dog

59 Best Small Dog Breeds That Stay Small Forever

Littlethings writer Phyllis Maddox by Phyllis Maddox
Phyllis is a retired English teacher and a freelance writer for LittleThings.

Do you long for a dog of your own, but live in a small space? Or do you have plenty of space inside and out, but your schedule is so intense that you don’t have time for the long walks some dogs need?

Maybe you want to know if it’s possible to own a dog that doesn’t need a lot of space or exercise.

The good news is that, yes, it is possible. Some dog breeds can be perfectly happy in an apartment and don’t require a whole lot of exercise. If this is the kind of pup you desire, then you should consider a small dog breed. In addition to needing less space and exercise, there are several other benefits to getting a small dog breed that you may not know.

Below, you’ll find all the benefits of owning a small dog, as well as a full list of breeds that stay small forever to help you choose which one is best for you. When you decide on the dog that’s perfect for you, here’s a list of cute dog names to choose from as well!

Benefits Of Having A Small Dog

Small dog picture

1. Less Mess

The American Kennel Club advises getting a small dog breed “if for no other reason than to minimize some of the problems inherent in canines such as shedding, creating messes and cost of care. And training aside, it’s still easier to control a 10-pound dog than it is one 10 times that size.”

2. Cheaper Care

The cost of dog food can be incredibly expensive, and the bigger the dog, the more they need to eat. Some kennels will also charge more for boarding big dogs, and the same goes for groomers.

3. Lengthy Lifespans

Although the reason why is still unknown, small dogs tend to live longer than big dogs. According to the AKC, giant dog breeds live an average of 8 to 10 years, large dogs an average of 10 to 12 years, medium dogs 10 to 13 years, and small dogs 10 to 15 years, with some living up to 18 years.

What’s The Difference Between A “Teacup” Dog And A “Small” Dog?

Small dog photo

According to PetMD, breeders create “teacup” dogs by breeding the smallest “runts” in the litter. Although there has been a rising popularity for teacup dogs, many veterinarians advise against buying these breeds. “Health risks for these tiny dogs are significant,” Dr. Judy Morgan told PetMD. “This is not a natural breeding situation. It is an unnatural practice by breeders looking for a marketing edge.”

A “small” dog breed can include dogs labeled in the “toy” and “miniature” group as well. Size and weight determine the designated type of standard, miniature, and toy. Small dog breeds are largely defined as weighing under 22 pounds or being shorter than 16 inches.

The small dog breeds in our list weigh 20 pounds or less when full-grown and are divided into short-haired and long-haired categories. The AKC states that it’s important to be aware of the differences in the coat and temperament of each dog breed. Just because a small dog has short hair doesn’t mean they are considered a hypoallergenic or non-allergy causing dog. Learn all about the different types of small dogs below.

Short-Haired Small Dogs

Affenpinscher

Affenpinscher small dog

Size

The affenpinscher is nine to 11 inches, tail to shoulders, and weighs seven to nine pounds.

Coat

This small dog’s coat is medium length and wiry, and he sheds very little. You need to brush him only every few weeks and have his hair clipped short every few months. If you are going to show him, dead hairs need to be plucked out every six months.

Temperament

He is bold, alert, and interested in everything. This small dog breed loves to play games with his family, and he needs lots of love and attention. He’s fearless and may pick fights with strange dogs, but gets along well with dogs and other pets he’s raised with.

American Hairless Terrier

American hairless terrier small dog

Size

The American hairless terrier is seven to 16 inches tall at shoulders and weighs five to 16 pounds.

Coat

This small dog has no coat, so he does not need to be brushed. His skin can be marked with any color. He is a new breed of dog, recognized by the United Kennel Club of England but not yet by the AKC.

Temperament

He is loving, energetic, cheerful, and faithful to his family. He loves to snuggle with you under the blankets or in your lap. This is a small dog breed that enjoys daily walks or hikes. When outdoors, he should always be on a leash, as he will chase small animals and birds. He is good with dogs and pets he is raised with, and with considerate kids who are gentle toward him.

Australian Terrier

Australian terrier small dog

Size

The Australian terrier is nine to 11 inches tall at the shoulder and weighs nine to 14 pounds.

Coat

Her coat is medium-length, wiry, and harsh on top, yet soft underneath. This small dog breed needs to be brushed every few weeks and clipped short every few months. Dead hairs should be plucked about twice a year; shedding is very minimal.

Temperament

The “Aussie” is a courageous and confident little dog who’s a little stubborn, but also eager to please. She is warm and affectionate with her owners and devoted to them, but can be a little shy or aggressive around strangers or other dogs. She isn’t a yappy dog, though she will alert you if there are strangers about. This small dog breed is good with kids if they don’t tease her.

Boston Terrier

Boston terrier small dog

Size

The Boston terrier is 15 to 17 inches tall and weighs 10 to 25 pounds, with most weighing 13 to 16 pounds.

Coat

This small dog’s coat is short, doesn’t require much grooming, and doesn’t shed much.

Temperament

The Boston terrier is friendly, affectionate, loves kids and just about everybody else, including other dogs. He especially loves to be with his family and he can be active or cuddly, whichever you train him to be.

Brazilian Terrier

Brazilian terrier small dog

Size

The Brazilian terrier is 14 to 16 inches tall at the shoulder and weighs 15 to 20 pounds.

Coat

She has a short, smooth coat that needs only an occasional brushing. However, brushing her medium-shedding hair more often will get rid of loose hairs before they fall onto your furniture.

Temperament

She is a restless, active dog who will be completely devoted to her owner. She loves to run around the house, play games and perform tricks for you, and she can be a little yippy when she hears a noise, so she has to be trained to not bark often. She needs lots of attention and doesn’t like being left alone. This small dog breed gets along well with behaved kids and needs to be socialized as a puppy with any other animals in the home.

 

Brussels Griffon

Brussels griffon small dog

Size

The Brussels griffon is seven to eight inches tall at the shoulder and weighs eight to 12 pounds. It is considered a toy breed.

Coat

This small dog can have either a smooth or rough coat, of short to medium length, which needs to be brushed occasionally and clipped short every few months. His coat also needs to be stripped, or the dead hairs plucked out every few months.

Temperament

This cute small dog sticks like glue to his owner; he does not like being left alone for long. He is energetic, friendly, devoted and loves to be cuddled. He gets along fine with well-behaved kids, and doesn’t need a great deal of exercise.

Cairn Terrier

Cairn terrier small dog

Size

The Cairn terrier is 13 inches tall at the shoulder and weighs 14 to 18 pounds.

Coat

She has a medium-length double coat consisting of a short, soft undercoat and a tough, wiry outer coat. She needs to be brushed only occasionally and clipped short every few months. She’s a small dog breed that doesn’t shed a lot.

Temperament

The Cairn terrier is a confident and brave small dog breed. She is not usually a cuddly dog, but needs lots of outdoor exercise, a daily walk and plenty to do to keep her occupied. If left in a yard, she may start digging or barking. She is good-natured and happy with kids who don’t tease her.

Chihuahua (Long And Short Coat)

Chihuahua small dog

Size

The Chihuahua is six to 10 inches tall and weighs two to eight pounds.

Coat

The Chihuahua can have a short coat that is soft and fine on top, with a downy undercoat that requires only an occasional brushing. The long-coated Chihuahua is the same size with the same temperament, but his coat is medium length, soft and fine on top, with a downy undercoat that needs only an occasional brushing to keep him tangle-free. You may want to brush him more often just to get the hair out and keep it from getting onto your furniture.

Temperament

This little dog is known for his bold and confident manner. He’s a small dog breed that thinks he is much bigger than he is and shows it by challenging dogs 10 times his size! He gets along well with pets he is raised with, and he can get along well with gentle and behaved kids. If they tease him, he may bark and even bite them. He is a loving, affectionate dog to his owners, and he can become very attached to one person especially.

Miniature Dachshund (Smooth, Wire-Haired, And Longhaired)

Miniature dachshund small dog.

Size

The miniature dachshund is eight to nine inches tall and weighs nine to 11 pounds.

Coat

This small dog breed’s hair comes in three varieties: smooth, wiry, and long. Smooth is soft and short, wire-haired is short and rough with a soft undercoat, and long is medium long and soft. All three types of hair need to be brushed occasionally, more often if you want to get the hair before it falls on your furniture.

Temperament

The dachshund is a courageous, loving, and protective dog. He is very energetic and enjoys having regular, moderate exercise inside and out of the house. The dachshund is a small dog breed that is good with older kids who will not tease him.

Italian Greyhound

Italian greyhound small dog

Size

The Italian greyhound stays small as an adult and is 13 to 15 inches tall and weighs seven to 14 pounds.

Coat

This small dog breed has a short, smooth coat that needs to be brushed only occasionally.

Temperament

She is an active-yet-gentle, loving, and faithful companion. She needs your love and attention.  She gets along well with other pets and kids, as long as they are low-energy and considerate. This small dog breed is timid and needs a peaceful setting.

Jack Russell Terrier (Rough Or Smooth) And The Parson Russell Terrier

Jack Russell Terrier (Rough Or Smooth) And The Parson Russell Terrier

Size

The Jack Russell terrier is one to 12 inches tall and weighs 13 to 17 pounds. The Parson Russell is 10 to 15 inches tall and weighs 13 to 17 pounds. He is identical to the Jack Russell terrier, except he has longer legs.

Coat

The Jack Russell terrier comes in two coat types, rough and smooth. If he has a rough coat, it is of medium length and wiry, needing only to be brushed occasionally and clipped short every few months. If his coat is smooth, it is short and slightly harsh, and it only needs occasional brushing.

Temperament

The Jack Russell is famous for his bold and energetic personality. He wants to be involved in everything his family is doing and needs playtime and attention. He makes a good watchdog because he is fiercely protective of his family. He can be confrontational with other dogs, so you must control him.

Japanese Terrier

Japanese terrier small dog

Size

The Japanese terrier is eight to 13 inches tall and weighs five to nine pounds.

Coat

She has a short and smooth coat, needing only a periodic brushing, unless you want to brush her more frequently to cut down on the amount of hair that could fall in your home.

Temperament

This small dog breed is loving, loyal, and affectionate, and she enjoys being the center of your attention. She is friendly and undemanding, and gets along well with other dogs or cats. She is cheerful and playful with well-behaved kids.

Klein German Spitz

Klein german spitz small dog

Size

The Klein German spitz is nine to 11 inches tall and weighs 18 to 22 pounds.

Coat

This small dog breed has a double coat which is medium length on the outside, while being short and thick underneath. The coat needs to be brushed periodically.

Temperament

The Klein German spitz, also called the toy German spitz, is a happy, active, and feisty small dog breed. He easily adapts to your schedule, whether it entails long walks or sitting happily around the house. He likes being near you and pleasing you, and gets along well with other pets or kids.

Lakeland Terrier

Lakeland Terrier

Size

The Lakeland terrier is 13 to 15 inches tall and weighs 15 to 17 pounds.

Coat

Her coat is of medium length, wiry on the outside and soft underneath. She needs to be brushed occasionally and clipped short every few months.

Temperament

She is an energetic, bold, loving, and devoted companion. She likes being busy and being involved with her family. This small dog breed is fearless and a good watchdog, but you may need to teach her when it’s appropriate to bark. She may chase small animals but can get along with cats if she is raised with them. The Lakeland terrier will get along great with respectful kids.

Lancashire Heeler

Lancashire Heeler

Size

The Lancashire heeler is 10 to 12 inches tall and weighs six to 13 pounds.

Coat

His coat is short and smooth with a weather-resistant undercoat, and he only needs occasional brushing.

Temperament

This little dog breed is versatile: cuddled up affectionately with you when it is time to relax, but energetic when it’s time to work or play. This breed needs plenty of exercise, running and playing outside or chasing rabbits in a field. He is a natural herder and is good with kids who are considerate.

Manchester Terrier

Manchester terrier small dog

Size

The Manchester terrier is 10 to 12 inches tall and weighs six to 12 pounds.

Coat

Her coat is short and smooth, needing only an occasional brushing.

Temperament

This is an energetic and happy little girl, devoted to her family and excited to be with them. She is easy to train and housebreak, which is not common with small dog breeds. She needs plenty of exercise and to be always on a leash because she will chase small animals. She is good with kids she has been raised with.

Mexican Hairless (Toy)

Mexican hairless small dog

Size

The toy Mexican hairless dog is nine to 14 inches tall and weighs five to 15 pounds.

Coat

He has no coat; his skin color may be black, blue, gray, liver, blonde, brown, red, or spotted. He needs no grooming because he has no hair, but needs a sweater in the winter and sunscreen in the summer.

Temperament

The Mexican hairless is a calm, loyal, happy dog who loves his family above all else. He is gentle and affectionate, and because of this nature he is often employed as a therapy dog. Fearless, he makes a good small watchdog, and he gets along well with other pets and kids who are respectful with him.

Miniature Pinscher

Miniature Pinscher

Size

The miniature pinscher is 10 to 12 inches tall and weighs eight to 12 pounds.

Coat

She has a short, smooth coat that needs very little brushing.

Temperament

She is bold and confident, curious and playful. She loves to chase and chew things, so she needs to be supervised while playing. She is loving and will often become very attached to one person especially. She’s a good watchdog who is vigilant and protective of her family. The miniature pinscher is a good small dog for families. She gets along well with pets and kids she is raised with.

Miniature Schnauzer

Miniature schnauzer small dog

Size

The miniature schnauzer stays small as an adult. He is 11 to 14 inches tall and weighs 10 to 18 pounds.

Coat

He has a double coat, which consists of a medium-length wiry outer coat and a soft, dense undercoat. He needs occasional brushing and to be clipped short every few months. This is a small dog breed that doesn’t shed a lot.

Temperament

This little guy is happy and energetic, very loyal to his family and ready to get involved in anything you do. He loves your company and doesn’t like to be alone. He needs a daily walk to burn off some of that energy, and needs to be watched carefully around small animals, as he will chase and catch them. He is good with kids if they are well behaved.

Norfolk Terrier

Norfolk terrier small dog

Size

The Norfolk terrier is nine to 10 inches tall and weighs 11 to 20 pounds.

Coat

She has a medium-length straight, wiry coat with a soft undercoat that needs to be brushed periodically and clipped every few months.

Temperament

The Norfolk terrier is loyal, affectionate and very attached to her family. She does not like to be left alone for long, and prefers people to other pets, although she can get along with them if she has been raised with them. The Norfolk terrier is a small dog breed that is bold and fearless and would make a good watchdog.

Norwich Terrier

Norwich terrier small dog

Size

The Norwich terrier is nine to 10 inches tall and weighs 10 to 12 pounds.

Coat

He has a double coat that is medium-length, with a wiry outer coat and a thick, soft undercoat. Brushing needs to be done only occasionally, with the coat clipped short every few months. Shedding is very minimal.

Temperament

This is an energetic small dog breed who needs plenty of exercise and stimulation. He likes to play different kinds of games and take brisk walks with you. He loves to cuddle, but is not a couch potato. He does well with animals he has been raised with, but not rodents, and he is a great small dog around kids if they are considerate and respectful of him.

Patterdale Terrier

Patterdale terrier small dog

Size

The Patterdale terrier is 10 to 12 inches tall and weighs 10 to 13 pounds.

Coat

Her coat is short and can be either smooth or wiry; it needs only an occasional brushing.

Temperament

This small breed is a working dog. She craves the hunt and is tough, energetic, playful, and fearless. She is not suited for apartment living, as she can hunt or play for hours outdoors. Inside, she can be relaxed if she has had plenty of the exercise she needs. She can be loyal and loving with her family and will play all day long with kids, but needs to be supervised because she can be rough.

Prazsky Krysarik

Patterdale terrier small dog

Size

The Prazsky krysarik is seven to nine inches tall and weighs two to six pounds.

Coat

He has a short, thin, glossy coat that only needs to be brushed occasionally.

Temperament

The Prazsky krysarik is a lively, affectionate, cheerful pet who becomes attached to everyone in the family. He is sweet natured and makes a very good apartment dog. He’s relaxed in the house but has a high energy level that shows once he is outside on the walk he needs daily. He is very good with cats and other dogs, but not with rodents. He is friendly and playful with kids, but should not be left around small children because he is fragile.

Pug

Pug small dog

Size

The pug is 12 to 14 inches tall and weighs 14 to 18 pounds.

Coat

Her coat is short and glossy and needs to be brushed periodically, but you may want to brush it often because she sheds a great deal.

Temperament

The pug is an extremely loving and affectionate dog, craving human companionship above all else. She loves to snuggle or cuddle and be around you all day long. She does not need a great deal of exercise, just an occasional walk. She gets along well with other pets and is a small dog breed that is especially good with kids.

Rat Terrier

Rat terrier small dog

Size

The rat terrier is 13 to 18 inches tall and weighs 10 to 22 pounds.

Coat

He has a short, thick coat that needs only an occasional brushing.

Temperament

The rat terrier is energetic, loving, and adaptable. He loves to curl up in your lap for a nap after he has had plenty of exercise. He needs physical and mental stimulation and wants to be with you no matter what you’re doing. This small dog breed is playful and loves challenging games. He gets along well with other animals except smaller, rodents, which he tends to hunt. He is a small dog breed that is good with kids who are considerate and kind to him.

Schipperke

Schipperke small dog

Size

The schipperke is 10 to 13 inches high and weighs 12 to 16 pounds.

Coat

Her coat is medium-length, thick and straight, and needs only an occasional brushing. However, she sheds so much hair that you might want to brush her daily.

Temperament

A devoted and loving dog, the Schipperke is a small dog breed that is very energetic and curious. She loves to play and bonds closely with everyone in the family.  She likes to ride in cars or in boats, running in fenced areas and long walks. She is independent and confident and makes an excellent watchdog. She gets along great with responsible kids, especially the ones in her family.

Scottish Terrier

Scottish terrier small dog

Size

The Scottish terrier is 10 to 11 inches tall and weighs 18 to 22 pounds.

Coat

This small dog breed has a medium-length double coat that is thick and soft underneath and wiry on the outside. Brush it occasionally and get it clipped every few months. His shedding is very minimal.

Temperament

The Scottish terrier is fiercely loyal, confident, and independent. He is gentle and loving with his family but suspicious of others. He will accept strangers into your home conditionally and save all his affection for you and your family. He is a willful dog who doesn’t necessarily want to do what you tell him to do. However, he does well with firm training. He needs lots of exercise and mental stimulation but should not be encouraged with aggressive games. He is a small dog breed that is aggressive toward other dogs but does well with older kids.

Smooth Fox Terrier

Smooth fox terrier small dog

Size

The smooth fox terrier is 13 to 16 inches tall and weighs 13 to 20 pounds.

Coat

She has a short, thick, flat coat that needs to be brushed occasionally.

Temperament

This small dog breed is energetic, happy, and fearless, and completely devoted to her family — she wants to be closely involved in everything they do. She needs a great deal of attention and affection and makes a great watchdog, as she is very protective of those she loves. She can be aggressive toward other dogs, and needs to go on walks or jogging with you to expend some of that energy. She does well with older kids, but may be too rough for small ones.

Tibetan Spaniel

Tibetan spaniel small dog

Size

The Tibetan spaniel is 10 to 11 inches tall and weighs nine to 15 pounds.

Coat

He has a medium-length, silky coat that needs occasional brushing.

Temperament

This small dog is loyal, confident and watchful. He is almost catlike, enjoying climbing high to sit on windows and cabinets to survey his territory. He makes a good small watchdog and is totally protective of his owners. He is not aggressive with people but saves all his cuddling for his family. He can get along with pets he is raised with and is good with considerate kids.

Toy Fox Terrier

Toy fox terrier small dog

Size

The toy fox terrier is eight to 12 inches tall and weighs three to seven pounds.

Coat

She has a short, fine and shiny coat, which needs to be brushed occasionally.

Temperament

She is lively, affectionate, protective, fiercely loyal to her family and she needs to be with you. She is active and energetic, needing a daily walk, but also likes to cuddle and relax. She is an excellent watchdog, warning you of any unusual sounds, but she is not a yappy small dog. She is too fragile for very young kids, but does well with other dogs.

Volpino Italiano

Volpino small dog

Size

The volpino Italiano is 10 to 12 inches tall and weighs 8 to 12 pounds.

Coat

His coat is straight and of medium length, needing only an occasional brushing.

Temperament

The volpino is energetic, confident, and protective of his family. This small dog breed is affectionate with his family but not very fond of outsiders. He needs long daily walks and chances to run free; he does best as an only pet. He can be loving and affectionate with the kids in his own family but may snap at those he doesn’t know.

Welsh Terrier

Welsh terrier small dog

Size

The Welsh terrier is 15 inches tall and weighs 20 pounds.

Coat

She has a medium-long, wiry coat that needs to be brushed only occasionally.

Temperament

She is energetic, happy, independent, and confident. She needs a great deal of love and attention and wants to do everything with you. The Welsh terrier is a high-energy, small dog breed who needs daily walks and a chance to play in an enclosed area. She is confrontational with other dogs, but gets along well with older, responsible kids. She makes a good watchdog because she is alert and vigilant, but she may need to be taught not to bark when inappropriate.

West Highland White Terrier

West highland white terrier small dog

Size

The West Highland white terrier is nine to 12 inches tall and weighs 13 to 20 pounds.

Coat

He has a double coat consisting of a medium-length, wiry outer coat and a soft, thick undercoat.

Temperament

He is a happy, devoted, and playful small dog who loves and craves your companionship. He is high energy, needing a moderate amount of exercise and lots of opportunities to play. He can get along with dogs he knows and is good with older, considerate kids.

Wire Fox Terrier

Wire fox terrier small dog

Size

The wire fox terrier is 13 to 16 inches tall and weighs 13 to 20 pounds.

Coat

She has a medium-length, wiry coat, which needs to be brushed occasionally.

Temperament

The wire fox terrier is energetic, joyful, and loving, completely devoted to her family. She needs a great deal of attention, and in return is loyal, loving and protective. She makes a wonderful watchdog, but may need to be trained not to bark too much. This small dog breed is not usually aggressive toward people, but may confront larger dogs. She needs a great deal of exercise to expend some of that energy and can go walking, hiking, or jogging with you.  She may be able to tolerate animals if she is raised with them.

Long-Haired Small Dogs

American Eskimo Dog (Toy)

American eskimo dog

Size

The toy version of the American Eskimo dog stays small forever and is nine to 12 inches tall and weighs six to 10 pounds.

Coat

Her coat is of medium length but is very thick. It’s a double coat, dense underneath with a harsher topcoat. You only need to brush her occasionally, but because she sheds a great deal, many owners brush her daily to reduce the amount of hair that ends up being shed around the house. The American Eskimo is a small dog breed that is sometimes compared to huskies.

Temperament

The American Eskimo is an intelligent, curious, and friendly small dog breed. She does well with lots of your love and attention, and without it may resort to barking, chewing, or digging. She is energetic and will need to be walked several times a week. She can be a bit yappy but is an excellent watchdog.

Bichon Frise

Bichon frise small dog

Size

The bichon frise is nine to 12 inches tall at the shoulders and weighs seven to 12 pounds.

Coat

This small dog breed has a long, curly coat consisting of a soft and thick undercoat and a coarse, curly top coat. Her coat is white but may have a little cream or apricot just around the ears. The coat needs to be brushed occasionally and is easy if you keep it clipped short. If you want to show your bichon frise, that’s a different story! She’ll need 10 to 15 minutes of brushing daily and a haircut every six weeks.

Temperament

She is happy and loves to socialize. She is a small dog breed that loves kids and short walks, but hates to be left alone for long. She can be yappy sometimes, but can be trained.

Bolognese

Bolognese small dog

Size

The Bolognese is 10 to 12 inches high at the shoulder and weighs nine to 11 pounds.

Coat

He has a long, woolly, pure white coat that sheds very little. You need to brush it every few days and get it clipped short every few months.

Temperament

He is a playful, friendly, loyal, and faithful small dog breed. He loves his family and will follow you around the house as he needs a great deal of love and affection. He isn’t a yappy dog, but will let you know when there are strangers about. He gets along well with other animals and is gentle with kids.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier king charles spaniel small dog

Size

The Cavalier King Charles spaniel has a name bigger than he is! He is 12 to 13 inches tall at the shoulder and weighs 13 to 18 pounds.

Coat

This small dog breed has a long coat, which requires regular combing and brushing. He is best kept to his natural appearance without special haircuts.

Temperament

He is active and happy, loves being outdoors, as he is a spaniel. With his family he is extremely affectionate and gentle.

Cesky Terrier

Cesky terrier small dog

Size

The Cesky terrier is 10 to 13 inches tall and weighs 16 to 22 pounds.

Coat

She has a long, fine, silky coat. She needs to be brushed occasionally and clipped short every few months unless you plan to show her, in which case she needs to be every six weeks.

Temperament

The Cesky is loyal, loving, and happy, but she can be feisty when it comes to protecting her family. She is suspicious and reserved with strangers, slow to make friends, but friendly and playful once she does. This small dog breed needs a regular walk and gets along well with kids as long as they are well behaved. She can play with other dogs but not with other small pets, as she will probably view them as prey.

Chinese Crested (Powderpuff And Hairless)

Chinese crested small dog

Size

The Chinese crested, whether powderpuff or the hairless variety, is 11 to 13 inches tall and weighs five to 12 pounds.

Coat

The hairless Chinese crested has some hair on his head, tail and feet, and this hair is soft and silky, so it needs to be brushed occasionally and trimmed once in a while. The Chinese crested powderpuff has medium to long soft and silky hair, which needs only to be brushed periodically.

Temperament

This small dog breed is cheerful and loving, extremely devoted to his owner. He loves to cuddle and he likes your attention. He doesn’t bark much, is very good with other pets and loves kids who don’t tease him.

Coton De Tuléar

Coton de tulear small dog

Size

The coton de Tuléar is 10 to 12 inches tall and weighs 12 to 15 pounds.

Coat

She has a long, cottony, fluffy coat with a downy undercoat, and she only needs an occasional brushing.

Temperament

The coton de Tuléar is a true lapdog. She loves to be in your lap, snuggling and cuddling with you; she doesn’t like to be left alone. She is a happy, friendly, gentle and loving small dog breed. She enjoys long walks and playing with you outside.

English Toy Spaniel (Also Called King Charles Spaniel)

English toy spaniel small dog

Size

The English toy spaniel is nine to 10 inches tall and weighs eight to 14 pounds.

Coat

He has a medium-length, silky, straight or wavy coat that needs to be brushed occasionally.

Temperament

The English toy spaniel is a quiet, gentle, very loving and affectionate small dog breed. He is shy with strangers but warms up quickly to those who are gentle with him. He is a low-energy dog who doesn’t need an excessive amount of exercise.

Havanese

Havanese small dog

Size

The Havanese is eight to 11 inches tall and weighs seven to 13 pounds.

Coat

She has a long double coat that is wavy and soft and needs to be brushed occasionally and clipped short every few months.

Temperament

The Havanese is a happy, friendly, and loving dog. She will bark when she sees strangers but will readily stop at your signal. This small dog breed gets along well with other pets and loves kids.

Japanese Chin

Japanese chin small dog

Size

The Japanese chin is eight to 11 inches tall and weighs four to seven pounds.

Coat

He has a long, thick coat that is silky and straight, needing a periodic brushing. However, if you want to minimize the amount of hair that gets on your furniture, you might want to brush him daily.

Temperament

The Japanese chin is a true lapdog, wanting to snuggle and cuddle with you at every opportunity. He is loving, loyal, and affectionate, and he is friendly with everyone after he gets to know them. This small dog breed doesn’t need much exercise.

Japanese Spitz

Japanese spitz small dog

Size

The Japanese spitz is 12 to 15 inches tall and weighs 11 to 22 pounds.

Coat

The Japanese spitz has a medium-length double coat, straight on top and thick and soft underneath. He needs occasional brushing, but brushing him every day will cut down on the copious amounts of hair that could land on your furniture.

Temperament

This small dog breed is lively and fun, loyal and loving. He likes being in your lap but also playing outside. He doesn’t need a lot of exercise but can run alongside you or play games in the yard. This small dog breed does not like to be left alone.

Kyi-Leo

Kyi-leo small dog

Size

The kyi-leo is eight to 12 inches tall and weighs nine to 14 pounds.

Coat

The kyi-leo has a long, straight, or wavy coat that needs to be brushed periodically.

Temperament

She is sweet and loving with those she knows and wary of those she doesn’t. She is active and happy, and will warm up to people that she sees you are comfortable with. She isn’t easily antagonized and can be left alone, but not in a yard. The kyi-leo is a small dog breed that gets along well with considerate kids.

Lhasa Apso

Lhasa apso small dog

Size

The Lhasa apso is 10 to 11 inches tall and weighs 14 to 18 pounds.

Coat

He has a long, thick, and heavy coat that needs to be brushed occasionally and clipped every few months.

Temperament

This is a bold and confident small dog, affectionate, and devoted to his owner. He prefers adults to kids and is loving with his family but suspicious with strangers. He is not naturally obedient but can be trained with firmness and patience.

Löwchen

Lowchen small dog

Size

The löwchen is 10 to 14 inches tall and weighs eight to 18 pounds.

Coat

She has a long, soft coat that needs to be brushed occasionally and clipped short every few months. The löwchen is a small dog breed that sheds very little.

Temperament

She loves being with you and will follow you around the house. She is lively and playful, but will bark at any noise she find suspicious. Her name means “little lion,” and she is a fierce protector. She will need you to teach her when not to bark. She likes a little playtime in the yard and short walks. The löwchen is a small dog breed that loves playing with kids as long as they are respectful with her.

Maltese

Maltese small dog

Size

The Maltese is eight to 10 inches tall and weighs four to seven pounds.

Coat

He has a long, silky coat that needs occasional brushing and clipping every few months. The Maltese is a hypoallergenic, non-shedding dog.

Temperament

The Maltese is a lively, exuberant little dog that needs a great deal of time with his owner. He loves to cuddle with you but also to run, jump and play in games inside or outside the house. With all this energy, he does need a daily walk. He is not afraid of any other animal, no matter their size, and loves kids if they are polite.

Papillon

Papillon small dog

Size

The papillon is eight to 11 inches tall and weighs eight to 10 pounds.

Coat

The papillon has a long, silky coat that requires routine brushing. There is no undercoat, so she doesn’t require a lot of grooming. The butterfly-shaped ears are distinctive to this breed.

Temperament

She is happy, alert, friendly, and eager to please. She would rather run around the house chasing a ball than sitting quietly.

Pekingese

Pekingese small dog

Size

The Pekingese is six to nine inches tall and weighs seven to 14 pounds.

Coat

He has a double coat that consists of a long, straight outer coat and a thick undercoat; brushing only needs to be occasional, unless you want to remove excessive hair. He is a heavy shedder.

Temperament

He is a bold, independent dog who is very affectionate with his owner. Quite often the Pekingese is a one-person dog that can be possessive or jealous. He is a great watchdog because he hears every sound, but you can train him not to bark too much. He is very loving and affectionate with his owner and can be quiet and low-energy in the house. He doesn’t need a great deal of exercise but does like a daily walk. He can get along with pets he is raised with and likes older kids best.

Phalène

Phalène

Size

The phalène is eight to 11 inches tall and weighs eight to 10 pounds.

Coat

She has a medium-length, silky straight coat that needs only a periodic brushing.

Temperament

The phalène is a happy, outgoing lapdog who also loves to run and play. This small dog breed will play in the house but loves going for long walks. The phalène is easy to train and has been named the number one toy obedience breed. She makes an excellent therapy dog and watchdog.

Pomeranian

Pomeranian small dog

Size

The Pomeranian is eight to 11 inches tall and weighs three to seven pounds.

Coat

The Pomeranian has a double coat that is thick and straight on the top layer and soft and thick underneath. His coat only needs to be brushed periodically, but you may want to brush him daily to minimize the amount of hair.

Temperament

He is loyal, devoted, and affectionate, but the Pomeranian is also outgoing. This small dog breed is a bundle of energy who likes being busy. He loves to play and do tricks for you, and this makes him easy to train. He gets along well with other pets he gets to know while young and he is good with older, responsible kids. He is a good watchdog because he is suspicious of strangers.

Poodle (Toy And Miniature)

Poodle small dog

Size

The miniature poodle is 11 to 15 inches tall and weighs 15 to 17 pounds. The toy poodle is 10 inches tall and weighs seven to nine pounds.

Coat

The poodle’s coat is long, soft, and curly. It needs to be brushed occasionally and clipped short every few months. Shedding is minimal for this breed.

Temperament

A poodle of any size is loyal, affectionate, and energetic. She needs lots of exercise, or she can become high strung. She would love to go with you on your long walks, and loves to play in water. Poodles are intelligent dogs, and she seems to know exactly what you want from her when you’re teaching her. She is patient and playful with kids but can be nervous and nippy around very young children.

Shetland Sheepdog

Shetland Sheepdog

Size

The Shetland sheepdog is 13 to 16 inches tall and weighs 12 to 18 pounds.

Coat

He has a double coat, the top being long and rough and the inner coat soft and thick. Brushing only needs to be minimal, but to keep the shedding down in your home, you might want to brush him every day.

Temperament

The Shetland sheepdog, or “Sheltie,” is a sweet, loyal, and busy small dog who loves to play with you. He is affectionate and surprisingly tuned in to your thinking. He wants to be with you and do what you do. He is gentle and kind and can become very attached to one person — but he doesn’t want to be petted or touched by someone he doesn’t know. He loves to perform tasks and excels at herding and chasing; he gets along well with other pets and considerate kids.

Shih Tzu

Shih tzu small dog

Size

The shih tzu is eight to 11 inches tall and weighs nine to 16 pounds.

Coat

Her coat is long, flowing, and soft on the top layer and soft and thick underneath. It only needs to be brushed occasionally and clipped short every few months.

Temperament

The shih tzu is a friendly, happy, and affectionate small dog who loves people and bonds with the entire family. She is an indoor pet who needs to be pet, held, pampered, and not left alone for long periods. She is a quiet lapdog, but does need a daily walk. She is sweet and rarely aggressive, and she gets along well with pets and older kids.

Silky Terrier

Silky terrier small dog

Size

The silky terrier is nine to 10 inches tall and weighs eight to 11 pounds.

Coat

His coat is long, straight and silky; it needs to be brushed occasionally and clipped short every few months.

Temperament

The silky terrier is an energetic, happy, confident, and loving small dog breed. He bonds with his owner and the entire family, and he wants to go everywhere with them. He needs brisk, daily walks, not cuddling on the couch. He makes an excellent watchdog because he is suspicious of strangers and intensely protective of his territory.

Skye Terrier

Skye terrier small dog

Size

The Skye terrier is nine to 10 inches tall and weighs 18 to 20 pounds.

Coat

Her coat is long and straight with a short, soft undercoat that needs occasional brushing and to be clipped short every few months.

Temperament

The Skye terrier is a loyal, protective, and loving small dog breed. She can become very attached to one person or one family. She doesn’t like to be held or cuddled by anyone she doesn’t know, and will usually be standoffish with strangers. She makes a good watchdog because she senses trouble from a distance and will warn her owner with barks. She craves attention and does not like to be teased, and so should not be left unsupervised with kids.

Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkshire terrier small dog

Size

The Yorkshire terrier is eight to nine inches tall and weighs four to seven pounds.

Coat

His coat is long, straight, and needs to be brushed occasionally or clipped short every few months.

Temperament

The Yorkshire terrier, or “Yorkie,” is joyful, energetic, confident, and devoted. He focuses completely on his family, but he is usually friendly with everybody. He loves to cuddle with you, but then he must be up and moving to expel some of that overflowing energy! He needs only moderate exercise, though his high energy levels mean he enjoys long, daily walks. This small dog breed is fearless and will confront larger dogs, but he can get along well with dogs and cats he knows. He tends to hunt and chase smaller animals. He is good with older, considerate children, but can be hurt by smaller ones because he is small and fragile. The Yorkie is a great watchdog because he is protective and fearless, but he may need to be trained not to bark constantly.

You’ve officially reached the end of our best small dog breeds list. If you have friends or family interested in learning about small dogs, please SHARE this informative article with them!