Miniature Small Dog Breeds?

Small dog breeds sometimes get a bad rap as being “yappy,” hyperactive and harder to train, but as with any stereotype, that’s not necessarily the case. Sure, the various types of small dogs (even toy breeds) pack a lot of personality into a little body. However, these tiny dogs are faithful companions with a lot of heart and have a loving disposition with adults and children alike.

What is the best miniature dog?

#1: Maltese. With its soft and silky white coat, the Maltese is most likely one of the first breeds that comes to mind when thinking of small dogs. ….#2: Boston Terrier. ….#3: Dachshund. ….#4: Shih Tzu. ….#5: Pug. ….#6: Pomeranian. ….#7: Chihuahua. ….#8: Yorkshire Terrier.

What is the smallest mini dog?

Chihuahuas are the smallest dog breed in the world.. These tiny dogs are the smallest in the world, usually weighing less than six pounds and standing about five to eight inches at the shoulder, per the AKC.

What breed of dogs stay small?

According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), Yorkies are one of the smallest dog breeds out there, ringing in at about seven pounds and standing seven to eight inches high. They have long been a celebrity “accessory,” since they’re small enough to even travel in a purse. Even smaller than the Yorkie is the Chihuahua.

What are the 4 smallest dog breeds?

Chihuahuas, the smallest of dogs. ….Toy Poodles, the affectionate companion. ….Pomeranian, one of the most popular tiny dog breeds. ….Shih Tzu, a lap warmer of a dog. ….Yorkshire Terriers, glorious locks on one of the tiniest dog breeds. ….Maltese, the aristocratic looking tiny dog breed.

Mini in size, massive in personality! These little darlings usually weigh less than 10 pounds. Thinking bigger than teacup? Check out these small cuties that get no larger than 30.

Slightly bigger than some of their toy group counterparts, Shih Tzus remain one of the most popular companion breeds in the United States thanks to their affectionate and playful nature. The Einstein of the toy group, papillons can compete at the top agility trials alongside bigger brainiacs like border collies and Shetland sheepdogs .

Ever since Charlotte owned a Cavalier on Sex and the City , fans have flocked to this graceful, easily trained pup.

Let’s face it: sometimes little replicas of normal things are simply precious, and this is also true of miniature dog breeds. They’re just itty-bitty furballs of lap-lovin’ goodness!

Miniature dogs frequently have eye conditions , dental issues (which if unchecked, lead to more serious health problems), and heritable diseases specific to the breed. Petite pooches are also some of the longest-living dog breeds , so it might also be helpful to consult a veterinarian to learn more about a furry friend that’s captured your fancy.

Expect about 10 pounds of spunky love from this little guy, who’s 110 percent dedicated to his hooman and not hesitant to broadcast a rousing bark alarm if anything is amiss. Fiercely loyal and full of pluck, she might be the most mini on this list, but transcends her size with a massive personality and ample amounts of adoration for you. Sliding into the upper range of miniature dog breeds at 2040 pounds, an occasional grass-sniffing, squirrel-chasing routine won’t be enough for this high-energy, whip-smart, people-lovin’ doggo.

Standing about 14 inches tall, the stocky, robust, and vocal miniature bull terrier looks like a real toughie but is actually a big softy. At about 11 inches tall and 11 pounds, he’s the most miniature of the brachycephalic dog breeds , but low maintenance and ready for a car ride anytime! Her silky-soft coat and wide, feathery ears ( papillon is French for ‘butterfly’) convey a ‘pamper me’ come hither, but she’s as ruff and tumble as a pooch twice her size!

You are also their nurse, food server, hair stylist, pedicurist, mother/father, taxi driver, custodian, and anything else that your opposable thumb can do for them.

Most small breed dog owners usually feel that way. Miniature Dog Breeds (Yorkshire Terrier)

Sounds like a lot of work without much pay, but most owners will tell you that small breeds are simply the best. They are easy to transport, making them excellent travel companions. They dont eat much, so food costs are reasonable.

Many were bred for centuries solely to be companions, so they have learned how to do this job very well. They make excellent choices for first-time dog owners. Beyond the obvious similarities, miniature dog breeds vary widely according to temperament, activity levels, grooming needs, trainability, friendliness, and affection levels.

So, if you are interested in a pint-sized pooch, a little bit of research before you buy is essential. Remember, the one thing that all miniature dog breeds have in common is that cuteness factor. It’s hard to resist that tiny puffball with such a big personality.

They are inquisitive, affectionate and playful and are very loyal and protective towards other family members although they can be a little territorial when it comes to their food or toys so they are not advised for families with very small children. Height: 10-12 in (25-30
cm) Weight: 8-13 lb (4-6 kg) Ease of Training: Moderate You may have heard of the Alaskan Klee Kai, but you probably haven’t seen one; they are relatively rare, and were only recognized by the AKC in 1997.

It is significantly smaller than the Husky, however, and many people think it is still a puppy, even when fully-grown. The American Eskimo Dog is a smart, affectionate pet that loves to be around its family. These dogs are small enough to live in apartments, so long as they get ample exercise.

This being said, they are not best for owners who will not be home for most of the day, as they are prone to separation anxiety and will bark as a result. The American Hairless is a small dog of the Terrier Group weighing just 12 to 16lbs, with a feisty nature. The hairless dog is hypoallergenic, but has a few issues that potential owners should be aware of.

With no normal coat to protect the skin, they may get sunburned if out in bright sun for too long. At the other extreme, they lose body heat quickly if out in the cold, and need a dog jacket to keep them warm and prevent hypothermia. The Basenji dog is a very unique breed for many different reasons, both physically, and emotionally.

One of the most unique characteristics that stand out from the others is that the Basenji is a barkless breed. They are known primarily for their friendliness and small size, making them not at all aggressive, and great for people of all ages. They have a fragile lamb-like appearance – BUT underneath those cute little curls is a hardy little dog which has feistiness and affection in equal measures!

The Bedlington Terrier enjoys being part of a household and absolutely adores being the centre of attention. Although loyal and loving to all, he tends to choose one member of the family to bond closest with, and may well spend all his time following them around! The Bichon Frise is a breed of small, energetic dogs, well known for its size as well as its intelligence.

These dogs are famous for their ability to entertain, having been taught to perform professionally throughout history. Alongside making for great entertainment, these dogs are ideal companions for families. The Border terrier is often described as independent, courageous, persistent, agile and intelligent.

They are friendly dogs and will greet every visitor by jumping up on them to lick and welcome them into the house. They are frequent, loud barkers, and may howl and sing several times a day; Possibly not the best dog to have if you have close neighbors! The Boston Terrier is a very alert, friendly, overall happy go lucky type of dog.

They are very family oriented and do great with children and other pets. This is a good breed of dog if you are looking for an energetic little bundle of joy that will keep you entertained for hours on end. The Brussels Griffon is a fun, inquisitive, watchful little companion dog who is very eager to please!

They have huge hearts and are so affectionate – they just love jumping up for snuggles! They absolutely crave it and will become depressed and withdrawn if denied. They tend to bond extremely closely with one person in the family so may not be the best choice if you are looking for a dog who will love everyone equally.

The Cairn Terrier was originally bred in Scotland to detect and dig out small rodents, larger animals in burrows, and even foxes. They still keep the instinct to dig and burrow, and will chase any small animals they see. They are small enough to fit comfortably on your lap, yet tough enough for a romp around the garden in any weather.

Their gentleness and calm demeanor make them great for people of all ages. Their personality outsizes their body, making them a lively, social and friendly companion. The worlds smallest dog holds the ranking as the 11th most popular breed in the United States.

The Chinese Crested is a lively, alert, energetic breed that makes an excellent companion, and their size fits just about any environment. They make for lively company, but also like relaxing around their owners. Theyre almost always up for playing, making them fun, interactive pets.

This breed loves to be around people, whether its a vigorous game of fetch or just watching TV. With a surprising origin on the big island of Madagascar, off the South East coast of Africa, the Coton is an endearing and happy toy dog breed with a strong desire to please their owners. They are companion dogs, and love being with their special person.

Dachshunds are probably one of the most recognised breeds in the world, and this breed of dog comes in six varieties – Long Haired, Short Haired and Wire Haired and all three of these varieties come in Standard size and Miniature size. While they are unlikely to inflict much damage to an adult, they could seriously hurt a child that they perceive as a stranger. Despite their tiny size, these dogs are brave, alert and playful little companions They are great watchdogs but also great for getting cuddles and having fun with.

The Dandie Dinmont Terrier is a big dog in a small body, according to the AKC , bursting with confidence and energy, ready to chase anything that moves. Their ancestors were bred in the Border area between Scotland and England for controlling small wildlife, taking on badgers and otters. The Dandie has a long body, short legs, a large head and a thick and muscular neck.

The Frenchie, as they are often called is a breed of small, happy dogs. Their energy exceeds their size, as this dog loves to run and play. These dogs are known for their insatiable desire to hang around people.

They are little bundles of fun and great additions to any family they join. Affectionate, charming and energetic, these playful dogs act like ambassadors to the world, bring fun and entertainment to everyone they meet. Although very friendly, some can be wary of strangers which make them a decent watchdog.

In the Middle Ages, it was used for hunting small game, but also found favor as a companion or “lap” dog with the wealthy classes in Europe. It’s small size made it very popular with the ladies. They may look similar, but there are differences in size and physical proportions.

These dogs are famously compact and can live in most environments, mainly apartments. They are not incredibly energetic breeds, and will happily become accustomed to a slow, relaxed pace of living. This is an unusual breed from Tibet, bred to act as a watchdog inside Tibetan Buddhist monasteries.

They have exceptionally god hearing, even for dogs, and regard all strangers with suspicion. They need to be socialized from an early age, otherwise they can be aggressive towards people they don’t know. Nowadays, this breed has all but retired from that role and now enjoys the life of a real canine companion.

He is alert and often wary of strangers two traits that make them excellent watchdogs. Being a terrier, these dogs are likely to be diggers, talkers, chasers and possessive of their belongings. Most terrier breeds have these inborn characteristics – hunting tendencies to one extent or another.

It’s easy to see how this misconception comes about, since the 2 breeds have very similar coloring and general shape. In fact, the Miniature is a much older breed than the Doberman. The Poodle is a fascinating and special breed of dog for many different reasons.

Have you ever wondered how the Miniature Schnauzer got to be so much smaller than his standard and giant cousins? This is a prime example of how breeders can breed-down or miniaturize a larger breed. Owners enjoy their affectionate and loyal personalities, which is paired with their playful energy.

Their intelligence makes them responsive and quick learners. The Papillon is one of the Toy breeds, well known for its known for its affectionate and energetic personality. They are very social and are excited when they get to meet new faces.This energetic tiny dog makes for a lively and fun pet.

You can recognize a Papillon in an instant, from its large erect ears, like butterfly wings, and plumed tail. The Pekingese is a small, unique breed of intelligent and sturdy dogs. Owners find qualities similar to a proud lion, for which the breed is named.

These dogs are confident and independent, but once they have a good, authoritative owner, they become loyal and protective companions. They are very popular as companion dogs, with their small size and weight, and lively personality. Although the Pug dog will adapt well to many different lifestyles and living situations, they are not so versatile when it comes to temperature.

It is important to always supervise your pup when they are outside in general, but especially in warmer climates. The Rat Terrier breed is a small terrier developed in the USA to keep the rat population under control on farms and country homes. They are loyal, friendly and affectionate with their family, and they come in 2 sizes – Miniature and Standard.

The Russkiy Toy dog came originally from Russia, where it was bred to be a small companion dog, descended from imported English Toy terriers. The modern version that we know today appeared in the late 1950s. The “Scottie”, as they are also known, was bred to hunt small rodents, foxes and badgers in its home country of Scotland.

It is believed to be the oldest British dog breed. The Sealyham Terrier is a unique and rare dog breed that originated in Wales, U.K.. It gets its name from the home of the original breeder (John Edwardes), who lived at Sealyham House in the Welsh county of Pembrokeshire.

The Shetland Sheepdog breed looks like a small version of the Rough Collie, and originated on the Shetland Islands, north of Scotland, the most northerly point of the United Kingdom. These dogs are bright, playful and have lots of energy. The Shiba Inu is a compact breed of loyal, determined, and alert dogs.

These dogs are well known for their intelligence and are considered one of the most popular breeds in Japan. These companions have energetic personalities but do not come across as being overly hyper or boisterous and can be exceptionally quiet and calm indoors. A little larger than the typical toy dogs, and slightly thicker boned, the standard sized Shih Tzu weighs in between 9 and 16 pounds.

Smaller Shih Tzu dogs can be found, though, and you might see them advertised as Imperial, Miniature, or Teacup, but those are not official names in any breed registry. The Skye was bred as a hunting dog, and they still retain an inquisitive and curious nature, ready to explore any interesting smells nearby. They enjoy getting out with their owner for a walk to explore the neighborhood, to satisfy their curiosity.

In fact, “Welshies”, as they are fondly called, have their own personality, which is unique to their breed. Best described as alert, active, independent and friendly, the West Highland White Terrier is instantly recognizable. They are quick to win your heart with their energetic persona and their bright white coat that just accents their button eyes, making them an initial hit among anyone who loves a people oriented canine.

Bold, affectionate, bright and fearless are words often used to describe the Yorkshire Terrier’s personality. They enjoy adventures as well as snuggles, but they still maintain the terrier part of their temperament, which means they can be feisty and vocal. Possessing a very dominant character, they will not hesitate to stand up for their rights, even if it means attacking a dog twice their size.

We hope you enjoy our guide to miniature dog breeds!

Best Small Dog Breeds

Small dog breeds sometimes get a bad rap as being “yappy,” hyperactive and harder to train, but as with any stereotype, that’s not necessarily the case. Sure, the various types of small dogs (even toy breeds) pack a lot of personality into a little body. However, these tiny dogs are faithful companions with a lot of heart and have a loving disposition with adults and children alike.These cute, small dogs can be happy in any space, from a large home to a modest studio apartment, and they tend to live longer than their larger counterparts (from 12 to 20 years). But don’t lump them all in one small box. The following small dog breeds have some striking differences between each of their personalities.


The Chihuahua hails from Central or South America and is a descendant of a dog known as the Techichi. They usually weigh no more than 6 pounds and stand about 6-inches tall. Small dogs with big-dog attitudes, Chihuahuas rule the roost of any space they are in, but despite their stature, they still need sufficient training like any other dog. Breed hallmarks include big eyes and a round or apple-shaped head. They come in a variety of colors and long or short coats.Chihuahuas do well in a home without small children — they are a little too dainty for rough play. They also need protection from the cold but are otherwise adaptable and good-natured pets.

Brussels Griffon

Griffs, as they are known, weigh in at about 5 to 15 pounds and stand at 9- to 11-inches tall. They served as both work dogs and noble companions in their native Belgium, and they are the little old men of the dog world with their expressive bearded faces and big eyes.They come in four colors — red, black-and-reddish brown, black and tan, and black, and they can have either a smooth or rough coat. They are stocky, confident and easy to train, but like Chihuahuas, they are fragile when it comes to rough play. Plus, they can get lonely — they do best in groups with other dogs or in a home with someone who’s always in attendance.


The majestic but tiny Pomeranian has the presence of a lion and not only because of his or her lux double coat. The little dog packs a lot of moxie into a small frame and will run your household if not well trained.The Pom comes in at 6- to 7-inches tall and weighs 3 to 7 pounds. They are the smallest member of the Spitz family of canines, which also includes the Samoyed, Alaskan malamute and Norwegian elkhound. Adorable, alert and feisty, Poms are whip-smart and loyal dogs. They make excellent watchdogs and do well with children, but, like some other small dogs on our list, rough play should be kept to a minimum because of their size.


Affenpinschers have garnered a few nicknames over the years — “monkey dogs” and “ape terriers” — with good reason. Their serious expressions make them look less like dogs than the aforementioned primates. They stand only 9- to 11-inches tall and weigh 7 to 9 pounds, but are incredibly robust, sturdy pets.Affens originated in Germany and were bred to be “ratters,” killers of rats, mice and other vermin. Today, they are a wonderful addition to any family who loves to laugh, as the affenpinscher is consistently entertaining, mischievous and playful. Affens love to climb and bark, too, so be sure they get proper training.

Yorkshire Terrier

This little dog may look noble, but don’t let the Yorkshire terrier’s regal, silky coat fool you. Yorkies are nowhere near as aloof as they seem!Sure, they’re small — they top out at about 7 pounds and stand 8- to 9-inches tall — but they are feisty, brave and tomboyish, with loads of big-dog attitude. They’ve served as both ratters and royalty in their early days and make wonderful watchdogs with loads of energy in modern times. The Yorkie provides years of affection and fun for the entire family but should be supervised in a home with small children.

Russian Toy

These diminutive pups have the Russian aristocracy in their past, and they’re playful, loving dogs with loads of energy. When a Russian toy wants to frolic, you may be hard-pressed to keep up, but as much as they love to run, they love downtime, too, spending time lounging in your lap. Russian toys crave human companionship. When they feel neglected, they certainly let you know it.Russian toys come in long and short coats and a variety of colors. Despite being small (3 to 6 pounds and 7.5- to 10.5-inches tall), the toy is a quality companion dog that does well with humans and other animals that may live in the home.

Toy Fox Terrier

The whip-smart, fun-loving toy fox terrier is eager to please and learn at every turn. They, too, have a work history as farm ratters and hunters of small game. That lineage and boundless energy make them prone to chasing small animals today, and they do need plenty of human supervision.They are highly intelligent creatures, which are easy to train and which do well in obedience and agility competitions. Topping out at 7 pounds and 10-inches tall, these amusing and entertaining pups come in a variety of colors and coats and are an endless source of amusement for everyone in the family.

Japanese Chin

This noble dog also boasts a royal lineage, which still presents itself in its thick mane and plumed tail. The Japanese chin has a short muzzle and big, round eyes that are hard to resist. A charming companion, the dog is an extreme cuddler who is exotic, graceful and relatively quiet, which is why some folks call it the “feline” of dogs. Chins are sensitive to their owners’ emotions — if they live in a quiet home, they will exhibit a calm nature.The chin is not suited for a home with toddlers, as it can be hurt during rough play or may even snap at a child. They are also happier in a residence in which someone is typically present most of the day.

Chinese Crested

Lively, alert and loving, the Chinese crested can be hairless or coated, and comes in a variety of colors. If you choose a hairless crested, shedding and doggy odor won’t be much of a problem, but they are less likely to tolerate cold, so keep them covered.The crested was also a ratter and accompanied Chinese sailors on their many voyages. Today, these affectionate pups are playful, happy and devoted to their humans. They are a strong-willed breed that needs proper guidance, as they can be hard to house train, but they make keen watchdogs and do well with humans and animals of all shapes and sizes.

Shih Tzu

These Chinese “lion dogs” were the stuff of royalty more than a thousand years ago, but are now, despite their lineage, mischievous companions who offer hours of endless entertainment for any family.Shih tzus have long, luxurious coats that need to be groomed consistently. While they may look dainty, at 9- to 10.5-inches tall and 9 to 16 pounds, they are surprisingly sturdy for their size. This breed LOVES nearly everyone and is a charming, fun companion who gets as much enjoyment on your lap as they do in more playful moments. The shih tzu often needs training, as they are notoriously difficult to housebreak, and they are not especially good with very young children. If they are handled too roughly, they may snap when their patience wears thin.

Miniature Pinscher

It’s important to remember mini pinschers are not just smaller Dobermans, although they do make fearless watchdogs and can be territorial.This “King of the Toys” is energetic and smart, and is best suited to an owner who can reign in the pooch’s willful personality. On the plus side, the mini pin is fun-loving and endlessly entertaining, and has a short coat that’s easy to groom.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

The pampered Cavalier King Charles spaniel is refined and graceful with a royal lineage, but also a down-to-earth companion for any member of the family. Like many noble breeds, toy spaniels have assumed the personalities of their aristocratic owners over the years. They can be proud and stubborn, and they don’t cotton to everyone, but they are incredibly affectionate and happy when it comes to spending time with their owners.The Cavalier King Charles spaniel weighs no more than 18 pounds and has a large, domed head with long ears and almond-shaped eyes.

French Bulldog

The Frenchie resembles an English bulldog in miniature, but with large, erect “bat ears,” which are a trademark of the breed. The little dog‘s short coat comes in a variety of colors, and its body is compact and muscular. They are a bit on the heavier side, at 16 to 28 pounds, and stand at about a foot tall.Frenchies are charming, intelligent and, despite their quiet nature, are excellent watchdogs. They can adapt to any living situation and make friends with other animals and small children easily. They do not do well in extreme heat and do not need much exercise as their short noses can make breathing harder. Frenchies love to eat and will pack on the pounds, so their diets must be monitored.


The true clowns of the dog world, the pug has been described by the Latin phrase “multum in parvo” (a lot in a little). Pugs come in three colors — silver, apricot-fawn with a black face mask or all black — and they exhibit an extensive range of human-like expressions due to their big dark eyes, wrinkled foreheads and flat faces, which have delighted folks for centuries. They also boast a royal Chinese lineage and were bred to keep the feet of their owners toasty by sitting on them during cold weather.Pugs are considered the ideal pet for small-space living and love children and adults equally. Remember to keep them groomed; they do shed profusely, and their folds can get infected if they aren’t cleaned properly. Like Frenchies, pugs are a short-nosed breed and need moderate temperatures and a proper diet to thrive.

Boston Terrier

Small but sturdy, the Boston terrier is one of the few dogs on this list that originated in the U.S. The breed started as a fighting dog but today is an affectionate companion for every member of the family.Bostons are smart, but as their fighter instinct is still very much a part of who they are, they can be extremely stubborn, so make sure yours has the proper training. Once they do, the spunky, loving and affectionate Boston thrives in every setting or situation.


The tiny Havanese hails from Cuba and was likely brought in by Spanish explorers in the 18th century. They top out at about 11.5-inches tall, and their long coats insulate them from extreme weather conditions — in particular, heat.If you teach a Havanese to swim, you’ll find them to be surprisingly able in the water. Havanese pups are “on” all the time, meaning if they have an audience they are more than willing to entertain. The breed makes a welcome addition to any family, but make sure to keep your Havanese groomed — their lux coats require daily brushing.

Italian Greyhound

Standing about 15 inches at the shoulder, the Italian greyhound has its origins as a royal lapdog and a powerful athlete who hunted small game. Italians bear more than a passing resemblance to greyhounds and share additional qualities with their larger counterparts, from an extremely muscular body to a fluid gait.Keep this breed on a leash — it can run up to 25 miles per hour! The shy Italian greyhound is highly intelligent and extremely loving toward every member of the family, but they can be hard to house train. However, the best defense is a good offense, so early training is essential for this breed.

Miniature Schnauzer

If you want a tiny (a little more than a foot tall) shadow to follow you everywhere you go, look no further than the loyal mini schnauzer. Minis have personalities that go far beyond their size. In a mini schnauzer’s eyes, he’s the biggest thing in the room!This little old man with his Victorian, turn-of-the-century mustache has a regal air, but at heart, he’s more of an affectionate clown who’s willing and happy to be at your side as much as he can. Originally bred as a ratter and guard dog, the sturdy mini schnauzer is an extremely loving companion suited for just about any household.

Norwich Terrier

The Norwich terrier was also bred as a ratter — if you have any vermin issues, they’ll instinctively tackle them. This fearless, sturdy breed has boundless energy for play but is also just as content being a lapdog. The Norwich terrier does quite well in breed competitions, one was even featured in the 2001 film “Best in Show” as the overall winner!Remember to keep Norwich terriers safely leashed or within your yard, as these dogs have a high drive for small prey. And if there’s any animal smaller than the Norwich in your home, you may want to reconsider owning one.


This fluffy bundle was once the dog of Chinese royalty and still carries some personality traits of that former life. They can be affectionate or independent and will do whatever suits them at the moment. That said, they are still loving companions, suited to nearly every setting, from apartment living on up.The Pekingese makes an excellent watchdog due to their vigilance, which is why they may take some time to warm up to strangers. The Pekingese is brachycephalic and has an extremely long coat — to keep yours happy and healthy, make sure to groom frequently and keep them out of extreme heat. Also, the Pekingese should not be in a home with very small children.

Scottish Terrier

At a little under a foot tall, the Scottish terrier’s thick, short legs carries the breed in search of small prey. This independent-minded and intelligent dog has become a loving family companion. While they can be aloof with strangers, they’re loyal toward those they love.They can adapt to any living situation, but remember to give them regular exercise. As with other dogs on this list, they may not take kindly to prodding from smaller children and need to have the confines of a yard, as their prey instinct is high.


The Schipperke is often called “the little black devil” because the breed can be quite mischievous. They’re sturdy, stubborn and smart, which may not be the best traits for every household, as they may end up running it.This alert and energetic breed makes an excellent guard dog, but when they’re not on watch, they’re happy to play with and entertain everyone in the household. As with other small dogs, they’re best in a home with older children.

American Eskimo Dog

This breed’s soft plumes of white hair have garnered the nickname “The Dog Beautiful.” But this dog is not just all looks — they are smart, energetic and have an endless curiosity, which means they’re up for just about any great adventure.They get along with people and other pets alike as long as they’re familiar with them. American Eskimos are more empathetic to human feelings than most other breeds, so try to keep any arguments or discord around them to a minimum to keep this dog happy and stress-free.


The Bolognese hails from the Italian city of Bologna and stands at about a foot tall. The Bolognese is strictly a companion dog with low energy who is happy to be in quiet repose on his owner’s lap.If you’re away from home, even during the standard work week, the Bolognese may not be the dog for you, as they are prone to suffering from separation anxiety. While they don’t shed, their long white coat also needs to be managed frequently by being brushed or shaved down.

Coton de Tulear

The Coton, known as the “Royal Dog of Madagascar,” stands at about a foot tall and is known for its white, fluffy coat that is said to be as soft as cotton (or “coton” in French.) Like the Bolognese, this breed is strictly a companion animal and lapdog who is highly intelligent and entertaining. Cotons make for great therapy and emotional support dogs, as they are highly intuitive and empathetic.

Cairn Terrier

One of the oldest terrier breeds, the Cairn terrier hails from Scotland and is also a small prey hunter. (Toto, from the “Wizard of Oz,” is the most famous Cairn — her real name was Terry.)This little dog stands at 9- to 10-inches tall and is stronger than one might assume. The Cairn is highly intelligent, alert and does well with obedience training and can master any trick that comes to mind. Just go gently in speaking to your Cairn — they are sensitive and don’t respond well to harsh treatment or yelling.

Alaskan Klee Kai

The literal meaning of the Inuit words “klee kai” is “small dog.” Sure, the Klee Kai may look like a smaller Husky, but its personality is decidedly different. This breed is more of a companion animal than a working dog. However, like Huskies, Klee Kais are high energy and demand plenty of exercise.Keep your pup mentally entertained too — a bored Klee Kai whines and barks. If you’re not home much, the Klee may not be for you, but if you have plenty of time to spare, you won’t find a more loving and friendly companion who will keep up with you during any physical activity you pursue.

Silky Terrier

Elegant, but by no means dainty, the Silky terrier is small enough to be a lap dog but has the terrier traits of bravery, stubbornness and a tough attitude engrained. As with many terriers, digging, barking and chasing are also inherent characteristics. So, if you get a Silky, keep their minds occupied and engaged.Silkies are loyal companions who are content to be in your shadow during physical activity or quiet time. They’re happy in any situation or space, but it’s best that they’re supervised around smaller children.


Despite this breed’s diminutive size, the Dachshund is a working dog at heart. Although they stand at only 9-inches tall and their short legs don’t allow for much in the way of strenuous physical activity like running, swimming or leaping, Dachshunds have huge barks and are very aware of their surroundings, making them wonderful watchdogs.Dachshunds were bred to be hunters of small prey (their name means “badger dog” in German) and are known to be fearless and stubborn, yet they are highly intelligent, loving dogs who warm the hearts of everyone they come across.

American Hairless Terrier

This relatively new breed is essentially a hairless rat terrier and is one of few dogs on this list that hails from the U.S. Like most terriers, the American hairless is friendly with people and dogs of all kinds but can be territorial toward strangers.They expend a medium amount of energy and can be great apartment dogs. They do have an instinct to dig, so make sure they have a place where they can fulfill their need to do so. And don’t forget the sunscreen — American hairless dogs do have a tendency to burn.

Biewer Terrier

A fairly new toy terrier, the Biewer stands about 8.5-inches tall and has long, silky hair that needs to be groomed regularly to keep it tangle free. The Biewer, while rare in the U.S., makes a wonderful, happy companion animal that is a plus to any household, including those with small children.They are strong, playful and aware, and are, unlike some of their terrier counterparts, generally quiet.

German Spitz

This foot-tall ball of fluff looks like a larger Pomeranian, but that’s where the similarity ends. The spitz is also a working dog who was bred to hunt small prey. For this reason, they may not do well in a home with smaller dogs or other diminutive animals. In the right home, however, they’re loving, playful and loyal dogs.Make sure that, if you’re not home, your spitz has something to keep them occupied like a toy or another (equal or larger sized) pet — they are known to suffer from separation anxiety and bark for hours. Also, the spitz needs frequent grooming so that their hair doesn’t become matted.


Corgis come in two varieties — the Pembroke Welsh Corgi or the Cardigan Welsh Corgi. They were once recognized as the same breed but were split into two breeds in 1925. To tell them apart, note that the Pembroke does not have a tail and has pointy ears, while the Cardigan has round ears.Corgis are herding dogs and have retained that instinct, but for the most part, they make wonderful and loving pets. They are affectionate toward every member of the family, including very small children.

Glen of Imaal Terrier

This Irish breed was bred to hunt and seek out foxes, badgers and other small vermin. While a skillful and alert hunter, the Glen is just as happy in the role as an affectionate family pet. You can contain their hunting, digging and chasing needs with proper training.Keep your Glen busy and spend time with them, as their independent streak allows for mischief, and do watch their weight with daily exercise.


The Lowchen or “little lion dog” hails from France and Germany and was bred as a royal footwarmer with a distinctive haircut that leaves them fluffy at the front and naked in back. This rare breed has been around since at least the 16th century.Today, they make cherished companions who are surprisingly strong and playful. The Lowchen is a happy dog and loves everyone, from humans to animals. They’re low energy, but they’re smart, alert and have big personalities despite their small size.

West Highland White Terrier

The adorable Westie has been a family dog for more than 300 years. This courageous little dog is protective of their chosen humans and can be surprisingly strong when threatened.However, they’re a generally happy and playful breed that shows independence as well as a need for companionship. A properly trained Westie makes for a great addition to any household.


Beautiful Papillons get their name from their enormous “butterfly” ears, but not all Paps have ears that stand up (the Phalène is the drop-eared version.) The Pap looks like a dainty lap dog with a plumed tail but is nonetheless robust and eager to play. The breed does well in agility competitions and thrives in any climate or home setting.The Pap is one of the most well-rounded breeds on this list. They’re smart and love a good mental challenge. If you love a good game of fetch, you’ll be happy to know that the Papillon is a natural retriever!

Norfolk Terrier

While not a common breed in the U.S. — there are less than 300 born per year — the Norfolk is an affectionate addition to the family. That said, be patient if you want one because you may be on a year-long list with a reputable breeder.The Norfolk is stronger than they look, and they like to stay active. They, too, are always ready to chase prey, so you may want to keep yours leashed or confined to a yard. Norfolks are some of the longest-living dogs on this list, with some being healthy well into their late teens.


This Swedish/Finnish breed is a type of spitz with a tail that curves up the back. The Norrbottenspets is a hunter and can go the distance when needed, but they’re as content to be a companion animal in any home.This breed loves physical activity, so a game of fetch or a run is always welcome. Make sure to keep your Norrbottenspets occupied mentally as well as physically — this breed can be destructive and loud when bored.

Dandie Dinmont Terrier

The Dandie Dinmont has the distinction of being the only dog on this list that is named after a fictional character — it comes from a terrier-owning farmer in Sir Walter Scott’s 1814 book, “Guy Mannering.” While a breed with decidedly terrier characteristics, the Dandie stands out from the rest, being lower to the ground and curvier than most other terrier breeds.The Dandie is affectionate, friendly and playful, but like most terriers, will jump at the chance to chase smaller animals. When training a Dandie, make their tasks fun — as they get bored and stubborn with too much repetition.

Lhasa Apso

This 2,000-year-old breed was first seen with monks in Tibet who believed that when the owner of a Lhasa Apso passed away, but was not ready for Nirvana, he or she would be reincarnated into a dog‘s body. The Lhasa or “bark lion sentinel dog” was the monastery watchdog and still makes an excellent guard dog today, as they are affectionate with those who are familiar, but suspicious of strangers.They’re as independent as they are loving, need a moderate amount of exercise and a lot of brushing. They will not put up with too much prodding, however, so keep a watchful eye over your Lhasa Apso with small children.

Skye Terrier

While the Skye terrier is small — at most, they’re 10-inches tall — they tend to be on the heavier side. This breed is often described as a “big small dog” with a large head and body atop very short legs.Skye terriers are friendly and loyal, particularly around their owners but are highly suspicious of strangers, so early socialization is best. The Skye has a personality that’s much bigger than their size, so make sure to train them well as they can run your household with their stubborn wills. Weekly brushing is also essential to their health.

Swedish Vallhund

The long and low Swedish Vallhund is an ancient breed that lived on Viking ships some 1,200 years ago as well as herded cattle on dry land. This small, sturdy dog has a thick coat and is powerful for being so small.The Vallhund is a born entertainer who loves to make other family members laugh. They need both mental and physical stimulation to keep them happy and healthy, as they have a LOT of energy. If you want a couch potato, this may not be the dog for you.

Parson, Jack Russell and Russell Terriers

These three breeds look very much alike and can be traced back to 19th century England and Reverend John “Jack” Russell, but there are subtle differences to each. While all three are working dogs, the Parson is more of a hunter than the Jack, although both are considered fox hunters. The smaller, gentler Russell was bred primarily for companionship.All three are loving dogs who generally live long, healthy lives and make a welcome addition to any family, as they do particularly well with kids. Frequent exercise and mental stimulation are a must for these curious, energetic breeds.

Bichon Frise

The Bichon is made for laps with their fluffy white hair and loving, quiet demeanor, but they’re also quite entertaining. Showbiz is indeed in the Bichon’s blood — they even used to entertain royalty and perform in the circus.Bichons are small, but they do need proper training, as they can be yappy. This is also a breed that should be supervised with smaller children because they can nip or snap and get injured easily with too much poking and prodding.

Russkaya Tsvetnaya Bolonka

The Bolonka hails from Russia and is a member of the Bichon family. Toy dogs were once a rarity in the USSR due to its harsh climate and desire for working dogs, and the Bolonka almost went extinct. It did have its place in Soviet society, however, as bigger dogs weren’t practical for city living.The Bolonka does have some working dog traits and is very protective of their territory. They are also smart, funny and loving to their chosen family. They are great with children and are also happily independent. The Bolonka has only been in the U.S. since 2002, so it’s no wonder they’re considered “the dog of the 21st century.”

Teddy Roosevelt Terrier

The Teddy Roosevelt Terrier was a favorite of early American homesteaders for clearing their properties of vermin, which, if given a chance, they will still do today. The dog was named after the 26th president, who was said to have this short-legged variety of rat terrier and helped to develop the breed.The Teddie is an energetic working dog and makes for a loyal companion to every member of the family, be it human or animal alike. Teddies can also adapt to any living situation. They are content to live in a big or small space and can be a powerful competitor in an agility course or live happily and quietly as a loving lapdog.


The Maltese is an ancient breed known for its lux, silky white coat and lively persona. They take to training like a duck to water, as they are extremely eager to please. Positive reinforcement works best in training a Maltese, and early socialization will be beneficial. This happy-go-lucky breed is friendly to humans and animals alike, but as with most small dogs, they should be supervised with smaller children. Also, beware of breeders who advertise “teacup” puppies. Those that are under 4 pounds may come with myriad health issues.

Tibetan Terrier

This “holy dog of Tibet” has “snowshoe” (large and flat) feet that help them traverse snowy and mountainous terrain and live among monks as herders and sheep guardians. The Tibetan terrier is not a true terrier but was given the name for being a smaller size.The breed is good-natured and friendly to a fault but is not a good watchdog for this reason. The Tibetan terrier does well in any competition and has a gentle demeanor that allows them to thrive in virtually any living situation.

Miniature and Toy Poodle

Like the larger standard poodle, miniature and toy poodles often attract new dog owners because of their minimal shedding (this also makes it a good choice for people with allergies).They are active dogs with high energy levels, but grooming is perhaps the biggest commitment when you have a miniature or toy poodle. Their coat will need to be brushed daily to prevent matting.

Miniature Pinscher

A miniature pinscher dog is barely a foot tall, but has an expansive personality! Expect about 10 pounds of spunky love from this little guy, who’s 110 percent dedicated to his hooman and not hesitant to broadcast a rousing bark alarm if anything is amiss. A true original, a ‘min pin’ isn’t a Doberman pinscher’s mini-me, though. Both are dogs with German heritage, but aren’t related.

Miniature Schnauzer

Even experienced dog owners are wowed by the wonderful talents of miniature schnauzers. Off-the-charts intelligence, an eagerness to learn new tricks, and mad agility skills are standard features of this bearded 11–20 pound pooch. Miniature schnauzer dogs are also huge lovebugs, so don’t expect to nap or even shower in peace, as they don’t understand personal space.

Miniature Poodle

The continental miniature poodle hails from both Germany and France. Is she brilliant?

Miniature American Shepherd

Blink, and you’ll think an Australian shepherd just whizzed by! And with good reason, as the miniature American shepherd descends from the famed miniature Aussie cattle dogs of the Old West. Sliding into the upper range of miniature dog breeds at 20–40 pounds, an occasional grass-sniffing, squirrel-chasing routine won’t be enough for this high-energy, whip-smart, people-lovin’ doggo. Have your hiking boots ready and a few games, too.

Miniature Bull Terrier

Cheerful clown? Check. Mischievous? Check! Bull terriers used to come in standard, miniature, and toy sizes, but the toys decreased in popularity over time. Standing about 14 inches tall, the stocky, robust, and vocal miniature bull terrier looks like a real toughie but is actually a big softy. Because he’s naturally rambunctious, he relies on you for early socialization and consistent skill training to amp up his charm.

Italian Greyhound

She’s an elegant Roman beauty, whereas her distant relative the greyhound consorted with queens and pharaohs of Egypt. The gentle, sensitive Italian greyhound is terrific for first-time pet owners if they keep in mind she’s not a fan of being home alone. (We wouldn’t want to be without her either!) While wee—about 7–14 pounds and 15 inches high—she’s speedy, and likes to stay active.

Japanese Chin

Just signed an apartment lease and eager for a cuddly canine companion? A Japanese chin will put tiny paw prints all over your heart. At about 11 inches tall and 11 pounds, he’s the most miniature of the brachycephalic dog breeds, but low maintenance and ready for a car ride anytime! Likes: chillin’ out with calm adult pet parents, a movie, and plenty of treats. Dislikes: jobs to do, a lot of exercise.


Once known as a ‘dwarf spaniel’ (averaging 5–10 pounds), the papillon is the most miniature dog breed in the spaniel line. Her silky-soft coat and wide, feathery ears (