19 Small Calm Dog Breeds You Will Love

By John Martin - May 23, 2021

Good things come in small bundles of joy! There is nothing more cherishing than finding a pint-sized companion waiting for you at home as you come after a long day at work.

A puppy, when raised with patience and love, grows to become a calm and loving dog. However, certain dog breeds are more relaxed in nature than other breeds, making them simply irresistible. Let’s explore 19 of the best small calm dog breeds to keep you company.

French Bulldog

French Bulldog on table

Combining even-temperament, adaptability, and playfulness in a compact size, you get an adorable and lovely French Bulldog.

The easy-going breed is goofy and intelligent, who loves to snuggle up on its owner’s lap. Further, the Frenchies have a mischievous, humorous nature and gentle nature.

Being a quiet dog, French Bulldog does not grow more than 13 inches which makes them suitable for apartment dwellers.


The undeniably charming dog has a compact yet fairly muscular and well-proportioned body.

The Frenchies come in different colors like white, cream, and fawn. Some might also have black masks and brindle patterns. Also, their super cute squished face and dark brown eyes will take your heart away in a second.


French bulldogs are well-known as companion pets when socialized. It is easy to train the dogs, especially when you give them rewards as treats.

The mischievous and humorous nature will want them to have an owner who can play along with them. Besides, Frenchies are known for their lovely spirit and kind disposition.


Pug sitting on couch

The Pug is recognized among the Toy dog breed due to its compact size. Moreover, these are the clowns of the canine world due to their humorous nature.

Pugs love human companionship, and they are affectionate and playful dogs who can get along with first-time pet owners.

It’s a common belief that their name was derived from the Latin word, “fist,” as their face has a close resemblance to the human fist.


The flat, round, comical face and deep wrinkles around the dark, big eyes will make you love and adore the canine even more.

The Pug usually weighs about 20 pounds. Further, the moles on their cheeks are the “beauty spots.”


In terms of personality, the Pugs are mischievous, playful, charming, loyal, and very affectionate. Also, they are willful and intelligent, making training slightly a challenge.

Pugs take some time to get along with kids and require proper socialization. However, they can mix well with other dogs.

Pugs are in constant need of attention. So, a pug will always sleep with you, follow you around, and look for occasions to be with you.

English Toy Spaniel

English Toy Spaniels posing

English Toy Spaniel is the third toy breed that American Kennel Club recognized after Pug and Yorkshire Terrier.

The dog is amongst the most reclusive and quieter breeds showing a playful spark. Usually, a single person breeds and loves to stay inside as they can’t handle extreme weather conditions.

The relaxed puppy is filled with excitement and energy when surrounded by children. Besides, the breed is well-suitable for calm individuals living in a lovely apartment.


As for the appearance, the dog has a friendly and quite affectionate appearance. Further, they have silky and long fur.

The sturdiness and compact size, along with the fluffy face, shows their pleasant demeanor and distinct character. The coat colors vary from tan to black.


English Toy Spaniel is among the least active and happy to relax around in your home on the couch. Further, the gentle and calm dog gets along very well with other dogs and children.

The dogs make excellent watchdogs as they are cautious of strangers. Plus, they need socialization to control their aggressive and snappy behavior towards other dogs.

You will enjoy training them as they are quick learners. However, they suffer from separation anxiety when left alone for a long time.


Well brushed Maltese dog posing

All you need is a fearless, calm, and gentle dog breed to give you company all the time. The royal white coat makes the Maltese dog look like a noble breed.

The extremely charming dog makes excellent watchdogs and competitors in various sports like tracking, rally, obedience, and agility.

So, the dogs are in rightful terms can be called a breed with beauty and brains. Size is just for the show; their energy and spunky personality is unparalleled.


The sprightly demeanor, dark eyes, cute black button nose, and white fluffy fur make them look like a small stuffed toy.

The dog can grow no longer than 9 inches and weighs about 6 pounds at maximum. The smooth and silky white tresses require regular baths and daily brushing to maintain the royal look.


The charming pup is trainable, affectionate, smart, and very gentle with humans and other dogs. Moreover, they can also get along with cats upon early socialization.

Maltese love human affection and attention. They will suffer from separation anxiety when left alone for a long time. It can result in destructive and mischievous behavior.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Inheriting the ancestor’s sporty nature, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel makes an excellent companion dog.

The dog is energetic and loves to play around in the house. Among the toy breeds, Cavaliers are the largest and athletic dog breed.

However, some show the restful nature, which makes them great therapy dogs and family pets.


The dog weighs about 13-18 pounds and reaches 13 inches in height. They have a gentle expression on their face with dark brown adorable eyes.

The soft, long, and silky coat come with four beautiful color combinations. It includes tan and black, ruby, tricolor, and white and red.


Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is an overly affectionate dog who loves attention from its owners. You will not find a hint of aggressiveness and shyness in their behavior.

Further, they can get along with children, making them pleasurable family pets.

The willing and intelligent dogs are easy to train, especially when providing positive reinforcement and food rewards.

Also See: 21 of the Most Popular Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Mix Breeds

Japanese Chin

Japanese Chin

Also known as Japanese Spaniels, Japanese Chin belongs to a distinctive ancient and royal heritage. The breed was originated in China and later become recognized in Japan.

The Japanese Chin has a cat-like appearance, and they love to sit and spend time curling into a ball in their owner’s lap.

The dog is playful, mild-mannered, dainty, and elegant. Even novice pet parents find it easy to care for this adorable dog.


The Japanese Chin has a broad muzzle, wide-set eyes, and a round forehead. Further, the small V-shaped ears are set below the skull’s crown and covered with hair.

The dog has an abundant coat which requires more maintenance. Besides, the white coat is usually covered with colored patches.


The charming and loving personality would want you to shower all your love on the little canine. Also, you will love their loyalty towards the master.

The dog does not have a habit of barking so that you can expect playful, graceful, and mild-mannered behavior.

Apart from that, you can also train your dog on a few tricks to perform. However, you need to be careful that they do not develop Small Dog Syndrome, resulting in various behavioral problems.


Pekingese dog breed

The Pekingese is the first bred pampered companion dogs for Chinese Emperors. The dog breed also goes by the name lion dogs due to the stocky build and long manes.

The adaptable and highly affectionate dog can live with novice pet parents and apartment dwellers with ease.

The dogs tend to stick around their human owner. Due to their small size, they are best fit in a home with adults, and small kids might cause harm to the little canines.


The dog breed has the perfect snuggling size to fit on the owner’s lap. Further, they can reach the maximum height of nine inches and 14 pounds weight.

The adorable dog has a muscular and stocky build which is covered under the luscious fur. They usually have golden-colored fur, while some also come in gray and blue shades.


At first, you will find Pekingese slightly snooty and aloof, but when you get along with them, they are full of personality, smart, and funny.

The breed knows how to love its owner and make them feel special.

Generally, the breed is very calm and relaxed. But, they can sense a threat and will alarm you with their persistent barking.

Shiba Inu

Shiba Inu smiling

Originally, Shiba Inu was employed to hunt wild boars and flush birds. Shiba Inu is among the six native breeds in Japan including, Shiba, Shikoku, Jai, Hokkaido Kishu, and Akita.

The cat-like agility and spirited personality are what make them great companion dogs.


The compact dog is no less impressive and adorable features, wanting you to love them even more.

The attractive double coat comes with a straight, stiff outer coat and soft undercoat. The color of the coat varies from red to black and tan markings. Further, the undercoat is gray, cream, or buff.


The bold and brave little canine is a highly trainable and loving dog. You will be amazed to know that they love to keep themselves clean all the time.

Also, they are very calm and quiet dogs that get along with children and other dogs without socializing.

You need to be cautious while taking off the leash as they chase small animals and cars.

Also See: 15 Amazing Dog Breeds with a High Prey Drive


Bolognese getting groomed

The little pooch knows how to be crafty and get their things done. So, you need to be careful not to get manipulated by the furry canine.

The breed’s history goes back to the 12th century, known as the companion dogs for Europeans. Now, the breed has become popular in the United States for its easily trainable, smart, and quick-to-learn behavior.

The breed can conveniently adapt to apartment life. That’s because they are not very high-energy dogs.


The square and muscular build breed are covered with a fluffy white coat. Sometimes, the full coat covers their eyes, making it difficult to see.

The male bolo can grow to about 12.5 inches, whereas the female goes to 12 inches. Further, the maximum weight they can gain is 14 pounds.


The Bolo breed is the most cheerful and playful dog asking for constant love and affection from the owners.

The breed loves to play around children, but you should be cautious and supervise their socialization.

The dog does not have the yappy bark like most small dogs to expect a calm environment in your house.


Pembroke Welsh Corgi

In Welsh, Corgi means dwarf dog because they usually stand between 10-12 inches. The short stature is what makes them exceptionally charming.

Corgis come in two separate breeds, Cardigan Welsh Corgi and Pembroke Welsh Corgi. The most popular among the two is Pembroke Welsh Corgi.

Corgis are inherited with trouble-shooting and logistical skills due to their herding ancestry.


Both the type of Corgis have the similar body build with a long body and shorter legs. They have a thick and short double coat, a coarser outer coat, and a weather-resistant undercoat.

The only difference between Cardigan Welsh Corgi and Pembroke Welsh Corgi is their tail. The former has a longer tail, while the latter’s tail is often cropped and bobbed at birth.


The Corgi is a highly intelligent, extremely active, and willful breed. Their sturdy and protective nature makes them obedient watchful dogs.

The dog is wary of strangers and requires proper socialization and training from a very early age.

Besides, the breed wants its leaders or owners to adopt a loving and firm approach and maintain a calm leadership quality. It will help them avoid over-protective behaviors.

Boston Terrier

Boston Terrier

What’s there not to love about the affectionate, gentle, and composed Boston Terrier? That’s the reason Boston Terriers are also known as “American Gentleman because of their tuxedo markings.”

Boston Terrier is a cross between English White Terrier and English Bulldog.

No matter where you want to go, the dog will happily tag along with you. The breed is intelligent and agile to compete in agility sports and can learn various tricks.


Boston Terrier has a strong muscular build with erect ears and fairly large eyes. Their straight, shiny, and sleek coats have white marking patterns resembling a tuxedo.

The breed does belong to a distinct class of dog names Brachycephalic. The body and lower jaw are in proportion, while the short upper jaw gives a push in the appearance of the face.


Boston Terriers are known for being highly intelligent, but their lively nature is what makes them exceptionally adorable.

They love to amuse people and get along well with children with their appealing and unique antics. Though they are even-tempered and gentle, they can show the energetic behavior of their ancestors.

Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkshire Terrier

The Yorkies are small breed dogs displaying tenacious personalities, making them the widely popular dog breed across the world.

The Yorkshire Terriers are loyal, quite vocal, and protective by nature. Don’t judge them with their small size; the dogs can make great watchdogs.


The smallest dog breed measures 7 to 10 inches tall, and its weight does not exceed 7 pounds. The compact and high head carriage make them look confident with their well-proportioned body.

The floor-length, straight, and fine coat is the distinctive characteristic of Yorkies that set them apart. Further, their fur resembles human hair, and that’s why the breed is semi-hypoallergenic.


Yorkies are in constant need of stimulation, so daily walks and fun games are necessary to maintain their energy levels.

Their exceptionally cute appearance can give them the freedom to manipulate you. So, early training and socialization is the solution to raise a sweet-natured and calm dog.

Miniature Schnauzer

Miniature Schnauzer

The Miniature Schnauzer is a dog with an extroverted temperature, affectionate, and intelligent personality in its small body.

If you have a Miniature Schnauzer at your home, then you are never alone. They know exactly how to amuse you and keep you company.


Their boxy shape is easy to recognize them as a distinct breed. Also, a wire-haired, medium-to-long coat grows quickly to give a shaggy appearance.

The color varies from solid white, silver and black, pepper and salt, to solid black. However, American Kennel Club recognizes solid white as a controversial color.

The breed is hypoallergenic, which makes them suitable for families where shedding is a problem.


For novice pet parents, Miniature Schnauzer can be challenging to handle. Despite that, they are extremely loyal and follow you closely wherever you go.

Their territorial nature is triggered whenever strangers are around. So, they will alarm you even when they hear the slightest movement.

Also, they are born with a tendency to hunt. Therefore, you need to be careful when you let them off the leash, as they will chase any mouse or bunny.


Havanese sitting in the grass

The cuddly size, expressive eyes, and silky, long hair of Havanese have won the heart of many admirers.

The dog is nicknamed “Velcro Dog” because they never seem to let go of their owner’s side. Further, the dog is an expert in canine careers and various dog sports.

Despite the small size, Havenese is a high-maintenance pup that requires you to groom regularly to maintain their silky coat.


The maximum weight the dog breed can gain is about 13 pounds, and the maximum height they can reach is 11 ½ inches for both females and male dogs.

The Havanese dog breed has a double coat that is both light and soft-textured. Also, the fur is wavy and long. The fur comes in various colors, including Havana brown, tobacco, mahogany, fawn, white, and black.


Havanese thrives on human companionship and will amuse you with their goofy antics.

However, the breed’s temperament is usually affected by various factors such as socialization, heredity, and training.

Those with nice temperaments will approach people with great love and affection. Early socialization will help to meet new people and grow up as a well-mannered dog.

Also See: Top 17 Dog Breeds With Floppy Ears

Shetland Sheepdog

Shetland Sheepdog closeup

Initially, the canine was used to guard the Shetland Islands to keep the sheep and birds out of the farm. Now, they excel in dog sport and make a great family companion.

The breed is eager to please and respond well to socialization and training. Besides, they are protective and sensitive, so you should not leave them alone for a long time.


The breed is compact, strong, and agile. Their ears are small and erect with forward falling tips.

The double, thick coats protect them from extreme weather conditions. The undercoat is woolly and dense, while the outer coat is straight and long.


The sweet, pleasing, and gentle personality of the dog make them affectionate and playful dog. Combined with intelligence, the breed excels at obedience and agility training.

The Shelties are excellent watchdogs as they are wary of strangers. Also, they have strong herding instincts making them herd around children, squirrels, and rabbits.

Also Read: 21 Cute Shetland Sheepdog Mix Breeds

Lhasa Apso

Sleepy Lhasa Apso dog

Lhasa Apso is highly regarded as the watchdogs in monasteries and palaces in Tibetan areas. Now, they have found their place in many family homes to protect their owner from any impending danger.

The breed is independent and strong such that it can easily adapt to any living condition. However, consistent training is needed to regulate their gentle behavior.


Being a loyal guardian for many years, Lhasa Apso thinks of them as big and strong build dogs. Moreover, their body is long compared to the overall height.

The double coat is dense and covering their whole body. The most popular colors of the coat are honey, gold, and cream. However, some dogs have black and white and multi-shades of brown-colored coats.


Lhasa Apso is a devoted and spirited dog showing its affectionate and protective nature to the masters. The dogs make great watchdogs due to their keen sense of hearing.

The dogs might develop separation anxiety when left alone for a long time. Also, the breed grows impatient around children if not socialized properly.

Bichon Frise

Bichon Frise

Bichon Frise is another cheerful dog breed who loves to give love and is donned with lots of mischiefs. If you look at the dog, they almost give an appearance of a stuffed toy.

Bichon Frise can make the most enthusiastic and happiest companion due to their intelligent and playful nature. Also, they can live well with apartment dwellers and novice pet parents.


Bichon Frise stands somewhere between 9.5 to 11.5 inches tall and weighs about 18 pounds. They have black noses and eyes and are always covered with a white dense coat.

The drool-free tendencies and low-shedding coat make them a good companion dog for people who are allergic to dogs.


Bichon Frise’s only goal is to make everyone around them happy with their amusing antics.

The quick ability to learn makes them easy to train. Further, the dog gets along well with other dogs as well as cats as long as you are providing them with enough attention.

Brussels Griffon

Brussels Griffon

Brussels Griffon is a Belgian Street dog who is bred originally to kill and hunts rats. The air of self-importance, sense of humor, intelligence, and lively nature make them highly lovable creatures.

Despite the sheer size, the dog is super energetic and needs dedicated playtime to maintain those energy levels.


The toy breed cannot grow more than 10 inches in height and weighs just 10 pounds. They are known for the rough-coat, longer shaggy, and bearded furs.

The eyes of this small breed are highly expressive, large, and black. Some might have blue eyes too. You will find the dog breed in a variety of color and color combinations, as a mix of reddish-brown and black, tan and black, black, and red. Some even say this dog breed looks like an ewok from Star Wars.


The highly intelligent dogs with exceptional energy are easily trainable and suitable for agility and obedience sports.

The dogs are not snappy but act as guardians to protect their owners. Also, they get along well with other children, cats, and dogs.

Shih Tzu

Shih Tzu posing the the garden

The bred which is bred only to become your companion at the toughest times is Shih Tzu. The dog breed is outgoing, happy, and highly affectionate who would love to follow you around.

Now, people have started training Shih Tzu for various agility, obedience, and rally competitions.


The beautiful and adorable toy breed weighs about 9 to 16 pounds maximum. Further, their luxuriously long silky double coat is found in fourteen colors with different markings.

You will also find a small white spot on the dog’s forehead which is known as the Start of Budhha.


Shih Tzu is always in need of your love and attention, and nothing can make them happier than to sit on your lap.

The friendly companion does not have any guarding and herding instincts. However, they can easily get along with anyone they meet on the way.

Summing Up

Choosing a small and calm dog breed is an individual and personal choice. Chemistry and connection play a huge role in making strong bonds with your pets.

The above-mentioned 19 small calm dog breeds are the ones that will make you fall in love with them due to the affectionate and loveable nature.

Each breed has unique characteristics and personality. No matter which breed you choose to have, you will get immense love, care, and protection from the dogs.