These Mexican pups are perfect dance partners, as they’re often doing the Harlem Shake. They can be emotional and temperamental, so it’s best to keep them calm and happy. They also have a Napoleon complex and have no problem biting off more than they can chew by picking fights with bigger dogs, so best to keep them on a short leash.
These dogs were made to warm the laps of emperors, but they’ll settle for your commoner lap if they must. They’re known for their snorting noises and weird spinning, hind-leg dances, but they don’t bark very much, so they’re good for apartment life. Their cute, buggy eyes and kind personality will make you never want to put them down.
If you want a royal dog, you can’t get much more regal than the Maltese. These dogs were pets of Marie Antoinette, revered by Aristotle, and worshiped by ancient Egyptians. Their beautiful white coats were bred into them by early Romans, and they beg to be brushed and groomed. They’re very friendly and loyal and have a long life expectancy, so be prepared for a longterm relationship.
If these dogs look like miniature version of sled dogs, that’s because they’re bred from big snow-loving breeds. Queen Victoria of England bred them to be small lapdogs, and that’s where modern Poms got their size. They won’t be much good for pulling your toboggan these days, but they have tons of energy and need nice, long walks.
One of my best friends is a Yorkie, so I can tell you from experience that these pups are smart. They were also bred to hunt rats, so they’re really good at getting into tight spaces. My pup never has trouble fetching his ball if it goes under a couch. They aren’t great with kids, and they’re very dependent on their owners, so they can’t be left alone for too long. But if you own a Yorkie, you won’t want to leave them alone anyway. That’s an unbiased opinion.
These wrinkly little cuties make for sweet, loyal, family pups, but their scrunched noses make it hard for them to breathe. Sometimes they even need surgery, and hot weather is out of the question, but their adorable, popping eyes make these pups hard to resist. They’re very adaptable companion dogs, so as long as you keep them cool, they’ll be your buddy for life.
My other best friend is a Dachshund, and even though he’s gone blind, his excellent nose lets him get around with no problem. These dogs were bred to hunt badgers, so their noses, skinny bodies, and webbed feet were made for hunting and digging in small spaces. If you don’t have any badgers around, be prepared for them to dig through your flowers or pillows. You may think they look like hot dogs, but that’s backwards. Hot dogs were originally called “Dachshund Sausages” after the dog breed. Now you know.
8. Shih Tzu
Don’t make fun of their name; these pups were called “lion dog” in the Chinese Imperial Court where they warmed nobles’ feet at the foot of their beds. They are known for being adorably unintelligent, but I’ll have you know that one of the smartest dogs I ever walked as a professional dog walker was a Shih Tzu who always knew how to get home. So don’t judge a pup by his breed.
This breed is sometimes called the “Ameritoy” as it was bred in the good old USA, and as an American, it’s actually known for its tendency to watch television. They were bred to fit in saddle bags, then chase small game once they were put on the ground. They’re very athletic and able to walk on hind legs and do amazing tricks. So, like Americans, they’re great couch potatoes and they’d do well in the Olympics.
10. Welsh Terrier
The Welshie is scrappy and loves to bark, so it’s best to acclimate your pup to other dogs early if you want to avoid leash aggression. But they’re very friendly with people, and their rectangular faces make them look like an adorable Lego toy. Their glorious mustaches and beards would make any hipster jealous, but they still remain down-to-earth and know how to have fun without being pretentious.
What’s your favorite small dog breed. Did we miss one that you love?
Let us know on Twitter @dogtimedotcom!