Top 10 Small Dogs That Stay Small Forever

Teeny-weeny pups are cute, petite, spicy, and sweet—and we love to make you go. It gets a lot of views, as you know. So, in this article, we’re shouting out the top 10 smallest of the small dogs that stay small forever.

10. Italian Greyhound

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The Italian Greyhound is the tiniest sighthound. It stands at merely 13 to 15 inches tall and weighs between 6 and 10 pounds. Nicknamed the “IG,” this breed was a favorite amongst royals and aristocrats for centuries. It has been around so long that it can also be considered an “OG.” Get it? All jokes aside, this vibrant, intelligent, and sensitive pup has been a companion to kings and queens, including (but not limited to) Louis XIV, Catherine the Great, Frederick the Great, and Queen Victoria. This impressive resume is a testament to their duality as both hound and lap dog. If you want a dog that can go round for round all day with the kids, then curl up with you in a recliner next to the fireplace (as this short-haired breed can get chilly in colder months), then the IG is your “ride or die OG.”

9. Papillon

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Standing 8 to 11 inches at the shoulder and weighing from 4 to 9 pounds, one would think the Papillon, whose name means “butterfly” in French, was named after the tiny delicate insect because of its size. Well, their name is a reference to their prominent wing-shaped ears…although it could just be an allusion to their place as the social butterfly of the small breed dogs.

Papillons are often mistaken for lap dogs. However, they are spunky little extroverts who love to be in the middle of the action. Since they thrive on their owners’ approval, training your sidekick will be a breeze as long as you stick to your guns and don't give in to their daintiness and charm. Odds are your buddy will get along with their pet siblings. However, be prepared to intervene if your fearless, fun-sized buddy gets big dog syndrome. Papillons can be bossy, and often don’t realize that they’re much smaller than their canine siblings or peers.

8. Pekingese

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The Pekingese’s name may translate to “lion dog,” but it has everything to do with their thick-maned appearance and absolutely nothing to do with their size. These pups are only a fraction of a lion’s size at only 6 to 9 inches at the shoulder and 7 to 14 pounds. However, they carry themselves in a regal, dignified manner that is not unlike that of the King of the Savannah. Everyone knows that lions don’t live in the Jungle, right? Anyway, these brave little soldiers have held a special place in Chinese culture for more than 2000 years.

They evolved to accompany the Chinese nobility, including members of the imperial family. So, don’t be phased if your Pekingese bonds with one person in your family and is standoffish towards unfamiliar people and pets. They’ve been dissing commoners for at least 20 centuries. Fun Fact-“Sleeve dogs” were Pekingese weighing less than six pounds that hitched a ride in the sleeve cuffs of robes worn by affiliates of the Chinese Imperial Court.

7. Pomeranian 

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At between 7 and 12 inches at the withers and only 3 to 7 pounds, the Pomeranian is no bigger than well…a pom-pom. But these foxy-faced darlings are scrappy little firecrackers that can light up a room or clear it, depending on their mood. Believe it or not, Pomeranians make excellent watchdogs. They’re alert, curious, and bark at anything they find unusual. Poms are also smart, bold, confident, and like the Papillon, can be bossy, but fail to realize they could end up paying a high cost to be the boss. So, be sure to keep an eye on your Pom when they’re hanging out with larger dogs.

6. Silky Terrier

Image: Dagur Brynjólfsson

The Silky Terrier is another breed that falls into the “small dog with a big personality” category. At only 9 to 10 inches tall and weighing from 8 to 10 pounds, the glossy-coated, diminutive Silky has a chic, graceful appearance with the typical tenacity, confidence, and prey drive of Terriers twice their size. Although well-socialized Silkies tend to be very friendly, they make excellent watchdogs who won’t hesitate to alert you before guests (expected, unexpected or unwanted) arrive at your door. If this guest is of the latter persuasion, they’d better prepare to battle because your Silky will not back down. So, to throw off intruders, be sure to adorn your feisty little friend in barrettes and bows.

5. Japanese Chin

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Are you torn between getting a cat or dog? Well, here’s a canine that acts like a feline and is about the same size. The Japanese Chin is 8 to 11 inches at the shoulder and weighs about 4 to 9 pounds soaking wet…well, not really; they regularly clean themselves, so they rarely need to be bathed. You’ll find that your cat-like cutie has excellent climbing and leaping abilities and enjoys hanging out in high places, like mantels and shelving. Chins get to keep their “canine cards” because they have all the characteristics people want in a dog. They’re playful, love being with their families, are friendly towards other people and pets, and are downright sweet companion dogs.

4. Yorkshire Terrier

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Yorkshire Terriers carry themselves with confidence, holding their precious little heads high as they explore their surroundings or interact with adoring fans. Expect nothing less of the most popular toy dog breed in America. The average height for a Yorkie is 8 to 9 inches at the withers, and the median weight is 4 to 7 pounds, but they have as many bells and whistles as bigger dogs—adorable faces, gorgeous coats of steel blue and tan hair that are “to die for,” and more than their fair share of attitude. Also, the Yorkie is a bonafide fashion icon. They look great in everything from scarves and beanies to haute couture and your purse. And if high fashion isn’t your thing, a simple bow and topknot are all your munchkin will need to break hearts.

3. Mi Ki

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The Mi Ki is a fairly new toy breed at 8 to 10 inches tall and 6 to 10 pounds. A mash-up of several pint-sized pups—including the previously mentioned Papillon, Yorkshire Terrier, and Japanese Chin—there is little wonder why this breed is ridiculously adorable. Mi Kis are cheerful, affectionate, and eager to please, making them easier to train than most toy breeds. But beware of falling under the spell of your Ewok-faced furball. If you allow them to have their way, eventually, they’ll have your way, too. Fun Fact: The Mi Ki rarely barks, but they make sounds similar to a cat’s moan or yodel.

2. Chihuahua

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Okay, no surprise here. When you think “small breed,” the first dog that comes to mind is the Chihuahua, love ‘em or hate ‘em. The world’s smallest dogs, Chihuahuas range from 6 to 9 inches at the shoulder and typically weigh between 3 and 6 pounds. It’s no wonder they seem to be bursting at the seams with personality—it’s because they are…literally. Chihuahuas can be yippy, yappy—and straight-up snappy, which is why there’s usually no grey area when it comes to being a fan or foe. But odds are, if you’re a fan, you’re also a Chi-Chi mom or dad who is adored by your protective little shadow.

1. Toy Fox Terrier 

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Toy Fox Terriers are similar to Chihuahuas in size and appearance at 8 to 11 inches tall and weighing 3 to 7 pounds. They’re tiny, smart, agile pups who were popular performers in the heyday of traveling sideshows and small circuses. Today, they show off their intelligence and athleticism in obedience and agility trials, flyball, and rally competitions. Your protective, tiny Toy Fox will bond closely with you and have a strong desire to be involved in whatever you’re doing. Sometimes, it will seem as if your BFF thinks they are human. That said, they’re undeniably Terriers, through and through. Toy Foxes are determined hunters who are always ready to chase smaller animals or tunnel their way under a fence.

Fun Fact: Toy Fox Terriers have one of the longest lifespans among canines. They live an average of 13 to 14 years. Keep in mind that although most of our itty-bitty breeds have the energy to keep up with rambunctious little ones, their size leaves them vulnerable to rough handling.

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