20 of the Cutest Small Dog Breeds You’ve Ever Seen


Sure, the internet may be full of a lot of bad things, but it’s also full of adorable images and videos of our beloved pets. I mean, can you name anything that cheers you up quite as fast as a cute dog doing something adorable? Yeah, we can’t either. All dogs are cute in our opinion, but if you’re looking for small dog breeds in particular, we’ve got you covered with some info on 20 of the cutest small dog breeds.

Small dog breeds are popular for a lot of reasons. They don’t take up a lot of space, can cost less to care for (less food, meds, etc.) and can be easier to travel with than some of the larger breed dogs. Small breeds are so popular in fact, the AKC’s most popular breeds for 2022 included French Bulldogs, Beagles, Dachshunds, and Yorkies. We can’t say we’re surprised because they’re obviously adorable. But if you’d like to know a little bit more about some of the cutest small dog breeds, take a look at our list below. First up, the Yorkshire terrier.

1. Yorkshire terrier

Yorkshire Terrier
Image: aaa/Moment open/Getty images

Lovingly referred to as the “Yorkie,” the Yorkshire terrier is the ultimate cutie in small breeds. Not only are they tiny (some are even “teacup”!), but the Yorkshire terrier is a small breed with a big personality and perfect as a companion on the go. Yorkies have been a “fashionable” pet since the late Victorian era.

2. Papillon

Image: Rook76/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Another breed that makes an excellent companion, the papillon is a loyal and loving friend. Great with kids and families, this pint-size pup makes an excellent watchdog. Calm but alert, it is extremely protective of its master. A papillon’s most distinctive feature is its large butterfly ears.

3. Cavalier King Charles spaniel

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Image: Sergey Ryumin/Moment open/Getty images

Not only is the Cavalier King Charles spaniel adorable, but it loves to cuddle, too! A member of the toy group, this pup is gentle and extremely caring of its family. These dogs are considered to be very elegant, possibly the reason Charlotte York from Sex and the City had one. One of the most popular in small breeds, it’s a dog worthy of all of your love.

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4. Brussels griffon

 Brussels Griffon
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Some may think that the Brussels griffon isn’t the most attractive dog on the planet, but it sure is cute. A bit awkward looking, Brussels griffons are smart, adaptable and cat-friendly. What they lack in appearance they make up for with their ability to perform a variety of tricks. Not great with kids, it’ll make a single owner a very happy one.

Up next: Boston terrier

A version of this article was originally published in February 2016. 

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Boston terrier
Image: Doxieone Photography/Moment/Getty Images

Just like the natives of the city it was named after, the Boston terrier is one loyal breed. It loves people, kids, cats and other dogs alike and is extremely adaptable. One of the most popular small breeds, the Boston terrier is one tiny pup that dog lovers like to have around.

6. Shih Tzu

Shih Tzu
Image: Geri Lavrov/Photodisc/Getty images

The Shih Tzu‘s cuteness matches its vibrant and spunky personality. A breed known for its luxurious coat and adorable appearance, the Shih Tzu needs a lot of grooming to keep it looking good, including daily brushing. This dog makes a great companion for adults and older children.

7. Bichon frise

Bichon Frise
Image: thomaszobl/iStock/Getty Images Plus

It’s tiny and super-fluffy: The bichon frise is the epitome of cuteness. A feisty breed, this little guy loves to play with its beloved owner. Despite the fact that it looks just like a child’s toy, the bichon frise is not actually classified as a toy breed but rather one of the non-sporting group. A super-cuddlebug, the bichon frise is also very affectionate and loving toward adults and other furred friends.

8. Pomeranian

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Another fluff ball to love up to, the Pomeranian is a compact puppy of Nordic descent. Smart and curious, this is a soft and lively breed. Excellent as a show dog, the Pomeranian is easily trained due to its incredible intelligence. Not very good with kids, this dog does amazingly well with cats.

Up next: Scottish terrier

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Scottish Terrier
Image: MorePixels/iStock/Getty Images Plus

There’s a reason we see the Scottish terrier adorning sweaters and holiday gear — it’s super-adorable! Their thick eyebrows and stout build make them resemble old men, in the most charming way. With more than just cute looks, the Scottish terrier makes a wonderful watchdog. Witty and hypoallergenic, it’s another small dog breed best suited for adults and older children.

10. Cockapoo

Image: Jody Trappe Photography/Moment open/Getty images

A designer breed, the cockapoo is a mix of the English cocker spaniel and the poodle. Small and cute, this breed hits every mark for a great dog. A cockapoo will never leave your side, as it loves to show affection and follow its owner. Good with kids and other animals, the cockapoo is intelligent and adaptable.

More: 200 Adorable Names for Little Dogs

11. Pekingese

Image: Gwenvidig/iStock/Getty Images Plus

A member of both the toy and companion groups, the Pekingese is a charming and delightful dog to be around. An intelligent pooch, it’s a watchdog that prefers adults and kitty friends. These pups are usually between 7 and 14 pounds, yet they are mighty and quick to defend themselves. They have a lot of fur, so the Pekingese’s luxurious coat requires regular grooming.

12. Maltese

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The Maltese is a breed that loves to shower its owner with affection. Lively and energetic, this breed also enjoys playing with its adult owner and fur-covered friends. The Maltese loves its owner so much, however, that it often suffers from separation anxiety when left alone too long. The Maltese requires daily brushing.

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Up next: Lhasa apso

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Lhasa Apso
Image: VKarlov/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Small yet assertive, the Lhasa apso is a companion breed that was bred to protect its family. Good with all kinds of people and pets, it makes a great addition to any family. Fearless and devoted, the Lhasa apso is a pretty pup that enjoys a good pampering, requiring lots of grooming, and cuddle sessions at the end of a busy day.

14. Skye terrier

Skye Terrier
Image: Brytta/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Made famous by Queen Victoria herself, this versatile breed can get fiercely protective or just be a friendly companion. Don’t be fooled by its small size — the Skye terrier is an excellent watchdog. Smart, friendly and outgoing, this is a happy pup to have around. Fearless and loyal, the Skye terrier is a breed suited for a one-pet-only household.

15. Sussex spaniel

Sussex Spaniel
Image: Gareth Byrd/Flickr

A sporting and gun dog, the cute Sussex spaniel makes an excellent hunting and family pet. Reliable and a lover of dogs and kids, the pup is friendly, lovable and notoriously slow. Looking a bit somber, the Sussex spaniel is actually a very happy and good-natured dog and loves the company of other dogs.

16. Petit basset griffon Vendéen

Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen
Image: Nathan150/Flickr

A hound breed, the petit basset griffon Vendéen loves to be active and will often keep itself entertained by getting into a little trouble. Adorable with its furry features, this dog requires a lot of grooming and playtime. Smart and easily trained, the petit basset griffon Vendéen makes a great family dog with its friendly and outgoing nature.

Up next: Havanese

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Image: @Hans Surfer/Moment/Getty images

There isn’t a furry friend or human the Havanese doesn’t like. A charming little pup, the Havanese has a soft, easy-maintenance coat. A pup that loves to cuddle, this lovable pooch enjoys the company of its owner 24/7, which is why it’s nicknamed “Velcro dog.”

More: Top 10 Best Hypoallergenic Dog Breeds

18. Japanese chin

Japanese Chin
Image: Justin Horrocks/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Another toy breed, the darling Japanese chin also falls into the category of a companion breed. Well-mannered, affectionate and extremely loyal, this dog believes its life goal is to be at the service of its owner. Beware, however, of these pooches’ jumping skills, as they can leap up great distances in just a single bound. A bit on the sensitive side, the Japanese chin does best with adults and feline siblings.

19. Chihuahua

Image: @Hans Surfer/Moment/Getty images

Still sometimes referred to as the “Taco Bell dog,” the Chihuahua is one of the most well-known small breeds on the planet. Filled with a feisty personality and watchdog abilities to boot, this pooch is a confident and sassy breed. Best as a one-human kind of pet, the Chihuahua gets along best with cats and adult humans.

20. West Highland white terrier

West Highland White Terrier
Image: jfoto/Moment/Getty images

The West Highland white terrier is arguably the cutest dog on the entire planet. White, fluffy and a great therapy dog, there’s no denying this breed’s awesomeness. A “Westie” is good with kids, families, cats and pretty much everyone. Perhaps their best quality is how easily they are house-trained due to their preference for cleanliness.

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