Top 10 Smallest Dog Breeds

Small dog breeds are a popular choice for pet owners due to their compact size, adorable looks, and unique personalities. If you are considering getting a small dog, it’s essential to know which breeds fall into this category. Here are the ten smallest dog breeds that you should consider, as suggested by reputable dog breeders and enthusiasts:

1. Chihuahua

2. Pomeranian

3. Yorkshire Terrier

4. Maltese

5. Shih Tzu

6. Dachshund

7. Toy Poodle

8. Papillon

9. Affenpinscher

10. Brussels Griffon

Each of these breeds has its distinct characteristics and temperament, making them suitable for different lifestyles and preferences. However, owning a small dog comes with specific considerations that prospective owners need to be aware of.

First and foremost, understanding the characteristics and temperament of small dog breeds is crucial. While small dogs are known for being loving, loyal, and adaptable, they can also exhibit traits like stubbornness or excessive barking. Familiarize yourself with the breed’s typical behavior traits to ensure a good fit for your lifestyle and personality.

Owning a small dog requires considering their exercise needs. While small breeds may not require as much physical activity as larger dogs, they still need regular exercise to stay healthy and prevent obesity. Creating a routine that includes short walks or active playtime can help meet their exercise requirements.

Grooming requirements also vary among small dog breeds. Some may have long, luxurious coats that need regular brushing and professional grooming, while others may have low-maintenance, shorter hair. Be prepared to invest time and effort into maintaining your small dog’s coat to keep them looking their best.

Training and socialization are essential for any dog, regardless of size. Small breed dogs can sometimes develop small dog syndrome, leading to behavior problems if not properly trained and socialized. Enrolling in obedience classes and exposing your small dog to various people, animals, and environments from a young age can help them grow into well-behaved and confident companions.

Finally, small dog owners should be aware of potential health concerns that may be more common in small breeds, such as dental issues, luxating patella, or tracheal collapse. Regular veterinary check-ups and proper dental care are crucial to ensure your small dog’s overall health and well-being.

By considering these factors and doing diligent research, you can find the perfect small breed dog that fits your lifestyle and provides you with years of love and companionship.


Key takeaway Chihuahua

Chihuahua is the smallest dog breed, weighing between 2-6 pounds. Despite their small size, they can be energetic and confident.

Pomeranian: Pomeranians are small, fluffy dogs weighing 3-7 pounds. They are known for their lively personalities and thick coats.

Yorkshire Terrier: Yorkshire Terriers, or Yorkies, are small dogs with big attitudes. They weigh around 4-7 pounds and have a luxurious long coat.

What are the 10 Smallest Dog Breeds

Looking for pint-sized companions? In this section, we’ll explore the world of the 10 smallest dog breeds. From the sassy Chihuahua to the regal Yorkshire Terrier, we’ll discover the unique traits and characteristics that make these breeds stand out. Get ready to meet these little bundles of joy and learn why they hold a special place in the hearts of dog lovers everywhere.

1. Chihuahua

The Chihuahua is one of the smallest dog breeds, known for its tiny size and big personality. Despite its small stature, the Chihuahua is often confident, alert, and a loyal companion. It makes an excellent indoor dog and is suitable for apartment living. The Chihuahua requires regular exercise, but due to its size, short walks or playtime indoors can suffice. The grooming needs for the Chihuahua are relatively low, with occasional brushing and bathing. Training and socialization are essential for the Chihuahua to prevent behavioral issues. Health concerns for the Chihuahua include dental problems and patellar luxation. The Chihuahua makes a loving and affectionate pet for those looking for a small and spirited companion.

2. Pomeranian

The Pomeranian, one of the 10 smallest dog breeds, is well-known for its small size and fluffy coat. Let me share some information about Pomeranians:

SizePomeranians typically weigh between 3 to 7 pounds and stand 6 to 7 inches tall.
TemperamentPomeranians are lively, friendly, and extroverted dogs. They are often confident and curious, which makes them great companion pets.
CoatPomeranians have a thick double coat that requires regular grooming to prevent matting and maintain its health.
Exercise NeedsDespite being small, Pomeranians require regular exercise to stay physically and mentally stimulated. Daily walks and playtime are crucial for them.
TrainingPomeranians are intelligent and trainable, although they can be independent and stubborn at times. Consistent training and positive reinforcement yield the best results.
Health ConcernsPomeranians may be prone to certain health issues such as dental disease, luxating patellas, and collapsed trachea. Therefore, regular veterinary check-ups are crucial.

Pomeranians are excellent companions for individuals or families in search of a small, charming, and active pet.

3. Yorkshire Terrier

The Yorkshire Terrier, also known as Yorkie, is a beloved small dog breed renowned for its elegant appearance and energetic personality. Originally bred in 19th-century Yorkshire, England, for the purpose of catching rats in clothing mills, Yorkies quickly became popular as companion dogs.

One of the distinguishing features of Yorkshire Terriers is their long, silky coat, which requires regular grooming to keep it looking its best. Despite their small size, typically weighing between 4 to 7 pounds, Yorkies exhibit a confident and independent temperament. They often possess a big personality, which adds to their charm.

While Yorkies may be small in stature, they still need regular exercise to maintain their health and prevent weight gain. This includes taking them for walks or engaging them in playtime activities. Their intelligence and eagerness to please make training relatively easy—with consistency and positive reinforcement, Yorkies quickly learn commands and tricks.

Like any dog breed, Yorkshire Terriers have certain health concerns. Dental problems, patellar luxation, and tracheal collapse are common issues they may face. Regular veterinary check-ups and good dental hygiene can help minimize these health risks.

4. Maltese

The Maltese is one of the 10 smallest dog breeds, known for its small size and luxurious white coat. Maltese dogs are friendly and affectionate companion dogs, making them popular pets. Despite their small size, Maltese dogs are energetic and playful, requiring daily exercise to keep them mentally and physically stimulated. Grooming is important for the Maltese breed since their long, silky coat requires regular brushing and occasional bathing to keep it clean and free from tangles. Training and socialization are also crucial for Maltese dogs to ensure they become well-behaved and well-adjusted members of the family.

5. Shih Tzu

The Shih Tzu, also known as the Shih Tzu breed, is a small dog breed renowned for its friendly demeanor and luxurious long coat. When considering the Shih Tzu, it is important to keep in mind the following key points:

  • Appearance: The Shih Tzu showcases a compact and sturdy body, accompanied by a unique pushed-in face and large, round eyes.
  • Coat: This breed possesses a beautiful double coat that is long and silky. Regular grooming is necessary to prevent matting and tangles.
  • Temperament: Shih Tzus are famously affectionate, social, and gentle dogs. They thrive on human companionship and are excellent additions to any family.
  • Exercise Needs: Despite their small size, Shih Tzus still requires daily exercise to maintain their overall health and prevent obesity.
  • Health Considerations: Shih Tzus may be more prone to specific health issues such as respiratory problems, eye conditions, and dental problems. It is crucial to schedule regular veterinary check-ups.

6. Dachshund

The Dachshund is a small dog breed known for its long body and short legs. Here is some information about the Dachshund:

– Origin:Germany
– Size:Dachshunds are typically 8 to 9 inches tall at the shoulder.
– Weight:They usually weigh between 16 to 32 pounds.
– Coat:Dachshunds have a short, smooth coat that comes in various colors and patterns.
– Temperament:They are known to be intelligent, lively, and courageous dogs.
– Exercise:They require regular exercise to stay fit and healthy.
– Health concerns:Dachshunds are prone to certain health conditions like intervertebral disc disease and obesity.

The Dachshund makes a lively and affectionate companion for individuals and families alike.

7. Toy Poodle

  • Toy Poodles are a popular small dog breed known for their intelligence, elegance, and playful nature.
  • When considering owning a Toy Poodle, important factors to consider include:
  • Exercise Needs: Toy Poodles require daily exercise to keep them physically and mentally stimulated. Regular walks and playtime are essential.
  • Grooming Requirements: Toy Poodles have a dense, curly coat that requires regular brushing to prevent matting. Professional grooming is also recommended.
  • Training and Socialization: Toy Poodles are highly trainable and benefit from early socialization. Training sessions should be positive, consistent, and reward-based.
  • Health Concerns: Toy Poodles can be prone to certain health issues, such as dental problems, eye conditions, and hip dysplasia. Regular veterinary check-ups are important.

8. Papillon

Papillons ranked as the 8th smallest dog breed, are known for their small size and elegant appearance, including their distinctive butterfly-like ears. These intelligent and friendly dogs are highly trainable, making them excellent companions for both families and individuals. Papillons have a moderate energy level and need regular exercise to keep them physically and mentally stimulated. Their long, silky coat requires meticulous grooming to maintain its beauty. With proper care and attention, Papillons can live long and healthy lives, typically ranging from 12 to 15 years.

9. Affenpinscher

The Affenpinscher, a small dog breed widely recognized for its monkey-like appearance and energetic disposition, is truly a remarkable pet. Let’s delve into its distinctive qualities:

  1. Appearance: The Affenpinscher showcases a wiry and dense coat, available in a range of captivating colors like black, gray, and silver.
  2. Temperament: Renowned for their feisty and confident nature, Affenpinschers embody intelligence, alertness, and independence.
  3. Exercise: Surprisingly, despite their small stature, Affenpinschers necessitate regular exercise to keep them mentally and physically engaged.
  4. Grooming: Regular brushing and occasional trimming are imperative to maintain the shaggy coats of Affenpinschers, warding off any matting.
  5. Training and Socialization: Ensuring early training and proper socialization is crucial for Affenpinschers, preventing any potential behavior issues and cultivating their good manners.
  6. Health: Just like any other breed, Affenpinschers can potentially face certain health concerns such as patellar luxation and eye problems.

In my acquaintance’s household, Max, a splendid Affenpinscher, reigns supreme. Despite his diminutive size, Max overflows with boundless energy and eagerly accompanies his family on extensive hikes. His mischievous nature combined with his expressive eyes have solidified his position as a cherished member of their household. Truly, Max is not just a small dog but a delightful bundle of joy, invoking endless fits of laughter and love in their lives.

10. Brussels Griffon

The Brussels Griffon is one of the 10 smallest dog breeds. Here are some key facts about this adorable breed:

  • Size: The Brussels Griffon typically weighs between 8-12 pounds, making it a small breed.
  • Appearance: They are known for their distinct face, with a flat nose and expressive eyes.
  • Temperament: Brussels Griffons are lively, alert, and affectionate dogs. They are known to form strong bonds with their owners.
  • Energy Level: Despite their small size, they have moderate energy levels and enjoy daily walks and playtime.
  • Grooming: Their rough or smooth coat requires regular grooming to prevent matting.

The Brussels Griffon is a delightful companion for individuals or families looking for a small, loyal, and charismatic dog.

Characteristics and Temperament of Small Dog Breeds

Small dog breeds often possess unique characteristics and temperaments that make them popular pets for many people. Here are some key traits to consider when choosing a small dog breed:

  • Size: Small dog breeds typically weigh less than 22 pounds and stand 15 inches or shorter at the shoulder.
  • Energy level: Some small dog breeds like the Jack Russell Terrier are highly energetic and require lots of exercise, while others like the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel are more laid-back.
  • Personality: Small dog breeds exhibit a range of personalities, from feisty and alert to gentle and affectionate. Examples include the Chihuahua and the Pomeranian.
  • Trainability: Many small dog breeds are intelligent and trainable, such as the Poodle and the Shih Tzu.
  • Temperament: Small dog breeds can have different temperaments, ranging from confident and outgoing (e.g., French Bulldog) to reserved and shy (e.g., Bichon Frise).

Considerations for Owning a Small Dog

If you’re thinking about getting a small dog, there are a few key considerations you should keep in mind. From their exercise needs to grooming requirements, training and socialization, and even potential health concerns, owning a small dog requires a unique approach. So, let’s dive into these aspects and explore what it takes to provide the best care for these adorable pint-sized pups!

1. Exercise Needs

When considering small dog breeds, it is crucial to understand their exercise needs. Despite their small size, these dogs still require regular physical activity to maintain their health and happiness.

  • Regular exercise: Small breeds may have high energy levels and need daily walks or playtime to meet their exercise needs.
  • Indoor activities: Some small breeds can fulfill their exercise needs indoors, such as playing fetch or using puzzle toys.
  • Outdoor exploration: Small dogs enjoy discovering the outdoors and benefit from short hikes or trips to the dog park, which contributes to their exercise needs.
  • Mental stimulation: Engaging in activities like obedience training or agility exercises can keep small breeds mentally stimulated and fulfill their exercise needs.

2. Grooming Requirements

Grooming requirements are an important factor to consider when owning a small dog. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • Grooming requirements: Different breeds have different coat types, such as long, short, curly, or double-coated. Understanding your dog’s coat type will help determine the grooming needs.
  • Grooming requirements: Regular brushing helps prevent matting, removes loose hair, and keeps the coat healthy and shiny. The frequency of brushing will depend on the breed and coat length.
  • Grooming requirements: Small dogs generally require more frequent baths than larger breeds. It’s important not to over-bathe as it can strip their coat of natural oils.
  • Grooming requirements: Keeping your dog’s nails trimmed is essential, as overgrown nails can cause discomfort and difficulty walking.
  • Grooming requirements: Regular ear cleaning helps prevent infections. Consult your vet for guidance on how often and how to clean your small dog’s ears.
  • Grooming requirements: Some small breeds may require professional grooming for haircuts, nail trims, and hygiene maintenance.

Remember to establish a regular grooming routine and use positive reinforcement to make it a positive experience for your small dog.

3. Training and Socialization

Proper training and socialization are vital for small dog breeds to ensure they become well-behaved and sociable companions.

  • Start training and socializing your small dog early: Begin training your small dog as soon as you bring them home to establish good habits and prevent behavior issues.
  • Utilize positive reinforcement: Use positive reinforcement techniques, such as treats and praise, to reward desirable behavior and motivate your dog to learn.
  • Ensure proper socialization for your dog: Introduce your small dog to various people, animals, and environments to help them become comfortable and confident in different situations.
  • Maintain consistency with training and socialization: Be consistent with training commands and routines to help your dog understand what is expected of them.
  • Practice patience and persistence: Training takes time and patience, so be persistent and consistent in your efforts.

Did you know? The origin of small dog breeds can be traced back centuries, with some breeds being favored by royalty and nobility for their companionship and entertainment value. For example, the Maltese have a long history dating back over 2,000 years, where they were treasured by ancient civilizations, including the Egyptians and Romans.

4. Health Concerns

Owning a small dog comes with specific health concerns that you should be aware of. Here are some important considerations to keep in mind when it comes to the health of small dog breeds:

  • Health Concerns: Small dogs are prone to respiratory problems like collapsing trachea or difficulty breathing due to their small airways.
  • Health Concerns: Small dogs are more likely to develop dental issues such as tooth decay and gum disease. Regular dental care is crucial.
  • Health Concerns: This condition affects the kneecap and is common in small breeds. It can cause pain, lameness, and difficulty walking.
  • Health Concerns: Small dogs are at higher risk of developing low blood sugar levels, especially toy breeds like Chihuahuas. Regular meals and monitoring are necessary.
  • Health Concerns: Small breeds are more prone to obesity, which can lead to various health issues. Ensure a balanced diet and regular exercise.

Some Facts About the 10 Smallest Dog Breeds

✅ Yorkshire Terriers, or Yorkies, weigh around seven pounds and have long and silky fur coats. (Source: Our Team)

✅ Chihuahuas, the smallest dog breed in the world, weigh between five and seven pounds and come in a variety of colors. (Source: Our Team)

✅ Bichon Frise dogs weigh between ten and twenty pounds and have curly hair with minimal shedding. (Source: Our Team)

✅ Boston Terriers weigh between fifteen and twenty-five pounds and have a white coat with black splotches. (Source: Our Team)

✅ Pugs have a unique appearance with a short muzzle, deep wrinkles, and mostly fawn-colored coats. (Source: Our Team)

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some of the smallest dog breeds in the world

Some of the smallest dog breeds in the world include Yorkshire Terriers, Chihuahuas, Bichon Frise, Boston Terriers, Pugs, Papillons, French Bulldogs, Toy Poodles, Pomeranians, and Shih Tzus.

What are the characteristics of these tiny dog breeds

These tiny dog breeds often have big personalities, despite their small size. They come in various shapes and sizes, with features like bat-like ears, curly hair, or black splotches. They have fur coats that can be long, silky, or fluffy, depending on the breed.

Which dog breed is considered an Asian toy breed with a merry disposition

The Shih Tzu is considered an Asian toy breed with a merry disposition. They have long, straight coats and a curved tail. They are friendly, alert, intelligent, and hypoallergenic.

Which dog breed is known for its small size and being the smallest dog breed in the world

The Chihuahua is known for its small size and is considered the smallest dog breed in the world. They adapt well to apartment living and are loyal, playful, and can be a great family pet.

Which dog breed originated in Germany and was originally a medium-sized breed

The Pomeranian originated in Germany and was originally a medium-sized breed. However, they have been bred to become small companion dogs. Pomeranians are loving and want to be the center of attention.

Which dog breed originated in China and became popular in Japan

The Japan Chin is a small dog breed that originated in China and became popular in Japan. They are easy to care for and lovable.