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12 of the Best Small Dog Breeds

Certain small dogs are among the most prevalent, most delightful and most amazing canines in the world. Your new best friend awaits!

By Patricia SarkarPublished 7 years ago 5 min read

Dogs come both large and small, but in the vast history of mankind, small breeds have always been the chosen size for companion dogs. Historical hunters and work dogs tend to come large, but for a dog you just want near you for love and comfort? Nothing beats an adorable dog that never grows larger than a puppy.

There are countless, beautiful breeds of dogs. To list every one that melts our heart would be futile. Still, there are certain small dogs that most people can agree are among the most prevalent, most delightful, and most amazing canines in the world.

Skye Terrier

These adorable canines are among the most endangered breeds in the UK. They may be rare, but these precious little things are worth owning for yourself. It is the eldest of the Scottish terrier breeds bred to hunt fox and otter. Loyal to a fault, nobles have had their loyal Skye Terriers at their side even when stepping onto the gallows.

Their most notable physical feature is their long hair, which often grows over their face and bodies. It will need to be combed and cleaned semi-frequently, particularly around their faces to avoid causing any infections. This breed of dog may be gone in forty years, so you need to savor them now.


This ancient breed of toy dog originates in China. It is referred to as Peking Lion Dog by some due to its resemblance to the Chinese Lion Guardian statues. Favored by Chinese royalty and monks, this breed is a little bit of a handful, but, once you know what to expect, is worth every penny.

For starters, due to its mane of hair, it needs to be groomed frequently. While the dog can live up to fifteen years, its squat muzzle can give it various breathing problems, and infection can spread thanks to dirt caught in its thick fur causing infection.

Japanese Chin

In ancient Japan, most dogs served some working function. A guard dog. A worker. A hunter. Only the Chin existed for human companionship. It was deemed as the dog for the royal class.

Today, this small dog can be owned by anyone willing to purchase it. This alert, independent canine is almost cat-like in temperament. However, due to its loving nature, it is still a worthy companion. Also, the Chin makes a terrific therapy dog.

Miniature Pinscher

This German breed of dog descends from dachshunds and greyhounds. The actual origins of this canine remains a mystery, as ancient art depicts them, yet documented records of them only date back to the early 19th century.

Regardless of when or how these dogs first emerged, this incredibly speedy dog is best for experienced dog owners. They can escape from kennel cages, race with the best of them, and always are on guard. Not a good dog for families with young children, though.


Poodles are great. So are Yorkies. If you combine the two, you get an incredible mixed-breed with the best of both worlds. These incredibly intelligent and lovable dogs love to learn tricks, and take great pride in doing the right thing. They crave positive reinforcement.

One noteworthy fact about yorkipoos is how good they are for people with dog allergies. They are among the most hypoallergenic dogs in the world, as they almost never shed and their fur is more like human hair. The perfect small dog for those in need of an allergy-friendly companion.


Known by some as the Monkey Terrier for its monkey-like facial features, Affenpinscher are an old breed of German dog that first materialized during the 17th Century. Despite belonging to the Pinscher family, they behave more like terriers.

This adventurous, curious breed can be a little territorial, so, again, young children might not be good around them. Other than that, this beautiful breed is an ideal companion.


Regularly owned by royalty from the 18th Century onward, the Pomeranian ranks among the most popular toy dog breeds around. Period. Their adorable appearance and precious, fluffy bodies are just enough to make any dog lover's heart melt.

They can potentially live up to sixteen years old if all goes well, making them among the longest living canines around. While these dogs are energetic, they can be a little dominating should they not be trained well. Experienced pet owners should have no problem with this breed of dog.


The smallest breed of dog, the Chihuahua is among one of the oldest breeds of dogs around. Effigies in Mexico dating back to the 13th Century represent the Chihuahua, implying that this breed has been around for quite some time.

Chihuahua have been noted as being "clannish" canines. They do not mix well with other breeds of dogs. They are not good with young children. They bond to one owner fiercely, to the point where they can be hostile toward others.

But Chihuahua lovers love these little dogs regardless, and find them absolutely adorable.

Jack Russell Terrier

This small terrier was bred to hunt foxes. Sporty dogs by nature, they crave exercise and physical exertion. Their breed has taken part in tons of dog shows due to their physical prowess.

The Jack Russell Terrier is noteworthy for being commonly used in movies and television. Most noteworthy? The show Wishbone, an educational television show, used a Jack Russell Terrier for its titular character.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Among the friendliest dog breeds around, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels have been used as therapy dogs due to their empathy and sweetness toward surrounding humans. They are terrific pets for family and sweet with small children.

However, they also require attention and human interaction for their physical and mental health. They cannot be left alone. These sweet dogs also have a sadly short life span of below ten years. If you have one, make sure you cuddle with it every day.

Miniature Dachshund

Ah, the mini-hotdog dog. These long-bodied creatures are among the most distinct looking dogs in the world. Unlike the original dachshund, these sweeties are just large enough to fit on your lap, and coil up there.

High spirited, these dogs are all fiercely loyal to their families and, despite variations in their breeding, tend to be highly intelligent. They can be yippy, but that is only because they fear anyone hurting their loved ones.

Boston Terrier

Known as the American Gentlemen due to its tuxedo-esque fur markings, the Boston Terrier is a friendly, stubborn dog capable of great feats of intelligence and strength. They are similar to bulldogs, and, as such, possess many of the same potential health problems. Trouble breathing, snoring, etc.

The Boston Terrier was bred for pit fighting, but, due to their friendly nature, ended up being bred to hunt rats. Nowadays, they make the ideal companions. Bred to be killers, but born as lovers, these sweethearts are the best dogs to snuggle with.


About the Creator

Patricia Sarkar

Raised on a steady diet of makeup and games. Eager to share my experiences with the world and make a difference, article by article! :)

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