Small Dog Breeds



Tight on space in a condo or apartment, limited by weight restrictions, or just enjoy a smaller companion? Search our list of small breeds to find a dog that is just your size. Whether it’s a Chihuahua, Jack Rusell or a Havanese, these petite pups fit on your lap, under a plane seat and are easily portable. Don’t be fooled by their small stature thought, pint size doesn’t mean small personality.


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Affenpinscher

SMALL DOG BREED

Affenpinscher

The Affenpinscher was bred in Central Europe to keep rat populations down in stables and farms. Noble ladies discovered the dog was equally capable of decimating mice populations in their closets, so at least some Affenpinschers moved up to fancier social circles.

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Alaskan Klee Kai

SMALL DOG BREED

Alaskan Klee Kai

An extremely rare breed, the Alaskan Klee Kai is a smaller version of the Alaskan Husky; it was designed to be a companion version of the great sled dogs of the north. It was developed in the 1970s by Linda S. Spurlin of Wasilla, Alaska, and her family, and made available to the public in 1988.

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American Eskimo Dog

SMALL DOG BREED

American Eskimo Dog

The American Eskimo Dog descended from European Spitz breeds. Bred for both beauty and agility, he originally made a fine circus performer. The name is misleading because the Eskie was not bred by northern Native Americans, but rather by German immigrants.

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American Hairless Terrier

SMALL DOG BREED

American Hairless Terrier

In 1972, one entirely hairless female dog appeared in a litter of medium-size Rat Terriers. She was normal in every way, and her owners were determined to develop this new strain.

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Australian Terrier

SMALL DOG BREED

Australian Terrier

When Australians wanted a particular type of dog to do a particular job, they created it by crossbreeding dogs that were available to them. Such was the beginning of the Australian Terrier.

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Bedlington Terrier

SMALL DOG BREED

Bedlington Terrier

The word lamblike describes the Bedlington's appearance but not its personality. Once known as the Rothbury Terrier, this breed was developed in the north of England during the 1820s to be an all-purpose terrier: A dog that could swim down an otter, course a rabbit and fight in the pit.

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Bichon Frise

SMALL DOG BREED

Bichon Frise

Known originally as the Bichon Teneriffe, this animated powder puff was brought to the European continent from the Canary Islands during the 14th century. There it became the favored pet of the aristocracy until fashions in lapdogs changed.

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Biewer Terrier

SMALL DOG BREED

Biewer Terrier

Originally known as the Biewer Yorkshire Terrier a la Pom-Pon, the Biewer Terrier is a somewhat new breed, having only been around since the mid-1980s. The breed is named after Werner Biewer, the German who first introduced his black-and-white Yorkshire Terriers to the show ring in 1988.

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Bolognese

SMALL DOG BREED

Bolognese

Named for the northern Italian city of Bologna, the Bolognese was once a favorite of nobility and the ladies-in-waiting of many European courts. Records show the existence of the Bolognese since the year 1200.

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Border Terrier

SMALL DOG BREED

Border Terrier

It's hard to go wrong with a breed that was the favorite of James Herriot. Developed in northern England, the Border Terrier was used to hunt foxes that preyed on farmers' livestock. It became a favorite hunt terrier, working with packs of Border Foxhounds.

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Boston Terrier

SMALL DOG BREED

Boston Terrier

Charming and highly intelligent, the Boston Terrier makes a wonderful family companion. It is ideal with other pets and children and is an excellent watchdog. The Boston's alertness makes it fun and easy to train. The Boston Terrier is truly an American breed.

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Brussels Griffon

SMALL DOG BREED

Brussels Griffon

Thanks to the movie "As Good As It Gets," the Brussels Griffon is in the spotlight. It's easy to understand the appeal of this snub-nosed imp with remarkable intelligence. Brussels Griffons are small, weighing less than 12 pounds.

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Cairn Terrier

SMALL DOG BREED

Cairn Terrier

A small, active terrier native to Scotland's Western Highlands, the Cairn was used in packs to control fur-bearing vermin. The little Cairn Terrier makes an excellent choice of family pet for any setting, provided it has a safely fenced outdoor play area.

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Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

SMALL DOG BREED

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

A small sporting spaniel that gained popularity in the 17th century, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel fell out of favor after the reign of Britain’s King Charles II.

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Cesky Terrier

SMALL DOG BREED

Cesky Terrier

The Cesky (ches-kee) Terrier is a relatively new breed and still quite rare all over the world. Dr. Frantisek Horak, a Czechoslovakian geneticist, wanted a dog small enough to go to ground (and not get stuck) and hunt small vermin.

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Chihuahua

SMALL DOG BREED

Chihuahua

The Chihuahua is the world's smallest dog, but it makes a spirited pet for any size home. The breed is alert and graceful with a rounded skull and large, flaring ears. Smooth coats are soft and come in any color.

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Chinese Crested (Hairless)

SMALL DOG BREED

Chinese Crested (Hairless)

The smallest of the hairless breeds, the Chinese Crested usually weighs between 6 and 8 pounds. This light, graceful dog is devoid of hair, except for fringes on the feet and tail tip, and the flowing crest on its head that gives the breed its name.

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Chinese Crested (Powderpuff)

SMALL DOG BREED

Chinese Crested (Powderpuff)

The smallest of the hairless breeds, the Chinese Crested usually weighs between 6 and 8 pounds. This light, graceful dog is devoid of hair, except for fringes on the feet and tail tip, and the flowing crest on its head that gives the breed its name.

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Coton de Tulear

SMALL DOG BREED

Coton de Tulear

Legends abound of the little dogs that survived shipwrecks and swam ashore the island of Madagascar. Although the stories paint a fun picture of this devoted breed, odds are more likely the ancestors of the Coton de Tulear were carried ashore by seamen (and maybe a pirate or two).

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Dachshund, Miniature

SMALL DOG BREED

Dachshund, Miniature

Short-legged dogs of the Dachshund type were once used in Europe to hunt badger and fox, as well as larger game. The dogs worked in packs and are reported to have been tenacious and keen-nosed in pursuit of their quarry.

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