Top 5 Best Small Dog Breeds

When it comes to small dog breeds, size may be one of the few characteristics they have in common!

Some breeds tend to boast outgoing and bold personalities whereas others are laidback and enjoy independence. Coat types could range from short and straight hair to long, flowing locks or even tightly wound curls. You will meet little furry friends that can’t wait to curl up on your lap—while others are bursting with energy and always ready for the next game of fetch.

The right small dog for you depends on what you are looking for in personality, grooming commitment, and activity level.

Here are some of the best small dog breeds to prefer-

1. Maltese

With its soft and silky white coat, the Maltese is most likely one of the first breeds that comes to mind when thinking of small dogs.

Temperament: While this breed is a loyal lap dog, they also have lots of energy and enjoy playtime. Maltese dogs are absolutely fearless—a trait believed to be passed on from the breed’s days as rat hunters. They get along well with people of all ages, are easily trained, and love performing tricks.

Grooming: While a Maltese can sport a long elegant coat, most pet parents keep their dog’s coat clipped short so it is easier to maintain. Their eyes must be cleaned often because they are prone to tear stains.

Exercise: Occasional exercise—such as a daily walk or playtime in the backyard or indoors—is sufficient for the Maltese.

Fun Fact: Also called the “Roman Ladies’ Dog,” this breed was associated with prestige in the Roman Empire. Women aristocrats often carried a Maltese around in their sleeves or on their laps, according to the American Kennel Club (AKC)

2. Bo
ston Terrier

The Boston Terrier is a traditional American dog known for its signature dark-coloured and white coat complemented by large sparkling eyes.

Temperament: Boston Terriers present a nice blend of humorous charm and sophistication. They are a smart, alert, and high-energy breed but also enjoy hanging around the home with their family. This breed is loyal to one person although polite to all. Boston Terriers are prone to snoring because of their flat noses and narrow nostrils.

Grooming: The Boston Terrier’s shorthaired coat only needs occasional brushing. Many Boston Terriers have adorable nose wrinkles, which should be wiped frequently to keep dirt and dust away.

Exercise: Taking a walk around the block or playing inside with the family keeps this breed in shape.

Fun Fact: Named after their city of origin—Boston, Massachusetts—the Boston Terrier makes the ultimate city dog because their compact size is ideal for apartment living and they are always up for a quick stroll down the sidewalk!

3. Dachshund

The Dachshund is an unmistakable breed that comes in miniature and standard sizes and a multitude of colours. They are extremely good looking and amusing dogs.

Temperament: Dachshunds have unmatched self-confidence and courage, a reminder that they were bred to fight the fearsome badger. They have a passion for their pet parents, are loyal protectors of their family, and can be stubborn at times. This breed is partly hound and partly terrier, making them an independent and feisty dog.

Grooming: The smooth-coated Dachshund has a short coat that requires the least amount of grooming compared to the Dachshund varieties. Meanwhile, the longhaired variety needs more frequent grooming and sheds the most out of the three types (although it’s easy to find other breeds that shed more!). The wirehaired Dachshund must be brushed often and trimmed to maintain a neat coat.

Exercise: Several daily walks are ideal for this breed. The walks should not be overtiring because a Dachshund is not built for strenuous exercise.

Fun Fact: Often called “wiener dogs,” Dachshunds actually inspired the name of the hotdog rather than the other way around. The original name of the hotdog was the “Dachshund sausage,” according to

4. Shih Tzu

The Shih Tzu has a tiny face and bright eyes that have charmed people for generations—and continue to do so.

Temperament: Shih Tzus are jolly companions that twinkle with friendliness. They are one of the best for a family with younger kids. This breed’s ancestors spent most of their time lounging in royal Chinese palaces, so they naturally make a happy lapdog.

Grooming: If maintaining a long flowing coat for a Shih Tzu, it needs to be brushed daily and the hair in front of their face should be kept in a topknot (tied up neatly and away from their eyes). You can also keep the coat short—which does not require as much grooming or a topknot.

Exercise: A brief daily walk or short indoor playtime is perfect for this breed.

Fun Fact: Because Shih Tzus were exclusively pets of Chinese emperors, these dogs lived behind the walls of the royal kingdoms and were basically unknown to outside world until the 1930s.

5. Pug

The Pug is one of the most recognized dogs in the world, with its wrinkled brows, glimmering eyes, and curly tail.

Temperament: The Pug is affectionate, playful, and even-tempered. This lovable breed is courteous to other people and animals and gets along with both kids and adults—making them a universal favorite. Pugs enjoy sleeping, though they are prone to snoring and snorting due to their flat faces and small nostrils, which affect breathing.

Grooming: The Pug’s short coat does not require much maintenance, but it does shed. Pay attention to the face and eyes because those cute facial wrinkles may accumulate dust and dirt.

Exercise: This breed requires daily strolls or playtime in the yard.

Fun Fact
: The origin of the name “Pug” is a mystery. One theory suggests it comes from the Latin word “pugnus”—which means “fist”—because a fist resembles this adorable breed’s wrinkled face

Though each is unique, these pups all offer different personalities and features that make them among the best small dog breeds! However, it is important to find which is most compatible with what you are looking for in a furry friend.

Written by - Gunika Manchanda

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