets today.

New Patients Welcome

We are accepting new patients to our La Pine vet clinic. Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of all pets in Central Oregon. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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