Popular Small Dog Breeds

Small Dogs Galore

The Toys, the Terriers and the Rest

Toy Breed
Affenpinscher--This is the “monkey-face” dog with a shaggy face and body. He’s very affectionate and playful, but can turn into the protector when needed.

Brussels Griffon--There are two types of Brussels Griffon, rough coat, which is wiry, and smooth, which is straight and shiny. He’s a bright, alert dog with expressive eyes.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel--This spaniel is full of vim, vigor and vitality. He’s very adaptable to his surroundings, including having the gentle touch with children.

Chihuahua--The smallest dog, the Chihuahua is peppy, but needs a gentle family. There are two types of Chihuahua: smooth-coated and long-hair. The long-hair needs brushing.

Chinese Crested--Another teeny, tiny breed, the Chinese Crested comes in two flavors: Hairless and Powderpuff. The Hairless has very sensitive skin that can burn. He loves cuddling.

English Toy Spaniel—These sturdy little spaniels are affectionate and like people. They comes in four color combinations: red and white (Blenheim); white, black and tan (Prince Charles); black and tan (King Charles); and solid red (Ruby).

Havenese--Solidly built and friendly, this little one is from Cuba. His silky fur (non-shedding) protects him from intense heat. He’s full of energy and needs to be walked daily.

Italian Greyhound—Similar to its big brother, this mini Greyhound is long, lean and gentle. They are running fiends and can even climb fencing and furniture.

Japanese Chin—Always a companion dog, the Japanese Chin is usually affectionate, but can withdraw with strangers or in places it doesn’t know.

Maltese—They look like fur balls, but these usually gentle dogs can tough it out if needed. That fur needs a lot of attention: brush every day, groom often.

Manchester Terrier (Toy)—The Toy is a diminutive of the Standard Manchester Terrier, and they share the same traits: well-muscled body, markings, friendliness, alertness. Of course, they’re terriers, so they’re vermin killers.

Miniature Pinscher—These feisty little dogs know who they are and are afraid of virtually nothing. Although named Miniature Pinscher, they aren’t related to Doberman Pinschers.

Papillon—Papillon means butterfly in French, and this little dog has ears that meet that description. He’s also self-possessed but fun-loving.

Pekingese—This little guy weighs more than you might think (up to 14 pounds) because he’s very solid. Dignity enhances his sweet disposition.

Pomeranian—Poms are outgoing and energetic. They are also people dogs. They need regular brushing.

Toy Poodle—The smallest of the Poodles, the Toy loves water and is hypoallergenic. That coat, however, needs grooming often.

Pug—A solid little dog, the Pug is playful and loving. They don’t need a lot of exercise or grooming.

Shih Tzu—Shih Tzu means lion, and indeed he is. Not only will he speak his mind when he has to, but he’ll also play well with others.

Silky Terrier—Although a Terrier, this little one is considered a toy by the American Kennel Club. They are full of energy and want a lot of attention (through play or walks).

Toy Fox Terrier—Another Toy/Terrier combo, is muscular, lively and devoted to his family. He is a Terrier, so he’s stubborn, but willing to compromise if trained well.

Yorkshire Terrier—Yorkies are big personalities in a small package. The AKC says, according to its records, this is one of the most popular breeds

Australian Terrier—This breed is native to Australia. They have the typical terrier personality, lively and self-confident, and the wiry fur that so many terriers have.

Cairn Terrier—Yes, this is the Toto dog from The Wizard of Oz. Since like so many terriers, they are vermin hunters, they’re also diggers. Squirrels should beware too.

Dandie Dinmont Terrier—This long, low to the ground little guy has a head that looks too big for its body. Don’t be fooled by his froufrou appearance, though, he’s is still terrier through and through, affectionate and stubborn.

Miniature Schnauzer—The mini Schnauzer is like the Standard Schnauzer, lively and alert. He’s very good with families.

Norfolk Terrier—The Norfolk is the one with ears that point down. Otherwise he’s just like the Norwich Terrier. These little dogs can take off running when they see something to chase, originally foxes and vermin; now, squirrels.

Norwich Terrier—These terriers are like the Norfolk but with pricked up ears. That wiry coat is just about weather-proof.

Parson Russell Terrier—This name is just another name for the Jack Russell, who was really Parson John Russell, a famous hunter in England. As anyone who’s seen one of these dogs in action, he knows this dog is energetic in the extreme.

Scottish Terrier—We usually see the black Scotties. But they can also come in wheaten or brindle. They’re chasers and diggers and not too fond of other dogs, but their sunny personalities win the day.
Sealyham Terrier—Sealyhams are happy-go-lucky dogs, but the terrier toughness is still there. They have a coarse, wiry coat that used to aid them in their vermin hunting.

Skye Terrier—They may look like purse dogs, but they’re sturdy and agile. They’re family-oriented, but a little stand-offish with strangers.

Smooth Fox Terrier—Hunters bred this dog to hunt foxes. Consequently, they’re speedy and can run for a long time.

West Highland White Terrier—Westies have the terrier personality in spades. A strong-willed family needs to let him know who’s alpha dog. Believe it or not, that coat needs daily brushing.

Wire Fox Terrier—Always ready for action, this breed is bright and playful. His inquisitive nature can get him into a lot of interesting situations.

Non-Working Breeds
Bichon Frise—A bright, cheerful dog, the Bichon looks like a powder puff, but a powder puff that needs a lot of grooming. They’re playful and need regular exercise.

Boston Terrier—This is an American breed who is smart and a good companion. They’re devoted to their owners.

French Bulldog—These affectionate dogs have such big ears to hear with. They’re a companion dog although will bark at approaching danger, such as the mail carrier. They do not like heat.

Lhasa Apso—Covered in fur, this dog can project a fun-loving attitude or a reserved one. They were originally indoor watchdogs, so they’re suspicious of strangers unless trained otherwise.

Lowchen—This breed was always a companion dog. So, he’s loving and bright and ready to be patted.

Tibetan Spaniel—These sweet-tempered dogs are something of an indoor watchdog because they will bark at anyone who approaches the home. The rest of the time they’re family-oriented.
Tibetan Terrier—This breed can take the cold and is even good in hilly, rocky areas. He’s loyal and loving with his family, but is wary of strangers.