Having a small dog is very appealing to many people, and who can blame them? They are easier to handle, they make smaller messes, they eat less meaning they are less expensive to feed, and most do well in urban and apartment type settings (but not all, check the individual breed pages if this is important!).
Though all of these dogs qualify as small because they range in weight from 12 to 25 pounds, there is a lot of diversity. This applies from looks to temperament to grooming requirements to exercise needs and so on. If you know you want a small dog, but are not sure what breed is best for you, do not go off looks alone. This can lead to choosing a dog that is inappropriate to your personality, living environment, or family needs.
It is important that dogs, though members of the family, are treated as dogs. They need to know who is the boss or "alpha leader" in the home, and this is equally important for small dogs as larger ones. Behavior that would be unacceptable in a larger dog, are also unacceptable in small dogs. Things like jumping on people, growling at other dogs, being yappy, insisting on sharing your pillow, and so on, should not be allowed. Small dogs who are allowed to do this believe they are the leader of the pack. They expect YOU to obey THEM instead of the other way around! This is sometimes referred to as "Small Dog Syndrome". One of the great things about small dogs, is that they make great lap dogs, and that is okay. Just make sure it is on your terms, and not your dogs.
So, learn a bit about some of the great small dogs that share this world with us, you may find just the right one for you!
All Small Dog Breeds