The classic definition of a small dog is that whose maximum achievable weight does not exceed 30 pounds. Getting a small dog makes sense for many reasons. First, they are suitable for apartment living. Secondly, they are cheaper to maintain, as they require less food and supplies. Thirdly, transporting them is not a hassle. And the best part? They can fit in your lap.
Nonetheless, despite their small stature, these breeds are typically high-energy dogs. This means that you should be prepared to meet their exercise demands, lest they become destructive, overweight, or depressed.
Additionally, different breeds have different character traits. As such, do not adopt just any small dog with the presumption that it will fit right in with your lifestyle, family, or environment. You must do your homework first.
The following is a compilation of various dog breeds that weigh less than 30 pounds.
The Chihuahua is arguably the most popular small/toy dog breed in the world. This breed comes from South America, more specifically from the Mexican state of Chihuahua. Despite standing only 6 inches tall and weighing a solid 6 pounds, this animal’s attitude is anything but small; it will not hesitate to impose its will given half a chance.
Nonetheless, Chihuahuas are incredibly charming and fun to be around. They live well with other pets too. Nonetheless, they might not do well in a home with small children, as they are injured easily from rough play or handling. With good care, Chihuahuas live between 14 and 16 years.
2. Brussels Griffon
Also known as “Griffs,” these dogs stand between 9 and 11 inches tall and can weigh up to 15 pounds. Griffs originate from Belgium, where they served as both companions and work dogs. With their big eyes, beard, and expressive faces, they resemble little wise old men.
Curious, confident, and intelligent, these dogs are incredibly easy to train. While a bit stockier than the Chihuahua, the Griff is also quite fragile, meaning you should not play rough with them.
They do well in a home with lots of company, as they do not like being alone. They have a life expectancy of 12 to 15 years.
The fluffy ball of cuteness known as the Pomeranian has been melting hearts for centuries. One look at the Pom and Queen Victoria immediately started breeding her own. These pooches stand between 6 and 7 inches tall and weigh a maximum of 7 pounds. They also spot a lux double coat. And did we mention that they are from the Spitz family, in which they are the smallest?
Despite looking like a literal Disney character, Pomeranians are tyrants locked in little bodies. Therefore, training is essential to establish yourself as the leader, as they have no problem ruling the roost.
In addition to being cute and feisty, the Pomeranian is a smart and loyal animal that makes for a great watchdog and excellent companion. This cutey can live up to 16 years.
Also known as the “monkey dog” or “ape terrier,” the Affenpinscher gets its name from its monkey-like facial features. Standing at 11 inches and weighing a solid 10 pounds, this little doggo is incredibly bold, funny, and playful.
However, it was bred as a ratter, meaning that it is a killer of vermin, such as rats and mice. Therefore, have it on a leash during walks, as it will not hesitate to go after anything it perceives to be prey.
Spotting a robust build, it can handle some rough play, but you still need to be careful not to go overboard. The ape terrier has a decent lifespan of 15 years.
5. Yorkshire Terrier
Commonly referred to as the Yorkie, this breed looks like it was bred for royals, thanks to its regal-looking silky coat. At first glance, it even looks as aloof as you would expect a distinguished being to be.
Do not be fooled, however, as the Yorkie is incredibly bold and feisty, which makes sense considering that they were bred to be ratters, watchdogs, and companions for royals.
Nonetheless, they are affectionate to those they know and are a lot of fun to be around. Standing at 7 inches and weighing 7 pounds, they should be handled with care. Yorkies can live for up to 15 years.
6. Russian Toy
The Russian Toy traces its roots back to Russian aristocracy, where it served as a loyal companion. This dog is incredibly playful thanks to its high-energy nature. This means that you should be prepared to meet its rigorous exercise demands. It also craves companionship, meaning that it does not do well alone.
Fortunately, those traits are what make it a loving and loyal companion. The Russian Toy can spot either a short or a long coat. They weigh between 3 and 6 pounds while standing up to 11 inches tall. This charming fellow can live up to 14 years or more.
7. Toy Fox Terrier
The toy fox terrier is an intelligent and playful doggo that will melt your heart instantly thanks to their eagerness to please. Bred to hunt small game, the Toy Fox terrier has seemingly unlimited amounts of energy, which can result in destructive behavior if not channeled properly.
Highly intelligent, these pooches are easy to train and are some of the most commonly utilized dogs in circuses. They stand 10 inches tall and weigh 7 pounds. They are an extremely amusing breed that can provide you with a loving company for up to 15 years.
8. Japanese Chin
This charming animal traces its roots back to royalty. Regal in every sense of the word, Japanese Chins are calm, well mannered, and have an aura of grace about them. In fact, they are considered more cats than dogs.
As a result, these tiny fellows prefer quiet households, as they will snap at anyone that plays rough with them. Japanese Chins are ideal for someone looking for a lap dog. They do not do well alone.
These noble dogs stand between 8 and 11 inches tall and weigh up to 11 pounds. They have an average lifespan of 11 years.
9. Chinese Crested
The Chinese Crested is something to look at, especially if you encounter a hairless one. Being hairless not only adds to their charm but also means that you do not have to deal with shedding or odor. Nonetheless, hairless Chinese crested are vulnerable to the cold.
This breed accompanied Chinese sailors in their voyages where it served as a hunter of vermin. While incredibly strong-willed and difficult to house train, they make for excellent companions due to their loyal nature. They are also excellent watchdogs.
The precious Chinese Crested lives well with others. They stand between 11 and 13 inches tall and can weigh up to 12 pounds. They can live up to 18 years with proper care.
10. Shih Tzu
With a name whose literal translation is “Little Lion,” Shih Tzu makes up for what they lack in size with attitude. It does help that they spot a long and luxurious coat that resembles a lion’s mane.
Despite being bossy at times, Shih Tzus are extremely charming and playful. However, their patience tends to run thin with children, as kids tend to be rough. This is a dog that should be the source of your amusement for up to 18 years if provided with proper care. They stand between 9 and 11 inches tall and can weigh up to 16 pounds.
11. Miniature Pinscher
Dubbed the “King of Toys,” the mini pinscher is really a Doberman in a pint-sized body. Nonetheless, the mini pinscher is just as fearless and assertive as the Doberman. Therefore, you must establish yourself as the pack leader as soon as possible to get this cutey’s respect. Even so, they will still test you from time to time.
Nonetheless, once you earn their trust and respect, this doggo is incredibly affectionate, playful, and entertaining. Thanks to their short coat, grooming should not be an issue.
The mini pinscher stands between 10 and 13 inches tall, weighs 10 pounds, and can live for up to 16 years.
12. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
This is yet another trooper with a royalty lineage. Proud and gracious, this dog does not cotton just anyone. However, they are incredibly gentle and affectionate to their owners. As a result, the noble Cavalier King Charles Spaniel makes for an excellent companion and lap dog.
They stand between 12 and 13 inches tall and can weigh up to 18 pounds. This toy spaniel can live for up to 15 years.
13. French Bulldog
Love bulldogs? Well, here is a munchkin that might capture your interest. Simply referred to as “Frenchie,” this doggo is essentially a miniature English bulldog. However, Frenchies have distinctive “bat ears,” as they are large and erect.
The French bulldog spots a compact build. They stand about 12 inches tall and can weigh up to 28 pounds.
As it is the case with most bulldogs, Frenchies are intelligent, charming, quiet, and superb watchdogs. They live well with other pets, in addition to being exceptionally patient with small children.
Unlike most other small dogs, they are not balls of energy, meaning they do not require much exercise. However, they do love eating. Therefore, you must monitor their diet to prevent them from becoming overweight. With proper care, the French bulldog can live for up to 12 years.
How about the adorable silly pug? This charming and mischievous fellow has been the source of amusement to many for centuries, thanks to their faces that give them human-like expressions.
Pugs are robust enough to handle rough play from children and live quite well with other pets. Grooming is essential, as their wrinkles can develop infections if not cleaned routinely. They do not like exercising, meaning that you must monitor their diet.
These affectionate boys and girls stand between 10 and 13 inches tall, weigh between 14 and 18 pounds, and can live up to 15 years.
15. Boston Terrier
The Boston terrier is an All American dog that was bred for fighting. As a result, this is one tough little cookie that commands respect. Therefore, training and socialization at an early age is vital.
Nonetheless, despite being a fighter at heart, Boston terriers are incredibly friendly, affectionate, and amusing. They are extremely intelligent too.
Boston terriers might not appreciate the rough handling of small children. Therefore, it is best to supervise those interactions. All in all, it makes for a great companion and can live up to 13 years. They stand between 15 and 17 inches tall and can weigh up to 25 pounds.
Small dog breeds are ideal for almost everyone, as they do not require a lot of resources or space to be comfortable. They are also an excellent choice for beginners since they can be handled with relative ease.
However, it is important to do your research before you adopt one to ensure that you are capable of meeting its needs, as they differ from breed to breed.
Hopefully, you are now in a better position to acquire a small dog.
Featured Image: Nataliya Kuznetsova, Shutterstock