Small Dog Breeds

What small dogs (up to approximately 26 pounds) lack in height and size, they make up for in spunk and personality. Their compact size makes them more suitable to tighter living situations, like apartments, and to families with smaller child – provided the dog’s temperament.

Many breeds make for perfect companion and therapy dogs as they are easy to travel with and are fiercely loyal and loving to their owner. An important supplement, nutrition, and medical check up schedule is paramount to maintain. Each breed comes with its nuances, so make sure to match your lifestyle and personality to the breed that provides the best fit.

Affens were originally bred to exterminate rats and other pets, like many terriers. Although they are pinschers, they have stayed true to terrier energy – busy, bold, and stubborn.

A member of the Spitz family, Eskies are known for their wit and beauty. Their intelligence can facilitate their stubborness, but they are true to their owner and are very loyal.

While this pup was bred in Australia to hunt rodents and snakes, they have a happy disposition and are very affectionate with people. They just might keep you on your toes with their cleverness. 

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Arguably the oldest dog, the “barkless” Basenji is a highly intelligent, compact framed dog. True to their longstanding relationship with people, they can be fiercely loyal to their families. 

Beagle - Small Dog Breed

Beagle

An excellent family dog, the Beagle is a small scent hound that can take to the field or can curly up on the couch. They make fantastic companion dogs, for kids and adults.

No, this isn’t a poodle. Or a lamb. Bedlingtons are unmistakable companions. Their puffy white coat matches their fiery energy and playful demeanor.

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Pronounced BEE-shawn FREE-say, this sweet, cheerful ball of white puff loves to get into mischief. Their compact size makes them great apartment dogs.

Dating back in the Mediterranean over 2,000 years, this stout framed little pup originated in Italy. They are calm, faithful dogs.

These playful dogs love to dig. Bred to run in tandem with foxhounds, their quality traits have bestowed more affectionate, trainable behavior than other terriers.

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Its unmistakably distinctive tuxedo style coat has had it coined an “American Gentleman”. This level headed dog makes for a great companion.

If this dog could think any higher of itself, then it would. Brimming with self assurance, this intelligent, devoted dog can range from playful to stubborn to mischievous.

Weighing under 25 pounds, this pup was originally bred in the Scottish Highlands to fearlessly root out foxes in their dens. Since then, it seems they’ve put up their paws. They love attention from their owners and make for cuddly companions.

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The Cardigan is one of the oldest known breeds on record, dating over 3,000 years back to Wales. The Cardigan is larger than the Pembroke Welsh Corgi. However, both breeds can be called Welsh Corgis in conversation.

This gentle, regal pup is eager to please. He will let you know it with his ferociously waging tail. Among the larger sized in the Toy Group, they make for great dogs for families of all sizes.

Native to the Czech Republic, The Cesky Terrier descends from the Scottish Terrier and the Sealyham Terrier. While they’ve kept true to the terrier namesake, they are undoubtedly calmer.

This tiny sized dog weighing less than 6 pounds loves being a purse like companion. Loyal to the end, this compact dog is playful and striking. After all, many restaurants and movies have features this breed. For good reason.

Standing at about a foot tall, the Chinese Crested has a shocking presence, given its distinctive grooming styles. It might not look it, but it fur is soft and silky.

Cocker Spaniels are the smallest member of the sporting group breeds. They are affectionate dogs, making them great for families. Be aware that grooming their coat often is important to keeping their fur untangled.

Hailing from Madagascar, the hypoallergenic pup is a kind extrovert whose wavy coat is as soft and cuddly as their temperament and personality.

Over 300 years old, the dachshund originates from Germany. As one could surmise from their body type, these scent hounds were originally bred to track badgers and other tunneling animals. Of late, it seems like they’d rather kick their paws up and snuggle with the family.

The signature look of a French Bulldog is striking. These miniature bulldogs have bat like ears. Their size and unrelenting love for humans make them great companion dogs.

Easily trainable, this energetic, ardent  dog makes for an excellent family dog. Known to be very devoted to their owner, their compact frame and lively spirit makes them great confidantes and comrades ready to tackle whatever comes at you in life.

Coming with the ‘just rolled out of bed’ appearance, this Irish terrier gained AKC acknowledgement in 1934. A good family dog that plays well with other dogs, this kind pup has come a long way from its farming origins.

Havanese are the only dogs native to Cuba. Their infectiously large and warm eyes match their spunk and cheerful demeanor. Temperament and personality make them a great addition to the family.

Italian Greyhounds are the smallest of the sighthounds. They are shy by nature so they may whither in new social situations, but once they fee comfortable, their gentle, loving personality is special.

Most likely developed from the Tibetan Spaniel, the Japanese Chin’ brachycephalic facial features (flat-faced, short headed) give it a noble air. This toy breed has been in Asia dating further than 1,500 years.

Coming from humble beginnings bred to patrol the farm, this pup has a welcomed blend of self-assurance and loving charm. There’s no shortage of personality here.

Dating back 1,000 years in Tibet, these vigilant watchdogs policed the perimeter of the monasteries high in the Himalayas. Packed in a tight frame, there’s no shortage of wit and charm in this pup.

Unlike the dashing contrast of their coat, Lowchens have a well-balanced temperament. Active and affectionate, this thick maned dog is aptly named Lowchen, which translates to, “Little Lion Dog”.

Weighing in at less than 7 pounds, these foot heigh canines make up for in personality what they lack in stature. As a very popular hypoallergenic breed, they check many boxes for people.

This sleek framed terrier, is muscular and full of energy. The jet black coat and chestnut markings make this small breed very recognizable. Always surveying, they remain watchful of their surroundings.

These instantly recognizable dogs carry a compelling blend of personality. While they can most certainly be bullheaded and stubborn, they are extremely devoted to their family. They can be the clown of the family with wit, comical, and playful traits.

Coming from Germany, this Miniature Pinscher must not look in the mirror often, as it doesn’t seem to know its own size! Fearless and bold, this fun-loving pup is an extrovert with an infectious, big dog personality.

Whether policing farmland or guarding an apartment, these hypoallergenic dogs are highly adaptable to their environment. They are highly trainable and exhibit inexhaustible love and affection for their owners.

This British breed of terrier gained recognition as an independent breed in 1964, branching off from its Norwich Terrier variety. They are family friendly dogs who remain active.

As its namesake implies, these Spitz type dogs hail from Norway. Don’t let their classification in the non-sporting group of breeds fool you – they are extremely agile and athletic. After spending centuries on remote rocky clits and high fields, you wouldn’t expect anything less.

The iconic ears have this pup coined the ‘butterfly dog’. After all Papillon in French means butterfly. This toy-sized Continental spaniel is one of the oldest toy spaniels, dating well past the 16th Century. Their happy disposition make them easily trainable family-friendly dogs.

Whether they are running alongside horses or digging to flush out a fox, this bold terrier has an energetic athleticism that is admirable. Their self-important, intelligent complex makes them great a sight to behold.

Originating in China and favored by the Chinese Imperial Court, these regal looking Toy dogs don’t disappoint. Their well balanced personalities make them wonderful compact companions.

This sturdy herding dog can round up cattle, sheep, and horses or can curl up at your feet next to a warm fire. They are loyal and eager to please their owners. They are marvelous with kids, making them a great family dog option.

The intelligent Pomeranian is the smallest of the Spitz type toy dog and is related to the sled dogs of the Arctic. A prideful dog, they are nonetheless eager to learn and are great with the family.

Like their standard sized cousins, Miniature Poodles are smart and lively. Their loyalty and fun-loving temperament make them great companion dogs. Your family would be lucky to have such a sensitive and cheerful addition.

While there are a number of Instagram famous dogs now, Pugs actually have a long history, originating in China. They have distinctive features in the face with their short muzzles and brick-like, thick frame.

This quick footed breed is true to its name. Bred to hunt rats and other vermens, its high energy levels have this dog needing lots of exercise. Bred as s a mix of Fox Terriers and Manchester Terriers in Great Britain in the 1820s, the Rat Terrier is an intelligent breed.

This small dog has a big personality. While originally a fox hunter in England, this independent dog might not be right for every home.

Also known as a Bolonka, this dog is a member of the Bichon family. Dating back to the 1800s in Russia, this dog has been a companion dog, through and through. With spunk and charm, this big hearted dog makes for a wonderful family companion.

With a propensity to bark as a protective mechanism, this Spitz-type breed originated in Belgium in the 1800s. They were prevalently used as watchdogs and rattlers on the wharfs. This is fitting, as their name means ‘little captain’ in Flemish.

True to their name, these dogs can be a little – stubborn. They can be difficult to train because of it. That said, they have a lively personality and an infectious personality.

After a more serious history hunting otters, foxes, and badgers, this breed has evolved its more brutish temperament to one of the friendliest of the Terrier Group breeds.

The Shetland Sheepdog, or more commonly and affectionately called Shelties make for excellent family dogs. While they can be quick to back at strangers, they do it as a protective measure rooted in loyalty and watchfulness.

A superb hunting dog, these dogs were originally bred to flush birds and hunt wild board. On the homefront, their loyalty and friendliness can fall victim to their impatient side. This makes Shibas a tough choice for families with small children, as they would need to be supervised.

This low maintenance toy companion is prone to barking. Their personalities are warm and outgoing. They are perfectly comfortable spending most of their time lounging around or cuddle up on the lap of their owner.

Hailing from Australia, Silky Terriers are a hypoallergenic breed that is content in smaller spaces like an apartment or condo. It gets its name from its long shiny coat.

Make sure to have a place where this pup can expend its energy. Its sleek and athletic build has all the makings of a terrier breed. These high-spirited, smart pups are wonderful with kids and families.

In the Spitz family, the Swedish Vallhund has rumors of its tenure with the Vikings. For centuries, this breed with a low center of gravity and a thick, athletic build has been herding the farms of Sweden. 

While relatively rare, the Tibetan Spaniel makes for a great family companion dog. Their reserve and guarded nature has them watchful and vigilant. To those they befriend, they are happy and playful.

As the ‘Holy Dog of Tibet’, the Tibetan Terrier has a longstanding duty of watching over the Buddist monasteries high up in the isolated regions of the Himalayas. Their smart and pleasant personalities make them very family oriented.

If you took a terrier and made it smaller, you would have the Toy Fox Terrier. Loaded with all the high energy and athleticism of a terrier, they also have a fun playful side when home. Their size and demeanor make them great for smaller spaces or those on the move.

An excellent family dog, these terriers come from Wales. Prevalently used in hunting and sporting, they nonetheless have a softer side when at home. Highly intelligent and fun, their playful nature will have them a centerpiece in the family.

Also known as a Westie, these terriers are independent and smart dogs who from time-to-time can exhibit some stubbornness. Small and sturdy, these pups make fore great family pets.

Also known as a “Yorkie”, these dogs were originally a blue-collar breed. Anything from being a rattler in the mines to clothing mills in the town, these dogs have adjusted their priorities over the years. They have a more laidback lifestyle today.