Animals Pets 12 of the World‘s Smallest Dog Breeds By Jaymi Heimbuch Jaymi Heimbuch Twitter Writer California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo Jaymi Heimbuch is a writer and photographer specializing in wildlife conservation. She is the author of The Ethiopian Wolf: Hope at the Edge of Extinction. Learn about our editorial process Updated September 22, 2021 Treehugger / Ellen Lindner Share Twitter Pinterest Email Animals Wildlife Pets Animal Rights Endangered Species Dogs come in an astounding variety of sizes, from mastiffs the size of miniature horses to teensy teacup-sized companion dogs. The smallest dogs include toy breeds ranging from affenpinschers to Yorkshire terriers. While they all share a small stature, tiny dogs span a wide variety of temperaments. Ready to add a tiny but loyal friend to your family? Here are 12 of the worlds smallest dog breeds. Millions of pets (including many purebreds) are available to be adopted from shelters. We always recommend adoption as a first choice. If you’ve decided to buy a pet from a breeder, be sure to choose a responsible breeder, and always avoid puppy mills. 1 of 12 Chihuahua alexks / Shutterstock There is only one breed of Chihuahua, but there is quite a bit of variation within the breed. These tiny dogs can have long or short coats in a variety of colors. They even have two distinct head shapes: apple-shaped and deer-shaped. The smallest dog breed, chihuahuas weigh a featherlight four to six pounds and stand an average of five to eight inches tall. Chihuahuas are low-maintenance dogs when it comes to grooming, but they can be high-maintenance when it comes to training. They usually become devoted to a single person and are protective, which can make living in a house with children a challenge. This isn’t to say Chihuahuas can’t make great family dogs, but the personality of the dog and the patience and training by the family are important factors. 2 of 12 Brussels Griffon otsphoto / Shutterstock This uncommon breed was created in Brussels, Belgium. Before they became eye-catching pets, this long-legged, short-faced dog was originally bred as a terrier kept in stables to hunt rodents. Brussels griffon dogs typically stand around seven to 10 inches tall and weigh between eight and 10 pounds. There are two coat types rough or smooth and four different coat colors. This breed tends to bond with one human and does not enjoy being around children. However, they do usually get along well with other animals and can make a great pet in a home with other pets. While they love to snuggle, they also love to play and roughhouse. They’re smart, but can be sensitive. Like many other terrier breeds, they have a stubborn streak, so they need a patient trainer. 3 of 12 Pomeranian Rita_Kochmarjova / Shutterstock This spunky little fuzz ball is a spitz type breed. Popular pets, Pomeranians stand between six and seven inches tall and weigh a mere three to seven pounds. Pomeranians come in over two dozen colors ranging from orange and red to tan, white and black. They also come in combinations of colors and can be spotted or brindle. Their thick coat is actually a double coat, with a soft, thick, short undercoat and a long, straight, harshly textured outercoat. To prevent mats, grooming is a necessity for these dogs, including a trim every couple of months. Also important to note: Pomeranians shed their undercoats twice a year. These alert, extroverted dogs are easy to train. An owner definitely needs to implement training because Poms can be territorial and develop habits of excessive barking or aggressiveness with other dogs. Owners who can work with the assertive, confident nature of these loving dogs will find a fast friend. 4 of 12 Affenpinscher Ekaterina Gorokhova / Getty Images The affenpinscher, which looks somewhat like the Brussels griffon, originated in Germany to fulfill the same role of rodent control in kitchens and stables. The breed‘s name translates to “monkeylike terrier,” which is fitting for a dog full of personality and feistiness. This breed stands between nine and 11.5 inches tall and weighs around seven to 10 pounds. But don’t let the tiny size fool you. These dogs are active indoors and love daily walks. They’re curious and playful, but also are stubborn and protective. Because they have a tough-guy personality, they need training and respond best to positive reinforcement methods, such as clicker training. They are fearless and a bit territorial, so they don’t do well in homes with children. But when paired with the right owner, this scruffy little dog makes for a smart, sassy best friend. 5 of 12 Papillon BIGANDT.COM / Shutterstock If you’re all about the ears, the papillon is probably the dog for you. The name is perfect for this breed, as it means butterfly, and is an apt description for the papillons ears. Papillons stand eight to 11 inches tall and weigh between five and 10 pounds. This breed is friendly and self-assured, and when properly socialized, does well with children, strangers and other pets. They are well known to be great companion animals, even if they can be a bit on the vocal side. Energetic and intelligent, papillons do well with owners who want to engage their speed and smarts. Agility and rally obedience are perfect pastimes for papillons and their handlers. 6 of 12 Yorkshire Terrier Viorel Sima / Shutterstock Yorkshire terriers started out as ratters in Yorkshire, England, but have grown to become a much-loved companion animal. According to the American Kennel Club, it is the 10th most popular breed of dog. Yorkies stand seven to eight inches tall and weigh around seven pounds, though some may be a bit larger. They are also known for their long, luxurious coats, which are considered hypoallergenic as they shed less than other dogs. However, grooming is still essential for these long-haired dogs. Well-rounded dogs, Yorkies love to be engaged in training. They aren’t particularly high-energy dogs, but are perfect for someone who likes to take a long daily walk or two and then cuddle on the couch. Like so many toy breeds with terrier backgrounds, they aren’t particularly fond of children, other dogs, or strangers, and they can be vocal. But with appropriate socialization and training, they can be a friendly, balanced dog. 7 of 12 Russian Toy otsphoto / Shutterstock This dreamy little dog was almost entirely unknown outside of Russia, its country of origin, until the 1990s. The Russian toy is similar in size to the Chihuahua, standing between eight and 11 inches tall and weighing up to six and a half pounds. It is also similar to Chihuahuas in that the breed has two varieties of coat: a smooth coat and a long coat. The Russian toy also looks like the papillon thanks to its big ears with feathered fur edges. The Russian toy was bred to be a ratter and watchdog, and thus can be quite vocal. They are loyal, playful members of any family including those with kids and they benefit from an active household. The Russian toy prefers walks rather than being carried around. They’re also bright dogs who enjoy training. 8 of 12 Toy Fox Terrier Sergey Ryumin / Getty Images A descendant of the smooth fox terrier, the toy fox terrier became its own breed and was recognized by the AKC in 2003. These perky dogs stand eight and a half to 11.5 inches tall and weigh anywhere from three and a half to seven pounds. This tiny dog is like a little powder keg, with plenty of energetic activity stored in their small frames. Fast, agile, courageous, and smart, the toy fox terrier is great for someone who wants an active, trainable dog small enough for apartment living. Great for anything from agility to hiking (on leash, considering they’re a terrier with a very high prey drive), the toy fox terrier loves to play, explore, and learn. They stay active well into their older years. 9 of 12 Japanese Chin MementoImage / Getty Images This friendly, happy companion dog has been around for a long time possibly 500 to 1,000 years. The Japanese Chin is a perfect lapdog with a height of eight to 11 inches and a weight between seven and 11 pounds. The Japanese Chin is known for its catlike disposition, including its independent attitude and propensity for jumping onto furniture to have a better view of the room. It even has a tendency to use its paws to wash its face. A loving dog with family, the Japanese Chin is friendly but a little reserved with strangers. They are known to shape their personality around their owners being a mellow dog with a quiet owner and a playful dog with an active owner. The Japanese Chin also loves to learn interesting new tricks and thrives on variety in training. Overall, the breed is a comical, well-rounded companion. 10 of 12 Chinese Crested Robbie Goodall / Getty Images The Chinese crested might be one of the most recognized small dog breeds. It stands about eight to 12 inches high and weighs between 11 and 13 pounds. A hairless breed, most individuals are naked except for a crest of fur on their heads, “socks” on their feet, and a plume of fur on their tails. There is a recessive gene in some individuals called powder puffs that causes them to have a full coat of fur. Though they are athletic, the Chinese crested is a low-energy breed that is happy to spend the day curled up in bed as you read the paper. They’re known as a “Velcro dog” in that they become intensely bonded to an owner, dismissing strangers and sticking with their human as much as possible. They are social, but needy dogs. Needy of both love and, often, a sweater. 11 of 12 Miniature Pinscher DragoNika / Shutterstock Love the look of a Doberman but need a dog that fits in a small apartment? Meet the miniature pinscher, or min pin. This old breed originated in Germany and wasn’t created to be a mini version of anything. It just happened to be named as if it were when it was introduced to the U.S. The breed stems from a mix of dachshund, Italian greyhound, and other breeds over its long history. These small dogs stand 10 to 12.5 inches tall and weigh eight to 10 pounds. They have a sturdy build that suits their assertive, outgoing personality. Athletic and energetic, these are great dogs for active adults. They are also great for adults that like to play hide-and-seek, as this breed is known to be a great escape artist. When not escaping, they love to act as watchdog and alert their owners to any possible intruder. 12 of 12 English Toy Spaniel Jessica Castilo / Getty Images The English toy spaniel is also known as the King Charles spaniel, but is not to be confused with the Cavalier King Charles spaniel. The English toy spaniel came first, and when its snout became flatter as the breed was mixed with others like the Japanese Chin and pug, breeders attempting to return the breed to its original form instead developed a new breed: the Cavalier King Charles spaniel. However, the much-loved English toy breed didn’t disappear. It is smaller than its newer peer, reaching a height of nine to 10 inches and a weight of eight to 14 pounds. These long-haired beauties are mellow, good-natured dogs. Playful but gentle and highly loving, this breed becomes utterly devoted to an owner, often to the point of having issues with separation anxiety. They are fairly low energy, and are happiest cuddling on the couch with their favorite human. View Article Sources “Chihuahua Dog Breed Information”. American Kennel Club. “Brussels Griffon Dog Breed Information”. American Kennel Club. “Pomeranian Dog Breed Information”. American Kennel Club. “Affenpinscher Dog Breed Information”. American Kennel Club. “Papillon Dog Breed Information”. American Kennel Club. “Yorkshire Terrier (Yorkie) Dog Breed Information”. American Kennel Club. “Russian Toy Dog Breed Information”. American Kennel Club. “Toy Fox Terrier Dog Breed Information”. American Kennel Club. “Japanese Chin Dog Breed Information”. American Kennel Club. “Chinese Crested Dog Breed Information”. American Kennel Club. Parker, Heidi G. et al. “The Bald And The Beautiful: Hairlessness In Domestic Dog Breeds”. Philosophical Transactions Of The Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, vol 372, no. 1713, 2017, p. 20150488. The Royal Society, doi:10.1098/rstb.2015.0488 “Miniature Pinscher Dog Breed Information”. American Kennel Club. “English Toy Spaniel Dog Breed Information”. American Kennel Club.
What is the smallest type of dog in the world?
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 is the 2 smallest dog in the world?
#2 Smallest Dogs: Chiweenie – 5-to-9 Inches. They are a cross between dachshunds and chihuahuas. Most chiweenies have a short coat, but there are long-haired chiweenies. Ears can be erect like the chihuahuas or droopy like the dachshund. This breed makes terrific watchdogs, but they can be stubborn to train.
What is the #1 small dog breed?
#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.
What dog is smaller than a Chihuahua?
The Russian toy is similar in size to the Chihuahua, standing between seven and 11 inches tall and weighing two to six pounds.
According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the tiniest dog alive is Milly, who stands 3.8-inches tall at her shoulders. If you think it would be fun to own a dog about the same size as Milly, then there are several choices to consider. When compiling our list, the dog breeds minimum height was first considered. Then, we evaluated their weight when compiling the final list. Teacup designer dogs can be the perfect addition to your home, but do not overlook some standard breeds that stay small.
The Mal-shi is prone to heat-aggravated respiratory problems, so if you live in a warmer area, share your air conditioning with your pet. Unlike some designer pups, you cannot breed two chorkies together and get a similar-looking dog, so a Yorkshire terrier and a chihuahua must be bred each time.
While one-or-two baths a month is generally enough, watch for hair growth inside this breeds ears. Since their lineage on both sides were hunting dogs, you can expect this designer pooch to have strong prey instincts. Try limiting the amount of jumping that this dog does as they are prone to intervertebral disk disease.
The mini dachshund is a highly loyal dog, but it can take the animal a while to warm up to outsiders. The American Kennel Clubs chihuahua breed standard says this dog will grow to be between 5-and-8 inches tall and should not exceed 6 pounds.
Theres little doubt that dogs are the most popular pets in most parts of the world. A large reason for that is their sheer versatility there are hundreds of dog breeds, and they come in all shapes and sizes.
Small dogs are some of the most popular dog breeds in the world. Not only do they take up less space, but they also usually have large, fun personalities.
While they started out as rough dogs who kept the rats out of stables, they eventually became sophisticated lap companions in the 1870s when the Queen of Belgians took a liking to them. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel has been recorded for centuries in paintings alongside aristocratic families who loved their loyal companionship.
Dachshunds arent built for a lot of activity like distance running and leaping, but theyre usually game for anything. The English Toy Spaniel has origins going back to the 1600s when they became symbols of the House of Stuart, and were bred to be companions of kings. Today, these gentle, playful, and smart dogs are very affectionate with their favorite humans, but they can be proud, stubborn, and picky about their friends.
Named after the city of Havana, the Havanese breed was the native lapdog of Cubas aristocrats and wealthy planters. With a smart, trainable, and extroverted personality, they make ideal city companions because theyre excellent watchdogs, but keep barking to a minimum. Its believed that Italian Greyhounds were bred as noble companions about 2,000 years ago in an area thats now Greece and Turkey.
Also known as Min Pins, Miniature Pinschers are believed to go back several centuries, however, experts arent sure of the exact point of origin. These terriers require a considerable amount of activity for a small dog and must be walked on a leash or let out only in a secure, fenced area. Built no higher than 13 inches, Schipperkes are small dogs who work hard and require a lot of activity.
Equipped with a lively and friendly personality, the Shih Tzu requires minimal exercise, and their coat can be kept at puppy cut for easier maintenance. With an intelligent and extroverted personality, Toy Fox Terriers are easy to train and they enjoy most activities, including hunting or just lounging around. In the mid-1800s, local mill workers in Manchester enjoyed hunting rabbits with small dogs, as well as setting a terrier loose in a rat pit while betting on the results.
#9 Maltichon – 6-to-12 Inches
Breeders created the Maltichon by breeding the Maltese and the Bichon Frise. This dog should stand between 6-and-12-inches tall and weigh between 6-and-14 pounds. It is a friendly family dog who loves to be involved in everything that your family is doing. This dog also does well in homes where there is already another dog.All Maltichons have soft wide hair. Some will have apricot, bluff, or cream markings. The coat can be a single layer or a double layer of variable length. This designer dog breed will have brown eyes and a black nose. A quick 20-minute romp is appreciated, but take precautions that those with a double-layer coat do not become overheated.
#8 Broodle Griffon – 6-to-11 Inches
Broodle griffons stand between 6-and-11 inches tall. Typically, they weigh between 6 and 12 pounds. This cross between a poodle and a Brussels griffon may also be called brussapoo, brusapoo, brus-A-Poo or griffinpoo.The head of the Broodle griffon can take after either parent, but it is seldom a mixture of both. This dog can have a wavy, smooth, or curly coat. If you are looking for a hypogenic dog, consider those with a curly coat. If the dog has a curly coat, expect to spend more time grooming it. This dog is eager to please her owners so that makes training much easier.
#7 Mal-shi – 6-to-10 Inches
The mal-shi is a cross between the Maltese and the Shih Tzu breeds. They stand between 6-and-10-inches tall and should weigh between 6-and-12 pounds. Most are gutsy and gregarious and love people. Therefore, they often make great therapy dogs. This dog does best when he has a place to romp.The Mal-shi is prone to heat-aggravated respiratory problems, so if you live in a warmer area, share your air conditioning with your pet. While this dog requires little clipping, you do need to brush it daily. Typically, these dogs do very well in homes with other dogs and children.
#6 Chorkie – 6-9 Inches
The chorkie is a designer pooch and is a cross between a Yorkshire terrier and a Chihuahua. They should be between 6-and-9-inches tall and weigh between 2-and-8 pounds. They may also be known as a Yorkiechi. Any color combination is possible, but most have a noticeable grizzled appearance because of their Yorkshire heritage. Unlike some designer pups, you cannot breed two chorkies together and get a similar-looking dog, so a Yorkshire terrier and a chihuahua must be bred each time.While one-or-two baths a month is generally enough, watch for hair growth inside this breed’s ears. This blocks the air from flowing into the air, which can cause ear infections. Frequent ear infections can lead to deafness.Learn more about chorkies.
#4 Smallest Dogs: Dorkie- 5-to-9 Inches
The Dorkie is a cross between Mini Dachshund and the Yorkshire Terriers. These dogs usually weigh between 5-and-12 pounds and stand between 5-and-9-inches tall. Black and tan is the most common color combination, but they can be chocolate and tan, fawn and tan, or gray and tan. They can be dapple, brindle, piebald or sable.Since their lineage on both sides were hunting dogs, you can expect this designer pooch to have strong prey instincts. Many owners report that they attach themselves to one person. They are often wary around young children. Try limiting the amount of jumping that this dog does as they are prone to intervertebral disk disease.Learn more about dorkies.
#2 Smallest Dogs: Chiweenie – 5-to-9 Inches
Chiweenies stand between 5-and-9 -inches tall and weigh between 4-and-11 pounds. They are a cross between dachshunds and chihuahuas. Most chiweenies have a short coat, but there are long-haired chiweenies. Ears can be erect like the chihuahuas or droopy like the dachshund.This breed makes terrific watchdogs, but they can be stubborn to train. These dogs usually do not have a high prey instinct, but they will bark to alert you to any changes in your environment. While this designer dog breed may have accidentally bred much earlier, breeders started intentionally breeding these dogs in the 1990s.
The Shih Tzu is a highly valued Asian toy breed with a long straight coat and curved tail. They are very friendly, alert, and intelligent. The breed is also hypoallergenic. Also known as the Shih Tzu Kou, translating to Lion Dog in Chinese, Shih Tzus are affectionate house dogs that love spending time with their human companions but often enact clingy behavior.
Did you know that Pomeranians weren’t always this small? The earlier records of the breed show an average weight of 30 lbs – ten times greater than what the breed typically weighs today! Years of breeding made Pomeranians go from a medium-sized breed to a small companion dog.Poms demonstrate many traits you would expect to see in a companion dog. They want to be the center of attention, are loving, and create strong bonds with their humans.
Sometimes referred to as the butterfly dog because of their ears, the Papillon is a highly trainable companion dog.A large portion of the Papillion history is learned through paintings. Tiziano Vicelli (Titian) painted small dogs resembling Papillons along with many of the companion dogs that existed in the mid-1500s. A Papillon is also seen in a family portrait of Louis XIV. The early standards of the breed had a curled tail over the back, which led to the breed being nicknamed the ‘Squirrel Spaniel’.Despite their size, the Papillon is a breed that can really stand out in dog shows. They are easy to train and become comfortable with completing virtually any task their owners give them. With high energy and a friendly character, Papillons get along well with other pets and strangers.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
The Yorkshire Terrier is a hypoallergenic breed and one of the smallest terrier-type dogs. The breed standard is set for a maximum weight of 7 lbs. Even though Yorkies are a very small breed, they keep many of the Terrier characteristics. Being brave, feisty and bossy is in their nature.There is also the Teacup Yorkie – this is just a Yorkshire Terrier specifically bred to be small. Teacup Yorkies weigh only two to four pounds and stand between five and seven inches tall. Compared to the average size of a Yorkie, it isn’t hard to detect a Teacup Yorkie – but they can also reach weights of up to seven pounds while staying at their shorter height.
The Toy Poodle is the smallest Poodle. They are hypoallergenic like other Poodles and display similar characteristics.The Toy Poodles first appeared in the early-1900s in France. Many Poodles were used in circuses, and a smaller Poodle than the Miniature Poodle was appreciated for the convenience of transporting and handling when traveling in circuses. Outside of the circus, Toy Poodles became very popular companion dogs.Although not as fast and agile as the Standard or Miniature Poodle, they are the perfect water-retrievers, and their trainability enables them to complete more challenging tasks.
Also known as the Min Pin, Miniature Pinschers originate from Germany. The earliest Min Pins are thought to be bred with Dachshunds, Italian Greyhounds, and German Pinschers. Even though they are about half the size of German Pinschers, they are very brave and energetic.Min Pins are playful little dogs that love spending time with family but can be possessive of their food and toys. This can raise a risk to families with small children, but training early on can prevent aggression.
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With their distinctive beard, the Brussel Griffons loosely resembles the Pug, although they have a completely different temperament. Known as Griffon Bruxellois in Europe, this small breed has many of the qualities of a companion dog. They are more alert than other companion dogs. Brussel Griffons make excellent watchdogs as they tend to be shy with strangers and don’t trust people at first, but do well with other dogs and pets.
The Chinese Crested is a hypoallergenic dog that also has a hairless variation. The hairless Chinese Crested dogs mostly have concentrated hair in their face and tails. It is also common to hear them called Powderpuff because of their puff coats. Like the other Chinese companion dogs, the earliest ancestors of the Chinese Crested dog were bred as lapdogs, but little is know about the exact history of the breed.The Chinese Crested Dog was recognized by the AKC in 1991, making it a fairly new breed in comparison to the majority of the breeds on our list.
The Affenpinscher (translated from German as Monkey Terrier) has a fun-loving, sometimes mischievous, personality, with the face and impish nature of a monkey. While Affenpinschers aren’t classified as a terrier, they were bred to work like one. In 1600, their job was to get rid of pests and rats in German stables. Later, they were brought inside to exterminate kitchen mice while also being a companion. This wire-haired terrier-like breed stands less than a foot tall, but is very confident. These dogs would do great in apartments, but do require a moderate amount of activity, such as indoor play or a brisk walk.
Recognized by the AKC in 2021, the Biewer Terrier has an interesting heritage. Throughout the 1970s, a couple—Mr. and Mrs. Biewer—had a large, successful breeding program of Yorkshire Terriers. In 1984, they started producing tricolored Yorkies who had the recessive piebald gene, a gene not typically found in Yorkies. These dogs were eventually called Biewer Terriers. Equipped with a fun-loving and loyal personality, these dogs are great family pets. They’re very smart and easy to train.
In the early 1800s, the Brussels Griffon‘s story begins, aptly, in Brussels. While they started out as rough dogs who kept the rats out of stables, they eventually became sophisticated lap companions in the 1870s when the Queen of Belgians took a liking to them. These loyal, alert, and curious dogs come in four colors and have smooth or rough coats. They’re sociable and easily trained, but not ideal for kids because of their sensitive nature. They will stick close to their favorite humans and have a low threshold for loneliness.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel has been recorded for centuries in paintings alongside aristocratic families who loved their loyal companionship. These dogs have four distinct color patterns and, at different times, each color was associated with a particular noble family. This breed is affectionate, gentle, and graceful. They get along great with children and other dogs, and fit their owner’s lifestyle—they can be very active or love to stay on the couch.
The Chihuahua breed has a rich history, and can be found in materials dating back to 1530 in Mexico. These charming and graceful dogs are also sassy and have huge personalities. Their coats come in many colors and patterns, and can be long or short-haired. While these dogs are great city pets, they’re too small for rough kids. They love quality time with their favorite humans.
Chinese Crested origins go back so far, we can only make educated guesses about how the breed was created. In ancient times, large hairless dogs were brought from Africa to China. Through breeding, they were reduced in size, and later became famous for exterminating ships of rats. Today, these very affectionate, playful dogs are great companions. The hairless version of the Chinese Crested—spotted pink skin, spiky hairdo, and furry feet—is most recognizable, but the breed also comes in a powderpuff version with a long double coat.
The Dachshund (meaning “badger dog” in German) was developed to dig into a badger den and dispatch its occupant. This breed’s cleverness, courage, strength, and perseverance made them ideal to battle tough badgers. These dogs come in two sizes, and three coat types. Dachshunds aren’t built for a lot of activity like distance running and leaping, but they’re usually game for anything. They’re very smart dogs and are also independent and sometimes stubborn.
English Toy Spaniel
The English Toy Spaniel has origins going back to the 1600s when they became symbols of the House of Stuart, and were bred to be companions of kings. Today, these gentle, playful, and smart dogs are very affectionate with their favorite humans, but they can be proud, stubborn, and picky about their friends. They’re playful outside and enjoy short walks.
Named after the city of Havana, the Havanese breed was the native lapdog of Cuba’s aristocrats and wealthy planters. These pups are cheerful little dogs. With a smart, trainable, and extroverted personality, they make ideal city companions because they’re excellent watchdogs, but keep barking to a minimum.
While they may look delicate, these dogs are swift and hardy. It’s believed that Italian Greyhounds were bred as noble companions about 2,000 years ago in an area that’s now Greece and Turkey. These dogs are true Greyhounds in miniature. They are alert, playful, and affectionate companions—Italian Greyhounds would much rather be in your lap than left alone. They’re very smart, but these small dogs are sensitive and can be stubborn.
The exact origins of the Japanese Chin breed are mostly unknown. However, historians agree that Japanese nobles created the breed we know today. These dogs were unknown in the West until 1854 when Japan was reopened for trade. This breed is a charming, noble, and loving lapdog who is mostly quiet. They’re fairly active small dogs who enjoy slow walks, and are great for apartments.
Maltese love sitting in the lap of luxury. It’s known that the aristocrats of the Roman Empire created the Maltese’s role as a status symbol and fashion statement. With a show-stopping, floor-length coat, Maltese are playful and adaptable toy companions. They make great alert dogs, and are happy to make new friends.
Also known as Min Pins, Miniature Pinschers are believed to go back several centuries, however, experts aren’t sure of the exact point of origin. Breed historians believe they’re a cross of the Dachshund and Italian Greyhound. Today, these proud, fun-loving dogs are very popular. While small, Min Pins are very active and athletic and require a lot of activity. They are very smart, love their families, but can be independent and make excellent alert dogs.
In the beginning of the Norfolk Terrier‘s history, it was considered the same breed as the Norwich Terrier. In 1964, it became its own breed. To tell the breeds apart, look at the ears. Norfolk ears are neatly folded over. These dogs are fearless, alert, and fun-loving. While they love to curl up in laps, they’re not lap dogs—they are always ready to adventure. Norfolks enjoy long walks and socialization.
Named after their hometown in England, Norwich Terriers are little earthdogs. Standing around 10 inches tall, they’re known to be a big dog in a small package. They were originally bred to control Britain’s rodent population. These terriers require a considerable amount of activity for a small dog and must be walked on a leash or let out only in a secure, fenced area.
Originally bred as companions for noblewomen, Papillons were favorites in European royal courts. These small, friendly toy dogs are known for their butterfly-like ears.(Papillon means “butterfly” in French) and they’re happy and alert. Papillons are comfortable living in apartments, out in the country, or anywhere in between. They are both eager to please and outgoing.
The exact origins of the Pekingese are unknown. But it’s likely Chinese emperors and their courtiers bred it down to a toy size from a larger dog. These dogs possess a regal dignity and intelligence, making them great family members and good-natured. They don’t need a yard and make great pets for an apartment, but they do enjoy walks.
Named after Pomerania—the area of northeastern Europe that’s now Poland and western Germany—Pomeranians are the smallest of the spitz breeds. The Pom gained popularity mostly from Queen Victoria who loved the breed. Now, the tiny dog is one of the most popular toy breeds. These pups are alert and smart, making them great watchdogs and pets for families. They’re very loyal to their owners, and are happy in both the city and the suburbs.
The Pug can be traced back around 2,000 years. Pugs were developed as pets for the emperors of ancient China who liked flat-faced toy dogs. These playful dogs are commonly described as a “lot of dog in a small space.” He is affectionate and loves to have fun outside or spending time with his family. The Pug lives to love and be loved in return. They live to be near their favorite people.
The Schipperke‘s birthplace was in Belgium where the breed became popular as shipboard exterminators. Known as Belgium’s “little captain,” they’re the traditional barge dog of the Low Countries. Today, these dogs are confident, alert, and curious, making them great watchdogs. Built no higher than 13 inches, Schipperkes are small dogs who work hard and require a lot of activity.
Breeders in the Chinese emperor developed the Shih Tzu centuries ago. These dogs lived as royal lap warmers, and emperors pampered them for hundreds of years. Now, this breed is one of the most popular in the world, and makes a great companion. Equipped with a lively and friendly personality, the Shih Tzu requires minimal exercise, and their coat can be kept at “puppy cut” for easier maintenance.
Australian breeders developed the Silky Terrier in the 20th century—the main components including Yorkshires and Australian terriers. These toy dogs are typically a bit more spirited and prey-driven than the usual lapdog. This breed has a lot of classic terrier independence. Silkys are associated with Sydney, Australia, and can adapt to most living situations.
Toy Fox Terrier
During the 20th century, American breeders crossed the runts of Smooth Fox Terriers with toy dogs like Chihuahuas and Italian Greyhounds to develop the Toy Fox Terrier. These dogs are outgoing, friendly, and very lovely to their families. With an intelligent and extroverted personality, Toy Fox Terriers are easy to train and they enjoy most activities, including hunting or just lounging around.
Toy Manchester Terrier
In the mid-1800s, local mill workers in Manchester enjoyed hunting rabbits with small dogs, as well as setting a terrier loose in a rat pit while betting on the results. The Manchester Terrier was created by breeders who wanted a two-in-one dog who excelled at both. The Toy Manchester Terrier was developed because Victorian women wanted a smaller dog. Today, these dogs are very intelligent people-pleasers, and make great pets. The Toy version is slightly smaller than the Standard variety.
While Poodles are the national dog of France, the breed originated as a duck hunter in Germany. In the early 20th century, the Standard Poodle was bred down to the Miniature. Toy Poodles today are exceptionally smart and excel in all kinds of dog sport activities. The breed’s coat is hypoallergenic but requires regular grooming maintenance.