Smallest Dog Breed In The World: Interesting Facts For Dog Lovers

Akinwalere Olaleye
Oct 24, 2023 By Akinwalere Olaleye
Originally Published on Nov 12, 2021
Chihuahua dog inside a box or crate

We know that the most popular pets in the world are dogs.

This is only because of the availability of a variety of breeds, which come in different shapes, sizes, and colors. In recent years, we have seen that smaller dogs have gained more popularity than bigger breeds.

Smaller dog breeds are often seen as more convenient. If you take an example, like the Chihuahua, it can easily fit into any type of lifestyle and space compared to a big dog like the Newfoundland.

Smaller dogs can be taken care of very easily, and their feeding expenses and veterinary expenses are low compared to larger dogs. Small breeds are also seen as loveable cuddle buddies.

Smaller dogs are a perfect choice for beginners. Though these dogs cannot perform tasks like guarding or protecting, they are very playful.

Much time is required to take care of a medium or a large-sized dog, but this is not the same for small dogs. As they are smaller in size and are more fragile, they sometimes need more exercise for living a healthy life.

People prefer smaller dogs to take out on walks as they get tired easily and don't cause many hurdles for the owners.

Toy group dogs are basically small-sized dogs of various breeds. They include the spaniels, pinschers, and terriers. Not all toy dogs are lapdogs. Small dog breeds have a variety of differences in their appearances, temperaments, fur, colors, weights, and heights. The smallest dogs may vary in a range from Affenpinschers to terriers.

After reading about the smallest dog breeds in the world, also check our related fact files on the fastest dog and most affectionate dog breeds.

List Of The Smallest Dog Breeds

Small dogs take very little space and are very funny in nature, thus they are preferred by many dog owners. However, not all small breeds have the same nature and some of them are not suitable for children. Let's check out the list of the smallest dog breeds in the world.

The Shih Tzu is a very popular Asian toy dog breed that has a long coat and a curved tail. These dogs are very friendly and are seen as an intelligent species. They are also hypoallergenic.

They are sometimes referred to as Shih Tzu Kou which means 'lion dog' in Chinese. They love the company of humans and are often clingy. They are about 10 in (25.4 cm) tall and they weigh about 9-16 lb (4.0-7.2 kg).

Another small breed is one that has a distinctive beard. This breed resembles a pug while having a very different temperament.

This breed is the Brussel griffon which makes an excellent watchdog. These dogs tend to be strangers and do not trust people at first but are friendly with other dogs and pets. A Brussels griffon is about 7-10 in (17.5-25.4 cm) tall and has an average weight of about 8-10 lb (3.6-4.5 kg).

The Chihuahua is also one of the smallest dog breeds in the world. This species is playful in nature. They are viewed as one of the best family pets and are very lovable. They are 5 in (12.7 cm) tall and have a maximum weight of about 6 lb (2.72 kg).

Another toy breed is the papillon whose name means butterfly as they have ears in the shape of butterfly wings. These dogs can be provided with training easily and they are great companions.

A papillon is about 8-11 in (20.-27.5 cm) tall and weighs around 5-10 lb (2.2-4.54 kg). These dogs are used in various dog shows after training and they obey their owners and follow their instructions.

They are very energetic and are friendly too. A papillon can very easily get along with family members, other pets, and even strangers.

Yorkshire terriers or 'Yorkies' are hypoallergenic breeds and are also small-sized breeds. A Yorkshire terrier weighs a maximum of 7 lb (3.18 kg) and is about 8 in (20 cm) tall. Though the Yorkshire terrier is small in size, it still has fierce, bossy characteristics. They are brave and spunky toy breeds.

The miniature pinscher is commonly known as the zwergpinscher or the min pin. It is a little dog of the pinscher type which originated in Germany.

These dogs are smart as well as loyal towards the family. The miniature pinscher is a very good companion and is lovable. They weigh about 25 lb (11.3 kg) and can stand as tall as 12.5 in (31.7 cm).

The Cavalier King Charles spaniel is also a small-sized breed. It was originally bred in the UK in the 17th-century but it had a very different appearance at that time. The Cavalier King Charles now has an altered look after breeding with flat-nosed breeds during the 1900s.

The Cavalier King Charles spaniel breed is usually very playful, affectionate, and is very intelligent. It got its recognition in 1995 with the help of the American Kennel Club (AKC). These dogs can be used as companion dogs as well as lap dogs.

They have the capability to interact well with children as well as other dogs. These dogs are calm in nature and are patient too.

They can easily adapt to any environment. The Cavalier King Charles spaniel has an average height of about 12-13 in (30-32.5 cm). They weigh approximately 13-18 lb (5.9-8.1 kg).

We've mentioned many dog breeds but now we come to a breed that plays the role of the athlete while being affectionate and intelligent in doing different challenging tasks. This breed is the Italian greyhound.

The Italian greyhound, also known as Italian sighthound, is one of the most popular toy breed dogs. It has an average height of about 13-15 in (32.5-37.5 cm). The Italian greyhound has an average weight of 7-10 lb (3.1-4.5 kg).

The toy poodle is considered the smallest poodle. These are hypoallergenic species and have the same characteristics as the other poodles. The toy poodle originated in France in the early 1900s.

These poodles were previously used in circuses. The miniature poodle was preferred to the smaller poodle as it was the most convenient species for traveling and handling.

Later, the toy poodles were best known as companion dogs. They were about 9-10 in (22.5-25.4 cm) in length and they had a weight of about 4-6 lb (1.8-2.7 kg). The miniature poodle is much faster and has more agility but toy poodles are the best water-retrievers, can do more challenging tasks, and are quick learners from training.

The Chinese crested dog has a hairless variation which makes them hypoallergenic. This breed has a serious face and tail hair. They are commonly known as powderpuff dogs for their puff coats.

Likely, the earliest ancestors of the Chinese crested breed, they have similarities with the other Chinese dogs. This breed is stated as lap dogs whereas nothing is known about their exact history. The Chinese crested dogs have an average height of 11-13 in (27.5-32.5 cm) and an average weight of 8-12 lb (3.6-5.4 kg).

Another species, the silky terrier or the Australian silky terrier is also smaller in size. They are adventurous and extremely active. They have a weight of about 8-10 lb (3.6-4.5 kg).

The Japanese chin is considered a companion dog as well as a lapdog. They have strabismus eyes, due to which they are well known. They have tender coats and curved, kinky tails.

A Japanese chin is also known as the Japanese spaniel. There is a belief that the breed originated in China but was imported mostly from Japan to Europe. A Japanese chin is about 8-11 in (20.0-27.5 cm) in length and they have a weight of around 7-11 lb (3.18-5.0 kg).

What dog breed is the smallest in the world?

Most people love small dog breeds. Chihuahuas are one of the most popular out of the smallest dog breeds. This breed was found a long time ago, approximately in the 1530s in the city of Mexico. The Chihuahua has a very charming nature and has a huge personality.

These tiny dogs are very elegant. These dogs can come in different colors and also have a variation in their hair size.

These breeds are easily adapted to the environment of an apartment and are loyal companions. You can pet them easily and they are very playful and friendly. The Chihuahua can be given the training to get rid of any behavioral problems they have.

They require grooming and exercise and easily get along with their owners. The Chihuahua is small in size, less than 5 in (12.7 cm), and has a weight of about 6 lb (2.7 kg).

What is the size of the smallest dog in the world?

The tiniest dog known is of the Chihuahua breed, as is named Milly. Its name was recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records. Milly is about 3.8 in or 9.6 cm in length and her weight is about 1 lb or 0.45 kg.

The owners of this dog are Vanesa Semler and Edwin Davila, and they live in Dorado, Puerto Rico. Milly was born very fragile and the owners used to feed the pup milk with the help of a dropper until she was six months in age. Milly then gained both energy as well as weight.

What are pocket and teacup dogs?

Pocket dogs are basically miniature dogs or toy dog breeds whose company people enjoy the most. People can hug them, squish them and play with them. Various breeds of toy dogs include the Pomeranian, beagle, pug, Chihuahua, and corgi. They are mostly below 5 lb (2.2 kg) and are so small that they can easily be carried in pockets.

These breeds enjoy traveling with their owners but due to their small sizes, they suffer from various health issues like problems with their immune system or problems with their bones. They are the most fragile creatures and, therefore, get easily injured if they fall or even get stepped on accidentally.

According to the AKC or American Kennel Club, the smallest pocket dog breed in the world is the Chihuahua. It has a maximum height of 5 in (12.7 cm) and is less than 6 lb (2.72 kg).

It has a smooth and silky coat that comes in a variety of colors including tan or black. These breeds live up to 20 years. They require exercise regularly and should be given proper training as they sometimes get aggressive when they see strangers.

The teacup dog breeds are also small-sized breeds like the pocket dogs. People want to pet these dogs as they have an adorable look for their whole life.

Teacup dogs weigh less than 5 lb (2.2 kg) and are very cute and friendly in nature.

Some teacup dog breeds include teacup poodles, pugs, teacup Yorkies, Maltese, Pomeranians, Shih Tzus, Russian toy, and the bichon frise. Due to their small size and low weight, they face various health issues like heart problems, respiratory infections, breathing problems, hypoglycemia, problem in the ears, digestive disorders, and even blindness.

One of the oldest and smallest teacup dogs is the Maltese. It is also the oldest breed in the world.

A Maltese has a weight of about 2-4 lb (0.9-1.8 kg). These dogs are usually kept by people who always want to cuddle them and carry them on their laps. The Maltese are a dog that belongs to the toy group.

Another popular small dog breed is the Yorkie terriers, which are also very small in size. They have a weight of only about 2-3 lb (0.9-1.35 kg). Though they are small in size, they have personalities similar to big dogs.

They are vocal and protective in nature. They are also loyal and they love the company of human beings.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for smallest dog breed in the world then why not take a look at the easiest dog breeds to train, or Labrador facts.

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Written by Akinwalere Olaleye

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature

Akinwalere Olaleye picture

Akinwalere OlaleyeBachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature

As a highly motivated, detail-oriented, and energetic individual, Olaleye's expertise lies in administrative and management operations. With extensive knowledge as an Editor and Communications Analyst, Olaleye excels in editing, writing, and media relations. Her commitment to upholding professional ethics and driving organizational growth sets her apart. She has a bachelor's degree in English Literature from the University of Benin, Edo State. 

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