20 Popular Small Dog Breeds

Most of the homes today have a pet dog. The size of the canine depends on personal taste and comfort. Nowadays many people prefer to bring a small dog breed at home. The following reasons explain its popularity

  • Smaller dogs are easy to manage and require less living space, hence are best suitable to for the city living.
  • Their small size makes them portable to carry.
  • They are economical to maintain.
  • Most of the small canine breeds move well with a wide variety of people that include: seniors, bachelors, families, and first-time owners.

This article enlightens about the top small breed canines that are famous all over the world.

1. Yorkshire Terrier

The most famous toy breed in the world. This beautiful canine is known for its blue and tan silky long hair. Many people prefer to carry this dog hence it is also known as the purse dog because its feet rarely touch the ground and often is seen to sport on a bow on its hair.

Though this breed is small it has equal alerting skills like any other medium to large breed watchdog and is also an affectionate companion.

2. Dachshund

The dachshund is a little hound that is the love of many people. The other popular calling names of this breed are wiener dog, hotdog, doxie, sausage dog, and so on. The nicknames that are given to this dog mostly relate to its physical appearance. The short stubby legs and a long round body aids to spot it easily in any crowd.

The wiener dog is available in two sizes: standard and miniature. The latter is the most beloved. This breed canine comes in three different coat types: smooth, long, or wired.

Note: This cute breed is very affectionate towards its family but is seen to be a bit fussy and wary with strangers.

3. Poodle

A popular canine breed famous for its curls and distinct hairdo (the pompoms over the joints). This breed has a rich aristocratic history behind it as they are known to be entertaining performers.

Due to its fancy look and cuteness, many people fail to recognize that this small breed is the second most intelligent dog breeds in the world. One of the reasons for its immense popularity is that it comes in three variants: standard, miniature, and toy. The miniature and toy breed is the most sought pet canines as they are known for their longevity.

4. Shih Tzu

This popular toy bred is a poster dog for lap canines. This is of no surprise as the breed was made purely for companionship. The Shih Tzu is a small dog mostly seen with long silky hair and a bow. Many parents trim the hair to a medium length for easier maintenance. This pampered pet is known for its alertness and confident disposition yet this canine is known for its stubbornness.

5. Miniature Schnauzer

This small breed is energetic with a tough personality. The Schnauzer is easily recognized by its signature bearded hairdo. This terrier is popular for a long time because it is extremely loyal to its family. The only trait that needs special obedience training from the puppy stage is its excessive barking. But this small breed is a wonderful companion to stay with.

6. Chihuahua

One of the worlds tiniest dogs with some of the biggest traits. These canines are seen toted about in small bags not only by many celebrities but also by common people in Latin America. Their coat types can be smooth or long.

These loyal and lovable fidos are highly active and hardy like all the tough dogs. They confidently confront any dog that comes in front of it. This national animal of Mexico is a lovable companion if properly trained.

7. Pug

Commonly known as the “Hutch” dog in Asia and button dog all over the world are jovial and playful souls. These canines were a part of the Tibetian monarch. Despite the problems of breathing disorders due to their tiny noses and eye issues, these fidos are compact lovable and wonderful companions for the whole family.

8. Boston terrier

This true American terrier breed is affectionate, loyal, and composed, hence it is a delight to have it around. This crossbreed is the outcome of crossing an English Bulldog with a white terrier, named after the city in which it was created. These pooches are energetic but their favorite pastime is to lay down on their master’s lap.

9. Maltese

A soft white dog with a gentle and a brave disposition. This toy breed is commonly known as the purse pooch as it weighs below seven pounds. An active and playful canine that bonds well with its owner. Its history dates back to the royalty but today this is a popular pampered breed which is loud and prissy at times but is tougher than its look.

10. French Bulldog

This affectionate breed is one of the most popular small breed canines in the globe because it not only adjusts to any surrounding but also barks less. They are known for their dog as well as human friendliness. The French bulldogs are quintessence companions that can entertain their human counterparts for long hours. A total stress buster for professionals with high-pressure jobs.

11. Beagle

The beagle is a loving, energetic, playful, and happy family pet that all people will love to own. Known for its hunting abilities today, this breed is also a good companion. This hound breed is human-friendly irrespective of the age. Not big barkers will let their presence felt if the situation arises. They always prefer to be a part of the human pack with the hound breed traits.

12. Pembroke Welsh Corgi

This small dog breed has the power equivalent to a mid or large dog breed. The Corgi is known for its quick and agile abilities, that is why they were used to control small herds in the past.  As a family pet, they are loyal, affectionate, and a perfect watch dog.

13. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

One of the most popularity gaining breeds over the years. The Cavaliers spaniels are lovable, gentle, perfect lap fido and bed warmer. They are the largest small breed species as they weigh between 13-18 pounds but are the smallest of the Spaniel family.

They possess all the family dog traits that include: playful, affectionate, loving, and kid-friendly. Experts do not recommend this breed to families with allergies because they shed a lot of hair out.

14. Havanese

This is a perfect dog for people who are looking for humorous, adaptable and amusing breeds. The main attraction of the Havanese is their walk, the tiny creatures have a minute difference between the front and back legs, this difference makes this the dog bounce while walking which is a delightful and cute sight. These cheerful and smart pooches can be naughty and mischievous at times hence training and socialization is essential for them.

15. Italian Greyhound

This hound breed is the smallest dog breed of the species and weighs around 3.5-6 kgs. It’s a great companion dog that can run at a speed of 40km/h, but need to be handled with care because of its fragile body structure. The Italian Greyhounds are perfect watch dogs as they bark to unfamiliar sounds. This  family lap dog is famous not only for its beauty but also for its agility.

16. Pomeranian

Poms are the epitome of large dog breeds captured in a small body. This breed demands pampering and attention but does not need additional exercises so they can be brought home by busy individuals too. This sturdy fido always wants to please its human counterpart. The poms require a daily brushing and a bimonthly visit to the pet salon due to its silky long hair.

17. Shetland sheepdog

This sheepdog is intelligent, loyal as well as affectionate. Originally were developed to assist farmers with herding farm animals hence this breed will try to herd the toddlers of the home.

Their intelligence excessively helps to train them in a variety of jobs like medical alert, therapy dog and so on. They exhibit athletics traits that can be seen in their ability to excel in agility, herding, flyball, rally, and tracking.

18. West Highland Terrier

The Westie is a Scotland breed dog that possess a distinctive white harsh coat and a soft white undercoat. It is a medium sized terrier that is an intelligent, quick learner and is good with kids too. But this breed cannot tolerate rough handling hence children need to handle it with precaution. This a very energetic and boisterous breed that requires a minimum of one hour of workout daily.

19. Shiba Inu

The Shiba Inu is the smallest breed of the Spitz breed that has originated from Japan. A small pooch breed that was originally developed for hunting. An independent fido that only respects and loves people who gain respect. A clean dog breed that always likes to self-clean it like the cats hence can be potty trained easily.

The distinct identifying trait of this species is their high pitched scream that it will exhibit during joy, happiness and even when attempting to handle the pet in a way which it dislikes.

20. Lhasa Apso

A nonsporting dog breed that originated in Tibet. They were used by the monks to alert them from intruders hence this pooch is a perfect watch dog. They are aggressive towards strangers and are loyal to the family folks hence need to be trained and socialized well. They take more time in housebreaking but are comical, entertaining, and caring companions. One needs to be mindful with this small breed in the house.

Final thoughts

Choose a small breed dog based on an individual’s personal choices. It’s not always a wise option to zero on white coated dogs as they need a lot of cleaning and maintenance and also have problems of staining on the face and under the eye that is not treatable.


  1. Top ten popular small dog breeds. https://www.thesprucepets.com/top-small-dog-breeds-1118155
  2. 25 most popular small breeds. https://www.dinkydogclub.com/blogs/small-dog-news/which-is-the-most-popular-small-breed-dog
  3. Popular small dog breeds. https://www.smalldogplace.com/popular-small-breed-dogs.html
  4. Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shiba_Inu https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lhasa_Apso https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Italian_Greyhound

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Yeshwanthi Kamalraj
Yeshwanthi Kamalraj is a freelance copy editor, Pet sitter, and content writer who mainly focuses on scientific journals and health-related web pages. Before becoming a freelance content writer Yeshwanthi worked for Cenveo publishers as document analyst for various science journals published by Taylor and Francis Journals and later continued as a freelance copyeditor for the same publishers. Post marriage in 2009 Yeshwanthi developed a keen interest in pets after her husband and she brought a labrador puppy home. This interest helped her to explore a new niche of the pet sitting world whose journey is still on. Yeshwanthi is a dog lover who in her freetime enjoys listening to music, cooking, and meeting new people.


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