There are several contenders for smallest dog breed. Most people agree that the Chihuahua is the smallest breed of dog in the world but the Yorkshire Terrier and the Pomeranian are also quite small and there can be individual dogs which are smaller than some Chihuahuas. Other breeds, such as the Maltese, the Japanese Chin, and the Papillon, all weigh less than 10 pounds and can also rival the Chihuahua as the smallest breed at times.
Here are some of the breeds which might be considered the smallest breed of dog in the world.
The Chihuahua is a very old Mexican breed. Dogs of this type have probably existed in Mexico for hundreds of years and a larger version may have been used in religious ceremonies by some of the earlier Mexican peoples. The Chihuahua is a bold, feisty breed. They can be quite independent, though they are devoted to their owners. They are not recommended for families with small children but they should do all right with older children. The Chihuahua is not supposed to weigh more than 6 pounds according to the club’s breed standard, though some pets do weigh more.
The Yorkshire Terrier comes from England. They were originally a terrier breed and were bred to hunt rats and other vermin in the textile mills of northern England. They are a beautiful little breed with a long flowing coat of tan and blue. The Yorkie is outgoing, determined, and brave. They are not afraid of anything. They are also very curious and quite active. The Yorkie only weighs 4 to 7 pounds.
The Pomeranian was once a much larger dog, weighing up to 30 pounds, and was used to pull sleds in the cold north of Europe. Over the last 200 years the breed has been slowly reduced in size until today these charming little dogs weigh between 3 and 7 pounds. They retain their spitz-dog appearance and even look like little foxes. They are intelligent, outgoing, and love to please their owners. With their thick, dense coats they do need quite a bit of grooming.
The beautiful Maltese has a long flowing white coat. These dogs are good for allergy-sufferers. The Maltese has been known for around 2800 years. This charming, intelligent, brave, playful little dog only weighs 4 to 6 pounds. They do require daily brushing to keep their coats from matting.
The Japanese Chin is actually a Chinese breed. They were bred only to be lapdogs for ladies in the Imperial Palace. These little dogs are intelligent, affectionate, and devoted. It’s easy to teach them tricks and they enjoy showing off in front of friends, though they can be reserved with strangers. They are playful and agile. The Japanese Chin usually weighs between 7 and 9 pounds, though some dogs can weigh just 4 pounds. They stand 8 to 11 inches tall. They have a lovely longish coat that is usually white with black or red markings.
The Papillon was originally known as a Dwarf Spaniel in the 16th and 17th century, though any relation to spaniels seems unlikely. These little dogs are friendly, elegant, and quite dainty. They are happy and lively little dogs. They have a medium-long coat but they do not have an undercoat and they don’t need a lot of grooming. The Papillon (the name means “butterfly” for the breed’s butterfly-like ears) stands 8 to 11 inches tall and weighs 5 to 10 pounds.
Most people agree that the Chihuahua is the smallest dog breed in the world but there are several other small breeds which are similar in size to the Chihuahua.