smart small dog breeds

Smart Small Dog Breeds : Pint-sized options to match your lifestyle

It can be hard trying to find the perfect smart small dog breeds for your family. There are hundreds of breeds with all types of temperaments and personalities.

Most families want a smart dog, but there is a difference between intelligence and trainability.

A dog who is intelligent may not always be the easiest to train. I have compiled a smart small dog breeds list with easily trainable dogs.

What is the most popular small dog breed in the United States?

Miniature and Toy Poodles are at the top of many lists as a favorite breed. They are hypoallergenic and extremely friendly. Poodles are one of the most intelligent dogs among all breeds, and they are easily trained. They bond with entire families, which makes them perfect for families with kids. They have a lot of energy and do best with a place to exercise or a daily walk.

Smart Small Dog Breeds

10 Most Popular Smart Small Dog Breeds

In addition to Poodles, there are many smart small dog breeds that are not difficult to train. With all training, it takes time and patience.

Below I have described nine other popular smart small dog breeds with a good combination of intelligence and willingness to please their owners.

Havanese are energetic little dogs who are eager to please, which makes them easy to train. They are sociable, playful, and enjoy being around people.


Havanese require regular weekly grooming, but they shed very little, which is a great characteristic for owners with allergies. While Havanese are an energetic breed, they don’t need a lot of daily exercise.

Shetland Sheepdogs, on the other hand, are very frequent shedders. This breed is not recommended if you don’t like repeated vacuuming.

Shetland Sheepdogs

Shetland Sheepdogs are another high-energy breed that loves to keep busy. They can bond closely with one family member, and do not like strangers.

Shetland Sheepdogs have a tendency to be noisy, but it can be prevented with some early training. They are easy to train because they love to please their owners. Positive reinforcement tends to produce the best results.

The Papillon breed is super cute and loving. They are among the most obedient dogs, and are extremely easy to train.

Papillon breed

This is a great breed to consider if there are children in the home because they love to play. Long walks or periods of play outside are recommended to release pent up energy. They desire a lot of attention and affection, and they are great around strangers.

Papillon are heavy shedders, so beware if allergies are a concern.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are a gorgeous and gentle breed. They do not require a lot of exercise, perhaps a nice daily walk.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels

They are very playful and affectionate. This is a great breed to have around children because of their affectionate and gentle personalities. Cavaliers are eager to please, so training them is relatively easy. They do shed seasonally, but it should be manageable if groomed regularly.

Miniature Schnauzers are a high-energy and large personality breed. They love the company of people and will tend to be wherever their owners or families are.

They need a lot of exercise and stimulation to keep their energy channeled in a good way. The exercise will also keep them from gaining weight. Even though they are energetic, they adapt well to apartmen


t life. Just make sure that they get frequent walks and playtime. They can be great watchdogs because of their invincible attitude and vocal tendencies.

Pembroke Welsh Corgis are devoted little dogs who need companionship. They are obedient and easy to train.

Pembroke Welsh Corgis

Corgis shed easily, and may irritate allergies. Frequent brushing will help alleviate extra shedding. Despite their short legs, Corgis are very athletic and eager to learn. They are great guard dogs because they are protective of their families.

Schipperkes are also great guard dogs because they are very alert and devoted to their families. They are wary of strangers at first. They are a highly-energetic breed, and they need constant stimulation and attention. Schipperkes are great at herding and other dog sports, and are great playmates with well-behaved children. Like many other breeds, Schipperkes shed a lot and should be groomed regularly.

Cocker Spaniels are happy and sociable. They are great for families because they are gentle and playful around kids.

Cocker Spaniels

Cocker Spaniels need a lot of exercise so make there is a lot of room to run, or that they are taken on frequent walks to expend energy. They are easily trained and intelligent. However, they are high maintenance when it comes to grooming and they will shed a lot without regular brushing.

Pomeranians are known to be intelligent and playful. This breed is great for apartment living because they do not need a lot of exercise or space to exercise in.


Pomeranians bark a lot, but they can be trained to bark less if trained early. They love to be around people, but it is not recommended that they are around small children unsupervised.

What is the most popular small dog breed?

Beagles are the top small breed in the US for many reasons, but mostly because they are a sweet, caring, and funny breed. They are intelligent, however; require attentive training as puppies to grow into caring and nurturing adults. Often very difficult to housebreak.


Beagles are friendly towards kids and other animals. Their protective nature makes them alert watchdogs. They are not a great option for apartment complexes because they bark often at strange animals and noises.

Whether you are looking for a quiet companion or an active playmate, there are a bunch of pint-sized options to match your personality and lifestyle.


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