Many breeds out there are stereotyped or labeled. Justly or not, these breeds are judged based on looks and reputation many times. You might be thinking of a big guard dog – a Rottweiler or Pit Bull. But breeds are labeled for more than macho. Small dogs are often assumed to be lap dogs. Companions who want nothing more than to sit on the couch while you watch TV or knit. Small dogs are also something thought to be “yappy” or “foo-foo,” but again, that isn’t a fair assumption to make of all small dogs.
All breeds were crafted for a specific job through many generations of selective breeding. Many small dogs were bred to be companion dogs, but others were bred for herding, scenting, and more.
We have compiled a list of 5 small dogs who are much more than lap dogs.
Not to lump all of the corgis together, because there are real differences between the Pembroke and the Caridgan, but something they do have in common is that they are much more than lap dogs. Both breeds were originally bred to herd cattle (if you can believe it) and much of that instinct is intact in the family Corgi today. They love to be outside, hiking or camping would be a perfect Corgi activity. They love open spaces to run and family members to herd.
- Jack Russell Terriers
Jack Russells are a highly intelligent breed. They are born hunters and can be a great ratter, if you need a little help in that department. These terriers are high energy and although they are small, they are a great running companion. Jack Russells are a breed that need plenty to do mentally and physically otherwise, they can become destructive. You will be disappointed if you get a Jack Russell in hopes of a lap dog.
- English Cocker Spaniels
English Cocker Spaniels are an amazing family dog. They are a wonderful companion for children with plenty of patience and energy. But they are a bred sporting dog, meaning the English Cocker Spaniel is hard and adventurous. They are a social breed and would not be happy with a life of naps and couch snuggles. This is enjoyable for an English Cocker Spaniel after a romp in the yard with the kids, but that exertion of energy is essential for their mental and physical wee-being.
Dachshunds love to snuggle. There’s no doubt about that. But dachshunds were bred to flush out game. That hunting instinct means they love being active and they crave ways to be mentally challenged. If not given proper mental and physical exercise, a dachshund can become mischievous. Digging, barking, and escaping your fence can become specialties of a dachshund who is made to be a lap dog. This is a bold breed that has no idea it is small. With a balanced life you dachshund will be more than happy to climb under a blanket and enjoy a weekend Netflix binge.
- Shetland Sheepdog
Shetland Sheepdogs are a beautiful little breed. They were made for herding sheep, specifically, keeping them away from cliffs and rivers. Shetland sheepdogs are often described as rambunctious. Lots of energy and lots of intelligence means you have a breed who is great at agility, obedience, and of course herding, but not lounging around all day every day.