Apart from the division into the 10 different FCI groups, which in practice is of little importance for most laymen, dog breeds can also be distinguished by their size.
For the division into small, medium and large animals, the shoulder height is taken as a standard, whereby small dogs reach a maximum shoulder height of 39 centimetres.
In terms of external appearance and weight, however, clear differences are possible. For example, Chihuahuas with a weight of 1.5 kilograms or more are among the small dogs, as are English bulldogs, which can weigh up to 25 kilograms.
Overview of popular small dog breeds
There are numerous small dogs between which prospective owners can choose. Which breed is the right choice depends among other things on the respective life situation as well as the individual preferences.
The following small dogs are particularly popular:
- Jack Russell Terrier
- English Bulldog
- French Bulldog
- Welsh Corgi Pembroke
- Yorkshire Terrier
- Shih Tzu
With a weight between 1.5 and 2.5 kilograms and a maximum shoulder height of 23 centimeters, the Chihuahua is considered the smallest dog ever. The breed originally comes from Mexico, but is now a popular companion dog worldwide. Despite their small size, the small dogs are very courageous and do not shy away even from clearly larger conspecifics.
The Jack Russell Terrier
The Jack Russell Terrier is a British hunting dog breed which is still used in Great Britain today. In Germany, however, the small dogs are especially popular as a family and sports dog. Who decides for a Jack Russell Terrier, should be aware of the fact that the breed has an extraordinarily high urge to move.
The dachshund is a small hunting dog breed from Germany with a shoulder height of up to 26 centimetres, which was originally bred for underground hunting of badgers and foxes. Despite their short legs, the small dogs are very agile. The dachshund is therefore not suitable as a classic lapdog.
The English Bulldog
With a weight of up to 25 kilograms, the English Bulldog is one of the heavyweights among the small dogs. The muscular quadrupeds have a remarkably compact physique and are considered to be extremely lazy. Their gentle nature makes the English Bulldog an excellent family dog that also gets along well with children.
The Havanese reaches a body weight of four to eight kilograms and grows up to 27 centimeters in size. The small dogs are intelligent and love to be the centre of attention. They are ideal as apartment dogs, but should still be challenged mentally and physically in everyday life.
The French Bulldog
The French Bulldog is a classic social and companion dog that is appreciated by dog owners for its friendly and patient nature. The small dogs have only a moderate urge to move and therefore tend quickly to overweight. For this reason it is particularly important with French Bulldogs to pay attention to appropriate food rations.
The Welsh Corgi Pembroke
The Welsh Corgi Pembroke is a British dog breed. The small dogs were originally bred as herding dogs and reach a shoulder height of 25 to 30 centimetres. Today, the child-friendly Corgi, which needs a lot of exercise despite its physique, is above all a popular family dog.
The Pug counts without doubt to the most popular society dogs at all. The small dogs reach a shoulder height of 25 to 30 centimeters. Despite his lively and cheerful nature, the urge to move with the pug is quite manageable. Overweight is therefore no rarity with this small dog breed.
The Yorkshire Terrier
With a weight of about 3.5 kilograms and a shoulder height of about 20 centimeters, the Yorkshire Terrier is one of the particularly small dogs. While it used to be bred for hunting rats and mice, today it is a typical social dog. Although the small dogs bark gladly and often, they are suitable well for the Wohnungshaltung.
The Shih Tzu
The Shih Tzu is a small dog breed, which was originally bred by monks in Tibet and today enjoys great popularity as a social dog. The small dogs grow up to 27 centimeters and weigh eight kilos. They are regarded as intelligent and build a close bond to their owners.
Advantages of small dogs
In terms of keeping, small dogs have a number of advantages over their larger counterparts. These include, in particular, significantly lower costs for the purchase of dog food, visits to the veterinarian or the conclusion of an animal health insurance.
In addition, small dogs require comparatively little space, which is why most breeds can be kept in a small apartment without any problems. In addition, the handling of small dogs proves to be particularly uncomplicated. For example, they are easier to carry and can be carried more easily on journeys.
Last but not least, small dogs live longer. While the life expectancy of large dog breeds is sometimes just 10 years, many small dog breeds can easily live 15 years.
Educating small dogs
Whether large or small - the right education is very important for dogs of all breeds. Even a Chihuahua must learn how to behave. Even owners of small dogs should therefore take the subject of education seriously and start training their four-legged friend at an early stage.
How easy this can be and which special features have to be considered can vary from breed to breed.
Need for movement in small dogs
The assumption that a small dog needs little exercise is not always true. Because some small breeds are in no way inferior to their big counterparts when it comes to the urge to move. While an English Bulldog, for example, is satisfied with simple walks, a Jack Russell Terrier proves to be a real bundle of energy.
As with the upbringing, it is also important to pay attention to race-specific peculiarities in order to meet the needs of the small four-legged friend.
Health problems with small dogs
Of course, a high life expectancy does not mean that small dogs cannot become ill. The individual health problems for which there is an increased susceptibility vary greatly depending on the breed.
In general, however, small dogs are more prone than average to problems with the teeth, such as malpositioning of the teeth or tartar.
A further health problem, which is very common with small dog breeds, is patella luxations. This is a jumping out of the kneecaps, which is extremely painful for affected animals.
To a certain extent it is possible to prevent these health problems in small dogs. For example, tartar in dogs can be prevented with Bellfor Dental Powder and the risk of patella luxation with Bellfor Joints & Bones can be reduced.
Small dogs and overweight
Obesity is an increasingly common problem in dogs and can have many negative consequences for health. Especially for small breeds with a low urge to move, such as French and English bulldogs, it is important to make sure that the animals do not become overweight.
Since wet food has a lower energy density than dry food, we recommend feeding small dogs with Bellfor's favourite menu so that they can eat their fill despite their low calorie requirement.
Apart from that, our cereal-free wet food consists exclusively of natural ingredients in food quality and is also characterized by a high proportion of animal proteins. In this way not only a good taste but also an excellent digestibility of the food is guaranteed.
The Bellfor nutrition concept for small dogs
For the health and well-being of even small dogs it is essential to pay attention to a species-appropriate diet. In this context it is particularly important to consider the energy requirements of the four-legged friend and to ensure a sufficient supply with all necessary nutrients.
With the special Bellfor nutrition concept for small dogs, you will always make the right decision. The best thing to do is to use our online nutritionist and in just a few moments you will be shown individual feeding recommendations for your little dog.