10 Most Popular Small Dog Breeds in the World

Small Dog Breeds
Photo by Katie Bernotsky

Small dog breeds often have a terrible reputation for being hyperactive, crazed, and harder to train. However, as with all stereotypes, it’s not the case for every small dog.

Some of these boasts of having outgoing personalities, while others are pretty chill and enjoy independence, all packed in that little body. These tiny dogs are faithful companions for both adults and children alike. 

These dogs can be comfortable in any space, from a large, rambling house to a cozy studio apartment. Small dog breeds also tend to live longer than their bigger counterparts (from 12-20 years).

The right small dog breed for you depends on what you desire in personality and grooming commitment.

Here is a list of the best small dog breeds to consider;

1. Boston Terrier

The Boston Terrier is an American dog known for its unique dark-colored and white coat and large sparkling eyes. Boston Terriers are charming and humorous.

They are intelligent, alert, and very active breeds and enjoy hanging around the home with their family. This breed is loyal to a single person, although polite to all.

Boston Terriers are prone to snoring because of their flat noses and narrow nostrils. Their shorthaired coats only require occasional brushing.

Dogs of this breed often have adorable nose wrinkles, which should be wiped frequently to keep dirt and dust away.

Taking a walk around the neighborhood or playing inside with the family keeps the Boston Terriers in shape.

2. Chihuahua

Chihuahua Small Dog Breeds
Photo by Didgeman

One of the best small dog breeds around the world is the Chihuahua. This dog hails from Central or South America and is very popular amongst American celebrities.

The Chihuahua is a descendant of the dog breed known as the Techichi. Chihuahuas typically weigh no more than 6 pounds and stand about 6-inch tall.

They are generally small dogs with big attitudes and tend to rule over any space they are in despite their small stature, although they still need to be trained like any other dog.

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Chihuahuas come in a variety of colors and short or long coats. They have a characteristic round or apple-shaped head with large eyes. 

Chihuahuas usually work better in a home without small children as they are too dainty for rough play. They also need protection from the elements but are otherwise adoptable pets. 

3. Dachshund

Dachshunds are one of the small dog breeds that are very good-looking and amusing small dogs that come in a variety of colors.

They are courageous dogs with lots of confidence, a reminder that they were bred to fight the badger, a fearsome creature.

They love their pet parents and are loyal protectors of their family, although they can be pretty headstrong, making them very feisty and independent. 

The smooth-coated Dachshund has a short, smooth coat that requires minimal grooming compared to other Dachshund varieties. On the other hand, the longhaired variety needs frequent grooming and sheds a lot. 

Exercising the dachshunds will involve several low-energy daily walks as this dog breed is not built for strenuous exercise. 

4. Griffs

Griffs weigh about 5-10 pounds and stand between 9 and 11-inches tall. They are work dogs and noble companions to their pet parents in their native Belgium.

They are the little old men of the dog world with their big eyes and expressive bearded faces. Griffs come in four colors – black and tan, black, red, and black and reddish-brown. They can have either rough or smooth coats.

They are easy to train, sticky and confident, but like Chihuahuas, they are fragile when it comes to rough play.

Griffs can get lonely and work best in groups with other dogs or in a home with someone who is always present. 

5. Maltese

Maltese are usually the first breed of dogs that come to mind when thinking of small dogs. They have a soft, silky white coat and have lots of energy.

They are loyal and playful dogs but are fearless – a trait believed to be passed from the breed’s early days as rat hunters. Maltese get along with people of all ages and are easily trained, and love performing tricks. 

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Although this dog breed can sport a long and elegant coat, their owners typically keep the coat short, making it easier to maintain. 

Maltese require occasional exercises like a daily walk in the park or playtime in the backyard or indoors. 

6. Shih Tzu

Shih Tzus are small dog breeds that were exclusively pets of Chinese emperors. These dogs with long fur, tiny face, and bright eyes lived behind the walls of the Chinese royal kingdoms and were unknown to the outside world until the 1930s. 

Shih Tzus are adorable and friendly companions that have continued to charm people for generations. They are best suited for a family with younger kids.

When maintaining the long, flowing coat unique to a Shih Tzu, it is best to brush it daily and with the hair in front of their face swept up to form a topknot.

You can also keep the coat short – this does not require as much grooming or a topknot. A brief daily walk or short indoor playtime is perfect for Shih Tzus. 

7. Pomeranian

This magnificent but tiny dog has the presence of a lion and not just because of its luxuriant double coat of fur. The Pomeranian packs a lot of energy into its small frame and can run your household if not well trained. 

This dog breed comes at 6 to 7-inches tall and weighs about 3-7 pounds. Pomeranians are the smallest member of the Spitz family of canines, including the Samoyed, Alaskan malamute, and Norwegian elkhound.

They do well around children and make fantastic watchdogs, but, like other small dogs, rough play should be kept to a minimum due to their small stature.

8. Pug

The Pug is one of the most famous small dog breeds globally, with its curly tail, its wrinkled brows, and glimmering eyes. This dog breed is affectionate, playful, and even-tempered.

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The Pug is courteous to other people and animals and gets along with both kids and adults—making them a favorite for everyone.

Pugs enjoy sleeping, although they are prone to snoring and snorting due to their flat faces and small nostrils, which affect breathing. 

The Pug’s short coat requires minimum maintenance, but it does shed. It is essential to pay attention to the face and eyes because dust and dirt may accumulate in those cute facial wrinkles. Pugs require daily strolls or playtime in the yard. 

9. Russian Toy

These tiny pups are related to the Russian aristocracy. Russian Toys are playful, loving dogs with lots of energy. When this dog wants to play, 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 require human companionship. When they feel neglected, they certainly let you know it. Russian toys weigh about 3 to 6 pounds and stand at 7.5 to 10.5-inches tall.

They come in short and long coats and a variety of colors. The Russian toy is a great companion dog that does well with humans and other animals that may live in the home.

10. Yorkshire Terrier

The Yorkshire Terrier, also known as the “Yorkie,” is a playful and fearless small dog breeds with an energetic spirit. Yorkshire Terriers get along well with other pets and are intelligent dogs that are easy to train.

They make superb watchdogs; however, they can be possessive of their pet parents and tend to follow them around because they don’t like being alone.

Yorkies sport a distinctly gray and tan silky coat and are a fashionable, popular small dog breed.

A long-coated Yorkshire Terrier should be brushed daily, and the hair in front of its face should be trimmed often or maintained in a topknot. Pet parents typically keep this breed’s hair cut short to simplify grooming, although their coat still requires regular brushing.

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