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10 Popular Small Dog Breeds

Many people prefer small dogs due to their advantages: they are easy to lift, take up little space and eat little amounts of food (and, of course, the fact that celebrities like Paris Hilton choose these dog breeds also helps). But do you know which are the most popular ones?

1. Pekinese

Small dogs - PekineseImage / Hugo.arg.

– Origin: China.

– Height: 15 – 25 cm. (6 – 9.8 inches)

– Weight: 2 – 8 kg.  (4.4 – 17.6 pounds)

– Life span: 12 – 15 years.


Robust structure, long hair, large head relative to its body, prominent eyes,  long floppy and furry ears, wide head and short muzzle.

They should be brushed twice a week and special attention should be paid to their eyes, as they are prone to eye accidents because they tend to knock into objects, or rub them.


They require the constant attention of their master. They are affectionate, loyal, intelligent, stubborn, brave, wary of strangers and will not hesitate to defend their territory.

2. Chihuahua

Small dogs - short-haired ChihuahuaImage / “Lilly M”.

– Origin: Mexico.

– Height: 15 – 23 cm. (5.9 – 9 inches)

– Weight: 1.5 kg. (3.3 pounds)

– Life span: 11 – 16 years.


Compact body, apple-shaped head, large eyes, short and broad-based muzzle, upright ears and long tail.

There are 2 varieties of coat:

   a) Short-haired: dense, soft, shiny on their head and body (as in the picture above).

   b) Long-haired: with fringes on the ears, neck and tail:

long-haired ChihuahuaImage / Bonnie van den Born.


They are cheerful, active, fast, loyal, intelligent, willing and jealous. They have a strong protective and defensive instinct towards  their master and family.

Excellent dog for senior people.

3. Bichon Frise

Bichon FriseImage / Akaporn Bhothisuwan.

– Origin: France.

– Height: 23 – 28 cm. (9.05 – 11 inches)

– Weight: 3 – 6 kg. (6 – 13 pounds)

– Life span: 12 – 15 years.


Robust body, slightly rounded skull, floppy ears and white, curly, long hair, making them look like  cotton balls.

It is recommended to trim their hair on a monthly basis and also around their eyes.

They are considered to be one of the hypoallergenic dog breeds.


Cheerful, sociable, and intelligent, they like to feel part of the family. Being agile, you can take them to practice some sports with you, for they  like to jump and run.

Excellent pet for children, but they  are not recommended for people who spend all day out.

4. Yorkshire Terrier

Small dogs - Yorkshire TerrierImage /  “Dezidor”.

– Origin: United Kingdom.

– Height: 20.32 cm ( 7.96 inches)

– Weight: 3.2 kg (7.05 inches)

– Life span: 13 – 15 years.




Compact and well-proportioned body, small head, medium eyes, upright ears and smooth, long silky hair falling on both sides of their trunk.

Daily combing prevents the formation of knots, although some owners prefer to cut their hair to facilitate their movements:

Yorkshire terrier- long hairImage / Manuel González Olaechea.

They are considered to be one of the hypoallergenic dog breeds.


Affectionate, active, bold, hyperactive, territorial, stubborn, brave, and with strong protective instincts.

Their excessive barking in unknown situations can cause trouble with the neighbors.

5. Pomeranian

Pomeranian breedImage / “Sansse”.

– Origin: Germany.

– Height: 22 – 28 cm. (8.6 – 11 inches)

– Weight: 1.5 – 3.2 kg. (3.3-7.05 pounds)

– Life span: 12 – 15 years.


Well-proportioned body, almond-shaped eyes, small and upright ears. Their triangular head makes them resemble a  fox.

Remarkably fluffy fur on their body, neck and tail. They should be brushed 3 times a week and get regular haircuts.

They poorly tolerate high temperatures.


Active, outgoing, brave, jealous, territorial, fond of playing and learning.

They bark a lot to strangers, and –if not properly trained– they can disturb neighbors.

Good companion for the elderly and if they are  not used to playing with children, they can bite them.

6. Pug or Carlino

Small dogs - Carlino or PugImage / “Abuk SABUK”.

– Origin: China.

– Height: 30 – 35 cms.  (11.8-13.77 inches)

– Weight: 6.3 – 8.1 kgs.  (13.88 – 17.85 pounds)

– Life span: 13 – 15 years.


Well-proportioned body, curled tail and short thick fur. Big head covered with folds, small ears, flat muzzle and slightly protruding eyes.

We recommend owners to clean the folds on a weekly basis to prevent accumulation of dirt and secretions. Both exercising and high temperatures must be moderate, for their respiratory system would not tolerate such pressure.

This breed is not suitable for people with allergies.


They are good alert dogs, announcing the presence of strangers with their barking; cheerful, gentle, and outgoing, they love to be the center of attention of their master, snuggle and  be a good company.

7. Miniature Pinscher

Miniature PinscherImage: Sebastian Wallin.

– Origin: Germany.

– Height: 25 – 30 cms. (9.8-11.8 inches)

– Weight: 4 – 6 kgs. (8-13 pounds)

– Life span: 12 – 14 years.


Robust and well-proportioned body with  straight legs, oblong head, oval eyes, v-shaped ears, short and silky hair.


Cheerful, caring, dynamic, with a high level of energy, they require daily exercise to prevent behavior problems.

They are  good guardians willing to stand courageously in any situation.

8. Dachshund

– Origin: Germany.

– Height: 17 – 25 cm. (6.7- 9.8 inches)

– Weight: 4.5 – 5 kg. (9.9 – 11 pounds)

– Life span: 12 – 15 years.


Long body and snout, wide chest, short legs, dark eyes and long, floppy ears.

There are 3 varieties of hair: short…

Small dogs - Dachshund (short-haired)Image / Igor Bredikhin.

… harsh…

Small dogs - Dachshund (harsh-haired)ImageAlexandr Osipow.

…and long:

Dachshund (long-haired)Image / “Sansse”.

They usually have problems with their very long spine. The risk of injury can be prevented by preventing them from gaining weight, or jumping  roughly.


Smart, funny, energetic, curious, mischievous and willful. They are good guardians,  friendly by nature and  they love to be around people.

9. West Highland White Terrier

West Highland White TerrierImage: Antonio Villascusa.

– Origin: Scotland.

– Height: 28 cm. (11 inches)

– Weight: 6 – 10 kg. (13-22 pounds)

– Life span: 12 – 14 years.


Compact body, rough and long coat, round head, small and upright ears, short legs and straight tail.

It is important to clip the hair around their eyes and brush them daily to keep them clean and free of knots.

They are  considered to be one of the hypoallergenic dog breeds.


Excellent guard dog, bold, brave, agile, active, dynamic and independent. They need daily exercise to release their high level of energy.

10. Shih Tzu

Small dogs - Shih TzuImage: Tanja Tepe.

– Origin: China. The meaning of its name is “lion dog”.

– Height: 22 – 26 cm (8.6 – 10.23 inches)

– Weight: 6 – 10 kg (13 – 22 pounds)

– Life span: 12 – 14 years.


Oblong body, long and dense fur, short extremities, small head, big and floppy ears, flat and short muzzle.

It is important to brush them daily in order to avoid hair knots.


Cheerful, kind, affectionate. They like to be the center of attention. They can be stubborn and willing when they are not pleased with  any given situation.


Children must be told how to treat these small breeds, as their small size makes them more fragile. As a result, these dogs can get hurt when playing with them.