Choosing a Breed

Top 10 Smallest Dog Breeds

Small dogs are a popular choice among dog owners looking for all the unconditional love that bigger dogs provide, just wrapped up in a tiny package. Small dogs generally require less exercise, are better suited to apartment living, and normally live longer than their giant counterparts.

Our top 10 picks for pint-sized pups, in no particular order are:

1. Chihuahua. Number one in our list is this smart, playful, and obedient little pooch that also qualifies for a list of most wanted watchdogs. Chihuahuas like hanging around with their masters, and don’t require lots of exercise and grooming. The breed only stands about 6 to 9 inches and weighs in at about no more than 6 lbs. They have a very diverse coat and color selections, and have a lifespan of about 10 to 18 years.

2. Affenpinscher. Next in our list is the Affenpinscher, aka the “monkey dog”, which wears a large fur coat and bears a resemblance to a monkey hence the name Affenpinscher. The word “Affen” in German means “monkey or ape”, and the “Pinscher” denotes “terrier”. This tiny breed, which is also suited for watching your property, generally has a height of about 9 to 11 inches and a weight of about 7 to 9 lbs. Most recently, an Affenpinscher won “Best in Show” at the 2013 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show!

3. Bichon Frise. Known for being cheerful, this good-natured, lively little fellow has distinct fluffy white hair as well as black eyes and nose which are adored by many. Bichon Frises normally have a height of only 11 in and a weight of about 12 lbs. The breed has descended from many other lines such as Bolognese, Maltese, Havanese, and Coton de Tulear. Bichons are a popular choice among dog owners with allergies.

4. Chinese Crested. Although some people find this breed weird looking, we think they are beautiful and exquisite. Chinese Crested dogs are a small type of pooch that is commonly distinguished for their having no coat. They have long and silky hair, though, atop their head, around the neck, tail, and feet. One type of this breed which is the Powderpuff has full coat but its characteristic is genetically recessive. Chinese Crested pooches only stand a height of 13 inches and have a weight of about 12 lbs.

5. Japanese Chin. This agile, playful, and entertaining little fellow originated in Asia. Mild-mannered and elegant, the Japanese Chin used to be popular in the imperial courts of Japan and China. They are smart, active, and sport a heavy coat that requires weekly brushing. The breed only stands 8 to 11 inches and weighs about 9 lbs.

6. Papillon. Another popular small breed is the outgoing and highly active Papillon. Its unique name was derived from a French word which means “butterfly”. It’s very likely that the designation was given due to the close resemblance of the breed’s rather wide ears with the beautiful wings of a butterfly. Papillon dogs generally have a height of only 11 inches and a weight of about 9 lbs.

7. Pomeranian. Standing just about one foot tall and weighing about 7 pounds, this adorable small dog breed originated in Pomerania, Germany and is a descendant of large sled dogs. Available in brown, black, blue, cream, red, orange, and white coat colors, the breed are cute, intelligent, and bold. Pomeranians are tiny loyal dogs that can also make a good watchdog.

8. Toy Poodle. Popular for their being intelligent, beautiful, and elegant, Toy Poodles are much loved little dogs that sport a dense, curly coat. This friendly dog was originally bred to become a water retriever, and is now a common choice as companion for families. Toy Poodles excel in agility, hunting, and obedience training. They have a height of only 10 inches and a weight of around 9 lbs.

9. Toy Fox Terrier. This tiny American dog, which descended from the Smooth Fox Terrier line, used to serve as rattlers in houses, farms, and shops, as well as squirrel hunters. Toy Fox Terriers are known to be active, intelligent, and make excellent household companions. The breed stands only one foot tall and weighs about 7 lbs.

10. Yorkshire Terrier. Also known as a Yorkie, this elegant-looking pooch is another endearing tiny fellow that only has a height of 9 inches and a weight of 7 lbs. Suitable for apartment life, this cute breed is affectionate and friendly. No wonder, their line is one of the most sought-after lapdogs in the country!

Do you have a small dog? What are the biggest benefits to having a pint-sized pup at home?

21 Comments

21 Comments

  1. Shelly

    Dec 5, 2013 at 12:48 am

    I was surprised to see that the French Bulldog wasn’t on here- that’s always been one of my favorites. Glad to see that yorkies did make the cut though, they’re so darling!

  2. Melissa

    Sep 13, 2013 at 10:57 am

    I’m looking forward to the day when can have a little dog to snuggle up with on the couch at night. I have always wanted a little one to play dress up with too. My smallest one now is 60 lbs and my next pup already has a job lined up.

  3. Laura

    Sep 12, 2013 at 11:49 pm

    We have two Coton de Tulears…..10 lbs each, sweet and lovable. Newest small dog is a mini beagle terrier mix, about 13 lbs. they all get along, they all fit in the RV, they all use wee wee pads, good good dogs. I always had big dogs, can’t anymore. love my small dogs.

  4. andrea christiaan

    Sep 12, 2013 at 10:26 pm

    i have 5 streetdogs and i love them to dead i dont need a special breed they are all special to my

  5. Greg

    Sep 12, 2013 at 9:33 pm

    I now have 2 ‘small’ K9s after years of having larger adopted/rescue Dogs. Both are adopted, both are Continental Toy Spaniels (Papillons). At 1st I was not to sure (one is 4lbs and the other 5lbs). But now all is cool, they are amazing. I do not even look at them as ‘small’ dogs anymore…they are K9s and treated the same as my bigger Dogs of the past (which is pretty good I must say).

  6. denise

    Sep 12, 2013 at 8:26 pm

    i rescued or should i say he rescued us,but he is cavachon,best dog a person can own,hes a mix of bichon and king chales he has all there good qualitys,blessed the day we got him

  7. Patti Cincinnati

    Sep 12, 2013 at 3:06 pm

    Our youngest of our three dogs is a 1-year old “Morchie” – a Maltese, Yorkie, Chihuahua mix. She weighs 4.4 pounds and has TONS of personality! She is a lap dog who loves to be close to us, dances on her hind legs when needing to go out or wanting to play, and is more than delighted when we return home after running errands! We love our Bailey (as well as Sweet Pea and Abby) FOREVER!!!

  8. Blaine

    Sep 12, 2013 at 2:51 pm

    Pomeranians are available in blue? Where can I get one of those?

  9. Andi Lee

    Apr 13, 2013 at 11:27 am

    I love their companionship and ease in which we can travel with our 2. We have 1 Silky and the other is a mix: mini schnaucher, mini poodle, Yokie, and malteese at only 5.5 lbs! One was adopted, but not from a shelter; but definitely a rescue!!!

  10. Tom

    Apr 13, 2013 at 10:44 am

    Having Two small dogs . It is great they can not reach the table when your having
    dinner.

  11. Ginger

    Apr 13, 2013 at 8:13 am

    This list will change with time. I have a Maltese (high maintenance), a yorkie(yippy) and a shihtsu. The last is the sweetest,gentlest dog I have ever owned. Most everyone I know with a shihtsu says they are the best. We love them all.

    • Penny Kise

      Sep 12, 2013 at 3:15 pm

      I totally agree! I have 2 shih tzu’s they are easy to train, loving, do not shed, and can I say they have the most adorable face ever! They should be high on this list.

    • Melissa

      Sep 12, 2013 at 3:37 pm

      I have a shitzu as well..she is perfect and weighs 7 lbs. The sweetest dog ever..loves everyone. Spoiled rotten!

  12. kris z

    Mar 1, 2013 at 4:17 pm

    my breed didn’t make it thank god. being ‘popular’ is just a way to get on the puppy mill list. i know the affen people are terrified of what will happen to the breed due to the westminster win.

  13. Paula

    Mar 1, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    My 5 lb. toy poodle, Penny, is the best! There are no downsides to having her share my life, only blessings! When her owner passed away and the family did not want her there was talk of putting her down so I gave her a home. She has given me more joy than I can express.

  14. Julie

    Mar 1, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    I have a wonderful 3 1/2 lb teacup yorkie!!! He is my world! He’s so sweet,so cute and so loving! They are a wonderful breed,and hes very protective of his Mommy!!! And yes,just like the comment above, DONT FORGET TO ADOPT! They need loving homes,and so many are wonderful puppies and are without! Stop puppy mills,always rescue!!!

    • Lindsey

      Sep 12, 2013 at 6:03 pm

      One of the best ways to stop puppy mills is by not using the word “teacup”. There is no such thing as a “Teacup Yorkie”. The term “teacup” is only used by non-reputable breeders who are trying to sell more dogs for more money. A reputable breeder would never, ever use that term. I completely agree that most people should look at rescues first. But, even among rescues, we need to stop using the these inaccurate terms which propagate the myth that such dogs do exist and should be sought after, because that is what keeps puppy mills and backyard breeders in business.

      • Karleen Gengler

        Sep 13, 2013 at 11:50 am

        Lindsey,so glad you said that,so many people tell me they have a” toy shepherd” a “min. Yorkie” and I just get so angry,because the breeders and wholesalers love those words nd then off it goes.

  15. Jolie

    Mar 1, 2013 at 10:37 am

    Don’t forget to adopt, not shop! My furbabies are rescues from puppy mills. They lived lives of misery in filthy, tiny cages, stacked on top of each other so that excrement fell to those below, blinding many of them. They lived in the dark. Seeing their affectionate personalities, it’s inconceivable that anyone could be so neglectful and cruel. Thank goodness for National Mill Dog Rescue and other organizations that rescue and educate the public about the horrors of puppy mills.

  16. Jolie

    Mar 1, 2013 at 10:32 am

    Best thing about small dogs? More of them can fit on my bed! Love my little Yorkies, Daschund, and Shiba Inu.

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