Small Dog Breeds According to the American Kennel Club

Small dog breeds are becoming increasingly popular, and it’s no wonder why. These diminutive dogs are often just as active and affectionate as their larger counterparts, but they require less space and are better suited to small homes and apartments. If you’re considering adding a small dog to your family, you’ll want to do some research to find the breed that best fits your lifestyle. The American Kennel Club recognizes more than 150 different breeds of dogs, many of which are classified as “toy” or “miniature.” 


The Chihuahua is a ‘toy-sized’ breed of dog, characterized by its large, pointy ears and small stature. Originating from the Mexican state of the same name, Chihuahuas are the smallest recognized breed of dog in the world. Though they are often thought of as lap dogs, Chihuahuas are surprisingly active and adaptable, and can make good pets for families with children as well as for seniors or singletons. Though they require some special care due to their size and delicate bones, Chihuahuas can be loyal and loving companions for many years.

Toy Poodle

The Toy Poodle is a small breed of dog that typically weighs less than 10 pounds. Originally bred in Germany, Toy Poodles were originally used as hunting dogs. However, they quickly became popular as companion animals due to their small size and intelligent, affectionate nature. Today, Toy Poodles are one of the most popular breeds of dogs in the United States. They are known for being highly trainable and make excellent family pets. If you are looking for a small dog with a big personality, the Toy Poodle may be the perfect breed for you.


Dachshunds are one of the small dog breeds, full of energy and love to play. They are easy to train, and they are one of the most popular dog breeds. Dachshunds were originally bred in Germany to hunt badgers, and they are still used for hunting today.

They have a long body and short legs, which makes them perfect for going underground. Dachshunds come in three different coat types: smooth, wirehaired, and long-haired. They come in a variety of colors, including black, tan, and red. No matter what color or coat type you choose, a dachshund is sure to be a loyal and playful companion.

Yorkshire Terrier

The Yorkshire terrier is a small dog breed of terrier type, developed in the 19th century in the county of Yorkshire, England. The defining features of the Yorkshire Terrier are its silky blue and tan coat, and its small size. They are sometimes called Yorkies. Yorkshire Terriers were originally bred to catch rats in clothing mills.

They are placed in the Toy Terrier section of many kennel clubs. A popular companion dog, the Yorkshire Terrier has also been part of the development of other breeds, such as the Silky Terrier

The Yorkshire Terrier’s long, silky coat requires regular grooming to prevent matting. The traditional Yorkie cut includes a body coat that is tapered around the legs and belly, and a face that is covered with long hair except for the muzzle.

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This style is often called a “puppy cut” or “teddy bear cut”. In addition to regular grooming, long-coated Yorkshire Terriers may need to have their coat trimmed several times a year to prevent it from dragging on the ground.


The Maltese is a small breed of dog that is known for its white coat. Despite their small size, Maltese are very active dogs that enjoy playing and bark frequently. They are also known for being affectionate and love to cuddle with their owners. Maltese are relatively easy to train and make great companion animals.

As with all small breeds, they require regular grooming to keep their coats clean and free of mats. Maltese are also susceptible to a number of health problems, including eye problems, respiratory issues, and dental problems.


The Pomeranian is a tiny dog with a thick coat of fur. Pomeranians are active and playful, and they enjoy daily walks. They are also known for being very protective of their owners. Pomeranians shed heavily, so they require regular grooming.Some people also choose to shave their Pomeranians in the summer to help them stay cool. Pomeranians are excellent companion dogs and make great pets for families with children.

Toy Poodle

The Toy Poodle is a popular breed of a family dog. Though they are small in size, they are big on personality. They are intelligent and playful, and they make great companions. Toy Poodles are also known for their distinctive fluffy white coats. While many people choose to keep their Toy Poodles in the traditional poodle cut, there are a variety of haircut options available. No matter what their coat looks like, Toy Poodles are sure to bring joy to any home.

Bichon Frise

The Bichon Frise is a small, cheerful dog that has its origins in the Mediterranean. Bred as a companion dog, the Bichon Frise is known for its affectionate nature and works well with children and other pets. The breed standard for the Bichon Frise calls for a dog that is white in color and has a soft, fluffy coat.

The Bichon Frise is an active breed that loves to play, but they are also content to snuggle on your lap. With their happy disposition and love of companionship, it’s no wonder that the Bichon Frise has become a popular pet all over the world.


Of all the apartment dogs out there, the Pug stands out as one of the best. These small, outgoing dogs are perfect for city living, and they don’t require a lot of space to be happy. Pugs are also pretty low-maintenance when it comes to grooming, and they don’t shed very much.

However, apartment dwellers should be aware that Pugs can be quite vocal, and they may not do well with long periods of alone time. But if you’re looking for a loving and companionship, a Pug may be the perfect dog for you.


The Havanese is a small, meek-natured toy breed of dog with silky fur. The most popular color for this pup is black, but they can also be white, blue, and silver. The Havanese do not have an undercoat, so they do not shed very much. They are good for people who are allergic to dogs but still want to enjoy the companionship of a furry friend.

This breed is highly trainable and loves to please their owner, which makes them a perfect pup for first time dog owners or those with kids in the family. The Havanese is also relatively low-maintenance when it comes to grooming. A little brushing and the occasional bath is all that’s needed to keep them looking their best.

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Brussels Griffon

The Brussels Griffon is a small breed of dog that originates from Belgium. The breed is characterized by its large, expressive eyes and shaggy coat. Griffons are known for being intelligent and affectionate dogs, and they make excellent companions.

Although they do not require a lot of exercise, Griffons enjoy going on walks and playing games. They are also relatively easy to train, making them well-suited for city living. If you are looking for a loyal and loving companion, the Brussels Griffon may be the perfect breed for you.

American Eskimo Dog

The American Eskimo Dog is a spitz-type breed of dog that originated in Germany. The breed was originally used for sledding and other working purposes, but today they are more commonly kept as companion animals. American Eskimo Dogs are intelligent and obedient, making them excellent pets. They are also relatively easy to train and are very loyal to their owners.

American Eskimo Dogs come in three size varieties: toy, miniature, and standard. They typically have a white or cream-colored coat, although some may have markings of light brown or gray. American Eskimo Dogs are generally healthy and have a lifespan of 12-15 years.

Jack Russell Terrier

The Jack Russell Terrier is one of the small dog breeds. It originated in England in the 1800s. The original purpose of the breed was to hunt foxes, and they were bred to be tenacious and fearless. Today, Jack Russells are still used for hunting, but they are also popular as companion animals. They are known for being intelligent, energetic, and loving.

They typically weigh between 10 and 15 pounds and stand between 10 and 12 inches tall. They have a short, dense coat that can be either smooth or rough. The most common colors are white with black or tan markings. Although they are good with children, they can be strong-willed and need firm training. They are also active dogs that require plenty of exercise.

American Cocker Spaniel

The American Cocker Spaniel is a popular breed of dog that is known for its gentle and loving nature. Cockers are one of the small dog breeds and typically weigh between 20 and 30 pounds. They have long, silky ears and a thick, luxurious coat that comes in a variety of colors, including black, brown, and white. Cockers are intelligent dogs that are easily trained. They are also active and playful, making them great companions for children.

In addition to being excellent family pets, Cockers are also used as hunting dogs and as show dogs. They have won numerous championships in both obedience and agility trials. The American Cocker Spaniel is a versatile and all-around great breed of dog.


The Papillon is a small, friendly, and intelligent breed of dog. They are known for their big ears and their happy dispositions. Papillons are good at obedience and agility training. They are also good with children and other dogs. They are part of the Toy Group of dogs.

The name Papillon means “butterfly” in French. This is because of the way their big ears stand up on their heads. Papillons come in many different colors, including black, white, and brown. They usually weigh between 5 and 10 pounds. Their lifespan is 12 to 15 years.

Scottish Terrier

The Scottish Terrier is a small breed of dog that is known for its distinctive appearance. adult Scottish Terriers typically weigh between 18 and 22 pounds and stand between 10 and 12 inches tall at the shoulder. They have short, muscular bodies with thick legs and a long, fluffy tail. The Scottish Terrier’s coat is rough and wiry, and it is often black, brindle, or wheaten in color. The breed is also known for its large, pointy ears and almond-shaped eyes.

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Scottish Terriers are loyal and independent dogs that make excellent companions. They are lively and playful, but they can also be stubborn and willful. With early training and socialization, however, Scottish Terriers can learn to get along well with other dogs and people. This loyal breed makes a great addition to any family.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Unlike other small breeds, the Cavalier is known for its gentle and affectionate nature. Cavaliers are also relatively easy to train and are generally good with children. Because of their even temperaments, they make excellent therapy dogs. In recent years, the Cavalier has become one of the most popular breeds in the United States.

According to the American Kennel Club, the breed is currently ranked as the 19th most popular dog breed in America. If you are looking for a loyal and loving companion, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel may be the perfect breed for you.


The Schnauzer is a versatile breed of dog that originated in Germany. The Standard Schnauzer is the oldest and largest of the three Schnauzer breeds, and it is believed to be the foundation for both the Miniature Schnauzer and the Giant Schnauzer. Standard Schnauzers are intelligent and obedient dogs that make excellent watchdogs and loyal companions. They are also relatively easy to train and are well-suited for a variety of activities, including agility, obedience, tracking, and even herding.

Although they are typically calm and even-tempered, Standard Schnauzers can be willful at times, and they may require a firm hand during training. With their distinct bearded faces and fearless attitudes, Standard Schnauzers are truly distinctive dogs.

Which of the Small Dog Breeds is the Best for You?

Deciding which small dog breed is the best for you can be a daunting task. There are so many factors to consider, from energy levels to grooming needs. However, by taking the time to do your research, you can find the perfect pup for your lifestyle. For example, if you’re looking for a low-maintenance companion, a toy poodle may be a good choice. These dogs don’t require much exercise and their coat only needs to be clipped every few months.

On the other hand, if you want a dog with a bit more pep in its step, a Jack Russell Terrier might be a better option. These breeds are known for their high energy levels and need plenty of daily exercise. No matter which small dog breed you choose, remember that regular vet check-ups and preventive care are essential for keeping your pet healthy and happy.

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