Discover 90 Small Dog Breeds

Our veterinarian has reviewed for you over 85 small dog breeds to show you the photos, personalities, characteristics and traits of each breed.

Top 10 Most Popular Small Dog Breeds

1 Affenpinscher

2 Beagle

3 Bolognese

4 Cesky Terier
Black Cesky Terier

5 Coton de Tulear
Coton de Tulear

6 Japanese Spitz
Japanese Spitz

7 Lancashire Heeler
lancashire heeler

8 Norwich terrier
norwich terrier

9 Parson Russell Terrier
Parson Russell Terrier

10 Patterdale Terrier
Patterdale Terrier

How to choose a small dog breed

Bringing a pet into your home is a very exciting prospect and much akin to the arrival of a new child. New pets can be very exciting and great fun but a lot of thought must go into selecting the most suitable breed for your household.

Pets should not be treated as an accessory or a source of amusement.

You must be prepared to care for them and spend time with them. Only if you can give your pet’s proper care, should you consider bringing them into your household.

For adopting or buying a dog a lot of deliberation is needed on various aspects.

Why do you need the pet?

Dogs can serve a variety of purposes; they can be guard dogs, watch dogs, guide dogs, ratters, sniffers, therapy dogs, jogging partners, or simply as a companion. Be clear as to why you need a pet around the house.

If you are clear on this aspect selecting a dog becomes all the more easier. Never expect to take any dog into the house and train them to suit your requirements.

The most often confused fact is that people are unaware of the difference between a guard dog and a watchdog. A watchdog can only alert the owner that something is not right.

They won’t engage the intruders most of the time. A guard dog on the other hand is used to guard property or livestock.

While they also can alert you, they are also expected to engage a threat if needed.

Size of the dog

Dogs come in various sizes; from the toy Min Pin to the humungous Great Danes. Select a breed that is of the optimum size for you.

Go for a medium or large breed only if you are able to kennel it and have a good yard for these dogs to exercise in.

They need good space to move around and can cause a lot of damage in confined spaces like an apartment.

Do not expect larger sized dogs to become good apartment dogs. Also have an idea of the expense when having a large dog as a pet.

In case of smaller dogs most of them are very delicate so adopt them only if you can house them indoors and give them proper shelter.

Activity level of the dog

Dogs can have a wide spectrum of activity levels from couch potatoes to livewires.

Select a dog that matches you in activity levels. Every dog needs routine exercise, regardless of breed or size, so make sure you can to provide this.

Be willing to adjust the amount of exercise and attention you give your dog if necessary. A dog that is barking constantly, digging up your yard, destroying your home, or acting out in some other way is most likely in need of extra activities.

Age of the dog

Puppies are most popular with dog owners and for most people puppies are the first choice, but please note that puppies require a lot of care and need to be trained well.

They are more prone to accidents and can be mouthy and chew up stuff around the house. An adult might be a better choice if you want to have a good idea of the true energy level, attitude, and temperament of your new dog, provided that they are well trained.

Senior dogs can also be adopted into a household and they mostly do well wherever a low energy dog is required. But in these cases be prepared to accept a lot of responsibility especially during the later stages of the dogs’ life.

Grooming and maintenance

Dogs needs regular grooming, especially the long haired ones, to keep their coat and skin healthy.

When selecting a dog their shedding levels has to be kept in mind and also the expenses that are related to grooming.

Some dogs can be expensive especially since they would need the services of a professional groomer, so only consider these dogs if you are willing to shell out those extra money. It is always wise to consider buying a grooming kit for your pet.

A good grooming kit is a one-time investment and would help you to keep your pets in the best of condition.

If you are not very excited about finding hair on your furniture always avoid breeds that shed a lot or be prepared to keep them groomed n trim.

Dogs with long, floppy ears are more prone to ear infections and require frequent thorough ear cleanings. In addition, certain types of dogs can do a lot of drooling.


Owners can be allergic to the hair and dander of the dogs. If you suffer from any allergies always opt for breeds that are non-shedders or low shedders.

The desire to keep dogs as pets is so strong that it has perhaps contributed to the notion that there are hypoallergenic dogs, but sadly a truly allergy-free breed does not exist.

Kid friendly dog breeds

Before bringing home a pet owners must consider the children in the house especially if they are very young.

Ensure that the children are old enough to understand how to care for the pet. Younger children have a tendency to consider the dogs as a toy and may rough handle them.

So it is always necessary to ensure that the children behave around the dogs to avoid untoward incidents.


Every dogs need to be properly trained. Training is different for different breeds. Some breeds may be fast learners and you will have no difficulty in training them, while others would require a lot of patience and energy on your part.

For smaller dogs house training is needed and most often crate training is an effective way. Obedience training is another aspect that must be done for most dogs. Based on the breed of dog, they can be trained for different activities.

Once you have decided on a type of dog, do not stop your research there. Always go for second opinions and also opinions of people that have actually had the same breed as a pet. Other people to refer would be veterinarians and breeders.

These steps will help you to choose a dog that best suits your household.

infographic how to choose a small dog breed

What is the size of a dog?

There are: small, medium and large dog breeds. In this website you will find small dogs only.

Want to train your dog?

You may choose a dog breed that learns commands faster than others

Is shedding a problem for you?

There are dogs that shed so little that you can forget to clean your house, couch and clothes.

Do you have kids?

The main issue is that the dog byte your child. Pay attention!

Do you want a watchdog or a guard dog?

Watchdogs are very good at barking, instead guard dogs take action.

Do you have any allergies?

Choose a hypoallergenic small dog in order to be sure he doesn’t trigger your allergies!

What sort of home do you live in?

Dog breeds vary widely in their suitability for apartment living.
If you have limited living space, you’ll want a dog who is relatively calm, has fewer exercise requirements, and doesn’t have to run everywhere she goes.

If you live in a house, but have a small yard or one with a low fence, you’ll want a dog who doesn’t tend to jump. Be aware that some of the smallest dogs are the most likely to attempt to jump over, climb, or dig under the tallest fences.

How energetic are you?

Do you go for a long run every day or spend most of your time on the couch?
Your time and energy input are a very important factor in choosing a dog, and you’ll need to be realistic. If you don’t have much time and energy to spare, you’ll want to adopt a dog who is easy to train, will settle for a single walk daily, and is happy to just veg out in front of the TV with you.

Alphabetical Listing of Small Dog Breeds A to Z


Your work hours are another consideration. Do you work outside the home? Will the dog have company during the day? Some dog breeds bond very strongly with one person, others are happy as long as a ‘pack member’ is nearby, and still others are independent enough to be alone with a few toys and bones without problems.

Lastly, what do you want in a dog? A friend? A constant companion? A watchdog? Maybe you have a particular look or temperament already in mind. There is probably a dog breed out there that meets all of your requirements; the important thing is to find it, and then find a dog representative of that breed.

Chosen wisely, a dog can be a long-term, loyal and loving companion to you and your friends and family. That’s where this book comes in: it will give you all the information you need to make a wise and lasting choice. Good luck in your search!