21 Loving Dog Breeds Under 25 Lbs Who Are Great With Kids! (With Photos)


Are you searching for the perfect addition to your family who loves playing with kids, but also won’t take up too much space in your home? If so, then you’ll be thrilled by this list of 21 loving dog breeds under 25 lbs that are great with children.

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From small and fluffy poodles to energetic terriers – we’ve got a wide range of doggy companions suitable for all types of families!

Boston Terrier on leash

Keep scrolling for more details about these loveable dogs and find out which one might fit into your home the best!

Best Small Dog Breeds Great With Kids

If you’re wondering which dog breed is the best fit for your family life, it’s important to choose an undersized breed that loves children. Some small breeds are naturally affectionate and bond with families quickly, while others do NOT.

We used two criteria when choosing this list of dog breeds to show you.

  1. These breeds must be affectionate with their family (loving).
  2. These breeds must be good with children.

We based our research on the five-point scales created by the American Kennel Club. All these small dog breeds have fives, which is good when it comes to being loving towards the family and great with kids!

Choosing the right breed is essential to ensuring that you have many happy years filled with unconditional love from your four-legged companion.

21 Dog Breeds Under 25 Lbs Who Are Great With Kids!

Here is your list, smallest to largest, of future small dogs you can adopt for your home.

Toy Poodle
Toy Poodle

1. Poodle (Toy)

Toy Poodles are tiny dogs and one of the smallest of the three poodle breeds. This toy breed won’t take up too much room in your house, but they still have plenty of energy and love to play.

These little pooches have a sweet temperament and are generally well-behaved when trained properly using positive and assertive leadership.

Plus, they don’t shed much, making them the perfect family dog.

Toy Poodle Traits & Characteristics
HeightUnder 11 inches
Weight4 – 6 pounds
Shedding Level1 out of 5
Drooling Level1 out of 5
Coat Grooming Level4 out of 5
Barking Level4 out of 5
Energy Level4 out of 5
Average Life Span10 – 18 years
American Kennel Club GroupToy Group
Scale: 1 means they do it least, and 5 do it most.
Papillon dog breed
Papillon

2. Papillon

The Papillon is a cheerful little breed of dog that brings lots of love and joy to those who own them. Often called the “butterfly dog” because of its unique ears which look like butterfly wings; the Papillon’s happy personality and energy make it an ideal family pet for all kinds of owners.

While this breed is small in size, they are actually known for being brave and fearless! Their alert nature makes them excellent watchdogs too. Grooming can be kept minimal since they don’t require much brushing due to their single coat. All in all, the Papillon breed is a resilient companion that will stay close by your side all the time and be the perfect family pet!

Papillon Traits & Characteristics
Height8 – 11 inches
Weight5 – 10 pounds
Shedding Level3 out of 5
Drooling Level1 out of 5
Coat Grooming Level2 out of 5
Barking Level5 out of 5
Energy Level4 out of 5
Average Life Span14 – 16 years
American Kennel Club GroupToy Group
Scale: 1 means they do it least, and 5 do it most.
American Eskimo Dog
American Eskimo Dog

3. American Eskimo Dog

The American Eskimo dog breed is a wonderful companion for anyone looking for a loyal and devoted pet. This breed loves being around people, especially children, and enjoys playing with them and providing affection.

The American Eskimo is an intelligent breed which makes them easy to train and teach basic obedience commands. This, combined with their temperament and playful personality make them perfect family friends. Their handsome white, black, or tan coat helps the American Eskimo stand out from the crowd while they confidently move through any room they enter.

They are suitable for living indoors as well as outdoors in many varying climates, making them an all-around great option for canine lovers of all kinds!

American Eskimo Traits & Characteristics
Height9 – 12 inches
Weight6 – 10 pounds
Shedding Level3 out of 5
Drooling Level1 out of 5
Coat Grooming Level3 out of 5
Barking Level3 out of 5
Energy Level4 out of 5
Average Life Span13 – 15 years
American Kennel Club GroupNon-Sporting Group
Scale: 1 means they do it least, and 5 do it most.
Yorkshire Terrier
Yorkshire Terrier

4. Yorkshire Terrier

The Yorkshire Terrier is an energetic and fiercely loyal breed. It’s known for its long, straight coat of silky silver-blue and steel-blue hair, which makes it a popular breed among pet owners who are looking for a small but graceful pup.

As their small stature implies, the Yorkshire Terrier can adapt to nearly any living arrangement. They’re also notoriously intelligent and eager to please, making them relatively easy to train. But despite their size, don’t be fooled – they have plenty of heart and spirit!

Yorkshire Terrier Traits & Characteristics
Height7 – 8 inches
Weight7 pounds
Shedding Level1 out of 5
Drooling Level1 out of 5
Coat Grooming Level5 out of 5
Barking Level4 out of 5
Energy Level4 out of 5
Average Life Span11 – 15 years
American Kennel Club GroupToy Group
Scale: 1 means they do it least, and 5 do it most.
Havanese
Havanese

5. Havanese

The Havanese breed is a small, smart, and cuddly companion that is great for almost any family with its very sweet demeanor! This breed of dog was originally developed in Cuba.

Havanese dogs are extremely popular for families wishing for a small and gentle dog to keep around. They are intelligent, quick learners and make excellent watchdogs to alert you of visitors or strangers nearby, making them the ideal family dog.

Furthermore, their nature is one of curiosity and playfulness, which makes them incredibly fun and interactive household companions. With their affectionate personality and loyal disposition, these dogs have no trouble making friends everywhere they go!

Havanese Traits & Characteristics
Height8.5 – 11.5 inches
Weight7 – 13 pounds
Shedding Level2 out of 5
Drooling Level1 out of 5
Coat Grooming Level3 out of 5
Barking Level4 out of 5
Energy Level3 out of 5
Average Life Span14 – 16 years
American Kennel Club GroupToy Group
Scale: 1 means they do it least, and 5 do it most.
English Toy Spaniel
English Toy Spaniel

6. English Toy Spaniel

The English Toy Spaniel is a charming small-size dog breed known for its friendly and comical personality. These dogs were developed in Great Britain as companion pets, going as far back as the 16th century.

English Toy Spaniels are compact pups with a round face featuring large eyes, a plumed tail, and hanging feathered ears. The coat of this breed often comes in darker colors like black and tan or red and white, but their coats can also be blue and tan or solid white.

A friendly breed loves people, they are affectionate, loyal and very sociable, making them an ideal addition to any family.

All in all the charming English Toy Spaniel is a delightful pup sure to bring life to any home it joins!

English Toy Spaniel Traits & Characteristics
Height9 – 10 inches
Weight8 – 14 pounds
Shedding Level3 out of 5
Drooling Level2 out of 5
Coat Grooming Level3 out of 5
Barking Level2 out of 5
Energy Level3 out of 5
Average Life Span10 – 12 years
American Kennel Club GroupToy Group
Scale: 1 means they do it least, and 5 do it most.
Portuguese Podengo Pequeno
Portuguese Podengo Pequeno

7. Portuguese Podengo Pequeno

The Portuguese Podengo Pequeno is a little dog breed that is full of character and will quickly become a part of the family! They are lively, affectionate, and loving dog.

The Portuguese Podengo Pequeno can weigh between 7-13lbs, making them easy to transport for adventures! They have been around for centuries and their rustic appearance with their large pointed ears still adds charm today.

A great scrap finder when outdoors, these dogs often displayed outstanding hunting skills in past times too, rabbits in particular. You’ll rarely meet a Portuguese Podengo Pequeno without its tail wagging, as they live to please their family and are eager to show love through cuddles or walks together. This breed is an ideal companion to brighten up any home!

PPP Traits & Characteristics
Height8 – 12 inches
Weight9 – 13 pounds
Shedding Level3 out of 5
Drooling Level1 out of 5
Coat Grooming Level2 out of 5
Barking Level3 out of 5
Energy Level4 out of 5
Average Life Span12 – 15 years
American Kennel Club GroupHound Group
Scale: 1 means they do it least, and 5 do it most.
Coton de Tulear puppy
Coton de Tulear

8. Coton de Tulear

The popular Coton de Tulear dog breed is known as “the royal dog of Madagascar.” This small, athletic dog has gained a reputation for being very friendly and full of life.

The Coton de Tulear has a shaggy coat with silky fur that requires regular brushing and combing to keep it clean and looking sharp.

The Coton de Tulear is an energetic breed that loves going for walks, playing fetch, and taking part in other activities alongside their owners.

Plus, they are low on the dog bark scale 🙂

Coton de Tulear Traits & Characteristics
Height10 -11 inches
Weight9 – 15 pounds
Shedding Level2 out of 5
Drooling Level1 out of 5
Coat Grooming Level4 out of 5
Barking Level1 out of 5
Energy Level3 out of 5
Average Life Span15 – 19 years
American Kennel Club GroupNon-Sporting Group
Scale: 1 means they do it least, and 5 do it most.
Tibetan Spaniel
Tibetan Spaniel

9. Tibetan Spaniel

The Tibetan Spaniel is an adorably small, lovable breed of dog that can easily melt the heart of everyone they meet. Originally from Tibet, this breed is known for its loyalty and abundant love for their owners.

Although they may be small, they can be quite brave, standing up to much larger opponents in defense of their owners. Don’t let their size fool you; Tibetan Spaniels are smart dogs and make excellent watchdogs in addition to being wonderful companions.

As a bonus, they do not require intense exercise or loads of space and therefore are great apartment or home dwellers.

Tibetan Spaniel Traits & Characteristics
Height10 inches
Weight9 – 15 pounds
Shedding Level3 out of 5
Drooling Level2 out of 5
Coat Grooming Level2 out of 5
Barking Level3 out of 5
Energy Level3 out of 5
Average Life Span12 – 15 years
American Kennel Club GroupNon-Sporting Group
Scale: 1 means they do it least, and 5 do it most.
Shih Tzu
Shih Tzu

10. Shih Tzu

The Shih Tzu breed is one of the most popular and ancient breeds in the world. It is believed to have originated in China centuries ago, making it one of the oldest dog breeds.

The name “Shih Tzu” literally means lion dog and they are known for their lively and affectionate personalities. Shih Tzus have a long luxurious coat that requires brushing every day or two to avoid tangles and mats.

They are generally quite small at around 8-11 inches tall and weigh between 9-16 lbs when fully grown, making them the perfect lap dogs. The Shih Tzu breed is bursting with character and has a very gentle nature – a perfect addition to family life!

Shih Tzu Traits & Characteristics
Height9 – 10.5 inches
Weight9 – 16 pounds
Shedding Level1 out of 5
Drooling Level1 out of 5
Coat Grooming Level4 out of 5
Barking Level3 out of 5
Energy Level3 out of 5
Average Life Span10 – 18 years
American Kennel Club GroupToy Group
Scale: 1 means they do it least, and 5 do it most.
Rat Terrier

11. Rat Terrier

The Rat Terrier is a breed of very loyal and friendly dogs that can make wonderful companions! Their size varies, but they usually stand anywhere between 10-18 inches tall and weigh around 10-25 pounds.

They have lots of energy, making them great for active families or those who love going on regular walks/runs.

Rat Terriers don’t mind playing with kids so they make great additions to any family with children. They’ve also been known to be a bit stubborn, which means training them from an early age may be necessary.

Although they take a bit of extra care and attention to ensure their obedience, this loyal pup is sure to bring companionship and love into your life!

Rat Terrier Traits & Characteristics
Height (Miniature Version)10 – 13 inches
Height (Standard Version)13 – 18 inches
Weight10 – 25 pounds
Shedding Level3 out of 5
Drooling Level1 out of 5
Coat Grooming Level2 out of 5
Barking Level3 out of 5
Energy Level4 out of 5
Average Life Span12 – 18 years
American Kennel Club GroupTerrier Group
Scale: 1 means they do it least, and 5 do it most.
Norfolk Terrier
Norfolk Terrier

12. Norfolk Terrier

The Norfolk Terrier is an incredibly friendly and loyal little dog. Standing between 9 and 10 inches tall, this pup is great at adapting to all kinds of households. Highly independent and alert, it is no surprise that this breed excels as a watchdog. Its curiosity can also lead to mischief, which makes for a fun-loving companion for the right owner.

They are known for their dense textured coats, typically reddish in color with wiry strands on the face that make up its trademark mustache and beard. Norfolks need vigorous exercise to burn off excess energy, so they are not recommended for an inactive person or those without a large backyard.

If you want an endlessly entertaining little friend with an adorable personality, the Norfolk Terrier may be the perfect fit!

Norfolk Terrier Traits & Characteristics
Height9 – 10 inches
Weight11 – 12 pounds
Shedding Level3 out of 5
Drooling Level1 out of 5
Coat Grooming Level2 out of 5
Barking Level4 out of 5
Energy Level4 out of 5
Average Life Span12 – 16 years
American Kennel Club GroupTerrier Group
Scale: 1 means they do it least, and 5 do it most.
Miniature Schnauzer

13. Miniature Schnauzer

The Miniature Schnauzer is a delightful and intelligent breed of dog, originally bred to be an excellent rat catcher and farm assistant. This friendly breed is both spunky and loyal, often making them the center of attention.

They boast a thick double coat that comes in salt & pepper, black & silver, or solid black and has fairly long legs for their compact frame.

An overall loving and social companion, they tend to be assertive with strangers but remain devoted to their family throughout their lifetime – perfect for anyone looking for a devoted friend!

Miniature Schnauzer Traits & Characteristics
Height12 – 14 inches
Weight11 – 20 pounds
Shedding Level3 out of 5
Drooling Level2 out of 5
Coat Grooming Level4 out of 5
Barking Level5 out of 5
Energy Level3 out of 5
Average Life Span12 – 15 years
American Kennel Club GroupTerrier Group
Scale: 1 means they do it least, and 5 do it most.
Norwich Terrier
Norwich Terrier

14. Norwich Terrier

Norwich Terriers, with their perky personalities and spunky character, are lively little dogs that make excellent companions! These terriers were originally bred in England to corner rats and other small animals on farms.

Today, they are an active breed known for their intelligence and loyalty – a Norwich Terrier will always have your back (or front!). They have a distinctive look with prick ears, a low-set tail and a tight coat of wiry fur.

While small in size these feisty canines are full of energy and love nothing more than spending quality time with their family members. Whether you’re taking them for brisk walks or long runs, they’ll keep up with your pace!

Norwich Terrier Traits & Characteristics
Height10 inches
Weight12 pounds
Shedding Level3 out of 5
Drooling Level1 out of 5
Coat Grooming Level2 out of 5
Barking Level4 out of 5
Energy Level4 out of 5
Average Life Span12 – 15 years
American Kennel Club GroupTerrier Group
Scale: 1 means they do it least, and 5 do it most.
American Hairless Terrier

15. American Hairless Terrier

The American Hairless Terrier is a delightful breed of dog – they’re energetic, affectionate and completely hairless! This small-sized breed has its origins in the USA back in the 1970s. Though similar to Rat Terriers, American Hairless Terriers are a distinct breed and have their own personality traits.

One advantage of owning an American Hairless Terrier is they’re easy to groom as they don’t need regular bathing or trimming due to having no coat.

Owners of this breed should be aware that their pet could experience itchy skin, which could require medical attention. If you’re looking for a loyal and lively companion who’s ideal for multi-dog households and loves nothing more than a good play session with the humans around them, then the American Hairless Terrier could be the perfect dog for you!

American Hairless Terrier Traits & Characteristics
Height12 – 16 inches
Weight12 – 16 pounds
Shedding Level1 out of 5
Drooling Level1 out of 5
Coat Grooming Level1 out of 5
Barking Level3 out of 5
Energy Level3 out of 5
Average Life Span14 – 16 years
American Kennel Club GroupTerrier Group
Scale: 1 means they do it least, and 5 do it most.
Bichon Frise
Bichon Frise

16. Bichon Frise

The Bichon Frise is a wonderful breed of dog that has been an affectionate favorite among owners for centuries. It is a small, white, fluffy breed with a gentle and playful nature.

They are also surprisingly smart and make excellent companions for the elderly or for families with kids. Bichons are usually very social and eager to please – making them among one of the most trainable breeds available.

Plus, they require minimal grooming, which makes them ideal for people who don’t have much time to dedicate towards dog maintenance. All in all, it’s no wonder why so many people are loving these lovable pooches!

Bichon Frise Traits & Characteristics
Height9.5 – 11.5 inches
Weight12 – 18 pounds
Shedding Level1 out of 5
Drooling Level1 out of 5
Coat Grooming Level5 out of 5
Barking Level3 out of 5
Energy Level4 out of 5
Average Life Span14 – 15 years
American Kennel Club GroupNon-Sporting Group
Scale: 1 means they do it least, and 5 do it most.
Three adorable Boston terrier puppies
Boston Terriers

17. Boston Terrier

The Boston Terrier is a friendly and cheerful breed of dog that can make a great addition to any home. Known as the American Gentleman, these distinctive little dogs sport tuxedo-like markings, the breed has a short muzzle and erect ears.

Despite their bulldog-like appearance, Boston Terriers are very intelligent dogs. They are energetic companion dogs that love to play with an active family and loves attention. They require plenty of exercise in order to stay healthy, but are relatively easy to groom.

Although they are generally friendly with people and other animals, they can be stubborn at times. Owning a Boston Terrier can be incredibly rewarding – you’ll get tons of affection from your four-legged family member!

NOTE: The Boston is a brachycephalic dog breed, which means they have a short nose like the pug. This can make them susceptible to injury in extremely hot and cold temperatures.

Read: Love Boston Terrier Puppies? Dog Breed Facts, Features, and Traits!

Boston Terrier Traits & Characteristics
Height15 – 17 inches
Weight12 – 25 pounds
Shedding Level2 out of 5
Drooling Level1 out of 5
Coat Grooming Level2 out of 5
Barking Level2 out of 5
Energy Level4 out of 5
Average Life Span11 – 15 years
American Kennel Club GroupNon-Sporting Group
Scale: 1 means they do it least, and 5 do it most.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

18. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is one of the most beloved companion dog breeds. These sweet-tempered pups come with an affectionate and devoted personalities, making them popular for families with children and other pets alike. Their curious nature makes them great for long walks, sniffing out new scents, and learning tricks!

Cavaliers are gentle souls that wouldn’t hurt a fly and love to show off their mellow personalities by cuddling up close to their owners. This breed loves to be around its people, making them ideal companions if you work from home or need a lap warmer on cold days.

So, if you’re looking for a low-maintenance pup who will happily join you on all your adventures, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is definitely worth considering!

CKCS Breed Traits & Characteristics
Height12 – 13 inches
Weight13 – 18 pounds
Shedding Level2 out of 5
Drooling Level2 out of 5
Coat Grooming Level2 out of 5
Barking Level3 out of 5
Energy Level3 out of 5
Average Life Span12 – 15 years
American Kennel Club GroupToy Group
Scale: 1 means they do it least, and 5 do it most.
Pug puppy
Pug

19. Pug

Pug dogs are known for their lively and loving personalities, and they make great additions to any family. Pugs have an adorable face, with deep wrinkles that give them their friendly, endearing expression. They are small-sized dogs, weighing between 14-18 pounds when fully grown. Their short coat comes in fawn or black.

Besides being a companion dog, Pugs are especially good with children and have been bred as such since the breed was first recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1885. They require minimal exercise but love playtime just as any other pup would.

So if you’re looking for a faithful and lovable friend that will bring joy into your home, reach out to a breeder near you because pug puppies might just be the perfect pet for you!

Pug Breed Traits & Characteristics
Height10 – 13 inches
Weight14 – 18 pounds
Shedding Level4 out of 5
Drooling Level1 out of 5
Coat Grooming Level2 out of 5
Barking Level1 out of 5
Energy Level3 out of 5
Average Life Span13 – 15 years
American Kennel Club GroupToy Group
Scale: 1 means they do it least, and 5 do it most.
Lowchen dog
Lowchen

20. Löwchen

The Löwchen, sometimes referred to as the Little Lion Dog, is an adorable and loyal companion. This small breed hails from Europe and even has its own set of unique characteristics. Pronounced “lerv-chun,” these dogs typically weigh 15 pounds and have moderate exercise needs.

As with most breeds, they do require regular grooming and brushing – especially given their long locks!

Nowadays, Löwchens are as outgoing and loving to their families as they were in 16th century France where they have their roots. They make excellent watchdogs who remain loyal and alert around their people, yet remain calm when meeting new visitors.

If you’re looking for a furry companion that is dependable, devoted, and fun-loving, the Löwchen might be the perfect family canine for you!

Lowchen Breed Traits & Characteristics
Height12 – 14 inches
Weight15 pounds
Shedding Level2 out of 5
Drooling Level1 out of 5
Coat Grooming Level2 out of 5
Barking Level3 out of 5
Energy Level3 out of 5
Average Life Span13 -15 years
American Kennel Club GroupNon-Sporting Group
Scale: 1 means they do it least, and 5 do it most.
West Highland White Terrier
West Highland Terrier

21. West Highland White Terrier

The West Highland White Terrier, or “Westie”, is a shining example of Scotland’s charming terriers. Standing an average of 10-11 inches tall and weighing between 15-20 pounds, this little dog brimming with spunk puts on quite a show!

The Westie is part of the Terrier family of dog breeds known for its white coat and friendly personality – its love of playtime makes it great for families with children. As an added bonus, they are low maintenance in the grooming department. With enough exercise and love, this loyal pup will give any home plenty of joy and entertainment!

West Highland W.T. Traits & Characteristics
Height11 inches
Weight15 – 20 pounds
Shedding Level3 out of 5
Drooling Level1 out of 5
Coat Grooming Level3 out of 5
Barking Level5 out of 5
Energy Level4 out of 5
Average Life Span13 -15 years
American Kennel Club GroupTerrier Group
Scale: 1 means they do it least, and 5 do it most.

How to choose a dog breed for Your Family?

Choosing a dog breed can be a daunting task, especially when looking to fit the needs of an entire family. It’s important to examine what each member needs in a companion and how their decisions align with the characteristics of the breed you are considering.

Do some research into those breeds in which you have an interest and consider behaviors, temperaments, size and grooming requirements when deciding which one is right for your family.

To make sure you’re making the best decision possible, read up on reviews written by people who actually have that breed of dog! Of course, at the end of the day, your family’s instincts should be your guide – after all, there’s no better judge than yourselves as to who will fit into your home perfectly and become part of your new furry family!

Thinking about getting a Boston Terrier? Here is my personal review of parenting my Boston Bella, Donnie’s Personal Review Of Owning A Boston Terrier.

What dogs are quiet, small, and good with kids?

The Pug and Coton de Tulear dog breeds are two small dog breeds that are not only great with kids but also minimal barkers.

What is the calmest small dog that is great with children?

The calmest small dog breed that is great with children is the Shih Tzu.

Out of our list of 21 small dog breeds that are great with children, the Shih Tzu is low on the scale when it comes to their energy level and mental stimulation requirements. So add this breed to your shortlist of docile and cute dogs to get.

Chihuahua
Chihuahua

What small dog breed is NOT great with kids?

A Chihuahua is one of the worst dog breeds to get with small children.

According to the American Kennel Club, there are a few breeds that are not great with kids, but when it comes to small dogs, the Chihuahua dog breed, in general, ranks the lowest when it comes to being able to tolerate and have patience for kids.

Final Thoughts

With all of these cuties to pick from, there’s bound to be the right pup for you and your family. Have fun with the decision-making process and remember, no matter what size dog you bring home, it will fill your life with an abundance of love!

Still, need ideas for your next dog breed? Making your decision based on the size of the dog breed? Check out this chart showing you EVERY DOG BREED in the American Kennel Club based on weight and ranked from the absolute smallest to the largest dog breed. Click here, Dog Breed Weight Chart – This Is How BIG Will Your PUPPY Be! (Small to Large)

Donnie Gardner

Donnie Gardner is the owner of the Boston Terrier Society. He has been raising Bella the Boston since 2010. He resides in Kansas with his wife, daughter, and Bella. His favorite activities are hanging out with family, traveling, running (but has bad knees), and reading non-fiction books.

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