Ever wondered why some dogs are small and sweet while the others are massive and tough in appearance? Well then here is your answer, smaller dogs have a genetic material responsible for their growth called regulatory sequence. These are not to be mistaken for a gene, but it is next to a gene that regulates growth-inducing proteins. The one that is responsible for growth in humans and animals alike. Some dogs are smaller in size because their gene activity is suppressed due to mutation of the regulatory sequence. However, medium and larger dogs were found to be missing the regulatory sequence. Remember, not all small dogs are lap warmers, some are tough nuts but mostly smaller dogs are best suited for apartments.  Now that we know why some dogs are tiny than the rest, we train our attention towards rounding up a list of shortest dogs in the world.

Ever heard of the toy breeds? Yes, those tiny fur balls of irresistible cuteness. These breed of dogs are usually not owned for serving the purpose. However, they are excellent companions to their human owners. Some are witty while others are mischievous and alert. Despite the fact that these dogs arrive in many different sized personalities, they yet retain one common trait, they are extremely affectionate and loyal to their owners. So you readers may ask,What Is The Smallest Dog In The World?

Behold the furry list of smallest doggies in the world.

1. Chihuahua

what is the smallest dog in the world

Yes, we have seen it in celebrities’ purse; in fact these dogs are celebrity themselves. Behold the Chihuahua; it is unsurprisingly the retaining champion in the world of mini-ness. This tiny dog breed grows to a size not greater than what it takes to fit into your palms. In 2011, Milly the Chihuahua from Argentina was crowned the world’s smallest dog. Guinness World Records officially recognized her. At a size little larger than a Nutella jar, she is one adorable dog. The bawdy eyed Chihuahuas are sensitive dogs that are compact in size and agile. Their skin only needs to be occasionally groomed to keep their fur in great condition. They are indoor pets and can be accommodated in apartments too.

2. Brussels griffon

what is the smallest dog

This dog is another small sized breed that has a resemblance to a human expression. The breed is recognized for its smooth or rough coat fur and a beard like appearance on the face. They are extremely friendly, curious and social in nature. They love being taken for walks and play a lot too. It is among the popular breeds in the US.

3. Chinese Crested

smallest dog breeds

These breeds of dogs are highly interactive in nature because of their great socializing quality. They often engage in activities along with their human owners and are greatly affectionate. They have a slender appearance with a fine amount of attractive hair on their head, tail, and legs while the rest of their body appears bland or furless leaving their skin exposed. Hence, it is extremely important to keep them protected from the sun. They have a unique appeal to their looks and are often top contestants in dog shows.

4. Affenpinscher


Did you know these breed of dogs were used for exterminations of rodents and vermins in 17th century? Well if not, now you know. They are stubborn animals that resemble the terrier breed. Having a flat face and their body is entirely covered with fur. They are extremely playful and love to hunt small prey.

5. Japanese Chin

what is the smallest dog in the world

Do you have a pet cat? Are you concerned about adopting a dog because you fear they may not get along well? Fret not; this is a breed perfect for your home. They not only have a calm personality but also extremely temperamental to other species, especially your cat. They maintain some reservation when approached by strangers. They have a distinctive coat of fur on their body that adds to their charming character. This coat of fur needs to be groomed two times a week at least.

6. Papillon

types of small dogs

They are adorable lap dogs having amazing flowing fur. Papillion’s retain their name from the distinct shape of their ears which is in a form of a butterfly. These breed of dogs are known to exist since 1500’s because they have been portrayed in some old paintings. Their breeds are known for having a great personality and are amazing pets to have at home. It is not necessary to have them frequently groomed  as they do not have an undercoat. These breeds may have declaws, and their removal is always optional. Since they are short creatures, it may be best to have them safely removed by a vet. Who can ignore such a cute lap warmer?

7. Pomeranian

what is the smallest dog in the world

Am sure, much of an introduction isn’t needed about the Pomeranians. They are one of the most common breeds of dogs owned by people in the United States. Most owners claim them to be pets with mega-sized personality. This cute ball of fur has a lion-like appearance. They are extremely active, alert and playful pets. They love playing a lot in the indoors. They are extremely loyal to their masters and also largely social. Don’t be mistaken, they are not just your average lap warmers; they are brave doggies that are protective of their owners. They have an intelligent expression on their face and are commanding when they gait. It is recommended to have them groomed regularly to have their fur looking great.

8. Russian Toy

what is the smallest dog in the world

These breeds of dogs are excellent ratters. They are used in barns and farms to hunt mice and rats. Standing 8 inches tall, they are great outdoor pets and love vast spaces to run, play and hunt. Despite the fact that they fit well into the average household, they love the environment with fewer people around. They are best suited for single owners. If you have children living in your house, it is better they are instructed to give some space to the dog as these breeds do not wish to be overly petted.

9. Toy Fox Terrier

what is the smallest dog in the world

Are you looking for a smaller dog that is easily trained and very athletic in nature? Then this is the dog for you. This mini Terrier breed is absolutely an outdoor loving pet. Play is a vital part of their routine. They are an extremely happy and playful. Their playful traits have made them the choice of circus dogs as they are easily trainable and always high on energy. They are extremely loyal to their owners and would not leave their sides. Fox Terriers have shiny coat complementing their alert, athletic nature and are strong in character. However, brushing them weekly is an important part of their grooming regimen to maintain a healthy fur. Agility is his identity. They are not lazy and are ready to participate along with their owners in any activity. Hence, they are extremely engaging. A dog with a character like that is hard to ignore.

10. Yorkshire Terrier

what is the smallest dog in the world

They are a hunting breed that loves the outdoors and that irresistibly adorable looks make them the right choice of dogs to fit in your household. They have an alluring personality and are incredibly social to the members wanting to pet them. Hence, the saying dog is a man’s best friend is justified.

11. Dachshund

smallest dog breeds

He is a top dog when it comes to intelligence. He is a Dachshund. This low to ground dog built to hunt, trail or just be adorable can be a perfect pet for you and your family. He outshines many other breeds when it comes to intelligence, which is also the reason for which he is famously known. Their appearance is unique with short legs, elongated ears, and body. They are excellent sniffers well built, confident and spirited to make an ideal pet. His keen senses make him an ideal choice for trailing. He also needs frequent grooming to keep his fur in great condition looking spunky.

12. Pug

smallest dog breeds

His expression may yet closely resemble your grumpy boss. But he is still a cute and loving pet. They are extremely social to humans but moderately temperamental to other species. Their meek personality makes them approachable and a favorite pet among kids as well. They are lean looking and have good muscle too. They are extremely eager to please you if you have them as pets. They are playful and are curious. So hey, who doesn’t love a happy pug.

13. Miniature Pinscher

smallest dog breeds

They are a sturdy looking, lean, athletic breed of dogs. They love the outdoors and like to play regularly. Miniature Pinscher has a sturdy frontal body sloping downwards at the back. They have pointy erect ears and are extremely active and alert. These breeds have a graceful posture highlighting their athletic features. Mini Pinschers have a great fur coat that needs minimum grooming and are well suited for small homes and apartments. They are also brave and fearless while being fun-loving at the same time and having the qualities of a Doberman pinscher but with a mini-ness attached.

14. Havanese

smallest dog breeds

It is another toy group breed that is incredibly intelligent, outgoing and adorable, looking like a Disney Princess. The Havanese dogs are known for their amazing flowing fur that makes a wavy pattern when the dog is running. If their amazing flowing silky fur isn’t just sufficient to make them special, here is something you didn’t know. They are also Cuba’s national animal. These animals have a spirited personality and are happy and playful. They are also social and children-friendly pet. They are not extremely active but are curious in nature. Despite having a coat that looks like it could shed everywhere; these breeds do not shed their doggy fur. Thus, if you are an allergic person, these dogs could be your best choice.

15. Shih Tzu

smallest dog breeds

This breed of dog defines elegance in their appearance. With a hard to ignore looks that they possess, they are amazing lap warmers that could acclimatize in your household. Shih Tzu’s are Chinese descendant and were often palace pets basking in their royalty and were well looked after in their earlier era. The physical features of this breed bring forth the picture of luxury and royalty. They have poised head that is held high in pride. Their eyes wide apart and pleasant looking, these dogs are social to humans, trusting and have a fine personality. They are a delicate breed that needs regular grooming to keep their fur and health in great shape. Good nutrition is a must for these breed of dogs to have a great health and also for maintaining their iconic fur in good condition. Shih Tzu’s are such fabulous dogs that when they run and play, they look like your fluffy cushion with tassels suddenly spring back to life. They love playing indoors, and daily walk is a must to keep them happy and fit.

16. Cavaliar King Charles Spaniel

smallest dog breeds

Are you looking for that perfect toy breed dog for a house full of kids? Your search ends here; this is one of the most children friendly dogs that can accustom and are extremely tolerant to young kids. They are not the most popular dog breeds but are fine pets for your family. They are extremely glamorous and have a fine amount of silky fur. The fur need not be trimmed but need to be regularly groomed  every week. They are highly temperamental to other dogs and are subtle pets. Not extremely active, but they love outdoor walks. They are your ideal companion to fit into your everyday life. This breed will best suit owners that are happy with their private indoor lives.

17. Poodle

smallest dog breeds

This is another famous breed of dogs that need no introduction. She may be a fashionista, high-held head, and curly fur can make her doggy self, hard to ignore. Often walked around by their owners in pride, they are the choice of preference for most women. Who doesn’t love the Poodle? They are people loving pets that love the attention they receive. They are not necessarily suited for households with a lot of people, but they love to play and interact with their owner. They need regular maintenance of their fur to have a healthy skin and fur.