A-z - Animals

Top 15 Best Small Dog Breeds

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Whether you're looking for a first-time companion, or another furry friend for your family, a small dog could be just the right choice. Dogs come in all colors, temperaments and sizes. If you're considering adding a dog to your family, think carefully about your needs and limitations and how much you value your dog. Remember: Dogs are forever companions and should not be taken lightly. Here we'll discover 15 of the best small breeds.

Three little apple head chihuahua puppies walking outdoors in summer
Small dogs are perfect for apartment dwellers or older pet owners.

©Natalia Fedosova/Shutterstock.com

Don't be disheartened if you don't see your ideal canine companion on our list. There are many, many breeds of dogs, as well as mixed breeds (muts). A good dog can come from any breed and from any background. If you're considering bringing home a puppy, consider adopting from a shelter or rescue organization first.

15. Shih Tzu

Shih Tzu Teeth - Shih Tzu Puppies
Shih Tzus are wonderful, affectionate and loyal pets!

© Darz Stock/Shutterstock.com

Historically, the Shih Tzu has been one of the most popular small dog breeds. They can grow up to 11 inches tall and weigh up to 16 pounds. They can do well in households with young children and other small dog breeds.

14. Pug

pug dog
This demure and stubborn breed loves cuddling and playing games and isn't always open to being directed!

© 220 Homebrew Studio/Shutterstock.com

Pugs are popular in households with and without children. They grow up to 13 inches tall and weigh up to 18 pounds.

13. West Highland White Terrier

West Highland Terrier with new haircut lying on pavers
The West Highland Terrier is also known as the Westie.

©iStock.com/Eudyptula

These independent dogs are creamy white with erect ears. They grow to 11 inches tall and weigh up to 20 pounds.

12. Bichon Frize

bichon frize standing on steps
The Bichon Frize is known for being a good companion breed.

©Eudyptula/Shutterstock.com

The Bichon Frize has been a popular dog for many years. They grow up to 12 inches tall and weigh up to 18 pounds. Future owners should plan on regular grooming.

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11. Maltese

teacup maltese
The Teacup Maltese is a sweet and cuddly dog. A great option for apartment living!

©Plernz/Shutterstock.com

Maltese weigh less than seven pounds and grow to nine inches tall. They are usually snow white and make great companion dogs for adults and older children.

10. Norfolk Terrier

Norfolk terrier sitting on the grass
Norfolk terriers do well in homes without other dogs or young children.

© Zuzule/Shutterstock.com

These dogs grow up to ten inches tall and weigh up to 12 pounds. They are usually light brown in color and do well without other dogs or young children.

9. Papillon

dog staring at wall
Papillon is smart and friendly.

©Anastasiia Cherniavskaia/Shutterstock.com

While not as popular as some other small dog breeds, the Babylonian is very intelligent and friendly. These dogs grow up to 11 inches tall and weigh up to 10 pounds. They have medium-length fur, large, erect ears, and a curly tail.

8. Pomeranian

Pomeranian
Pomeranians come in a variety of colors, including black, white, red, blue, brown, and orange.

© Eric Isselee/Shutterstock.com

Commonly known as "poms," Pomeranians can grow up to 7 inches tall and weigh up to 7 pounds. They are furry, with erect ears and tails curled over their backs. Poms do best in homes without young children, but may do well with other small dogs.

7. Miniature Poodle

miniature poodle
Miniature Poodles are hypoallergenic dogs.

© Jagodka/Shutterstock.com

Poodles are very intelligent dogs. They do best in single dog households and may not be suitable for families with young children. Miniature Poodles grow to be 15 inches tall and weigh up to 15 pounds.

6. Chihuahua

chihuahua standing on bench
Chihuahuas make excellent guard dogs despite their large size.

© iStock.com/Lesia Kapinosova

Chihuahuas are among the smallest dogs out there. They come in both long and short coats and can be almost any color. Chihuahuas can weigh up to six pounds and grow up to eight inches tall, though some are much smaller.

5. French Bulldog

french bulldog
The French Bulldog will twist its whole body to make up for the lack of a tail.

©dezy/Shutterstock.com

Today, the French Bulldog is one of the most popular small dog breeds. At 11-13 inches tall and under 30 pounds, these dogs make great companions. They tend to be very energetic and need a lot of exercise and stimulation.

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4. Havanese

havanese puppy
Havanese are loving and affectionate.

©Dorottya Mathe/Shutterstock.com

The Havanese is without a doubt one of the most beautiful small dog breeds one can choose from. They grow up to 12 inches tall and weigh up to 13 pounds. Prospective owners should prepare their Havanese for regular grooming. These dogs do best in single dog households without young children.

3. Boston Terrier

Boston Terrier - Boston Terrier Teeth
Boston Terriers rarely shed.

©Zakharova_Elena/Shutterstock.com

Over the past few years, the Boston Terrier has become one of the most popular small breeds. They grow up to 17 inches tall and weigh up to 25 pounds. They are usually black/gray and white, with a distinctive "mask" extending down their front legs. Boston terriers are great with children but can be difficult to get along with other dogs.

2. Dachshund

dachshund
Dachshunds can make great family dogs and often get along well with other dogs.

© frenky362/Shutterstock.com

These long-bodied dogs come in two sizes: miniature and standard. Miniature dachshunds grow up to 6 inches tall and weigh up to 11 pounds. Standard grows to 9 inches tall and weighs up to 30 lbs. Depending on their temperament, Dachshunds can make great family dogs and often get along well with other dogs.

1. Yorkshire Terrier

Types of Terriers
Yorkshire Terriers are generally big dogs trapped in small bodies, always looking for adventure and maybe even a little trouble.

© iStock.com/Attila Fodemesi

If you don't have young children or other dogs in the house, the Yorkshire Terrier might be the perfect choice. These dogs grow to be eight inches tall and weigh less than ten pounds. They have tan and brown fur that can grow to luxurious lengths.

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Chihuahua lying outside porch of blue house
Chihuahuas are the smallest of all purebred dogs.

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about the author

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Brandi Allred


Brandi is a professional writer by day and a fiction writer by night. Her nonfiction work focuses on animals, nature, and conservation. She has degrees in English and Anthropology and writes horror, science fiction and fantasy stories in her spare time.

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source
  1. American Kennel Club, available here: https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/shih-tzu/
  2. American Kennel Club, available here: https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/pug/
  3. American Kennel Club, available here: https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/west-highland-white-terrier/
  4. American Kennel Club, available here: https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/bichon-frise/
  5. American Kennel Club, available here: https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/maltese/
  6. American Kennel Club, available here: https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/norfolk-terrier/
  7. American Kennel Club, available here: https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/papillon/
  8. American Kennel Club, available here: https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/pomeranian/
  9. American Kennel Club, available here: https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/poodle-miniature/
  10. American Kennel Club, available here: https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/chihuahua/
  11. American Kennel Club, available here: https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/french-bulldog/
  12. American Kennel Club, available here: https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/yorkshire-terrier/
  13. American Kennel Club, available here: https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/havanese/
  14. American Kennel Club, available here: https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/boston-terrier/
  15. American Kennel Club, available here: https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/dachshund/