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20 Tiny Dog Breeds That Stay Small

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

two small dogs playing in the park

Everybody has a soft spot for puppies or kittens. Sometimes we want them to stay that cute and small forever, never outgrowing their adorable tiny looks.

Some dog breeds offer that Peter Pan desire, staying small even into adulthood and always remaining adorable. If this is what you have always wanted, read below to find the top 20 tiny dog breeds that stay small.Divider 8

The 20 Dogs That Stay Small

1. Yorkshire Terrier

Chocolate Yorkshire Terrier
Image Credit: dezy, Shutterstock

Yorkshire Terriers are known for being adorable bundles of personality and energy. They weigh in only 7 pounds maximum and grow to an average height of 6 to 9 inches from shoulder height. They are covered in soft, silky fur and have grey, cream, and brown coat patterns. Lovable but yappy, these dogs take the cake for a forever-tiny breed.

2. Alaskan Klee Kai

Alaskan Klee Kai
Image Credit: bon9, Shutterstock

If you love the adorable and intelligent look of the Siberian or Alaskan huskies, you will be happy to know that a dog has a similar appearance and attitude in a much smaller package. The Alaskan Klee Kai is bred in three different sizes, including Standard, Toy, and Miniature. The Miniature only stands at a maximum of 13 inches and weighs only around 10 pounds.

3. Chihuahua

Image credit: HG-Fotografie, Pixabay

Everybody knows the Chihuahua, as it is perhaps the most popular of the naturally tiny dogs. This breed was never bred with other dogs to make it smaller but was a miniature Mexican breed from the beginning. They weigh a maximum of 6.5 pounds, and their height ranges from 6 to 9 inches.

4. Schipperke

Image Credit: dien, Shutterstock

The Schipperke looks like a miniature black wolf, with a pointed face, alert ears, and a fluffy black body. They are territorial and a bit suspicious of newcomers but are loving to their families and extremely good with children. They stand at a maximum of 13 inches, but much of their body is fluff, although they can weigh up to 20 pounds if bred that way.

5. Rat Terrier

rat terrier
Image credit: 272447, Pixabay

You can imagine where the Rat Terrier got its name. Unlike some other small dogs, they tend to have a patient and gentle personality. They need a great deal of human interaction to stay happy and healthy. The Rat Terrier can be put to work on a farm or ranch chasing unwanted pests but will be glad to spend all its time with members of its family. It is generally around 10 pounds, although bigger varieties might weigh up to 25 pounds. At shoulder height, they are 10 to 18 inches tall.

6. Maltese

Image credit: Pixabay

The Maltese is another adorable and popular breed, covered with curly white fur and always smiling. The Maltese is one of the oldest among the small, white dog breeds. They are full of funny antics and have been beloved throughout their entire recorded history. They are a genuinely tiny breed, standing at 10 inches shoulder height for a maximum and weighing 8 pounds.

7. Miniature Schnauzer

Miniature Schnauzer
Photo credit: Sebastian Coman Travel, Pexels

The Miniature Schnauzer is a German-bred pup and is usually quite calm and disciplined. They are alert and have protective instincts bred into them. This is why they make good watchdogs, even though they are small in size. The Miniature Schnauzer weighs up to 20 pounds but typically stops at around 12. They grow to reach 12 to 14 inches at shoulder height.

8. French Bulldog

French Bulldog
Image credit: Alexia Bianchini, Pexels

Frenchies are distinctive dogs, with short, sleek fur, large rounded ears, and a pushed-in snout. They are the smallest among the Bulldog breeds but have a strong personality. They love to be around their people but otherwise don’t require much maintenance. Frenchies only grow to be about 12 inches tall but have thickset bodies that can weigh up to 28 pounds.

9. Basenji

Image Credit: Christina, Pexels

The Basenji is also known as the African Barkless Dog. These unique dogs don’t know how to bark, instead of emitting a yodeling sound. They were found in the Congo, where they had been used to guard against lions with their loud yodeling. They were also used for hunting, even with their small size. They grow to be 16 inches tall and can weigh up to 26 pounds, although they are typically quite skinny dogs.

10. Pomeranian

Image credit: DrNickStafford, Pixabay

The Pomeranian has a noble history, being beloved by the Princess of Pomerania, an old area between Germany and Poland, according to history. They became a beloved dog in the courts of England when the Princess brought her pups upon marriage to a Prince of England. Queen Victoria owned one, and they grew in popularity around the world. They reach 8 pounds at a maximum and can be 14 inches tall.

11. Whippet

Image credit: Diana D. Reinoso, Pexels

Whippets are intelligent little dogs, initially bred as a sighthound, meaning they could hunt without receiving vocal commands from the hunter. Even though they are clever, they don’t have much of a stubborn streak. They are proper little dogs and quickly learn good manners. They reach 22 inches in height and are compact dogs, weighing between 15 and 30 pounds.

12. Bichon Frise

Bichon Frise dog lying on the grass
Image Credit: Carlos Amarillo, Shutterstock

The Bichon Frise is another incredibly cute pup, coming from Southern Europe. They receive their name from the French, who brought them into their courts and castles. These are proud and happy pups, although they can also be quite vocal if they want something. They weigh in at a maximum of 11 pounds and grow to be 12 inches tall.

13. Papillon

Image credit: N_S, Pixabay

Papillon is the word for “butterfly” in French. The name refers to the way the hair on their ears fans out around their tiny faces to look like butterfly wings. The dog has long, soft fur, and their coat color patterns vary from brown to rust-colored, cream, or white. They can range from 3 to 12 pounds in size and are less than a foot tall from the shoulder down. Their magnificent ears do add to that height.

14. Pembroke Welsh Corgi

Pembroke Welsh Corgi
Image credit: It’s me, Marrie, Pexels

The Corgi breed is known for their round bodies on top of short legs. Their build automatically makes them quite a small dog, but these dogs can be bred to be even lower if desired. They are happy pups and prefer to please their beloved owners, making them an easy dog to train and a fantastic fit for families with kids. They are less than 1 foot tall, and their bulky bodies can weigh up to 30 pounds.

See: Best Food for Puppy Toy Breeds

15. Toy Poodle

a white poodle sitting on a chair
Image Credit: Dominic Buccilli, Pexels

The Poodle is one of the most popular dogs in the modern world. This popularity is perhaps why they have been bred to have multiple sizes, like Standard, Toy, and Miniature. They have also been used to create some of the cutest hybrid breeds. They are a lively and incredibly intelligent companion. Even with their fluffy coat, they only stand around 10 inches tall and are 9 pounds in weight.

16. Boston Terrier

Boston Terrier
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Terriers are known for their fiery temperaments, but this doesn’t hold as true for the Boston Terrier, a.k.a. the American Gentlemen. Their coloring of black and white makes them look like they are ready for a formal dinner, and their clever, dapper temperament doesn’t convince anyone otherwise. They weigh 10 to 25 pounds and stand at 15 to 17 inches tall.

17. Japanese Chin

Image credit: birgl, Pixabay

The Japanese Chin is another small dog who has known the lap of luxury, being an old favorite of Japanese royalty. They are also called the Japanese Spaniel. They have long hair that takes a bit of grooming and have a black and white or brown color pattern across their gorgeous coat. They stand at 11 inches tall and can weigh anywhere from 3 to 15 pounds. Ask the breeder to find out how big your pup might grow.

18. Italian Greyhound

Italian Greyhound
Image credit: JeebyJeeby, Pixabay

The Italian Greyhound looks and behaves similarly to the Whippet. These Greyhounds are a smaller version of the large Greyhound that people typically think of when they hear the name. However, these dogs are quick, both in body and mind. They love to cuddle and snuggle under blankets. They have a stubborn streak and can be difficult to housetrain. They only weigh a maximum of 11 pounds even though they can be 15 inches tall.

19. Miniature Dachshund

miniature dachshund
Image Credit: James Player, shutterstock

The Dachshund is bred in two typical sizes, Standard and Miniature. Their coats are dappled with brindle, sable, and brown shades. The Mini version of these adorable dogs typically weighs 8 to 11 pounds, and their height reaches 7 inches tall on a good day. Dachshunds were bred to be “half a dog tall and a dog and a half long” to make them the perfect size to chase after burrowing animals.

20. Miniature Pinscher

miniature pinscher
Image credit: Victor Cayke, Pexels

The Miniature Pinscher truly looks like a sized-down version of the much larger German Pinscher. These are devoted little dogs, with large and loud personalities. They have a great deal of self-confidence and pride, which sometimes means they suffer from small dog syndrome. They come to 13 inches tall and can weigh up to 11 pounds.

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Dogs That Stay Small Forever

With all the work that has been done with breeding over the last several decades, if you are partial to the appearance of a large dog breed but need a small dog, there is an option out there for you. From tiny to tinier, plenty of dogs have the potential to be a wonderful family pet or apartment dweller.

Featured image Credit: otsphoto, Shutterstock

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