10 Breeds of Small dogs Toy, Dwarf, Miniature

Do you want to adopt a dog but you don’t know which breed to turn to?

This is understandable! There are so many of them, in all sizes, in all colors, and with all types of character.

The goal is to find the dog that suits you perfectly, the dog that will flourish in your world and with those around you, but also a dog that you can meet in terms of needs, care and attention.

Among all the breeds of dogs, there is one type that makes our hearts melt; the dogs and more specifically the toy dog, the miniature dog, or dwarf dog.

And what could be more normal! With their little muzzle and plush look, who wouldn’t love these adorable furballs ?!

But be careful, just because toy breeds are tiny doesn’t mean they don’t require as much care and love as other breeds. Quite the contrary!

Do you like the idea of ​​adopting a toy dog ​​breed? Here are the good reasons for doing so, the advantages and disadvantages, as well as a list of the best and most beautiful dog breeds in “pocket”, miniature, toy or even dwarf versions.

Why adopt a toy dog? The Benefits of Smaller Dog Breeds

There are many reasons a future dog parent can adopt a small dog.

Besides their adorable face, here are the advantages of welcoming a toy dog ​​at home:

  • A small dog is ideal for a first adoption 

Many experts recommend that people with no experience with dogs turn to small dogs for the first adoption.

Easier to maintain, more malleable, more inclined to spend a day on the couch than a day hiking, they are far from the needs of a Saint Bernard or a Newfoundland.

Be careful, however, less need does not mean no need. Especially since each breed and each dog is different.

  • A dwarf dog is easier to care for

In particular, a small dog will produce less poop, and less poop also means less poop to collect. Not bad isn’t it ?!

A miniature dog also has a less messy surface and less brush hair than a large dog such as a bearded collie.

  • A toy dog ​​is more economical

A toy dog ​​breed is generally less expensive than other dog breeds (excluding health concerns of course).

It will need less kibble or mash than large breeds and will grow less spectacularly than a Cane Corso , which means you won’t have to change colliers, bowls or baskets every other day. during its growth.

  • A toy dog ​​adapts better to urban and apartment life

Small dogs often tend to accept apartment and city life well.

Its quickly exhausted, more sensitive to cold and heat, toy dogs also generally require shorter and shorter outings than a typical mountain dog.

  • A toy dog ​​breed is easy to carry

Smaller, they are easily transportable and therefore particularly popular with people who move a lot.

But be careful, just because they are easy to transport does not mean they are better able to withstand journeys and different trips.

Why not adopt a toy dog? The disadvantages of smaller dog breeds


  • Miniature Dog Breeds Suffer From Common Health Problems

Like all breeds, small dogs are predisposed to certain health problems, in particular

  • orthopedic problems (medial dislocation of the kneecap, Legg-Calve-Perthes disease, etc.),
  • oral health problems (deciduous teeth, periodontal disease, tracheal collapse, etc.)
  • heart problems (degenerative mitral valve disease, etc.)


  • A small dog is more prone to developing behavioral problems

Separation anxiety, fear of abandonment, jealousy, excessive barking, aggressiveness, phobias, hype-attachment, excitability … The breeds of small dogs are generally more subject to behavioral disorders, linked in particular to their need for more attention than the average.

The 10 most beautiful breeds of small dogs, toy dogs, miniature dogs & dwarf dogs

Now that you know the pros and cons of adopting a toy dog, check out our list of the cutest and smallest dog breeds.

1. Dwarf Spitz 

10 breeds of Small dogs Toy, Dwarf, Miniature

The Miniature Spitz is a member of the miniature dog family and is adored for its adorable face and “fluffy” coat.

Originally from the province of Pomerania, It’s the ideal companion dog.

Physical characteristics

From 4 pounds to 40 pounds and from 7 inches to 14 inches on average, the Dwarf Spitz has a muzzle resembling that of a fox, dark round eyes, a fluffy tail curled on the back, dense and bulky hair and triangular ears pointed towards the sky.

Several coat colors are accepted including white, black, cream, or red.

Character traits

Apartment dog par excellence, this small breed is however particularly energetic for its size.

Intelligent, friendly, and demonstrative, this small dog is in great need of love and attention.

Far from being aggressive, always in a good mood, It appreciates the human presence as well as that of other animals.

However, beware of barking when approaching strangers!

2. The Chihuahua

10 breeds of Small dogs Toy, Dwarf, Miniature

Obviously, you can’t make a list of the adorable smaller breeds of dogs without talking about the Chihuahua.

Toy dog ​​par excellence, this dog from the state of Chihuahua in Mexico is also recognized as the smallest dog in the world.

Physical characteristics

From 3 to 6 pounds and 6 to 8 inches on average, the chihuahua stands out with its tiny apple-shaped head, its ears erect like wings, its small muzzle, and its tail slightly curled on the top of its body.

There are different varieties of chihuahua, short or long haired, fawn, chocolate, brindle, black or white.

Character traits

Cheerful, playful, energetic, and with a strong character, the Chihuahua is small in size but not in temperament.

Valiant, quite a brawler with other dogs, suspicious of strangers, and self-confident, It easily forgets that It’s the smallest dog in the world.

Watch out for the barking of this toy dog ​​that must be trained with an iron fist in a velvet glove.

That said, just because It’s got a strong character doesn’t mean It’s not affectionate and constantly in demand for hugs.

Its master is everything to It and it would not hesitate to sacrifice Itself for Its love.

Little risk of running away with this little dog who needs Its family too much.

Even if It loves being in Its owner’s arms, don’t forget to make It walk by your side to preserve Its physical and mental health.

3.  The Miniature Pinscher

10 breeds of Small dogs Toy, Dwarf, Miniature

Originally from the Grand Duchy of Bavaria and initially used for hunting small rodents, the Miniature Pinscher is a small dog full of life and ideal for families with children.

Physical characteristics

From 8 to 12 pounds and 9 to 11 inches, the Miniature Pinscher is a small dog resembling a miniature Dobermann.

Its short and smooth hair, black and tan or red, Its V-shaped ears pointing upwards or drooping, Its stiff and slightly curved tail like a saber, Its oval eyes as well as itsts upright and robust posture, give the Miniature Pinscher a big dog charisma.

Character traits

Lively and dynamic, this small breed of dog is renowned for its playful character, loyalty, and alertness.

A true family dog, It loves Its humans and can easily call himself a watchdog, a role It will take very seriously.

Playing, sporting, playing sports are the favorite activities of this mini dog with maximum energy.

Relatively independent, it will support your absences quite well if they do not last too long.

The Miniature Pinscher does indeed appreciate the company and generally supports other dogs quite well.

4. The Wire- haired dwarf dachshund

10 breeds of Small dogs Toy, Dwarf, Miniature

The dachshund is one of the 3 varieties of dachshunds. This breed of a small dog appeared in the Middle Ages when it was recognized for its hunting qualities.

Physical characteristics

From 7 to 11 cm and 12 to 14 pounds on average, the dachshund is divided into 3 varieties of hair, long hair and coat, hard hair, and short hair.

Nicknamed sausage dog, the miniature dachshund is short-legged with an elongated body.

Character traits

The dachshund is a “toy” type dog, but it takes itself very seriously. Strong ego, strong self-confidence, not very impressionable, stubborn in Its spare time and with a dominant tendency, It easily forgets Its size to go and fight with someone bigger than It.

It will also tend to want to gain the upper hand over Its master if left to do too much.

However, educated with firmness, gentleness, and consistency, the Dachshund will know how to be tender with its family.

Refrain from Its outbursts of possessiveness and jealousy as well as Its tendency to bark, and It will be a wonderful companion in life, affectionate and playful, lively and intelligent.

To be adopted only if you like strong characters!

5. The Small Peruvian Hairless Dog

10 breeds of Small dogs Toy, Dwarf, Miniature

Native to Peru as its name suggests, the Peruvian Hairless Dog is one of the 3 varieties of this breed.

Physical characteristics

8 to 15cm and 8 to 16 pounds on average, the Peruvian Hairless Dog is a slender and elegant dog with a primitive style.

As its name suggests, its main distinction lies in its hair or rather in its absence of hair.

Black, gray, blond, or brown, it has smooth, elastic skin, a long neck, a slender head, erect ears, and a long muzzle.

All characteristic cases give it a harmonious although original allure, as well as a lively, sporty, and intelligent air.

Character traits

The small Peruvian hairless dog is described as a breed that is very affectionate with its relatives but wary or even aggressive towards strangers.

Docile, It’s calm by nature but will also enjoy playing time and going out.

Dependent on Its master, It finds it hard to bear being left alone and will always prefer human company to solitude.

6. The Shih tzu

10 breeds of Small dogs Toy, Dwarf, Miniature

Originally from Tibet, this toy dog ​​breed is the perfect companion dog.

Physical characteristics

From 7 to 9 inches and from 8 to 16 pounds, this little dog with almost human expressions is characterized by Its adorable face.

Its name means “lion dog” comes from its broad, round head with a long, silky hair that falls around its face like a beard and mustache.

Its ruffled little tail curled over Its back, short legs, big round eyes, floppy ears, and short muzzle, make It totally irresistible.

Character traits

Rather calm by nature, this little dog has a communicative good humor. Curious, jovial, gentle, and a little mischievous, this dog is a delight for families with children, but also for single people, the elderly, or in an apartment.

7. The Russkiy Toy

10 breeds of Small dogs Toy, Dwarf, Miniature

Originally from Russia, the Russkiy Toy Toy, Russian Terrier or Small Russian Dog is a breed of dwarf dogs, often confused with the Chihuahua.

Physical characteristics

From 7 cm to 9 inches and from 2  to 6 pounds on average, this little toy dog ​​has a short or medium-length coat, black, brown, or two-tone (black/tan or brown/tan).

Its slender head, its very expressive round eyes, its large erect pointed ears, its slim waist, and its small pointed muzzle, give it an elegant and gentle look.

Character traits

Sociable and relatively wise, this little dog is also very lively, bubbly, and energetic, sometimes resulting in excessive barking.

Not a runaway for a penny and devoid of hunting instinct, the Little Russian dog is totally dependent on its family and cannot stand loneliness. it will not cease to show Its affection and its love for Its master to whom It’s extremely close … Sometimes too much!

8. The Brussels Griffon

10 breeds of Small dogs Toy, Dwarf, Miniature

From the family of small Belgian dogs, the Griffon is an excellent life companion despite its gruff and sulky air.

Physical characteristics

From 6 kg to 12 pounds and from 8 to 10 inches on average, the Griffon is a dog with a compact and robust build as well as an almost square body.

Its coat is double, harsh, tousled, of medium length, and comes in red / russet.

Its beard and mustache, Its erect ears, Its round black eyes set apart, as well as Its very short and broad muzzle with the end raised, are all characteristics of the breed.

Character traits

Balanced and alert, this little dog is, despite Its scowl, very lively, playful, affectionate, and gentle.

Very sociable, Its hates solitude and will always prefer to spend time with his family.

Be careful to give it all the attention it needs so that it does not develop behavioral disorders such as destruction, phobias, or separation anxiety.

9. The Miniature Spaniel

10 breeds of Small dogs Toy, Dwarf, Miniature

This adorable toy dog appeared for the first time in medieval times, although the race seems to really appear in the late 19 th century to the royal courts.

Physical characteristics

About 10 inches and 3 to 10 pounds on average, the Continental Miniature Spaniel is a long, silky-haired dog, any color is allowed as long as the background is white and dominant.

Its well-furnished, fringed ears are reminiscent of butterfly wings and are a hallmark of the breed, with its almond-shaped eyes, round head, and bushy tail curving over the back.

Character traits

This mini version dog has a strong hunting instinct despite its wise demeanor and Its great need for affection.

Very attached to its master, it knows how to charm Its world with its joy and Its gentleness.

A little barker, it likes contact and will know how to be gentle and kind to strangers and children.

10. The Chinese Crested

10 breeds of Small dogs Toy, Dwarf, Miniature

Physical characteristics

From 10  to 13 inches and from 4 to 10 pounds on average this miniature dog is distinguished by its almost non-existent hair. Only a crest and sometimes a few hairs on the lower legs and the tail come to dress its naked body.

All hair colors are allowed in this dog with large erect ears, almond-shaped eyes, and a fine but solid body.

Character traits

Always playful, very active, and strong-willed, the Chinese Crested is very affectionate and loves to walk with his family.

Very docile by nature, It’s however generally suspicious of strangers and barks easily if something bothers him.

Not very adventurous, he likes to stay with his master and does not support loneliness.




  • Amanda Wheatley

    Passionate about animals, Amanda draws her expertise from her training as an educator, pet behaviorist as well as her extensive experience with animal owners. A specialist in dog and cat behavior, Amanda continues to learn about our four-legged companions by studying veterinary reference books but also university research sites (UCD, Utrecht, Cambridge, Cornell, etc..) Why Trust ShelterAPet? At ShelterAPet, our collective is composed of writers, veterinarians, and seasoned animal trainers with a deep passion for pets. Our team of esteemed professionals delves into extensive research to deliver trustworthy insights on a broad spectrum of pet-related subjects. We anchor our evaluations on direct customer experiences, meticulous testing, and comprehensive scrutiny. Our commitment is to uphold transparency and integrity for our cherished community of pet aficionados and prospective pet parents.

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