Over the last decade, the world has been nothing but fascinated by small dog breeds. Yes, these pint-size pups are taking over the hearts of many pet owners across the globe. Small dog breeds come in various shapes and sizes, but what exactly is a small dog? and how do we classify a dog as small? Learn more about the smallest dog breeds are in the world today.
Table of Contents
Small Dog Breeds: Understanding The Types of Small Dogs
Many organizations, people, and breeders have different ways of classifying dogs as a small breed dog. So, to keep things consistent we’ll look at how the American Kennel Club classifies and establishes a breed as small. Now small dog breeds can be classed into various groups, this includes:
- A Toy Group: Dogs in the toy group are well known for their tiny stature, upbeat personality, and energetic life! There’s no doubt that these dogs were bred to provide nothing but love, companionship, and laughter to their fellow pet-parents.
- A Sporting Group: small dogs in this group are generally very active and bright, these dogs tend to have great natural instincts and a tenancy to please their owners.
- A Terrier Group: Small dogs in this group are really known for their feisty and spirited demeanor. These little doggos often have a high prey drive as they were originally bred to kill vermin.
- A Hound Group: If you’ve got a hound, then you probably already know that dogs classed as hounds seem to follow their nose and not their eyes! Yes, these are the dogs that are not only athletic but also are incredibly gifted with their sense of smell.
- A Working Group: Big and small some of the most powerful dog breeds fall into this group! dogs classed as working dogs are not only powerful but they also thrive in an environment where they can help their fellow humans.
- A Non-Sporting Group
- A Herding Group: Dogs in this group are known for not only their sharp minds but also for their ability to learn quickly! dogs in the herding group have an unusually natural way of controlling the movements of other animals—particulary livestock!
- A Miscellaneous Class
Miniature Dogs vs Teacup Dogs! Here’s the Difference!
Generally, when we talk about toy breed dogs, then we are talking about small dogs that are often less than 13 to 14 inches in height and they may tip the scales at less than 20 lbs. However, within the toy breed group, you’re going to have dogs that are considered miniature and teacups small dogs.
Miniature small dog breeds are often the miniature “version” of another medium to large breed dogs. For example, larger breed dogs such as the Standard Poodle, Standard Schnauzer, Doberman Pinscher, and Siberian Husky all have a smaller aka more miniature version of themselves.
In contrast, teacup dogs are actually quite different to most other small dog breeds. Now, teacup dogs are the “miniature” version of their already small dog breed. For example, the Yorkshire Terrier is considered a small toy dog breed right? Well, did you know you can actually get a Yorkshire Terrier small than it’s actual size!
Let’s look at another example…
The Chihuahua is classed as a toy breed dog. According to the AKC, a full grown adult Chihuahua should weigh no more than 6 lbs. Now, a teacup Chihuahua weights less than 3 lbs.
Read the Chihuahua guide here AND the Teacup Chihuahua article here!
Better yet, read our ultimate guide to all teacup dogs here!
Types of Small Dogs Based on Their Characteristics!
So, we’ve explained how small dogs may be grouped and classed according to the AKC. But, now it’s time to narrow down our list of smallest dog breeds even further by classifying small dogs based on their individual characteristics.
Don’t worry, we’ve included some of the most popular dog breeds in our list too!
Small Breed Dogs that Bark a lot!
1. The Chihuahua!: First on our list is none other than the quirky, sassy, little Chihuahua who’s been grouped as a feisty toy breed. Yes, these little rascals may be small in size, but they certainly know how to run the show around the house. Chihuahuas are not only bossy, but they are quite vocal pups!
2. The Dachshund!: The Dachshund is a spunky, energetic little pooch who falls under the hound group. These small dogs are full of life and really know how to howl, yelp, and whine for your attention.
3. The Minature Schnauzer: The Minature Schnauzer is an intelligent, yet stubborn little dog who falls under the Terrier group. These little dogs are definitely considered a howler amongst other dogs, they won’t have any issue waking you up to some silly doggie noises.
Smallest Dog Breeds That Are Easy to Train!
1. The Swedish Vallhund: If you’re looking for a dog that’s easy to train, then look no further! The Swedish Vallhund falls under the herding group. These little doggos are not only incredibly friendly, but they also are quick learners who love to please their pet parents. Read more about them here.
2. Shetland sheepdog: The Shetland Sheepdog is a small dog breed that’s classed under the herding group. These dogs are well known for their intelligence, alertness, and easy to train attitude. If you’re looking for a dog that’s a quick learner and energetic then look no further than the Shetland Sheepdog.
Cute Dogs that Don’t Shed But Still Small Fluffy Dogs
As much as we love dogs, we know that their fur can get to be quite a big problem! So, if you’re interested in putting your vacuum aside then why not have a look at our list of some of the cutest dog’s that don’t shed, and are hypoallergenic!
The Cute Little Maltese Terrier
Considered an ancient toy dog breed, the Maltese terrier can be traced back to the Central Mediterranean area. These playful little pups are soo full of energy it could make anyone fall in love with them. Maltese terrier dogs have soft white, silky long hair that does not shed. As an added bonus these dog’s are considered hypoallergenic!
The Loving Bichon Frise
Who doesn’t love the Bichon Frise—smart, loyal, and an absolute clown, the Bichon Frise is truly a dog that knows how to have fun. These small dogs often have thick, dense, curly white hair that can sometimes have little apricot markings. If you’re thinking about getting a Bichon Frise, then be warned! Though they don’t shed, they do require a lot of grooming and daily brushing.
The Fanciful Coton de Tulear
Can’t decide between the Bichon Frise and the Maltese? Then meet the Coton de Tulear! The Coton de Tulear is a relative of both the Maltese and Bichon Frise, which means that they are not only hypoallergenic, but they also don’t shed! These little love bugs, are often quite social, active, and affectionate.
The Alert Brussels Griffon
A scruffy, monkey-faced pooch that won’t clog up your vacuum! The Brussels Griffon is truly one of the sweetest dogs you’ll ever meet! The Brussels Griffon is the kinda dog that’s not only easy going but is also relatively low maintenance when it comes to frequent grooming.
Read more about the Brussels Griffon here.
A List of the Cutest Dog Breeds We Can Find!
Since there’s just way too many small dog breeds, we’ve decided to create a list of popular dog breeds based on their cuteness factor! Now, we’ve analyzed and looked at what the most popular dog breeds are in the United States and have created a list that—hopefully, everyone can love and appreciate!
1. The Mighty Bulldog
Now, the Bulldog is technically considered a medium-sized dog because they can weigh anywhere between 40 to 50 lbs. But, if we go based on their height—which is around 14 to 15 inches, then we can squeeze the Bulldog into our small dog breeds list. Bulldogs are classed under the non-sporting group, and according to the American Kennel Club, these calm pups win a place as the 4th most popular dog breed in America.
2. The Inquisitive Little Beagle
A dog that loves to howl, sniff around, and explore the world! Beagles are without a doubt one of the cutest small dog breeds around! These little guys are classed under the hound group as they have incredible tracking abilities. We gotta say that America really loves these dogs as they are considered the 5th most popular dog breed in America.
Check out the Pocket Beagle here. Look how tiny they are!
3. The Playful City Pup—The French Bull Dog
Known for his quirky and easy going demeanor the French Bulldog is considered the 6th most popular dog breed in America! Classed under the non-sporting group, the French Bulldog is often 11 to 13 inches in height and can weight no more than 28 lbs. If you’re looking for a small dog breed that’s good with children, able to adapt to small apartments, and easy to train then look no further.
4. The Intelligent Poodle
Poodles fall under the non-sporting group as well! These dogs are not only known for their intelligence but also their proud look. Poodles actually come in three different sizes—toy, miniature, and standard, but of course, our focus is on the toy and Miniature Poodle. These lovely dog’s take the place of the 7th most popular dog breed in America, perhaps because they are easily considered one of the world’s smartest and cutest pooch out there! Who said you can’t have it all..good looks and brains!
5. The Spunky Little Yorkshire Terrier
The Yorkshire Terrier is classed as a toy group! These small dog breeds often weigh no more than 7 lbs—so they’re actually considered extra-small dogs! Yorkies are full of energy, bark on occasion, and truly love to be treated like royalty. Because of their big personalities and adorable little faces, Yorkies take the spot as the 9th most popular dog breed in America.
Fluffy Dog Breeds Aka Cute Dog Breeds
Now, if you’re the kinda person who’s absolutely in love with fluffy little dogs then this is the list for you! This list contains fluffy dogs of all types, personalities, and of course classes.
1. American Eskimo Dog: First on our list of fluffy small dog breeds is the American Eskimo dog, which is a fairly small dog that falls under the non-sporting group category. These perky little pups are full of energy and are just bundles of joy. The American Eskimo dog tends to have straight, medium length hair that’s often quite soft and dense to the touch. Read more about their interesting heritage here!
2. The King Charles Spaniel: Next on our list is none other than the King Charles Spaniel, which is a small little dog that’s classed under the toy group. King Charles Spaniel isn’t necessarily fluffy like the American Eskimo, but we added them to our list of fluffy dog breeds because their coat color and texture is quite notorious. The King Charles Spaniel often tends to have long, straight fur that’s quite soft to the touch. Perhaps the most distinctive feature of this dog is the silky and glossy shimmer their fur seems to reflect. Check out their coat here!
3, The Cocker Spaniel: The Cocker Spaniel is quite a heavy built small dog breed that’s been classed under the sporting group. These dog’s win the place as one of the cutest fluffy dog breeds as they tend to have dense, silky fur that’s often quite wavy in texture. Cocker Spaniels have quite long fur which will require a lot of grooming and daily brushing, so make sure you’ve got the time and money to beautify these pups!
4. Lhasa Apso: The Lhasa Apso is a small dog breed that’s known for its amusing personality! These little dogs have long, straight hair that’s quite soft to the touch. Because their fur is incredibly long and dense, they’ll require frequent grooming and brushing in order to prevent mats from forming. Learn more about this pupper here!
Little Dog for Little Children: Best Small Dogs for Kids!
When it comes to dogs and children, it’s important to keep in mind that a dog should never be left unsupervised with a child. We believe that with proper socialization and training, every dog can make a great companion for any child. Nevertheless, we suggest that owners look for small dog breeds with social, friendly, easy-to-train, and well-mannered personalities.
To make it easier for you, we’ve listed a few top-notch dog breeds that fit this friendly, easy-going behavior.
1. The Brussels Griffon can be great for all kids!
2. The Portuguese Podengo can be great for all kids when socialized well.
3. The Bull Terrier is great with older kids, but not so good with other dogs.
4. The Welsh Corgi is a fun loving, friendly pooch who does well with all children and pets.
5. The Japanese Chin is a tiny, delicate dog that does well with older kids.
Cutest Dogs! What’s the Best Small Dog for Seniors?
Depending on your lifestyle, most small dog breeds can get along quite well with seniors. Ideally, you want to choose a dog that’s not too active, laid back, and low maintenance. In this list, we’ll provide the most popular dog breeds that many seniors seem to adore!
1. The Italian Greyhound
2. The Carin Terrier
3. The Toy Poodle
4. The Cocker Spaniel
5. The Brussels Griffon
Cute Small Dogs! Best Dogs to Own if You Live in the City!
Not sure which small dog breed is best suited for the city life? Well, if you’re looking for a dog suited to apartment living then try looking for dogs that are quiet and are able to adapt easily to a new environment. Here’s a quick list of the top 5 city slick pooches we know!
1. The Boston Terrier
3. The Brussels Griffon
4. The Miniature pinscher
5. The Chinese Crested
6. The Italian Greyhound
7. The Chinese shar-pei
8. The Coton de Tulear
9. The Shih Tzu
10. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Small Dogs for Sale
Interested in adopting or buying a small dog? There are many places you can look at when you’re ready to get yourself a small dog. We highly recommend that you do your research and look for reputable dog breeders, who’d ensure all their puppies are well bred and free from common genetic defects.
Miniature Dog Breeds Rescue
Not sure if going to the breeders is right for you? Save a life and adopt a dog! Today, millions of sweet little animals end up in shelters, rescues, and pounds waiting to find their furrever home. If you’re interested in adopting a small dog then try searching for breed specific rescues or try visiting your local pet shelter.
Could Your Tiny Dog be the Next Cutest Dog in the World?
If you’re looking for a companion dog that comes in a small package, then you’ve probably already got an idea of what kinda dog breed you’re looking for. Many of the worlds smallest dog breeds come will have a range of personalities, looks, and authenticity towards them. No matter which small dog you choose, we’re sure that they can definitely compete to be the next cutest dog in the world!