Did you know that nearly 1/3rd of all AKC dog breeds are small? While there is no definition of small when it comes to dog breeds; for the purpose of this guide, we will be talking about all those breeds that are no taller than 16 inches at shoulders/withers and weighing under 25 pounds. With that in mind, let us consider popular small dog breeds or teacup dog breeds with good temperament.
Most popular AKC small dog breeds
According to American Kennel Club, following dog breeds are really popular among American households:
In America, Dachshunds come in two sizes: miniature and standard. Both these are bred differently and their personalities and needs, although similar, aren’t interchangeable. Height of most Dachshunds lies between 5-9 inches at withers and weight is between 5 and 32 lbs. As with any other breed small or large, dachshund temperaments vary from dog to dog. So even though you may have decided this is the breed for you; go in for a Dachsie that matches your own personality. Choosing the wrong dog could result in years of discord.
Yorkie or Yorkshire terrier is one popular breed among all small dog breeds. It weighs about 3-7 lbs and measures up to 9 inches. If teacup dog breeds are more to your liking, you can even go in for a teacup Yorkie. The scrappy Yorkie is a true terrier-which means this dog can bark! Despite its small size, it is courageous and assertive and can be nippy if not socialized and well trained from a young age.
When we talk about Poodles, we get three different sizes: standard, toy or mini. Since we are talking about small dog breeds, we will only consider toy and mini poodles. Both are small square dogs that are extremely elegant looking with beautiful curly coats. They do well in apartments but need plenty of grooming. Poodles are intelligent dogs with good temperaments. They are easy to train and very loyal to their family members. Poodles make great pets for kids as well as senior citizens. They are fairly easy to train as well.
4. Shih Tzu
How can we talk about the best small dogs with good temperament and not mention the Shih Tzu? This companion toy dog measures up to 11 inches at withers and is in the range of 9 to 16 lbs. Shih Tzus are friendly, trusting and companionable. They are great around kids with lively, affectionate and fun loving personalities.
Chihuahua is a popular small dog breed that came to America in the mid-nineteenth century. They measure up to 9 inches and weight between 2-6 lbs. Chihuahuas make an excellent pets in small apartments and for elderly people. They have minimal exercise needs that make them favorable pets for people leading sedentary lives. Note that some Chihuahuas have aggressive temperaments and they may not get along with other dogs. Early socialization and training are very important to prevent aggression and other issues.
6. Miniature Schnauzer
The mini schnauzer is a small yet sturdy dog measuring between 12-14 inches and 14-18 lbs. Miniature schnauzers are alert, intelligent and spirited dogs. They love to please their owners and get along well with most dogs and humans. The Mini Schnauzer has in-built watch dog capabilities; which means they are always alert to new sounds in their environment. This highly adaptable dog breed does well in urban or rural setting and can lead active or sedentary lifestyle.
Pugs are one of the most adaptable small dog breeds. They do especially well in an apartment and are loving, affectionate dogs. Their intelligence makes them easy to train. Pugs love children and get along well with humans and other pets. On the downside, they tend to have many health issues.
Pomeranian, or Poms, as they are popularly known, originated in the Pomerania province in Germany. This small dog has a foxy appearance and measures between 8-11 inches and up to 7 lbs. Pomeranians are spunky, spirited and highly trainable dogs. Early socialization and training are very important for this breed otherwise they can be very unfriendly. Note that this is a dog that was bred for its guarding and watch-dog skills. So they can be quite the barkers! Poms love to keep themselves clean and are almost cat like in that aspect.
9. Boston Terrier
Boston terriers are small, compact and muscular dogs measuring about 15-17 inches and 15-25 lbs. They are alert, lively, intelligent and easy to train. These small dogs have a moderate, even temperament. They also require moderate activity and do well with individuals or families in city, rural or suburban homes.
10. Miniature Pinscher
Mini Pinschers are hundreds of years old-older than the Doberman pinscher to which they are completely unrelated. They measure between 10-12 inches and weigh up to 10 lbs. Mini pinschers are alert, spirited dogs that are fearless and do not care about their small size. As a result, they tend to be aggressive and sometimes pick fights with other dogs. Mini pinschers do well with active owners and need consistent training and early socialization to prevent behavioral issues.
Maltese are popular among small dog breeds. If you prefer teacup dog breeds, you could even go in for the Teacup Maltese. Purebred Maltese measure between 5-8 inches or up to 7 lbs. They are fearless, trusting and friendly dogs that love to show affection. However, they are prone to anxiety and do not like to be left alone.
12. Welsh Corgi
When we talk about Welsh corgis, two distinct, related breeds come to mind. The Pembroke Welsh corgi weighs between 25-30 lbs while the Cardigan Welsh corgi between 25-38 lbs. Also the Pembroke has a broke tail while the Cardigan has a long tail like the sleeves of a cardigan sweater. Like the Cardigan, the Pembroke is a big dog in a small package. They are fun loving, active and intelligent dogs that make great pets around kids. Pembrokes can be quite headstrong so early training is essential.
13. Bichon Frise
Bichon Frise is one of the most popular AKC small dog breeds. This French dog has a powder puff appearance and measures about 11 inches and up to 14 lbs. Bichons are famous for their affectionate, loving personalities, playful nature and jaunty, cheerful attitude.
14. West Highland White
The West Highland white terrier, popularly known as the Westie, was bred to be specifically white so it could be identified in the field during hunts. Westies are small, balanced dogs having alert and fun loving personalities. Their height is between 10-11 inches and weight is between 15-20 lbs. They have an independent streak but are loyal and devoted to their family members.
Now that you know the most popular small dog breeds, we hope you have made your choice!