Everyone has their favorite breed of dog – from big, friendly giants to adorable teacup pups. But when you’re choosing the perfect breed to bring home, there’s more to consider than just which dog you most like the look of.
The larger the dog, the more you’ll need to spend on food, the more time you’ll need for keeping them active, and if they’re a shedding breed there will be much more fur around the home. Don’t get us wrong – we love all dog’s equally. But there are pros and cons to different sizes.
One of the other benefits of owning a smaller dog is that they’re likely to be more adaptable to smaller spaces. This makes them especially popular with city- and apartment-dwellers that just don’t have the space to home a Saint Bernard.
So, if you’re considering introducing a dog to the family but need (or want) them to be on the smaller side, these 12 dogs that don’t grow beyond a few inches might be the perfect pick for you.
1. Brussels Griffon
Don’t be fooled by the Brussels Griffon’s delicate stature. These sturdy dogs love to run and play and can become quite muscular thanks to their athletic nature. However, since they only weigh up to 12 lbs you won’t need to worry about them outgrowing your apartment.
Affectionate and loving, the Brussels Griffon’s dedication to their owners has earned them the nickname of Velcro dogs. They love to be by your side and are well suited to owners that don’t leave the house for long stretches and can be an equally loyal companion to their pup.
The adorable fluff ball Bolognese is known for its calm and cheerful nature, so they make easy companions as well as compact pets. Growing only up to 14 lbs, they remain cute and cuddle-sized throughout their life.
The Bolognese gets on with just about anyone, but their open and expressive nature means they can be especially sensitive to poor treatment. They also love to be with their families, and can suffer from separation anxiety if left alone for too long. But with plenty of love and affection and positive reinforcement, they make content little housemates.
The tiny Chihuahua is one of the smallest dogs that grow from around 2.5 ounces at birth up to 6 lbs as an adult. Loving and affectionate, their favorite thing is to spend time with their owners, at home, on their lap while they work, and even in their handbag while they shop.
Thanks to their miniature size, Chihuahuas can adapt to even the most cozy living quarters – but they’re prone to zoomies and do need up to 30 minutes of exercise every day as well as plenty of play time at home.
The long and short Dachshund was originally a hunting dog that was able to wriggle into animals’ burrows, hence their convenient shape. In modern life, it makes them wonderfully suited to apartment living and they’re perfect pets for dog lovers looking for a breed that doesn’t grow much.
A Miniature Dachshund will grow to around 6 inches tall and 11 lbs, while other types will grow larger. But whichever Dachshund you go for, they’ll make loyal and affectionate companions that will warm your lap while you watch TV, your feet while you work, and even snuggle into your side while you sleep (if you let them).
5. Italian Greyhound
The tiny cousin of the slender Greyhound, Italian Greyhounds rarely weigh more than 18 lbs or grow taller than 1 ft. Affectionate and playful, these pets love to please their owners and will be a loyal companion that sticks to your side.
Greyhounds can suffer from anxiety so they’re best suited to owners that have a lot of time to dedicate to their care. In return, they’ll get a loyal, devoted, and fun pet that can adapt easily to both large and small living environments.
6. Japanese Chin
The Japanese Chin weighs up to 9 lbs and stands at up to 11 inches. One of the best pets for clean freaks, they too are keen on self-grooming and are known to lick themselves like cats to keep their coat clean. Thanks to this, they don’t need much professional grooming despite their beautiful sleek fur.
Though fun and affectionate, the Japanese Chin is fairly independent so makes a good pet for busy families as they’re happy to get on with their own thing. Though they need moderate exercise, they aren’t prone to anxiety if they have a day off – just make sure they have plenty of toys to stay occupied with at home.
The Maltese is best known for its beautiful white coat and tiny stature. These dogs don’t grow to more than 7 lbs and can look like little clouds when they move. Despite all that fur, they actually shed very little and are favored by dog owners that require a hypoallergenic breed.
Charming and intelligent, the Maltese is smart enough to adapt well to training but stubborn enough to make things difficult when they become bored. Owners are advised to use positive reinforcement to reward Malteses during training as they’re driven by making their owners happy.
8. Miniature Pinscher
A Miniature Pinscher weighs up to 10 lbs, making them up to ten times smaller than their larger Pinscher counterparts. Despite this, the mini breed shares the same fearless and assertive attitude. Playful and fun loving, the Min Pin is a wonderful addition to any household.
Like larger Pinschers, Min Pins are also known for their loyalty, affection, and friendly nature that helps them to get along well with both humans and other animals.
Papillon is French for butterfly, a name this tiny breed has earned thanks to its beautiful face and big, wing-like ears. Aside from its adorable looks, the Papillon is friendly, affectionate, and mischievous. Unlike other small dogs that love to lounge at home, this breed is energetic and active, and prefers to be bouncing around or playing than sitting still.
The 9 lb Papillon loves their owner and can suffer from separation anxiety. They’re also prone to sassiness and can lord over other animals if they’re not well socialized from an early age.
The fluffy Pomeranian is known for its bushy tail and super soft coat. Weighing up to 7 lbs, they keep their tiny, teddy-like look throughout their life – but don’t let that fool you. Poms have the personality of a big dog trapped in a tiny dog’s body and can take it upon themselves to become the guardian of the household and a bit of a fighter.
Pomeranians are affectionate, playful, and love to be around people and other animals. But they can also become stubborn and independent without proper training. For this reason, they’re best suited to owners that have plenty of time to train their small dog – even if they don’t have plenty of space to hand at home.
The Belgian Schipperke stands at just 15 inches tall, and can weigh up to 16 lbs thanks to all that thick, black fur. Despite their tiny size, they have a reputation as fearless guard dogs that might not quite understand their size!
Schipperkes are adaptable and devoted, but their independent streak can make them tricky to train. They love their families and are great with children, so as long as their owners are patient with the training and socialization they’ll be rewarded with a wonderful fluffy companion.
12. Yorkshire Terrier
The sleek and silky Yorkshire Terrier is one of the most popular toy dog breeds. Another small dog with big dog energy, they can be fierce and fearless with a strong sense of adventure that makes them great fun to be around.
Weighing up to 6lbs, these tiny pups are a popular pet with plenty of personality, but they can be prone to barking and don’t always get on well with children. But with dedicated training and socialization, they’ll make brilliant companions to equally loyal owners.