Best Mini Dog Breeds for Families

The appeal of miniature dog breeds is clear, they allow families to have the best aspects of larger dogs that they love in a smaller more family-friendly package. And while breeding for miniature characteristics has resulted in some unfortunate consequences recently—as illustrated by the health issues faced by “teacup” dogs—there are still many mini dog breeds that are perfectly suitable for family life.

The best miniature dog breeds for families include Beagles, Bichon Frise, Boston Terriers, Mini Bernedoodles, and Shih Tzus. Each has its own characteristics in terms of grooming, temperament, activity level, yet all are well-suited for family life.

Of course, there is a lot more to know about each of the breeds highlighted above. They may all be miniature breeds—but they aren't a monolith! So, be sure to read on if you would like to learn more about these six mini breeds and why they are specifically well-suited for families.

The Best Mini Dog Breeds for Families

It should go without saying, but not all miniature breeds are the same. Some can be active and sporty outdoor dogs while others will be more sedentary and happiest when sitting in someone's lap. The six different breeds highlighted below all may share a common smaller size, but that is where the easy comparisons end.


The bond between Beagle and owner can be something beautiful—as the energetic pups can be full of love given the right home situation. The breed's capacity to love is part of the reason why they are such ideal family dogs—no one has to feel short on affection with a beagle around!

Bichon Frise

The Bichon Frise is a great choice for those that want an active family dog. This is because the Bichon is seen as an exceedingly playful (yet gentle) breed of dog. With the proper training, they should have no problem interacting with younger children and even infants.

Boston Terrier

One of the biggest problems with small dogs is that they can get skittish around children who push and play with them. This is less of a problem with Boston Terriers as they are a well-built breed that is hard to bother and very tolerant of physical affection. This, combined with their size, make the Boston Terrier a perfect choice of dog breed for active families that are short on space for another furry animal.


As part of the toy dog category, one can likely already guess that the Maltese are a (very) small breed of dog. And we mean teenie-tiny—they can reach nine inches in height and typically weigh seven pounds as mature adults. They have a charming demeanor and can be very playful dogs which makes them a great choice for families. However, one consideration with choosing a Maltese is that they can snip at younger children if they feel threatened.

Miniature Bernedoodle

A miniature Bernedoodle is the diminutive version of a cross between a Bernese Mountain Dog and a poodle.  These dogs can be very intelligent and sporty in a much smaller package than a typical Bernese, though they can still weigh in at a rather hefty 49 pounds when fully grown. (A conventional Bernese by comparison can grow up to 110 pounds as an adult.)

While these dogs typically have playful moods, they do need positive social interactions from an early age to develop this disposition. Keep an eye out for mini Bernedoodle puppies for sale, as these dogs have the best temperament for families when they are properly socialized early on.

Shih Tzu

The Shih Tzu is more than every child's favorite dog breed to say out loud, they are also remarkably well-suited dogs for family life. This is because a Shih Tzu is often just as happy with hustle and bustle of a busy household as they are being left alone for extended periods.

And while bred to be companion dogs that rarely leave the house, this doesn't mean Shih Tzu owners can skip all training, as the breed is prone to over alerting via disruptive barking if not properly trained.

Choosing a Family Dog Should be a Whole Family Affair

And there you have it, six great miniature breeds that are perfect for almost any family. From the adorable Miniature Bernedoodle to the wile Boston Terrier, there is sure to be a dog to suit almost any family's tastes. Which is why it is important that the entire family feels involved in the decision. A family dog is a family responsibility, and that means that makes everyone a stakeholder in your new furry friend's life! 

We hope you've enjoyed learning about miniature dog breeds and that you've picked up some useful information along the way. Please don't hesitate to reach out with any questions or comments, and, as always, thank you for reading!

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