7 Of The World’s Smallest Dog Breeds, According To Canine Specialists

When your furry friend fits snugly into your arms like your favorite toy has come to life, it’s certainly a special feeling. While many breeds can only fit in the palm of your hand as puppies, the smallest dog breeds stay tiny as long as they live. It’s just in their genes! So, if you are looking for an everlasting puppy dog, check out our list below.

Whether you’re in a cozy apartment or a spacious house, these little fur buddies effortlessly sync with your lifestyle, making them the ultimate companions for city dwellers and suburbanites alike. Their petite stature doesn’t compromise their larger-than-life personalities, as they often showcase an abundance of energy and charisma that can turn any mundane moment into a love fest.

The charm of the smallest dog breeds extends beyond their size. You know you feel lucky when you get to come home to a tiny bundle of joy eagerly waiting to shower you with affection. Their playful antics and spirited personalities create an atmosphere of perpetual happiness, making them the perfect antidote to life’s daily stresses. We love our tiny pups which is why StudyFinds has crafted an amazing list of the world’s smallest dog breeds that were mentioned most across 10 expert lists. Did we miss one? Leave a comment to let us know!

The World’s Smallest Dog Breeds That Fit in The Palm of your Hand


White Pomeranian
White Pomeranian (Photo by Pegah Mostafavi Zade on Unsplash)

These little fur balls typically weigh three to seven pounds on average. But don’t be fooled by their small stature, they pack a punch with their bark and are not afraid to use it. Urbanosaurus describes them as protective, intelligent, and easy to train.

With a Pom, small stature meets immense charm. They usually reach about six to seven inches tall at the shoulder when they are fully grown. And you can’t forget their beautful puff ball of a coat. Borrow my Doggy says they are often called little lions because of their big personalities and fluffy coats. They also dive into some of their genetics. Their thick, double coats can also be found among their dog cousins in the Spitz group of dogs made up of arctic breeds like Alaskan Malamutes.

Ever considered trading stress for a small, furry confidant that brings endless joy? However, Highland Canine mentions that this breed was not historically this tiny. Back in the day, they grew to an average of 30 pounds which is ten times their modern average weight. Thanks to selective breeding, they have reached their mini stature.


Happy Pug
Happy Pug (Photo by Silvana Carlos on Unsplash)

Number two on the list of the smallest dog breeds is the Pug. Pet Keen describes their personalities as “clownish,” curious, playful, and feisty. This sometimes makes them harder to train, but I think we can give them a pass; they know how cute they are.

Can’t forget the joy of having a pocket-sized pal always by your side, ready for adventure. According to Highland Canine, Pugs were bred as lap dogs by the Shang Dynasty in 300 BC, Since then, the breed has served as companion dogs for over two millennia. Queen Victoria’s influence in breeding Pugs contributed to their popularity in the 19th century. This connection with dogs led to the establishment of The Kennel Club in 1873, recognized as the world’s first kennel club. Described by The Kennel Club as “a lot of dog in a small frame,” Pugs are noted for their playful and affectionate nature. Highland Canine, citing the AKC, recommends Pugs for individuals residing in small spaces like apartments and those with small children.

A Pom will always transform your home into a hub of joy and laughter. Country Living describes them as a “dog fan favorite.” Why? “Their unique wrinkled brows and expressive faces make them adorable…even when they’re being mischievous.” They typically reach a height of 10 to 13 inches, 14 to 18 pounds, and live to be around 13 to 15 years old.


Chihuahua (Photo by Alexandre Debiève on Unsplash)

These little beasts are feisty and beat to the sound of their own drum. They hail from the state of Chihuahua in Mexico and there isn’t a consensus on exactly what they were bred for. Highland Canine says the smallest dog in history was a Chihuahua named Miracle Milly. She was 3.8 inches tall, and weighed about one pound. They also recommend Chihuahuas for those who live in an apartment and families. Although they can be territorial, training brings out the best in these pups, from their loyalty to their endless affection.

Meet the canine that proves great things come in small, furry packages. According to Urbanosaurus, they also live longer than most breeds and can reach 14 to 20 years old. While they are their owner’s shadow, other animals and strangers can easily ruffle their feathers. Therefore, this may not be the best breed for homes with little kids.

As far as how tiny they really are, their average height is five to eight inches and they tend not to exceed six pounds.

Even though he’s a teeny bopper, the Chihuahua can still serve as a good guard dog. Nothing a good bark can’t do to scare off intruders, even when they can’t tell how tiny the dog is behind the door.


Maltese (Photo by Nikolai Chernichenko on Unsplash)

Number four on the list of smallest dog breeds is the lovable fluff ball, the Maltese. Country Living praises their “gorgeous, snowy white coats and big, dark eyes.” They normally grow to be between seven and nine inches tall, while weighing under seven pounds. Like many small breeds, their life expectancy is impressive. You may have your Maltese for an average of 12 to 15 years.

This fun-sized furball could be the perfect fit for your lifestyle and heart. This is another great breed for apartment living. Urbanosaurus says this is because they enjoy enclosed spaces. They also recommend keeping an eye on them around children and training them early to avoid any bad behaviors developing. Another plus is that they tend not to shed too much.

Intrigued by the idea of a small but mighty friend who’s always up for a mini escapade? The Maltese is technically a toy dog breed. They are kind of like living dolls, as many owners like to put bows in their long, silky hair.


Papillon dog
Papillon dog (Photo by Anna Dudkova on Unsplash)

What’s all the hype around Papillons? Well, aside from being absolutely adorable, Pet Keen describes them as upbeat, energetic, and huge snugglers. Their name translates to ‘butterfly’ in French. They were named that due to their ears resembling butterfly wings.

This itty-bitty puppy might just satisfy your baby fever. According to Borrow my Doggy, they are smart and friendly and make great competitors at dog sports. Papillons reach an average of eight to 11 inches, five to 10 pounds, and live to be around 14 to 16 years old.

The Daily Guardian calls the breed elegant. They also note that they are active and respond well to obedience training. Sounds like a great family pet!

Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkshire Terrier
Yorkshire Terrier (Photo by Madeline on Unsplash)

Number six on the list of the smallest dog breeds is the Yorkshire terrier. Urbanosaurus commends their silky, glossy coat. “This coat is traditionally long and straight, but some owners prefer grooming and a shorter coat, because of the need for to regular brushing with longer coats.” Despite their long hair, they have minimal shedding.

While you may be able to guess their origin, Borrow my Doggy shares that they originally hail from Yorkshire and were bred as hunting dogs for small game like rats and mice in the mills. That makes them quite energetic and bold. They are amazing companions if given proper training.

These little Yorkies reach an average of seven to eight inches tall and a weight of about seven pounds. They can live anywhere from 11 to 15 years typically. The Daily Guardian does warn that they require frequent grooming. As long as you have the time to care for their coats, you will be pleased with this little lovebug.

Toy Poodle

Toy Poodle
Toy Poodle (Photo by Afif Ramdhasuma on Unsplash)

The Toy Poodle, the smallest among Poodles, shares the hypoallergenic traits and characteristics typical of Poodles. Originating in France in the early 1900s, Toy Poodles gained prominence, especially in circuses, where their compact size facilitated easy transportation and handling. Beyond the circus environment, Toy Poodles became widely popular as companion dogs. While they may not match the speed and agility of Standard or Miniature Poodles, Toy Poodles excel as water-retrievers, leveraging their trainability to accomplish more complex tasks, according to Highland Canine.

Although they are sometimes considered hypoallergenic, Borrow My Doggy suggests spending time with a Poodle before getting your own if you have dog allergies. This is because sometimes allergy symptoms can be triggered by drool or skin and it is best to make sure before you have a new pup that makes you sneeze.

Seriously, it’s an immediate cuteness overload. Toy Poodles reach no more than 10 inches in height and weigh between four to six pounds. They are easy to train and make for great members of the family.

Pet Keen says that “while Toy Poodles tend to have a negative reputation for being aggressive and dainty, the truth is that toy poodles are natural athletes with extremely high intelligence. Poodles have some of the best obedience capabilities and can quickly learn any trick with time and patience,” shares Pet Keen.

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Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations. This article may contain affiliate links in which we receive a commission if you make a purchase.

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About the Author

Te-Erika Patterson

Te-Erika is the Publisher of The Feisty News for Women, the only full-service news source for women. Te-Erika is also the author of How To Love a Powerful Woman, Leave Your Baby Daddy and Loving Female Led Relationships: Relationships that Empower Women. A graduate of The University of Florida, Te-Erika enjoys a thriving career as a digital content creator that has spanned more than a decade. She enjoys chocolate, wine and solitude, and she is currently living a quiet life in Montgomery, Alabama. Follow her @Te-Erika

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