Recently we were asked by a client what breed would be best for a prospective Chicago small dog owner. Really that is a decision based on many different factors so it is hard to say. However, we gathered a crack Pet Care Plus team together and thought on this for a while. When we emerged from our deep thinking session, about 10 minutes, we came up with the below list. Please keep in mind this is purely opinion and we are not trying to slight any of our wonderful small dogs at Pet Care Plus. So for all those Pomeranian, Havanese, Minature Poodles, Beagles, Dachshunds, etc. out there we still love you here at Pet Care Plus but today you didn’t make the small dog cut 🙂

They are listed in no particular order but we do give a little information about each small dog and why they would be  good fit for a prospective Chicago small dog person.


Bichon Frise – These dogs are very sociable and friendly which, if you have an active social life, is a big plus. They are very playful dogs but can be a little “barky” if you leave them alone. While they are mostly shed-less they do need regular brushing and some grooming to keep up the fluffy look though unlike our next Chicago small dog submission…

Boston Terrier – The Boston Terrier is a very popular dog who is another super friendly dog. They are good with kids as well so a great choice for a Chicago family dog. Training is fairly easy for this breed but house breaking is something you have to get on right away with a Boston. Beyond a good brushing now and then to keep the shedding down you should be ok with a bath only every month or so. Next up is a peppy little fellow…

Jack Russel Terrier – The Jack Russel could be one of the most devoted of our Chicago small dog list which can be a double edged sword. They want to be the sole source of attention as far as pets go so make sure this is the only one around. They train well but you need to stay on top of it and show them you are the “Pack Leader”. They have lots of personality and love to play. In fact they love to play so much that you would do well to take them for a good walk prior to leaving for the day or bring them by Pet Care Plus a few times weekly 🙂

Pug – Ahhh the pug. Maybe the most loving of the dogs on our Chicago small dog list. The pug loves to be cuddled and petted, too, and needs a great deal of attention. Really the best thing for your pug is to be near you, to sit at your feet, to sleep on the couch with you or follow you from room to room. They are always ready to play, however, you have to watch out that they do not get too hot or cold and they are always better inside where the temperature is constant. Like the Boston they just need some regular brushing but you also have to watch out for the fold of the face which need regular cleaning. Not like the Jack Russel a pug isn’t easy to train, because they can be easily bored by repetitious exercises and because they are very sensitive to harsh tones and commands.

Maltese – The maltese is actually one of the smarter dogs on our Chicago small dog list. They are good at learning commands and new tricks if you are so inclined. They are also very keen and alert so they can “sound the alarm” if there is trouble. This is another breed where you have to make sure they know you are the boss or they could develop a little “small dog complex” and be snappy if they think their the boss. They do need daily exercise and their grooming needs are a little high based on their long silky coat.  They need daily brushing and almost daily eye cleaning to prevent stains.

Schipperke – The Schipperke is a quick, high energy, intensely curious and confident dog. They love to run so if you are a jogger this is your pet. They may also be the only dog on our Chicago small dog list that likes to swim so feel free to take him to the beach or the K-9 Oasis. They are a little stand off-ish at first with strangers but warm up quickly. They do need a little extra grooming since they are big shedders.

Yorkshire Terrier – The Yorkshire Terrier, or “Yorkie,” is one of the classic small dogs. They are very affectionate, happy, energetic, confident and devoted dogs. They do need to be walked or played with regularly or they could get into some trouble “snooping” around for things to do in the home. They do have a bit of a yappy bark so you have to make sure you train them to stop when asked. They have the distinctive long silky coat so their is a high amount of brushing and grooming needed to maintain the look.

So that is our list of Chicago small dogs that we came up with off the cuff. We see them all daily at in our daycare and boarding as well as coming on for clips and bathes from our groomers. Again, if your Frenchie, Chihuahua or Shih Tzu didn’t make the list it isn’t because we don’t love them…. it’s because we didn’t get to them in our 10 minute brainstorming session!