20 of the Most Popular Small Dog Breeds


Small dogs are almost impossible not to love. Sure, many people believe that they are ‘yippy’ or that that they are ‘ankle biters’ but they’re actually sweet dogs with wonderful personalities and a lot of different traits. Each breed is different, and each breed has something to offer others that are so sweet it’s impossible not to love them. Small breeds are admittedly not for everyone, but that does not mean anything to those who love them. If you’re curious as to which breeds are the most popular, consider one of these amazing small dogs that make amazing pets for a variety of households.

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Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

No matter how many photos of puppies I see, this one has to be the sweetest and most adorable. In fact, I don’t think I’d be able to resist a dog like this if I ran across one that needed a home. No, I’d not be able to resist. Affectionate, loving, sweet and absolutely adorable, this is one of the most popular dogs in the world, not just one of the most popular small breeds. It’s just so cute with its long, floppy ears and big eyes.

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These are popular dogs because they literally love everyone. There is not an enemy in the world in the eyes of this beyond adorable breed. It’s great with kids. It loves adults. It has a way of seducing strangers, and it loves all other animals. That’s what makes this one a pretty awesome dog to have around the house. After all, why wouldn’t you want a dog that loves everyone? It makes the future decision to get another pet or add a baby to the family a very easy one.

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boston terrier

Boston Terrier

This dog loves all things. Find me a Boston Terrier that doesn’t love all people, kids, dogs, cats and other animals and I’ll be shocked. This is a friendly breed with a lot of love to give. Enthusiastic and ready to play, it’s one of the most loyal dogs around, but it’s not afraid to make a new friend. This is the kind of dog that epitomizes, “He knows no stranger,” in a classic manner.

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Yorkshire Terrier

Don’t let the pint-sized body of this sweet dog fool you. It might be small on the outside, but it has enough personality to go around the block a few times. Fun and active, this is the kind of breed you need if you’re looking for someone to get excited when you get home in the evenings. As kids get older they’re less inclined to care that you’re home, so perhaps a Yorkie will make you feel welcome in your own house at the end of the day.

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These dogs want to know everything. They are exceptionally curious, eager dogs. They’re also very affectionate and protective over those they love most. I remember my uncle’s little Pomeranian would growl and bark and refuse to let anyone near my uncle at any time. These are dogs that, according to the American Kennel Club, do not do well with children. Surprisingly, however, they do enjoy befriending cats.

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japanese chin

Japanese Chin

I’m not sure it gets any more adorable than this little breed, and I don’t even have one. It’s considered a companion breed in that it gets along very well with those who live alone or are a bit on the elderly side. It’s not a hater of kids, but it does prefer those who have a little life experience just to be on the safe side. Intelligent and sweet, it’s hard to find a dog with as kind a personality as this little one. And even though it looks perpetually angry, it’s a happy little breed that will always make you feel good to be home.

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Who doesn’t love this adorable breed? It’s friendly and smart, intelligent and funny and it’s easy to train. It gets along with just about everyone, so it should fit right in with your family without any issue. The breed features all the qualities that most families are looking for when looking at dog breeds, and that’s what makes it one of the most popular small breeds around.

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scottish terrier

Scottish Terrier

If for no other reason than the fact that you must have a dog that wears an argyle sweater, the Scottish Terrier is certainly one of the most popular small dog breeds. This little darling is so sweet and so adorable that it’s nearly impossible not to want to bring one home. It’s also an intelligent breed, and that goes a long way toward encouraging families to want to bring this dog home with them.

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shih tzu

Shih Tzu

Fun-loving and feisty , this is a dog made for older people and those with kids that aren’t small. It’s a fun breed, but it can be a bit overwhelming to those not used to its personality, so small kids are best left out of the mix. Its gorgeous coat does require ample grooming, so it’s not the dog for anyone with little time, but its sweet face and lovable personality do make for a very darling dog.

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This dog has been popular for a long time, and it’s not just because Paris Hilton and Taco Bell made it famous. Known for being a bit on the yippy side, this is a breed that is looking to protect. It picks favorites. It’s smart, but it’s also a little bit aloof. It takes some time to get to know this dog, and it will always prefer one or two people over anyone else or it’s not going to be very happy with you.

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Very popular because it’s good with all people, this breed is a wonderful pet. It’s very protective and loyal, and it makes a wonderful watchdog. Of course, few people will find room in their hearts to fear this sweet dog, but it’s a watchdog through and through. Alert, calm and very protective, you’ll have to work hard to get through this little pint-sized pup. What’s even more promising about this breed is that it’s good with kids and adults, and it’s just friendly all the way around.

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brussels griffon

Brussels Griffon

There’s a bit of debate among people over whether or not this breed is cute or awkward. I vote cute, but some people find that the sort of smashed look to its face and its long beard are not what they’re looking for in a dog. Oh well, though, because this one makes a great companion. It’s not a dog that does overly well with small kids, but it’s the kind of dog single people find most fitting with their lifestyle. And no matter what anyone else says, it’s still pretty cute.

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west highland

West Highland Terrier

If you’re a family with cats and kids and other dogs, you might consider this breed as your next. It gets along with anyone and everything, and that’s a nice trait. It’s calm and playful, but it loves to exercise. It’s a fun dog that will sit on your lap and cuddle or nuzzle your face until you pay attention. Did we talk about how sweet and adorable this breed is just yet? Because you’re really not going to find another dog this cute, I’m sure. It’s a special dog in that it’s got the face of an angel, and we’re not sure it’s not an actual angel.

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These darling dogs are exceptionally cute and they have such a lovely coat, but they do require some serious grooming. This is not a dog for those who haven’t the time to deal with that, but they’re great companions. They make friends easily, they’re fun and playful, they’re curious and they’re very smart. All in all, they’re a great combination of active and calm, and they make wonderful friends to have at home.

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Toy Poodle

The toy poodle is one of the most popular dogs in the world thanks to its tiny body and its big personality. It has one of the sweetest faces you’re ever going to see and it’s the kind of dog that really does make you feel loved. A sweet companion and a wonderful and playful friend, this intelligent breed makes a wonderful pet for those looking for a dog that’s easy to train and easy to introduce to others.

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Intelligent, sweet and affectionate, there are endless reasons this is one of the more popular small dog breeds. It’s so sweet and so loving that people just cannot help but want one of their own. Its intelligence makes it very easy to train, and its adaptability makes it an easy pet to have around the house. Did we mention it’s cute, too? That goes without saying, but a cute dog does make a difference to many dog owners.

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Bichon Frise

With a coat that makes hair snobs envious, this darling breed is too cute for words. It’s also a dog with a very lovable personality, and that makes for an impossible combination. A dog that is this cute and loves to be affectionate and playful? You’re not going to be able to find a way to say no to this breed, and that could be a problem when you’ve suddenly become the family with 10 dogs and more on the way. Learn to say no, and you’ll be good to go.

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lhasa apso

Lhasa Apso

With hair perpetually in its eyes, this is a lovable looking little puppy. It’s very assertive and very bossy if you don’t take control from the start, but it’s also the kind of dog that makes you want to cuddle it to the end. This is a pretty fearless dog, and that makes her great for families with small kids. Her welcoming and open personality, her friendly nature and her happy personality go a long way towards making her one of the most popular small dog breeds around.

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For no particular reason other than the fact that this wrinkly little dog is darn adorable, this is one of the most popular small breeds around. I don’t know what it is about the pug, but once you have one it seems you never go back. Those who have pugs don’t just love their dogs; they are obsessed with their dogs. They want nothing more than just to spend as much time as possible with their animals, and they are not afraid to tell you that their dog is more important than you. That’s pretty intense.

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There’s something about this breed that reminds me a bit of an alien from Men in Black, and I swear it makes the dog even cuter than it actually is. Don’t ask me what, because I honestly have no idea. But I do immediately think of this movie when I see one of these dogs despite not having seen the movie in 15 years. Friendly and very intelligent, this is a dog that loves its people, but it does prefer not to be around small kids.

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