Last Updated on May 11, 2024 by themubbi63

While dogs obviously come in various sizes, big and small, what are the tiniest dog breeds out there? Many of them are toy breeds and these dogs can easily fit in your lap or even in your purse if the need calls for it. Originally bred to be the companions of royalty or to get rid of rats and vermin, very small dog breeds are just as versatile as their bigger counterparts.

List of Very Small Dog Breeds:

Biewer Terrier

Weighing between 8 and 10 lb, the Biewer Terrier was first bred from Yorkshire terriers by a couple named Mr and Mrs Biewer. Longhaired, playful and charming, these small dogs are sure to win hearts wherever they go. They’re athletic and high on energy despite their small size so they do need exercise. But they have very sociable personalities and get along well with both family and strangers.

Related Article: Popular Small Dogs: Big Personalities in Pint-Sized Pups 2024

Toy Fox Terrier

Weighing between 4 and 9 lb, the Toy Fox Terrier was created in the 20th century when American breeders crossed the smallest Smooth Fox Terriers with toy dogs like Chihuahuas and Italian Greyhounds. Thus, these dogs combine the best of both worlds – the manageable size of a toy dog with the determination and hard-working nature of a terrier. Alert and athletic, this breed requires very little grooming.

Brussels Griffon

Weighing between 8 and 10 lb, the Brussels Griffon originates, as the name suggests, in Brussels. Originally bred to keep rats out of horse stables, these dogs are loyal and good with people. Take heed of the fact that they don’t do that well with young children because they are quite sensitive. Despite their humble beginnings, they eventually became royal lap dogs because the Queen of Belgium took a liking to them in the 1870s. 


Weighing between 3 and 7 lb, Pomeranians are some of the smallest dogs in the world. Their fluffy fur can be a bit deceptive because they look bigger than they are. But these dogs, which originated in the Pomerania region of Poland and Germany, are the smallest of all Spitz breeds. They were also a big favorite of Queen Victoria’s and that’s when the smart and alert Pom became really popular.

Toy Poodle

Weighing between 4 and 6 lb, Toy Poodles are the smallest size of poodle. The breed originated as duck hunters in Germany though many think of poodles as French dogs. Easy mistake to make since the poodle is the national dog of France after all. With a curly but almost hypoallergenic coat, poodles need regular grooming but don’t shed much. If you want a small dog that won’t shed all over your carpets, the Toy Poodle would be a good choice.


Weighing just about 6 lb, the Chihuahua might officially be the smallest dog in the world. These Mexican dogs have a personality that’s much bigger than their size, however. Extremely alert, these dogs make for great guard dogs. But they don’t do well around children and can be excessively noisy and aggressive if frightened. For this reason, people might fear getting them as pets. But they do well around calm, relaxed families that are on the older side.


Weighing between 7 and 13 lb, the Havanese is Cuba’s only native dog. Small and fluffy with extremely silky fur, these were the lap dogs of the Cuban rich for centuries. They’re excitable and extroverted by nature. Anytime is playtime for the Havanese and they make for excellent watchdogs without being overly barky. This makes them a great companion if you live in a city apartment.

Japanese Chin

Weighing between 7 and 11lb, the Japanese Chin is still a relatively unknown breed outside of its native Japan. We aren’t quite sure what the origins of this breed are except that they were most probably created by the Japanese nobility. It’s only after 1854 that the Japanese Chin became known by the West. Charmimg and loving, these dogs are pretty quiet as far as small dogs are concerned. They are active but they’ll be happy enough after a slow walk. 


Weighing between 7 and 10 lb, the Affenpinscher (which means ‘monkey terrier’ in German) is a pretty mischievous dog. Yes, both the personality and the looks match the monkey that it was named for. Bred to work like terriers, although they don’t technically classify as terriers, the Affenpinscher worked in German stables to hunt down rats and vermin. Cute and confident, they do well in apartments.


Weighing between 5 and 10 lb, the most distinctive feature of the Papillon (and what they were named for) are their big, butterfly shaped ears. These French dogs are charming and beautiful. No wonder that they were originally bred as the companions of noble Frenchwomen. Very popular in European royal courts once upon a time, they’re quite happy but alert by nature.


Weighing upto 7 lb, the Maltese has been around for quite a long time. This ancient dog of Malta was actually used by the Romans as accessories for the aristocratic Roman matrons. But the dogs predate the Romans and were probably introduced to the island by the Phoenicians. With a long, silky, white coat, the Maltese is quite the showstopper to look at. We can’t be surprised that Roman women liked carrying them around in their sleeves.

Miniature Pinscher

And finally, the Miniature Pinscher weighs about 8 to 10 lb. A centuries old dog, historians aren’t fully aware of the exact origins of this breed. Probably a mix between the Dachshund and the small Italian Greyhound, these dogs have short smooth coats. Also called Min Pins, these dogs are very athletic despite their size. Not only are they good family dogs, they’re pretty independent and can also make good alert dogs. 


From the feisty Chihuahua to the fluffy Maltese, these miniature marvels come in a variety of personalities and appearances. Whether you’re looking for a playful cuddle buddy or a watchful little watchdog, there’s a tiny breed out there perfectly suited to your lifestyle.


What is the smallest breed of dog?

The Chihuahua holds the title of the smallest breed of dog, with a petite frame and a spirited personality that belies its size. Originating from Mexico, these pint-sized pups are often adored for their loyalty and feisty demeanor, making them popular companions in households worldwide.

Which dog is best in small size?

When it comes to small-sized dogs, the Pomeranian shines as a top choice for many. Renowned for their fluffy coats, vibrant personalities, and boundless energy, Pomeranians bring joy and entertainment to their owners. Despite their diminutive stature, they possess a confident demeanor that commands attention wherever they go.

What is the number 1 small dog?

The Yorkshire Terrier reigns supreme as a beloved companion and lap dog. With its elegant appearance, affectionate nature, and playful spirit, the Yorkshire Terrier captivates the hearts of dog lovers everywhere. These tiny yet tenacious terriers are cherished for their devotion and charm, earning them the title of the number 1 small dog for many enthusiasts.

What is a mini dog called?

A mini dog is commonly referred to as a “toy” breed, characterized by their diminutive size and endearing personalities. Examples of these pint-sized pups include the Toy Poodle, Toy Fox Terrier, and Toy Manchester Terrier. Despite their small stature, these miniature marvels often possess a remarkable intelligence and an abundance of love to share with their owners.

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