Saturday, March 25, 2023

15 Top Small Dog Breeds in the World

Spending time with canine companions can do wonders for your well-being. Studies conducted in recent times have demonstrated that owning a dog brings physical, mental, and emotional benefits. Individuals who own pets have been found to have a reduced risk of heart disease and lower blood pressure and heart rate compared to those who do not have pets. These health benefits are likely a result of the added physical activity required for play and walking and the calming influence of having a constant companion.

Some research even suggests that kids with difficulties with reading tend to experience reduced anxiety symptoms when they read aloud to a specially trained dog. According to the Tufts Institute for Human-Animal Interaction director Lisa Freeman, “Their attitudes change, and their reading skills improve.”

In addition to health benefits, owning a dog can bring much joy and companionship into your life. Dogs make us happier and healthier and help us cope with a crisis—and can even help you get a date. Yes, you read it correctly; being a pet owner can even help you find a perfect life partner while walking your pet dog or playing with them in a park as you get an opportunity to meet and interact with other like-minded people.

Types of Pet Dogs Size-wise

Dogs come in various sizes, from tiny toy breeds to large working ones. The main categories of dog sizes are:

Toy breeds: These are the smallest of dog breeds, weighing less than 7 pounds and standing less than 12 inches tall at the shoulder. Popular examples of toy dog breeds are Pomeranian, Chihuahua, and Shih Tzu.

Small breeds: These dogs are slightly larger than toy breeds and typically weigh between 7 and 35 pounds. Examples of small breeds include the Beagle, Cocker Spaniel, and Poodle.

Medium breeds: These dogs weigh between 35 and 70 pounds and stand between 18 and 24 inches tall at the shoulder. Examples of medium breeds include the Border Collie, Boxer, and Labrador Retriever.

Large breeds: These dogs weigh between 70 and 90 pounds and stand between 24 and 30 inches tall at the shoulder. Rottweilers, German Shepherds, and Great Danes are common examples of large dog breeds.

Giant breeds: The largest dog breeds are those that weigh more than 90 pounds and stand at a height of over 30 inches at the shoulder. Examples of giant breeds include Saint Bernard and Great Pyrenees.

Regarding popularity, small and medium-sized breeds tend to be the most popular in pet ownership. This is likely because they are easier to care for and manage than larger breeds and are also more suitable for people living in smaller homes or apartments. As per the American Kennel Club, among all the dog sizes, small dogs are the most sought-after, with 47% of dog owners having a small dog.

Advantages of Having Small Breed Dogs as Pets

Small breed dogs have several advantages as pets, including:

Easy to manage: Small dogs are easier to manage than larger breeds, making them ideal for people who live in small apartments or have limited space. Small dogs demand less physical activity, grooming, and food, making them more convenient and cost-efficient to care for.

Affectionate: Many small breed dogs are known for their affectionate and loving personalities, making them great companions for people who live alone or want a loyal and cuddly pet.

Good with children: Small-sized dogs are usually well-behaved with children and make for fantastic family companions. Small dogs are usually amiable, lively, and have a lot of patience with kids, which makes them a suitable option for families with young kids.

Easy to travel with Small breed dogs are more accessible than larger dogs, as they can fit in a smaller space and are more lightweight, making them a good choice for people who like to travel with their pets.

Low grooming requirements: Many small breed dogs have short hair and require minimal grooming, which can be a plus for people who do not want to spend much time grooming their pets.

In short, small-breed dogs can make excellent pets for people looking for a companion that is easy to manage, affectionate, and good with children.

There are several other advantages of keeping a small dog as a pet. Let’s come to the main topic that landed you on this page without going in detail, i.e., the top small dog breeds in the world that you can bring home as a perfect companion.

Now, let’s look at the world’s top 15 small dog breeds.

15 Top Small Dog Breeds in the World

1. Maltese

MalteseThe Maltese is a toy-sized dog breed, famous for its friendly, loving personality and its smooth, white coat. Originally from the Mediterranean island of Malta, the Maltese has been a popular pet for thousands of years and is prized for its gentle nature and charming looks. Maltese is an intelligent breed of dog that can be easily trained; however, they may also display a strong sense of independence and stubbornness, making them somewhat challenging to train. Although small, Maltese dogs are bold and self-assured and make excellent watchdogs, quickly alerting their owners to potential hazards. Despite their delicate appearance, Maltese are surprisingly hardy and long-lived, with many living well into their teens.

2. Pekingese

PekingeseThe Pekingese is a small, regal dog breed from China. This breed is known for its distinctive lion-like appearance, with its long, flowing fur mane and sturdy, muscular body. The Pekingese is highly intelligent and independent, but also affectionate and loyal to its owners. These dogs make great lap dogs and are well-suited to apartment living. However, it can be difficult to train them, as they are stubborn and can get bored soon. Despite their small size, Pekingese are fearless and have a big personalities, making them good watchdogs. Regular grooming is required to keep the long coat of Pekingese in good condition but is otherwise relatively low-maintenance. Pekingese are long-lived, with many living well into their teens.

3. Chihuahua

ChihuahuaThe Chihuahua is a small, toy-sized dog breed that is known for its lively, energetic personality. A native of Mexico, the Chihuahua is the smallest recognized dog breed, which has a distinctive head that is shaped like an apple, and big, expressive eyes. Chihuahuas are highly intelligent and quick learners. Sometimes, they can be a bit reluctant during training. Despite their small size, Chihuahuas are feisty and bold, and they make great watchdogs, alerting their owners to any potential danger. Chihuahuas come in various coat types and colors, ranging from smooth and short-haired to long and silky. Chihuahuas are highly adaptable and can thrive in different living environments, whether in city apartments or rural farms.

4. Pomeranian

PomeranianThe Pomeranian is a small, playful dog breed known for its fluffy, fox-like appearance and outgoing personality. Originally bred as a working dog in the Arctic region of Pomerania, the Pomeranian is now a popular pet and show dog. These dogs carry high levels of intelligence and are rapid learners, but their independent and stubborn nature can sometimes make training a bit of a challenge. Despite their small size, Pomeranians are confident and energetic and love to play and explore. They make great lap dogs and are well-suited to apartment living, as they are low-maintenance and don’t require a lot of exercises. Pomeranians come in various coat colors and patterns and require regular grooming to keep their thick fur in good condition. These dogs are long-lived, with many living well into their teens.

5. Papillon

PapillonThe Papillon is named for its graceful feathered ears. Royal portraiture shows small spaniels resembling the Papillon as far back as the 16th century! This toy breed is active, athletic, and companionable—the smartest of the toy dog breeds. At agility contests, Papillons are frequent winners. They are easy to train. Even less experienced owners can train them in new tricks.

6. Dachshund

DachshundThe Dachshund, also known as the “Wiener Dog” or “Sausage Dog,” is a small to medium-sized dog breed that is known for its long, sausage-like body and playful personality. Initially bred in Germany for hunting badgers and other subterranean creatures, the Dachshund has now become a sought-after pet and show dog. These dogs come in two different sizes – standard and miniature. Also, they are categorized based on their coat types which can be smooth, or hard like a wire i.e. wide-haired, and long-haired). Dachshunds are intelligent and learn tricks quickly, but they can also show stubbornness sometimes, making them a bit difficult to train. Dachshunds are small in size yet fearless. They can be good watchdogs. These dogs are adaptable and can do well in a variety of living situations, but they can be prone to back problems due to their long, slender bodies.

7. Pug

PugThe Pug is a small, muscular dog breed that is known for its wrinkled face, short snout, and playful personality. Originally from China, the Pug is now a popular pet and show dog all over the world. Pugs are intelligent and quick learners, but sometimes they can also be stubborn while being trained in new tricks. Despite their small size, Pugs are confident, energetic, and love to play and explore. Pugs make excellent lap dogs and are ideal for apartment living as they require minimal care and do not demand a lot of physical activity. Pugs are prone to breathing problems and obesity, so they require a balanced diet and regular exercise to maintain their health. These dogs are long-lived, with many living well into their teens.

8. Shih Tzu

Shih TzuThe Shih Tzu is a toy-sized breed, recognizable for its friendly and loving personality, and its long, smooth coat. Originally from China, the Shih Tzu has been a popular pet for thousands of years and is prized for its gentle nature and charming looks. This breed of a small dog is intelligent. They are quick learners. However, sometimes they can be moody and stubborn while being trained. Despite their small size, Shih Tzus are confident and brave, making great watchdogs, and alerting their owners to potential danger. Regular grooming is required to keep its long coat in good condition but is otherwise low-maintenance. Shih Tzus are long-lived, with many living well into their teens.

9. Poodle

PoodleMore than just a foofoo haircut, poodles are consistently a part of the list of smartest dog breeds. Poodles were originally bred in Germany for bird hunting and water retrieving. The Poodle breed has a rich history that spans a range of tasks and locations, such as herding sheep, carrying supplies to the wounded on battlefields, and performing in the arts. They are distinguished by their affectionate nature, trainable intelligence, and sense of humor. The standard, miniature, and toy poodles are highly athletic, intelligent, and responsive to training.

10. Jack Russell Terrier

Jack Russell TerrierThe Jack Russell Terrier is an energetic and highly intelligent small dog breed known for its great hunting instincts and playful nature. Jack Russell Terriers are energetic, brave, and energetic, and bred primarily for fox hunting. Jack Russell Terriers are quick learners, but sometimes they can also be adamant and challenging to train. Jack Russell Terriers require a lot of physical and mental stimulation to stay healthy and make great outdoor companions for active individuals and families. They are highly adaptable in a variety of living situations, from small city apartments to large rural farms.

11. Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkshire TerrierThe Yorkshire Terrier is a small dog breed originally developed in England for catching rats in textile mills. They have a long, silky coat that requires regular grooming and a confident, energetic personality. They are popular as companion pets and have a 12-15 years life expectancy.

12. Bichon Frisé

Bichon FriséThe Bichon Frisé is a small dog breed that originated in the Mediterranean. With its curly, hypoallergenic coat, it is a popular choice for families with allergies. These dogs have cheerful and friendly personalities, making them great companion pets. They are playful, enjoy lots of attention, and require regular grooming to keep their coat in good condition. Proper training and socialization allow them to adapt to various living environments, including apartments.

13. Boston Terrier

Boston TerrierThe Boston Terrier is a small, friendly dog breed originally bred in the United States in the 1800s. They are known for their tuxedo-like markings, with a sleek coat that comes in brindle, black, and white. Boston Terriers have a gentle disposition, making them an excellent choice for families with children. They are intelligent, easy to train, and adaptable to different living environments, making them popular apartment pets. Boston Terriers are also known for their playful nature and love to be around people. With proper care, including regular exercise and grooming, Boston Terriers can make a wonderful companion for many years.

14. Beagle

BeagleThe beagle is a medium-sized dog breed that originated in England. With their distinctive howl and friendly personality, Beagles are popular family pets. They have a short, sleek coat that comes in various colors, including tricolor, lemon, and red. Beagles are known for their high energy levels and love to explore their surroundings, which makes them great outdoor companions. They are intelligent, curious, and can be stubborn at times, so early training and socialization are essential. With proper exercise, grooming, and care, Beagles can be loving, loyal companions for families and individuals of all ages.

15. Havanese

HavaneseThe Havanese is a small, friendly dog breed that originated in Cuba. Their silky, hypoallergenic coat makes them popular for families with allergies. They have a cheerful, affectionate personality and love to be around people, making them great companion pets. Havanese dogs are intelligent and easily trained, making them well-suited to many living environments, including apartments. They are also adaptable to various activities, including agility and therapy work. The Havanese can make a loving and loyal companion for many years with proper care, including regular exercise and grooming.

5 Interesting Facts about Dogs

With up to 300 million olfactory receptors in a dog’s nose, their sense of smell is thousands of times better than a human’s. They can smell a variety of scents from a range of distances. Their ability to breathe through two different airways allows them to sniff a scent and breathe air simultaneously.

Dogs can hear four times the distance of a human. Their ears are also better designed to converge more available sound waves. They have 15 different ear muscles that facilitate moving them to move their ears in all directions. Besides, they can move one ear at a time, independently of the other, to grab even more information.

Dogs have a keen sense of detecting movement, which is why they can respond effectively to training using hand signals. Check out the best dog training books. It was once believed that dogs were colorblind. However, studies have proved it otherwise.

Even their ability to see in the dark is much better than humans. Dogs have an additional layer in the eye to reflect light to the receptor cells of the eye. This not only enhances their ability to view in the dark but also makes their eyes look as if they are glowing in the dark.

No two dog noses are the same. A dog’s nose is like the fingerprint of a human being, with each having a unique pattern of ridges and creases.

Interesting Stats Related to Pet Dogs

  • During the COVID-19 pandemic, many people decided to adopt a pet. Almost 50% of new dog owners in the U.S. say that the pandemic was the deciding factor. U.S. households with at least one dog increased to 54% in 2020 from 50% in 2018.
  • Millennials (born between 1981 to 1996) make up the demographic having the most dog owners, although Gen Z people (born between 1997 to 2012) come of age, and more of them are acquiring dogs.
  • According to Statistica, the population of pet dogs in India was around 19.5 million in 2018. It is forecasted to reach 31 million plus by the end of 2023.


Many small dog breeds in the world make great pets for those living in small homes or apartments. These breeds often have unique personalities, require minimal exercise, and are easy to train. However, it is important to research each breed thoroughly to ensure that their temperament and needs align with your lifestyle. Overall, small dog breeds can bring joy and companionship to their owners and make excellent additions to any family.

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Frequently Asked Questions:

1. What is considered a small dog breed?

Small dog breeds are typically those that weigh 20 pounds or less and stand less than 16 inches tall at the shoulder. Examples of small dog breeds include Chihuahuas, Pomeranians, Shih Tzus, and Yorkshire Terriers.

2. Are small dog breeds suitable for apartment living?

Yes, many small dog breeds are suitable for apartment living as they require minimal exercise and can thrive in small spaces. However, it’s important to note that some small breeds can be quite vocal, so it’s important to consider your neighbors and ensure you train your dog not to bark excessively.

3. Are small dog breeds easy to train?

Many small dog breeds are intelligent and eager to please, which can make them easier to train than larger breeds. However, some small breeds can be stubborn or difficult to house-train, so it’s important to research the breed’s temperament and trainability before bringing one home.

4. Do small dog breeds have any health issues to be aware of?

Some small dog breeds can be prone to certain health issues, such as dental problems, luxating patellas (dislocated kneecaps), and hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). It’s important to research the breed’s common health issues and ensure you are prepared to provide proper veterinary care if needed.

Lokesh Joshi
Lokesh Joshi
My Name is Lokesh Joshi and I am Computer Science Engineer by the profession and I am passionate about technology and integrating it with innovative ideas to give startups the initial boost that they require.

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