Best Small Dog Breeds for Big Dog Lovers

If you are like us here at Large Breed Dog World, your first choice for a dog is to get a big one. Unfortunately, circumstances are sometimes such that this isn’t possible.

You may be unable to get a big dog because of things such as the rules of where you live or the space constraints in your home. If you can only consider a small dog, you can at least get one that has a big personality!

Here are 15 breeds that have big personalities, big energy, and are overall just fun to own.


Dachshunds are otherwise known as Weiner or hotdog dogs and they have huge personalities packed into their tiny little bodies.

Dachshunds are loving, demanding, and stubborn dogs. They are determined animals that don’t give up easily.

If you bring a Dachshund into your home, you must know that this breed is stubborn about training and you will need patience and persistence to get your dog trained properly.

Jack Russell Terrier

The Jack Russell Terrier is the breed that starred in the TV show Frasier. These are tiny dogs and weigh less than 20 pounds, but they are full of energy.

Jack Russell Terriers are tiny balls of energy. They need a great deal of activity and exercise to stay engaged and not become destructive. If you want a dog that needs your attention and is extremely energetic this is a good fit for you.

Beware though, Jack Russells like to dig a lot. They are bred to dig so you need to give your dog activities where they can dig without getting into trouble.

Shetland Sheepdog

The Shetland Sheepdog looks like a small Collie. These dogs are great companions if you are an outdoors person who likes to hike, run, or walk for exercise.

Shetland Sheepdogs weigh less than 30 pounds and like to be active. This is a breed that is easy to train in manners, tricks, and agility. They can also play catch for extended periods of time.

Miniature Pinscher

These dogs aren’t miniature Dobermans, but they sure look like they could be. This is a tiny breed that weighs between 8 to 11 pounds, but don’t tell your Min Pin that they are small!

Min Pins are smark, active, and need lots of exercise and stimulation to be on their best behavior. They are known as the King of Toys and they have exceptionally good personalities.


Snoopy is probably the most famous Beagle in the world. Beagles are on the small end of mid-sized dogs and weigh about 20 to 35 pounds.

They are hunting dogs and have a powerful sense of smell. They also are stubborn and don’t always listen to commands from their owners.

However, beagles are extremely friendly and great with kids. Beagles respond well to rewards and praise. Make sure that you are giving your dog plenty of both.

Cocker Spaniel

The Cocker Spaniel is a sweet and affectionate family dog. This breed is a mid-size dog and weighs about thirty pounds.

They need exercise every day and usually like to swim.

Cocker Spaniels are well known for their gentle and friendly dispositions and beautiful coats that need regular grooming.


This lesser-known breed is a bundle of energy and personality. The nickname for this dog is the “Black Little Devil” which gives you an indication of their personality.

The Schipperke has lots of energy and enthusiasm. This breed excels at agility training and loves to exercise. You will want to prioritize activity if you own this breed to harness its exuberant energy.

Miniature Bull Terrier

With his distinctive long face and stocky body, this smaller version of the Bull Terrier can make a great pet for an active individual or family.

The Miniature Bull Terrier has lots of energy that needs to be directed to not become destructive. Activities like therapy dog work, earth dog trials, or agility are all very helpful to this breed.

Shiba Inu

Known as the yodeling dog, these Japanese natives are spirited and fun to be around.

Shiba Inus need proper training and socialization or they think they are the center of the universe. They also need regular walks or hikes with their families.

Pembroke Welsh Corgi

These short-legged dogs are the subject of many adorable internet memes. They also make great pets that tend to be a little bossy.

Because Corgis are small dogs they can live in nearly any living condition as long as they get enough exercise.

Boston Terrier

The incredibly friendly Boston Terrier doesn’t know a stranger and is a happy dog in almost every circumstance.

Your Boston will want to stick to you like velcro and will be just as happy hanging out on the couch as doing agility or going for long walks.

Norfolk Terrier

In general, Terrier breeds are stubborn balls of energy with big personalities for their size and the Norfolk Terrier certainly falls into this category.

If you are an outdoorsy type of person the Norfolk Terrier can be a great fit because they love adventure and will accompany you almost anywhere in the great outdoors.

Border Terrier

Adventurous and eager to show their owners love, this breed loves to be outside and has a fun personality.

Like other terriers, the Border Terrier needs lots of activity and exercise! This tiny breed clocks in at just 14 pounds, so it’s good to live in even tiny apartments as long as you make sure your dog has enough exercise.

Miniature Schnauzer

Fair warning… all of the Schnauzer sizes are stubborn and Miniature Schnauzers are no exception. These dogs think they are big dogs, even though they are in tiny bodies.

Miniature Schnauzers don’t shed, are fearless, and are loyal. Even though they are stubborn they are gentle and can make great family pets.

Brussels Griffon

This is a toy breed, but don’t tell the Brussels Griffon that! These are dogs that have a lot of character and they bond strongly with their owners.

Brussels Griffon do have sensitive dispositions, so you need to treat them with care and respect. They carry themselves with confidence and are quite charming animals.

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