40 Cutest Small Dog Breeds

February 8, 2022 By Pierre Off

Our list of the 46 cutest small dog breeds.

1. Chihuahua

Chihuahuas are an intriguing choice for novice pet parents. These small dogs demand so little, yet give so much in return.

Named one of the “America’s most popular breeds” for over two decades they’re extremely loyal companions who enjoy following their people around the house, even fetching slippers if they wander too far away.

While their tinkering nature sometimes amps up into something bubbly or downright destructive, Chihuahuas love nothing more than being with their people — even novice pet parents — and require a minimum of grooming and effort when taken outside on a walk. 

2. Maltese Dog

The Maltese Dog possesses an elegant, aristocratic disposition combined with a sound, rugged body. They are small but sturdy.

3. Yorkshire terrier

Yorkies can make great pets in small homes and apartments. However Yorkies also tend to be yappy and loud, so they may not be ideal for living in a community where neighbors can hear them well.

3. Pomerianian

Pomeranian dogs are small long-haired dogs that often require grooming. That’s me! My name is Pierre and I’m one of the writers on this space! Let me know if you need any help with your experience


They are small, fluffy, and typically require grooming on a regular basis. Pomeranian dogs were bred to be lapdogs for royalty in the 18th century so they are used to being around people all the time.

4. Shih Tzu

The Shih Tzu is a toy dog, very popular for its long, flat, silky coat and a characteristic “smile” on its face. It is one of the most ancient dog breeds.

Shih Tzus are typically very sensitive and respond to training patiently with careful attention to detail. Certain types of Shih Tzu need special care with regards to their coats, which can mat if they are not brushed regularly or with the correct type of brush.

5. Bichon Frise

The Bichon Frise is a very small dog breed that originated in the Mediterranean countries during the 14th century. It is believed that these dogs are descendants of the Barbet, an ancestor of modern-day water spaniels.

They are one of the most popular breeds in the United States and Europe, ranking number seven in popularity according to AKC data. These animals have a lot of potential to entertain people. They are known for being energetic, vibrant, playful, and affectionate pets who enjoy human companionship.

6. Miniature Poodle

The miniature poodle is a breed of dog and in some countries, it is considered “royal”. It was originally bred to be hunting dogs and were later used as circus performers. They are intelligent, friendly, and easy to train.

Poodles are one of the most popular breeds in the United States and Europe. They come in many colors such as brown, white, black, or chocolate.

7. Pug

Pugs are small in size and big in personality. They are very mischievous and playful. They will play with anything they can get their paws on, which is why they require daily exercise to stay healthy.

They are often cited as one of the most intelligent dog breeds, although they can be stubborn when it comes to training. If you enjoy lazy, belly rubs and a constant companion, a pug is a perfect choice for you!

8. Dachshund

Dachshund is a highly energetic dog who loves to hunt. They are very talented at tracking, trailing, and jumping. They can be stubborn at times and if they don’t get what they want, they will let you know.

9. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a small, sturdy, compact dog that has a head that is proportionately large with an intelligent expression. The ears are set high and button at the back of the skull. The eyes are deep-set and dark brown in color.

The fur on this breed should be short and close to the skin. They have a soft undercoat, but no harsh guard hairs present.

There are four colors for this breed: Blenheim (chestnut & white), Tricolor (black & tan with white markings), Black & Tan (solid black with tan points), and Ruby (solid red).

9. Boston Terrier

Boston terriers are one of the most loyal dog breeds. They are playful, energetic, and very affectionate.

Boston terriers can be great family dogs. They get along well with children and other pets in the household. Boston terriers thrive on human companionship. 

10. Havanese

The Havanese is a sweet pet that have long fluffy hair. Their sweet temperament makes them an ideal pet for most households.

They are also seen in many types of canine competitions like agility, tracking, and pet therapy.

11. Affenpinscher

The first recorded appearance of this breed was in 1878 when an Affenpinscher went to England to take part in a dog show. This event would be considered as one of their first steps into becoming recognized by kennel clubs around the world. In 1899, the first Affenpinschers were imported into America where they joined other pinschers at Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.

12. Papillon

Papillon dogs are a type of pet dog that originated in 17th century France. Papillon means butterfly, which is why this breed of dog is also called the ‘French Butterfly Dog’. A Papillon dog typically has a long torso, short back legs, and long floppy ears that stand upright when alert.

Papillion dogs are intelligent and sensitive to their owner’s needs. They are great companion animals with high energy levels and an affectionate personality. They do not require an immense amount of exercise or inordinate amounts of care.

13. Brussels Griffon

The Brussels Griffon is a small dog with a wide range of skills. They are very vocal and have a calming effect on those that live with them. It is a cheerful and lively breed that has a tendency to follow you around the house. 

14. French Bulldog

French Bulldogs are generally a healthy breed and can live up to 10 to 14 years.

French Bulldogs make excellent lap dogs and guard dogs. They are both affectionate and playful and love to sleep in your bed with you. French Bulldogs like to be around people and should not be left alone for long periods of time.

French Bulldogs are one of the most popular dog breeds in the United States, Canada, Australia, France, Italy, Japan, China, Belgium, Mexico, Spain, Portugal, and Bulgaria.

15. Beagle

A Beagle is a type of hound that is known for its ability to hunt by scent. It is commonly kept as a pet because of its pleasant personality, intelligence, and sensitivity.

Beagles are usually brown-and-tan, but some are white with brown markings on their face and legs. They have long floppy ears that are large with an oval shape at the base.

16. The Chinese Crested Dog

Is a small, semi-primitive breed of dog. It is one of the most recent breeds developed and it is also one of the rarest. The only countries in which they are somewhat popular are France and Italy.

17. Italian Greyhound

Italian Greyhound, 2021 National Dog Show, Toy Group | NBC Sports

This dog’s closest relatives are the Whippet and other Greyhounds, although it’s a smaller breed than those. Its name may come from its country of origin.

18. Japanese Chin

This dog has been around for centuries – but many people call it a “Toy Dog.” They were called this because they were mainly bred as pets to be small enough for people to easily carry them about 

19. Miniature Schnauzer

The Miniature Schnauzer is a small, intelligent, energetic breed of dog. One of the most distinctive features of this breed is its beard and mustache. With a protective and loyal personality, the Miniature Schnauzer is devoted to its family.

The Miniature Schnauzer breed is one of the best breeds for apartment life because they are low-shedding and have minimal drooling problems.

20. Miniature Pinscher

One of the most attractive features of the Miniature Pinscher is its intelligence. They are very smart dogs and, in some ways, they resemble cats more than dogs.

Miniature Pinschers are known for being very intelligent. This breed needs an owner who is assertive but loving at the same time in order for them to behave well.

21. Basenji

Basenjis are usually very social, friendly, and calm dogs. They make excellent family pets. They are also good watchdogs for apartments.

The Basenji is an alert, agile dog that is not very large. The breed has a natural tail that curls over its back. The coat has short hair that is often black with white markings or red-brown with white spots all over the body.

22. Pekingese

A Pekingese dog is a toy breed of dog, originating in China. They are part of the spitz-type dogs, which are believed to be one of the oldest types of dogs. These dogs were brought to Europe by Dutch traders in the 17th century and became popular as pets amongst royalty.

Pekingese puppies require a lot of exercise and playtime as they will not stay still for long periods of time, but will happily curl up on your lap if given the opportunity. They also need to be socialized from an early age as they can be wary around strangers due to their old-fashioned bloodlines

23. Border Terrier

Border Terrier is a breed of dog originating in the border country between England and Scotland. The Border Terrier’s short, strong legs, deep chest, and rough coat are made for rough terrain.

24. Pembroke Welsh Corgi

The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is a small dog breed that originated in Wales. Corgis originated as a herding dog for cattle and sheep. Today it is often kept as an especially valued member of the family.

The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is one of the most popular breeds in the United States. And as one of America’s most popular breeds, there are many Pembroke Welsh Corgi breeders across the nation.

25. Cairn Terrier

The Cairn Terrier dog breed is a small and sturdy breed that has a lot in common with the Border Terrier. One of the most notable characteristics of this dog is its long, wiry coat.

26. English Cocker Spaniel Cotoon de Tulear

The English Cocker Spaniel Cotoon de Tulear is a mix-breed dog. It is an intelligent, friendly, gentle dog that loves kids.

27. Lhasa Apso

Lhasa apso is a breed of dog recognized by the American Kennel Club as a member of the Toy group. Lhasa Apso dogs are often very small and share a similar appearance with Shih Tzu.

The Lhasa apso breed was first introduced to the west in the 1930s, but it is said that these dogs originated from Tibet. The Tibetan word “Lha-sa” means “the lion’s paw,” which describes their stance and foot shape. In general, they are lively and playful dogs who will enjoy being around children.

28. Toy Fox Terrier

Toy fox terriers are small dogs with fox-like features. They have a small, domed head with erect ears and large, dark eyes with an alert expression. The tail is carried over the back but may be docked to half its length or less. Other characteristics include an arched neck, compact body, polished coat, and long legs.

Toy fox terriers are highly intelligent dogs that are capable of training for several different jobs such as search and rescue work, agility courses, therapy dog work or competitive obedience trials. These working dogs can be trained

29. Bolognese Dog

Bolognese Dog breed is a toy dog breed originating from Italy. They are adorable and like to be the center of attention.

Bolognese Dogs come in two varieties: longhaired and shorthaired. They both share the same coloring: white with black markings on the head and chest or throughout their body, but can also come in any solid color. A distinctive characteristic of the Bolognese Dog is their long, usually corded coat that can be either straight or curly (also known as “lion-type” hair).

30. West Highland

The West Highland White Terrier is a small dog of Scottish origin, with a variety of nicknames, such as the “Westie”.

It was bred to hunt rodents in farms and mills. This breed makes an excellent companion dog and has been popular in the U.S. since it was introduced there in the 1930s.

31. Sheltir

Sheltir is a crossbreed dog that is made by crossing a male Siberian husky and a female German Shepherd dog. This breed is very intelligent; they are easy to train, gentle with children and their families, and perfect for people with allergies.

Sheltir dogs are extremely intelligent, owing to the intelligence of the Siberian Husky. They learn commands quickly and are eager to please their owners, which makes them easy to train. Due to the intelligence of the Sheltir’s mother breed- German Shepherd- these dogs have a high level of understanding which makes them gentle with children and loving towards their families.

32. Alskan Klee Kai

The Alaskan Klee Kai is a crossbreed of an Alaskan Husky and German Shorthaired Pointer, but they are often mistaken to be a Siberian Husky mix due to their resemblance with them physically. 

They are lean-bodied with strong legs and feet which make them able to survive harsh conditions like snow, ice or desert sand.

33. Shiba Inu

The Shiba Inu is a Japanese breed of dog that was originally bred for hunting. They are a small, yet ancient canine from Japan and have been selectively bred to hunt rabbits and small game. Much like their larger counterparts, they have been used as watchdogs and pest control, but also as good hunters.

34. Rat Terrier

The Rat Terrier is an American breed of dog that was originally bred to hunt rats in commercial grain storage facilities. The earliest known ancestor of the breed is Black Hawk, a dog born in 1889.

35. Schipperke

The Schipperke dog breed is one of the most popular breeds in the world. They are intelligent, active, curious and friendly dogs. Schipperkes are known for their black mask and should be kept in cold climate where snow is present for more than 4 months of the year.

The Schipperke also has an excellent sense of smell and hearing because it was bred to hunt rats in barns or homes with thatched roofs. The Schipperke’s name comes from Belgium, where it was used to hunt waterfowl around canals and dikes.

36. Silky Terrier

The Silky Terrier dog breed can be traced back to the 1880s. They originated from England and were bred as a hunting companion for hunters of vermin on a wide variety of estates.

The Silky Terrier has a pleasant disposition and is friendly with other pets. It is an excellent family companion but needs some form of exercise regularly to prevent it from becoming bored.

37. Scottish Terrier

The Scottish Terrier is a small working or companion dog. The breed was created to hunt and kill vermin. The Scottish Terrier is a terrier, which means that it has been created from the same lineage as other terriers such as the Cairn, West Highland White, and Dandie Dinmont.

The Scottish Terrier can be identified by its rust or wheaten hair color, as well as the docked tail that is customarily carried over its back.

38. Cardigan Welsh Corgi

Cardigan Welsh Corgi Dog breed is one of the four dog breeds in Wales. Cardigans are low-set, solid, sturdily built dogs. The body is strong and compact, with a deep chest and well-sprung ribs giving plenty of lung capacity for endurance. The Cardigan Welsh Corgi has a short head with a straight or slightly dished profile. They have medium-sized ears which are shaped like triangles or teardrops in shape.

39. Australian Terrier

The Australian Terrier was originally bred in the early 1900s by crossing the Dandie Dinmont Terrier, the Scottish Terrier, and other terriers to create a dog with high energy. The breed is known for its friendly temperament and loyalty.

This breed has a tight coat that is made up of straight hair. It can come in colors of all shades of brown, red, wheaten, or black with white markings on its chest. This dog breeds’ eyes are usually brown or hazel. The Australian Terrier has a small to medium size that makes it perfect for apartment living.

40. Bedlington Terrier

The Bedlington Terrier is an old dog breed that originated in the 19th century, so its exact origins are not known. But it is believed that the breed originates from Scotland. The Bedlington Terrier is more of a pet than a working dog, so they are not very active or amenable to training.