If you are looking for the best small dog breeds which are suitable for living in an apartment or which you can easily take traveling with you, you should consider what type of dog you want, the energy levels of the different breeds as well as some specifics which are typical for each small dog breed.

This is essential before you commit to getting or adopting a dog – for you and the dog’s best interest.

Remember that not all small dogs are “lapdogs.” Some require quite a bit of walking and exercising. Others may be more suitable for families with younger children than others, and some small dog breeds make much better companions for older people.

Here are brief descriptions of the most common small dog breeds in alphabetical order, with all the basic features and highlights you need to know before welcoming your new furry friend into your home.

10 Best Small Dog Breeds – List of Best Small Dog with Pictures – 2020

1. French Bulldog

The Frenchie requires minimal exercise and has an incredibly big personality. French Bulldogs are prevalent urban dogs. They are playful, adaptable, alert, and irresistible, especially with those bat-shaped ears, the short nose, and the heavy wrinkles around it.

The smooth coat of the Frenchie is a joy to touch and pet. The breed is a perfect dog for families, singles, young or old people. Frenchies are very good with people, other dogs and do not require hours of walking and exercising in order to feel well.


More Information About The French Bulldog

Name:  French Bulldog

Other Names:  Frenchie, Bouledogue Français

Origin:  France, United Kingdom

Size:   Small

Type:   Purebred

Life Span:   Between 10 and 12 years

Temperament:   Affectionate, Alert, Athletic, Bright, Keen, Lively, Patient, and Playful

Height:  Between 12 inches (30 cm)

Weight:  There are two classes of French Bulldog Breed: 

19 to 22 pounds (9 – 10 kg)
22 to 28 pounds (10 – 13 kg)

Colors:  Brindle, Brindle & White, Cream, Fawn, Fawn & White, Fawn Brindle, White, White & Brindle, and White & Fawn

Litter Size:   For 3 to 5 puppies

2. Beagle

Small, compact, and hardy, Beagles are active companions for kids and adults alike. Canines in this dog breed are merry and fun loving, but being hounds, they can also be stubborn and require patient, creative training techniques. Their noses guide them through life, and they’re never happier than when following an interesting scent. The Beagle originally was bred as a scenthound to track small game, mostly rabbits and hare.


More Information About The Beagle

Name:  Beagle

Other Names:  English Beagle

Origin:  United Kingdom

Size:   Small

Type:   Purebred

Life Span:   Between 12 and 15 years

Temperament:   Friendly, Gentle, Independent, Intelligent, Lively, Loving, and Sweet

Height  For Male:  Between 14 to 16 inches (36-41 cm)

Height  For Female:  Between 13 to 15 inches (33-38 cm)

Weight  For Male:  Between 22 to 25 pounds (10-11 kg)

Weight  For Female:  Between 20 to 23 pounds (9-10 kg)

Colors:  Black and Tan, Tricolor, Red, and White

Litter Size:   For 2 to 14 puppies, The average is 7

3. Yorkshire Terrier

Silkies resemble their cousins – the Yorkshire terriers but are larger than them. They reach a shoulder height of up to 10 inches and are very elegant dogs with long and silky coat colored in blue and tan.

Silky terriers come from Sydney, Australia and are known for their high spirits and natural curiosity. They are small, and yet are not fragile and are feisty but not loud and yappy.

They are people-oriented and will feel happy spending time on your lap as well as enjoying long fun walks with you. So, you will get all of the positives of having a small dog breeds – the petting and cuddling at home and the joy and fun of long walks and outdoor fun if you choose to get a Silky.

Yorkshire Terrier

More Information About The Yorkshire Terrier

Name:  Yorkshire Terrier

Other Names:   Yorkie

Origin:  United Kingdom

Size:   Small

Type:   Purebred

Life Span:   Between 12 to 16 years

Temperament:   Alert, Courageous, Energetic, Independent, Intelligent, Loyal, and Playful

Height:  Between 20 to 23 cm (8-9 inches)

Weight:  Between 2 to 3 kg (4-7 pounds)

Colors:  Black & Gold, Black & Tan, Blue & Gold, Blue & Tan

Litter Size:   For 4 to 6 puppies

4. Dachshund

Dachshunds are legendary dogs. They are also known as “Wiener” dogs, and their long-backed body paired with the short legs, and drooping ears cannot be mistaken for any other canine breed around. The dachshund can be regular sized or miniature. The miniatures are less than 11 lbs. and can have long hair, smooth hair, or wired hair. The coloring differs

The dachshund was originally bred for catching badgers and has a vivacious and ever-alert personality. You can expect a tireless, vigilant, and smart little pet with a big bark if you decide to add a dachshund to your family. It is loyal, brave, and stubborn, and of course, it is a lot of fun to be around.

More Information About The Dachshund

Name:   Dachshund (Toy, Miniature, Standard)

Other Names:   Teckel, Bassotto, Tekkel, Tekkel Doxie, Weenie Dog, Sausage Dog, and Worshond

Origin:   Germany

Size:   Small

Type:   Purebred

Life Span:   Between 12 to 15 years

Temperament:   Clever, Courageous, Devoted, Lively, and Playful

Height:   Between 5 to 12 inches (13-30 cm)

Weight:   Between 8 to 32 pounds (3.5-15 kg)

Colors:   Black, Black and Tan, Blue, Brown, Red, Silver, and White

Litter Size:   For 4 to 8 puppies

5. Pembroke Welsh Corgi

Corgis are the small and amazingly cute dogs which always surround the Queen of England, and are among the most agreeable house dogs of all.

They are pretty short (10 to 12 inches at the shoulder) but well built (20 to 30 lbs.) with cute short and powerful legs and muscular thighs. They are one of the most popular herding breeds in the world.  They are very agile and quick. They come in different colors including sable, red, fawn, black, and tan or with markings.

The Pembroke Welsh corgi is a very sensitive and loving dog that responds very well to training. It is independent and fearless and will become the perfect watchdog for your home. It does need a lot of activity and together time, so if you are ready to spend more time with your dog – get a wonderful Corgi, and you will end up with a cute, loyal and loving pet.

More Information About The Pembroke Welsh Corgi

Name:   Pembroke Welsh Corgi

Other Names:   Pembroke, PWC, Pem, Corgi

Origin:   United Kingdom

Size:   Small

Type:   Purebred

Life Span:   Between 12 to 14 years

Temperament:   Affectionate, Cheerful, Friendly, Intelligent, Lively, Out-Going, and Playful

Height:  Between 10 to 12 inches (25-30 cm)

Weight  For Male:  Between 24 to 31 pounds (10-14 kg)

Weight  For Female:  Between 24 to 28 pounds (11-13 kg)

Colors:   Black & Tan, Fawn, Red, and Sable

Litter Size:   For 6 to 7 puppies

6. Miniature Schnauzer

The Miniature Schnauzer is a breed of small dog of the Schnauzer type that originated in Germany in the mid-to-late 19th century. Miniature Schnauzers may have been developed from the smallest specimens of the Standard Schnauzer, or crosses between the Standard and one or more smaller breeds such as the Affenpinscher, Miniature Pinscher, and Poodles,as farmers bred a small dog that was an efficient ratting dog. 

More Information About The Miniature Schnauzer

Name:   Miniature Schnauzer

Other Names:   Zwergschnauzer

Origin:   Germany

Size:   Small

Type:   Purebred

Life Span:   Between 12 to 14 years

Temperament:   Alert, Fearless, Friendly, Intelligent, Obedient, and Spirited

Height  For Male:  Between 14 inches (35.6 cm)

Height  For Female:  Between 13 inches (33.0 cm)

Weight  For Male:  Between 11 to 18 pounds (5.0-8.2 kg)

Weight  For Female:  Between 10 to 15 pounds (4.5-6.8 kg)

Colors:   Black, Black & Silver, andSalt & Pepper

Litter Size:   For 3 to 6 puppies

7. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

It is an ideal combination between gentleness and strenuosity. The imperial outlook and style of those terrific animals, in conjunction with the big stunning spherical eyes and therefore the satiny and richly colored coat build this breed an awfully common one.


More Information About The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Name:   Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Other Names:   Cav, Cavalier, Cavie

Origin:   United Kingdom

Size:   Small

Type:   Purebred

Life Span:   Between 10 to 14 years

Temperament:   Affectionate, Cheerful, Courageous, Gentle, Intelligent, and Social

Height:   Between 12 to 13 inches (30-33 cm)

Weight:   Between 10 to 18 pounds (5-8 kg)

Colors:   Black & Tan, Black & White, Blenheim, and Ruby

Litter Size:   For 3 to 5 puppies

8. Shih Tzu

This is a designer breed that was originally bred as a completely non-shedding dog. The Maltese Shih Tzu is the perfect combination between a Maltese and a Shih Tzu. It is a sweet and adorable little dog which is great for people with allergies, and for those of you who want an affectionate lap dog.

They are great with kids and other pets too, so if you are looking to add yet another family member to your big family. They are great as therapy dogs and are a joy to train, so you won’t have any problems with a new Maltese Shih Tzu puppy ay home, as long as you train it and socialize it properly.

Although they are perfect for house and apartment pets, they do need the occasional walk and run outdoors, so if you have a backyard, your pup will be the happiest dog in the world.

Shih Tzu

More Information About The Shih Tzu

Name:   Shih Tzu

Other Names:   Chinese Lion Dog, Chrysanthemum Dog

Origin:   China

Size:   Small

Type:   Purebred

Life Span:   Between 10 to 16 years

Temperament:   Active, Courageous, Friendly, Gentle, Happy, Intelligent, Lively, Outgoing, and Playful

Height:   Between 8 to 11 inches (20-28 cm)

Weight:   Between 9 to 16 pounds (4-7 kg)

Colors:   Black, Blue, Brindle, Gold, Liver, Red, and Silver

Litter Size:   For 2 to 5 puppies

9. Boston Terrier

Also known as the “little American gentleman,” the Boston terrier was originally bred to be a pit fighter.

Today, it is a loving little breed that will become your favorite four-legged friend as soon as it enters your house. Some of the males, like other terrier breeds, feel a bit defensive when other dogs enter their territories, but they are not aggressive or too boisterous.


More Information About Boston Terrier

Name:   Boston Terrier

Other Names:   American Gentlemen, Boston Bull, Boston Bull Terrier, Boxwood, 

Origin:   United States

Size:   Small

Type:   Purebred

Life Span:   Between 12 to 15 years

Temperament:   Affectionate, Friendly, Gentle, Intelligent, Lively, and Playful

Height:   Between 15 to 17 inches (38-43 cm)

Weight:   Between 10 to 25 pounds (6-11kg)

Colors:   Black & White, Black Brindle & White, Brindle & White, Seal & White, and Seal Brindle & White

Litter Size:   For 3 to 5 puppies

10. Papillon

Papillon means butterfly in French, and when you look at those adorable wing-shaped ears, it becomes quite clear why this breed was named like that. These elegant little dogs used to be referred to as dwarf spaniels and were companions of many kings and queens in the past.

Best Small Dog Breeds – This toy dog is a beautiful, athletic, and friendly pet with wonderful butterfly-shaped ears and long and silk-soft hair.

It may seem tiny and fragile, but the Papillon is much more robust than it looks. They do very well at agility training and competitions and are more suitable pets for people who live in warmer climates.

You can teach your Papillon pet all kinds of fun tricks, and you will both have fun while at it!


More Information About Papillon

Name:    Papillon

Other Names:    Butterfly Dog, Continental Toy Spaniel, Epagneul Nain Continental, Epagneul Nain, Squirrel Dog, Phalène

Origin:    France

Size:    Small

Type:    Purebred

Life Span:    Between 13 to 16 years

Temperament:    Alert, Energetic, Friendly, Happy, Hardy, and Intelligent

Height for Male:    Between 8 to 11 inches (20-28 cm)

Height for Female:    Between 18 to 11 inches (20-28 cm)

Weight for Male:    Between 8 to 10 pounds (4-5 kg)

Weight for Female:    Between7-9 pounds (3-4 kg)

Colors:    White & Black, White & Lemon, White & Red, White & Sable, White Black & Tan

Litter Size:    Between 2 to 4 puppies