Whether you’re a city dweller or have a number of allergies, small dog breeds make the perfect companions. They are hypoallergenic, incredibly friendly, and always eager to cuddle. No matter your lifestyle, there is such a wide variety of small dogs that you will surely find the right one for you.
When it comes to coating type and activity levels, small breeds have the upper hand. They tend to shed less and don’t need to work off loads of energy. This makes it easy to keep them in apartments and smaller homes. Plus, they are super affectionate, loyal, and overall a joy to have at home.
Choosing the right mini dog can be a challenge if you don’t know the various breeds — hounds, terriers, sporting, non-sporting, herding, and toy, to name a few. So, if you’re ready to welcome new addition to your family, here are some of the best small dog breeds to consider!
The 41 Most Popular Small Dog Breeds
Back in the 1600s, the Affenpinscher’s job was to deal with pets and rats in Germany. Today, these cute little pups excel at therapy training and obedience, making them the perfect lap dogs for pet lovers. Plus, they only weigh about 10 pounds!
Weight: 7-10 pounds
The AKC describes beagles as great hunting dogs and loyal pets. Staring at you with their big brown eyes and long ears, beagles are adorable. They love socializing and can be a great companion for kids. Going on walks will never be a bore. Moreover, beagles are very intelligent and love to ‘investigate.’
Weight: Up to 30 pounds
Read more: Beagle Dog Breed Information
3. Bichon Frisé
People with allergies love this breed for its non-shedding coat. They are fun, loving, and loyal. Plus, who can say no to cuddling with small fluffy dogs like them? Not us, for sure!
Weight: 12-18 pounds
Read more: Bichon Frise Dog Breed Information
Chihuahuas are some of the smallest dogs but also the sassiest. They are very energetic, can grow up to eight inches, and only weigh about five to six pounds. Because they’re so tiny, they are often referred to as “purse dogs.” You’ll need to bundle up your Chihuahua during the cold season to keep them warm.
Weight: Up to 6 pounds
Read more: Chihuahua Dog Breed Information
Did you know that these cute puppies come from royalty? That’s right, Chinese emperors loved pugs! They kept them as their house dogs. Pugs are loyal and gentle dogs.
Weight: 14-18 pounds
Read more: Pug Dog Breed Information
6. Yorkshire Terrier
Yorkies are undeniably one of the cutest dog breeds. They have charming personalities and are really affectionate with their owners. They’re feisty, too. In addition to its adorable nature, this little dog’s silky fur is also hypoallergenic.
Weight: 7 pounds
Read more: Yorkshire Terrier Dog Breed Information
Corgis are some of the most popular small dog breeds in the world. They are divided into two separate breeds —the Pembroke Welsh Corgi and the Cardigan Welsh Corgi. The main difference is that Cardis have tails and Pembrokes do not. Despite their short legs, corgis are some of the heaviest and fastest small dogs. After all, they were once bred to herd cattle in Europe.
Weight: Up to 30 pounds
Read more: Pembroke Welsh Corgi Dog Breed Information
8. Toy Poodle
These fluffy pups are seriously cute. In addition to toy poodles, there are standard or miniature sizes, too. They are super smart and can often surprise you with how thoughtful they are.
Weight: 4-6 pounds
9. Shih Tzu
When it comes to choosing a breed with a long history, it doesn’t get more royal than the Shih Tzu. These gentle and sweet little dogs were once bred to be companions to Chinese royalty. Impressive, right?
Weight: 9-16 pounds
Read more: Shih Tzu Dog Breed Information
Although Pomeranians are very joyful and playful pets, they are also a great choice if you want a quiet dog that won’t wreak havoc daily. Plus, their signature double coat makes them the perfect cuddly friend at the end of a long day.
Weight: 3-7 pounds
Read more: Pomeranian Dog Breed Information
These miniature dogs are an absolute joy to have and one of the oldest breeds in the world. They have loving personalities, which make them the perfect family dogs. Their long, silky white coat is simply beautiful, and thankfully, they don’t typically shed.
Weight: Up to 7 pounds
Read more: Maltese Dog Breed Information
12. French Bulldog
French Bulldogs are among the most popular dog breeds in the world, and for good reason — fun, adorable, and small, they’re perfect for city dwellers. These bat-like eared pooches will steal your heart!
Weight: Up to 28 pounds
Read more: French Bulldog Dog Breed Information
Dachshunds are naturally curious and friendly small dogs. They don’t quite love long runs and swims but are always eager and ready to play. Plus, their loud barks make them great watchdogs, too!
Weight: 16-32 pounds
Read more: Dachshund Dog Breed Information
14. Boston Terrier
When it comes to tiny dogs, the Boston Terrier is one of the most affectionate and loving breeds you can choose. Nicknamed “The American Gentleman” for their dapper tuxedo pattern, these mini dogs are smart and love to play.
Weight: 12-25 pounds
Read more: Boston Terrier Dog Breed Information
15. Rat Terrier
Rumor has it that these adorable small dogs got their name from Teddy Roosevelt himself. So, choosing a little pup from this breed is great for those who want a loyal and cheerful furry friend.
Weight: 10-25 pounds
Read more: Rat Terrier Dog Breed Information
16. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is an interesting cross between the Spaniel and the Cavaliers. It combines the energy of the Spaniel and the charming nature of the smaller toy breed. A match made in heaven!
Weight: 26-34 pounds
17. Miniature Pinscher
Looking at Min Pins, it’s hard to imagine that there is so much personality packed in a small dog. They are super energetic and one of the cutest dog breeds in the canine kingdom.
Weight: 8-10 pounds
Read more: Miniature Pinscher Dog Breed Information
18. Japanese Chin
These tiny puppies are both cute and super low maintenance. If you want a lap dog whose hair will always look better than yours, get a Japanese Chin!
Weight: 7-11 pounds
Read more: Japanese Chin Dog Breed Information
19. Brussels Griffon
A member of the mini dogs family, the Brussels Griffon is a curious, loyal, and confident breed. They used to be bred as work dogs in their native Belgium and are known for their good and loving nature. Their coat can be either smooth or rough.
Weight: 8-10 pounds
Read more: Brussels Griffon Dog Breed Information
20. Chinese Crested
The Chinese Crested is a tiny dog that can give all the love in the world. You need to keep your little puppy warm and protect them from the sun as they are partially hairless.
Weight: 8-12 pounds
Read more: Chinese Crested Dog Breed Information
21. Shiba Inu
Shiba Inu is the most popular companion dog in its native Japan, and its global popularity is gradually increasing. Shibas aren’t just adorable fluffy teddy bears. They are alert, smart, and muscular dogs with bold personalities and great vigor.
Weight: 17-23 pounds
Read more: Shiba Inu Dog Breed Information
22. Miniature Schnauzer
The Miniature Schnauzer is a low-shedding breed, and it’s easy to look after them. Their natural protective instincts and attentive nature make them great family dogs, perfect to play with young children and entertain adults.
Weight: 11-20 pounds
Read more: Miniature Schnauzer Dog Breed Information
Don’t let their size fool you — they may be toy dogs, but Pekingeses are just as courageous and bold as their big relatives. They once accompanied the ruling classes of ancient China.
Weight: up to 14 pounds
Read more: Pekingese Dog Breed Information
24. Italian Greyhound
Much like their taller cousins, Italian Greyhounds are beautiful slender dogs that are ready to give you all the love in the world if you let them.
Weight: 7-14 pounds
Read more: Italian Greyhound Dog Breed Information
If you prefer small dog breeds, the Papillon is a great choice. Their butterfly-shaped ears (which is where they get their name from) make them super cute. They are very smart and easy to train
Weight: 5-10 pounds
Read more: Papillon Dog Breed Information
26. Lhasa Apso
These small but mighty balls of fur were originally bred to serve as guard dogs. They bark at strangers and are protective of their families.
Weight: 12-18 pounds
Read more: Lhasa Apso Dog Breed
Although they look a lot like greyhounds, Whippets are an entirely different breed. They are some of the fastest small dogs you can find, which is why they need plenty of space to run around and play.
Weight: 25-40 pounds
28. Cairn Terrier
Don’t let these charming little dogs fool you — they are feisty and curious. You’ll never have a boring moment with a SchipperkeCairn Terrier as your furry friend.
Weight: 13-14 pounds
Read more: Cairn Terrier Dog Breed Information
Originally bred as hunting dogs in Africa, Basenjis are much more catlike in temperament and behavior than you would expect of a dog. They rarely bark, groom themselves like felines and are great leapers.
Weight: 22-24 pounds
Read more: Basenji Dog Breed Information
30. Jack Russell Terrier
You may recognize the breed from the big screen as it has been featured in many popular films. This mini dog is intelligent, loyal, and extremely energetic. Its big, round eyes and perked-up ears make it adorable and cuddly.
Weight: 13-17 pounds
Read more: Jack Russell Terrier Dog Breed Information
31. Norfolk Terrier
The Norfolk Terrier is best described as a big dog in a small package. They are cute and cuddly and can get along with just about everyone. As long as you let them exercise and play, they’ll be happy and healthy.
Weight: 11-12 pounds
Read more: Norfolk Terrier Dog Breed Information
To say that Schipperkes are high-energy dogs is an understatement. Also known as “little black devils,” these cute small pups love to jump and play around. Moreover, they are lively and alert watchdogs that will keep you safe and cuddled!
Weight: 10-16 pounds
33. Scottish Terrier
If you’ve ever played Monopoly, you can never mistake the Scottish Terrier’s signature silhouette. Despite their short legs, they love to run around and play. Training them, however, takes time and persistence.
Weight: 19-22 pounds
Read more: Scottish Terrier Dog Breed Information
34. Toy Fox Terrier
Friendly, loyal, and playful, the Toy Fox Terrier is one of the best small dog breeds to consider when you’re looking for a new pet. Back in the day, they were bred as hunting dogs, so your furry friend will love chasing small animals.
Weight: 3.5-7 pounds
35. American Hairless Terrier
If you’re looking for apartment dogs, this is the perfect choice. It’s the only hairless dog breed indigenous to the U.S., and it was actually created by a happy accident. The joy it will bring into your life, though, will be no accident!
Weight: 12-24 pounds
36. Silky Terrier
Named after its silky smooth hair, it’s easy to confuse the Silky Terrier with its cousins, the Yorkies. These small fluffy dogs are great companions for city dwellers due to their friendly nature.
Weight: 8–10 pounds
37. Alaskan Klee Kai
If you love huskies but only have space for a small dog, the solution is called an Alaskan Klee Kai. These unbelievably cute and fluffy puppies almost look unreal. The best part? They won’t grow past the 15-pound mark!
Weight: 10-15 pounds
Read more: Alaskan Klee Kai Dog Breed Information
38. Border Terrier
Regardless of their size, Border Terriers are known to be an agile, working breed. Their affectionate and attentive personality, coupled with their upbeat nature, make them a great fit for most pet owners.
Weight: 13-15.5 pounds
Read more: Border Terrier Dog Breed Information
39. German Spitz
The German Spits was originally bred as a working dog. Today, it’s widely preferred as a watchdog as it’s quite adaptable and vigilant. They are independent dogs that would protect their family and home with everything they have.
Weight: 21-29 pounds
The Bolognese are small dogs with big hearts. They tend to get very attached to their owners, and it’s important to spend quality time with them. If you have a busy lifestyle, this might not be the right breed for you as they can suffer separation anxiety.
Weight: 8-14 pounds
The little Havanese hails from Cuba. Their fur comes in different colors, but it’s always soft and shiny. Likewise, these puppies’ temperament makes them great watchdogs and playful-to-the-bone friends.
Weight: 7-13 pounds
Read more: Havanese Dog Breed Information