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The Most Popular Small Dog Breeds You Will Likely Find in 2020

Why choosing a small dog?


Small dogs have become the perfect pet peeve. Nowadays more and more pet owners, especially first-time dog owners, are choosing to get a small dog rather than a big dog.

One obvious reason is that a small dog is very convenient and practical to own. A small dog does not require a big place.

You do not have to live in a big house with a big yard to own a small dog. In fact, you can live in a small studio apartment and still be able to keep a small dog without any difficulty.

A small dog is also perfect for an elderly person, especially those living alone. And although small dogs require more exercise than large dogs, they usually get enough of it from just running around the house or apartment.

With them, you never be too alone. Their small feature fits your apartment, bags, cars, or just about anything.

They are also great with kids because they’re petite. They are low maintenance due to their size. And most importantly, they do not eat that much.

So, isn’t that a great deal to have?

If you are thinking of having one, there are some most popular small dog breeds that not only looks cute but comes with many benefits.

Now, if you don’t have any idea of which dog breed is best for you, check this out for your reference!

List of Top (Popular) Small Dog Breeds in The USA


As a reliable source to look into about small dog breed, there is the American Kennel Club. It keeps a tab of all pure breed dog registry in the United States.

All of the standard measurement such as health, safety, and dogs welfare, are all inspected by The AKC. Some of the most popular small dog breeds full list ranked by registration include very detailed information.

Considering their popularity in America, you can’t go wrong with any of these breeds.

1. French Buldog

most popular small dog breeds

Characteristic

French Bulldogs are about 11 to 12 inches tall. Their weights around 19 to 28 pounds. Like any small dog breeds, these dogs also have a petite body.

They also don’t shed much while still having a smooth coat, so you can have an easier time to maintain it.

Furthermore, their coat has a wide range of colors, from white, black, beige, tan, or combination of several colors put together.

Personality

Talking about personality, French Bulldogs are a playful dog and loves to snuggle on the couches and demand for attention.

So, always make sure to have enough playtime with this little fellow because they tend to get lonely. Especially if they were ignored and left alone for a very long time.

Intelligence

French Bulldogs are easy to train as they have great intelligence. With a gentle approach, they might become a little stubborn sometimes, but it is still manageable.

They can also be trained into a watchdog, although they don’t bark too much. So, they will not be too loud to have around the house, but still good enough when strangers are entering the house.

On a scale of 1-10, we can safely say that the French bulldog score around seven. They usually need around 40-80 times repetition to understand the command completely, yet it still fair enough.

Maintenance

Their moderate coating does not require you to brush them frequently. Usually, what you brush away will not get into the floor or carpet.

However, you need to keep an eye on their habit to drool and snoring. It safe to say that we can know if they were in normal condition or not, just based on that.

Allergies

On a scale of 1 – 10, French Bulldogs got a score of 6 for shedding hair. They have a smooth coating that may have occasional dog dander that causes allergies.

Therefore, do the proper grooming in a special room when you go to the vet also make sure there are no small particles inhaled by people around.

2. Beagle

small dog breeds thadt don't shed

Characteristic

About characteristic, Beagles usually grow around 13 to 16 inches tall. In average its weights around 18 to 35 pounds. They will win you over with their adorable looks with big eyes in brown or hazel.

The houndly and log ears drop low on their heads. On a scale from 1-10, this dog has medium hair that scores five for shedding. Moreover, their bright multicolor coating ranging from white, black, tan, and red.

Personality

This particular small dog breeds are lovable and also return the love massively. It is the ultimate kid-friendly pet due to their perfect 10 score out of 1 to 10 when it comes to good with kids and popularity.

Generally, people are drawn to their features and bubbly upbringing that will welcome their owner right in their front door.

Intelligence

With the lowest rank in intelligence that scores only 1 out of 10. Training Beagles are challenging business. They require about 80 to 100 repetition to acquire new command.

This may happen due to their happy all the time tendency. They also are very energetic and friendly. Which makes them hard to be a watchdog. They will bark first in sight of strangers, yet friendly afterward.

Maintenance

Beagles have a thin and smooth coating. They don’t need too much effort for tending and can do with just occasional brushing.

They also don’t drool or snore in case you were wondering. So, to simply put it, this type of breed is easy to keep around the house. They even induce a healthy walking habit, which makes them great friends for jogging and walking.

Allergies

This dog breed On a scale of 1 – 10, score six for shedding hair. Their dead skin comes off naturally and may cause dander flying around the room.

Therefore, keep that in mind when grooming your Beagles and use proper maintenance utilities.

3. Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkshire Terrier dog breeds

Characteristic

Yorkshire Terriers are another popular small do breeds that are known for their wit and rich hairs. These little dogs usually grow around 8 to 9 inches tall and weight only 4 to 7 pounds.

They are very small even among the small dog breeds. They do have long, straight coating with multiple and even a triple colors combination.

It is a nice mixture of black, golden, tan, beige, to white.

Personality

The “Yorkie” it’s their friendly name which is very affectionate and caring. They love to nap all day but also have great energy for a long walk in the park and chasing small animals. So, going out with them require a leash at all time.

Underneath the glossy coating is a tomboyish dog that loves an adventure and roaming around. They are great with kids and trainable for several commands.

However, they also need great attention and training can be difficult. A tender approach with great appraisal is all they need to turn the table around.

Intelligence

With the moderate score of five out of 10. This small dog intelligence has a moderate understanding ability. They need about 15 to 25 repetition and gentle approach when teaching them new things.

So you can pretty much train them to be a watchdog or just how to behave around people and other animals.

Maintenance

Yorkshire Terriers has human-like hair and needs much care. However, they all depend on how the owner would like to groom these little adorable pawns. They can have long hair which needs a trimming of some clips on the head.

Pay more attention to the hair that can get into their eyes. Moreover, the ear also need extra care, it has long hair that often covers the ears and causes infection if not properly treated.

If you want to keep it short, then they occasionally need brushing and bathing.

Allergies

This dog breed score the lowest for shedding from the scale of 1 – 10. They produce relatively low to none dander from dead skins.

But they do have a full-length hair that may fall around the house. But, this typical show dogs are usually healthy and will not give allergies to people around it.

4. Poodle

toy poodle white

Characteristic

Poodles come in a wide variety of standard, miniature, and even toy. Of course, all of them are equally petite.

A standard of heights is about 15 inches or more, a miniature range about 10 to 15 inches tall and a toy is less than 10 inches. All display a relatively similar build with an average weight of 15 to 17 pounds.

They score perfect 10 in all category except in shedding. This fact alone describes how well-mannered Poodles can be. The one score for shedding just make this breed more appealing.

The curly and short hair surprisingly do shed much. It comes in one color tone of black, white, gray or apricot.

Personality

With their excellent features, no wonder Poodles strive as a sport dog at various dog’s competitions. Its ability to swim and long stroll walk enhance the fact that they make amazing sports pals.

They are also people pet and can keep their manner in almost any circumstances. They also have just the right amount of energy to play and exercise with but also the same amount of poise to be calm when needed.

Intelligence

This small dog breed is exceptionally bright. With 95 percent understanding a new command. They score 10 out of 10 when it comes to intelligence. So, training Poodles are like a walk in the park which mean it takes no effort at all.

They only need 5 or less repetition when it comes to learning things. It has the amazing ability to understand people and combined with the always want to please people desire.

Thus, it also means that they can be an excellent watchdog with the proper training, which for them are relatively easy to follow.

Maintenance

Poodles have a curly coating that will cord if left unattended. They were also a great swimmer and its coating is suited for water.

However, the nature of their hair requires much tending and more frequent brushing. Their ideal grooming clipped short every few months and 15 minutes brushing for an excellent result.

For show Poodles, they require more attention to prevent tangling and matting. A regular visit to dog groomer is almost a must.

Allergies

In spite of the lavish curly hair, Poodles score only one on a scale of 1 – 10 for shedding hair. They do not produce a great amount of dead skin. So, it is safe to say the dander causing allergies are not a problem from this adorable dog.

5. Chihuahua

smooth hair chihuahua

Characteristic

Chihuahuas are one of the most popular small dog breeds, particularly for the riches. Walking around with a chihuahua and a Hermes bag is considered a high fashion accessory.

They have a very tiny figure 10 inches or less and weight only about 6 pounds.

This kind of dogs comes in two varieties of smooth coat and longhaired ones. They are so small that can fit even a small bag.

Typically, Chihuahuas has a short coat with little hair on top and a downy undercoat. Furthermore, the tone of Chihuahuas’s coat varies from solid to spotted color of white, black, tan cream or tan.

Personality

Do not let this small creature fool you, because they have a huge personality. It can be very charming and graceful yet sassy at the same time.

They can be very confident and fearless. For example, they are not afraid of big dogs, even ten times their height or even stranger in your household.

It is all the more reason to have this dog as a pet, it can be a reliable watchdog. However, they are also very clingy. If Chihuahuas choose a particular person to love, they can be very protective of that person and follow him or her around.

Intelligence

Although they pose as a very loyal companion, Chihuahuas has a hard time socializing with people or other pet that they do not know. This popular small dog breeds can be trained but with some strick instruction.

They can be very stubborn and takes time to learn new things. That is to say, they do has poor intelligence and needs a lot of efforts to make them obedience beyond their willingness to obey their favorite person.

Maintenance

Chihuahuas also have a smooth coating that only needs occasional bathing and brushing. Although, you may need to trim their nails because it can grow rather fast. Good dental work may be needed due to the fact they are quite feisty and tend to bite.

Allergies

Make sure Chihuahuas have an adequate diet to keep their hair healthy. They have a moderate shedding so a little more attention needed to keep the home clean from dead skin that can cause allergies to human.

6. Pomeranian

Pomeranian Dog Breeds

Characteristic

Pomeranians are an average small dog with only 11 inches tall up to its shoulder. All of those heavy hair makes these playful dogs bigger then appear to be.

With a weight of 6 pounds or less, it is prone to injure itself when you are not careful looking after the furniture around the house.

The double coating of thick and medium outer meet soft and thick undercoat is a unique feature that not many breeds have. They come with a solid color of white, tan, beige, black or a combination of all those colors.

Personality

Talking about personality, Pomeranians has a high score in almost all categories such as in trainable, popularity, great with kids, intelligence and even shedding hair. You do not come across such lovable yet independent dog too often.

They love to play around even make acrobatic moves to entertain but not too clingy that bother their owner. Often time, they prefer to nap all day like a good potato couch or sleeping in cool areas because they get warm easily.

Intelligence

On smartness sides, Pomeranians have a high intelligence level which only requires moderate repetition. They are smart and learn fast especially by adding their witty tendency.

They are excellent in a rally, dog obedience show and even makes a great therapy dog. They got a value of 8 out of 10 when it comes on learning new stuff. So, extremely smart little ball of fur.

Maintenance

The large personality also comes in a great amount of shedding. Therefore, frequent brushing is needed to keep its beautiful fur that becomes its trademark.

Because the coat has layers of hair, it needs a pin brush and also slicker brush to make sure all is sleek an neat.

Pomeranians are an active dog so finding an expert grooming come in handy for a detail total cleaning of ears, nails, teeth, and glands for at least once a week.

Allergies

On another note, Pomeranians are quite easy to groom. The double coating produces excessive dander that can be dealt with proper grooming. As long you keep everything in check, having these little fellows will not induce any allergies.

7. Bischon Frises

expensive small dogs

Characteristic

A small dog may seem to look alike due to its petite figure. So, do not confuse these Bichon Frises with other small dogs. They grow around 9 to 12 inches tall and weight 7 to 12 pounds.

Their long and curly hair is so soft, that it almost feels fluffy. Particularly around the head that has really massive hair. In majority, Bischon Frises come in white or light tan and a lot of hairs.

Personality

Staying indoor with no yard is adaptable to Bichon Frises. That is why people living in the apartment would love them. They are great with kids and has a great set of energy to keep up with them.

They are lovers and even with strangers, their bark will be more like a welcoming greeting. So, you need to brush off some watchdog command to keep them in align with everything around them.

Intelligence

The loving small dog requires some effort to train. On a scale from 1-10, Bischon Frises ranked five with moderate ability. The training process can go paster with the more appealing With a gentle approach despite being extra sassy, they can be trained.

Maintenance

The curly hair is so soft that need gives moderate coating does not require you to brush it. A simple trim occasionally, makes the Bischon Frise always look its best.

Allergies

With the low shedding score which consists of one out of 10. Makes this small dog quite clean and do not induce allergic reactions. But, to see if you have any reactions or not, play around with them, to see if they do have any effect on you.

8. Maltese

expensive small dogs

Characteristic

Malteses are among the many toy small dog breeds that only about 8 inches tall and weighs about 7 pounds. They are covered with hair and left only two large eyes and a tiny nose.

The hair on top of their hair will need a hairdo with a clip or bow, so it can see well. You will see Malteses in shiny white or light tan color.

Personality

Some small dog breed can have their hairs as far as it reaches the floor. So, watching Malteses running even walking is such a pleasant sight.

Maltese is a gentle dog breed that can be demanding for attention. You can not ignore them, because they will bark until you are ready to play with them.

Surprisingly, they are very playful and especially love splashing into puddles. So, always have them on leash unless you are prepared to see their white silky hair covered in mud.

On a scale of 1 to 10, they get a perfect 10 score for playing with kids. However, because of their extreme gentleness, little kids need to learn to stroke them gently, because this one dog does not like playing rough.

Intelligence

Malteses have a great set of energy to learn new things or being a watchdog. However, with their low intelligence and often love to just play, training them can be tricky.

A trainer will have to be extra patient and do repetitive of 80 times for single new command to sink into. Being kind and gentle are the only way to win them over.

Maintenance

The mantle of silky hair can grow so long and depend only on the owner on how to make The Malteses need brushing, coating, and bathing. Especially with all those hair, owners need to brush them up to make sure no tangles.

Leaving them alone can cause tangle hairs and result in rough hair. Teeth, nails, and ear need to be check due to their too much hair, these part are constantly covered.

Allergies

No wonder many people love to adopt Malteses. One of the reason is their almost no shed feature, which is a huge consideration.

Furthermore, they do not drool and with the proper grooming, they will look even cuter. Overall, they are the perfect dog for most people.

9. Shetland Sheepdog

Shetland Sheepdog

Characteristic

Shetland Sheepdogs are quite tall as a small dog. With 13 to 16 inches tall up to shoulder and about 12 to 18 pounds in weight.

This sheepdog breed looks happy with a double coat of a long, straight, rough outer that combined with a soft, thick undercoat.

Their hairs appear to be messy and rough. The coating can be a mixture of colors with white blue, black, tan, beige and sable.

Personality

People refer to these joyful and bright small dog breed as “Sheltie”. That is how much people adore this breed. They also love the outdoors, since they genuinely made for the herds.

So, chasing after other pet even car is in their blood when walking. So, keep them close on a leash before they run out herding.

They love making bond and connecting with their owner. Sometimes even too intense, luckily they are a quick learner and can follow instruction really well.

Intelligence

Shetland Sheepdogs are very bright and clever. They score 10 out of 10 for intelligence. So, teaching them to become a watchdog or a home pet is an excellent task for them.

Maintenance

The shedding from this dog is a lot. Therefore, you will find yourself brushing frequently. It is better to deal with falling hair and dead skin while grooming before it falls naturally all over the house.

Allergies

Grooming is the best way to deal with a large amount of dead skin. They pose a large possibility to induce allergies for human around them.

10. Shih Tzu

small home dog breeds

Characteristic

Shih Tzu or pronounced “sheed-zoo” comes from the Chinese word of “西施”. They weight around 9 to 16 pounds and 8 and 11 inches. They are solid and yet gentle at the same time.

The coat comes in shades of color of white, black, brown, tan, and beige. The excessive hair is a great material for groomed Shih Tzus.

Personality

The proud dog from Chinese breed may seem arrogant and poise. The everyday life of Shih Tzus needs petting, cuddling and lots of attention and interaction.

Although they exhibit regal gesture and cozy as a lapdog, they can also be joyful playing with their stuff toys and their owner.
And that’s where their stubbornness and territorial comes in.

They can be very jealous and snappy for people or other pet that they are not familiar with. Too bad, their trainability score on a scale of 1 to 10 only get 1, so training will take a lot of effort and patience.

Intelligence

Shih Tzus are a proud small dog breed and tent to do whatever they wanted.

Their low intelligence also did not help much when it comes to learning the command and things. A gentle approach is the only way to have your way with this dog, the harsh method just would not work.

Maintenance

The Shih Tzu needs regular brushing, use a wire brush to make sure the hair is well brushed and nothing tangled. The hair on top of the head needs clips on.

Make sure to clean the corner of the eyes part, because hair tent to get into their eyes and cause irritation.

Therefore, make sure the eyes, nose, and ear have frequent cleaning because it always covered in fur.

Allergies

The abundance of hair does not mean Shih Tzus shed dead skin a lot. Naturally, they produce less dander so it will not make people around them allergy, which a huge factor for people who want to have them as a pet.

Things to Consider Before Getting a New Dog


Wait, before jumping on to the next store to get yourself a small dog. Do your research first and check which small dog breed is best for you.

Going only with your guts and see which ones that are pleasant to the eyes, is not the right way of getting a dog. It is not like buying an earing or a new bag.

There are various type and personality about dogs we need to think about. That is why people with no kids often get a dog first. In a way, it is like having a kid in your hand, so there are many responsibilities.

Here is a checklist to see if all of these things fit your lifestyle. Whether it is your home, your working hour, and the everyday life step by step.

Getting a dog also means to suit your schedules and finding the time for them too. Because getting a pet means, you get extra love but also need to have the ability to return it.

Size

To be called small dogs, your pet must be around 16 inches or less. Their weight should be less than 22lbs. Some of the most popular small dog breeds are lighter, or shorter, heavier, or taller. Let’s just establish that size to differentiate it from the medium or large dogs.

If you are stunned with people having small dogs that fit their branded bags, well, some breeds do get a dog as small as that. Like Chihuahuas, which only weight around 6 to 8 pounds, and about 6 to 10 inches tall.

Or a slightly larger version of the small breeds like Staffordshire Bull Terriers that takes around 24 to 36 pounds and about 14 to 16 inches tall.

So, you can consider just how small you want your dog to be. Are you into super tiny, or do not mind a larger size or longer dog for that matter. These little furry pals come in small packages that suit to handle.

Trainability

As adopting little dog also mean they will follow your lifestyle. Having a trainable dog is another feature to be considered. Although all dog breeds can be trained to learn simple commands, some breeds learn faster than others.

Breeds such as Miniature poodles, Shetland Sheepdogs, Papillons, Phalenes and Pomeranians are just some of the most popular small dog breeds who are known for being a fast learner.

It is definitely something to sink your teeth into. So, getting a dog isn’t only finding the right pet, but also discovering yourself.

Are you more of a patience person or want something easy and quick? Either way, there are plenty of breeds to choose from. They’re bound to be one small dog breeds that fit you perfectly.

Shedding

No, just think for a moment. We are accustomed to the idea that a pet has fur and soft to touch. But, what if you are presented with the choices of having no hair pet? Would you keen on the idea?

Some small dog breeds shed no hair at all. These little fellows can rock a bold and looking mighty beautiful. You will have no struggle at home being tired of vacuuming all those hairs.

Then one of these dog breeds such as American Hairless terriers, German Hunting Terriers, Peruvian Incas Orchids, Argentine Pilas is just some to suits that category.

Some breeds shed a small amount of hair on them. It is the perfect solution to, I like fur but not too much. These little not so hairy buddy comes in breeds such as Italian Greyhounds, Japanese Terriers, Dachshunds, French Bulldogs, Chihuahuas, and Beagles. You may need to do some mild cleaning but nothing too overwhelming.

Then do not forget the “I can groom my pet all day” breed. These dogs shed like there’s no tomorrow. It is the type of companion that you can feel their presence in their soft hairy body.

They are also great besties for grooming hair. Some breeds like Bichon Frises, Cotton De Tulears, Malteses, and Yorkshire Terriers are just among the few breeds with an abundance of hair on them.

Maintenance

Now, you got your eye on one particular small dog breeds that just in the right size, and you think you got the one. Wait, with that dog features, think about its maintenance first.

Some have a very happy go camper energy, that is just a ball of fun, but also means more time to play with. Some need extra grooming and cleaning around the house, especially if they have to medium to extra layers of hair.

Other require more obedience training or just the occasional pampering.

You might need to purchase some cleaning tools and finding a good vet to keep your little friend in check. There is no easy formula on what breed to get. In the end, it goes down to how well you know yourself.

Children

Most popular small dog breeds are great with kids. Like having a puppy but will never grow up. If you got children at home, then find breeds that are great with kids.

Some consideration will be if the dog is easily trained, it helps to deliver a message for obedience. And a full of energy dog can play for hours with your kids.

Both of them can blow up some sweat together and get the exercise that they need. It also means less work for you, which is always a bonus.

But, do not be fooled. Even well-trained dogs still need to be supervised when it comes to dealing with your kids. Because kids also can be rough when playing with them.

They can poke your dog eyes of pulled its hair. Always get the right amount of attention but not too overwhelming.

Fox Toy Terriers, Pomeranians, and Japanese Spitzes are just among the few that are great with kids, quite popular and easy to train.

WatchDog

Do not be fooled by their sizes. Even a small dog can make a great watchdog. They can make all sort of noise like barking and growling when they need to. While some breed maybe better the others.

Scottish Terriers makes an excellent watchdog in spite of its furry cute long hair, Chair Terriers also are another great option for a watchdog with its no-shed and trainable skills.

Another example is Chihuahuas, which are full of energy dogs that are easy to train. They make an excellent choice for a watchdog yet still looks adorable at the same time.

Allergies

If you are concerned about allergies trigger by having a dog. Then, consult with your trusted vet. The common belief that dog hair cause allergies, may not be entirely correct.

It is actually because of dog dander or the dead skin flakes that trigger the allergy reaction.

Symptoms such as reddish eyes, sneezing, itchy eyes, runny nose are some of allergies reaction because of dog dander. So, be careful about keeping the air fresh when you have a dog or any pet in your house.

The very small particles of dander travel through the air. When people around it inhaled or entered the eyes.

These flakes of dander can happen from either big, medium to small dog breeds. There are no particular breeds that are free from it.

However, another thing to consider is the fact that smaller dogs have less skin, so they produce less dander. This fact also means low shedder dog breeds also mean that they shed less dander.

It is another plus point to choose a small dog breed for your house pet. It is also a good idea to spend time with the type of dog breed that you would like to adopt to see if you get any reaction around them.

Miniature Schnauzers and Poodles are the perfect examples of no shed small dog breeds

Questions You Might Have (as a Small Dog Lover)


1. Which is the best small dog breed?

Poodles are smart and cheerful. They rank high in various category. Only their shedding does have a low score, which is great for avoiding allergies and overwhelming cleaning.

2. What is the cutest small dog breed?

Maltese and Shih Tzus are among the cutest breed with shiny and silky hair and bubbly personality.

3. What is the best small indoor dog?

Chihuahuas and Malteses are great with people and a bit of potato couch. They love laying around in the house and relaxing in cool places because they can not stand a hot or warm temperature.

4. What small breed dog has the best temperament?

Bichon Frises and Miniature Poodles are among the cheerful small dog breeds. They are good with kids and always want to makes friends even with new people.

5. What dogs stay small their whole life?

Chihuahuas and Malteses have a height 10 inches and less and they stay that way forever.

6. What breed is the tiniest dog?

According to Guiness World Records, Chihuahuas are the tiniest small dog breed in the world.