5 small dog breeds with a big personality

Small dog breeds may lack in stature, but their personalities can pack a real punch. When it comes to our beloved dogs, small is definitely mighty. They may be cute and cuddly, but don’t be fooled into thinking you have a shrinking violet on your hands. Small dog breeds have a lot to say for themselves. Those little bodies are packed full of loveable quirks, often with a side order of sass. 

But small dogs are also some of the most loyal and loving companions you could ask for. Here are our top 5 small dog breeds with unforgettable personalities. 

Shih Tzu

The name Shih Tzu literally translates to ‘little lion,’ and looking at their majestic mane you can see why! The Shih Tzu’s personality combines affectionate lap-dog, with the pride and confidence of a lion. 

All Shih Tzus want is to love, and be loved. They’re eager to be part of the family and will happily follow you from room to room. But that’s not to say they don’t have a mind of their own. Shih Tzus can be stubborn, making them sometimes difficult to train. But as intelligent little dogs, they love to learn. Shih Tzus are born charmers and show their confidence when meeting new people and environments. 


The Cockapoo is a cross between a Cocker Spaniel and a Poodle. As one of the first ‘designer dogs’, these bouncy balls of fluff were bred for their loveable nature and low shedding coats. 

Cockapoos love their people and are desperate to please and entertain. You’ll feel neither bored nor lonely with a cockapoo around. They are high energy, intelligent dogs which makes them easy to train. While they’re happy blowing off steam in the park for hours on end, they also love to curl up on your lap and receive endless petting. 

Border Terrier 

Border Terriers are affectionate dogs and easily trained. They were originally bred to work alongside foxhounds to drive foxes out of their dens. As such, they will live peacefully with other dogs. 

Like other small dog breeds, they want to be part of the family. But unlike others, they won’t demand your attention. They’re simply keen to be in your company, whatever you’re doing. 

Border Terriers aren’t yappy dogs, but due to their working background they can be eager diggers.  

Bichon Frise

The Bichon Frise is a happy and enthusiastic dog. They love to play and can be mischievous if left to their own devices. But as intelligent little dogs, they’re easy to train and are great for first time dog parents. Due to their gentle nature, they’re also great with other pets and children. 

Bichon Frises aren’t overly barky and are happiest when in your company. With their powder puff coats and teddy bear faces, they never fail to light up the room.

Yorkshire Terrier 

Feisty but affectionate, the Yorkshire Terrier is a popular companion dog for doting dog parents. They want lots of time and attention from their family, and won’t tolerate being left alone for long periods. 

Yorkshire Terriers can be yappy little dogs and can bark at unusual sounds and strangers. They’ll live peacefully if raised alongside other pets, but can become protective of their owner if introduced at a later stage. These tiny dogs are adventurous with a determined personality.

Whichever small breed dog you have, we can make a tailored blend of dog food just for them. All you have to do is tell us about your dog and we’ll create their tailored recipe. And the best part, you can try your first two weeks of food for free! 

22 thoughts on “5 small dog breeds with a big personality”

  1. Cockapoos!!!! They didn’t win this years most popular dog for no good reason. They are Just Everywhere …Absolutely Adorable. Cute Cuddly and full of Cheeky Character…

  2. You forgot one of the best! I have a Teacup Chihuahua who is, adorable and very feisty. His only problem is big dogs in the park who think he’s a rabbit. We don’t go there weekends now. But a more loving, loyal and friendly pet would be hard to find

    • Hello Mary, i am interested in getting a teacup pup as my emotional support baby, are they worth the cost? Safe to own? Im kinda nervous to make purchase with negative remarks of them unsafe to have. Habe a blessed day.

  3. The Yorkshire terrier nothing compares to this tiny bundle of feistyness!! I have a 8 lb yorkie named Carter he is smart, loving, loyal, and alot of fun. Not to mention cute and very adorable. Will snuggle with you all day long! Let’s not forget he won’t let you out of his site for long, that’s including following you into the bathroom!!

    • Mine does too!!! I feel so guilty cuz I’m there for only a few seconds and he gets up again. Cleaning the house is even worse. Up and down up and down lol. They’re the best for sure!!

  4. Would love to have anyone of these type of small dogs. Moved to SA several years ago but have not had any luck from welfare agencies, they only have large darlings.
    Also as a pensioner I cannot afford to spend thousands to purchase a companion.

  5. I am a big dog lover myself and sometimes wish I could adopt all of them that are in shelters. So for 12 years I was the mom of a beautiful and smart little female miniature American Eskimo named Zoey. So why is there not more written about them. I haven’t been able to find any information,products or adoption/rescues for these intelligent beautiful creatures. WHY!!!!!!!!

  6. I’ve been looking for a Silky Terrier a looong time! Or a mix. 2,3,4 yr old. I lost my Silky after 18 yrs together. She was my. Certified Emotional Support Dog.
    We did aloft together.24/7. I know the breed well?? So, instead off a puppy again, l want to help a little dog live the rest of it’s life experiencing love, care, and fun.
    I’m 69 so l want a dog a little older so it passes before me. I don’t want it to experience abandonment again or abuse, or Orphaned. So, please, help me save a dog’s life and gift me with my FOREVER companion.

  7. you all missed the mark with this article because the Chihuahua is the most affectionate, loving
    big, little furball you could ever own. They love to just give love and to be loved. Give you kisses all day ,if you , let them. Very intelligent. Watches everything very nosey. Very,very loyal. Will follow you all around the house, to the bathroom, everywhere! They do not take up a lot of space. Do not eat a lot of food. They are just so cute and adorable. How could you all have left them off your list?. I love my little Prince? Chihuahuas are true royalty?

    • I agree. I have 2 Chihuahuas right now. Since getting my first when I was pregnant, I have known this intelligent, feisty, athletic small dog was my only choice. The amount of unconditional love is without bounds.

    • You all missing the big picture its all bout shih poo I have a four month female name tabby she such a lil angel love her so much she is very smart.

  8. I personally feel that westies are the best. I recently lost mine and miss him every day! Wonderful personality, feisty, smart, protective, vocal, everything and more anyone could hope for. Love you Angus!

    • Had westies since 1984 love them to bits great companions one now she is 16 & we have male nearly 7 miss my other 3 all passed but never forgotten

  9. In 2005 A wayward Pomeranian found me. I named him Roscoe. As far as Poms go, he was a 12.2 pound monster. I’ go on long hikes and he’d keep up with me for hours. His spirit transcended his small staure. He was extremely well-behaved. Everyone loved him at first sight. He was an amazing little soul.

  10. I googled “small dogs with a big dog personality” because after a lifetime of big guys, my next dogs (in another 8-10 years) will need to be smaller- under 50 lbs each so I can walk them.
    I am happy to see tho, that the same things I like about big dogs are what people are saying smaller ones do, too. (Follow you around everywhere, smart, funny, etc.).
    Great to know! ?

  11. What a delightful read! Small in size but big in personality, these adorable breeds truly steal hearts. Your blog beautifully captures the charm and unique characteristics of each small dog breed. As a dog enthusiast, I appreciate the insight into their distinct personalities and traits. Can’t wait to share this with fellow dog lovers!


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