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Top 10 Smallest Dogs

Updated on January 25, 2014


Small dogs are not only cute and cuddly but can also be playful, friendly and easy to keep. Small dogs are ideal for people living in apartments or small houses. This is because they take up very little space. Some people also tend to like small dogs because they require less food which can be a cost savings. Small dogs may also cost less to be groomed as compared to larger dogs. Small dogs tend to be less threatening and intimidating to children and other pets.

However, you should never underestimate them since they can also be aggressive and arrogant depending on their breed. Small dogs are available in different breeds and it therefore up to you to choose the breed that best suits your need and personality. The different dog breeds come in different size and temperament. Here are some of the smallest dog breeds.


1) Papillon

Papillon dog is elegant and beautiful dogs that have strong adaptability and can make great companion dogs. They have a height of about 20-28 cm and weigh 4 to 4.5 kg. Papillion is characterized by a small arch shaped head with medium width, round black nose, sharp muzzle, dark round eyes and ears behind the head. The Papillon also has a long silky hair coat that is mostly smooth but can be at times wavy. The color of the coat is mainly white with markings of black, brown or tan.


A Papillon is a happy, alert, friendly and intelligent dog. It has a strong physique and likes outdoor sports. It is so dominant to his owner both will be jealous to a third party. This breed of dog is bold and flexible to master enthusiasm but can be docile and indifference to a stranger.


2) West Highland white terrier

The West Highland white terrier originated from Britain in the 19th century. This dog breed is small but has a balanced strong physique. Its head and neck are slightly inclined and its skull is arched. It has small erect ears that have sharp ends and are covered with smooth hair. It is also portrays bright medium sized eyes and a black nose with large nostrils. The West Highland white terrier has short forelimbs and longer, muscular hind limbs. Its tails is straight with no decorative hair and is about 3-5 cm. It has a coat of two layers, coarse hair covered with short and soft hair.


The West Highland white terrier dog breed is lively, brave, confident and friendly. It is however too shy to be aggressive.


3) Tibetan spaniel

It is commonly referred to as "sleeve dogs". It originated from Himalaya Mountains of Tibet thus the name Tibetan spaniel. It has a relatively smaller head but is proportional to the body. It has deep brown oval eyes that are very bright and expressive. It has dropping ears with the adult’s ears having much decorative hair. It has a double coat that has a silky texture. The males have more mane than the females.


Tibetan spaniel dog breed is cheerful and confident. It however can be shy and shuns from strangers. It is easy with children and can thus be a great family pet.


4) Poodle

Poodle is an intelligent hunter dog that originated from Germany. It is divided into three main categories; the standard canine, mini poodle and the toy dog. The standard poodle is about 35-60 cm high while the mini poodle is about 28-35 cm high. The toy poodle is the smallest and is about 25-28 cm high. It has a curly dense coat with a naturally harsh texture. The coat hangs in tight even cords or varying lengths. The coat can be black, white, brown or beige.


Poodle is a proud dog breed that carries himself with an air of distinction and dignity. It is very active and intelligent but can be shy at times especially with strangers.


5) Pugs

Pugs are characterized by a small, wrinkled face and short legs. They have a short and cobby, body, a wide chest and a curly tail that is tightly curled over the hip. Pugs have unique muzzles that make them prone to snoring and wheezing. Their coats consist of short and smooth shiny hair that can be brown or black. Pugs are fat dogs, it is therefore import for any pug owner to control the type and amount of food your pug is taking so as to avoid putting him at a risk of heart disease. This dog breed has a relatively weak respiratory tract due to congenital reasons. It is thus important for you to protect the dog from contracting cold cough. In the event your dog contracts a cold cough, ensure that it is treated timely.


Pugs are playful, outgoing and loving dogs. They are even-tempered and pose stability making them ideal dog for the whole family.


6) Yorkshire Terrier

The Yorkie has a short stature with a body shape similar to that of a Chihuahua. They have a double coat with the outer coat consisting of thick, hard hair that can be straight or wavy. The inner coat is also thick also waterproof. The hair requires grooming. Due to their beautiful and cuddly looks, Yorkshire terrier is more popular amongst ladies.


Yorkshire dog breed is said to be alert, brave and intelligent. It is also friendly and playful at times.


7) Chihuahua

Chihuahuas are beautiful dog breed that have hunting and guarding instincts. The dogs are classified into either short or long depending on the size of the coat. Chihuahuas have a petite body that is covered by soft, shiny undercoat. The outer coat is soft, glossy, and close fitting. The hair is longer on the neck and tail. The coat can be white, black, tan and many other colors.


Chihuahuas are meek, loyal and affectionate but can be loud and demanding. They are commonly known for nipping children and barking continuously at strange dogs. Chihuahua may not be the best choice of dog breed for children; however, it is possible to tame them and train them to live with children. They are graceful, alert, swift- with saucy expression and pose an attitude of self importance, confidence and self-reliance.

Chihuahuas require grooming which include; bathing them, combing and brushing the hair, cleaning the ears and trimming its nails. Chihuahuas’ nails grow very fast and may require regular trimming.


8) Shih Tzu

Shih Tzu is not only a beautiful small dog breed but it is also a great companion dog that is gentle to children. This dog breed is also ideal people who are allergic to animal fur because it does not shed. It has a sturdy body with a broad chest and deep to the elbow. This dog breed has a double coat that is dense, long and flowing with slight waves. The breeds coat comes in different colors such as liver, brindle, black, blue, white, black & white, gold, dark brown, light brown and liver & white.

The Shih Tzu dog breed requires regular grooming to avoid the hair entanglement. The hair on the head can easily cover the eyes affecting the line of sight.


Shih Tzu is a good example of a great companion and house pet. It is gentle and outgoing, friendly and trusting towards all.


9) Bichon Frise

Bichon Frise is a small dog breed that weighs about 5-10 kg and stands 23-30 cm high. It has a slightly rounded skull with a long and curly tail that is carried over the back. It has a black nose and dark round eyes. White this the color of the Bichon Frise dog coat; however its white hair can consists of little shedding of buff, cream or apricot. It has a double coat with a soft and dense undercoat and a coarse and curlier outer coat.

Bichon requires regular grooming, professional pruning and regular shower so as to ensure their hair looks fluffy. This makes Bichon Frise a high maintenance dog. It also requires regular exercises to promote its digestive function such as absorption, improve body health and strengthen resistance to disease.


If you are not concerned about the high maintenance required by this dog breed, you are assured to enjoy the merry and playful temperament nature of the Bichon Frise. This dog breed is also gentle and affectionate and has a soft, probing expression with sparkling dark eyes.


10) Pomeranian

The Pomeranian dog breed is another beautiful toy dog that is originally from Germany. It has a short back, soft and dense undercoat and a thick coat outer coat. It also has a fairly deep chest. Pomeranians shed copiously and may thus not be ideal for people allergic to animal fur or a home with children. The Pomeranians’ coat comes in different patterns and colors.


Pomeranian dog breed has a mellow and gentle personality. They are great with children and exhibit great intelligence, curious nature and a bubbly spirit making him a great companion dog.


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    • mecheshier profile image

      mecheshier 4 years ago

      Fabulous Hub. :-( I love your info. However, I have to say that my roommate has a Chihuahua and little Joey is really great with children. But you are right, typically Chihuahuas are not the ideal family pet. Thanks for the wonderful post. Voted up for useful.

    • alexadry profile image

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 4 years ago from USA

      I appreciated reading this, quite a nice list of cute dogs, voted up!