15 calm small dog breeds

calm small dog breeds

Many people are looking for calm dogs that won’t have the zoomies and destroy your house if you don’t exercise them a lot. Typically, the size of your dog correlates to the amount of energy they will have. The smaller the dog, the less energy they will have.

However, that’s not always the case as smaller dogs like miniature Goldendoodles will still have a ton of energy and want to fetch all the time. We created a list of 15 calm small dog breeds to help you choose your next puppy.



The Pug is a smaller dog that stands less than 12 inches tall and weighs between 14 and 22 pounds. According to the American Kennel Club, this breed is classified in the toy dog group and has a low to moderate amount of energy. With its sturdy statue and iconic face, the pug is great for people who don’t always want to walk their dog 24/7.


cockapoo calm dog

The Cockapoo is a mix between the toy Poodle and Cocker Spaniel. This small dog breed is rather calm and can live in an apartment or smaller house. While you’ll still need to exercise this breed with at least a 30 minute walk per day, it is a great breed that is known to be calm and easily trainable. For more information about Cockapoos or other designer dogs, feel free to check out We Love Doodles.

Frenchie (French Bulldog)

french bulldog gray dog

The Frenchie is known for its bat-like ears and playful personality. It is one of the world's most popular small dog breeds. Another benefit of getting a French Bulldog is that it is extremely calm, doesn't bark much, and can do well amongst city dwellers who don’t have a large house. With an average height of 13 inches and weighing under 25-30 pounds, this breed is a great option as a small dog with low energy.


maltese looking at camera

The maltese is one of the most popular small dog white dogs in the world. It is known for its cuddly personality as it is typically a lapdog. Additionally, it is one of the smallest dog breeds on our list as it typically only weighs around 7 pounds and stand 7 to 9 inches in height. The Maltese is a calm, adaptive, and elegant dog breed that needs to be regularly groomed to prevent mats and tangles.

Bichon Frise

bichon frise photo

Many people get the Maltese and Bichon Frise confused since they look similar and are both extremely small. However, the Bichon Frise is a less popular breed but tends to be smarter and almost twice as big as a normal sized Maltese. A Bichon Frise can grow to be 12 inches tall and weigh up to 11 pounds. This breed also has a long life expectancy of 12-15 years.

Shiba Inu

shiba inu small calm dog breed

The Shiba Inu is one of the largest dog breeds on this list. This dog typically weighs around 13-26 pounds and is 13-17 inches tall. While this isn’t extremely small when compared to a Maltese, this is still considered a smaller dog breed that is classified in the non-sporting group by the AKC. This means that the Shiba Inu will have less energy when compared to other working dog breeds. This breed is alert, attentive, and a highly independent dog that won’t need a ton of exercise to stay calm.


pomeranian small breed calm

The Pom is a lively small dog breed that is rather calm. However, it does tend to bark a lot as it is an attentive and bold toy breed. Since it is only 7 inches tall and weighs roughly 7 pounds, you won’t need to run marathons with a Pomeranian. When kept indoors and away from strangers and other dogs, the Pomeranian is an extremely calm dog breed.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

cavalier king charles spaniel calm dog

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel was originally bred and kept as a royal dog in Britain. It is considered extremely attentive and relatively calm. However, when compared to the other dog breeds on this list, you will need to exercise a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel at least a little bit everyday. This breed stands roughly 10-13 inches and weighs up to 18 pounds. Its multi-color coat makes it extremely disguishable as a purebred dog.


havanese dog calm

The Havanese isn’t the most popular in terms of AKC rankings, but it could make a great fit for someone who wants a small puppy that is calm. The Havanese stands roughly 9-11 inches tall and weighs up to 13 pounds. In terms of size, the Havanese isn’t too small, but it isn't too big either. This breed also only has a moderate amount of energy. The combination of its big brown eyes and easygoing temperament makes the Havanese a great choice for new puppy owners.


pekingese calm small dog

The Pekingese is a toy dog breed that is highly dense. It typically only stands 6 to 9 inches tall but can weigh up to 13-14 pounds due to its wide stature. The Pekingese dog breed has a rich history of being a royal breed in China that is loyal and sophisticated. Additionally, it doesn't need much exercise and is considered relatively calm.


pembroke welsh corgi on a tree

Corgis are exceptionally intelligent, which isn't surprising given that their traditional role used to be on the farm with regards to herding animals. These dogs are incredibly loyal, smart, and not very aggressive, making them the best fit for all households, including households with other pets and children. They even respond well to training and are affectionate and friendly.

Corgis are tiny balls of fur filled with love and care. When it comes to grooming, these dogs need not be trimmed regularly, as their natural length is perfect for them to feel comfortable. However, that doesn't mean you don't need to groom them. Their grooming sessional should happen between every 4-8 weeks.

When it comes to corgis, two separate breeds are identified – the Pembroke Welsh Corgi and the Cardigan Welsh Corgi. The Pembroke Welsh Corgi typically weighs around 26 pounds and stands at 10-12 inches. On the other hand, Cardigan Welsh Corgi typically weighs approximately 31-37 pounds and stands at 10-12 inches.

Fun fact: Queen Elizabeth II single-handedly has made Corgis popular worldwide. As per reports, she has owned at least 30 of these dogs throughout her life.

Boston Terrier

boston terrier with snow

Originated in the United States in the 19th century, Boston Terriers are great family dogs. These dogs may bark to inform you of other people or dogs' presence, but they are not considered aggressive. They are well-known for being loving – not fighters, which makes them ideal for people looking for small and calm dogs as a pet. 

Boston Terriers are clever and sociable and have an affinity for children and the elderly, qualifying them as good home dogs. Boston Terriers are really easy to train, given their intelligence. 

They are active and lively, which lands them plenty of hugs and affectionate pets. They also need not be groomed regularly as they are pretty low maintenance with minimal shedding or grooming needs. Another fantastic fact about Boston Terriers is that they are best for apartment life and country living.

Boston Terriers are classified into three weight classifications – 15 pounds, 15-20 pounds, and 20-25 pounds. A typical male stands 17 inches tall, and a female 16 inches tall when it comes to height. So if you're looking for a small, well-proportioned, handsome little dog – Boston Terriers are just right for you.

Yorkshire Terrier

yorkshire hyopallergenic

As the name suggests, Yorkshire Terriers originated from Yorkshire in England and were popular as lap dogs, given their size and influence over Victorian ladies. Such popularity made them recognized as companion animals.

Yorkshire Terriers, better known as Yorkies, make a good pet. These dogs are great personalities in a tiny package. People who live in an apartment with limited space can easily keep Yorkies as a pet since they don't take up much room. 

They are courageous and feisty, which makes them great watchdogs. However, don't expect them to actually become a watchdog; after all, they are a bit small to be one. Since they are compact, they don't require rigorous exercise, making them desirable for people lacking time to take their dogs on walks. Yorkies also have a hypoallergenic coat that makes them safe for people with allergies or asthma.

Yorkshire Terriers are considered one of the smallest dogs. They stand at only 6 or 7 inches and weigh anywhere from about 2 to 7 pounds.

Yorkies are extremely loyal to their owners, and they constantly seek affectionate pets. Who doesn't want a dog who loves to cuddle and shuffle around the home, following in your shadow?

Miniature Schnauzer

miniature schnauzer standing on grass

Miniature Schnauzer is a small dog breed whose roots can be traced to Germany. They are largely extroverted, intelligent, and affectionate. They also possess great guarding tendencies. Initially, they were a breed of farm dogs generally used for herding & guarding.  

Since they are astoundingly affectionate dogs, they love to be around their owner. Miniature Schnauzers are extremely protective of their owners and, as a result, very wary and suspicious of strangers, turning them into an excellent watchdog and can alert you of any visitors or break-ins. 

They are sharp and very easy to train; coupled with their habit of staying around all the time, they could be taught several tricks and routines. Relying on their sharp hearing abilities, which are twice as better as humans, they eradicate all sorts of vermin from the household. 

Since their ancestors were farm dogs, they have evolved into needing minimum grooming and maintenance as they shed fur very less, making them great partners with people with fur allergies, etc. They demand and like to stay around their owners, resulting in them becoming a tad bit stubborn and aware of their small size. The downside is that they'll pick fights with dogs and other animals larger in stature. 

Male Miniature Schnauzers stand at 2 to 14 inches tall and weigh 11 to 18 pounds, whereas females stand from 11 to 13 inches tall and weigh 10 to 15 pounds.

Miniature Poodle

miniature poodle brown

One of the most popular mini dogs because of their extreme intelligence, adaptability, and easy to train, Miniature Poodle are miniature athletes who exhale in jumping and retrieving. Their name is derived from the German word “Poodalin,” meaning splashing in the water. Miniature poodles are European, even though their ancestry can be traced to that of curly herding dogs of Central Asia. 

They are incredibly clownish and energetic behavior-wise, so they were the dogs who performed in the circuses the most. But don't let that charming and clumsy personality fool you; they are athletic dogs because of their sturdy and robust body. 

Due to their ancestry, they are incredibly skilled in searching and retrieving tasks. They love running around and jumping alongside you more than being carried around. They are compact, and their unique friendly personality makes them the perfect lapdogs. 

There is a whole two-day truffle hunting competition based around the Miniature Poodle in the Pacific Northwest. They are highly obedient, and their tracking ability is astounding. Because of their miniature and friendly nature, they bond quickly with a stranger, making them naughty guard dogs. Also, due to less shedding and shorter hair, they are less costly maintenance-wise and very compatible with people with fur allergies.

A Miniature Poodle stands 11 to 15 inches tall and weighs 15 to 17 pounds.


We hope that you were able to find a calm small dog breed or at least get an idea of a dog breed that you are searching for. If you live an active lifestyle, you may want to consider another dog breed. However, if you’re a couch potato who just wants a cuddle buddy then most of the dogs on this list will suit you.

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