Little dog syndrome is a funny thing. All too often we encounter a small dog yapping away at another dog that looks like it could swallow it whole. Nonetheless there is certain comfort in knowing that your little critter is not only a cute companion but one that will sacrifice itself to protect you and alert the whole house if there is trouble. A handful of dogs seem to stand above others in this regard. They are not the fiercest looking dogs but their loyalty and protectiveness of their masters is unwavering. For those seeking an apartment dog or just one that will definitely sound the alarm if trouble is near, here are five of the most protective little dogs on the planet:
Known as the “King of Terriers” this dog is a proud protector who is as intelligent as they come. Ranging from 22-26 inches tall and up to 60 pounds this dog is probably as big as it gets for what’s considered small but they are undeniably good at adapting to their environment. Naturally trained as hunting dogs they are very clever and strong-minded. That being said if you do live in an apartment or condo it is best that you are an active individual who likes to jog or go for long walks because this dog is full of energy. Fearless but not aggressive to visitors, nobody is getting in the house unnoticed while this dog is on watch.
Another working class dog that was bred for hunting, Patterdales are brave and confident well beyond their capabilities. At 10-15 inches tall these dogs are definitely smaller but what they lack in size they make up for in energy. Allow this dog plenty of exercise because even when it is tired it is naturally very territorial and will confront anyone or anything that comes into the home unwelcome. Of all the dogs I have ever come across this breed is the one that most consistently needs an owner to hold it back from other dogs as puppies because they are extremely territorial but just don’t get how small they are. Intelligent and fast learners, these dogs can easily be conditioned to be an indoor dog provided they get adequate exercise.
The infamous “Wiener dog” makes the list as one of the most protective bunch mostly due to its unparalleled devotion to its owner. These little dogs will chase after any small animal, bird, or tennis ball as if it’s life depended on it. If these dogs didn’t top out at around 30-35 pounds they would almost be impossible to handle. Playful but stubborn, it is important to exercise but put your foot down while this dog is young so that it doesn’t get itself hurt defending what it perceives as yours and it’s territory. A cute and loyal companion, Dachsunds are consistently among the top ten breeds to own in America.
The alpha dog that just never hit it’s growth spurt. At 20-30 pounds Pugs are among the most fearless dogs in the world and consider themselves the right hand of whoever the owner of the household is regardless of the presence of any bigger dogs that may live there. If you want a dog that will follow you literally wherever you go this is the breed for you. Though they are protective they are really not that aggressive towards other people or pets. That is as long as the pets respect the Pug’s food. Pugs are strong willed and will protect what they deem is there’s whether its food or master but usually only if a legitimate threat is present. Don’t worry about energy, all the exercise this dog needs is following you around all day. Be cautious of these dogs in warm weather as their breathing system and bulky nature can make them prone to heat strokes.
If you didn’t know better you’d say this dog was the tall eared cousin of Pugs. This breed is almost the perfect indoor dog as it’s top heavy body makes it a terrible swimmer and they really don’t require much exercise. Like Pugs they have a compromised breathing system and need plenty of water while they enjoy the air conditioner on full blast inside the home. Laid back, rarely bark, but will definitely bring awareness to strange activity with their proud barks. Unlike Pugs these dogs are very good at sharing the master’s attention and household with other pets so it will make a humble companion to your other animal friends.
Griff Haeger is a writer and lifelong dog lover. When he is not writing about the benefits of natural dog food and grooming he is at work fixing air conditioners or relaxing with his Pug, Otis.