Small dog breeds are underrated in the world of dog lovers, but their popularity is on the rise. Small dogs now make up most canine households, though this should come as no surprise because small dogs rock! However, not all small dogs are great for everyone. Let’s discuss a few reasons to adopt a little dog and some of the best small dog breeds available.

Why Small Dog Breeds Are The Best

Here are a few reasons to adopt a small dog:

There’s less mess.

A smaller dog means smaller poop! Cleaning up in your yard, garden or on walks is that much easier.

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They’re cheaper.

Smaller dogs eat less, saving you money on dog food.

They make great lap dogs.

Who doesn’t want to cuddle a small, warm, fluffy puppy?

There’s more room.

Smaller dogs don’t take up as much room on the bed or couch but still provide optimum cuddles.

They’re great with kids.

As long as they’re well-trained, small dogs are great around children. They don’t scare kids with their size or a loud bark, and they can’t accidentally knock tiny humans over as easy.

They don’t know their own strength.

Or lack thereof. Many small breeds of dogs don’t know how little, cute, and unintimidating they really are. 

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They travel friendlier.

Small breeds of dogs can travel on planes, trains, and in cars much more efficiently, and often without additional fees.

They live longer.

Every pup parent dreads the day they must say goodbye to their canine companion. Smaller dogs live longer on average, postponing that sad day just a little longer.

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The Best Small Dog Breeds

Yorkshire Terrier

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Yorkshire Terriers, or “Yorkies,” are often carried in their owners’ arms, or even in purses. Though incredibly small in size, Yorkies have huge personalities. They make excellent watchdogs, alerting their families to anyone who approaches their home. They are quite affectionate and make excellent companions. Compact dogs, Yorkies weigh no more than 7 pounds and have a silky black and tan coat.

Dachshund

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Dachshunds are also known as weiner dogs due to their elongated appearance. This breed comes in standard or miniature size. They are adorable and sweet with their family members but wary of strangers. Dachshunds weigh no more than 32 pounds, with miniatures weighing in at a tiny 10 pounds.

Poodle

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Poodles come in 3 sizes: toy, miniature, and standard. If you’re looking for a small dog, the standard size won’t suit you, but the toy or miniature poodles might fit just fine. Poodles are known for a hypoallergenic, curly coat, in white, apricot, brown, or black. They are very intelligent, easy to train, and have a long lifespan. Miniature poodles weigh 10 to 15 pounds; toy poodles weigh between 4 and 6. 

Shih Tzu

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Shih Tzus are the ultimate lap dog, bred specifically for that purpose thousands of years ago. This breed has a long, silky double coat that requires some maintenance but renders this dog extra snuggly. Shih Tzus have black, blue, and silver coat colors and usually weigh between 9 and 16 pounds. They are a hardy animal with an alert, confident, happy disposition.

Chihuahua

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Chihuahuas are another of the best small dog breeds with huge personalities. This breed is very active and sassy with a Napoleon Complex, but they may be wary of strangers. They are also lovable and loyal, able to bond closely with their human family. Chihuahuas can have a smooth or long coat, usually in black or tan. This small dog breed weighs no more than 6 pounds.

Pug

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Pugs really are one of the best small dog breeds available. They are tiny, round dogs with amazing personalities. Bred as lap dogs and companions for Tibetan monks, they are incredibly affectionate and adaptable to varying situations. They can experience some respiratory or eye health problems, so they need regular checkups. Pugs are usually black and fawn and weigh between 14 and 18 pounds. 

Boston Terrier 

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With their flat faces and stocky bodies, Boston Terriers are similar in appearance to a pug, but with signature markings in black and white. They are happy, loyal dogs named after the city that first created them: Boston, Massachusetts. Bostons are playful and energetic, but can also spend plenty of time cuddling on your lap. They have a smooth coat and weigh between 12 and 25 pounds.

Maltese

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The long, silky, white-coated Maltese is a conundrum. Small, yet spunky, gentle, yet brave, the Maltese is an attractive package in a little pup. They bond closely with their families and make excellent companion animals. They usually weigh no more than 7 pounds.

Finding Your Perfect Small Dog Breed

If you know you want a small dog breed, it’s clear you might avoid the obvious large dog breeds. However, not all small dog breeds are suited to every lifestyle either. When researching the possibility of bringing a new pup into your home, it’s essential to know which kinds of dogs will best suit your life. These best small dog breeds are adaptable, friendly, and make excellent companions for families of all shapes and sizes.

39 Comments

  1. I have 2 precious Malteses. Emma Rose 14 years and Katie Grace 8 years. They are and always be my babies. So much love, laughter and fun!

    1. I used to own a schnauzer they are good dogs too
      He lived to be 17-18 – 90
      In our age ! Small dogs do live longer! They make good pets !!

      1. I just got a maltese are they easy to train I am have some problems but she is having problems with her ears vet I’d working on it .

    2. Maltese is on my list for my next dog. My first dog was a yorkie. Hubby would like another yorkie but it might be too sad for me.

      Cocker spaniel was a food hog. Not a real friendly cuddles.
      Shitzu. Too stupid

      Right now I have a 10 yo Brussels Griffon. Great lap dog but a bit nervous energy in new situations. Hopefully, b/c he’s a small dog he’ll live from 10-14 yrs. But he’s still going strong except for his allergies :(.

  2. I have a Papillon. It is a wonderful breed. They are very loving and attached. Very smart. He never ceases to surprise me with his vocabulary. The kids in the neighborhood live him.

    1. I have a Papillon, too! He has a wonderful personality and intelligence. He is beautiful, with a long silky coat that does not require professional haircuts–a huge savings over other breeds! He’s ready to play when I want to play, and snuggle when I’m ready to rest. Niki is my perfect darling!

    1. Yes I have a Pomeranian and he was 4 years old. I got him from a young mom with a toddler and a young baby. So one time she was moving from a down stairs apt. to upstairs apt. And I just said why don’t you just give me that little doggie. And she said ok!!! I was in heaven. Fell in love 😍 immediately. He was put in a crate a lot of times. I hated that. I have no crate. I think he loves me just as much. Anyway this lil boy his name is Grizzly. Is just a little doggie made of love for all he meets. So read up and meet some before you choose. Ok I could ramble on and on. So good night and dream of a Pom you will fall in love 🥰

  3. We’ve raised toy black poodles and Rottweilers together for more than 30 years. They got along great! They were best friends! Recently we acquired a Yorker from a friend in need. We’ve had her 11 years. She’s an absolute DOLL! Her personality is sweet and spunky. She’s a lot of fun. A great companion!

    1. Good to hear Rottweilers get along well with smaller dogs as the Rottweiler is a dog I want to get, but maybe a smaller dog as well for my kids. 😊

      1. I also have a toy black poodle love love love my Jacques..
        So smart, we have to spell because he understands everything we say. He is twelve and was just diagnosed with an enlarge heart..
        Needless to say he is on meds, which cost a mere fortune every month.. His hair cuts cost about $70. Every six weeks. He broke
        His knee and the surgery cost $ 3400. All I can say he is worth every penny and more, how crazy we are for him‼️

  4. My aunt blessed me 2yrs ago with a Silky Maltese terrier he was a young pup then . It was love at first sight took a few months to get used to being a pet mom at first seeing as how my around the clock job has lifted since my only child is turning 18 spring 2021 but we love and adore the little guy he’s helped me thru several dark days prior just being so lovable and energetic . I dress him cute keep him clean and groomed he brings me so much joy and super cool to have around the companionship is that flawless we shop together run errands go on brief walks daily he’s so incredible forever thankful to embraced him

  5. I have to defend my Yorkie and his HUGE personally. He loves to watch television with me, knows all of the commercials with a dog or two just by the first few initial bars. If he is asleep somewhere, he will tace to the television and bark, expecting the dog on TV to return his barks. Since getting into old westerns, he now gets a little confused when a cow or horse appears. He knows it is an animal but he just can’t understand WHAT lind of animal it is yet. He is a great watch dog and loves to cuddle anytime day or night.

  6. I have a poochon and he has the smarts of a poodle and the the loving loyalty of the bichon frise. A wonderful friend and loyal companion….the best of both breeds.

  7. I have 2 Yorkie males King is my first he is 6 pounds an 7 years old he is my service dog he knows when IM going to have a seizures. Tyson I got him a year ago he is older than King he is a recuse dog he was badly abuse. That needs a lot of attention. King has taught him what love is and now he knows as well when IM getting ready to have a seizure thanks to King he goes off of Kings energy in everything that goes on from visitors to eating. And when its time to sleep. King has taught him well. I Love these Guys so Much they Are My BABIES.

  8. Yes, 8 is a small list. So I’ll add Pomeranians to that list. They have three same fine characteristics as these other fine companions.

  9. I had a Jack Russell/Border Terrier cross for 15 amazing years. She could run for hours but was hard to catch. Lol. Jposton.

  10. We have always had toy poodles, as they are extremely easy to train-#2 behind Border Collies- and are clean. They don’t shed, so when I wear black, no prob. We travel a lot too, and she’s so easy to put in her purse, no fussing or barking. A very reliable breed, and no chronic health issues, which so many breeds have.

  11. My Mambo is a mixture of three breeds, Shih Tzu, Maltese and Lhasa Apso. He weighs between 18-20lbs, and is 11yrs old . I had 11 dogs in 27yrs all rescues and all medium size. Mambo rescued me and he has my heart.

  12. Aww all dogs are beautiful, I have a Jack Russell, the only breed I have ever had, all lived a wonderful long life.

    Ruby is now 7 and an absolute delight 🐶🐶 , she is just like me small loveable and a great companion

  13. A great little guy is a cairn terrier. I have had many, sometimes two at a time. They live about sixteen years and are so much fun, I can’t imagine not having one. They shed very little and always up for some fun, smart.

    1. We had 2 cairn terriers. The male was my husband’s baby and would go EVERYWHERE with him. When my husband passed away suddenly 8 years ago, Toby was NEVER the same😢

  14. I have a 2 year old Zuchon called Bella. She’s a gorgeous little dog with a lovely gentle nature, great with kids, loves cuddles and hardly ever barks. She was easy to house train. I couldn’t of asked for a better little companion and addition to our family.

  15. I love reading these messages. I have a MIKI which is a Maltese, papillon, Japanese chin mix. She weighs 5 pounds and has traveled on planes and road trips across country. I got her after my 17 yo Pomeranian died.

  16. I had a girl rat terrier, I got her when she was 6 weeks old, she was the runt of her litter. She was my girl, and more. I lost her this past summer on her 10th birthday. I cryed for 2 days over her passing. There are my days I wish she was still here with me.. (God loves all his creatures great and small..

  17. I have 3 Brussel Griffons. They seem to always be left off of The Best Of…they are truly personality busters of laughter and love.

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