11 Popular Toy Dog Breeds (Small Breeds)

11 Popular Toy Dog Breeds (Small Breeds)

There are dog breeds for all tastes, and it is clear that among the most popular are toy breeds. Perhaps it is due to a fashion statement, or maybe it derives from the comfort of having a small dog in an apartment or house with reduced space. Nevertheless, many choose toy breeds when choosing a dog.

Although the size of toy breeds is similar, there is a great variety of breeds with many different defining characteristics that have nothing to do with each other. For example, dogs are considered a toy breed or dwarf if they weigh less than 5kg, after which they would be considered a small breed of dog. We have compiled a list of some of the most popular toy breeds and the characteristics that make them great apartment dogs.

What Are Toy Dog Breeds?

What are toy dob breeds? When we think of toy dog breeds, many of us think of dogs that are super tiny, fitting in the hands of their owners with ease. However, small dog breeds or toy breeds include any dogs that are under 21 pounds! Below, we have compiled a list of the eight most popular dog breeds that fall into the toy category.

Miniature Pinscher

The Miniature Pinscher – also known as the mini pinscher, min pin, dwarf pinscher, or Zwergpinscher – is a “big” dog despite its small size. Anyone who wants an adorable and cuddly lap dog should shy away from the Miniature Pinscher. Despite his size, this alert family dog ​​loves activity and sport and will keep its owners very busy with its high energy level.

Miniature Pinschers are affectionate dogs that require contact with people with whom they live. Those who work full time and are forced to leave their dog alone at home for a long time are not the most suitable owners. The ideal owner is the sportsperson who has time to dedicate to his four-legged companion and enjoys walking and exercising with him.

This breed is perfect for multiple sports such as hiking, running, or cycling despite its small size. This agile and fast dog will feel like a fish in the water doing dog sports like Agility. Having a Miniature Pinscher requires time to play sports with him and train him properly.


The Pekingese has always been considered something special, and as such, they cared for Chinese temples for centuries. If anyone was caught stealing one of these watchdogs, they were sentenced to death by the Chinese royalty of the time. Numerous statuettes attest to the fact that the ancestors of today’s Pekingese reached their peak during the Qing dynasty (1644 – 1912) as their owners were mainly Chinese royalty.

The Pekingese breed is characterized by its big eyes, flat snouts, and lots of furs. Over the centuries, the original temple watchdog has changed quite a bit. At present, the Pekingese is a light dog, weighing up to 5.4 kilos with a lot of hair. The upper coat is long, straight, and rough to the touch. The undercoat is soft and dense.

According to the breed standard, the Pekingese is preferred with a black mask, which is the dark pigmentation of the nose, lips, and eyelids. Something that draws attention in the Pekingese dog is its voluminous head compared to its slim body and large eyes. The tail is set high, bearing stiff, slightly curved over the back and to either side.

Even today, due to the shape of the head, among other things, many Pekingese grapple with various problems. Before buying a dog of this type, you should have an in-depth discussion with the breeder about their breeding goals because extremes should be avoided. A short muzzle causes respiratory problems and affects the quality of life. Excessive coat limits the dog’s freedom of movement. In addition, they are also known to suffer from patellar luxation.

Yorkshire Terrier

The Yorkshire Terrier is much more than just a lap dog, although the characteristic bows in its hair give a different impression. Behind his coquetry hides a fighter’s soul. With courage, self-confidence, and passion, this little canine will fearlessly face any breed of dog, regardless of size.

The little Yorkshire Terrier tends to overestimate himself in his encounters with other dogs, believing himself to be much bigger than he is. He faces mastiffs and even German Shepherds with energy and impudence, showing his barking, which is the boss in this territory. If necessary, he defends his family and home tooth and nail, even when he has everything to lose. If you are thinking of acquiring a Yorkshire terrier as a family dog, it is recommended that you control its exaggerated desire for domination from puppyhood.

With a height of 7-9 inches tall and a maximum weight (according to the breed standard) of 3.2 kg, it is one of the smallest breeds in the world. Its small body is covered by long, smooth, and fine hair, almost completely covering its straight legs. Although some show Yorkshire Terriers may have their hair down to the ground, it should never impede their freedom of movement.

Yorkshire Terrier’s long, silky coat takes time, dedication, and knowing how to care for it. But don’t worry. With a little practice, you will even get to enjoy the daily grooming ritual of your faithful canine friend. If you acquire your furry when it is a puppy, you should accustom it from the beginning to brushing its hair and teeth, to baths, haircuts, and nails. Then, with a little patience and practice, you can also accustom an adult Yorkshire Terrier to this care.


Compared to his body, the Chihuahua’s ego is huge. He likes to be the center of the universe and, if need be, will draw his human’s attention through barking or even feigned injuries. Confident and courageous, he takes on much larger dogs and is often overrated. But do not underestimate this dwarf dog. Although he likes to be pampered outside the bag, he is a normal dog that can travel long distances and even excel in sports competitions.

Due to its intelligence, empathy, and size, it is considered a therapeutic dog, especially in the United States. It is even suitable as a watchdog, as it is always alert. Despite its pampered lapdog appearance, it is quite robust and highly resistant to disease. It is normal to see Chihuahuas older than sixteen years.

The main characteristics of the temperamental Chihuahua dog are its small size, long, pointed ears, and disproportionate bulging eyes, along with an apple-shaped head and a pointed nose. However, the coloring of these dwarf dogs is as varied as their character.

Despite the different theories about the origin of the Chihuahua breed, it is quite safe to say that they come from Mexico. In the state of Chihuahua today, you can still see wild dogs similar to today’s Chihuahuas. According to this theory, Chihuahuas are descended from the offering dogs. According to religion, these dogs were the ones who guided the soul of the dead to the afterlife. Sadly this meant that the adorable dogs also lost their lives at burials.


The Maltese Bichon is a small furry dog that originated from the European continent. The Maltese was initially bred to be a companion dog as they love attention. Due to their loving personality and beautiful white coat, they have quickly become popular around the world.

With small, dark, shiny eyes, a black nose, and gleaming white fur, the Maltese win the hearts of many dog ​​lovers just by its looks. Also, he is very aware that he attracts the eyes of whoever is near. Despite being only 8 inches tall at the shoulder and weighing a maximum of 4 kilos, it attracts attention. The silky coat has no undercoat and reaches the ground. The good appearance of the Maltese Bichon requires elaborate care on the part of its human. Physically this breed is very similar to the other breeds of bichons. Above all, it is often confused with the also white cotton de Tulear. However, the Maltese Bichon is smaller and has a smooth coat.

The Maltese Bichon is a gentle, sociable dog that loves human companionship as well as the company of other dogs. They are great with children and make great family pets!

The origins of this breed go back to ancient times. A theory says that Maltese bichons come from Egypt, from where traders distributed them. Archaeologists found small statues of dogs similar to today’s Maltese in the famous pharaoh Ramses II tomb, who died in 1225 BC. C. Illustrations on vessels, some 700 years later, show a small can next to the word military.

Miniature Schnauzer

The Miniature Schnauzer is an energetic, attentive, sometimes stubborn dog that is kind, caring, and affectionate. The Mini Schnauzer looks a lot like his older brothers, the larger Schnauzer, and the giant Schnauzer. But given his small size, it is amazing how persistent, intelligent and courageous the smallest of the Schnauzer family is.

Despite its size, it is a small ball of energy, at a maximum of 12 to 14 inches, the Miniature Schnauzer’s need for movement is quite high. Whether it’s walks, retrievals, ball or search games, tracking, running, swimming, or biking, the little dog can never have enough, and what he likes the most is being on the move. He likes to entertain and be entertained. Lying on the couch doing nothing is not at all to his liking. But given enough outings, entertainment, and daily exercise he is a cuddly, attached dog that adapts easily and loves to be around his owners.

The Mini Schnauzer has not only inherited the typical character of the larger Schnauzer, but it has also inherited its looks. This includes, above all, the shaggy beard and the long, bushy-haired eyebrows that cast a little shadow on the eyes. Even the strong and a rather stocky build with a sloping back is common in all variants of the schnauzer. The same is true of the wired and rough outer coat that is tightly attached to the body.

However, the colors of the Mini Schnauzer are more varied than those of the rest of the Schnauzer family. In addition to the most popular colors, salt and pepper and pure black, the smallest schnauzer can also be seen in black, silver, and pure white.


The Pug is a dog that makes its owners smile because of its strange features with deep facial wrinkles, flat snout, and large black eyes. The Pug is very playful and, despite its short legs, it is very dynamic. Although, however, it may not seem like it, in obstacle courses, skill games, or even as a companion on short bike excursions, this breed of dog is cheerful, fun, and relaxed. But, at the same time, it is a very dignified dog that enjoys tranquility. He loves to sleep a lot and snore in bed, on the couch, or his human’s lap, but he’s not a lapdog.

When something catches its eye, it can go from being very calm to being very upbeat and moody at any moment. When this happens, he wags his tail energetically, jumps around the house, and rejoices at the distraction. He is always very friendly and open to other animals and people.

This furry little guy has a big heart and loves his owners above all else. He will follow you wherever you go and is a very faithful companion. When the Pug doesn’t like something, such as its dear human not paying enough attention to it, it can become very stubborn.

At first glance, you can see that this little dog has a lot of substance. The Pug is very compact, and its round body has firm musculature; falling into the category of a toy breed. The straight-backed physique is square, but it should never appear that it has short limbs or lean, that is, to have long legs. According to the FCI breed standard, the ideal weight is between 6.3 and 8.1 kilos, and although no specific height at the withers is specified, it should not exceed 35 inches tall.

The head is quite large compared to the small size of the body. The flat, short muzzle and the flat black nose with large, open nostrils are characteristic of this breed. Narrow nostrils and heavy folds over the nose are unacceptable based on the 2010 changes to the breed standard.

Shih Tzu

The Shih Tzu is a small but spunky little dog that has a slightly long body compared to its height. The head of this breed is rather round and broad with widespread eyes. Its muzzle is short compared to its head; typically an inch or less from the tip of its nose to the base of the snout. The popular breed is known for its large, round eyes that are typically dark in color.

The Shih Tzu has a thick double coat that is dense and pillows down over the dog’s body. The coats of this breed come in a variety of colors, including black, blue, red, liver, white, and gold, as well as a mixture of these colors. Their hair tends to be straight and will grow past the feet without proper grooming and maintenance. These dogs shed very little, making them great for people with light allergies to dog hair. Some people consider them a hypoallergenic breed of dog. Due to their long hair, they need regular grooming to keep their coat nice and clean.

Shih Tzus are alert and lively little dogs that are characterized by their stubbornness. They are gentle and affectionate little creatures that make great loyal companions. They make great alert dogs as they will bark at anything that they are unfamiliar with; which may not always be to the liking of their owners. To prevent excessive barking, it is important to provide your Shih Tzu with rules that it is to follow and practice positive reinforcement training to prevent excessive barking. To prevent excessive barking, you should introduce the dog to new people at a young age and continue to do so as it matures. This can be done by taking your dog on daily walks in public spaces.

Tiny But Mighty Toy Breeds

Chihuahua: They can weigh up to 3 kg, making them the quintessential toy dog breed. They are also known as Chihuahueños, and they originate from central Mexico.

What characteristics define a Chihuahua? They have concise hair, making it impossible to put hair accessories on them, as with the Yorkshire or Bichon Maltese. However, thanks to their short hair, they do not have to be combed and will always be free of matted hair and knots, reducing your bill at the groomer. Their hair can also come in lots of different colors depending on the color of their parents.

They are marked by their spunky personality and are very cheerful and playful dogs, although you have to be careful not to spoil them as they can become somewhat capricious.

Yorkshire Terrier: Yorkshire Terriers are generally already considered dwarf dogs, although some can weigh just over 5 kg. In addition, some are even smaller than the average Yorkshire and can weigh between 1 and 3 kg. They are known as Toy Yorkshires or Teacup Yorkies. They originate from England due to Scottish settlements within the country introducing them.

What characteristics define a Yorkshire Terrier? Yorkshire Terriers have a long silky coat, which means they do not shed significant amounts of hair. They are typically black when they are puppies, but their hair will turn a silver or tan color as they age. Depending on the individual dog, sometimes it will even be a mixture of both colors. They have very soft and shiny hair so beautiful that many times humans are even envious of them. For years there was a tendency to dock their tails, so it is common to find many Yorkshire that, unfortunately, do not have their tail as it should be.

Although they are affectionate and friendly dogs, they tend to have health problems, especially the smaller ones. Please pay special attention to their eyes, as the hair can enter them and cause damage. In addition, they are brilliant and faithful animals making them great family dogs.

Pomeranian: Pomeranians typically weigh up to 3.5 kg and are part of the Spitz family of dogs originating in Poland. The ancestors of the Pomeranian were sled dogs from Lapland and Iceland; they were a tiny Nordic breed. These energetic dogs love being the center of attention.

What characteristics define a Pomeranian? They have a reddish fluffy coat similar to that of a fox, although, without a doubt, the animal that it most resembles is a lion, looking like a miniature one thanks to how its hair grows. You have to brush them a lot so that they do not have knots in their precious hair.

They are affectionate and cheerful, as well as faithful. They love being with their human at all hours and do not enjoy staying alone. Unfortunately, they can have eye and skin problems, especially allergies, so paying attention to their health is very important.

Toy Fox Terrier: They are derived from the Fox Terrier, which is a similar breed but with a larger size. They are also known as the American Toy Terrier and made their appearance in the world in the United States. This toy breed typically weighs up to 3 kg, making them fairly small.

What characteristics define a Toy Fox Terrier? They have short white, brown, or tan hair; sometimes, these colors are evenly mixed. To preserve their softness, it will be necessary to brush them from time to time. In addition, this toy breed is prone to developing eye and ear problems, so it is important to take them for regular vet checkups.

They are smart and very active. They are happy to learn tricks and make very loyal companions. They are affectionate, and if they are trained well, they will not bark.

Maltese Bichon: They usually weigh up to 4 kg, and their origin, as their name indicates, is in Malta, although in their beginnings, they were also in Italy.

What characteristics define a Maltese Bichon? They stand out for their soft white hair that resembles cotton, sometimes looking more like a stuffed animal than a dog. Some choose to leave their hair very long so that its brilliance and beauty can be well appreciated. They do not have notable health problems, although it is advised to monitor their ears because they are prone to ear infections.

They are very playful, affectionate, and friendly dogs. They will be delighted to play at all hours with any human or with any other dog. They are ideal for a fun day in the park. They have a perfect heart, so they will never have problems with other dogs or humans, but will always be happy and satisfied with what you want to do.

Shih Tzu: There are toy Shih Tzus and small Shih Tzus, as they can weigh up to 7.5 kg. They originated in Tibet and were originally bred to look like living rugs.

What characteristics define a Shih Tzu? They have rough white, gray-brown, or black hair that is usually long and does not shed.

They are excellent watchdogs and love to be accompanied, so they are the ideal type of dog for those who do not spend a lot of time away from home and want to be in good company. However, as they tend to have very long hair, you have to be careful with their eyes, as they can get hair in them and cause problems.

Miniature Schnauzer: The Schnauzer is a popular toy dog breed. However, some Miniature Schnauzers cross the line into small dog territory, weighing on average 4.5 kg. This toy breed originated in Germany and quickly became popular all over the world.

What characteristics define a Miniature Schnauzer? They have soft gray and white hair, sometimes a little darker, and they become black. They usually have white hair on the lower part of the muzzle, making it look like they have a beard.

They are friendly and kind dogs and very intelligent, so they will be eager to be trained and learn to do new things. However, they tend to develop diabetes, so it is important to pay attention to their diet and not become overweight.

Pekingese can weigh up to 5 kg and originate in Tibet, being a symbol of Buddhism; sometimes, they are even referred to as lion dogs.

What characteristics define a Pekingese? They have long, rough and straight hair, usually of brown or black tones. They are friendly dogs, although they tend to have health problems, especially heart problems. They can also have eye problems, and it is common for them to have respiratory problems. They do not bark frequently, and they love being at home with their family, making them great family pets.

Miniature Pinschers: They weigh up to 5 kg and are one of the most common breeds globally, originating from Germany.

What characteristics define a Miniature Pinscher? They have short, straight black and brown hair. It is common, as the Yorkshire, to find them with their tails docked, although this time, the same thing happens to their ears.

They are very cheerful, playful, and brave. Even if they get along well with other dogs, they will not hesitate to stand up to them if necessary, even if they are much larger than they are. They love to bark and chew on things. They need a lot of physical activity, and it is common for them to have skin problems, although, for hair care, it is enough to brush them.

Dachshund: Also known as the sausage dog, they are dwarfs and can sometimes cross the line into small dog territory, as their weight can reach up to 9 kg.

What characteristics define a Dachshund? They have an elongated body and short legs, and a short brown or black coat. It will be sufficient care with simple brushing, as they will not have knots in the hair.

They are friendly, affectionate, pleased, and playful. They will never say no to a long walk or a ball. They always look forward to playing with other dogs. They also stand out for being trackers and extremely smart. They can have back problems, so it is advisable to ensure that they do not make great jumps continuously or participate in strenuous exercise. Their floppy ears are prone to infection, so pay special attention to them.

Toy Poodle: The Toy Poodle can weigh up to 5 kg and is born from a cross between the Barbet and the Charles Spaniel.

What characteristics define a Toy Poodle? They have a coat similar to the Maltese, sometimes white and cottony, although much curlier and fluffier. You can also find Toy Poodles with brown, black, or gray fur. It is necessary to comb it to remove any possible knots that may be caused, and it is advisable to have it done by a professional to avoid possible complications.

They spend the day jumping and nibbling things, so you have to be careful what they can catch around the house. Despite everything, they are a calm dog that loves to be at home with their family. However, they can have ear and skin problems, so it is advisable to pay close attention to them before they worsen.

Dwarf Italian Greyhound: They can weigh up to 5 kg and are the smallest greyhound type. They are also known as the Little Italian Greyhound and are native to Greece and Turkey.

What characteristics define an Italian Greyhound? They have short black, brown, gray, and even yellowish hair. Their hair does not need any special treatment as it is very short.

They are docile dogs with perfect and playful characters. They need plenty of exercise, and they love to play with other dogs. However, their bones tend to be fragile, so care must be taken not to make sudden movements that could fracture them.

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