One of the most exciting parts of getting a new dog is choosing from all the hundreds of wonderful dog breeds in this world. Dogs come in all shapes, colors and sizes. But personally, I love small dog breeds the most. They’re small, but always sweet.
So how many small dog breeds are there? There’s a lot. However, there are only 65 small dog breeds officially recognized by the AKC. All of which, have their own unique personality and charm. In this list of small dogs, we’ll cover all recognized breeds.
What’s Considered a Small Dog?
“Small” is subjective, right? Not exactly. According to the AKC, a small dog breed weighs less than 22 pounds and/or is shorter than 16 inches.
Given these requirements, we have 65 small dog breeds (67 if you count size variations). In fact, many of these dogs are much smaller than the 22 pounds / 16 inches limit.
For example, the smallest purebred dog breed is the Chihuahua. These dogs weigh 6 to 8 pounds and stand at a height of 6 to 9 inches.
Breeding down in size, toy dog breeds are even smaller! They weigh between 4 to 7 pounds and can be much shorter in height.
All Small Dog Breeds List
When it comes to size, there is a fair amount of debate among canine fans. Some people see medium-to-large sized dogs as the standard for a companion. Others are convinced that smaller sizes are the way to go.
This article is for the latter, for those of us who can’t get enough of dogs that are compact, yet full of spirit. We’ve put together an A-Z (or rather, A-Y) list of the greatest small dog breeds out there.
Highlights: Playful, Strong-willed, Whimsical
Also known as the Monkey Terrier, this petite dog is no more than 6-12 pounds at adult size, and stands between 9-11.5 inches. Originating in Germany, this playful and occasionally stubborn dog stands out with its unique facial features.
Their flat face gives them an almost-humanlike appearance. They take themselves seriously, but their small stature and unusual facial features lend them a more comedic slant.
2. American Eskimo Dog
Highlights: Balanced, Perky, Clever
The American Eskimo dog comes in three varieties: standard, miniature, and toy. However, the most popular may be the toy variation. The toy eskimo dog can reach 9-12 inches and weighs around 6-10 pounds.
Always alert, they find the golden mean between shy and aggressive. Depending on the day they can be a bit more reserved, and other times they are open for making new friends and socializing. Their plumed tail only adds to their perky and playful demeanor.
3. American Hairless Terrier
Highlights: Hairless, Energetic, Inquisitive
A breed you won’t see everyday, the American Hairless Terrier can reach 12-16 inches and weighs between 12-16 pounds. Their most unique trait is, obviously, the lack of hair on their body.
However, some varieties may actually sport a coat. The truly hairless ones will stand proud in nothing but their skin, which can have a lovely dappled pattern.
4. Australian Terrier
Highlights: Upbeat, Companionable, Brave
Both affectionate and spirited, the Australian Terrier stands about 10-11 inches tall and weighs 15-20 pounds. These dense little dogs are extremely upbeat and show no fear, despite being scarcely larger than a football.
Originating from a working class of breeds, they still have strong instincts for digging and chasing down smaller animals such as rodents. This is something to keep in mind if you’ve got other tiny pets, such as cats or guinea pigs.
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Highlights: Poised, Quiet, Curious
Somewhat taller than most “small” dogs, the Basenji dogs can reach up to 17 inches tall and weigh 20-24 pounds. Sturdy as can be, these slim but fit dogs have a certain poise about them. They seem to be calm no matter the situation.
Some even compare them to cats, especially when it comes to grooming themselves. And the best part may be that they don’t bark! Instead they make an unusual sound that is closer to a yodel. It’s worth looking up to hear!
Highlights: Stubborn, Gentle, Even-Tempered
One of the most popular dogs out there, the Beagle is usually under 15 inches and generally less than 30 pounds. Their curious, and occasionally pleading, expressions have warmed the hearts of countless dog lovers and made them a staple canine breed.
Their positive temperament only adds to their popularity, ensuring them a spot in the top ten popular breeds according to the American Kennel Club. But even so, make sure to keep an eye on them. They love to wander and follow their sharp nose.
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7. Bedlington Terrier
Highlights: Sweet, Spirited, Frolicking
Standing at 15-17.5 inches and weighing 17-23 pounds, Bedlington Terriers stand out with their fleecy heads. Often described as a frolicking breed, Bedlingtons are always up for some fun, but maintain a poised and athletic posture while doing so.
And despite what you might think when seeing their curly coat, they don’t really shed (you can learn more about hypoallergenic dogs here). So, maintenance is a breeze. If you want a unique dog that is low maintenance, here’s your dog.
8. Bichon Frise
Highlights: Feisty, Playful, Cheerful
This puffy, peppy dog can grow to 9.5-11.5 inches, and beneath all that fluff weighs just 12-18 lbs. And despite having such a fluffy coat, they are mostly hypoallergenic, making them a favorite among dog enthusiasts who suffer from pet allergies.
Though small, they are highly confident and can adapt to bustling environments rather well. The playful nature of the Bichon ensures they get along with just about anyone.
9. Border Terrier
Highlights: Fearless, Alert, Obedient
This breed stands 12-15 inches tall and weighs 11.5-15.5 pounds, with males being slightly heavier than females. This breed is great for people who want a streamlined canine experience. For example, their wiry coat makes for easy maintenance.
In addition, their plucky temperament makes them great companions for children and adults alike. They can also make a decent watchdog for elders. Just watch out for squirrels, as their latent hunting instincts might take over!
10. Boston Terrier
Highlights: Sophisticated, Friendly, Smart
Boston Terriers reach 15-17 inches in height and weigh anywhere in the range of 12-25 pounds. Though they’re terrier by name, they aren’t real terriers. And despite being in the non-sporting group, they are undeniable sporty.
The combination of their well-mannered temperaments and tuxedo-like coat patterning have earned them the moniker “The American Gentleman.” But there is nothing haughty about them. Plus, they are extremely friendly and more intelligent than you think.
11. Brussels Griffon
Highlights: Proud, Watchful, Sensitive
These tiny little dogs barely even reach 7-10 inches and weight 8-10 pounds. Even though their size is minuscule, these dogs are quite proud and dignified. They’re almost like Poodles in that sense. But not to worry, they have a fun-loving side too.
Their self-important posture though is belied by their constant curiosity and strong loyalty to their owners. And beneath it all they are sensitive, so they do best with adults who are conscientious and respectful of them.
12. Cairn Terrier
Highlights: Assertive, Hardy, Active
Cairn Terriers are one of the oldest terrier dogs, originally developed to hunt between the cairns of the Scottish highlands. Sporting an abundant shaggy coat, they grow to about 9-13 inches tall and weigh between 10-16 pounds.
Ready to put up with harsh weather conditions, this breed is resilient despite its small stature. And though small, they’ve got plenty of brains. Training them is rather easy, especially when training is focused on a single individual.
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13. Cardigan Welsh Corgi
Highlights: Loving, Devoted, Friendly
Immediately recognizable, the Cardigan Welsh Corgi is a mere 10-12.5 inches tall, but can weigh up to 38 pounds. Though they’re short, their elongated bodies pack some heft. And don’t forget about the short legs that they’re known for.
Not only are they are ideal for herding cattle, but they also make congenial housemates. Though they’re low-set, Cardigan Corgis are sturdy dogs that enjoy work and play equally. They have a ton of energy, so exercise is crucial
14. Cavalier King Charles
Highlights: Sociable, Brave, Adaptable
One part ears, one part dog, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel stands consistently at 12-13 inches tall on a body that weighs 15-18 pounds. One of the gentlest breeds of dog, they are favorites for showering their loved ones with affection.
But don’t mistake gentle for lazy. These dogs can have plenty of energy, and remain graceful while displaying it. Once you see their kind and pleasant facial features, it is almost impossible not to be drawn in to the Cavalier King Charles.
15. Cesky Terrier
Highlights: Cheerful, Reserved, Obedient
Small but adventurous, Cesky Terriers are standardly 10-13 inches, but vary from 14-24 pounds. If you ask us, Ceskies are a very underrated dog breed. In fact, they may be some of the greatest dogs for an equally calm and reserved owner.
They are truly family-oriented while keeping their wits about them. Whether you are a wee kid or an adult, they are eager companions who combine bursts of energy with an overall laid back demeanor. If you can find one, they’re a top choice.
Highlights: Zesty, Smallest Dog, Proud
You’ve seen them. You’ve heard them. The Chihuahua is arguably the most iconic dog breed to come out of Mexico. Topping the scales at a few meager pounds (rarely more than 6 lbs) and standing a mere 5-8 inches in height, these dogs are the epitome of small breeds.
In fact, the Chihuahua is considered to be the smallest purebred dog ever. These dogs are infamous for their extreme petiteness, but their fiery demeanor. The reality is, they’re just trying to look out for their loved ones.
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17. Chinese Crested Dog
Highlights: Loving, Sweet-tempered, Happy
Part bald, part not the Chinese Crested is a stark-looking dog that weighs 8-12 pounds and is generally under 13 inches tall. Often described as alert, they can sometimes come off as jittery. But it’s probably because they have so much energy bubbling up within them.
What’s most interesting about them is their looks. The Crestie can come in a hairless version too! And while they aren’t for everyone, those who find the hairless body and crested hairdo to their taste are sure to find a warm companion.
18. Cocker Spaniel
Highlights: Gentle, Balanced, Durable
A male Cocker Spaniels grow 14.5-15.5 inches and weigh 25-30 lbs, while females stand about an inch shorter on average and rarely weight more than 20 pounds. Cocker Spaniels might look decorative, but they are actually from the sporting group of dogs.
With a history of being hunting dogs, they are resilient and are a combination of sturdiness and agility. On the emotional side, they’re usually happy dogs that love playing with their owners. Plus, they’re some of the most intelligent and obedient dogs.
19. Coton de Tulear
Highlights: Lively, Playful, Vocal
An adult Coton de Tulear will reach 9-11 inches and weight in at 8-15 pounds. They’re described as very light dogs, in terms of temperament. They display a happy-go-lucky demeanor that endears them to everyone around.
And their positive attitude seems to do them well, as they can often live longer-than-average lives, up to 19 years! Oh, and here’s a fun fact for you: the Coton de Tulear is the only purebred recognized breed to come from Madagascar!
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Highlights: Stubborn, Devoted, Playful
If you have a standard Dachshund, you’ll see a dog that stands barely 8-9 inches but can weigh up to 32 pounds. Miniature ones barely reach 11 pounds though! Despite being short and trotting around on near comically short, these dogs are tireless.
So long as it doesn’t involve leaping, swimming, or long distance running, they dogs can surprise you with their sneaky athleticism. But let’s face it, if your legs were a few inches at most, you wouldn’t want to do any of those either.
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21. Dandie Dinmont Terrier
Highlights: Firm, Independent, Playful
Though they stand only 8-11 inches, Dandie Dinmonts weigh a sturdy 18-24 pounds. They were built for farm life, and their independent nature helped them excel at tasks on their own. But that doesn’t mean they won’t thrive in a big city.
Unlike some other small dogs, this breed is a bit more laid-back, and they rarely display any hyper traits often associated with tiny breeds. For this reason, most owners tend to agree that the Dandie Dinmont makes a great lap dog.
22. English Toy Spaniel
Highlights: Loving, Reserved, Happy
Tiny and compact, English Toy Spaniels grow up to 10 inches tall and weigh 8-14 pounds. Because they were raised to be royal companions, you might expect this breed to be a bit aristocratic. Some will be proud and self important.
While they do have a gentle demeanor and can be selective about their social circles, English Toys are just like any other dog underneath it all. They love playing and simply having fun. In fact, they’re fantastic playmates for respectful children.
23. French Bulldog
Highlights: Easygoing, Bright, Sociable
Playful, adaptable, and smart, there is a reason Frenchies are one of the most popular breeds in the US. Stocky and built, they stand 11-13 inches and usually top out at 28 pounds. They make great watchdogs because they are alert, and only bark when necessary.
Since they are from the non-sporting group, they don’t require endless exercise, so they are a great fit for families that might not have hours to spend on daily workouts. And if you have another dog, they will likely just tire themselves out most of the time.
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Highlights: Responsive, Sweet, Gentle
Sometimes weighing as little at 7 pounds, Havaneses are tiny balls of fun. They can be 8.5-11.5 inches tall and sometimes weigh up to 12 pounds. However, the most striking trait of the Havanese will be their marvelous coats.
Their plentiful, silky coat and outgoing demeanor ensures that they can find friends everywhere they go. Some prefer to let their coat grow wild, while others like to trim and crop it for a more polished look. It’s all up to you!
25. Glen of Imaal Terrier
Highlights: Loyal, Spirited, Courageous
Small yet chunky, this breed is 12.5-14 inches tall, but can weigh up to 40 pounds, making it the heaviest dog on this list thus far. Their sturdy bodies were built for hard work in remote regions of Ireland. Some like to call them “no-frills” dogs.
They are low maintenance and there’s nothing flashy about them. But if you give one a chance, you will see just how spirited this dog can be. These dogs really know how to enjoy life and deserve an owner to share great memories with.
26. Italian Greyhound
Highlights: Mischievous, Athletic, Agile
Think Greyhound, but miniature – and you have the Italian Greyhound. This super slim dog is about 13-15 inches tall, but weighs only 7-14 pounds. Just be careful with them in cold weather. Skinny as they are, they might not like it too much.
Beneath their athletic and proud exterior is a truly sensitive dog. They thrive on human contact and will take any chance to cuddle with their owners. However, don’t treat them as a typical lap dog. They will still need sufficient exercise.
27. Japanese Chin
Highlights: Catlike, Regal, Warm
Another aristocratic-looking breed, the Japanese Chin is 8-11 inches and weighs 7-11 pound. From their upturned noses to their frilly coats, this breed is an image of nobility. However, they are far from cold. But rather, they are warm, loving dogs.
They simply tend to express their affection in quieter, gentler ways than other breeds might. The best part of the Japanese Chin is their eagerness to please. They love being the center of attention and will happily perform their repertoire of tricks.
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28. Lakeland Terrier
Highlights: Bold, Friendly, Trainable
Lakeland Terriers weigh about 17 pounds and stand 14-15 inches tall, with females being slightly smaller than males. Lakelands aren’t the best dogs to cuddle with. They have a wiry and rough coat that’s meant to protect them from the elements of the wild.
Bred to protect flocks of sheep from predators such as foxes, this breed exudes confidence. But they can also build a loyal connection to their owners, even if they aren’t working. Make sure to teach them with positive reinforcement.
29. Lhasa Apso
Highlights: Steady, Obedient, Assertive
This ancient breed is 10-11 inches and weighs 12-18 pounds. Hailing from the Himalayas, it once served as a vigilant sentinel at monasteries. Though their coat can get shaggy if uncared for, their long hair lends them a regal look if kept clean and straight.
Their personalities are quite complex, and they can be picky about who they socialize with. But with their owners they are undoubtedly loyal. On the other hand, they’ll be wary of strangers. That’s why a Lhasa will make a great watchdog.
Highlights: Brave, Loving, Outgoing
Also known as the “Little Lion,” this tiny dog is 12-14 inches and usually under 15 pounds. They tend to be more popular in Continental Europe than in the US. However, their popularity has been growing for good reason.
They live up to their name with their brave demeanor, and are so affectionate we could say they have the heart of a lion as well. But if you’re looking for one, make sure to bring out your wallet. They’re the most expensive dog breed on average.
Highlights: Calm, Laidback, Sweet-natured
You’ve probably spotted this (7-9 inch and under 7 pounds) dog with its hair up in a clip. Some people may argue that they aren’t the smartest dogs, but make up for it in many ways. It’s impossible not to fall in love with a Maltese.
With a gorgeous long-haired coat, the Maltese is a low-shedding dog that won’t take up your day with maintenance demands. Alert and brave, they make great watchdogs, though their bark is undeniably worse than their bite.
32. Manchester Terrier
Highlights: Devoted, Keen, Discerning
Manchester Terriers can range from 15-16 inches and weigh 12-22 pounds. They combine the body of a racing dog with a terrier’s chasing instincts. The result is one of the most versatile hunting dog breeds that the world has to offer.
Fearless and athletic, they will appreciate owners who can give them ample opportunities to put their physical prowess to the test. Their lively and bright temperament makes them a match for owners with similar characteristics.
33. Mini Bull Terrier
Highlights: Loving, Lively, Stubborn
Only 10-14 inches in height, Miniature Bull Terriers make up for height with a stocky 18-28 pounds. The unique geometry of their facial features might take some getting used to for some, but others love their egg-shaped head and dark, triangular eyes.
A decidedly upbeat dog, they often give the impression of being up to mischief. However, the Mini Bull Terrier just wants to have fun. Let them play and they’ll be content. Give them plenty of attention and they will love you like no other.
34. Miniature Pinscher
Highlights: Responsive, Outgoing, Clever
Only 8-10 pounds and 10-12.5 inches tall, Miniature Pinschers are brave little dogs. They really don’t back down to many people. Probably because the Mini” Pinschers are unaware of their size relative to the rest of the world.
Aside from their proclivity for having fun, they are known for their unusual gait, sometimes described as “hackney.” Small as they may be, the Mini Pinscher packs plenty of personality. They’re pretty much a miniature Dobermann.
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35. Miniature Schnauzer
Highlights: Fearless, Friendly, Obedient
The smallest of the three Schnauzer breeds, the Miniature Schnauzer is 12-14 inches tall and 11-20 lbs. But smaller isn’t always bad. In fact, the miniatures are the smartest of the three size variations! Smaller, but the most clever.
These dogs are great for all family sizes, as they are low-maintenance and generally keep in good health. With an outgoing personality and a portable size, they are sure to make friends while out with their owners.
36. Norfolk Terrier
Highlights: Confident, Happy, Lovable
Norfolk Terriers reach 9-10 inches and weigh 11-12 pounds. They might look like a toy dog breed, but do not be fooled. Norfolks are as energetic and lively as any other dog breed. They love to play and their fun-loving personality is contagious.
They are terriers through and through, able-bodied and proud. Their feisty temperament makes them a blast to play with, regardless of your age. But that doesn’t mean they don’t know how to calm down when the situation calls for it.
37. Norwegian Lundehund
Highlights: Clever, Protective, Energetic
From the island of Vaeroy in Norway, this dog is 12-15 inches and a solid 20-30 pounds. In some ways, a Lundehund looks very much like a miniature Husky. However, they have the unique backstory of being bred for hunting puffin birds.
Though their puffin-hunting days are long gone (puffins being a protected species now), they are still around and ready to join a household that appreciates their energetic temperament. Just keep in mind, the breed will need a large yard to roam.
38. Norwich Terrier
Highlights: Hardy, Sensitive, Affectionate
This breed finds itself at an average of 10 inches and 12 pounds. They are one of the smallest working terrier breeds, but have the pride of a much larger canine. They may look like teddy bears, but that does not mean they can’t be solid working dogs.
Norwich Terriers are fearless, even to the point of becoming a little bossy. But this is balanced by their playful attitude and warm affection for their owners. As far as small dogs go, they’re a perfect choice for a lovable companion.
Highlights: Refined, Friendly, Alert
Also called the Continental Toy Spaniel, this dog is a truly tiny one. They are usually between 5 to 10 lbs and stand 8-11 inches tall. Out of all small dogs, the Papillon is the most intelligent of them all. In fact, the Papillon is the 8th smartest breed.
In addition, they take their name from the shape given by their wispy ear hairs, as papillon literally means “butterfly.” And when their ears hang down, they’re called the “phalene.” Small and dainty, they can still hold their own in climates both warm and cool, adapting as needed.
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40. Parson Russell Terrier
Highlights: Swift, Clever, Bold
Built for fox hunting, Parson Russell Terriers are between 13-14 inches tall and weigh 13-17 pounds. They are also known as the Jack Russell Terrier. Among all small dogs, they don’t get more energetic than the Parson. They love to run.
Their well-balanced bodies give them an edge when it comes to athleticism. Excelling in both speed and agility, they once made great hunting dogs. However, they’re great around the house as well. They will need plenty of mental stimulation though.
Highlights: Loyal, Opinionated, Fluff
These dogs reach a meager 6-9 inches in height and tend to weigh under 14 lbs. We’re guessing a good portion of that weight comes from their excessive amounts of fluff. Looking like a dog wrapped up in a golden cloud, the Pekingese still maintains a regal aura.
They look and act the part. After all, they were a breed of choice for Chinese ruling classes in years past. Don’t be surprised if your Pekingese is a bit stubborn when it comes to obedience training. That said, it will take more patience with them.
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42. Pembroke Welsh Corgi
Highlights: Loving, Active, Bright
Pembroke Welsh Corgis’ short legs barely get then up to 10-12 inches in height, but their stocky bodies weigh up to 30 pounds. However, this short stature makes them perfect for herding as they can duck below kicking cattle and weave between them.
Corgi fans love how these dogs are both agreeable and affectionate, making them a fan favorite to have in and around the house (or palace, if you’re the Queen of England). But since they were herding dogs, a Corgi may still try to herd kids if not socialized.
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Highlights: Cheerful, Lively, Smart
One of the smallest dogs out there, Pomeranians weight up to 7 pounds but stand at only 6-7 inches tall (and part of that is probably just their fluff). Their expressive faces seem constantly cheerful and lively. For this reason, they make outstanding companions for calm children.
Their brains might be small, but they are still quite clever. They’re some of the smartest dogs among the list of small breeds. Training them is relatively easy and they pick up tricks quickly. And, they’ll be more than happy to show off.
44. Miniature Poodle
Highlights: Intelligent, Elegant, Athletic
This popular miniature version of the Poodle is 10-15 inches tall and weigh about 10-15 lbs. But just like the much larger standard variation, the miniatures are also highly intelligent. They know they’re smart and will use it to their advantage.
So don’t let their silly haircuts deceive you, these dogs are an amazing blend of brains and athleticism. Plus, they’re superb swimmers too! They excel at all things physical and mental, making them favorites for shows. There is nothing dainty or ditsy about them.
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45. Portuguese Podengo Pequeno
Highlights: Energetic, Quick, Alert
This hound dog is 8-12 inches tall and 9-13 pounds. They know how to balance play and relaxation. When outdoors, they will run to their hearts’ content. But when it comes time to go back inside, they shift into a calmer disposition and transition well.
The Podengo Pequeno has an ancient heritage and long history as rabbit hunters. Their small, yet slim and muscular bodies made them great hunting dogs, as they could match their quarry in agility and speed. Needless to say, they’re very energetic.
Highlights: Adaptable, Curious, Loving
These expressive little dogs have a height of 10-13 and a weight of 14-18 pounds. They’re one of the most famous small dogs. Their unique faces are known for showing a range of emotions, from curiosity to mischievous glances.
The Pug’s personality has endeared them to humans for hundreds of years, going so far back as being companions to Chinese emperors. They were popular back then, and they still are. After all, there’s a reason why Pugs are so popular in dog jokes.
Highlights: Ready to Work, Bold, Whimsical
This Hungarian breed is one of the larger small dogs out there. They stand a whopping 15-18.5 inches tall and can weigh up to 29 pounds, though most will be in the mid-20 range. They may look fluffy and calm, but they’re not.
Pumi dogs are nimble and excel at their various herding jobs. In addition, their most distinct trait is their curly coat. The corkscrew-curled hairs give them a whimsical look, as though they might float away at any moment.
48. Rat Terrier
Highlights: Tough, Inquisitive, Easy-going
This one is American through and through. They stand 10-13 inches but can vary in weight, from 10-25 lbs. The miniature variety is especially tiny, and quite the portable canine. But their small size does not mean they aren’t ready for a long day of work.
But what kind of work could these small dogs possibly do? Their past job is in the name. Rat Terriers are some of the best at exterminating unwanted rodents and vermin for their owners. But when they’re not on the job, they’re loving and friendly dogs.
49. Russell Terrier
Highlights: Eager, Tireless, Upbeat
With a height of 10-12 inches and a weight of 9-15 pounds, Russell Terriers are the perfect size for fox hunts. They’re very similar to the Parson Russell Terrier, with just slight variation in genetics. Many will consider the two as the same.
But even though fox hunting was what they were bred for back in England, now they are more popular for their adorable features than their tireless work ethic. Let them loose in a backyard and you’ll see them at their best: agile, free, and confident.
Highlights: Robust, Stealthy, Confident
Rising 10-13 inches in height and weighing 10-16 pounds, Schipperkes can move with an almost catlike stealth. Couple this with their dark black coat, and you’ve got a superb hunting dog. When not working as a ratter or watchdog, their mischievous side comes through.
The extra thick coat around their front shoulders, neck, and legs is perhaps their most unique physical feature. However, there’s been some debate on this breed. Historians can’t seem to agree whether the breed is a spitz dog or a mini sheepdog.
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51. Scottish Terrier
Highlights: Independent, Persistent, Proud
Scottish Terriers are the proud little terriers of Scotland. They tend to be around 10 inches tall and have a weight of 18-22 pounds. Those who’ve owned this confident breed tend to note how it has an almost-humanlike character.
They enjoy working on tasks on their own and do so with unwavering persistence. Give them a job and they will gladly take on the task with complete seriousness. On top of this, their erect ears and features display their constant alertness.
52. Sealyham Terrier
Highlights: Humorous, Sociable, Strong
These substantial little terrier dogs weigh up to 24 lbs, despite rarely being taller than 10.5 inches. They are extremely outgoing, but this can also lead to stubbornness issues with training. Odds are, they’d rather play and goof around than listen to and learn commands.
However, their cute and affectionate nature is more than enough to make up for any shortcomings they may have. Sealyhams tend to get along with all people and animals with very little problems. They’re just so easy to be around.
53. Shetland Sheepdog
Highlights: Intelligent, Agile, Sensitive
This herding dog is 13-16 inches tall and weighs 15-25 pounds. Wicked smart and able to move like the wind, Shetland Sheepdogs, or Shelties as some call them, are small but effective. Their ability to learn is top notch, and they’re very eager to please.
Their long coat covers an even denser undercoat, so they can thrive in cooler climates. So be prepared for major shedding! But a family dog, they are very sensitive and can pick up on mood shifts within the household. They do better in quieter and calmer abodes.
54. Shiba Inu
Highlights: Alert, Good-natured, Bold
This small but capable hunting dog is 13-16 inches tall and weighs 17-23 lbs. Shibas are relatively new to the US, only having been around for about 60 years. However, they have a long lineage in Japan, where they remain the most popular companion dog.
Although small and slim, the Shiba is not a lap dog by any means. In fact, it may be hard to cuddle up with them. But eve so, their good-natured temperament is seeing to it that they’re becoming more popular all over the world.
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55. Shih Tzu
Highlights: Cute, Sweet, Delightful
Another small dog breed with a long heritage, Shih Tzus are 9-10.5 inches tall and weigh 9-16 pounds. Their marvelous coats are their defining feature. Often long and silky, the coat of the Shih Tzu can be a pain to deal with. Daily grooming is essential.
But they’re more than just a canine beauty, they are highly affectionate, especially with children. When it comes to accommodation, apartments suit these dogs just fine. They are the perfect lap dogs for long hours sitting on a couch binge watching your favorite shows.
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56. Silky Terrier
Highlights: Alert, Refined, Spirited
Silky Terriers stand about 9-10 inches tall and barely manage a meager 10 pounds at most. Contrary to belief, they originate from Australia. Some call them the “Australian Yorkie.” But that’s kind of accurate, as they’re related to the Yorkie and Australian Terrier.
As their name implies, their coat is much softer than other terriers. But they don’t mind getting down and dirty. Just be ready for a nice long brushing session after playtime in the backyard or a trip to the dog park. And yes, they play hard.
57. Smooth Fox Terrier
Highlights: Amusing, Gregarious, Clever
Standing 15.5 inches tall at most and weighing 15-18 lbs, the Smooth Fox Terrier is the perfect size for fox hunts. Their proportions are excellently balanced and allow for them to move with a superb grace. One of their defining traits is their long narrow snout.
The snout can give the impression of razor sharp focus. But in reality, they have an almost whimsical nature at times. But when the Smooth Fox Terrier isn’t out on the field, expect them to be loving and playful in the home.
58. Swedish Vallhund
Highlights: Zesty, Sociable, Watchful
This Viking Dog is a dense little canine. Barely reaching 13.5 inches at most, the Swedish Vallhunds are a solid 20-35 pounds. Though they are not the most popular breed, they once were a staple aboard Viking longships or in Nordic fields.
Their small size made them ideal herding dogs of the past. In fact, some historians believe that these Vallhunds were the precursors to the Welsh Corgis. Plus, their unique vocal sounds give them an extra exotic appeal.
59. Tibetan Spaniel
Highlights: Expressive, Playful, Confident
Tibetan Spaniels, also hilariously called “Tibbies” for short, are usually about 10 inches and weigh 9-15 pounds. Though they technically aren’t spaniels, in the Western sense of the breed, they are still dogs bred for a purpose.
They would patrol Tibetan walls, serving as alert little sentinels. In fact, they often team of with the much larger Tibetan Mastiff to protect monastaries. There are few dogs that can develop as close a bond with their owners as this ancient Asian breed.
60. Tibetan Terrier
Highlights: Sensitive, Loyal, Smart
Another ancient dog, Tibetan Terriers stand 14-17 inches tall and weigh in at 18-30 lbs. These dogs love to be with people. However, they appreciate when the dog-to-human relationship is built on cooperation, trust, and respect.
You’ll recognize this dog anywhere. But they may not recognize you, by sight at least. Their long, profuse coat tends to grow out to the point where their eyes are entirely obscured. But as long as they catch your scent, they’re going to be their usual affectionate selves.
61. Toy Fox Terrier
Highlights: Tenacious, Charismatic, Lithe
This dog might be little more than 8.5-11.5 inches and weigh only around 7 pounds at the most, but they can command immense respect. Their name might have the word “toy” in it, but they have a working spirit that’s comparable to the most diligent breeds.
Their tenacious spirit is sure to come out in moments of play. Toy Fox Terriers really know how to have a bit of fun. But when play-time is over, they’re going to be content for a calm evening snoozing on your lap. They’re the perfect balance of play and lounge.
62. Welsh Terrier
Highlights: Calm, Alert, Diligent
Welsh Terriers can grow up to 15 inches and weigh up to 20 pounds. These unique terriers are just as alert and ready to serve their purpose as any other terrier breed. They do have an adventurous side, and make great travel buddies.
However, owners have noted that outside of work they are more laid back than rowdy. They know when it’s time to wind down. And their distinctive facial hair only serves to increase the impression that they’re reserved and dignified dogs.
63. West Highland White Terrier
Highlights: Fun, Brave, Independent
West Highland White Terriers (or “Westie” for short) are 10-11 inches tall and weigh 15-20 lbs. At first glance this breed might look like a fluffy cloud. However, get closer and you’ll find their double coat is actually sturdy, much like the rest of them.
Though they’re built for work, Westies are always ready to play, and owners find this breed to get up to especially entertaining antics at such times. There will never be a dull moment when you’ve got your fun-loving Westie by your side.
64. Wire Fox Terrier
Highlights: Fiery, Amusing, Athletic
This breed can grow up to 15.5 inches and weights 15-18 lbs. Their high intelligence and symmetrical look combine to make for an all-around respectable dog. And just like any other terrier, they’re super energetic and alert.
While the Wire Fox is intelligent, their lively temperaments and independent character can sometimes make training a bit of a hassle. But if you train with consistency and patience, you’ll be rewarded with an amusing and loyal companion.
65. Yorkshire Terrier
Highlights: Sprightly, Loving, Lively
As popular as they are tiny, Yorkshire Terriers weigh 7 pounds or under and reach only 7-8 inches. The Yorkshire is one of the smallest breeds! Nowadays, you’re more likely to see a Yorkie riding along in a purse than chasing rodents.
But that terrier bravery and tenacity is still there beneath those layers of well-groomed fur. They look like a lap dog, but they’re very active and energetic. As their coat is more like human hair, they are a good choice for those who are allergic to dogs.
So what was your favorite small dog breed? Let us know in the comments section below!