Breaking Down the Smallest Dog Breeds

Dogs are lovable enough that it’s only natural we love them as small as possible. Having a large Labrador or Golden Retriever has its own perks, but there’s just something exquisitely special about carrying part of your heart around in your arms. There are plenty of small breeds to choose from, but if you’re looking for a truly tiny breed, check out some of the dogs from this list.

Affenpinscher

This is a relatively unheard of dog breed in the States. Its popularity definitely lies in European countries, but there’s a growing population in the United States. These tiny terriers usually weigh between six and 13 pounds, although their longer hair makes them seem a bit larger than they actually are. In the 17th century, these feisty dogs were kept in houses to control the rodent populations in the kitchen. Your Affenpinscher may have some of this instinct left, but most likely they’ll just want to settle in for a good cuddle or a brisk walk.

Japanese Chin

If you like small snub-nosed dogs, then the petite Japanese Chin is perfect for you. These dogs were originally bred to be the lapdogs of Japanese royalty, so it was important that they remain as small as possible. Today’s Chins range between seven and nine pounds. They still prefer to be in their owner’s lap and many Chin owners report that their dogs are more cat-like than dog-like, making this the perfect breed for quiet families.

Maltese

With their larger than life personalities and long, flowing hair, Maltese dogs are calm, sweet, and extremely loyal. Prior to the 17th and 18th centuries, they were actually larger than today’s breed standard, but breeders decided they wanted a smaller statured dog, so they successfully bred the Maltese down to two pounds (but they can get as large as eight pounds).

Papillons

If you want a small dog that’s going to catch some eyes, you should look into the Papillon ear. The breed is lauded for their silky hair and butterfly-shaped ears. The Papillon breed is incredibly old and dates back to the 1500s. They were very popular lap dogs for upper-class Europeans, and their size was small even back then. Today’s breed ranges from eight to 10 pounds.

Pomeranian

Loved for their fluffy hair, teddy bear faces, and gentle personalities, Pomeranians are definitely one of the smallest breeds out there. They can be as small as three pounds, and the breed standard dictates that they don’t get any larger than eight pounds. Pomeranians are one of the most popular breeds in the United States, and they’re an excellent choice for active families and older people alike.

Russian Toy

Russian Toys are not very common in the United States; in fact, even the most avid dog lover has most likely never heard of this tiny dog. Like Chihuahuas, there are two coat varieties: long and short. They only stand eight to 10 inches tall and weigh between three and six pounds. They were originally bred to hunt rats, and their personality is very active and driven, meaning this is a dog for people who don’t mind vocal animals.

Toy Fox Terrier

Many people get the Toy Fox terrier confused with the Jack Russel Terrier. While the two look very similar, the Fox terrier weighs less than 10 pounds. You can find Fox terriers as small as three pounds and as large as nine pounds. This is not a breed for a sedentary family; they absolutely need a family who can give them plenty of exercise on a regular basis.

Yorkshire Terrier

It might be hard to believe that the dainty Yorkie was originally bred as a hunting dog, but their spunky personalities make it seem a bit more plausible. Depending on the dog, a Yorkie can weigh anywhere from a teeny three pounds to a respectable seven.

Chihuahua

Considered the golden child of the toy breeds, Chihuahuas come in all sizes, as long as that size is tiny. You can find Chihuahuas as small as three pounds and as large as seven pounds. Don’t let people trick you, though; there is no such thing as a “Teacup Chihuahua”. Chihuahuas are extremely loyal to their families but do better in homes without small children.

Whether you want an itty-bitty pup to snuggle in bed or a dog to travel with you during your retirement, there is a tiny dog out there that’s a perfect fit for every lifestyle.

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