World’s Best Small Dog Breeds

Purse dogs! Pocket dogs! Dogs you can wear sunglasses on and carry in a BabyBjorn! Different things make people love small dogs. For some, it’s because they catch rats or hunt small animals. For others, it’s their high energy and desire to play and learn. But no matter why you like little dogs, everyone agrees on one thing: They’re cute!

But little dogs are more than just cute. They are also very useful. Dennis Riordan, DVM, of the Riordan Pet Hospital in Des Moines, Iowa, says, “As we live more and more in cities, small dogs are becoming more and more popular for people who live in apartments.” “They tend to live longer than larger breeds, are easier to care for in terms of grooming and feeding, and need less exercise, which makes it easier to meet their needs in places with less green space.”

There’s a cute little dog out there for everyone, whether you want a lap dog, a running partner, or a fierce little hunter. Even though everyone probably has their own favorite, here are a few that caught our attention.

Brussels Griffon

Brussels griffon puppies need early training and socialization to grow into well-mannered dogs. But these dogs live to please their people and can pick up new cues and tricks quickly.

Look at that adorable pout. These affable, curious little fellows always look like they’re slightly disgruntled at the world, but I assure you: These dogs are perfectly gruntled.

Easily trained and deeply connected to their family members, Brussels griffons don’t tolerate being alone very well, so be prepared to take this little guy with you whenever possible. Or, even better, get two and they can be friends!


Almost everyone’s first thought when you ask them to picture a small dog is a Chihuahua. Since they are the smallest! Chihuahuas are small dogs that weigh 5 pounds or less.

They sometimes get a bad rep for not being friendly. Most of the time, aggression problems are caused by a lack of training. A Chihuahua that has been trained and socialized will be a loving, friendly member of the family.

Also, you can’t deny how cute they are. When you see one, it’s hard not to say “aww” because of its apple-shaped head, round, expressive eyes, and small size.


The Dachshund is a small dog with a long body and short legs. It has been a family favorite for a long time. Even though it’s hard to believe now, wiener dogs were originally bred to hunt badgers and rabbits by crawling into their holes. Some dachshunds are still used for hunting, but most of the time, these small dogs are loved as great family pets.


Your Havanese only needs to go for a brisk 30-minute walk every day. Even playing at home will be enough for him to be happy and tired.

The Havanese is the only dog that was born in Cuba. It is a beautiful dog with a silky coat that can be left shaggy, brushed smooth, or even corded. The Havanese was born to please people, is smart, and love to do tricks and be the center of attention.

Japanese Chin

People have said that a well-socialized Japanese Chin is a sweet, careful dog whose behavior and personality are very feline.

These little guys were made to be lapdogs for rich people in the East. They feel most at home on a soft couch or in your lap, so get ready for lots of cuddling.

American Eskimo

Hold on to your pants, because this dog keeps getting more and more adorable. The American Eskimo is a beautiful dog right off the bat. He has a shock of white, fluffy fur, big round eyes, and a friendly face.

These dogs are almost the dictionary definition of “people-pleasers.” They are sweet and quiet, and they love their family very much. If a standard American Eskimo, which is 19 inches tall and weighs 25 pounds, is too big for you, they also come in a 15-inch, 15-pound size.

But just wait if you wish they came in a smaller package. Because there is also a toy version that is just 10 inches tall and weighs less than 10 pounds, making it one of the cutest and smallest dogs!


So silky. So soft. So classy! The Maltese look like the kind of dog who should be wealthy. She was given a long, silky coat that can be any color as long as it was white. Maltese are friendly and outgoing dogs that live a long time.

They do well in agility competitions and make great show dogs because they naturally look like royalty. As a breed that has lived with people for hundreds of years, these smart little dogs have learned to follow instructions very well, especially when a treat is involved.

Miniature Pinscher

Fans of the breed will tell you that this “king of the toys,” the miniature pinscher, is the best small dog there is. Many people think that these little dogs are tiny Doberman pinschers because they are alert, smart, and good athletes.

However, they are not. Most likely, they are a mix of dachshund and Italian greyhound bloodlines. You don’t have to look any further than this cute little runner if you want a small dog to jog with or compete with in agility or flyball events.


The Papillon is a very smart, loyal, and long-living family pet. He also has one of the most striking looks you’ll see, thanks to his breed’s name, which comes from his big, fluffy ears. (Their ears resemble butterfly wings, and “papillon” is French for “butterfly.”)

These are dogs that will love to play fetch and hide-and-seek and learn new tricks. But more than anything else, you’ll probably just want to stroke that soft, silky fur and look into those tiny, smart, expressive eyes all day long. We don’t blame you.


Poms don’t need a lot of space to run around because they are so small. They do well in apartments and smaller homes with small or no yards that are fenced in.

If you’re here reading about cute small dogs and you can honestly say that Pomeranians aren’t cute, stop. Everyone here is a friend, so there’s no reason to lie. Their happy little faces. Their big puffy coats! Their friendly, happy nature. If you want a small dog, you can’t go wrong with a Pom, who is so cute you can’t even stand it.

Toy Poodle

Almost the only thing better than a cute, small dog is a cute, small dog that doesn’t bother people with allergies. Toy poodles have the same soft, curly coat as their bigger relatives, which means they won’t shed much and will be easy to care for.

And that coat comes on a 4- to 6-pound frame, which is an added bonus. Toy poodles are one of the most intelligent dog breeds and some of the longest-living small dogs. They can keep you entertained, be your friend, and give you a lot of likes on Instagram for years to come.

The Scots Terrier

Scottish terriers are independent and have a lot of spirits. These dogs need to be mentally stimulated, to play, and to have a fenced-in area where they can roam.

The Scottish terrier is one of the world’s oldest, most well-known, and best-known dog breeds. Scotties are very smart, just like other terriers, but they don’t need as much exercise as other terriers do, which makes them good apartment dogs.

Sizes aren’t too different because they’ve been around for so long. They are almost always 10 inches tall, which makes them the perfect size for a small dog. Because they used to hunt badgers in the Highlands, they have a strong drive to hunt, so be patient and consistent when training this small puppy.

Silky Terrier

Silky terriers may look pretty, but they aren’t very picky. Whether it’s a cross-country flight or a hike through the woods, these dogs are always up for an adventure.

The name says it all: THEY’RE SO SOFT! The silky terrier is from Australia. Like its cousin, the Yorkshire terrier, it is a true terrier in every way: it is active, alert, and always up for some fun, whether it is inside or outside.

They are natural hunters and will love to chase any small animals that get into your yard, but most of the time you’ll just be holding these 10-pound guys, running your fingers through their soft, long fur, and enjoying their kisses and company.

The Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkies were made to catch rats, so they have big brains, big personalities, and brave spirits.

It would have been blasphemous to mention the Yorkie and then not talk about it! Yorkshire terriers have been winning hearts for almost 200 years because they are friendly, active, and smart.

Even though they are small, these dogs were originally bred to hunt rats in warehouses. If needed, they are still more than happy to play the role of a powerful hunter. But these days, they are much more likely to be in your arms or posing for your camera.

3 thoughts on “World’s Best Small Dog Breeds”

  1. I don’t know why the Toy Fox Terrier is not on this list. My TFT outshines most od the dogs on this list. TDTs are smart, very athletic, super loyal, outstanding watchdogs, & requires little to no grooming. They are strong powerful little dogs. They may be small, but they think they are a big dog ???? ready too protect. One of the things I love about my TFT is his glow in the dark iridescent blue violet eyes when light hits them. Almost forgot he loves to sing back up when I am laying vocals on songs ???? I create. He listens to music when I am composing and when I start laying vocals he sings back up and comes in on time; it is so cute. He get his feeling hurt if I don’t let him sing with me; messes up my recording sometimes but I don’t care ????

  2. I also agree 100% I’ve had little Yorkshire Terriers since 1980’s til present time. Before it was during my racing career and being on the go rarely in one place too long. We’ve always had no less than
    2-3 and they’re perfect for traveling companions, EVEN if you lived in a cardboard box every day you can always count on your little Yorkie(s) to sit right next to you with all the unconditional love they always have. Now I’m retired and no responsibilities except for spoiling my Two Girls…..
    “Bella-Luna” & “Gucci-Roma”


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