12 Dog Breeds That Are Small (With Pictures)

Brussels Griffon tilting head

Dogs come in lots of sizes, including teeny tiny dogs. Small dogs can have long hair, big ears, or be good with kids. Here are 12 dog breeds that are small.

Small Dog Breeds and Pictures

Here is a chart of some of the most popular small dog breeds

Popular small dog breeds chart

Small Dog Breeds with Big Ears

Big ears on a small dog face are adorable. These breeds have prominent ears that give them a very expressive quality.

Chihuahua

Chihuahua resting on bed
Chihuahua

Originating from South America, Chihuahua is the smallest known dog breed. These tiny dogs never grow bigger than 8 inches and usually weigh around 6 pounds. Despite their small size, they have the personality of a big dog and sometimes even demonstrate neurotic dog behavior. With proper training and socialization, they can become your perfect partner who can accompany you everywhere in your pocket.

Miniature Pinscher

Miniature Pinscher laying on unmade bed
Miniature Pinscher

This German breed is also called the “King of the Toys” on the basis of its energy and intelligence. Miniature Pinscher is an ideal choice for a parent who is looking for an easy-to-groom dog with a willful personality. In contrast to their toughness, these dogs are very entertaining and loving. The weight of a Miniature Pinscher goes up to 11 pounds while it can be 12-inches tall. They can serve as fearless watchdogs because of their territorial attitude.

Papillon

Papillon standing outdoors on leaf covered ground
Papillon

This spaniel type breed is also known as the Continental Toy Spaniel. ‘Papillon’ is the French word for butterfly and this dog has the features to match this title. Papillon is a good-tempered dog that can develop into a well-rounded companion with proper care and training. These cute dogs can reach a maximum height of 11 inches. Similarly, the long and silky coat of Papillons may boost their weight to 10 pounds.

Brussels Griffon

Brussels Griffon  sitting in grass with dandilions
Brussels Griffon

The name of this toy breed clearly refers to the city of its origin, Brussels. Originally, they were used to keep stables free from rats as they had exceptional hunting skills. Later on, their cheerful and affectionate attitude earned them the status of popular companion dogs. Generally, the weight of an adult Brussels Griffon lies in the range of 7-10 pounds. However, it can go up to 15 pounds in some cases. Even though they are pretty convenient to train, things can go rough due to their sensitive and moody nature.

Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkshire Terrier resting in front of window
Yorkshire Terrier

As the name suggests, Yorkshire Terrier was developed in Yorkshire, during the 19th century. Also known as the Yorkies, this breed is regarded as one of the most glamorous dogs. Long, silky hair and a perky topknot are bound to attract a lot of attention. The weight of this beautiful dog never exceeds the barrier of 7 pounds. Generally, Yorkshire has a confident and courageous personality.

Pug

Pug standing on a log in the wood
Pug

Pugs are one of the most muscular dogs as they have a compact square body. That’s the reason why the weight of a pug can reach up to 20 pounds (height: 14 inches). According to popular belief, the word ‘Pug’ is derived from a Latin word ‘Pugnus’, which means fist. The wrinkled face of a pug does resemble a tightened fist so the idea could well be true. The sensitive nature of this breed makes the process of training easier which is vital for creating a strong relationship.   

Small Dog Breeds with Long Hair

Many of the small breeds have long hair. Dogs with long hair need to be groomed on a regular basis.

Pomeranian

Pomeranian sitting on boulder outdoors in a nature park setting
Pomeranian

This Spitz-type dog hails from the Pomerania region in Central Europe. This teacup breed is one of the most popular ones in the world. Although Pomeranians are playful and social, they do require proper training to become a reliable companion. An adult Pomeranian typically weighs in the range of 7-8 pounds. Given the fact that Pomeranians are quite curious about their surroundings, they can be good watchdogs.

Japanese Chin

Japanese Chin resting in grass
Japanese Chin

These tiny creatures have a very close association with the Japanese nobility. That’s the reason why this breed is also called the Japanese Spaniel. Growing up to 11 inches, a Japanese Chin weighs between 4 and 9 pounds. Although Japanese Chins have an extremely loving and noble nature, they are not suitable for families with little kids. Despite their small size, they are extraordinarily capable of climbing high places. Therefore, proper care is needed (at least in puppyhood).

Toy Poodle

Toy Poodle running in grass
Toy Poodle

These cute little pies are very popular in France, since the 16th century. In the early days, poodles were commonly known as ‘Caniche (Duck Dog)’ as they used to retrieve waterfowl for hunters. Given the appearance of this teacup breed, it may come out as a surprise for quite a lot of people. The maximum height that a toy poodle can attain is 10 inches while it can weigh around 9 pounds. It is a really intelligent breed and responds efficiently to training.

Poodles have curly hair that doesn’t shed. Normally, people keep it cut short, but it can get quite long with proper grooming. The non shedding hair means that they are often bred with other breeds of dogs to create mixed breeds that don’t shed.

Bichon Frise

Bichon Frise standing in fall leaf covered grass
Bichon Frise

Hailing from the Mediterranean, this bichon type dog is one of the smallest breeds out there. Bichon Frise has a Spanish name which means ‘curly lap dog’ in English. They are a bit heavy (due to their coat) in comparison to their size as they can weigh around 11 pounds.

Initially, these baby-doll faces enjoyed the company of the nobles. Following the French Revolution, they became circus performers. This is a clear proof of their street-smart intelligence which is ideal for training. They are also notorious picky eaters with many reports of on the internet of a bichon frise not eating.

Shih Tzu

Shih Tzu laying in wild flowers
Shih Tzu

These ‘Little Lion’ (English translation of Shih Tzu) dogs resemble a lion in terms of appearance. Shih Tzu is one of the oldest dog breeds in the world. According to an estimate, they have bred in China since 8000 B.C. The long, silky hair of Shih Tzu adds a lot of weight and significance to this small dog. A fully-grown Shih Tzu can reach around 10 inches while it can weigh up to 16 pounds. Given their gentle and calm personality, they can become great companions with proper training. They are one of the types of small dog breeds that aren’t hyper.

Affenpinscher

Affenpinscher laying in bed of clovers
Affenpinscher

Affenpinschers were originally bred in Germany and were used to eliminate rats and mice. Having said that, their mischievous and playful character gave them a place among domestic dogs. Nicknamed the ‘Monkey Dog’, an Affenpinscher practically replicates the energy of a monkey. More than their appearance, it is their expressions that give them this title. Standing at 11 inches tall, this breed can have a weight of 7-9 pounds. These dogs are one of the best when it comes to obedience and training.

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Hi! My name is Heather Hallman. I’m the mother of two beautiful girls and a MAJOR passionate pet parent. I can hardly wait to bring you the BEST resources and information that I've found for our fur-babies.