Many pet enthusiasts are enchanted by the allure of dogs that stay small. Perfect for apartment living, these compact canines combine the joy of pet ownership with the convenience of manageable size, bringing unparalleled charm to homes everywhere.
10 Popular Small Dog Breeds
Average Height: 5-8 inches
Average Weight: 2-6 pounds
The Chihuahua, one of the tiniest dog breeds, boasts an outsized personality. Hailing from Mexico, this spirited dog is known for its confident demeanor, sharp alertness, and unwavering loyalty to its owner.
Despite their small stature, Chihuahuas are often fearless and can be quite vocal, making them excellent watchdogs. They’re known to form particularly strong bonds with a single member of the family, often shadowing them wherever they go.
Average Height: 7-12 inches
Average Weight: 3-7 pounds
Pomeranians, with their fluffy double coat and fox-like expression, are hard to resist. Originating from the Pomerania region in Central Europe, these dogs were once used as sled pullers and sheepherders.
Over time, they’ve become cherished lap dogs, celebrated for their extroverted personalities and keen intelligence. Despite their size, Pomeranians are known for their boldness and can be quite assertive, often thinking they’re much larger than they truly are.
3. Toy Poodle
Average Height: 9.5-11 inches
Average Weight: 4-6 pounds
Toy Poodles are the smallest variant of the Poodle breed, known for their hypoallergenic curly coats and exceptional intelligence. These dogs excel in various dog sports and are often utilized as circus performers due to their trainability.
Beneath that refined appearance lies a playful and affectionate canine, eager to engage in games and activities. They’re also highly sociable, getting along well with both humans and other animals.
4. Shih Tzu
Average Height: 9-10.5 inches
Average Weight: 9-16 pounds
With origins in ancient China, the Shih Tzu was a favored companion of Chinese royalty, especially during the Ming Dynasty. Their name translates to “Lion Dog”, fitting given their lion-like mane and noble demeanor.
Shih Tzus are particularly known for their affectionate nature and deep desire to be close to their human counterparts. They are generally friendly, outgoing, and trustful, making them exceptional family pets. Their luxurious coat, while gorgeous, does require regular grooming.
Image source: Pinterest
Average Height: 8-10 inches
Average Weight: 4-7 pounds
The Maltese is an ancient breed, with records of its existence dating back over two millennia. Adored for its silky white coat and gentle demeanor, the Maltese has been a companion of the elite for centuries. This breed is characterized by its playful and spirited nature.
Despite their elegant appearance, Maltese dogs are fearless and have a zest for life. They thrive on human interaction and can become deeply bonded with their families. Regular grooming is essential to maintain their pristine coat.
Average Height: 5-9 inches (depending on the variant: standard or miniature)
Average Weight: 16-32 pounds (standard), 11 pounds and under (miniature)
The Dachshund, affectionately dubbed the “wiener dog” due to its elongated body, originally hails from Germany. Bred for hunting, particularly badgers, this breed is characterized by its short legs and long spine.
Dachshunds possess a curious and lively nature, combined with a courageous heart. They can be stubborn at times but are also incredibly loyal to their families. Their distinctive shape makes them instantly recognizable and endearing, but potential owners should be wary of spinal health issues.
7. Bichon Frise
Average Height: 9.5-11.5 inches
Average Weight: 12-18 pounds
The Bichon Frise, with its curly white coat and black-button eyes, is reminiscent of a child’s plush toy. Originating from the Mediterranean region, this breed has a rich history, including being favored by royalty in the European Middle Ages.
Bichon Frises are notably cheerful, with a gentle and playful demeanor that makes them great companions. Their hypoallergenic coat is a bonus for those with allergies, though it does require regular grooming to prevent matting.
Average Height: 8-11 inches
Average Weight: 5-10 pounds
The Papillon, named for its butterfly-like ears (Papillon means “butterfly” in French), is an elegant toy breed with a rich history in Europe. Known for its intelligence and agility, this breed excels in dog sports and competitions.
Papillons are alert and friendly, often displaying a larger-than-life attitude. They are adaptable to both city and country living and are known for their strong bond with their human companions.
9. Yorkshire Terrier
Image source: Pinterest
Average Height: 7-8 inches
Average Weight: 4-7 pounds
The Yorkshire Terrier, commonly referred to as the “Yorkie,” was initially bred for catching rats in mines and mills in England. Today, they are better known as glamorous and confident companions, often seen with glossy, fine, and straight coats that reach the floor.
Despite their posh appearance, Yorkies are tenacious and brave, with a touch of stubbornness. They are incredibly loyal to their families and can be quite vocal, making excellent watchdogs.
Image source: Pinterest
Average Height: 6-9 inches
Average Weight: 7-14 pounds
The Pekingese possesses a regal lineage, having been revered by Chinese royalty and even believed to have originated from Buddha. This small but lion-hearted dog is distinguished by its broad head, short nose, and flowing mane, resembling a miniature lion.
Pekingese are known for their dignified and calm demeanor, yet they are also alert and can be quite independent. Despite their aloofness, they form deep attachments to their families and can be quite protective.
Benefits of Owning Small Dogs
1. Easier to Manage in Smaller Living Spaces
Small dogs are perfectly suited for apartments or homes with limited space. Without the need for vast play areas, these breeds are content with modest spaces, making them ideal for urban environments where spacious backyards are a rarity.
2. More Affordable in Terms of Food and Care Costs
Consuming less food than their larger counterparts, these dogs often result in reduced feeding expenses. Accessories such as beds, toys, and outfits designed for smaller breeds tend to be more affordable, which can lead to significant savings over the dog’s lifetime.
3. Portability and Travel Advantages
One of the standout advantages of small dogs is their portability. Whether you’re taking public transportation, visiting a friend’s apartment, or even flying, smaller breeds are often more welcomed and easier to transport. Their petite size means they can comfortably fit in specialized pet carriers, making journeys less stressful for both the dog and the owner.
4. Physical Manageability
The physical demands of owning a dog can be daunting for some. With small breeds, tasks like bathing, grooming, or even a trip to the vet become more manageable. Their weight makes them easier to lift, which can be a crucial consideration for elderly owners or those with physical limitations.
5. Adaptability to Lifestyle
Small dogs often require less exercise compared to larger breeds. While they still enjoy and benefit from daily walks and playtime, their energy expenditure is usually more in tune with a busy urbanite’s lifestyle, making them a popular choice for city dwellers.
From the lively spirit of the Chihuahua to the royal charm of the Pekingese, dogs that stay small offer a world of delights perfect for apartment living. Their endearing personalities and manageable sizes make them not only adorable companions but also practical ones for many modern households. If you’re considering a furry friend, you can’t go wrong with these pint-sized pals.