Dogs’ Small Breeds


We had a few doubts about dogs’ breeds, specially about the small ones. So, we made a few questions to vet Bruno Damas and unveilled some really interesting information such as the fact small dogs are not always the most suitable for little kids.

By Veterinary Bruno Damas

1 – Which are the main misconceptions that people have about small dogs? 

The image of a small dog makes us think of delicacy, fragility and easiness in our everyday logistics. That idea is completely wrong. Instead of what is commonly thought, small dogs can, and do, innumerous tasks – from hunting, to security and company.

2 – Is there any specific care we should have?

Small dogs, due to their dimension, need some specific care, namely:

  • Temperature fluctuation: As the fur that covers them has little density, they are very sensible to hypothermia.
  • Food: These animals have, in general, a fast metabolism to maintain their homeostasis, so they have to ingest diets higher in calories and with more frequency.
  • Oral hygiene: Usually, we have to have extra care with small dogs’ mouths and teeth hygiene. The daily brushing is indispensable.
  • Care with fur and nails: as most of small dogs inhabit in apartments and they are light weights, they don’t wear down their nails properly.
  • Cardiac control: According to research, more than 50% of small dogs have valvulopathies and should be frequently seen by the vet.

3 – Which are the most known breeds? And the least ones?

Breeds’ knowledge changes with time and the main reason is the “fashion effect”, I mean, the “fashionable breeds” have been changing in cycles of about 10 years. Nowadays, the most known breeds are Yorkshire, Pug, French Bulldog, Jack Russel Terrier, Pinscher, Shihtzy. Amongst the less know there are breeds such as Cavalier King Charles, Chihuahua, West England White Terrier and Miniature Schnauzer.

4 – Small dogs are more suitable to children or this is also a misconception?

It’s a misconception. The animal size should not be understood as criteria to make a decision when the main concern is the future relationship between dog and child. Usually, kids are very active so we should choose more patient breeds instead of choosing due to the dog’s size. I mean, dogs such as the Jack Russel Terrier are excellent buddies but they have an energy above average which can sometimes lead to the discomfort of children under five years-old. However, when a balanced relationship is established, they become inseparable friends. On the other hand, breeds such as the Golden Retriever, due to their calm, affectionate and loving character, have an easier relationship with kids. These are only two examples of how size should not be criteria when concerning the relationship with children.

Did you know?

Did you know that the life expectancy of a dog is higher amongst small breeds and, according to the Guinness records, the oldest dog in the world lived for 30 years and was born of a mix between beagle, terrier and dachshund.