Small Dog Breeds

With the rise of apartment and city living in the 20th century, small sized dog breeds became very desirable. Smaller dogs also appeal to professionals who work all day and families with children. Below we've listed small dog breeds under 20 lbs.

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Small dogs with low grooming requirements

Affenpinscher  

Affenpinscher

The Affenpinscher (or “Affen” as it is often affectionately called) is a small dog with the build, personality and sturdy constitution of a terrier. It has a short, thick and wiry coat, with longer wisps falling over its face and a slightly curly undercoat. The Affen has a squarish frame and face, round eyes, a short nose and an undershot jaw (giving its nickname, “the monkey terrier”). Traditionally its ears and tails are docked by a third of its length.

 

American Water Spaniel  

American Eskimo (Toy & Miniature)

The toy and miniature American Eskimo's fall into the small dog category. As a breed, they are affectionate, playful, charming, and loving. The shape of their eyes and mouth seem to give them an appearance of smiling.

 

Australian Terrier  

Australian Terrier

As a working dog that has shorter legs and is smaller than most in its breed group, the Australian terrier developed a gait that allows it to cover a fair ground area. The breed has a long head, dark nose, angular-shaped ears, dark luminous eyes, a scissors bite, and a strong chest. It has a straight, rough outer coat that’s around 2.5 inches in length, and a short, smooth undercoat.

 

Bichon Frise  

Bichon Frise

The Bichon Frise is a small toy dog breed known for its white puffball coat. These dogs are very affectionate and get along with people, kids and other pets. As "people" dogs, they should not be left alone for long periods of time. The Bichon Frise is a great indoor dog that requires minimal exericse such as a short daily walk. Although it does not shed much, it has above average grooming requirements in order to maintain its beautiful, unmatted, pure white coat. The Bichon Frise is not suitable as a guard dog, watchdog or primarily outdoor dog.

 

bolognese  

Bolognese

The Bolognese (also called the Bichon Bolognese) is a small, sturdy dog with a fluffy and dense white coat, consisting of long locks with no undercoat. It is a toy dog and shares many physical features with those of its cousins, the Bichon Frese, the Maltese, and the Bichon Havanese. The Bolognese is of a solid build, with its body length being equal to its height at withers. The head is of average length and ears are set wide apart, giving the Bolognese a square appearance.

 

Border Terrier  

Border Terrier

The Border Terrier, or BT as it is affectionately called, is a small spunky terrier with a coarse, wiry double coat. He has dark lively eyes, a short muzzle, black nose and small ears. A Border Terrier is alert, active and agile, and because it was bred to hunt, it is capable of squeezing through narrow apertures and rapidly traversing any kind of terrain.

 

boston terrier  

Boston Terrier

The Boston Terrier, a native American breed, is known for its sunny disposition. This small, compact, well-muscled dog loves to go for walks and as companions or house pets, they have few equals. The Boston Terrier is one of the most popular breeds in the United States and has been rightfully given the name of the American Gentleman because of its affectionate nature. The Boston Terrier is a highly intelligent dog and can sometimes be determined and self willed. Even though they are small, they'll bark to let their family know if someone is at the door.

 

Brussels Griffon  

Brussels Griffon

The Brussels Griffon, named for the city of his origin, Brussels, Belgium, is a lively, sturdy toy dog who is intelligent, alert and has a terrier like disposition. Also known as the Griffon Bruxellois, he attracts attention by his almost humanlike, quizzical expressions. Even though he requires the protections need by any toy breed, the Brussels Griffon is a bright and alert companion.

 

Cairn Terrier  

Cairn Terrier

The vivacious little Cairn Terrier is an active, hardy, small working terrier. He is free in movement, strong, but not heavily built. His head is shorter and wider than any other terriers and well furnished with hair giving a general foxy expression. He is a wonderful family dog, but will always remember his ancestry as a "sporting terrier". He makes a very active, inquisitive and "ready to go" dog. He is a great dog for the house and is very good with children. Energetic and always on the watch, he will alert you to the presence of strangers by growling..

 

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel  

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is known for its expressive, beautiful eyes and its long fluffy ears. It skull is flat and its muzzle is conical in shape. Although they are small, their body is solid and muscular. Their coat is long and silky and usually comes in black and tan, chestnut on white (Blenheim), and ruby. Their tail is sometimes docked. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel seves well as an apartment dog, provided it is given sufficient walks.

 

cesky terrier  

Cesky Terrier

The Cesky Terrier is a short-legged, long-bodied dog with a shaggy coat. Its facial area is considerably bushy, including its eyebrows, mustache, and beard. Although they have a long body, it is not heavy. The head, while long, is not overly so. The ears are triangular in shape and are close to the head. The tail is undocked. Cesky Terriers are great apartment dogs and tend to be very calm indoors.

 

Chihuahua  

Chihuahua

The Chihuahua is known by its small size, big ears, large, dark eyes and its eccentric personality. Some have even joked that the Chihuahua is not really a dog but a descended of rats. Although small in body and size, it is a strong, robust breed. The body is longer in length than its height, and the coat can either be long or short depending on the variety. Colors include brown, fawn, chestnut, and black and tan. To this day, this dog breed remains one of the most popular.

 

Chinese Crested  

Chinese Crested

The Chinese Crested is an excellent family dog that is intelligent, isn't prone to outbursts of energy, and especially the hairless variety can be quite the conversation piece. It has two varieties – the hairless breed that only has hair on its head, tail and feet, and the “powder-puff” breed that has a long coat. Their body size can range from small to medium and they have a long muzzle, a wide skull, dark eyes, and large ears. Both varieties come in a large number of colors whether solid, spotted, or mixed.

 

Coton de Tulear  

Coton de Tulear

The Coton de Tulear (Cotton of Tulear) is a rare, small and furry companion dog known for its white coat, round eyes and its cheery disposition. It hailed originally from the island of Madagascar. It was named after a small sea port of Tulear, which is located at the southern end of the Island. The Coton de Tulear is known for its cottony hair. At birth, the coat of Coton de Tulear puppies is either all white or with yellow, brown, rust or black spots particularly at the head and ears. As the Coton de Tulear matures, these marks diminish to a light champagne or gray hue.

 

Dachshund  

Dachshund

Dachshunds are well known for their small size, but elongated shape. They have boundless energy, and are highly affectionate. They are also known for being rather curious and can often cause mischief for their owners. If you’re looking for a dog that is easy to train, you’re better off getting another breed, as Dachshunds, being very lively, can be pretty hard to train.

 

English Toy Spaniel  

English Toy Spaniel

The English Toy Spaniel is sweet and affectionate. They are gentle, cheerful and playful. However, sometimes they can get timid. The English Toy Spaniel will be sociable to those who approach them in a loving manner. The breed is very well-behaved and clever.

 

French Bulldog  

French Bulldog

The French Bulldog is a very cheerful and affectionate small dog that comes with an equally playful attitude. While it is generally friendly with everyone, it, more often than not, bonds more closely with one person. Most French Bulldogs also relate well with other breeds, although some males can be quite aggressive.

 

Havanese  

Havanese

Havanese are very trainable dogs and for this reason are a favorite circus dog. Despite their small size, they are great watchdogs. They are a very intelligent dog displaying some desirable features: gentle, responsive, affectionate, and very attached to their human families. This breed is excellent with children because they are cheerful and very sociable.

 

Italian Greyhound  

Italian Greyhound

Active and lively, the Italian Greyhound breed loves playful frolic and make ideal walking companions. This breed is very affectionate, gentle and submissive. As a breed, they do great in pairs.

 

Japanese Spaniel  

Japanese Chin

The Japanese Chin is a small dog that makes an excellent watchdog. They tend to be more obedient than other toy breeds and are great for learning tricks. Japanese Spaniels are not barkers but they absolutely love being the center of attention.

 

lancashire heeler  

Lancashire Heeler

The Lancashire Heeler is an alert and friendly breed. They are devoted to their owners and take their job as the family watch dog to heart. They have a tendency to nip at people’s heels but this could be remedied with training (they are not the most trainable breed though!)

 

lhasa apso  

Lhasa Apso

The Lhasa Apso is a lively dog with an assertive mind and lively disposition. It is a smart breed that knows how to respond well to motivational training. It is also a great watchdog, for it has a keen hearing sense and barks appropriately with its deep woof.

 

lowchen  

Lowchen

The Lowchen is sociable, affectionate, and intelligent. It also does well with the children as well as with the other pets. It is responsive to training. Although small, it will often assert to become the household’s top pet. Some Lowchens may have the tendency to bark and dig a lot.

 

maltese  

Maltese

The Maltese, also known as Bichon Maltaise, is a very handsome dog that is often depicted in paintings. Its playful, cheerful disposition goes well even into old age. It is smart and can be trained easily especially when rewarded. In general, this breed does not get along well with other pets.

 

manchester terrier  

Manchester Terrier (Toy & Standard)

The Manchester terrier is very intelligent, energetic, and highly trainable. It also very attentive, watchful, and quite devoted to its owner. Because of its curious nature, this breed likes to go off on adventures

 

miniature pinscher  

Miniature Pinscher

The Miniature Pinscher is one of the most energetic breeds. Adventurous and always probing, this dog needs to be kept within enclosed areas to keep it from running after other animals of its size. This breed needs more intense training and socialization than most.

 

miniature schnauzer  

Miniature Schnauzer

The Miniature Schnauzer is very playful and curious. Although its barking can become a problem, its fun, agreeable, and alert character makes it a great companion in the home. This is one breed that enjoys being involved in activities, particularly with children, and also behaves well around other animals.

 

norfolk terrier  

Norfolk Terrier

The Norfolk Terrier is a charming breed that is one of the smallest in the terrier group. The breed is brave, lively, and friendly and very curious. It is prone to digging and chasing small prey, as it was originally bred to hunt small vermin.

 

 

Norwich Terrier

Norwich Terriers are hardy, happy-go-lucky, weatherproof companions. They are very loyal, alert, and have a sensitive intelligence. This breed loves children and should generally get along with other cats and dogs.

 

Papillon  

Papillon

Papillons are small dogs that weigh under 10 pounds. They are often referred to as little spaniels, but they aren't afraid to do anything a big dog would do. Paps are known as great therapy dogs, have above average tracking abilities, and are quite good with agility.

 

Parson Russell Terrier  

Parson Russell Terrier

The Parson Russell Terrier has a high energy, adventurous nature. They are prone to heavy barking, digging and will chase other animals. Despite these negative qualities, this breed is a favorite world-wide.

 

Pekingese  

Pekingese

The Pekingese is a small dog noted for its brave and stubborn nature, though it is a devoted and affectionate family dog. It is well known for having a mane that resembles that of a lion.

 

Pomeranian  

Pomeranian

The Pomeranian is an intelligent breed that is very bouncy, eager to learn, and devoted to its owner. It has a tendency to bark execessively, and will need aggressive training to correct this problem. Despite being a tiny breed, the Pom is quite assertive and will need firm guidance.

 

Poodle  

Poodle (Toy & Miniature)

The Miniature and Toy Poodles are small dogs weighing between 6 and 20 pounds. The Poodle is a highly intelligent and very trainable breed. They tend to be friendly towards children and strangers, though the smaller varieties tend to be livelier than the standard. Poodles are also the most famous hypoallergenic breed and for this reason get crossed with many other breeds to make the so called designer breeds.

 

Portuguese Podengo  

Portuguese Podengo (Pequeno)

The Pequeno Portuguese Podengos is a small sized breed that weighs between 9 and 13 pounds. They are intelligent, lively dogs. They are also very brave and this makes them a good watch dog. Their sweet disposition make them excellent family companions. Though generally affectionate, some may fight with other dogs. The Portuguese Podengos are more affectionate to people than to other dogs.

 

Pug  

Pug

The Pug is very intelligent but gets easily uninterested with routine exercise and training. It is a good watchdog and loyal companion. Pugs tend to be quite clean and affectionate, though have the habits of wheezing and snoring. Nevertheless, they are quite lovable and well behaved around children and strangers, other dogs and pets.

 

Rat Terrier  

Rat Terrier

The Rat Terrier is feisty, lively, and fearless in nature – characteristics found in the best of terriers. They are not easy to train. However, they make up for this by being intelligent, alert, and loving dogs. Rat Terriers are inquisitive and lively. They make an excellent companion dog because of their affectionate nature. However, those who do not want an energetic, hyper dog should look elsewhere.

 

Schipperke  

Schipperke

The Schipperke dog is small, with oval brown eyes, triangular upright ears and a face that resembles that of a fox. It is a highly energetic dog that enjoys the companionship of other dogs, irregardless of size, and is curious about almost everything.

 

Scottish Terrier  

Scottish Terrier

The Scottish Terrier is a small and compact breed that is stronger and more agile than it actually looks. It has boundless energy and determination. As a puppy, the Scottish Terrier is playful and friendly; as it grows older, it adapts a more dignified behavior.

 

Shiba Inu  

Shiba Inu

The Shiba Inu is a furry, small and compact breed. It is affectionate and loving, making it good companions for small children. They tend to be quite reserved initially, especially with strangers.

 

Shih Tzu  

Shih Tzu

The Shih Tzu, much like its endearing appearance, is easy to love because of its spunky character. This small breed easily makes friends with both people and animals because of its naturally playful and affectionate demeanor.

 

Silky Terrier  

Silky Terrier

The Silky Terrier is very boisterous and playful and generally enjoys the company of children. They often express their curiosity by digging. This tiny breed can also be trained to become good watch dogs, because of their alert nature. However, they have the tendency to become barkers if not trained properly.

 

Smooth Fox Terrier  

Smooth Fox Terrier

The Smooth Fox Terrier is an extremely affectionate breed to their humans but can also become jealous, impulsive, and scrappy if not given proper attention. This energetic dog is very playful especially to kids but be careful, because they have a tendency to be a little too agressive. Also, tends to be a noisy barker. Despite this, the Smooth Fox Terrier is very loyal and intelligent, and it can even be trained for tricks and other useful commands.

 

Tibetan Spaniel  

Tibetan Spaniel

The Tibetan Spaniel is a small attractive dog. This vivacious breed is very smart, sweet and trusting. They are highly protective, loyal, affectionate, and great towards the kids. It can be slightly hard to train due to its sometimes willful and assertive attitude.

 

Toy Fox Terrier  

Toy Fox Terrier

Despite its size, the Toy Fox Terrier tends to act like a big dog. It is bright, energetic, tough and rather quick. Its exceptional intelligence readily manifests itself by being a highly trainable dog. This tiny bundle of energy is quite entertaining and playful but it is best suited for owners with a healthy sense of humor and a dose of patience.

 

West Highland White Terrier  

West Highland White Terrier

West Highland White Terriers have a lively disposition which makes them ideal family dogs. This breed is very intelligent, highly trainable, faithful, courageous, is good with children and very devoted to its owner. This breed thrives best under lots of attention.

 

Wire Fox Terrier  

Wire Fox Terrier

The Wire Fox Terrier is an unusual terrier in that it does well with kids. It can be quite patient and protective and exhibits moderate dependence on humans. It is highly trainable but easily becomes bored with repetition. There may be some problems with dominance challenges particularly with meek owners and excessive barking that is often high-pitched enough to be quite annoying to neighbors.

 

Yorkshire Terrier  

Yorkshire Terrier

The Yorkshire Terrier is a small and seemingly delicate breed. It has a playful disposition and is generally tolerant of children provided they maintain respect for its territory. It gets along well enough with cats and other household pets but exhibits occasional aggressiveness with larger dogs. It can become very attached to its human family but it should not be excessively pampered as doing so actually confuses it.

 

Xoloitzcuintli  

Xoloitzcuintli (Toy & Miniature)

Xoloitzcuintli have a calm nature, are very affectionate and cheerful to family members and reserved among strangers. It seldom barks, and when it does, only to alert or alarm its humans. It is intelligent, making it easy to train.

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