Top 10 Uncommon Small Dog Breeds


Depending on individual circumstances, the benefits of owning a small breed of dog may greatly outweigh the benefits of owning a larger breed. Smaller dogs usually have less energy to expend and since they do not need much space, they are the ideal companions for people living in smaller homes, apartments or town homes. Smaller dog breeds are also much more transportable, meaning they can accompany their family on many outings.

There are a multitude of small breeds for dog owners to choose from that will fit perfectly into any type of owner’s home. Even though more common breeds like pugs, terriers and chihuahuas make excellent pets, the following is a list of small breeds that may not be as familiar.

  • 10. Affenpinscher

    The Affenpinscher is a terrier-like, toy breed originating from Central Europe where the breed was developed to rid stables and stores of various rodents. The name Affenpinscher translates from German to Monkey-Terrier, which is derived from the breed’s facial features that resemble a monkey. The Affenpinscher may be small, they only range between 9 to 11.5 inches tall, but they are bold, intelligent and full of energy. The breed has no fear and makes an excellent watchdog, as well as companion.

  • 9. American Eskimo Dog

    The American Eskimo Dog is divided into toy, miniature and standard sizes. Toys do not exceed 10 pounds and miniatures range from 11 to 17 pounds. The standard size of the breed only weighs up to 25 pounds, making any size a good choice for someone looking for a more compact dog. The American Eskimo Dog is quick to learn and very eager to please his or her family. Their long, thick, white coat makes the breed more suitable for colder climates and requires regular attention.

  • 8. Brussels Griffon

    This small breed was another that was developed to hunt small rodents. The breed was named after its originating city, Brussels, in Belgium. The Brussels Griffon has a distinctive look and its expressions have been thought to resemble a human’s. This breed tops out at 12 pounds and even though their small size makes them suitable for living in an apartment the Brussels Griffon still requires an active lifestyle and daily walks. These extremely affectionate and charming dogs love to have their owner’s attention and to cuddle up with them.

  • 7. Chinese Crested

    The Chinese Crested is a hairless breed of dog with unmistakable traits. The breed comes in two varieties, hairless and powder puff, and both types come from the same litter. The hairless variety has smooth skin and silk hair only on its head, tail and feet. This variety is more prone to skin irritation and reactions than most other breeds. The powder puff variety is completely covered in a straight, silk double coat and most people are unaware that the furred variety exists. They love to show affection and are very playful with their family members. Chinese Cresteds usually weigh no more than 10 pounds.

  • 6. Coton de Tulear

    Translating to cotton in French, the Coton de Tulear lives up to its name. The breed is characterized by its soft, cotton-like coat. This small, long-haired breed was developed as a companion and it takes the job very seriously. Coton de Tulears are known to stick by the side of their owners but are still very sociable with other dogs, cats and children. These dogs, which usually do not weigh more than 13 pounds, are also hypoallergenic and can make ideal companions for people who suffer from dog allergies.

      • 5. Italian Greyhound

With a slender, muscular body, the Italian Greyhound is a playful breed that also packs a lot of power. These dogs can reach speeds of 25 mph and enjoy chasing almost anything that moves. This is also a small breed with a large personality. Italian Greyhounds are extremely curious and demand a lot of attention from their owners, often following them from place to place. These smart pups, which weigh 10 pounds or less, are also one of the easiest breeds to groom as they shed little to not at all.

      • 4. Lancashire Heeler

Combine the appearance of a doberman with the short-legged statute of a corgi and you will get a Lancashire Heeler. With the potential to hunt small rodents, this breed is very active indoors and was once used to herd cattle by nipping at their heels, a behavior that must be corrected when the Lancashire Heeler does the same to people. These intelligent dogs have the tendency to be stubborn and even a bit mischievous at times. Most Lancashire Heelers weigh right around 14 pounds.

      • 3. Shiba Inu

One of six spitz breeds from Japan, the Shiba Inu is an ancient breed that was originally developed to hunt small game. These dogs can thrive in mountainous terrain and their thick coats make them adaptable to colder climates. Shiba Inus are known for their alertness, loyal companionship, and their bold and spirited personalities. Though small, only weighing up to 23 pounds, Shibas require lots of room to run and to be active, so a small apartment may actually not be ideal for this breed.

        • 2. Schipperke

Often compared to the appearance of a fox, the Schipperke is a devoted dog who often takes watch over his or her family. The breed originated from Belgium during the 16th century and the breed sports a sleek, black coat. They are known for being a little feisty and for frequent barking when they are on patrol. Schipperkes usually weigh between 11 and 18 pounds and they do well in a small apartment or in a home with a large yard, as long as they are receiving adequate exercise.

        • 1. Xoloitzcuintli

Also known as the Mexican Hairless dog and as Xolo for short, the Xoloitzcuintli is a hairless breed that comes in toy, miniature and standard sizes. It is one of the oldest and rarest breeds in existence and comes in two varieties: hairless and coated. The breed is the national dog of Mexico and was considered to be sacred by the Aztecs because they believed the Xolos were needed for a safe passage through the underworld. The toy sizes of Xolos can weigh as little as 10 pounds and the standard sizes can weigh up to 50.

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