10 Best Small Dogs for Kids – No Shedding & Guaranteed Safe!

More often than not, parents consider dogs as the best first pet for their kids. Dogs are great playmates and some breeds can even be guardians too. However, not all dogs suit kids, especially those who are too young to understand the weight of pet ownership. So, for this post, we’ll help you find the best small dog for kids that has no shedding.

So why is the “no shedding” part important? Well, children have weaker immune systems than adults. Exposing them to too much dander may trigger allergies and irritations. Still, no dog is 100% non-shedding or hypoallergenic. It just happens that some breeds produce less dander and fur/hair than others.

Is a dog the right pet for my child?

A dog can be a great first pet for your child if you get a breed that fits your child and their age, personality, and preferences. Like humans, dogs come in varying temperaments, behaviors, levels of kid-friendliness, and so on.

Usually, kids love dogs, especially if it’s introduced to them positively. Since canines also offer playtime and cuddles, most children will love having them around.

However, you should remember that no matter how docile a dog is, proper supervision is necessary. Depending on the age of your child, you’ll be the one maintaining your dog’s health for the most part. If you have an older child, they can at least help with basic things like food/water/playtime/grooming.

best small dog for kids no shedding

The thing with young kids…

Very young kids are pinchy, which can cause a dog to snap. Even with proper supervision, some children might not get along well with dogs. Others might be naturals and have no issues with your dog, even at a young age. However, we recommend getting your child a pet when they are old enough to understand the limits of what they can do with the animal.

Usually, the age between 5 and 10 is ideal in introducing a pet. Children at this age have a better grasp of the sense of danger, discipline, and movement coordination. The older the child, the safer dog ownership becomes.

Unless you’re worried about allergies specifically, getting a dog for your child is something that can easily be achieved. Nevertheless, a majority of the decision boils down to the breed of the dog you’re going to get.

Considerations when getting a dog for your child

To choose the right doggo for your child, the following are some crucial points you should consider. If you’re in doubt, you can consult with a vet or a professional breeder.

1. Temperament

The temperament of a dog refers to its behavior, tendencies, and traits. In addition, each dog has an established temperament based on its breed and bloodline.

For the dog that you’ll get for your child, you should look for a gentle, docile, tolerant, and forgiving temperament. As you know, young kids can be overly playful, so you need a tolerant dog that can let a pinch slide.

2. Size

Size is only a secondary consideration, given that the dog is very gentle. For example, Saint Bernards are sweet and tolerant canines for older kids. However, its size and intense shedding could be an issue, especially for families with sensitivities.

Starting small is great, especially if this is the first time that you’re getting a dog. Also, small dogs are less likely to topple over or injure your child during playtime. They are also hug-able and easy to control if playtime turns rough.

3. Intelligence

Trainable dogs are great pets since they can be taught how to behave well. Also, it will make domestication easier, much so for families with very small kids.

As much as some breeds have a good reputation for their intelligence, we always recommend that you source the dog from a responsible breeder. This is to ensure that the canine’s bloodline is clean and that the dog has no other issues.

4. Kid-friendliness

Most importantly, the dog breed should be known to be tolerant of kids. Many small dog breeds are known to be playful, yet sweet.

Dog breeds with a history of aggression should be avoided, even if the breeder ensures that it’s unlikely to attack. Although it might be true, these dogs are best reserved for older kids or those in middle school.

5. Energy-level

Without an absolute doubt, children adore playing with dogs. If your child is full of seemingly endless energy, having a dog is a great way to engage them with physical activities outdoors. However, too much of anything is bad. Over-excitement can cause the dog to potentially harm a child, even if it doesn’t intend to do so. Playful bites that have gone too far or pawing too forcefully can cause injuries.

An active breed is excellent only if you and your family can keep up with its exercise needs. Otherwise, a mellower doggo will be a better option.

6. Maintenance

Unless you can deal with intense shedding and frequent groomer visits, you should look for the best small dogs for kids with no shedding. It’s also ideal for kids since little to no hair will get stuck on their clothes and skin.

We recommend looking for a dog that will only require professional grooming once every 6 or 8 weeks. In addition, the non-shedding dogs we listed here can be home-groomed, so they only need to visit a groomer once every quarter or so.

Best Small Dog for Kids with No Shedding – Top 10 Choices

Are you in the hunt for the best small dogs for kids that don’t shed? Here, we listed 10 of the best breeds that you can get for your kiddo:

1. Havanese

best small dog for kids no shedding

Havanese dogs are known for their silky hair, intelligence, and their notoriously clingy attitude. Although they seem like lapdogs, these canines love to run around and burn their extra energy.

When it comes to kids, Havanese dogs are friendly, but they need to be trained well to behave properly around small kids. But for children who aren’t toddlers yet, these dogs are unbeatable playmates. They are also friendly toward strangers and very affectionate with their families.

Although energetic, Havanese dogs can thrive in apartment living. As an added bonus, they are also ideal for newbie dog owners. As one of the best small dogs for kids with no shedding, they’re a safe and excellent option, even for kids with allergies.

In addition, Havanese dogs shed very little and they don’t drool. Also, they’re fairly quiet barkers, which is perfect for apartment buildings and close neighborhoods.

2. Norfolk Terrier

Norfolk Terrier

As a dog with an outgoing attitude and perky personality, Norfolk Terriers make fun pets. Experts call them “large dogs in small packages” due to their determination and nimble temperament.

Norfolk Terriers are loyal working dogs that need ample exercise to stay happy. They are very playful too and can be intense when overexcited. But, since they are very intelligent, they can be trained to behave well.

In addition, this doggo is friendly to just about everyone, even with strangers. Also, Norfolk Terriers are lively companions who will keep your kid active. They are also fearless and ready to fight if their family is in danger.

Norfolk Terriers are hardy pets, which is why they live long with minimal health issues. However, you should be aware of of their digging prowess, of which your younger child might be a willing accomplice to.

3. Border Terrier

Border Terrier

Like the previous cousin’s breed, Border Terriers are not couch potatoes. They love playing, running around, and getting busy – even if it means digging under the fence or chewing on your shoes.

With continuous training, these feisty dogs will be much more behaved and manageable. Naturally, they are affectionate to kids, but you shouldn’t mix them with other dogs, as they are a bit territorial.

Another fun fact about Border Terriers is their high tolerance for pain. This means they could be sick or hurt, but they will barely show signs of it. You must teach your kids how to respect this dog’s space even if they are tolerant of pinchy or overly energetic behavior.

4. Shih Tzu

Shih Tzus have captured the hearts of many dog owners due to their quiet, affectionate, and low-shedding traits. It’s interesting though – since the name Shih Tzu translates to “Little Lion” in English. However, these pooches are far from fierce since they love being around everyone.

In addition, Shih Tzus love playing, but they have a low aggressiveness which makes them a safe choice for young kids. Also, they need little exercise to be happy. So, if your kid isn’t a very active one, a Shih Tzu will be a perfect companion for them.

Anyway, you need a little patience with this dog as they take time to learn to housebreak. Although considered a great small dog for kids with no shedding, they are prone to overheating. Make sure to keep their coat in check and to keep an eye out on them in hotter weather.

5. Toy Poodle

Toy Poodle

Unlike Standard Poodles, Toy Poodles grow at a maximum of 15 inches, with 11 inches being the most common. Known to be an intelligent, gentle, tolerant dog, Toy Poodles make perfect companions for both kids and older people alike.

Poodles, in general, are very dedicated to their families. Also, they are clingy and don’t want being left alone. If you need a gentle companion for your child, Toy Poodles will be a loyal servant and friend.

Although they can be shy and vocal around strangers, Toy Poodles are a pleasure to train. They are also playful and sensitive, so they know when to tone down their intensity.

However, take note that Toy Poodles aren’t ideal for outdoor living due to their coat.

6. Miniature Schnauzer

Miniature Schnauzer

As a small version of the Giant Schnauzers, Miniature Schnauzers are sweethearts. They are intelligent, extroverted, and very enthusiastic. Sometimes, they have a personality twice as big as their size.

With proper training, Miniature Schnauzers will thrive in the care of older children. They are affectionate with their families, but a little intolerant with the quick and unpredictable movements of babies and toddlers.

Also, this dog is playful, but with the right level of intensity for a more active owner/child. This means you’ll need to take them out for long walks to burn their extra energy.

There’s no doubt that Miniature Schnauzers are always in the top 20 most preferred dog breeds in the U.S. They are a joy to train, but could be stubborn at times.

7. West Highland Terrier

West Highland Terrier

As a dog that’s always filled with confidence, West Highland Terriers are perfect for kids who always want to explore and play outdoors. They are very affectionate and tolerant of kids. However, they are a little doubtful of strangers, but they don’t mind being with other dogs.

West Highland Terriers are playful, a bit intense, but highly trainable. They will also thrive in small apartments, but they prefer having company and don’t typically like to be left alone.

As a terrier, you have to watch out for their digging and rodent-hunting instincts. Other than that, Westies are adaptable and can out-learn their bad habits.

8. Cairn Terrier

West Highland Terrier

Known as one of the oldest dog breeds in the world, the Cairn Terrier surely aged like fine wine. These small working dogs are independent and are excellent family companions.

Cairn Terriers are also dubbed as the “best little pal” due to their fierce loyalty and affection to their families. They are also incredibly friendly with kids and don’t mind living with other dogs in the house. However, they don’t like being left alone for long.

Additionally, Cairn Terriers are playful dogs with high levels of energy and intensity. Also, you need patience when training this dog, as they can be a challenge to teach.  Still, they are one of the best small dogs for kids that have no shedding.

9. Coton de Tulear

Coton de Tulear

The Coton de Tulear breed is a huggable and adorable pet that’s always ready to have some fun. These dogs are absolute sweethearts as they are intensely affectionate with kids and their families. As a gentle dog, they also thrive in multi-dog households and in the presence of a stranger.

Even though they have a flowing coat, they barely shed and they are surprisingly easy to groom.

Coton de Tulear dogs also love to play, but they aren’t very intense, so you’ll have peace of mind that your kid has a gentle companion. Also, they don’t need excessive exercise and they will adjust their activity level to their owner’s preference.

Coton de Tulear always wants to be around their owners. Nevertheless, they are fun to train and they easily yield to obedience training efforts.

10. Lhasa Apso

Lhasa Apso

Initially bred to be guards of Tibetan monasteries, Lhasa Apso dogs have long been domesticated. These ethereal-looking canines have a hard-wired trait to protect and defend their families. Still, they are very affectionate and can become loyal companions to your children.

With their history of being guard dogs, they are weary of strangers. Nonetheless, they make great alert dogs for when someone is at your door.

Lhasa Apsos love playing, but they are not as intense as other dogs, which is another great aspect suited for children.

Wrapping Up

Did you find your ideal best small dog for kids with no shedding? These 10 breeds have unique personalities that will suit kids with equally different preferences. By choosing the right breed and one you prefer, you’ll guarantee that your child will have fun bonding and creating wonderful memories with your new doggy family member.