Smallest Dog Breeds Smallest Dog Breeds

7 Cute Smallest Dog Breeds and Fun Facts

You can debate on this, and surely you will win. All smallest dog breeds are cute breeds. There are many small dog breeds that you can own and spend your life with them. Even the maintenance of these breeds is not so high.

Everyone likes to wake up in the morning by the sniffing of their pets. These tiny dogs are the best for that wish. Besides that, you can easily carry this tiny dog with you anywhere you want.

They are adorable, cute, and like to stay in company. Moreover, these small dogs will boost your social pages with millions of likes.

Some popular pets you can adopt are Chihuahua, Brussels Griffon, Pug, Havanese, Japanese Chin, Papillon, and Pomeranian. These are small dog breeds in the world, and they are perfect for apartment living.

Everyone has their own choices. Some prefer to get a lap dog, while some prefer a running companion. We have shortlisted some cute tiny dogs who will make you stop and stare. So get your breed.

Dog playing with toy
Dog toys. Source: Shutterstock

Dogs from the toy group are mostly from ancient china and lapdog type. There are many versions of small dogs. Some are working dogs, and some are meant to live a wealthy life. Days before, small dogs were used for hunting and as watchkeepers and for health functions for attracting fleas away from owners.

Like the poodle is the extreme small dog out of all, despite being the smallest breed, it is the smartest of all breeds.

The smallest dog breed is the most cutest of other dogs. Popular toy breeds are Charles Spaniel or English Toy Spaniel, Toy Fox Terriers, Norfolk Terrier, and Pomeranian.

The most popular dog breeds from the toy group are Miniature Pinscher, Italian Greyhound, Pug, Maltase.

2. Five Cute Smallest Dog Breeds

2.1. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

If you don’t fall in love with the loving, adaptable, and heart-melting twinkling eyes of Charles Spaniel or English Toy Spaniel, you should go for check-ups.

a) Characteristics

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is an ideal companion who is fond of dogs. They are fond of their family and behave very well with young children. These dogs even behave very well with other dogs too.

They come in four-color, red and black, with choices between smooth or rough coats.

b)  Weight And Size

They weigh around 13-18 pounds and are about the size of a newborn human child.

The average size of these small breeds is about 12-12 inches. Although they are very adorable and, such little package contains a lot of love.

c) Life-Expectancy

The life expectancy of these breeds is only 12-15 years. With proper care and management, they may also live for more than two to three years.

d) Origin

This small breed is a pure breed and has grown its popularity in the United States as the 19th most popular toy breed since 2000. This dog is originally bred of Spanniel Classed.

Things to do in Beach
Image by LyAn Voyages / Unsplash / Copyrights 2021

2.2. Yorkshire Terriers

There are many terriers breeds like Manchester terrier, Norwich terrier, Norfolk terrier, Toy Fox Terriers, and Yorkshire terriers.

a) Characteristics

Yorkshire terrier breeds have a lot of personality traits in that little body of them. Yorkshire terrier is the AFK’s most popular breed. They have lots of energy to play with their loved ones.

Yorkshire terrier has their fluffy coat as the crowning glory. Their face is parted with a silky coat that flows straight down each side of his body.

b) Weight And Size

The Yorkshire terrier average height is seven to eight inches tall, and their body weighs up to seven pounds.

c) Life-Expectancy

The life expectancy of this small breed is not more than 11 years. They have a shorter life span, but some breeds with proper care may live for 15 years.

d) Origin

The origin of terriers is from the Russian toy group, and they are known as Russian toys.

2.3. Japanese Chin

Japanese Chin is so adorable that you will forget about all your works and listen to his orders as if he is the boss.

a) Characteristics

Japanese Chin looks like a little aristocrat with his little straight, silky coat and plumed tail.

You can’t stop loving Japanese Chin, and he is loving, loyal, and way too sensitive. They are meant to be lived in your companion.

Dogs on beach
By Lenin Estrada/Unsplash.Copyright 2022

b) Weight And Size

Japanese chin average height is around eight to eleven inches tall, and this small breed weighs around 7-11 pounds.

c) Life-Expectancy

The life expectancy of this breed is only 10-12 years. They live for a shorter span but fill their family with a lot of joy and happiness. An even smaller dog like Teacup Yorkies, Pugs, and Pomeranians have a shorter life span than their larger counterparts.

2.4. Chihuahua

Small dogs like chihuahua are reserved dogs. They have a high energy level, and their affection for a family is very deep.

a) Characteristics

They are not known for their friendly behavior, but a perfectly trained chihuahua will be adorable.

Inadequate training may be the cause of their aggression.

Chihuahua has apple-shaped heads, rounds with expressive eyes, and tiny stature. It will be very hard for you not to stop and stare, and say “Aww.”

b) Weight and Size

Chihuahua’s average height ranges between five to eight inches tall. They are smaller dogs, and their weight is up to six pounds.

c) Life-Expectancy

The life expectancy is more than compared of other breeds. They live for around 14 years. But with proper care and check-ups, they can even live for 16-17 years.

2.5. Brussels Griffon

Brussels Griffon has the cutest pout. Even you may be not able to do such an adorable pout. These dog breeds don’t like to stay alone, and they are very affectionate and sensitive. They make great pals but for the right person.

shih tzu dog relaxing sofa living room
Source: Freepik

a) Characteristics

They can be easily trained, and they don’t love to stay alone. So you must be ready to take this guy with you, wherever you go. An even better option is there, give him a partner.

This dog breed comes in four colors red, Belge (black-reddish-brown). They also earned the nickname of “bearded dogs” in old folk songs.

They are very alert, friendly, and easily trained, and they walk like no one knows what they want.

b) Weight and Size

Brussels Griffon’s average height is seven to ten inches tall, and they weigh about eight to ten pounds.

c) Life-Expectancy

The life expectancy of such breeds is average. They live for 12 years, and with proper care, they may even live for up to 16 years.

2.6. Toy Poodle

Toy poodles are not only adorable, but they are low-allergen options. A toy dog is an elegant athlete and loves the company of children.

a) Characteristics

The toy dog comes with a soft curly coat that gives minimal shedding, and it is a lot easier to maintain.

Among the longest-living dog breeds and the most intelligent breed on the planet, toy dogs can give enormous entertainment, friendship, and endless likes of Instagram for the coming years of your life.

b) Weight and Size

Toy poodle average height does not exceed more than ten inches tall.

Toy dogs weigh about four to six pounds with their heavy coat over their skin.

c) Life-Expectancy

Their life expectancy is also between 10-18 years. But these dogs live much longer than their expectancy. They tend to live for 19 years with excellent care and frequent check-ups.

d) Origin

These small dogs are the only dog breed with three designations- standard, miniature poodle, and the larger breed in the above picture is a toy poodle.

2.7. Shih Tzu

adorable white little puppy isolated blue
Source: Freepik

a) Characteristics

They are extremely affectionate with their family, and they hate to stay alone. Moreover, these small dog is extremely good with children. You can keep your child with your pet dog, and they won’t harm your child.

Moreover, these dog breeds behave very well with other dogs. You can take your dog on a walk without any street fights.

They have a smooth coat, and they are high-energy dogs and can also take part in dog sports.

b) Weight and Size

The average weight of Shih Tzu is around 9-16 pounds, and the height of these breeds is 9- 10.5 inches tall.

c) Life-Expectancy

These dogs also tend to live for more than 15 years. They are very eager to live with their family, which makes them live longer. The average life expectancy of this breed is about 18 years.

3. Average Heights of Some Other Small Breeds

Some dogs have a shorter height, and they are very easy to control and give training for the dog shows. The national dog of Cuba is The Havanese. They are small breeds, and this breed originated in the United States.

Toy Fox Terrier: The height of this breed is between 8 inches to 12 inches tall.

Italian Greyhound: The Italian Greyhound average height is around 14 inches tall.

Pekingese: Pekingese average height is about six to nine inches tall.

Miniature Pinscher: The height of this breed is around 25-30 cm long.

Pomeranian: Pomeranian average height is around 11 inches long.

Maltese: Maltese average height is around eight inches long.

Training tips for bonding with and disciplining small dog breeds

Aleksandar Mishkov, a dog owner and enthusiast for more than 30 years and owner of, who lives with a six-year-old male Jack Russell Terrier, shares his experiences:

“[I] would specify a couple of things. First thing first [foremost], new dog owners and prospective pet parents, should understand the ‘unwritten rule of the wildlife’. And that is, large animals have higher spot in the hierarchy of smaller animals.

Because of that, small animals, in this case, small dogs, have a so-called small dog syndrome. It is a real thing that can be [quite] difficult to eliminate if you do not fully understand.

The most important thing about training small dog breeds, in my mind [according to me], is socialization. And that should begin the moment you get your puppy home.

Socializing your puppy with different animals, [different] people, different environments, and everything in between is the key to ensuring your dog feels comfortable in every situation.

[Now], moving onto the part of building trusts and bond with your puppy. The best thing for building bond with your small puppy is handfeeding. What I do with my puppy is hand feed him every night for his dinner. But it is not [free] for all.

Instead, we do different tricks, repeat some basic obedience commands, and everything in between. As a reward, [he] gets [his] dinner.

[Playing] and having fun with your dog in different ways while training is the best way to get a well-behaved puppy [in my opinion].”

man and dog enjoying sunset viewAleksandar Mishkov

Ali Smith, the founder of Rebarkable, who champions force free training methods, suggests a natural training method based on canine psychology:

“So [we] don’t actually discipline dogs any longer. We’re humans and technically a smarter species! So the responsibility is on us to communicate clearly and effectively what we want, and if our dog didn’t understand? That’s our error!

Also, science has shown us (and AVSAB agrees!) that the only ethical way to train is [with the use of] positive reinforcement!

Dogs will always do what’s most rewarding – so ensuring our way is the most rewarding will create a wonderful dog that we enjoy living with”woman and dog enjoying park time

Ali Smith

Fun Facts

  • Chihuahua, despite being just 2kg, the owners can take them anywhere with them. It is an ultra-light animal and is why most dog lovers prefer to adopt her.
  • Yorkshire is the smartest dog and has a cute, curious nature.
  • Small breeds like Daschunds need a lot of exercises, but other same breeds do not require hard exercise or training.
front view cute dog with jacket
Source: Freepik

4. What Do Toy Dogs Eat?

Even though the size of the toy breeds makes them adorable, they also make the care and maintenance of these dogs easier.

They don’t require a lot of food like other pets and larger dogs require, but they need a nutritious diet to remain healthy and enjoy a high quality of life.

4.1. Protein

They require deboned chicken, chicken meal, and turkey meal as the first three ingredients. It would help if you did not give them anything made with wheat, corn, and artificial additives.

4.2. Raw Bits

Your dog will most likely refuse tasty freeze-dried raw food. The quality foods that you should offer your pet are grain-free and small-sized chicken pieces.

4.3. Bonus Antioxidants

 The dog’s meal does not include only chicken, but you should also include coconut, chia seed, blueberries, and kale in their daily diet.

Lap dog or running companion: What influences your choice in small breeds?

Sean Prichard, a certified canine fitness coach (CCFC) and President and Head Canine Fitness Coach at Pant & Wag, offers a valuable comparison to make a better choice:

“As a runner, you don’t always have to make a choice between choosing a running companion or a lap dog as many small breeds can excel at both!

When choosing a running dog, it’s generally best to avoid short-snouted breeds like pugs or french bulldogs, as their short nose can make it difficult for them to breath [breathing issues] during aerobic activities such as running.

Small breeds like shetland sheep dogs, the shiba inu, and many of the small terriers like the jack russell terrier and the border terrier may be small in size, but [as] their bodies are muscular and athletic, and their temperament keeps them motivated during physical activities.

Regardless of the dog you choose as a running buddy, it’s important [essential] to start slow and observe how your dog is handling [handles] the first couple of runs. Your dog should never be dragging behind you.

It’s also [especially] important to not run with smaller dogs on hot days as their bodies are so low that they absorb the heat [that is] reflecting off the ground much more so than taller dogs do.

For this reason it’s much safer to run with small dogs on natural surfaces such as grass or dirt because natural trails don’t reflect the UV light as much as sidewalks and roads do.”

man feeding deer parkSean Prichard

5. American Kennel Club

The American kennel club is a recognized nonprofit organization. This club is dedicated to the prevention and treatment of diagnosis of all dog breeds.

Moreover, this foundation is also responsible for many breeds which we see today. Their research has led to many new breeds. Every breed has to pass under their recognition pass, which is AKC- a recognized breed.

American Kennel Club is one of the best among them. They also provide professional information to the dog owners. If you feel your pet is ill and needs some expert advice, you must look for your pet check-up.

Some dogs have a double coat and heavy fur, which slows them down in dog sports. Contact some dog medical team before you trim his fur and prepare him for sports.

closeup shot adorable yorkshire terrier with golden crown isolated white surface
Source: Freepik

Closing Thoughts

The smallest dog breeds can enlighten your day and fill you with joy. Toy breed brings lots of fun, and their fluffy coats will love to cuddle them all day long.

Several small dog breeds are from AKC groups. Hence they are perfect for every dog lover, especially the little dog lover. Do not forget to groom your pet after a couple of months.

Toy dogs come in touch with some health issues like hip dysplasia and several eye disorders. They also suffer from two orthopedic problems, Legg-calve-Perthes, and luxating patellas. So when you see your dog is suffering from some illness, take them immediately to the hospital.

Toy breed does not require harsh training methods as other pets, and hence you can easily make this toy breed your pet. Smaller breeds don’t need to work off loads of energy, and you can easily stay with your dog in the apartment. Toy dogs are too delicate to handle and need to live in quieter environments.

Suggested Reads:

32 Lesser Known Fun Facts About Animals

Guest Author: Saket Kumar

Infographic that suggests the best guard dogs to own as a first time owner
USA Tales

Last Updated on December 27, 2023 by Sathi Chakraborty

  1. This article was indeed a very cute article. While going through the detailed descriptions of these dogs I literally felt like holding these cute puppies in my hand and playing with them!!

  2. I have never had a pet and I have always liked to have a small puppy as a pet. I love small dogs more than big one and I would love to have Pomeranian or Shih Tzu. Being a BTS Army all pomeranians are like yeontan for us and Shih tzu is also jhope’s dog I guess. But apart from that, they look very tiny and cute and I would love to have these dogs with other dogs in the list.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *