The 20 Most Affectionate Small Dog Breeds

To be greeted by a loving canine companion is undoubtedly one of life’s great joys.

From loving licking to wagging tails, dogs’ body language makes it clear how loyal they are to their owners. Gina DiNardo, Executive Secretary of the American Kennel Club (AKC) believes that potential owners looking for a small breed of dog should look for traits that are tailored to their particular needs.

“While cute, fluffy pups can win the hearts of so many potential owners, there are myriad other aspects to consider when choosing a breed for your family,” DiNardo told Newsweek.

“Before bringing a new canine companion into your home, you should look for a breed, among other things, that will suit your lifestyle, living spaces, and even the ages of your children.”

She added, “Some breeds are known to be good with young children and to be sweet and loving to their humans, while others are a little more independent and reserved. No matter what, it’s important to find a breed that suits your needs. “

Here, Newsweek presents some of the AKC’s best suggestions for people looking for smaller dogs who are especially affectionate and affectionate.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

The sweet nature of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel makes this dog breed a great choice for families
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As a member of the toy group, the lovely Cavalier King Charles Spaniel breed weighs between 13 and 18 pounds and is described as affectionate, graceful, and gentle.

The AKC highlights the Cavalier’s “sweet disposition” while his heightened sensitivity “makes this breed of dog a great choice for families.”

Italian Greyhound

Italian Greyhound
The small dog breed Italian Greyhound is a playful, very affectionate companion
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The Italian Greyhound dog breed weighs approximately seven to 14 pounds and belongs to the toy group.

The AKC describes these miniature greyhounds as “playful, very affectionate companions, valued for their beauty and athleticism, and who obviously love to be close to their humans”.

Shih Tzu

Shih Tzu
The Shih Tzu is particularly fond of children
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The Shih Tzu, which translates as “little lion”, is a toy breed that is popular with families because of its open-minded, loving and particularly playful nature.

Gina DiNardo of the AKC told Newsweek, “Weighing between nine and 16 pounds and between 20 and 11 inches tall, Shih Tzus are surprisingly solid for dogs of their size. You are especially loving with children. “


The Maltese is usually very sweet and loving with families
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The gentle, charming and glamorous Maltese weighs less than seven pounds and belongs to the toy group.

The AKC describes this most sociable of all dog breeds as “typically very cute and super family-friendly”.

Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkshire Terrier
The Yorkshire Terrier is a sprightly, boyish, and affectionate small breed of dog
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Another member of the toy group, the Yorkshire Terriers, is described as a “zippy, boyish, and affectionate” breed of dog, and while this well-known breed weighs only about seven pounds, it’s a true terrier with a lively side.

DiNardo said Yorkies are “extremely affectionate to families and young children, and are also hypoallergenic, which is great for many households.”

Biewer terrier

Biewer terrier
Biewer Terriers are a fun and devoted little breed of dog
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Amusing and devoted, the Biewer Terrier weighs just four to eight pounds, meaning the petite breed is part of the toy group.

DiNardo thinks these energetic and lovable pups are “loving with their family and even great with other dogs, which makes them a quality family pet.”

French bulldog

French bulldog
The small breed of dog, the French Bulldog, is depicted as being playful, adaptable, intelligent, and very affectionate
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The French bulldog has grown in popularity in recent years and is a member of the non-athletic group, standing approximately 11 to 13 inches tall and weighing less than 28 pounds.

This lovely breed is portrayed as playful, adaptable, intelligent, and very affectionate with their families. DiNardo adds, “They’re also great with young children and usually get along well with other dogs too.”


Affenpinschers are great family dogs because they’re loyal, affectionate, and fun
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Described by the AKC as “confident, funny and fearless”, the Affenpinscher belongs to the toy group and weighs about seven to ten pounds.

DiNardo said these cheerful and mischievous companions are “great family dogs” who are loyal, loving, and entertaining.

Toy fox terrier

Toy fox terrier
The Toy Fox Terrier is considered perfect for combining the amiability of a lap dog with the tenacity of a terrier
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Although part of the toy group, the loyal and loving Toy Fox Terrier is also a true terrier that originally emerged as a barnyard ratter working dog.

Typically around 8.5 to 11.5 inches tall, this breed is considered “perfect for combining the amiability of a lap dog with the tenacity of a terrier”.

Brussels Griffon

Brussels Griffon
The Brussels Griffon small breed of dog is intelligent, sensitive, and generally warm and affectionate with families
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A distinctive former Belgian street dog, the Brussels Griffon weighs around 8 to 10 pounds and is roughly 7 to 10 inches tall.

As part of the toy group, the AKC says that the Brussels dog breed is “intelligent, sensitive, and generally warm and loving with family”.


The lively and courageous Pomeranian with a fox face is very affectionate and sweet, which makes him a great family companion
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The vivacious and bold, fox-faced Pomeranian is only six to seven inches tall and weighs only three to seven pounds – but that certainly doesn’t mean he lacks personality.

As part of the small toy group, DiNardo said these thoroughbred poms are “very loving, cute, and make great family companions”.

Bichon Frize

Bichon Frize
The Bichon Frize is a playful and curious little breed of dog known for getting along great with both their humans and their dogs
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The Bichon Frize is a playful and curious dog who is known to get along great with both his humans and dogs.

DiNardo said of the ever-cheerful breed, “Members of the non-athletic group Bichons are cute, affectionate dogs, weighing about 12 to 18 pounds.”

Border terrier

Border terrier
The Border Terrier is known to be cheerful, affectionate, and trainable at home
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Although Border Terriers are tough working dogs, this purebred breed is known by the AKC as “good natured, affectionate, and trainable at home”.

Alert and good-natured, the dogs typically weigh up to 14 pounds and are between 12 and 15 inches tall.

Boston Terrier

Boston Terrier
Boston Terriers are people-oriented, eager dogs who are warm and loving to their humans
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The non-athletic, gentle, and affectionate dog breed Boston Terrier is also friendly and amusing, weighing between 12 and 25 pounds and standing 15 to 17 inches tall.

The AKC told Newsweek, “Boston Terriers are people-centered, eager dogs who are warm and loving to their humans and get along well with young children and other dogs.”

Cotton tulle

Cotton tulle
Coton De Tulears have bright personalities, which makes them a great choice for a small pet
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The cuddly and slightly clown-like dog breed Coton De Tulear belongs to the non-athletic group, is about nine to eleven centimeters tall and weighs between eight and 15 pounds.

Cotons are very affectionate with their owners, young children, and even get on well with their dog-like conspecifics. DiNardo said, “Their happy, bright personalities make them a great choice for a pet.”


The Lowchen is a loving little breed of dog
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Often described as sociable, positive, and affectionate, the Lowchen dog breed belongs to the athletic group and can weigh as little as 15 pounds.

These purebred pets are described as “strong, brave dogs” [making] excellent companions and warm with their families. “


Pugs are charming and loving little toy dogs
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The popular, snub-nosed compact pugs are charming little toy dogs weighing around 14 to 18 pounds.

The AKC describes Pugs as “usually very nice to people and great with young children. Pugs love to love their people and to be loved in return. “

American Eskimo Dog

American Eskimo Dog
American Eskimo dogs are known for their sweet natures and happy, loving personality
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The distinctive American Eskimo Dog is a Nordic breed of dog and a member of the Spitz family.

In addition to their wonderfully white fur, these little companion dogs are known for their sweet nature and cheerful, affectionate personality, says the kennel club.

Bedlington Terrier

Bedlington Terrier
Bedlington Terriers love to be the center of their human families
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The loving and playful Bedlingtons love to be the center of their human families.

While these dogs are friendly to almost all people, this trait can make these adorable animals prefer to be the household’s only pet.


The Bolognese dog is viewed by fans as the perfect loving companion dog
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The Bolognese dog is considered by fans to be the perfect companion dog as the petite breed enjoys life by the side of their family.

Funny and curious, these intelligent and devoted dogs love to be with their household, from daily walks, accompanying people to errands, or gently playing with children.

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