Small dog breeds

41 Small Dog Breeds That Are Perfect For Any Home

They’re cute, they’re cuddly, and they pack tons of personality into short stature. But is a small dog right for you? That depends. Small dog breeds come from a variety of backgrounds, and they vary widely when it comes to personality, activity needs and maintenance requirements.

The most popular small dog breeds include French Bulldog, Toy Poodles, Dachshunds, Corgis, Pugs, Pomeranians, Beagles, Yorkshire Terrier and Chihuahuas, but each is loved for their own unique reason. Some are known for being kid-friendly. Some are cuddly fluffies. Others are spirited,  smart, or need the space of the wide-open country. Some are perfectly content in cities and small apartments.

Which might be right for you? Each animal is, of course, an individual, and you should meet any potential pet to see if you’ll be a good match, but these 41 small dog breeds are a good place to start. Read on, and see which might be the perfect fit for your family.



This is a German breed which is full of energy and is as feisty as it is small. In German, the name Affenpinscher means “Monkey Dog” which is particularly suitable for these playful little pups.

American Eskimo

The American Eskimo Dog can be standard, miniature, or toy sized. They have a sparkling white fluffy coat with a lion-like ruff around the neck, and a Samoyed-like smiling face.

Bichon Frise

These adorable fluffy white pups have a friendly disposition and are quite perky and happy animals. They are very easy to train and are great for family pets.


The Bolognese-dog is part of the Bichon family and is another white, fluffy little creature which is very intelligent and loyal and loves spending all of its time around people and children.

Boston Terrier

Also known as the “little American gentleman,” the Boston terrier was originally bred to be a pit fighter.

Brussels Griffon

With its human-like eyes and incredibly cute looks, it will steal your heart away as soon as you set eyes on it.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Remember the amazingly beautiful “Elizabeth Taylor” – Charlotte’s beloved dog in “Sex in the city”? Well, this is Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.


A national symbol of Mexico, and a famous “purse dog,” the Chihuahua is a loyal, charming dog with a Napoleon syndrome, which makes it feel like a huge dog.

Chinese Crested

If you want a dog which will stand out from any other pup, and a great conversation starter – the Chinese Crested is the perfect dog for you.

Cocker Spaniel

One of the most beloved breeds, the Cocker Spaniel is loyal, intelligent, affectionate, and full of a desire to please. This makes training a Cocker quite easy.

Coton de Tulear

The Coton-de-Tulear or just Coton is a sweet-natured and smart dog which wants to spend all of its time with its person. These adorable dogs have a cotton-like coat which is not real fur.

Dachshund (Miniature)

Dachshunds are legendary dogs. They are also known as “Wiener” dogs and their long backed body paired with the short legs and dropping ears cannot be mistaken for any other canine breed around.

French Bulldog

He Frenchie requires minimal exercise and has an incredibly big personality. French Bulldogs are prevalent urban dogs.

German Spitz

These pups may look luck fluffy little foxes, but the fact is that they are excellent watchdogs, they are resilient to weather, very robust and have a long life expectancy which makes them the perfect pets.


As the name of the breed suggests, these dogs have descended from Havana, Cuba. In fact, these are the only native Cuban dogs.

Jack Russell Terrier

The Jack Russel is an amazing dog. No wonder it has become a hit through some of the most popular movies such as The Artist, my Dog Skip, and The Mask.


The small but strong and hardworking breed has been used for various types of hunting activities in Germany and around the world for years.

Japanese Chin

The Japanese Chin acts very much like a cat. It loves jumping on top of furniture, on laps and on other high places, plus it washes itself quite thoroughly just like a cat would.


This popular and beloved small breed has an ancient history and is known for its floor-length impressive coat and its playful and charming demeanor.

Maltese Shih Tzu

This is a designer breed which was originally bred as a completely non-shedding dog. The Maltese Shih Tzu is the perfect combination between a Maltese and a Shih Tzu.

Manchester Terrier

This beautiful small dog has all the typical traits of a terrier. It is faithful, sporty, lively and alerts small dog which can become your best friend and will make a superb watchdog for your home.

Miniature Bull Terrier

If you love Bull Terriers but have limited living space, the Miniature Bull Terrier is the perfect dog for you.

Miniature Pinscher

This tiny elegant dog is all muscles and attitude! Miniature Pinschers are known as the Kind of Toys and are a fun loving, fearless and proud breed, even though their weight will not exceed 8 to 11 lbs.

Norfolk Terriers

These cute small dogs are everything but lap dogs. Being the smallest working terrier, the Norfolk Terriers may be only up to 10 inches high but are sturdy, feisty and confident little dogs.

Norwich Terriers

These are close cousins of the Norfolks and the easiest way to tell the two breeds apart is the shape of the ears. While the Norfolks have folded ears, the Norwich terriers have pointed cute ones.

Parson Russell Terrier

These cute small dogs are everything but lap dogs. Being the smallest working terrier, the Norfolk Terriers may be only up to 10 inches high but are sturdy, feisty and confident little dogs.


Papillon means butterfly in French, and when you look at those adorable wing-shaped ears it becomes quite clear why this breed was named like that.

Pembroke Welsh Corgi

Corgis are the small and amazingly cute dogs which always surround the Queen of England, and are among the most agreeable house dogs of all.


The fact that the Pekingese was held at great esteem at the Chinese Imperial court seems to have passed down to today’s members of this breed.


The Pomeranian is a perky, alert and intelligent little toy dogs which like many of the other small breeds tend to believe that they are larger than they are.

Poodle (Toy)

Originally bred to be water retrievers for hunting, the Poodle is an elegant athletic dog with an aristocratic demeanor. It has a hypoallergenic coat which makes it an excellent choice for households with people with dog allergies.


It is very hard not to smile when you look at a Pug. The cute wrinkly round and flat face and round big eyes make this dog an absolutely adorable small pet.

Rat Terrier (Toy and Miniature)

These wonderful little dogs are often mistaken for Jack Russel or Fox Terriers, but the fact is that they are unique dogs.

Scottish Terrier

You may know the typical Scottie posture and contour from the famous Black and White Scottish whiskey label featuring a black Scottish terrier and a White West Highland terrier.

Shetland Sheepdog

Shelties look a lot like Collies but will reach a height at the shoulder of only about 13 to 16 inches.
They are eager to please dogs which are naturally good natured and very easy to train.

Shiba Inu

The Shiba Inu is an ancient Japanese breed, which the people from the country of the rising sun describe as good-natured, alert and featuring spirited boldness.

Shih Tzu

The Shih Tzu is often referred to as “Lion dog” and is a favorite pet to a growing number of dog lovers around the world. It is an ancient Chinese breed which has a very sweet expression and a beautiful coat.

Silky Terrier

Silky terriers come from Sydney, Australia and are known for their high spirits and natural curiosity. They are small, and yet are not fragile and are feisty but not loud and yappy.

Toy Fox Terrier

This is one of the few truly all American breeds. The Toy Fox Terrier is a toy dog with a terrier character. It will enjoy running and hunting squirrels in the park and then spending leisure time curled up in your lap at home.

West Highland White Terrier

The Westie is the white dog pictured in the highly recognizable “Black and White” whiskey label. It is possibly the terrier with the sunniest disposition of the entire family.

Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkies are one of the most popular small breeds and will attract everybody’s attention with their gorgeous silky fur, the perky topknots, and the various clothes, accessories and carry purses which people often use for their pets.