Last Updated on May 7, 2024 by themubbi63

Small Dogs come in all shapes and sizes and we know that quite well. No other animal in the world has as many breeds as the domestic dog does. Whether you want a lapdog to cuddle up to you on the couch or a miniature pooch that you can carry around in your purse, there’s a dog breed for every requirement. Nowadays, with apartment living becoming so common, smaller dogs have become immensely popular. Let’s take a look at some of them.

List of Popular Small Dogs

Yorkshire Terrier

Known as the Yorkie, the Yorkshire terrier was supposedly bred by weavers in Scotland? And why? As ratters that could chase rodents into the smallest nooks and corners of a mill. Thus, the Yorkshire terrier necessarily needs to be small dog. These dogs are extremely confident, brave and outgoing despite their small appearance and make for great family dogs and watchdogs. Their big bark belies their small size.

Miniature Dachshund

Often called sausage dogs because of their short legs and long body, the dachshund is an extremely friendly and playful breed. They’re always up for a game and their expressive faces and long ears make for an adorable package. While they come in two different sizes – the miniature and the standard – the former is quite popular, weighing in at no more than 11 lb. They come in shorthaired and longhaired varieties. Dachshunds actually inspired the name ‘hot dog’, not the other way around.


Chihuahuas may possibly be the tiniest dog breed in the world, weighing in under 10 lb. Dating back to the medieval age in Mexico, the chihuahua has recently become very popular around the world. Their personality is much bigger than their tiny bodies and they’re known for being quite sassy, barky and bitey. However, they’re very loyal and faithful dogs and make for excellent dogs in families with older children (though they don’t do well with small kids). They’re good travelers.

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The pug is instantly recognizable by its adorable squashed face and its charming personality. The pug likes to be at the center of all activity and does quite well with young children. Friendly and playful, they don’t really like to exercise but they do like to go out with their humans. They’re muscular and compact dogs and tend to gain weight. So that’s something you need to look out for if you’re keeping one in an apartment.


These Polish dogs are a Spitz breed and the smallest of them all. Named after the Pomerania region in which they originate, these tiny dogs have more hair than they know what to do with. They’re nicknamed Poms and were, once upon a time, a great favorite with Queen Victoria. These dogs are highly intelligent and very alert, which makes them great watchdogs in city apartments and in the suburbs. 

Shi Tzu

The Shi Tzu has a very loyal lineage since they were bred as lap dogs for the Chinese emperors centuries ago. If you went to the Chinese royal court, you’d find a Shi Tzu being pampered there. One of the most popular small dogs in the world today, Shi Tzus aren’t any less pampered. Spa days and grooming sessions for their silky long hair aside, they need very little exercise and are friendly by nature.


Similarly, the Maltese is often the breed associated with the Roman Empire since they served as lap dogs for the Roman ladies of old. In fact, more than that, they were a symbol of status and were a fashion accessory, being carried around in the sleeves of their owners. Sweet and playful well into their old age, this is the breed to look at if you want a fluffy little ball of fur to cuddle.

Toy Poodle

Most of us are familiar with poodles, which come in three different sizes. The toy poodle is just the smallest of those sizes, rarely reaching more than 6 lb. With their curly fur, poodles often get a reputation of being high maintenance but they’re actually extremely smart dogs. They’re also active in nature and there’s no problem with exercising them within the confines of a small apartment. They can quickly learn tricks and games of all kinds.

Boston Terrier

With their large sparkling eyes and dark brown and white fur, the Boston terrier is a very popular small breed, especially in the United States. They’re named after their city of origin – Boston – and they make for great city dogs because of their small and compact size. They’re smart and polite dogs who can be easily trained but they enjoy goofing around with their family.

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Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Known popularly as Cavs and different from the King Charles spaniel, this breed is known for their happy-go-lucky personalities. With adorably long, curly ears, Cavs are an energetic breed. After all, unlike many others on this list, they were bred as working dogs to flush out birds. They enjoy long walks and playtime and make good pets for families with older dogs.


The Pekingese is an ancient Chinese breed and are often known as lion dogs because they closely resemble the guardian lions and have a mane around their necks. They’re small dogs with a big personality. And no wonder, since they were bred as companions for the ruling classes. They’re loyal watch dogs but can get aggressive with small children so avoid taking one in if you’ve got young kids.

Bichon Frise

Are they dogs or are they teddy bears? It might be difficult to tell with the tiny bichon frise. These dogs that often look like cotton balls are silly and goofy. But they also have a mischievous side to their personalities and require constant training. Otherwise they may become a bit of a brat. They’re great cuddlers, however, and are usually quite affectionate and eager to please.


Probably the least well-known of all the breeds on this list, the papillon is nevertheless a great pick if you want a small dog. Named for the butterfly shape of their ears (‘papillon’ meaning ‘butterfly’ in French), these dogs were originally bred to be the companions of noblewomen. At one point, they were an important fixture in European courts. They’re friendly, alert dogs that do equally well in apartments and in the countryside. 


Small dogs come in a delightful package, offering companionship and love without demanding a lot of space. Whether you’re looking for a playful pup or a cuddly lapdog, there’s a perfect small breed waiting to meet you!


What is the most popular tiny dog?

The Chihuahua is widely considered the most popular tiny dog breed, cherished for its small size and lively personality.

What is the top 10 smallest dog?

The top 10 smallest dog breeds include the Chihuahua, Yorkshire Terrier, Dachshund, Toy Poodle, and Pomeranian, among others.

What is the best small dog to buy?

When considering the best small dog to buy, factors like temperament, activity level, and grooming needs are crucial. Breeds like the Maltese, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, French Bulldog, and Shih Tzu are often recommended for their suitability as companion pets.

What are the 4 smallest dogs?

The four smallest dog breeds are the Chihuahua, Yorkshire Terrier, Dachshund, and Toy Poodle, each boasting a petite size and unique characteristics that make them popular choices among dog enthusiasts.

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