There are so many types of dogs in the world. Over 300 registered breeds, to be precise. So how do you know you are choosing the right one for your home? It’s all about deciding on the attention they need, any health issues they might develop, how they will fit into your family, and, of course, their size. Many of us would love a four-legged friend, but perhaps you live in an apartment? Maybe you share a house? Smaller living spaces can be one of the major attractions to opting for a smaller dog. Plus, these companions can come with us just about anywhere we go thanks to their tiny size. As if that wasn’t enough, have you ever cuddled up with a small dog? It’s like having your own personal hot water bottle by your side. Perfect.
Size is something that has come in and out of fashion over the years, but it looks as though the miniature pooches could be here to stay. After all, who could resist the pull of a dog that can be carried around like a baby? It’s time to find out what are some of the most popular tiny dog breeds that might just make your heart melt a little. There aren’t enough “awws” in the world for what is about to happen.
Did you know that French bulldogs, or Frenchies as they are also known, are one of the best companions in the world? Yes, this breed is known for their friendliness as they were initially bred to keep people company. However, these dogs aren’t meant to go near the water. It isn’t their small size that makes them easy to lose amongst the waves, but their large head and body shape. It’s almost impossible for many Frenchies to swim! Thankfully, they are still perfect cuddlers and weigh in at around just 28 pounds, making them the ideal tiny addition to any home. As if that wasn’t enough, they don’t need much exercise. Could they get any better?
Pembroke Welsh corgi
Now, this dog must be special. After all, Queen Elizabeth II has owned several herself over the years. It’s thought the breed first originated from dogs used by the Vikings, and have grown up as some of the best herders out there. They might be small, but Pembroke Welsh corgis know how to keep control of their animals. In fact, these dogs are so small and adorable that Welsh legend states it is one of these pooches that is in charge of working for the fairies by pulling their carts, herding their cows, and even acting as a ride for the mythical creatures. The stories even state that if you look close enough, you can see the fairy saddle marks on their shoulders.
Believe it or not, but pomeranians are descendants from a long line of sled-pulling dogs found in Scandinavia. The dogs were bred down to become smaller house pets and used to weigh around 20 pounds. However, Queen Victoria bred them until they were half the original size – the perfect size for an addition on the throne. Now, ‘Poms’ weight around 10 pounds and are much more used to a life inside. Plus, they can also make great hearing dogs without taking up too much room in the home.
Many people believe miniature pinschers were bred from dobermans. Although they look similar, miniature pinschers have been around for many more years than dobermans. They were first produced in Germany where the breed was used to hunt rats around the homes and on farms. Their everlasting energy stores and snappy jaws made them perfect for the job, but can often mean miniature pinschers think they are a lot larger than their ten-pound size. It also means these dogs are better suited to homes with older children.
There are many theories surrounding the history of this breed, with one stating chihuahuas come from a breed of dogs that were once thought to be able to see into the future and heal the sick. Now, they are one of the most popular dogs in the world, let alone one of the most popular tiny dog breeds. Chihuahuas are known for their loving personalities, but their small size means they can often get scared when around strangers.
Although a miniature schnauzer’s mustache is now one of their top selling features, did you know it plays an important role? At least, it used to. This breed first emerged in Germany as they were used to hunt rats. Their thick facial hair was used to help protect the dog from any unwanted bites or scratches. Miniature schnauzers are some of the most popular tiny dog breeds thanks to their personalities. One minute they can be running around like crazy, while the next they are cuddled up ready for a nap. Perfect.
These are one of the most recognizable tiny dog breeds thanks to their long spines and small legs, but did you know they come in fifteen different colors? Although they are small, this breed was first used to hunt badgers. It is said dachshunds will go after anything which means they can be perfect guard dogs for any home. Now, they come in three sizes, with the smallest weighing in at just 11 pounds. As if that wasn’t enough, dachshunds are in the top 20 most popular dogs in the world.
West Highland white terrier
Once again, this popular breed of tiny dogs started out their lives keeping on top of the vermin population. However, there is a reason they only come in white. Colonel Edward Donald Malcolm was hunting with a pack of terriers when one was mistaken for a fox thanks to their dark color. Now, they have been bred to only come in white, so the pooches are easily spotted. Like many other terriers, West Highland white terriers are incredibly vocal, but usually only weigh around 20 pounds.
Italian greyhounds have stood the test of time as the breed is thought to be over 2,000 years old. As the name suggests, the pooches first appeared in Italy, before spreading across the rest of Europe and eventually the world. The breed usually only stands around 15 inches high, while weighing in at approximately 10 pounds. Now, they make perfect companions as the breed craves any kind of attention. As if that wasn’t enough, they are also incredibly fearless for their size.
No one has any idea where these dogs first originated from, but they have grown to become one of the most popular tiny dog breeds in the world thanks to their large ears and high energy levels. In fact, their ears are so famous and unique that their name, papillon, translates to “butterfly” from French. Although they might look like lap dogs, these pooches love to head outside and get into trouble. Thankfully, they only weigh around 10 pounds meaning they don’t take up much space.
This breed of dog has been around for nearly 3,000 years and have had plenty of name changes over the years before settling on Maltese. The pooches are brilliant lap dogs which has made them a favorite with royals everywhere. From Greece to Egypt – these dogs have seen it all! In fact, it was a time in Rome that saw the Maltese gain their white fur as Romans believed the color was sacred. As if that wasn’t enough, Maltese also don’t shed their hair which can make them the perfect addition for anyone with allergies.
Did you know the beagle easily falls in the top 10 most popular dog breeds in the world? So what is it that makes beagles so great? To start, they usually only weigh up to 30 pounds. Although they are still used as hunting dogs around the world, beagles are known for their friendly nature. Plus, they love being inside. No longer do you have to worry about getting cold on a winter’s night; beagles love to snuggle up on the couch at night with their owner by their side.
At last, we get to see the breed behind the board game Monopoly piece – it’s the Scottish terrier. In fact, the dog is so popular that it was voted as the most popular playing piece in the game. However, you might not want to let your Scottish terrier join in the celebrations as the breed is prone to something known as Scottie Cramp. This is when the dogs get so excited, their muscles tense to the point they can’t walk. Thankfully, if this does happen, the terriers only weigh around 20 pounds meaning they are easy to carry.
The Lhasa apso means a lot to the people of Tibet. Why? It’s thought the breed is associated with the snow lion, a mythical creature that guards the country. Many Tibetans also believe that the reborn souls of priests lie within Lhasa apsos. For this reason, the pooches are often given as gifts and first made their way to America after the Dalai Lama gifted two to an American traveler in the 1930s. Now, their 12-pound weight has made them hugely popular amongst celebrities, such as Ellen DeGeneres.
These dogs are often thought to be a type of collie, but the Shetland sheepdog is its own unique breed. They are known for being incredibly playful and loving while also being highly intelligent. This makes the Shetland sheepdog the perfect pooch to help with the farm animals. The breed initially comes from the Shetland Islands in Scotland, the same home to the Shetland pony, where the harsh living conditions mean they never had to grow too large.
When thinking of poodles, it might be easy to picture one walking the streets of France? However, this popular tiny dog breed actually originated in Germany, where their name translates to “puddle.” This is because poodles were bred to retrieve hunts, such as ducks or birds, from the water. They have had many celebrity fans over the years, such as the King of Pop himself, Elvis. However, their kind nature and tiny size have also made them one of the most popular teacup breeds in the world.
Unlike many other dogs that shed, a Yorkshire terrier’s hair will continually grow until it’s cut. This is why the breed can be seen sporting so many different styles. Some owners opt to keep their pooch’s hair clipped short, while others have been seen to have dogs with hair as long as two-feet! As if that wasn’t enough, Yorkies were also one of the first registered breeds as they became official back in 1885. Now, they can weigh as little as seven pounds, and stand just nine inches high.
It’s thought that shih tzus first emerged around 1000 BCE in China. However, their life hasn’t always been easy. Their name translates to “little lion,” and they were in for a fight after the Communist Revolution in China. The movement meant that only seven females and seven males were left. If it weren’t for these dogs, there might have been no shih tzus around today. Now, they can weigh as little as nine pounds, and come with long flowing hair or a clipped coat depending on the owner’s preference.
Havaneses typically weigh around 13 pounds and stand at less than one-foot high making them the perfect companion dog for anyone in need of a tiny dog breed. They are known for their incredible loyalty, which can also make it difficult if they need to be left without their owner. However, their affection makes them brilliant additions to many family homes. In fact, Havaneses are so popular they have been named as Cuba’s national dog. How impressive!
Of course, one of the most popular tiny dog breeds out there is the pug thanks to their unique appearance and quirky personalities. The breed originated from China where they were bred to keep emperors entertained. It wasn’t all work though as these dogs were often gifted with their own mini palaces and even had a fleet of guards to protect them. However, a pug is never happier than when they are by their owners’ side. In fact, these tiny dogs will often follow their family everywhere around the house.
Don’t be fooled by the appearance of Pekingese dogs. Despite looking really silly and basically being big balls of fluff, they have an ancient history dating back 2,000 years to imperial China, as their name attests – Peking being the previous Western name for Beijing. These days, it seems they have not left their royal roots behind, as they are still dignified little things that prefer the company of adults to that of children. They are also quite stubborn, and are absolutely sure they’re actually in charge.
Jack Russell Terrier
Another Terrier breed, the Jack Russell was a hunting dog developed in England 200 years ago. If you’re wondering about the little critter’s name, the clergyman who first bred the species was named Parson John Russell, or “Jack” to his friends. The Jack Russells that followed are – like other terriers – highly independent, energetic and rambunctious things. Beware, however: if you aren’t ready for a dog that zooms across your house, chases anything that moves and is an escape artist, look elsewhere for a pet.
Another breed of hunting dog, the Basenji originally hails from Africa, and its name means “villager dog” in one of the dialects spoken in Congo. What they are most famous for is a very peculiar trait, which has won them the nickname of “barkless dogs.” Why barkless? Well… They don’t bark, instead producing a sound that resembles yodeling. In another weird quirk, they quite like standing on their hind legs – like meerkats! They sound tons of fun – and they are – but keep in mind that while they may know all of the commands you taught them, they’re not sure to want to follow them.
One look at this breed will tell you all you need to know – they’re athletes to the bone, and are highly prized in the competitive world of dog shows as a result. If Whippets remind you of another famous breed, it’s not coincidental – they are nicknamed the “poor man’s Greyhound.” They’re runners through and through, which is something to keep in mind if you ever take them off the leash – they have been known to give chase to prey for miles!
These Terriers resemble French Bulldogs a little bit, and their tuxedo-like coat has earned them the nickname “American Gentlemen.” You’d never know it by looking at them today, but when the breed was created in the 19th century they were ferocious pit fighters! These, they have an easy-going, gentle temperament and are great with kids and the elderly in equal measure. They weigh anything from just under 15 pounds to 25 pounds, and are typically 12 to 17 inches tall.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
It doesn’t get more regal than the Cavalier King Charles. As their name suggests, they were the favored companion dogs of King Charles II of England, who reigned from 1660 to 1685. King Charles was said to have never gone anywhere without at least two or three of them, and loved them so much that he decreed they should be admitted to any public space – including the Houses of Parliament! Regardless, the breed is highly versatile and could be a loving, devoted family dog or a sporty, active hunting dog. Just don’t forget to bow.
Another ancient dog breed, the Shiba Inu can trace its origin to Japan, and its name means “brushwood” in Japanese. Originally bred to be hunting dogs, today they are companion animals that are beloved for both their appearance – greatly resembling a small fox – and their character. Weighing about 20 pounds, they are light on their feet. These little ninjas are nevertheless quite graceful, and carry themselves with a dignity that’s all their own. They’re also quite spirited, and will not do what you tell them to unless they feel like it.
Much like other Terriers, Border Terrier loves to hunt and dig, and are a breed that’s sure to make you both laugh and cry! They’re peppy little comedians, but if you don’t give them the exercise and stimulation they need, they’ll probably tear your house down. A famous example of the breed was Owney, who was the unofficial mascot for the United States Postal Service for nine years! Joining in the late 19th century, he traveled across not only all 48 states but also overseas – racking up more than 140,000 miles in his lifetime.
If you were to design what a toy dog would look like, you’d probably come up with something resembling the Bichon Frise. With their doll-like faces and fluffy white hair, they seem like the perfect plaything – and they are! Weighing no more than 12 pounds and 11 inches tall at most, they make the perfect family pets. Bichon actually means “small dog” in French, whereas its entire name originated from “bichon à poil frisé,” or “curly lap dog.” These guys are the picture of cheerfulness, and are sure to charm the socks right off you.
Remember that timeless Disney classic Lady and the Tramp? Well, Lady was a Cocker Spaniel, and they definitely made the right choice with the co-star. They were – and still are – incredibly popular dogs among American owners, and even topped the charts from the 1930s to the 1950s and then again from the mid-eighties to the early nineties. It’s little surprise: at a little over a foot tall and between 24 and 28 pounds in weight, they’re beautiful, kind and gentle. Don’t be fooled, however: they’re hunters at heart and love nothing more than the wild outdoors.