The Most Popular List of Small Dog Breeds

Small dog breeds are becoming increasingly popular in Australia.

Many pet owners prefer smaller breeds as they are easier to handle, cheaper to feed and often cuddlier. If you are after a companion or a lap dog then a smaller breed is for you!

There are lots of different small dog breeds and they all have unique features. We have categorised them below to help you choose the best dog for you:

SMALL DOG CATEGORIES

CUTEST SMALL DOGS

  • Dachshund
  • French Bulldog
  • Pekinese
  • Pug
  • Welsh corgi
Dachshunds are recognisable by their long body and short legs

SLIDE 1 OFF 6

DACHSHUND

Dachshunds, affectionately known as Sausage Dogs, originated in Germany.

They are recognisable by their long body and short legs. Their ears droop onto their cheeks.

The breed is affectionate and curious.

They should not be allowed to jump up onto lounges or human beds as they can easily injure their backs.

Dachshunds are recognisable by their long body and short legs

SLIDE 2 OFF 6

FRENCH BULLDOG

Contrary to their name, French Bulldogs actually originated in England as a companion dog. They are named ‘French’ because during the industrial revolution many English workers moved to France and took these dogs with them.

They have a stocky body, short legs and a flat face. Their bat-like ears are very expressive. They have short fur that is easy to maintain.

They are currently one of the most popular dog breeds in Australia. They are playful and gentle. However, they are prone to separation anxiety and can be tricky to train.

French Bulldog

SLIDE 3 OFF 6

PEKINGESE

Pekingese originated from China. They are known as Lion Dogs because they look similar to Chinese guardian lions.

They have a very flat face with large eyes. They have long, fuzzy coats that shed a lot of hair.

The breed is highly affectionate and enjoys being a lap dog.

They are suitable for the elderly or less active owners as they don’t need a lot of exercise.

Pekingese

SLIDE 4 OFF 6

PUG

Pugs originated in China around 400 B.C. The ancient breed was bred to be a lap dog for wealthy owners.

Pugs have a short body and curled tail. They have a distinctive flat face with deep wrinkles and dark eyes.

The breed is very playful and loves attention.

They are very popular breed in Australia.

Pug

SLIDE 5 OFF 6

WELSH CORGI

The Welsh Corgi, often just called Corgi, originated in Wales. There are two breeds of Corgi – Cardigan and Pembroke.

They have short legs and a long body. Their head is fox-like with pointed ears.

Corgis are surprisingly energetic for their size.

They need to be trained well to avoid excessive barking.

Welsh Corgi

SLIDE 6 OFF 6

FAMILY FRIENDLY  SMALL DOGS

  • Australian Terrier
  • Beagle
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
  • Pug
  • Shih Tzu
Pug

SLIDE 1 OFF 6

AUSTRALIAN TERRIER

The Australian Terrier, also known as the Aussie, originated in Australia. They were bred as a working dog to kill snakes and rodents.

They have short legs and V-shaped ears.  Their coat is typically tan with black markings.

They are highly intelligent and friendly. Their breed is very energetic and needs regular walks.

Australian Terrier

SLIDE 2 OFF 6

BEAGLES

Beagles originated in the UK in the 1500’s. They are scent hounds that were bred to track game.

In modern times, they are commonly used as sniffer dogs by law enforcement agencies.

They have a square body and head. They have floppy ears and a long tail.

Their friendly nature makes them great pets for families. They must always be walked on a leash as they tend to follow their nose and wander off.

SLIDE 3 OFF 6

CAVALIER KING CHARLES SPANIEL

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, often simply called Cavalier, originated in England as a companion dog.

They have very soft, mid-length fur. The fur on their droopy ears and tail is often left long.

Their gentle nature makes them a very popular choice for Australian families. They need to be socialised from an early age so they get along with other dogs and pets.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

SLIDE 4 OFF 6

PUG

Pugs originated in China around 400 B.C. The ancient breed was bred to be a lap dog for wealthy owners.

Pugs have a short body and curled tail.

They have a distinctive flat face with deep wrinkles and dark eyes.

The breed is very playful and loves attention.

They are very popular breed in Australia.

Pug

SLIDE 5 OFF 6

SHIH TZUS

Shih Tzus originated in China.

They are a small breed, with a short muzzle and dark eyes.

Their long double coat requires regular grooming.

The breed is a popular pet choice in Australia. The breed is affectionate yet outgoing.

They make terrible watch dogs as they warm to strangers quite quickly.

Shih Tzu

SLIDE 6 OFF 6

POPULAR SMALL DOGS

  • Boston Terrier
  • French Bulldog
  • Jack Russell Terrier
  • Maltese
  • Shih Tzu
French Bulldog

SLIDE 1 OFF 6

BOSTON TERRIER

Boston Terriers are an American breed, also known as Boston Bull Terriers or American Gentlemen.

They have short fur that is easy to care for. They have a square head and large, round eyes.

Their long legs and pointed ears give them their cute appearance.

Boston Terriers make great family pets. They are playful yet gentle. They are highly sensitive to the tone of people’s voices.

Boston Terrier

SLIDE 2 OFF 6

FRENCH BULLDOG

Contrary to their name, French Bulldogs actually originated in England as a companion dog. They are named ‘French’ because during the industrial revolution many English workers moved to France and took these dogs with them.

They have a stocky body, short legs and a flat face. Their bat-like ears are very expressive. They have short fur that is easy to maintain.

They are currently one of the most popular dog breeds in Australia. They are playful and gentle. However, they are prone to separation anxiety and can be tricky to train.

French Bulldog

SLIDE 3 OFF 6

JACK RUSSELL TERRIER

Jack Russell Terriers were originally bred in England to hunt game.

They have a sturdy and broad body with drop ears.

Their coat come in several varieties and colours.

Jack Russells are a very popular pet.

They require regular exercise and stimulation to avoid bad behaviour.

SLIDE 4 OFF 6

MALTESE

Maltese are a toy breed originating from Malta.

Their single-layer coat is either white or ivory.

Traditionally, owners would choose to keep their fur long enough to touch the floor.

Maltese are a very popular breed, especially for families with children.

They are hypoallergenic and prefer to be kept as indoor dogs.

Maltese

SLIDE 5 OFF 6

SHIH TZUS

Shih Tzus originated in China.

They are a small breed, with a short muzzle and dark eyes.

Their long double coat requires regular grooming.

The breed is a popular pet choice in Australia. The breed is affectionate yet outgoing.

They make terrible watch dogs as they warm to strangers quite quickly.

Shih Tzu

SLIDE 6 OFF 6

FLUFFY SMALL DOGS

  • Bichon Frise
  • Havanese
  • Pekinese
  • Pomeranian
  • Shih Tzu
Shih Tzu

SLIDE 1 OFF 6

BICHON FRISE

The Bichon Frise originated in France in the 14th century, bred as a companion dog.

The breed is small, white and fluffy! They have very soft fur and a powder-puff tail. They need regular grooming to avoid tangles.

They are very affectionate and gentle, making them an ideal pet for families with children or the elderly. They don’t bark as much as other breeds their size.

Bichon Frise

SLIDE 2 OFF 6

HAVANESE

Havanese, sometimes called Bichon Havanais, originally come from Cuba.

The breed is ‘toy’ sized. They have long, silky hair that comes in a wide variety of colours.

Many owners choose to keep their hair long so it covers their eyes and touches the ground.

They are friendly, loyal and enjoy human company.

Havanese

SLIDE 3 OFF 6

PEKINGESE

Pekingese originated from China. They are known as Lion Dogs because they look similar to Chinese guardian lions.

They have a very flat face with large eyes. They have long, fuzzy coats that shed a lot of hair.

The breed is highly affectionate and enjoys being a lap dog.

They are suitable for the elderly or less active owners as they don’t need a lot of exercise.

Pekingese

SLIDE 4 OFF 6

POMERANIANS

Pomeranians originated in Poland, descending from German Spitz.

A Pomeranians most distinctive feature is its fluffy hair. Most owners choose to keep their hair longer so they require regular brushing.

They have a compact body with pointed ears and a tail that sticks up.

They love to spend time with humans and get very attached to their owners. They can be trained to be service dogs, alerting deaf owners when they hear certain noises, such as someone ringing a doorbell.

SLIDE 5 OFF 6

SHIH TZUS

Shih Tzus originated in China.

They are a small breed, with a short muzzle and dark eyes.

Their long double coat requires regular grooming.

The breed is a popular pet choice in Australia. The breed is affectionate yet outgoing.

They make terrible watch dogs as they warm to strangers quite quickly.

Shih Tzu

SLIDE 6 OFF 6

NON SHEDDING SMALL DOGS

  • American Hairless Terrier
  • Italian Greyhound
  • Maltese
  • Shih Tzu
Maltese

SLIDE 1 OFF 5

AMERICAN HAIRLESS TERRIER

The American Hairless Terrier comes from Louisiana, USA.

Their hairless body makes them a great choice for allergy sufferers.

While they aren’t completely hypoallergenic, many allergy sufferers report less reactions with hairless dogs.

Owners need to take extra care protecting their skin from the cold and sunburn. They enjoy spending time with their humans.

SLIDE 2 OFF 5

ITALIAN GREYHOUND

The Italian Greyhound originated in Italy 2,000 years ago. They were bred from smaller Greyhounds.

They are very skinny, with long legs and a pointed snout.

They typically weigh around 4kg. The breed sheds very little hair.

Italian Greyhounds are fragile so aren’t suited to families with small children.

Italian Greyhound

SLIDE 3 OFF 5

MALTESE

Maltese are a toy breed originating from Malta.

Their single-layer coat is either white or ivory. Traditionally, owners would choose to keep their fur long enough to touch the floor.

Maltese are a very popular breed, especially for families with children.

They are hypoallergenic and prefer to be kept as indoor dogs.

Maltese

SLIDE 4 OFF 5

SHIH TZUS

Shih Tzus originated in China.

They are a small breed, with a short muzzle and dark eyes.

Their long double coat requires regular grooming.

The breed is a popular pet choice in Australia. The breed is affectionate yet outgoing.

They make terrible watch dogs as they warm to strangers quite quickly.

Shih Tzu

SLIDE 5 OFF 5

MOST LOYAL SMALL DOG BREEDS

  • Australian Terrier
  • Beagle
  • Boston Terrier
  • French Bulldog
  • Papillion
Papillon

SLIDE 1 OFF 6

AUSTRALIAN TERRIER

The Australian Terrier, also known as the Aussie, originated in Australia.

They were bred as a working dog to kill snakes and rodents.

They have short legs and V-shaped ears.  Their coat is typically tan with black markings.

They are highly intelligent and friendly. Their breed is very energetic and needs regular walks.

Australian Terrier

SLIDE 2 OFF 6

BEAGLE

Beagles originated in the UK in the 1500’s. They are scent hounds that were bred to track game.

In modern times, they are commonly used as sniffer dogs by law enforcement agencies.

They have a square body and head. They have floppy ears and a long tail.

Their friendly nature makes them great pets for families. They must always be walked on a leash as they tend to follow their nose and wander off.

Beagle

SLIDE 3 OFF 6

BOSTON TERRIER

Boston Terriers are an American breed, also known as Boston Bull Terriers or American Gentlemen.

They have short fur that is easy to care for. They have a square head and large, round eyes.

Their long legs and pointed ears give them their cute appearance.

Boston Terriers make great family pets. They are playful yet gentle. They are highly sensitive to the tone of people’s voices.

Boston Terrier

SLIDE 4 OFF 6

FRENCH BULLDOG

Contrary to their name, French Bulldogs actually originated in England as a companion dog. They are named ‘French’ because during the industrial revolution many English workers moved to France and took these dogs with them.

They have a stocky body, short legs and a flat face. Their bat-like ears are very expressive. They have short fur that is easy to maintain.

They are currently one of the most popular dog breeds in Australia. They are playful and gentle. However, they are prone to separation anxiety and can be tricky to train.

French Bulldog

SLIDE 5 OFF 6

PAPILLION

Papillions were first bred in France in the 17th century, as companion animals. They are sometimes called the Continental Toy Spaniel.

They are a tiny breed. They are most distinguishable by their butterfly-like ears with long, fringed hair.

The breed loves attention and can be prone to barking if not trained well.

They get along well with other animals if socialised from an early age.

Papillon

SLIDE 6 OFF 6

WHITE SMALL DOG BREEDS

  • Bichon Frise
  • Havanese
  • Maltese
  • Pomeranian
Bichon Frise

SLIDE 1 OFF 5

BICHON FRISE

The Bichon Frise originated in France in the 14th century, bred as a companion dog.

The breed is small, white and fluffy! They have very soft fur and a powder-puff tail. They need regular grooming to avoid tangles.

They are very affectionate and gentle, making them an ideal pet for families with children or the elderly.

They don’t bark as much as other breeds their size.

Bichon Frise

SLIDE 2 OFF 5

HAVANESE

Havanese, sometimes called Bichon Havanais, originally come from Cuba.

The breed is ‘toy’ sized. They have long, silky hair that comes in a wide variety of colours.

Many owners choose to keep their hair long so it covers their eyes and touches the ground.

They are friendly, loyal and enjoy human company.

Havanese

SLIDE 3 OFF 5

MALTESE

Maltese are a toy breed originating from Malta.

Their single-layer coat is either white or ivory.

Traditionally, owners would choose to keep their fur long enough to touch the floor.

Maltese are a very popular breed, especially for families with children.

They are hypoallergenic and prefer to be kept as indoor dogs.

Maltese

SLIDE 4 OFF 5

POMERANIANS

Pomeranians originated in Poland, descending from German Spitz.

A Pomeranians most distinctive feature is its fluffy hair. Most owners choose to keep their hair longer so they require regular brushing.

They have a compact body with pointed ears and a tail that sticks up.

They love to spend time with humans and get very attached to their owners. They can be trained to be service dogs, alerting deaf owners when they hear certain noises, such as someone ringing a doorbell.

SLIDE 5 OFF 5

MINIATURE SMALL DOG BREEDS

  • Chihuahua
  • Papillion
  • Pekinese
  • Pomeranian
  • Shih Tzu
Pekingese

SLIDE 1 OFF 6

CHIHUAHUAS

Chihuahuas originated in Mexico. They are one of the oldest and smallest breeds of dog in the world.

They typically weigh between 1-5kg. They have a long body, short muzzle and pointed ears.

Their eyes are set far apart. There are short-haired and long-haired varieties.

Chihuahuas get very attached to their owners and don’t like to be left alone for too long.

Chihuahua

SLIDE 2 OFF 6

PAPILLIONS

Papillions were first bred in France in the 17th century, as companion animals. They are sometimes called the Continental Toy Spaniel.

They are a tiny breed. They are most distinguishable by their butterfly-like ears with long, fringed hair.

The breed loves attention and can be prone to barking if not trained well.

They get along well with other animals if socialised from an early age.

Papillon

SLIDE 3 OFF 6

PEKINGESE

Pekingese originated from China. They are known as Lion Dogs because they look similar to Chinese guardian lions.

They have a very flat face with large eyes. They have long, fuzzy coats that shed a lot of hair.

The breed is highly affectionate and enjoys being a lap dog.

They are suitable for the elderly or less active owners as they don’t need a lot of exercise.

Pekingese

SLIDE 4 OFF 6

POMERANIANS

Pomeranians originated in Poland, descending from German Spitz.

A Pomeranians most distinctive feature is its fluffy hair. Most owners choose to keep their hair longer so they require regular brushing.

They have a compact body with pointed ears and a tail that sticks up.

They love to spend time with humans and get very attached to their owners. They can be trained to be service dogs, alerting deaf owners when they hear certain noises, such as someone ringing a doorbell.

SLIDE 5 OFF 6

SHIH TZUS

Shih Tzus originated in China.

They are a small breed, with a short muzzle and dark eyes.

Their long double coat requires regular grooming.

The breed is a popular pet choice in Australia. The breed is affectionate yet outgoing.

They make terrible watch dogs as they warm to strangers quite quickly.

Shih Tzu

SLIDE 6 OFF 6