If you love dogs that stay small their whole life, this article is for you. From Chihuahuas to Toy Poodles, here are the top tiny dog breeds you need to know about.
As if dogs needed to get any cuter than they normally are, there are some really tiny dog breeds that will steal your heart. They're easy to look after and so small that they might even fit into your favourite handbag. But be aware that even if they don't take much physical space, these dogs that stay small all their life have huge personalities to compensate for their tiny demeanour. So be ready for their lovely spirited charisma.
If you are looking to add a tiny dog breed to the family, these are some of the most adorable buddies you can wish for.
1. Chihuahuas, the smallest of dogs
Very intelligent and curious enough to look over your shoulder if given the opportunity, Chihuahuas need adequate socialisation from an early age, otherwise they can turn into an anxious pup as soon as they leave the house or meet a stranger.
2. Toy Poodles, the affectionate companion
Poodles come in three different versions: standard, miniature and toy. However, the Toy Poodle is the smallest of all three and a dog that really stays small - they won't grow more than 10 inches. It's not just the name, it's also their fluffy looks that can confuse children into thinking they're the new toy. Very intelligent and good-tempered, these dogs can be trained extremely easily and will make the perfect companion.
3. Pomeranian, one of the most popular tiny dog breeds
If you like both dogs that stay small and also a good choice of coat colours, the Pomeranian won't disappoint. From black to white or tan, there are close to 20 different shades you can find your favourite tiny dog in. But be aware that there is a strong and assertive personality hiding behind all those layers of fluffy hair. With early training though you will soon become best friends.
4. Shih Tzu, a lap warmer of a dog
If you love to snuggle with your favourite pet, Shih Tzu are always game for a cuddle. The way they carry their tail thrown casually over their back is enough to make us suspect there is more to this tiny dog breed than meets the eye. History shows us that centuries ago they were beloved palace dogs for the Chinese royalty who named them Shih Tzu, which means "little lion". Today they occupy the same special place in our hearts, and our homes are their palaces.
5. Yorkshire Terriers, glorious locks on one of the tiniest dog breeds
Plus, their glamorous coat is a show-stopper. And if you think this toy dog will spare their tiny legs of too much activity, you can expect the exact opposite. They love to play fetch and can't wait to go on walks with their favourite owner.
6. Maltese, the aristocratic looking tiny dog breed
With fur that will cause envy to any dog walking in their proximity, the Maltese are one of the oldest dog breeds around. Their cuteness has survived intact over hundreds of years as proved by the many paintings showing them next to royal figures. Although cute as a toy, they can get quite loud, so training from an early age is necessary if you want to avoid excessive barking later on in life. The good news is that these white-furred tiny dogs are extremely easy to train and happy to become the family companion.
7. Papillon, the charming dog that likes to stay small
With impressive "butterfly" ears that inspired their French name, Papillon is an energetic little dog that loves company. You will often find them cuddled in your lap, but they are happy to run around on walks too. This pup has graced many royalties with its presence across the ages, with many Renaissance paintings featuring this lovely tiny dog on the laps of nobility. So if you want a truly royal tiny dog breed, the adorable Papillon might be the one for you.
Tiny dog health considerations
All dog breeds have some risks and drawbacks, and tiny dog breeds are no exception. One thing to keep in mind about dogs that stay small is that they can suffer from kneecaps that may temporarily slip out of place. Toy dogs also have a fast metabolism, meaning they burn energy at a high rate. And when it comes to feeding, take their teeny size into consideration before planning their menu. Their small stomachs mean they must eat little and often, while their smaller mouths need suitable kibble sizes to suit.
If you loved delving into the world of small dog breeds, check our calm and lazy dog breeds article as well, or be surprised by the well-known dog breeds that actually come from the United Kingdom.