Choosing a Dog Breed: More Small Dogs and Mixed-Breeds

I love old movies with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. In ‘Shall We Dance’, Fred and Ginger sail across the Atlantic on the Queen Anne. Ginger stopped at the busy kennel of the ship and took out the dog. As Fred, Ginger and their dog walk on the deck, the little dog steps on his sleeve and ruins his sweater. How charming! Standing on the rail, Ginger holds her soft-faced dog as Fred sings “I’ve Got Beginner’s Luck.” Can you identify the breed of dog? My personal opinion is that this cute dog is a Maltipoo rather than a Havanese or Bichon Frise. Agree? There are many cute little dog breeds. Some of the best little dogs are not purebreds, but mixes technically called crossbreeds. Before you buy or adopt a small dog, it’s a good idea to research different breeds so you know which dog is right for you.


Maltipoo – Malti-Poo is a cross because it is a cross between 2 pure dog breeds: Maltese and Poodle. These adorable little dogs often have wagging tails. Characteristics in mixed breeds are less predictable than in pure breeds. Be sure to ask a reputable breeder or shelter about the qualities you are looking for in a dog before you purchase a mixed breed dog. The Maltipoo is an active and affectionate pet. They are good with other pets, but not with small children. They require regular grooming. Maltipoos are good apartment dogs if they get enough exercise.

Morkie- Also called Yorktese, this dog is a cross between a Maltese and a Yorkshire Terrier. The Morkie is very small, loving and loyal. With training, they can get along with other animals and older children. They need regular grooming. The Yorktese can be an apartment dog as long as it can be exercised regularly. They make better watchdogs than Maltipoos.

Puggle- The Puggle is larger than the Maltipoo and often has the characteristics of beagles and pugs. Puggles are good for children and other animals. They love human interaction and lots of exercise. These dogs require regular grooming and are vigilant watchdogs.

Cockapoo- These dogs have a beautiful face framed by curly and fluffy ears. They are half cocker spaniel and half poodle. Poodle crossbreeds are often popular because poodles do not shed so they are good for people with allergies. The Cockapoo needs regular grooming, but is a very low-maintenance dog. Very playful and affectionate, this dog is a popular pet. They are good with children and other pets. Like poodles and cocker spaniels, Cockapoos are highly intelligent. He loves sports. An apartment can be OK as long as the Cockapoo walks often.

Shih-Poo- The little Shihpoo has the cute eyes and face of a Shih Tzu with the little curly hair of a poodle. They prefer older children and can get along with other animals with training. Loyal and loving, they make great little dogs. Shih-Poo needs regular grooming. This dog loves attention and does well in an apartment.

Goldendoodle- This dog is a cross between a golden retriever and a poodle. They can be small-medium to large. Contact quality breeders about their size. It is usually a beautiful cream or golden color although it can be found with a red coat. Goldendoodles are intelligent and versatile dogs like poodles and golden retrievers. They perform well both indoors and outdoors. They require grooming and exercise, but are less expensive than golden retrievers. Usually, they shed less. Goldendoodles are great with children and other pets.

Westiepoo- This adorable dog is a cross between a West Highland White Terrier and a poodle. They look similar to the Maltipoo except they are larger, almost a medium sized dog. Also the Westiepoo 50/50 cross will have a coat that is only white. They are good with older children and other pets with training. Regular grooming is recommended. Very less shedding, they are good for allergy sufferers. They also love attention, which means they don’t like to be left alone. The Westiepoo can live in an apartment with regular exercise.

Maltipom- This very small dog can look like a soft white stuffed animal. A cross between Maltese and Pomeranian, they can also be found with other colors. These dogs are spirited and loyal, making great little watchdogs. The Maltipom is good with older children and can get along with other pets with training. He loves attention and does well in the apartment. They need regular grooming.

Pure Breeds

Havanese – Another adorable little dog with a long, fluffy tail is the Havanese. They often have longer coats giving them a sheepish appearance. The National Dog of Cuba, this breed is becoming more popular in the US and around the world. They are great family pets because they get along well with children and other pets. They require regular grooming, but less shedding so good for people with allergies. The Havanese can be an apartment dog as long as it can be exercised periodically.

Lhasa Apso- This distinctive dog is often seen with a long coat that hangs to the ground on all sides. This breed comes from Tibet where they guard Buddhist monasteries. They are playful and loving dogs, but they are wary of strangers making good watchdogs. They are not good with small children, and in general, are not around other pets. Lhasa Apso needs regular grooming. This breed prefers to be an indoor breed and can be an apartment dog.

Bichon Frise- These dogs are cute and small with faces often framed by soft white hair. This breed is often a favorite of French and European nobility. They are fun and playful dogs that make excellent family pets. This breed is good with children and other animals. They can be apartment dogs if they get enough exercise. The only downside is that it requires daily grooming.

Fox Terrier- The Toy Fox Terrier is the smallest variety of this breed while the Smooth Fox Terrier is larger but can still be called a small dog. They are generally white with a dark pattern on the head and have high, pointed ears. He is a loyal dog, but does not like small children. Different toys are better with other pets, even if only with training. This dog only needs minimal grooming. If they exercise regularly, they can become apartment dogs.

Papillon – This distinctive little dog has a white flame in the middle of the forehead and large ears and wings. This beautiful species is energetic, but affectionate. They do better with older children. Papillon can be an apartment dog, but loves outdoor sports. They require regular grooming.

Miniature Bull Terrier- This dog has the big, long face of Spuds MacKenzie, but a smaller version. This dog is energetic and protective. They are not good for small children and at least a small yard is recommended. Grooming requirements are minimal, but daily exercise is recommended.

Sealyham Terrier- This handsome dog has a dense coat and distinctive beard. Usually white in color, they are a spirited, but calm breed for a terrier. He is good with older children and is a good watchdog. This species requires regular maintenance. He can be an apartment dog with regular exercise.

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