Very Small Dog Breeds?

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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 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.

What breed of dogs stay small forever?

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.

What is the best small dog to get?

#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 are the top 3 smallest dog breeds?

Chihuahuas. The smallest breed weighs on average 2kgs. ….Yorkshire Terriers. Yorkies are tiny, lovable creatures weighing around 3kgs. ….Pomeranians. These fluffy, small dogs weigh between 2-4kg. ….Papillons. ….Affenpinschers.

Its kind of wild that Great Danes and Chihuahuas are the same species, but here we are. Also surprising? The incredible variety of small dog breeds available to canine lovers. Dont be fooled by the stature of the pups on this list. Many believe themselves to be as tall and powerful as the big dogs. Others are content as miniatures, watching the world go by from your carrier. If youre considering getting a pet but arent sure if small dog breeds are for you, consider the following itty-bitty puppy committee.

Diminutive dogs also make terrific companions because its easier to keep them with you at all times than, say, a Saint Bernard. Small dogs who fit in a carrier under your seat will have no problem accompanying you on flights.

Economically speaking, tiny pups consume less food than giant hounds, so having a small dog may cost less over time. Small dogs do generally live longer than large breeds. Plus, seniors may find small dog breeds are less work and more fun to take out on walks.

Speaking of walks, many small breeds require extra care in cold climates. This means stocking up on sweaters, booties and protective gear to ensure your tiny pup doesnt freeze to death in winter weather. Every dog is unique and firm training can work wonders on even the most stubborn pups.

Be prepared for lots of social interactions when you take Biewers for walks. Dont leave Brussels Griffons home alone for long stretchestheyll take it personally and miss you too much. Though they arent ideal for kids, these make great companions for adults looking for goofy, ride-or-die canine pals.

Miniature Dachshunds are smarties with independent streaks, so training and socialization early is key to a happy dog. Dachshunds get so pumped for activities theyve been known to trip when taking stairs too quickly, injuring their backs or legs. Miniature versions of standard-sized Greyhounds, these skinny dogs enjoy snuggling on the couch to keep warm and racing after toys.

Bred to lounge in the lap of luxury, these dogs enjoy the simple pleasures in life. Japanese Chins are ideal for apartment dwellers with ample attention to give. Japanese Terriers have unique coloringtheir bodies are entirely white and their heads are black, brown or tan.

One look at those floppy ears and big brown eyes will make you swoon. Yes, the Malteses gorgeous snow-white coat may exude pompousness, but they are athletic and happy to go with the flow. Maltese pups tend to bark to signal intrudersor friendsbut they are jovial at heart, eager to mingle and play.

This is a great example of a small breed who considers itself one of the big dogs, ready to roll around and play fetch. Already a proud breed, the Pekingese has even more to brag about after being named Westminsters Best in Show in 2021. Pomeranians are fluff balls of joy, willing to romp around with kids (gently) or frolic in the yard with other pets.

Whether you reside in the city or country, Poms will be content, as long as you house train them early. They have big personalities and dont like being ignored (aka, they can become destructive if left alone too long or without ample mental stimulation). Toy Fox Terriers have silky smooth, short coats and tall, perky ears.

One huge perk for anyone who abhors house breaking: Toy Fox Terriers can be trained to use puppy pads indoors. They make outstanding family pets for this reason, not to mention their willingness to join in any activity.

Although they may not take up much space, small dogs can have giant personalities and are perfectly sized for cramped living quarters. The pint-sized pooches below are some of the tiniest canines in existence.

They were originally bred in Russia to be companion animals to members of the aristocracy and still love to spend time with their human owners. Flickr / Bill Harrison According to the AKC, Affenpinschers are often called “monkey dogs” and are sometimes said to resemble Wookies or Ewoks from “Star Wars.”

Those magnificent coats do require specialty grooming and frequent brushing; many owners opt to have them professionally clipped every four to six weeks. Their exotic appearance and compact faces give them an aristocratic image and they need weekly brushing to keep their coats in good shape. Getty
One of the most recognizable dog breeds, the AKC reported that most pugs weigh around 14 to 18 pounds and stand approximately 10 to 13 inches at the shoulder.

REUTERS/Claro Cortes IV
These fluffy pooches have vivacious personalities and luxurious coats, which may explain why the AKC reported them to be among the most popular toy breeds in the world. The Papillon is sometimes confused with the Chihuahua both breeds have large pointed ears and short snouts but they actually have distinct personalities that are all their own. Getty/Royalty Free
Boston Terriers are popular small dogs that usually weigh around 12 to 25 pounds and stand about 15 to 17 inches at the shoulder.

According to the AKC, they are lively companions that are good urban pets due to their alertness and love of brisk walks. They are sensitive and devoted dogs that some describe as looking almost human due to their large, emotive eyes and beard face.

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.

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.

Chihuahua

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.

Pomeranian

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.

Affenpinscher

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.

Pug

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.

Havanese

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.

Pekingese

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.

Schipperke

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.

Bolognese

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.

Dachshund

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.

Corgi

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.

Lowchen

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.

Papillon

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.

Norrbottenspets

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.

Maltese

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.

Pros of small dog breeds

Obviously, small breeds fit into small spaces. Apartments or homes with limited space for animals make shorter, lighter breeds ideal. Diminutive dogs also make terrific companions because it’s easier to keep them with you at all times than, say, a Saint Bernard. This is especially true when traveling by airplane. Airlines are becoming stricter about allowing pets on board. Small dogs who fit in a carrier under your seat will have no problem accompanying you on flights.Economically speaking, tiny pups consume less food than giant hounds, so having a small dog may cost less over time. Small dogs do generally live longer than large breeds. This means you’ve got a few extra years with your BFF. Plus, seniors may find small dog breeds are less work and more fun to take out on walks.

Cons of small dog breeds

Speaking of walks, many small breeds require extra care in cold climates. This means stocking up on sweaters, booties and protective gear to ensure your tiny pup doesn’t freeze to death in winter weather.Many small breeds are also known for their reluctance to follow commands. Now, this is a gross generalization. Every dog is unique and firm training can work wonders on even the most stubborn pups. In actuality, the problem usually lies with us humans (oops!). It’s easier to control small dogs who are misbehaving. If Dobermans jump on strangers, you’ve got bigger problems than if Papillons jump on strangers.Read on for 15 of the smallest dog breeds, plus what you can expect from them.

Biewer Terrier

Don’t mistake these tiny pups for Yorkies! They’re coloring is unique. Biewers are happy-go-lucky and incredibly devoted to their families. Be prepared for lots of social interactions when you take Biewers for walks.

Brussels Griffon

Don’t leave Brussels Griffons home alone for long stretches—they’ll take it personally and miss you too much. Though they aren’t ideal for kids, these make great companions for adults looking for goofy, ride-or-die canine pals.

Chihuahua

Chihuahuas have been around for centuries and may use this old-soul wisdom to take advantage of you. They’re smart and learn quickly, but may be stubborn and follow their own rules. It’s hard not to love their dedication and charm, though.

Miniature Dachshund

Miniature Dachshunds are smarties with independent streaks, so training and socialization early is key to a happy dog. Always up for an adventure, they’ll go anywhere with their favorite person. Dachshunds get so pumped for activities they’ve been known to trip when taking stairs too quickly, injuring their backs or legs.

Italian Greyhound

Though taller than many breeds on our list, the Italian Greyhound is certainly one of the leanest. Miniature versions of standard-sized Greyhounds, these skinny dogs enjoy snuggling on the couch to keep warm and racing after toys. If you’ve always wanted to dress your dog up for special occasions, this is the one. They need extra layers when it gets chilly.

Japanese Chin

Bred to lounge in the lap of luxury, these dogs enjoy the simple pleasures in life. They’re loyal to their owners, but aren’t worried about following commands. Japanese Chins are ideal for apartment dwellers with ample attention to give.

Japanese Terrier

These tiny terriers are very smart and eager when it comes to playtime. They are, however, wary of strangers. Japanese Terriers have unique coloring—their bodies are entirely white and their heads are black, brown or tan. One look at those floppy ears and big brown eyes will make you swoon.

Maltese

Yes, the Maltese’s gorgeous snow-white coat may exude pompousness, but they are athletic and happy to go with the flow. Maltese pups tend to bark to signal intruders—or friends—but they are jovial at heart, eager to mingle and play.

Papillion

Papillon means “butterfly” in French, which suits these tiny dogs well since their ears resemble wings and they are truly the social butterflies of the Toy Group. This is a great example of a small breed who considers itself one of the big dogs, ready to roll around and play fetch. Papillons also adapt well to just about any household.

Pekingese

Already a proud breed, the Pekingese has even more to brag about after being named Westminster’s Best in Show in 2021. Aside from the lengthy, fluffy coat and short muzzle, you’ll know a Pekingese by its confidence (barking at strangers) and loyalty (more barking at strangers).

Pomeranian

Talk about a teeny frame with a huge personality. Pomeranians are fluff balls of joy, willing to romp around with kids (gently) or frolic in the yard with other pets. Whether you reside in the city or country, Poms will be content, as long as you house train them early.

Silky Terrier

Silky Terriers are cousins of Yorkshire Terriers and were originally bred in Australia. They have big personalities and don’t like being ignored (aka, they can become destructive if left alone too long or without ample mental stimulation).

Toy Fox Terrier

Toy Fox Terriers have silky smooth, short coats and tall, perky ears. They need lots of exercise; this energy is often best spent outdoors with people. One huge perk for anyone who abhors house breaking: Toy Fox Terriers can be trained to use puppy pads indoors.

Toy Poodle

Poodles of all sizes are extremely smart and highly trainable. They make outstanding family pets for this reason, not to mention their willingness to join in any activity. Grooming can be time-consuming and expensive, but they are hypoallergenic.

Yorkshire Terriers have beautiful silky coats.

“Yorkies” are known for their glossy long coats and feisty temperaments. According to the AKC, they typically weigh under seven pounds and stand about seven to eight inches at the shoulder.Yorkshire Terriers are popular pets among apartment dwellers due to their small size. Their coats are actually hypoallergenic and more similar to human hair than animal fur.

Affenpinschers are lesser-known toy dogs.

According to the AKC, Affenpinschers are often called “monkey dogs” and are sometimes said to resemble Wookies or Ewoks from “Star Wars.” They usually weigh between seven and 10 pounds and stand around nine to 12 inches at the shoulder. Affenpinschers are known for being extremely outgoing and friendly.

Toy poodles are long-lived and intelligent.

Poodles come in a variety of sizes, but toy poodles typically stand no more than 10 inches at the shoulder and they typically weigh between four and six pounds, according to the AKC.These little dogs can live up to 18 years and are popular show dogs due to their fluffy coats and spirited personalities. Those magnificent coats do require specialty grooming and frequent brushing; many owners opt to have them professionally clipped every four to six weeks.

Maltese have show-stopping coats and charming natures.

Maltese are famous for their long coats and elegant looks. According to the AKC, they typically weigh under seven pounds and stand seven to nine inches tall at the shoulder. As you might expect, Maltese coats require daily combing and maintenance to keep them from tangling. However, this breed actually rarely sheds and is generally quite clean.

Papillons are elegant and alert dogs.

The AKC reports that the average Papillon weighs between five and 10 pounds and stands between eight and 11 inches at the shoulder. The breed’s name actually means “butterfly” in French, a nod to the Papillon’s plumed ears.The Papillon is sometimes confused with the Chihuahua – both breeds have large pointed ears and short snouts – but they actually have distinct personalities that are all their own. Although Papillon coats look impressive, they only require a weekly brushing to stay looking their best.

Boston Terriers have “tuxedo” coats.

Boston Terriers are popular small dogs that usually weigh around 12 to 25 pounds and stand about 15 to 17 inches at the shoulder. According to the AKC, they are lively companions that are good urban pets due to their alertness and love of brisk walks. Their short coats mean that they only need an occasional bath and aren’t heavy shedders.

Affenpinscher

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.

Biewer Terrier

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.

Brussels Griffon

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.

Chihuahua

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

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.

Dachshund

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.

Havanese

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.

Italian Greyhound

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.

Japanese Chin

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

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.

Miniature Pinscher

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.

Norfolk Terrier

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.

Norwich Terrier

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.

Papillon

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.

Pekingese

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.

Pomeranian

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.

Pug

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.

Schipperke

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.

Shih Tzu

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.

Silky Terrier

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.

Toy Poodle

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.