I love tiny dogs and even own one! These fun and affectionate pups are perfect for small spaces and busy schedules.
Miniature Dog Breeds
In the dog world, miniature breeds (sometimes referred to as toys or teacups) are prized for their small size and manageable care requirements. Unlike larger dogs, miniatures can thrive in smaller spaces and thus are often sought-after by city dwellers for their portability, versatility, and lower space requirements. The seven breeds listed below all make great choices for those seeking a small, affectionate companion.
1. Yorkshire Terrier: Small and Sweet
Yorkies are small dogs to begin with, but the teacup variety can be as little as two or three pounds! These sweet little tan and black dogs are hypoallergenic and make excellent apartment pets.
Originally bred to be rat chasers in factories, Yorkies are full of energy and have a distinctive bark. They are affectionate, playful, and very protective of their owners. Yorkies do require some grooming upkeep, but there are a variety of cuts to choose from, including babydoll and teddy bear cuts. Some keepers also choose to let their silky manes grow long. They are very agreeable to being dressed up with topknots, bows, and festive Christmas sweaters, and they are the perfect snuggly accessory.
2. Maltese: Perky and Playful
The miniature Maltese is a cheerful, energetic breed, fit for couch cuddling and high society alike. Their beautiful coats can grow long and shiny with the right attention, making them gorgeous show dogs.
These fluffy pups are great family pets and like to be indoors, which is perfect because they shed only minimally. Maltese dogs relish attention from their owners and enjoy being compact-size companions.
These little white snowballs don't require much exercise, but they do love to go on short walks and show off simple tricks. While typically friendly and social, they like to rule their domain and are great at alerting owners to doorbells or unwanted visitors.
3. Pomeranian: Fluffy and Friendly
Pocket Poms have been the quintessential sidekick for royalty, scholars, and artists alike for decades. They are a sturdy and healthy breed overall, and they are well-known for the ruff of fur on their neck and puffy curved-up tail. These perky and active cuties make lively pals who are content to live in busy cities or quiet suburbs.
The Pomeranian as we know it today was bred down from a larger Arctic sled dog relative and has a double coat that comes in a wide variety of colors. They require regular brushing to keep their coats clean and to reduce shedding.
These intelligent and vivacious pups have a tendency to bark but respond well to training and can learn appropriate and mellow behavior. The sparkly personality behind the foxy face makes the Pomeranian feel like a big dog, but proper socialization can keep him friendly and sweet.
4. Poodle: Agile and Affectionate
While the name may conjure up images of a continental-clip show dog or a dancing circus performer, don't forget that these elegant, agile pups were once bred to be duck hunters. This national dog of France is intelligent, athletic, and a first-rate swimmer.
The clever Poodle is a fast learner who loves to be the center of attention. They form strong bonds with their owners and dislike being left alone, so big families and consistent stimulation are important.
The smaller breed of poodles require less physical exercise and are sometimes even a little nervous; they enjoy quality time sitting on laps and simple games. Their low-allergen coats combined with their lack of shedding make these dogs ideal for small apartments or sensitive owners.
To keep their curly coats clean and manageable, Poodles require frequent grooming. These mischievous little companions are highly adaptable to most environments and eager to please any new owner.
5. Bichon Frise: Lively and Loving
A toy Bichon Frise is a sweet and playful ball of fluff and an ideal pet for any family. They are typically gentle and good with kids and other dogs in the home. This even-tempered pup shares common ancestors with the Maltese and Poodle, and while the Bichon Frise is an agile breed, this small dog doesn't need much room for daily exercise. Their puffy appearance is from their double coat, which is hypoallergenic but requires grooming on a regular basis.
This merry breed is not known for barking and may be an ideal choice for a more quiet life. It's important to implement a calm and assertive structure early on with this breed so they do not get territorial. This alert and curious dog has an inquisitive expression and once well-trained is friendly with strangers and loves to provide companionship on any adventure.
6. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel: Cute and Cuddly
These sporty companions were once a favorite of British royalty, and it's easy to see why with their hallmark wide eyes and sweet faces. Their beautiful, silky coats come in four different colors: Blenheim, tricolor, black and tan, and ruby, and they require a moderate amount of grooming to maintain their regal appearance.
King Charles Spaniels are even-tempered and highly adaptable to the lifestyles of their owners, taking well to both lazy couch days and active outdoor time. Because of their spaniel heritage, it's not unlikely to catch them preoccupied with chasing squirrels or birds in the yard.
These sweet pups are quite social and may suffer separation anxiety, so be sure not to stress them out by leaving them by themselves for too long or you may return to find some chew marks on your favorite items. The affectionate spaniel needs regular exercise, but the smallest breeds require only minimal space. They do well with positive reinforcement, and love the attention they get from doing tricks.
These gentle dogs have a tendency to be a little bit shy, but they love snuggles and respond well to praise and petting. The graceful miniature Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a perfect, peaceful choice for an inside dog and fits in well with a variety of family types.
7. Chihuahua: Tiny and Tenacious
The world's smallest dog doesn't know how to be anything but miniature! These feisty compact canines have no idea they are pint-sized. Because they think they are big dogs, some may tend to bark, nip, or be aggressive with larger dogs, but this behavior can be trained out of them consistent work.
Their big round eyes and over-sized erect ears show that they are constantly on alert. That being said, these clever, curious dogs should never be left alone for long, lest they escape through a tiny hole or get snatched by a predator.
These sassy little dogs can be high-strung and territorial but are very loyal, and with proper reinforcement, they can be friendly and affectionate. Because of their tiny, fragile stature, Chihuahuas are not the ideal pet for a family with small children, but otherwise, they make great city pets and love spending time with their owners. They fit nicely on a lap or into a tote bag, and they don't like to be left out!
These dogs require minimal grooming, and their beautiful coats can be short or long and come in many colors and patterns. Chihuahuas are an adaptable breed but may display shaking when they are cold or nervous—feel free to outfit them with a cute sweater or vest. These fun little dogs are lively and energetic, and they make great companions and snuggle buddies.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 M Butler Stone
Siobhan stanley on May 12, 2020: