Top 10 Dog Breeds That Stay Small

Kate Barrington
by Kate Barrington
Big things come in small packages. Just look at these dog breeds that stay small – they’ve got a huge personality that makes up for their tiny statures!

Sometimes less is more… kinda like the pups featured on our Top 10 Dog Breeds That Stay Small list. All dogs are small when they start out as puppies, but it doesn’t take long for them to grow into their paws. But there are some dog breeds that stay conveniently puppy-sized, which is perfect if you live in an apartment or condo and space is at a premium. There are a lot of small breeds out there, and because many breeds come in teacup form, we’re leaving them off of our list. Here are our picks for the top dogs that stay small. (Photo credit: Life on White/Bigstock)

Skye Terrier: The biggest part on this breed is its ears! A wonderful companion and family pet, the Skye Terrier don’t get much bigger than 30 to 35 pounds, reaching a maximum height of about 10 inches. The Skye Terrier was originally bred to chase and kill vermin – basically, anything smaller than him!

These sweet little pups are loyal and highly affectionate, making them great family pets. Their laid-back personality is quite happy kicking back and relaxing with their people. However, they are cautious when meeting strangers and may need a little more time to warm up and come around. Skye Terriers can live in harmony with other dogs, but they are not recommended for homes with smaller animals such as cats, rabbits, hamsters, and other rodents due to their natural desire to chase.

(Photo credit: Life on White/Bigstock)

Maltese: So much fluffy in such a little package! This breed is known for its small size and long, flowing coat. For as long as its coat is, the Maltese does not tend to shed very much so it is a great choice for allergy sufferers. This dog tends to get along well with dogs, cats, and other pets but it also requires a good deal of human interaction.

Maltese are playful and energetic little dogs, always up for a good time. When it’s time to relax, they are more than willing to enjoy some love and affection from their people. They want to be by your side 24/7 which is great for those that are looking for a lapdog, however, they are also prone to separation anxiety and should be trained to spend time alone early on.

(Photo credit: TSIK/Bigstock)

Boston Terrier: Friendly and energetic, the Boston Terrier is particularly well-suited to families with children, and does just as well in the city as it does in suburban areas. It is also a bonus that they have short coats that don’t shed or require a great deal of grooming. This breed averages a weight of 10 to 25 pounds and stands no taller than 17 inches.

Extremely dog friendly and open to meeting new people, Boston Terriers are a great choice for those dog lovers that live a social life or look forward to visiting their local dog parks. They have the energy required to run, play, and even compete in agility and other dog-related sports, but when the day is done your pup will happily curl up with you for some quiet time on the couch.

(Photo credit: Kropewnicki/Bigstock)

Pug: In addition to being a lively and good-natured breed, the Pug is also small. These dogs stand no more than 12 inches tall (although, they can get fat fairly easily, so make sure not to overfeed him). Full of attitude and personality, what the Pug lacks in size, he makes up in charisma.

Pugs are friendly and outgoing dogs that are easy to train, making them a good choice for first-time dog owners. Their flat-faced appearance may look adorable, but it does make it harder for these dogs to breathe. For this reason, they are prone to health issues and don’t do well in hot temperatures.

(Photo credit: Katoosha/Bigstock)

Pomeranian: This toy breed is a spitz-type breed known for its long fluffy coat. The Pomeranian stands about 8 inches tall and weighs less than 10 pounds. Sporting a wide variety of different colors, this tiny pooch has a friendly, playful temperament. These dogs are also intelligent so they require both physical and mental stimulation on a daily basis.

These little balls of fur are spirited, bold, and inquisitive. They are always highly aware of their surroundings making them a great alarm dog as they will let you know the second that someone comes near your front door. Pomeranians are good with strangers and other pets; however, they can sometimes come across as bossy or cocky. Early socialization will help you raise a dog that thrives in social situations.

(Photo credit: Laures/Bigstock)

Chihuahua: Perhaps the Chihuahua has something to prove – that would explain the barking and tough attitude. Though this breed often gets a bad rap for being high-maintenance, with proper training he actually makes a great pet. Take the time to regularly socialize your dog from a young age and you can raise a well-adjusted and peaceful pup. It may require a little more time and effort on your part in the beginning, but you will be thankful for the result.

The Chihuahua is the smallest dog breed, weighing no more than 10 pounds and standing less than 8 inches tall. They are available in a wide variety of different colors and patterns as well as both short and long coats.

(Photo credit: kpshaughnessy/Bigstock)

Miniature Schnauzer: This breed is known for its playful nature and its bearded face, but it is also known for staying small. These dogs are not as aggressive as the typical terrier so they make a good choice for families with kids. They are highly adaptable dogs, able to make the most of any situation. This makes them a great choice for those who plan to travel frequently with their dog, finding themselves in new places and environments.

Miniature schnauzers weigh an average of 11 to 18 pounds and they stand about 14 inches tall. They have a wiry coat that doesn’t shed much, however, they do need to be groomed regularly to address their whiskery face and the hair that will quickly grow over their eyes.

(Photo credit: elliotwestacott /iStock)

Shih Tzu: Boasting poised self-assurance and a cute underbite, the Shih Tzu doesn’t care much about his size. Though these dogs require a good deal of coat maintenance in terms of grooming, they don’t shed much.

These dogs were developed as companion pets, known for their friendly and gentle demeanors. While they enjoy a good walk or some playtime with their people, these little pups have a lower energy level than many other small dogs. This makes them a great choice for those searching for a lap dog as well as those living in apartments. Shih Tzus are also known for being a small-breed dog – they weigh no more than 16 pounds.

(Photo credit: chaoss/Bigstock)

Toy Poodle: Shy and sensitive by nature, the Toy Poodle takes a bit of time to show you his true nature. Then watch out – there’s a lot of love packed into that tiny body! They get along great with kids, but tend to prefer single owners. A fairly low-maintenance dog, the Toy Poodle stands about 10 inches tall and, though they may be small, their coats can grow very long.

As they need to be clipped regularly, Toy Poodles have higher grooming needs. You can learn to use a handheld clipper to trim your dog’s fur at home or build a relationship with your trustworthy local dog groomer. There is no such thing as a completely hypoallergenic dog, however, Poodles are often recognized as the closes to hypoallergenic that exists. This makes them a great choice for anyone that suffers from minor dog allergies but still wants to bring a dog into the family.

(Photo credit: Jagodka/Bigstock)

Papillon: Not one to let a thing like size stand in its way, the Papillon fills its time doing important work. That’s why this breed does particularly well as therapy dogs and they are often used as seizure alert dogs. They are highly alert dogs with very keen senses, making them great watchdogs. While they may not be able to fight off an intruder due to their small size, they will make sure that you’re fully aware anytime someone comes near your home.

The Papillon is a good choice for allergy sufferers and it is a small breed, weighing about 10 pounds. They are both clever and creative, enjoying games that incorporate mental and physical stimulation such as a game of fetch or playing with interactive toys. These beautiful little pups are aware that they are adorable. They will often try to manipulate their way into getting what they want by turning on the charm, so be aware!

(Photo credit: Laures/Bigstock)

Kate Barrington
Kate Barrington

Kate Barrington is the loving owner of two cats (Bagel and Munchkin) and a noisy herd of guinea pigs. Having grown up with golden retrievers, Kate has a great deal of experience with dogs but labels herself a lover of all pets. Having received a Bachelor's degree in English, Kate has combined her love for pets and her passion for writing to create her own freelance writing business, specializing in the pet niche.

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