Small Dog Breeds
45 To Choose From

Small dogs fit in small places!
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Small Dog Breeds With Pictures....(The links below open new windows)

Small dog breeds are sometimes hard to find in animal shelters, kennels or dog pounds because they’re so popular.

“Small: dogs” are generally considered to be under 30 pounds. The height will run from 4 to 20 inches at the shoulder.

The reason for the popularity of small dogs as well as small mixed breed dogs is due several reasons, listed below..

  1. less exercise—exercise needs are met quicker than for large dogs.
  2. less space—very few large dogs are “lap dogs.”
  3. are easier to pick up and carry around.
  4. small dogs cost less to maintain annually.
  5. smaller dogs are usually better suited for senior citizens and children.
  6. cost less to warehouse of you need a kennel while on vacation.
  7. small dogs are easier to travel with, both by car, RV and airplanes.
  8. are easier to manage, groom and medically treat when needed.
  9. small dogs are more popular with apartment, condo and flat dwellers.

Mixed breed dogs are very popular because...

  1. there are more of them to be found in the dog pounds,
  2. they tend to be healthier in the long run than purebreds.
  3. they usually live longer than purebreds.
  4. they often look “different” than the everyday purebred “that everyone else has.”
  5. they lean toward “friendly” since they have several breeds in them.
  6. they tend to be easier to re-train than many purebreds.

Much of this is based on personal experience. I have owned mixed breed dogs for over 68 years and can appreciate the qualities of mixed breed dogs as well as small dogs in general.

Small dogs have a natural born problem. They often want to dominate the house and everyone in it. Small dogs must be heavily socialized starting very young (starting age 4 weeks) and continued on. They need an owner AND family that understands dogs and how to exert a firm but kind, self-confident, dominant and consistent "pack leader" (alpha dog) role over them. It is very important not to let the little dog think he's "boss!" Your small dogs must be submissive “followers” and not allowed to be “leaders.”

Here’s an alphabetical list of some small dog breeds:

`descriptive textAffenpinscher Weight 7-9 pounds, height 9-12 inches, lifespan up to 14 years. Very playful and affectionate. Gets along with other dogs, pets and [people pretty well. Okay with older, well mannered children, 7 and up, Good watchdog with a big bark. One of the really small dog breeds!

descriptive textAustralian Terrier This small dog weighs 12-14 pounds, height 10-11 inches, life to 14 years. Active, bouncy, durable, bold. Quite friendly, does okay with other dogs, pets but wary of strangers and should be raised with children for best outcome. Great watchdog.

A high-jumping Basenji
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descriptive textBasenji Weight 22-24 pounds, height 16-17 inches, life 12-14 years. Alert, stubborn, difficult to train. Doesn't care for other dogs or pets but is people friendly. Playful, a little affectionate and okay with older children. Good watchdog.


descriptive textBedlington Terrier Weight 16-24 pounds, height 15-17 inches but is still classed a small dog. Quiet, well-mannered family pet, good with older kids, loves people but not always other dogs and house pets. Great watchdog, loves to bark.


descriptive textBichon Frise Weight 11-18pounds, height 10-12 inches, life12-15 years. Lively, friendly, gentle; a great family dog. Very playful and affectionate, does okay with other dogs and house pets. Easy to train, good watchdog. Very popular companion for seniors.


descriptive textBorder Terrier Weight 12-16 pounds, height 10-11 inches, life 12-15 years. Friendly, easy to train, not aggressive. Good with other dogs, house pets and strangers. Is playful and affectionate. Older kids okay, fair watchdog.

Boston Terrier
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descriptive text Boston Terrier Weight of this small dog is 12-25 pounds, height 15-17 inches with a life of 10-14 years. Well-mannered, playful, fairly easy to train, though can be stubborn. Good with other dogs, house pets and loves people. Somewhat tolerant with kids, good watchdog.


descriptive testCairn Terrier...Small dog, big heart. Weight 12-14 pounds, height 9-10 inches, life 14-17 years. Spirited, bold, inquisitive, hardy, easy to train, very playful and affectionate, smart, fun to own. Great for children and seniors. Wary of strangers and some dogs. Loyal companion for the whole family.

descriptive textCavalier King Charles Spaniel Weight 13-18 pounds, height 12-13 inches, life 9-14 years. A terrific member of the small dog breeds and a fine family pet. Sweet, gentle, willing to please, playful, affectionate, trainable and quiet. Okay with other dogs, house pets and people in general. Great for kids and a fair watchdog.

A Chihuahua grooving' to the music.
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descriptive textChihuahua A really small dog… weight 2-6 pounds, height 5-9 inches, life 15-18 years. Hard to train, must be heavily socialized starting at birth. Okay with other dogs, house pets, wary of some people, very playful, moderately affectionate, NOT very good for children, good watchdog.

descriptive textChinese Crested Weight 5-12 pounds, height 11-13 inches, life 13-15 years. A playful, gentle, trainable lap dog. Devoted family pet, good with other dogs, pets, people, very affectionate and good with older, well-mannered kids. Pretty good watchdog. One of the really small dog breeds!

descriptive textCoton de Tulear — Small Dog Breeds Weight 12-16 pounds, height 12-15 inches, lifespan 13-16 years. Outgoing, friendly, devoted house pet, affectionate and playful. Good with children. Good with other dogs and house pets and a good watchdog too,

descriptive textDachshund - (Miniature) One of the really small dog breeds! Weight under 11 pounds, height 5-6 inches, lifespan 15-18 years. Bold, often timid, curious and loves to hunt and dig. Stubborn and hard to train. Enjoys family activities, loyal. Not very playful or affectionate, Not good with dogs, cats and strangers. Fair with older klids, pretty good watchdog.

descriptive textEnglish Toy Spaniel Weight 9-12 pounds, height 10-12 inches, life 10-12 years. Fun-loving, gentle, friendly trainable lap dog. Okay with other dogs, cars, older children though can be stubborn and independent. A fair watchdog. Fairly playful and affectionate. Loves her family.

descriptive textFrench Bulldog Weight 19-28 pounds, height 11-13 inches, life 9-11 years., This dog is a bit large but is still one of the small breed dogs. A clown, best friend and lapdog. Can be stubborn and hard to train. Playful and affectionate but NOT for kids, house pets or strangers. Sort of a watchdog.

descriptive text Havanese — Small Dog Breeds Weight 7-13 pounds, height 8-12 inches, life 12-15 years. Playful, affectionate, fun-loving, trainable little lap dog and family pet. Fine with other dogs, house pets and strangers. Good with older, responsible children and is a fairly good watchdog.

Cute Havanese, relaxing
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descriptive textItalian Greyhound A DELICATE member of the small dog breeds group. Broken legs are common. Weight 7-14 pounds, height 13-15 inches, life 12-15 years. Gentle, sensitive and slow to learn. Good with other dogs, house pets but wary of strangers. Very affectionate and playful. NOT for children. Fair watchdog.

descriptive textJapanese Chin A little member of the small dog breeds group. Weight 4-7 pounds, height 8-11 inches, life 10 to 12 years. Active, agile, lively, friendly, affectionate, playful, fairly trainable dog, Okay with other dogs, pets, people, older. children. Good watchdog.

descriptive textLhasa Apso Weight 13-15 pounds, height 10-11 inches, life 12-15 years. Independent, stubborn. rugged. trainable but slow. Bold. Wary of other dogs and strangers. He’s a moderately playful and affectionate family dog but little tolerance for children. Good watchdog and excellent for senior citizens.

descriptive textMaltese — Small Dog Breeds Weight 4-6 pounds, height 9-10 inches, life 14-16 years. A gentle lapdog but feisty, lively and barky. Wary, reserved with other dogs, house pets and strangers. Loyal to family. While playful and affectionate to a degree, he is not suited for children. Excellent with seniors and a good watchdog.

descriptive textManchester Terrier Two sizes — Toy and Standard. Both qualify as small dog breeds. Standard weighs 12-22 pounds, Toy weight 10-12 pounds, Standard height 15-16 inches, Toy height 10-12 inches, life 15-16 years avg. Stubborn but trainable, energetic, lively, intelligent, independent, very playful, affectionate and okay for older children. Excellent watchdogs, wary of people and dogs.

descriptiveMiniature Pinscher Min Pins are fragile, delicate and suffer broken legs easily. Weight 8-10 pounds, height 10-12 inches, life 12-14 years. Tends to dominate; needs heavy socialization early on. Not so good with other dogs, house pets or strangers. Very playful and affectionate though. Very high energy, too delicate for kids.

descriptive textMiniature Poodle — Small Dog Breeds Weight 16-20 pounds, height 10-15 inches, life 15-18 years. Very trainable, requires a LOT of interaction with people, Friendly with other dogs and people, very affectionate and playful, high energy, need lots of exercise, good with older children and seniors, excellent watchdog,

descriptive textMiniature Schnauzer My fav of the small dog breeds. Weight 12-16 pounds, height 12-14 inches, lifespan 12-15 years. Playful, affectionate, alert, inquisitive and very companionable. Need LOTS of human interaction. Lapdog. Once bonded, frightfully devoted to family. Sometimes get along with other dogs and house pets. They love people! Tolerant of children, excellent for seniors and a great watchdog. One of the best family pets around.

descriptive text Norfolk Terrier Weight 11-12 pounds, height 9-10 inches, life 13-15 years. Can be stubborn and independent but is fairly easy to train. Energetic, bouncy, spunky playful and feisty Friendly, loves people, tolerates other dogs and house pets. Playful, affectionate, good with older kids, great for seniors and good watchdog.

descriptive textNorwich Terrier — Small Dog Breeds Weight 10-12 pounds, height 9-10 inches, life 13-15 years. Very similar to the Norfolk version. Quite trainable, Friendly, affectionate, playful, generally gets along with other dogs, most people, and older children. Excellent little watchdog.

Descriptive textPapillon “Butterfly Dog” One of the small dog breeds that is unique in appearance. Weight 4-9 pounds, height 8-11 inches, life 12-15 years. Obedient, friendly, affectionate, playful. Likes people, dogs and most pets. Okay with kids but is easily injured. Good watchdog, though very small.

descriptive textParson Russell Terrier(Jack Russell) Weight 13-17 pounds, height 10-12 inches, life 15-16 years. This dog is a hunter and lives for action and adventure, getting into trouble, wandering and digging as he goes. and needs a ton of exercise daily. Not friendly with dogs, house pets, but is playful, affectionate, and people friendly A good watchdog but not too child-friendly.

descriptive textPekingese — Small Dog Breeds Weight 12-a4 pounds, height 6-9 inches, lifespan 13-15 years. Owners love their Pekes. However, this is a stubborn, sometimes aloof dog that is hard to train, is wary of other dogs and people, is not overly affectionate or playful, and can NOT deal with children. It’s well suited to apartments, senior citizens and as a watchdog.

descriptive textPomeranian Weight 3-7 pounds, height 8-11 inches, life 12-15 years. The Pom is playful, curious, self-confident and loves walks. He does not mix with other dogs, does not care for strangers, and is NOT good with children. Devoted and playful with immediate family. Excellent watchdog and fine for seniors.

Toy Poodle on the Phone
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descriptive textPoodle, Toy — Small Dog Breeds Weight 4-8 pounds, height 10 inches, lifespan 15-18 years. Very smart, lively, pert and peppy. Loves to swim, likes people, and is a real lapdog. Very playful and affectionate. NOT for children as is so small ands easily injured. Good for seniors and as a watchdog. Commonly called “teacup” Poodles.

descriptive textPug — Small Dog Breeds Weight 14-20 pounds, height 9-11 inches, lifespan 12-16 years. Friendly, playful, confident. A bit silly, quiet, laid-back and very easy top care for. Can be stubborn but still easy to train. Fair with other dogs and strangers, quite tolerant with children, all-around family pet. Low energy, fair watchdog.

Active Pug catching a ball
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descriptive textSchipperke — Small Dog Breeds Weight 10-16 pounds, height 10-13 inches, life 13-15 years. Needs exercise and something to do to keep busy. Good witrh older children, Playful and affectionate, busy and investigative. Wary of other dogs but fair with house pets. Wary of strangers; prefers his own immediate family. Good watchdog.

descriptive textScottish Terrier(Scottie) Weight 18-22 pounds, height 9-10 inches, life 11-13 years. A little playful and affectionate, rugged, tough, hard to train, stubborn. Fearless, feisty, reserved with strangers, can be aggressive. NOT good with children, great for seniors, fine watchdog that will nip and bite. Devoted to immediate family.

descriptive textShiba Inu — Small Dog Breeds Weight 17-23 pounds, height 13-16 inches, lifespan 12-15 years. Stubborn, headstrong, independent, dominating and territorial. Can be aggressive with other dogs, not good with house pets, devoted to family, a little playful and affectionate, good with well-mannered children, good watchdog.

descriptive textShih Tzu Weight 9-16 pounds, height 8-11 inches, life 14-16 years. This is one of the most popular of the small dog breeds. Sweet, gentle, playful and affectionate. A bit stubborn, difficult to train. Does pretty well with other dogs, house pets and strangers. Okay with older children. Fair watchdog.

Silky Terrier Weight 8-11 pounds, height 9-10 inches, life 11-14 years. Bold, feisty, inquisitive and playful, stubborn, mischievous. No time for lapdog stuff. Not good with other dogs, pets and is wary of strangers. Okay with older children; fair watchdog.

descriptive textSmooth Fox Terrier Weight 15-19 pounds, height 13-16 inches, life 10-13 years avg. Easy to train, energetic hunter: Needs lots of exercise. Independent, full of mischievous. Playful, affectionate, okay for older kids. Not dog or house pet-friendly but likes people. Excellent watchdog — they love to bark. This and the Wire Fox Terrier are from the same mold.

descriptive textTibetan Spaniel Weight 9-15 pounds, height 9-10 inches, life 12-15 years. Alert, active, peppy, affectionate, playful dog, devoted to family but difficult to train. Does fairly well with other dogs and house pets. Older, well-mannered children are fine.Excellent little watchdog.

descriptive textTibetan Terrier One of the biggest of the small dog breeds. Weight 18-30 pounds, height 15-16 inches, life 12-15 years. Easy to train, is a dominant dog needing an “alpha” type owner. Lively, agile, fun-filled, dependable, playful dog that’s good with older kids but moderately good with other dogs, pets and strangers. Good watchdog.

descriptive textToy Fox Terrier (aka Amertoy) Weight 4-7 pounds, height 9-11 inches, life 13-14 yrs.Big curiosity, lots of energy, likes to run, snoop and play. Wary of other dogs, pets and strangers. Okay for older, obedient children but is easily injured. Very playful and affectionate. Good watchdog and great for active seniors.

descriptive textWelsh Terrier Weight 19-21 pounds, height 15-16 inches, life 12-14 years. Smaller than the Airedale terrier, this guy is active, intelligent and playful, but hard to train. Likes to run, jump romp and act silly. Tolerant with older, well-mannered kids, great for seniors, cautious/wary about other dogs, pets and strangers. Great watchdog.

descriptive textWest Highland White Terrier (Westie) Weight 15-21 pounds, height 10-11 inches, life 12-14 years avg. Extremely popular in the small dog breeds group. The Westie is a busy, active, fun-loving, affectionate and playful little dog. Gets alone with older, careful children. Generally other dogs, pets and strangers are okay. God watchdog with a loud bark.

This Yorkie is "On The Road Again."
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Descriptive TextYorkshire Terrier Weight 5—7 pounds, height 7—8 lifespan 15—17 years. Very popular member of the small dog breeds group. Pleasant, sweet, energetic, feisty. Only moderately playful and affectionate; varies dog to dog. Stubborn, hard to train, Not fond of other dogs, house pets and tolerates strangers. Devoted to family. Good little watchdog with a loud and frequent bark.

There are lots of other “small dogs” out there but these are among the most popular with the exception of mixed breeds and Hybrids.

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