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Dog lovers may choose smaller breeds over larger ones for a variety of reasons. Little dogs eat less food. They also take up less space in the home, and they fit an urban lifestyle. Many veterinarians charge less for certain procedures on small dogs, so medical care is less expensive. Lots of tourist destinations are dog-friendly these days, and pet owners will find traveling with smaller breeds is much easier as well. These little tail-waggers also have longer life expectancies, averaging 12 to 14 years.

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1. The Outgoing Shih Tzu

If you have limited outdoor access and seek a pet who loves to sit in your lap, the Shih Tzu may be your perfect match. Chinese royalty bred this elegant dog for centuries. Most people love the Shih Tzu for its luxurious, long, double coat that often sweeps the ground. Shih Tzus love children, have happy temperaments and are hardy little canines. If left unattended in the yard, they will likely dig holes everywhere. But they prefer to be with their humans. Outside of its need for regular grooming, the Shih Tzu is easy to take care of and an excellent choice for first-time owners.

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