If you’ve ever wanted a pint-sized pooch that packs a punch, small dog breeds might just be your cup of tea. They come in all shapes and sizes, from the feisty Yorkshire Terrier to the dapper Dachshund. These little furballs bring big personality into your home, without taking up too much space on the sofa.

Several small dog breeds play in a grassy park, chasing each other and wagging their tails happily

Why choose a small dog breed for your home? Small dogs are ideal for flats and city living, making them perfect for urbanites. Whether it’s their boundless energy or their knack for snuggling, you’re bound to find a tiny companion that fits right into your lifestyle.

1) French Bulldog

A French Bulldog stands alert, with a sturdy build, bat-like ears, and a short, smooth coat

Thinking of getting a French Bulldog? You’re in for a treat. These little powerhouses are small but mighty. Known for their muscular builds and adorable bat ears, they’re sure to steal your heart and probably your spot on the sofa.

French Bulldogs are friendly and playful, making them great with kids. Their quirky personalities will keep you entertained for hours. Just be ready for some snoring and occasional flatulence – it’s all part of their charm.

Training these pups can be a bit challenging. They’re smart but sometimes a tad stubborn. Using treats can help, as Frenchies are very food-motivated. Consistency is key, so try not to give in to their cute pouts.

Travel can be tricky with a French Bulldog because of their short snouts. These pups can have breathing issues, especially in confined, poorly-ventilated areas. If you’re planning a trip, think twice about flying or long car rides.

Grooming is a breeze. With their short, smooth coats, French Bulldogs need minimal upkeep. A quick weekly brush and occasional baths should do the trick. Don’t forget to clean their ears and trim those nails.

For more information, check out this detailed guide for French Bulldogs. Need tips on training? This comprehensive resource has you covered.

2) Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

A Cavalier King Charles Spaniel sits on a grassy field, ears perked, tail wagging, and a gentle expression on its face

Oh, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel! It’s like someone took all the cuteness in the world and packed it into one small, fluffy dog. Picture this: a miniature royal with a silky, smooth coat that comes in four fab colours. Whether it’s the Blenheim or the ruby, each one looks like it stepped out of a painting.

These little royals are real snugglers. If you’re looking for a lap dog, you’ve hit the jackpot. They’re perfect for those lazy afternoons binge-watching your favourite shows. You’ll never be lonely with one of these by your side. Think of them as your personal, four-legged hot water bottle.

Got kids? No problem! Cavaliers love families and get on fabulously with children. They’re affectionate and playful, making them a hit at playtime. Just be ready for lots of cuddles and maybe a little bit of drool.

Let’s talk ears. Those long, feathered ears are just begging to be scratched. And the eyes! Big, round, and soulful – they’ll melt your heart in seconds. It’s impossible to resist giving them treats.

If you’re curious to learn more about this adorable breed, check out the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Get ready to fall in love!

3) Dachshund

A dachshund stands alert, with a long body and short legs. Its ears perk up as it gazes ahead

You know those hot dogs on legs? Yep, that’s a dachshund! These little sausages with paws are a bundle of joy. Often called “wiener dogs,” dachshunds come with a personality as long as their bodies.

With short legs and a long body, dachshunds are quite the unique looking pooch. They stand about 20-27 cm tall and weigh between 9-12 kg.

Dachshunds have different coat types: smooth, longhaired, and wirehaired. Each one adds its own flair to this breed’s adorable looks.

The dachshund isn’t just all looks. These dogs were originally bred in Germany to dig out badgers. Their short, strong legs make them great at digging and burrowing.

Despite their hunting background, they are friendly and adventurous. They love to play and explore, so be ready for some action!

If you’re considering a dachshund, you should know they can be a bit stubborn. Training might take some patience, but their loyalty and affection are well worth it.

These little guys can live up to 15 years, so you’re in for a long-term relationship. They make great family pets, especially if you have the humour to match their quirky charm. For more about their characteristics, visit here.

4) Miniature Schnauzer

A Miniature Schnauzer stands alert in a grassy field, its wiry coat blowing in the wind. Its ears are perked up and its dark eyes are focused intently on something in the distance

You’d fall head over heels for the Miniature Schnauzer. This little dog, with its bushy eyebrows and whiskers, looks like it could be plotting world domination—or maybe just begging for treats.

Standing about 30-36 cm tall and weighing around 5.4-9.1 kg, this is a compact, athletic pup. Despite its small size, it’s got the heart of a lion, possibly mixed with a dash of cheeky monkey.

Bred in Germany in the 19th century, these dogs are the result of crossbreeding Standard Schnauzers with smaller breeds like the Affenpinscher and Miniature Pinscher. The result? A bundle of energy and personality.

The Miniature Schnauzer has a double coat: a wiry topcoat and a soft undercoat. This means frequent grooming—it’s like having your very own high-maintenance, four-legged celebrity. Speaking of which, these dogs hardly shed. It’s like magic!

For more details, see the profiles at Pets4Homes or The Kennel Club.

Got kids? Perfect! Miniature Schnauzers are fantastic with children. They’re playful and gentle, but sometimes a bit too clever for their own good. Always ready to entertain, they thrive on attention and love being part of the family.

5) Pomeranian

A Pomeranian dog prances in a grassy field, its fluffy fur catching the sunlight. Its small, alert eyes and perky ears give it a lively, playful appearance

Ah, the Pomeranian! These little fluffballs are tiny but mighty. Weighing in at just 1.8 to 2.5 kg and standing 13 to 28 cm tall, they’re like living, breathing teddy bears. With their thick, plush coat, they look ready for a doggie fashion show at any moment.

These pint-sized pooches have a fox-like face that’s always smiling. Seriously, Pomeranians can brighten up your day with just a wag of their tail. Their cheerful, perky nature is infectious. You can’t help but smile back.

You might be surprised to learn these tiny furballs have royal roots. Queen Victoria had a soft spot for Pomeranians and even bred them. Thanks to her, the breed became quite the hit among the British elite.

Poms are energetic and smart, making them great companions for those who love a lively household. Training them can be a hoot as they’re known to pick up tricks quickly. Just make sure you have plenty of treats on hand; they can be a bit cheeky.

Learn more about Pomeranians and consider adding one to your family. Your life will never be dull with a Pomeranian in it.

6) Shih Tzu

A Shih Tzu small dog sits on a fluffy cushion, surrounded by toys and a bowl of water

So, you fancy yourself a Shih Tzu owner, do you? Well, who wouldn’t want a tiny ball of fur with a face that could melt even the coldest heart? These little dogs, known for their luxurious long coats, are like the supermodels of the dog world.

Standing at about 20-28 cm tall and weighing between 4.0-7.25 kg, a Shih Tzu is compact but sturdy. Despite their small size, they’ve got a bit of an arrogant swagger, which only makes them more endearing. Think of them as the dog world’s version of a celebrity – they know they’re cute.

Don’t be fooled by their petite stature. These dogs have a rich history as an ancient, noble breed. Their confident, courageous demeanour makes them feel more like fuzzy bodyguards than lap dogs. Plus, their expression is so sweet and wide-eyed that you can’t help but trust them with your most secret of snacks.

Shih Tzus do require some grooming. Many owners keep their coat clipped short because who really has time to deal with tangles? Also, be cautious in hot weather. With their short muzzles, they’re prone to heat stroke. So, while they’re all for adventures, maybe keep them inside with the fan on full blast during the summer.

Ready to welcome a Shih Tzu into your life? Prepare for a whirlwind of fluff, fun, and a bit of sass. You’ll never have a dull moment with one of these charming little companions. For more details, check out Shih Tzu Information or Shih Tzu Characteristics. Enjoy!

7) Chihuahua

A Chihuahua stands on its hind legs, ears perked, tail wagging, in a grassy meadow with colorful flowers in the background

Chihuahuas may be tiny, but they have personalities bigger than a Great Dane!

Measuring just 15-25 cm tall and weighing 1.8-2.7 kg, these little dogs pack a punch Pets4Homes Chihuahua.

With large ears and soulful eyes, Chihuahuas have an unmistakable look. Their heads are nicely rounded, and their muzzles are short and slightly pointed GoodDog Chihuahua.

Despite their compact size, Chihuahuas are bold and saucy.

They come in two coat varieties: smooth and long Kennel Club Chihuahua. Both types share the same physical traits.

Don’t be fooled by their small size; Chihuahuas can be aggressive towards other dogs and even people Wikipedia Chihuahua. So, while they might fit in your handbag, they won’t fit in with just any crowd.

Their life expectancy averages around 7.91 years, which is shorter than many other breeds Wikipedia Chihuahua. This might be due to their health issues, but their feisty attitude certainly makes up for it.

8) Jack Russell Terrier

A small Jack Russell Terrier dog runs through a grassy field with its tongue out and ears flapping in the wind

You’ve got to love the Jack Russell Terrier, the dog that’s ready to take on the world despite being the size of your average microwave.

These little dynamos were originally bred for fox hunting, which explains their boundless energy and determination.

Standing at just 25-30 cm tall, they don’t let their small stature slow them down. Their weight falls between 6.4 to 8.2 kg, making them compact powerhouses perfect for a game of fetch or a day in the park.

Despite their small size, Jack Russells are incredibly well-proportioned.

Known for their spirited personality, these terriers are always up for an adventure, whether it’s chasing a ball or digging a new hole in your garden.

Their coat can be smooth, rough, or broken, usually dominated by white, giving them their distinct and charming appearance.

Their origins trace back to a fox-hunting parson named John Russell in 19th century Devon.

Clever and curious, these dogs can sometimes be a handful, but their loyal and affectionate nature makes them worth the effort.

Prepare for a lot of excitement and a fair bit of mischief, because with a Jack Russell, life is never boring!

9) Yorkshire Terrier

A Yorkshire Terrier trots through a lush green park, its long, silky fur swaying in the breeze. Its small, alert eyes scan the surroundings as it explores the vibrant landscape

So, you’ve got your eye on the Yorkshire Terrier, eh? These little pooches are the canine version of a British noble. They strut around like they own the joint, probably because in their tiny minds, they do.

Yorkshire Terriers, or Yorkies to their friends, are small in size but big in spirit. They weigh no more than 3.2 kg and stand about 20 cm tall. Perfect for those who want a dog they can fit in a teacup. Just kidding… sort of.

These dogs have silky, long coats that are usually black and tan. They look fancy and know it.

High-maintenance? Maybe a bit. But their charm makes up for it. They’ll have you wrapped around their tiny paw in no time.

Despite their size, Yorkies can be excellent guard dogs.

They’re very vocal and alert, ready to sound the alarm at the drop of a hat—or a squeaky toy. If you like peace and quiet, this might be something to keep in mind.

Oh, and they’re loyal. Super loyal. This means they’ll follow you around like a furry shadow. Forget about privacy; with a Yorkie, you’ll have a constant companion. You’ll never go to the loo alone again!

Careful with their size, though. Yorkies under 3 pounds have fragile bones.

Handle them with care or you might end up with an injured pup and a big vet bill.

10) Bichon Frise

A Bichon Frise dog stands on a grassy field, its fluffy white coat catching the sunlight. Its tail is wagging as it looks up with bright, curious eyes

So, you fancy a fluffy cotton ball with legs? Meet the Bichon Frise. This little dynamo is a member of the Bichon family, known for its white, soft curls that might make you think of a fancy poodle.

These dogs stand about 23-28 cm tall and weigh between 3-5 kg. They’re small, but don’t let their size fool you. Bichons have big personalities packed into those tiny bodies.

Their curly coats are always white, cream, or apricot and are their crowning glory. You might think they spend hours in front of the mirror each morning, but it’s just natural beauty.

Bichons are known for being cheerful and peppy. They’re like tiny comedians, and you’ll often find them charming everyone around them.

Their favourite spot? Probably snuggling on your lap or causing giggles with their playful antics.

One thing to note is that Bichons aren’t fans of being left alone.

They prefer your company and might give you those puppy eyes if they feel you’re spending too much time away.

If you’re thinking of adopting a Bichon Frise, check out Dogs Trust or read more about their care on The Spruce Pets.

Benefits of Owning a Small Dog

A small dog happily sits on its owner's lap, wagging its tail. The owner smiles while petting the dog. The small size of the dog makes it easy to cuddle and carry around

Small dogs come with adorable perks. Their tiny size makes them super easy to handle, and they’re generally less expensive to maintain compared to their larger counterparts.

Compact Size

Small dogs fit into your life without much hassle.

Need to travel? Pop them into a pet carrier and you’re good to go. They can comfortably sit on your lap, saving space that would otherwise be taken up by a massive dog bed.

Even if you live in a cosy studio apartment, a small dog won’t cramp your style.

Plus, they’re easy to walk. A short stroll around the block, or even a quick play session indoors, usually does the trick.

Small dogs don’t need miles of running, making exercise easier on both you and the dog. It’s like having a tiny exercise buddy who never complains.

Low Maintenance Costs

Owning a small dog can be lighter on your wallet.

Just think about those vet bills; smaller dogs often have less costly treatments.

Spaying, neutering, or any kind of surgery will generally cost less compared to what you’d pay for a bigger dog. This makes routine care more affordable.

Feeding them is also cheaper. They eat less, so your pet food bills won’t skyrocket.

Also, grooming a small dog can be a breeze. A quick bath in the sink and you’re all set. And less fur means less mess, which means less cleaning for you.

Perfect for anyone looking to save both time and money.

For more details about their affordability, you can read about it here.

Common Traits of Small Dog Breeds

Small dogs play in a park, exhibiting common traits such as high energy, curiosity, and affection towards their owners

Small dog breeds might be tiny, but they come with big personalities, specific exercise needs, and varied grooming requirements. Here’s what you need to know to keep your pint-sized pooch happy and healthy.


Small dogs often carry a lot of sass in their small frames.

Typically, they are energetic, spirited, and love to engage with their owners. Despite their size, many small breeds see themselves as watchdogs, ready to defend their turf with their sharp barking.

You might find that breeds like the Chihuahua are fiercely loyal, often attaching themselves to one person.

Others, like the Cesky Terrier, are reserved and obedient, perfect for calm homes. Keep in mind, small does not always mean lazy; many of these dogs have the energy of a sugar-fuelled toddler.

Exercise Needs

Don’t let their size fool you; small dogs need exercise, too.

Some small breeds are quite active and require regular playtime and short walks.

For example, the French Bulldog might prefer a run in the garden over a marathon but still enjoys staying active.

You’ll need to make sure your small dog isn’t just hanging out on the couch all day.

Even the relatively calm breeds like the Cesky Terrier benefit from walks and games.

Without enough exercise, these dogs can develop behavioural problems or become chubby sausages with legs.

Grooming Requirements

Grooming needs can vary significantly among small dog breeds.

Some are low-maintenance, while others require a bit more effort.

For instance, the smooth-coated Chihuahua only needs occasional brushing, making it easy to keep them looking sharp.

On the flip side, if you have a long-haired breed like a Yorkshire Terrier, be prepared to invest time in regular grooming sessions.

Regular trims, baths, and brushing are necessary to prevent tangles and keep their coat healthy.

It’s also essential to check their ears and trim their nails regularly.

Even small dogs can have big grooming needs that you should be prepared for, so your furry friend can stay fabulous without any fuss.

Choosing the Right Small Dog for You

A variety of small dog breeds are gathered in a park, each displaying unique characteristics and personalities. Prospective owners observe and interact with the dogs, considering which one would be the best fit for their lifestyle

Picking a small dog breed means considering how they fit into your life. This is especially important if you have kids, live in a flat, or have specific activity levels.

Assessing Your Lifestyle

Your lifestyle is key in choosing the right small dog. If you’re active, breeds like the Miniature Australian Shepherd can keep up with your morning jogs.

For couch potatoes, a lap dog like a Pug might be a better fit. Think about your activity level and how much time you can devote to walks and playtime.

Also, remember grooming. Some breeds need daily brushing, while others, like Dachshunds, are low-maintenance. Make sure to pick a breed whose grooming needs match your schedule and budget. Finally, travel lovers should consider portable breeds that adapt well to various environments.

Considerations for Families with Children

Small dogs can be great for families with kids, but not all breeds are equally suited. For instance, Chihuahuas are tiny and can be fragile, making them less ideal for very young children who might be a bit too rough.

Breeds like the Cardigan Welsh Corgi are sturdier and often handle a busy household better. Consider the dog’s temperament too. Some dogs, like Bichon Frises, are known for being friendly and gentle with kids. Others might be more reserved or nervous around noisy children.

Lastly, teaching your kids to respect the dog’s space and handle them gently is crucial, no matter the breed. This ensures a positive relationship between pets and kids.

Apartment Living

Living in a flat doesn’t mean you can’t have a dog, but some breeds are better suited to compact living. Dogs like Pomeranians or Boston Terriers are great flatmates because they’re small and don’t require a huge backyard.

Noise can be an issue with breeds that tend to bark a lot. If you have thin walls and neighbors who value their peace, breeds like Cavapoos, known for being quieter, might be a better choice.

Exercise needs vary too. Breeds that are content with short walks and indoor play, like French Bulldogs, are ideal for flat living. Just ensure you meet their exercise requirements to keep them healthy and happy.

Frequently Asked Questions

A group of tiny dogs gather around a sign that reads "Frequently Asked Questions small dog breeds." They look curious and attentive, with wagging tails and perked ears

These questions cover a range of popular small dog breeds, their unique traits, and which ones might be the best fit for your lifestyle.

Which tiny tail-wagger is the top contender for the tiniest pooch on the planet?

The Chihuahua often takes the cake as the smallest dog breed, with males usually weighing around 7-14 lbs, and females slightly less at 6-12 lbs. They may be small, but their personalities are huge.

Looking for a pint-sized pal that won’t leave fluff on your jumper, what are the options?

If you want to avoid dog hair all over your clothes, consider the Miniature Schnauzer. This breed is known for its hypoallergenic, low-shedding coat, making them a great choice for those who want to keep things tidy.

On the hunt for a small four-legged companion with a talent for keeping calm and carrying on, any tips?

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a great option. They are easy-going and calm, making them excellent for a relaxed home environment. Their friendly nature fits well with kids and other pets too.

In the market for a petite pup that pledges allegiance to you and you only, which breed takes the biscuit?

The Dachshund is known for forming strong bonds with their owners. They’re loyal to a fault and can be incredibly devoted. With their distinct long torsos and short legs, they are unmistakably loveable.

What’s the name of that small, cheerful chap that just can’t stop wag-full of wagging?

The Pomeranian is your go-to cheerful companion. These fluffy little dynamos are always up for a good time and their constant wagging tail is proof of their happy disposition.

Which snugly-sized canine can sneak into your flat without causing a scene?

The French Bulldog is perfect for flat living. They are small, quiet, and low-energy, making them ideal for city dwellers.

Plus, those adorable bat ears and smushed faces are hard to resist!