Top 10 Smallest Dog Breeds

Top 10 Smallest Dog Breeds: Personality Traits & Development

No one argues that dogs are widely beloved furry companions. But, let’s be honest – when it comes to puppies, the bond and general affection further increases – after all, everything small is so special. 

It’s conventional wisdom that with time, puppies become dogs, and their characteristic childlike appearance slowly fades. But the good thing is that there are such breeds, which even after growing up, keep their small size and are therefore always perceived as puppies.

Still, their small size doesn’t mean they’re not characterized by unique personalities and individualism. Want to know more about them? 

Then, get prepared, as we’re going to take a closer look at the 10 smallest dog breeds.

Smallest Dog Breeds That Are Sure to Melt Your Heart

1. Chihuahua


Let’s start discussing the smallest dog breeds with the Chihuahua. This breed takes the first place because, believe it or not, it can fit in the palm of your hand. 

You may have heard that Chihuahuas originate from Mexico. However, their actual roots are related to ancient civilizations such as the Aztecs and Toltecs. In these civilizations, people considered Chihuahuas special canines and even attributed spiritual importance to them.

These days owners of Chihuahua often report that this breed is known for its fierce nature. However, once you get used to it enough, your tiny furry friend will turn into a loving companion. 

Regardless of size, Chihuahuas are exceptionally energetic. That’s why you should pay proper attention to both their daily walks and physical activities. 

2. Maltese


Believe it or not, this particular small dog breed was so respected in the ancient world that it even had its own temple. The Maltese are a unique canine species particularly that was glorified in ancient Greece.

Unfortunately, it’s unknown what exactly the Maltese looked like in ancient times, but its modern, delicate visuals, intelligence, and loving nature still capture the hearts of millions of people around the world.

Those who think about adopting this dog breed should know that it’s considered a hypoallergenic dog. This means that it rarely sheds and is an extreme relief for individuals who are prone to allergies. 

3. Bichon Frise

Bichon Frise

If you have already met this dog, then you will agree that at first glance, the Bichon Frise may remind you of a fluffy cloud. This association best describes the experience of owning a Bichon Brise, as the majority of the owners of this breed suggest that having a Bichon Brise by your side feels like a cloud of happiness. 

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Because of such wonderful appearance, friendly nature, and loving character, Bichon Frise takes a special place in the hearts of children.

Considering their size, this dog breed has a delicate body that needs special care. Therefore, you’ll need to provide appropriate medical and nutritional supervision. However, their unique nature will definitely make you think that it’s worth having such an amazing little friend by your side.

4. Pomeranians


You may have already heard about Pomeranians, but if we’re mistaken, a great discovery awaits you! 

Pomeranians are energetic, intelligent, and affectionate dogs that run the world with their distinctive personalities. What’s more, their twinkling eyes, pointed ears, and beautiful fur add further allure to their unique nature. 

At first glance, you might think that Pomeranians can’t have a dominant nature. But trust us, their bravery and constant alertness will amaze you soon after you adopt them. 

Even though they require a lot of attention, in return, they offer the greatest comfort, as they understand very well that ideally, life should be the best balance of receiving and giving love. They adore cuddling and frequently prefer to curl up on your lap for sleep. Thanks to their calming and loving nature, Pomeranians are often considered one of the best therapy dogs.

5. Pekingese


Pekingese is another furry companion among the smallest dog breeds. In fact, people who wish to have a dog of royal origin often adopt this unique breed. However surprising this may seem, Chinese legends suggest that Pekingeses are the descendants of a lion.

With that in mind, it’s not really surprising that Pekingeses are quite stubborn. That’s why psychologists and dog behaviorists often recommend using positive reinforcement techniques to properly train this dog. As a result, they can become loyal companions who enjoy spending time with you. As for other personality traits, Pekingese are quite positive and loyal companion animals. 

6. Papillon


Papillon is one of the smallest dog breeds of French origin. Their French name (which translates as “butterfly” in English) is related to their butterfly-shaped ears. This unique characteristic indeed distinguishes them from other dogs at first glance. They have smooth, long fur in a variety of colors.

Papillon’s intelligence will surely pleasantly surprise you. However, this is just the beginning — they are an extremely loving, friendly, obedient, and loyal small dog breed. 

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Papillons are so active that they won’t refuse to participate in sports competitions if you wish. They are very flexible and durable. However, the main thing is ahead – Papillons are distinguished by their courage and critical thinking. But still, they can only be trained with patience.

7. Pug


A pug is a small, square-shaped dog. Sounds funny, right? This is nothing compared to how cheerful they are. It’s impossible not to fall in love with their flat, round face, deep wrinkles, and smiling eyes from the moment you see them. Perhaps this is the reason why pugs were considered imperial dogs in Asia.

Pugs very quickly and easily form an emotional bond with the owner. Therefore, a person who will never forget to show them love, attention, and care is suitable for pugs. Believe us, in such a case, a pug will become an integral part of your life and will fill your memories with countless happy minutes!

8. Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkshire Terrier

We’re sure that you expected that on the list of the smallest dog breeds, you would come across the Yorkie Terrier. Indeed, our list wouldn’t be complete without this playful and funny little being. When you add to this unique personality the visual characteristics of Yorkie terriers, specifically the long silky fur and pointed ears, rationality is no longer powerful and emotions begin to rule us.

Due to their small size, Yorkie terriers perceive temperature changes with particular intensity, so it’s desirable to always control the temperature in their surroundings.

9. The Toy Poodle

The Toy Poodle

You will probably agree that everything French is refined and especially beautiful. The toy poodle of French origin is no exception to this fact. As its name already suggests, the toy poodle is one of the smallest dog breeds, with an amazing loyalty and trusting nature along with intelligence. 

You may not have heard this before, but the Toy poodle is one of the types of dogs that can follow their owner’s instructions without special training. If you decide to have a toy poodle, in some ways you will be equal to the French aristocrats in terms of taste, because even Louis XVI himself stopped this breed from being chosen during his reign.

10. Japanese Chin

Japanese Chin

Every dog lover has heard of the Spaniel breed. But did you know there’s also a Japanese version of this breed? 

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Along with the other breeds listed above, the Japanese Spaniel is one of the smallest dog breeds that was specially designed for the royal family. 

Interestingly, the origins of this dog have nothing to do with Japan. In fact, despite the name, the Japanese Spaniel was bred in China. Here, it was believed that by owning this friendly and loyal dog, people could ward off evil and attract happiness. Who knows, maybe a Japanese Spaniel will become your lucky charm as well!

Magic Behind Creating the Smallest Dog Breeds

The “slippery gene” in the DNA of dogs allows for rapid mutation and adaptation. This explains the fact that there are so many different and unique breeds of dogs all around the world. However, in light of today’s diversity, no matter how surprising, initially, dogs were monotonously large, which was necessary for their survival. But, over time, after domestication, their wild genes weakened and dogs became lovely companions. 

When it comes to appeal, the smallest dog breeds have one significant thing in common – apart from their size, they bring substantial comfort to their owners. No one argues that the smallest dog breeds are easier to care for and transport, which makes them great companions for people who live in small apartments or travel a lot. 

But wait for the most influential consideration – in comparison to large dog breeds, the smallest dog breeds live longer and their life expectancy can even exceed 15 years.

Final Thoughts 

As you can see, all the smallest dog breeds have distinctive features that make them captivating for pet enthusiasts. These dog breeds aren’t only canine companions, they perfectly accomplish the role of therapy dogs as well. What more could a dog lover want? 

Still, before deciding to own one of these smallest dog breeds, you need to understand well whether you are willing and ready to provide the right conditions for your canine companion. This is the number one rule of being a responsible owner!

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