Top 12 Dogs That Stay Small [Australia Update]

Many people reside in small apartments, making caring for a much bigger dog difficult. Although your small apartment might suffice, the dog may feel cramped in its living quarters.

Therefore, it is usually best for apartment dwellers to pick smaller breeds. You’ll also appreciate that many smaller dog breeds provide various perks that make them better than their bigger companions. Just make sure you pick a small dog that will remain small for the rest of its life.

Having a smaller dog ensures you won’t hurt yourself when picking it up. Even if you are physically unable to lift 30 pounds, you’ll have no trouble picking up a 10 or 15-pound dog. Smaller dogs are also much easier to care for.

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Whether you’re cutting their nails, taking them for a walk, or bathing them, the process will be easier. Your small dog is less likely to run away and cause you to fall so they may be safer too. More importantly, small dogs are better suited for small apartments.

Top 12 Breeds Of Dogs That Stay Small

Some dogs start small and quickly get bigger with age. On the other hand, some breeds will always be small. Below, you will find breakdowns of the top 12 breeds that will remain small forever.

1. Biewer Terrier


The Biewer Terrier is one of the best dog breeds in this category. Although it is small in stature, it makes up for it with a feisty personality and a loyal temperament. The breed was created by Mr. and Mrs. Biewer who were known for their successful Yorkshire Terrier breeding program.

In 1984, they created a tricoloured Yorkie that had a unique recessive piebald gene. Eventually, these dogs were named Biewer Terriers. The breed is just as cute and small as the Yorkshire Terrier.

They’re equally smart making them one of the easier small breeds to train.

2. Brussels Griffon


The Brussels Griffon is one of the smallest breeds and also one of the oldest. As the name suggests, the breed originated in Brussels. Initially, these dogs were housed in stables and used to help prevent rats from getting inside. In the 1870s, they became pets and lap dogs.

They have a lot to offer besides their cute appearance. For instance, they’re very loyal and alert. These dogs will do whatever it takes to protect their owners. A Brussels Griffon dog will also be friendly and easy to train around other animals.

3. Chihuahua


It is hard to beat the Chihuahua since it is one of the most popular breeds in the world. It is believed that this breed dates back to 1530s Mexico. Although it is one of the smallest breeds, the Chihuahua has a larger-than-life personality that you won’t be able to ignore. It will bring your apartment to life and keep you busy all day. The only downside is that the Chihuahua and other small breeds tend to be too small for some kids. If your children are too rough, getting a bigger breed would be safer.

Otherwise, a friendly Chihuahua will keep you company and ensure you don’t get lonely in your small apartment.

4. Chinese Crested

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It is unknown when the first Chinese Crested dog was discovered. However, it is believed they were originally from Africa and ended up in China. After extensive breeding, the breed’s size was dramatically reduced. At one time, these dogs were used to remove rats from ships.

Today, they prefer being at home with their owners. They have an unmatched appearance because they have very little hair. Usually, they only have hair on their faces, tails, and feet. However, the powderpuff Chinese Crested dog is hairy.

5. Dachshund


Many Australians have fallen in love with the Dachshund because of its cute appearance. The dog is sometimes called a badger dog or a wiener dog. The dog received the former name because it was originally used to drive badgers out of their dens. In fact, Dachshund means “badger dog” in German.

These dogs are available in two sizes and three unique coats. They’re not great at leaping or long-distance running, but they still find ways to be active. They have plenty of energy so they’re going to need lots of walks. On the downside, the Dachshund can be very stubborn making it a bit more difficult to train.

6. Italian Greyhound


The Italian Greyhound may be just small enough for your small apartment. When you look at an Italian Greyhound, you’ll immediately realize that this dog is agile. They’re stout and built for running.

These dogs have been bred as companion pets for roughly 2,000 years. It is thought they were first bred around Turkey and Greece. In terms of their personalities, they’re considered affectionate, alert, and playful. They’ll be eager to play a game when they’re not guarding your home.

They can also be stubborn so training them may require a lot of patience. They do not like being alone. Unfortunately, this means that Italian Greyhounds may experience separation anxiety.

7. Japanese Chin


It is unknown when the first Japanese Chin was bred. However, most historians would argue that they were bred by the Japanese nobles many years ago. They were introduced to Western countries in 1854 when Japan opened trade.

Now, the Japanese Chin is loved around the world. The noble dog carries itself with grace. They are great pets for people living in small apartments because they’re so tiny. Just don’t forget to take your Japanese Chin on slow walks. Otherwise, they’ll get bored and become destructive when you’re not looking.

8. Norfolk Terrier


The Norfolk Terrier resembles a teddy bear. This breed is newer than some of the others since it was first recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1979. It is quickly becoming popular in Australia because the breed is one of the smallest of the terriers.

Norfolk Terriers are similar to other terriers since they’re smart, loyal, and alert. They can be good guard dogs because they’ll tell you when someone lurks around your home. They’re also fun and always ready for an adventure. These dogs enjoy going for walks and prefer being outside more often than not. However, they’ll also be happy sleeping by your side while you work on your computer.

9. Papillon


The Papillon breed was once bred as a companion for noblewomen in Europe. They were popular in royal courts too. Today, they’re known for their big ears resembling angel wings. Once you learn how to spot these ears, you’ll have no trouble identifying a Papillon.

One of the best things about this dog is the fact that it is so versatile. It is the least picky breed on this list. A Papillon will be just fine living in a tiny apartment, but it will also thrive in the countryside with plenty of room to run. Just ensure you shower it with attention because your Papillon dog will always be eager to please.

10. Pekingese


It is not known where the Pekingese breed came from. However, some historians think they were bred for Chinese emperors. Their courtiers may have continued breeding this dog until it reached its modern toy size. The Pekingese has a sense of royalty thanks to its majestic appearance. Apartment dwellers will be glad to know that this dog doesn’t need a large yard to thrive.

Nevertheless, they’ll still need plenty of exercise. Therefore, you should try to take your Pekingese for 15-minute walks every day. Once you’ve burned its energy, your dog will be eager to sleep in your lap.

11. Russian Toy


The Russian Toy is another new breed. It may weigh up to 6.5 pounds at the maximum. At the tallest, this dog will be 11 inches. The Russian Toy has long legs so it tends to be more active and agile than other dogs on this list. These dogs may have long hair or they can be smooth. In some ways, they resemble Chihuahuas.

12. Toy Spoodle

The toy spoodle is another great dog for apartment dwellers. The breed is cute because it looks like a stuffed teddy bear. It is bred by breeding a toy poodle with an English Cocker Spaniel.

These dogs rarely weigh more than 12 pounds. They may stand up to 10 inches tall although most are shorter. These dogs are outgoing so they enjoy being around other pets. They’re intelligent and curious. They enjoy learning new things.

Benefits Of Owning Dogs That Stay Small

Having a dog that will always be small comes with unique benefits. The obvious is the fact that the dog will require much less space. You won’t need a large yard or a big cage for the dog when you’re away.

Instead, a small dog that always remains small can easily thrive in a tiny apartment. On top of this, these dogs are suitable for everyone even if you have physical limitations. Most people will have no trouble picking up a small dog that weighs less than 20 pounds.

The dog is also going to be safer since it’ll be less likely to knock you down. When you take your small spoodle for a walk, it isn’t going to be hard to prevent it from running away. A big dog may get excited and jerk you around while running after a squirrel.

In some cases, people have gotten very hurt when this has happened. A small dog won’t be powerful enough to make you fall. Since the small dog requires less food and uses the bathroom less frequently. However, you may have difficulty seeing its presents in your yard because they’ll be smaller.

Finally, many people like smaller dogs because they can be transported more easily. Everyone will fit in your vehicle even if you’re travelling with four people. Your small dog will happily sleep in between two passengers as you drive across the beautiful country of Australia. Despite these benefits, you must remember that small dogs still require a lot of work.

You’ll need to train, groom, and exercise the dog to keep it happy and healthy.

Misconceptions About Small Dogs

A lot of people have misconceptions about small dog breeds. For instance, they may believe that these dogs are going to be lazy and inactive. The dog’s energy level will depend on its breed and lifestyle.

Even big dogs can be lazy if they don’t receive enough exercise. If they become accustomed to sitting around all day, they will become inactive. However, many small dogs are very active. In fact, some of them are going to be more active than much bigger dogs.

You’ll need to learn more about the differences between teacup breeds and naturally small breeds. A teacup breed means that the dog has been bred to make it smaller.

Usually, this involves taking a bigger down and breeding it until it reaches a smaller size. These dogs are sometimes specified based on their sizes. Other dogs are not. The Pomeranian is a good example of this.

These dogs are always small regardless. The biggest dog of this breed weighs 20 pounds. However, most Pomeranians are much smaller. On the other hand, you may get a teacup Pomeranian.

This dog is going to be smaller than a conventional dog of this breed. Dachshunds are normally small too, but there are miniature Dachshunds too. A standard Dachshund may weigh up to 32 pounds. As for a miniature Dachshund, it will normally be 11 pounds or less.

Adoption And Purchase Options

It can be difficult to find smaller breeds because they’re so popular. They don’t stick around rescues or shelters for long. Nevertheless, you can still find these dogs at some rescues and shelters. It is vital to be careful when dealing with breeders because some of them use unethical practices to make money.

If you’re going to buy a dog from a breeder, research the breeder in question first. Make sure you’re dealing with a reputable breeder who isn’t using unscrupulous tactics. You can always speak to family and friends to get recommendations.