Whether you’re a first-time dog owner, or little furry friends simply suit your lifestyle, small dogs are super convenient to take care of. They’re easy to travel with, to live within a smaller apartment, to go around the city, and needless to say, they’re also cheaper to own. Did we mention that they’re super cute and adorable?
Some people just have a difficult time with large dog breeds, and for a reason. Such dogs are demanding, require a lot of space, as well as frequent, and loads of playtime and exercise. Small dogs, on the other hand, are suitable for people with less free time, who lead a more sedentary and work-oriented life.
However, this doesn’t mean that one can neglect the dog just because of its size. Small dogs still require proper care, grooming, playtime, and time spent with the owner. Otherwise, they can develop separation anxiety and become frustrated or destructive.
If you’re looking for a small dog breed, you’ll have to choose between groups like hounds, working, sporting, non-sporting, terriers, toys, and herding dogs. These are the main representatives of small dog breeds. Toy dogs are considered the smallest, weighing only between 2 and 5 pounds when fully grown.
In the following paragraphs you’ll read more about the most popular small dogs, so keep on reading, and maybe you’ll find a new fur friend to bring into your life!
10 Dog Breeds That Never Grow Up
1. Pomeranian – Bold and Lively
- Height – 6 to 7 inches
- Weight – 3 to 7 pounds
This small ball of fluff is an adorable little dog who is super affectionate and lively. But, don’t be fooled by its size; Pomeranians are known to be watchful and very protective of their owners.
They also tend to bark a lot, so if you’re looking for a more chill dog, then Pomeranians aren’t for you. Pomeranians also require frequent grooming due to a double, long coat. They are also excellent for first-time dog owners.
2. Pekingnese – Loyal and Affectionate
- Height – 6 to 9 inches
- Weight – up to 14 pounds
Originating from China, this dog was bred to accompany the very Chinese highest class. Nowadays, the Pekingnese is a dog that loves to accompany families, hang out with children, and occasionally befriend other dogs.
It is incredibly affectionate and loyal, which makes it watchful and protective as well. Unlike other small dogs, the Pekingnese is pretty quiet, since the dog only barks to alert. Because of the thick, double coat and long hair, it also requires frequent grooming.
3. Miniature Pinscher – Fearless and Fun
- Height – 10 to 12.5 inches
- Weight – 8 to 10 pounds
Looking like a mini version of a Doberman, the Miniature Pinscher is a perfect combo of a fun and loving dog with a big personality and fearlessness. If you’re looking for a small dog that will keep you active, this is the breed to go for.
These dogs require a lot of physical activity and mental stimulation since they’re super energetic and active. We do have to emphasize that Miniature Pinschers tend to be pretty vocal, and their barking is really loud. They only require monthly grooming due to a smooth and short coat.
4. Dachshund – Friendly and Curious
- Height – 8 to 9 inches (standard), 5 to 6 inches (miniature)
- Weight – 16 to 32 pounds (standard), up to 11 pounds (miniature)
Another incredibly affectionate and friendly dog is Dachshund. This small and adorable dog is exceptional with children, other dogs, and animals. It likes to socialize and play almost non-stop. However, the dog’s energy levels aren’t that high, but it requires some playtime and even training.
Overall, this dog is really loud; it is pretty vocal and will bark loudly for anything. Because of their barks, Dachshunds are exceptional watchdogs. They don’t require frequent grooming due to short and smooth coat.
5. Russel Terrier – Lively and Affectionate
- Height – 10 to 12 inches
- Weight – 9 to 15 pounds
Russel Terrier is one of the friendliest dogs out there; it has such a friendly and accepting personality, which makes it super affectionate and good with children, other dogs, and animals. The dog likes to socialize with strangers but can be very protective of the owner if they sense something’s off.
Overall, Russel Terriers are really playful and require regular mental stimulation (via tasks or playful training). They do tend to bark loudly as well, so if you live in an apartment, you might have some issues with the neighbors. Regarding grooming, you can expect to have them groomed twice a month, due to a wiry, smooth coat.
6. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel – Gentle and Graceful
- Height – 12 to 13 pounds
- Weight – 13 to 18 pounds
This might be the perfect dog for families with children and other dogs/animals; King Charles Spaniel is a gentle, loving little creature that is exceptional with any other living soul. It is generally open to strangers and considers everyone its friend.
However, this dog likes routine and might have some trouble adapting to new living spaces. But, overall, it is very playful and likes to go for long walks with its owner. King Charles Spaniel has a wavy, silky, medium coat, so it does require grooming, maybe once or twice a month.
7. Cocker Spaniel – Smart and Cheerful
- Height – 14.5 to 15.5 inches (male), 13.5 to 14.5 inches (female)
- Weight – 20 to 30 pounds (male), 20 to 25 pounds (female)
This sporting dog has a wonderful and cute personality. It is great with children and other dogs and likes to hang out with strangers. Cocker Spaniels are playful dogs, who are pretty adaptable to new situations and environments. They are also pretty energetic, so regular exercise and playtime are a must.
Because of its rich, double-thick coat, and long hair, Cocker Spaniel requires weekly grooming, which can be pretty exhaustive for first-time dog owners. It is also fair to mention that some Cocker Spaniels tend to be vocal and bark a lot, so keep that in mind as well.
8. Miniature Poodle – Highly Intelligent and Active
- Height – 10 to 15 inches
- Weight – 10 to 15 pounds
One of the smartest dogs among the small breeds is the Miniature Poodle. It is also incredibly affectionate towards its family and children, or even strangers. However, when it comes to other dogs, the Poodle might be a little reserved.
It may not appear so, but the Poodle is a playful dog that is very active and requires frequent playtime. This dog is also excellent for training since it needs frequent mental stimulation due to its high intelligence. Because of the long and curly coat, Poodles require almost daily grooming and brushing.
9. Maltese Dog – Playful and Charming
- Height – 7 to 9 inches
- Weight – under 7 pounds
Maltese belongs to the toy group of small dogs, for a reason. It is a classic lapdog, thanks to its size and gentle nature. This dog is also super charming and affectionate; it is especially good with large families, with or without children. Maltese dogs might not be the best in terms of their openness to strangers or other dogs but with the family,
they are super loyal and loving.
They do tend to bark, but mostly to express dissatisfaction with something. When it comes to grooming, these dogs do require a lot of it, mostly because of the long coat.
10. Pug – Charming and Mischievous
- Height – 10 to 13 inches
- Weight – 14 to 18 pounds
Pug is one of the most recognizable dogs in the world. It is also one of the most loving and affectionate dog breeds. Even though small and chubby, one shall not be fooled by the pug’s size. This dog has a big, mischievous personality that makes it super charming and fun to have around.
Pugs are exceptional with children and good around other dogs and animals. They like to play non-stop, and can even be trained. Even though Pugs have smooth, short coat, they do tend to shed a ton, so grooming, washing, and brushing is a must. Pugs are excellent for first-time dog owners.
Some Additional Information
These were some of the most popular small dog breeds in the world. Of course, this is not a final list, since there are dozens of other breeds of small, furry friends. Here are some of the information future owners of small dog breeds should know and keep in mind;
- Small dogs have the same nutritional requirements as larger breeds. Without proper nutrition and proper calorie intake, small dogs can develop hypoglycemia and other issues that can lead to muscle tremors and lethargy. However, when it comes to treats, keep the portion size small, to prevent weight issues.
- Small dogs require proper physical activity and playtime, just like big dogs. Some small breeds aren’t as playful or energetic as the others, but they still need to exercise and stay active. Otherwise, they can develop destructive behavior as well as anxiety.
- Even though small dogs can fit in your arms perfectly, you should avoid carrying them around. It is best for dogs to walk, if the circumstances allow, of course. When you need to pick the dog up, due to other dogs’ presence, for example, make sure to do so, gently.
- Small dogs require small toys, so don’t be buying big dog toys for your puppy-sized furry friend. Also, keep in mind that the collar and leash also need to be small and suitable for the dog’s size.
And that’s it. For more information about the specific dog breed check out the American Kennel Club, or talk to your local dog breeders and owners. Make sure to do your homework and do as much research as possible before you decide to adopt a dog of any kind.