The following is a comprehensive breakdown of the American Kennel Club’s top 10 small dog breeds.
1. Yorkshire Terrier
• Temperament: Yorkshire Terriers, or Yorkies as they are commonly known, are bold and often stubborn little dogs. Like many small dogs, they seem oblivious to their size and often show aggression to dogs much bigger than them. They make friendly companions if socialized and given obedience training.
• Size: Males – Weight: <7 lbs. Height: 8-9 inches
Females – Weight: <7 lbs. Height: 8-9 inches
• Maintenance: Yorkies get enough exercise running around the house but they need to play games for mental stimulation. Their long silky coat needs to be brushed every day or two to prevent tangles. They are indoor dogs that should only go outside for short play periods and bathroom breaks.
2. Miniature and Toy Poodles
• Temperament: Miniature and toy Poodles are smart and obedient dogs that tend to latch on to one person but are good around children and other dogs with proper socialization and training. They are reserved and sometimes aggressive towards strangers.
• Size: Miniature Males – Weight: 12-18 lbs. Height: 10-15 inches
Miniature Females – Weight: 12-18 lbs. Height: 10-15 inches
Toy Males – Weight: 4-8 lbs. Height: <10 inches
Toy Females – Weight: 4-8 lbs. Height: <10 inches
• Maintenance: Poodles need a lot of physical and mental exercise in the form of games and short walks. Clipping or daily brushing is required to maintain their coat. They should only live indoors.
• Temperament: Dachshunds are bold little dogs that were originally bred to hunt badgers. They are reserved around strangers and often bark a lot. They are good with their family but should not be left around strange children.
• Size: Males – Weight: 11-32 lbs. Height: 8-9 inches
Females – Weight: 11-32 lbs. Height: 8-9 inches
Miniature Males – Weight: 1-11 lbs. Height: 5-6 inches
Miniature Females – Weight: 1-11 lbs. Height: 5-6 inches
• Maintenance: Games and short walks meet the physical and mental requirements of Dachshunds. Dogs with long coats need brushed weekly while short coats need minimal grooming. Obesity and jumping on furniture should be discouraged because back problems will occur.
4. French Bulldog
• Temperament: French Bulldogs are friendly family dogs that love to cuddle. They enjoy playing but are happiest as a lap dog. Unlike Bulldogs, their legs have a full range of motion and do not restrict their movement.
• Size: Males – Weight: <28 lbs. Height: 11-13 inches
Females – Weight: <28 lbs. Height: 11-38 inches
• Maintenance: Short walks and games are all the French Bulldog needs for exercise. Facial folds should be cleaned regularly to prevent infection but no other regular grooming is needed. They should only live indoors.
5. Shih Tzu
• Temperament: The Shih Tzu is a fun loving lap dog that loves to play and run around the yard. They are good with children and usually friendly with strangers. They can be surprisingly stubborn and hard to train at times.
• Size: Males – Weight: 9-16 lbs. Height: 8-11 inches
Females – Weight: 9-16 lbs. Height: 8-11 inches
• Maintenance: The Shih Tzu needs daily exercise to prevent obesity. They don’t do well in hot and humid climates and should always live indoors. Their long coat should be brushed every other day to prevent matting.
6. Miniature Schnauzer
• Temperament: Miniature Schnauzers are robust and durable little dogs that are friendly well-mannered. They love to play games and be the center of attention. They usually get along with children and other pets but may bark a lot.
• Size: Males – Weight: 13-15 lbs. Height: 12-14 inches
Females – Weight: 13-15 lbs. Height: 12-14 inches
• Maintenance: Miniature Schnauzers usually get enough exercise running around the house but they also enjoy short walks and romps around the yard. The long wire coat needs regular grooming, especially around the face. Like other small dogs, they should live indoors with their family.
• Temperament: Pomeranians are fun loving and friendly. They seem to bounce instead of walking and love being the center of attention. They do well with children and other pets but may bark a lot.
• Size: Males – Weight: 3-7 lbs. Height: 8-11 inches
Females – Weight: 3-7 lbs. Height: 8-11 inches
• Maintenance: Pomeranians get enough exercise inside and only need to go outdoors for bathroom breaks and short play periods. Their thick coat needs brushed regularly to prevent matting.
• Temperament: Chihuahuas are full of attitude. Their temperaments range from lap dog to guard dog. They tend to bark a lot and are distrustful of children and strangers. Although Chihuahuas can make great family dogs, they often do best when they bond with a single person. Socialization and obedience training are critical if the dog is going to be around a lot of strange animals and people.
• Size: Males – Weight: <6 lbs. Height: 6-9 inches
Females – Weight: <6 lbs. Height: 6-9 inches
• Maintenance: Regular playtime and a proper diet are needed to prevent obesity. They should remain inside except for bathroom breaks.
9. Boston Terrier
• Temperament: The Boston terrier is a sturdy little dog with plenty of attitude. They do best as a house dogs that get plenty of attention. They love playing fetch and keep away from their family. Personalities vary quite a bit with Boston Terriers and they should not be left around strangers or children without proper socialization and supervision.
• Size: Males – Weight: 10-25 lbs. Height: 15-17 inches
Females – Weight: 10-25 lbs. Height: 15-17 inches
• Maintenance: Boston Terriers need a lot of exercise and play time. They love to play games and go for walks. They must live indoors because they do not tolerate heat or cold. Breathing issues are common because of their short snout and they may require more vet visits than most breeds.
• Temperament: The Maltese is a loving lap dog that also likes to play. They are reserved around strangers and not recommended for children. Despite their small size, they are known to be aggressive towards dogs of all sizes.
• Size: Males – Weight: 4-7 lbs. Height: 9-10 inches
Females – Weight: 4-7 lbs. Height: 9-10 inches
• Maintenance: The Maltese is an indoor dog with low exercise requirements. Their long silky coat takes a lot of brushing and maintenance if you want the signature Maltese look.
“Small Dog Breeds” Video:
Related links: Large and small dog breeds on wikipedia