Top 8 Placid Small Dog Breeds


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Anyone who’s been reading here regularly knows that I have a preference for large dogs. In fact, in How to Choose the Best Harness for Small Dogs, I told you about a little dog that I really didn’t like all that much: Hobart the Horrible, that nasty little thing that I ended up babysitting.

Honestly, after dealing with Hobart, I ended up wondering if there was even such a thing as nice, placid small dog breeds. Do they even exist? Is there really such a thing as placid small dog breeds?

Surprisingly enough, these breeds do exist. Those of us who own large dogs might find that hard to believe, but there really are calm, placid small dog breeds. Here they are: Non-yappy, non-barky small dogs.

1. Basenji

Basenjis are small dogs that originate in Africa. They don’t bark much. However, they will sort of “yodel.” Basenjis need a lot of mental stimulation and exercise, but as long as they get it, they’ll be pretty quiet.


2. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

These dogs are very small, sweet, and get along with just about anyone. They’re not exactly “toy” dogs, since they can weigh 13-18 pounds, but they’re still small dogs. And quiet.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

3. Bolognese

The Bolognese is little and fluffy, and also quiet. The only problem with the breed is that it’s prone to “small dog syndrome.” In other words, this dog might want to be the boss. Properly trained, though, the Bolognese can be a very good, quiet companion.


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4. Italian Greyhound

This dog might need to be reminded occasionally that he’s NOT BIG. These are little dogs with big hearts, and sometimes they might need to be “convinced” that what you want him to do is really what he DID want to do. If you’ve ever had a small, dominant dog, you know where I’m coming from.Italian Greyhound

Italian Greyhound

5. Japanese Chin

Japanese Chins are beyond intelligent, and very playful. They’re pretty small, weighing in at a bit under nine pounds. However, they’re quite athletic. If you choose this breed, you’ll have a quiet dog but one that needs quite a bit of exercise.

Japanese Chin

6. French Bulldog

These dogs aren’t “barky” at all. They’re just charming and sweet. They do very well in apartments since they don’t’ need a lot of exercise. They also don’t require a lot in the way of grooming.

French Bulldog

7. Chinese Crested

Want to win an “ugly dog” contest? Then this is your breed. I have to say, though, that I really don’t find these dogs “ugly” – just different! They don’t have much hair, except on the top of their heads (hence, the term “crested”) and whether or not you consider them “ugly”, the fact is that these dogs are friendly, playful and snuggly. They love people. They might look a little funny, but they’re very much suited to people who want something a bit different.

Chinese Crested

8. Norwegian Lunderhand

Here’s another comparatively rare breed. This dog was bred to traverse the islands of Norway, capturing puffins and climbing cliffs. This dog has six toes, and they bend over backward.

Pretty weird, I know!

Norwegian Lunderhand

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The Final Word

These are all small dogs with good temperaments. I know that some sound pretty common while others are a bit different. The only thing that they have in common is that they’re all small.

Now, as I’ve said, I’m not exactly a “small dog” person. However, when I consider these small breeds, they all look pretty good to me. So if you’re thinking about a small breed, think about these guys. You could do a lot worse.