Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insuranc...

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Written by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers CSR for 4 Years Leslie Kasperowicz

Melanie Musson is the fourth generation in her family to work in the insurance industry. She grew up with insurance talk as part of her everyday conversation and has studied to gain an in-depth knowledge of state-specific car insurance laws and dynamics as well as a broad understanding of how insurance fits into every person’s life, from budgets to coverage levels. She also specializes in automa...

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Reviewed by Melanie Musson
Published Insurance Expert Melanie Musson

UPDATED: Nov 17, 2020

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Typically, little kids and little dogs do not play well together.

Many small dog breeds are too fragile or don’t possess the temperament required for dealing with young children. However, if you’re looking for a family dog and don’t want a larger canine, there are small dog breeds suitable for sharing life with well-behaved kids ages 5 and older.

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1. Pug

It’s hard to resist the squished-in face of the pug. This breed is the largest member of the American Kennel Club’s toy group but still shouldn’t weigh more than 18 pounds at maturity. Of course, pugs may weigh more if overfed, but that’s another story.

These loving dogs are blessed with good, forgiving dispositions, and are sturdy enough for a little roughhousing with kids. A pug maybe your child’s best friend forever, and he’s also a decent watchdog.

He’s not suited for long walks or jogging but makes a fine house pet. Because of his moderate exercise needs, the pug is an excellent choice if you and your family live in an apartment or townhouse.

Related: 10 Things You Must Know Before You Buy Pet Insurance

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2. Boston Terrier

This dapper dog from Boston is kid-tolerant and makes a fine family pet. For show purposes, the Boston terrier is separated into three weight classes:  less than 15 pounds, between 15 and 20 pounds, and 20 to 25 pounds.

He’s also a sturdy specimen, always ready to play with his young companions.  His short coat is easy to care for and he doesn’t shed much.  In addition to kids, he gets along well with cats and other dogs.

3. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

The gentle, sweet Cavalier King Charles spaniel readily adapts to family life.  When full-grown, Cavaliers weigh between 13 and 18 pounds.  Kids are natural playmates for these affectionate little dogs.

Whether it’s romping in the backyard or snuggling on the couch watching TV, children and Cavaliers soon become inseparable. One caveat: This breed doesn’t like to be alone for long periods.  A Cavalier isn’t the best choice for the family with no one home during most of the day.

4. Havanese

The Havanese breed and kids are made for each other.  Although this Cuban national dog usually doesn’t weigh more than 15 pounds in adulthood, he’s a little powerhouse.

The Havanese is smart, playful and easily trained. He does require a fair amount of grooming if kept in a longer show coat, but a family dog can sport a “puppy clip.” Although he’s a good watchdog, the Havanese isn’t yappy.

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Final Thoughts On Best Small Breeds For Kids

If a small breed is right dog for your family and lifestyle, contact a reputable breeder. Check out the American Kennel Club or the national breed club websites for information.

A good breeder makes sure the puppy and family make a good match.  Of course, puppies aren’t the only option. Search online for breed rescue groups who may have adult dogs available. These dogs are likely housebroken and have had some basic training.

For other types of dogs, check out our full list of dog breeds.

Other articles you may find helpful: 

Is Exotic Pet Insurance Necessary? 

The Best Pet Insurance By State 

What Is Pet Insurance?

Fun Facts, Dog FAQ, And Unsolicited Dog Advice

5 Training Commands to Save Your Dog’s Life

The Ultimate Guide to Safe Foods for Dogs

Dog Health Problems

Dog Breeds


Cat Health Problems

Cat Breeds


How do you choose a dog breed? There are so many awesome options! We have compiled a complete database about all the dog breeds, their mannerisms, care, and who they do best with. Statistically, some purebreds experience more health issues than mixed breeds. There are many pet insurance companies out there and we have put together a great article about the best puppy and dog pet insurance companies in the US


Best Small Dog Breeds for Kids and Families

Most Expensive Dog Breeds

Top 5 Dog Breeds That Serve as Team Mascots


You may be interested in one of these dog breeds:


Akita Pet Insurance

Beagle Pet Insurance

Bernese Mountain Dog Pet Insurance

Bichon Frise

Bloodhound Pet Insurance

Border Collie Pet Insurance

Boston Terrier Pet Insurance

Boxer Dog Breed Information

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Pet Insurance

Chihuahua Pet Insurance

Chinese Crested

Chow Chow Pet Insurance

Cocker Spaniel Breed Information

Dachshund Pet Insurance

Doberman Pet Insurance

English Setter Pet Insurance

Fox Terrier

French Bulldog Breed Information

German Shepherd Breed Information

German Shorthaired Pointer Pet Insurance

Golden Retriever Breed Information

Great Dane Pet Insurance

Havanese Dogs | Average Cost and Care

Irish Water Spaniel

Italian Greyhound

Jack Russell Terrier Pet Insurance

Kerry Blue Terrier


Labradoodle Breed Info

Labrador Retriever Breed Information

Maltese Pet Insurance

Miniature Schnauzer Pet Insurance

Newfoundland Pet Insurance

Pit Bull Pet Insurance

Pomeranian Pet Insurance

Poodle Dog Breed Information

Portuguese Water Dog

Pug Pet Insurance

Rhodesian Ridgeback Pet Insurance

Shar-Pei Pet Insurance

Shetland Sheepdog Pet Insurance

Shih Tzu Pet Insurance

Siberian Husky Pet Insurance

Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier

St. Bernard Pet Insurance

Staffordshire Bull Terrier Pet Insurance

Vizsla Pet Insurance

Weimaraner Pet Insurance