Do you dream of having a dog that stays puppy-sized forever?

Well, you came to the right place! Below, we'll discuss the best of the best toy dog breeds that will steal your heart.

If you're more fond of small-sized dogs, you need to get yourself a toy dog. And as the name suggests, these dogs are all mini in size.

But don't let their size fool you, because what they lack in height, they make up for their huge personalities.

Even if you're looking to find a new running partner or maybe a cuddle buddy during the cold weather, these little dogs can do it all.

Even though there are small dogs in every AKC dog breed group, these miniature pups are unique and have things in common. Other small dogs were bred to hunt or work.

But toy dog breeds were mainly bred for companionship and to make great friends in different conditions.

But before we get into these adorable pups such as the toy poodle or the toy fox terriers, let's first discuss what a toy dog breed is.

So if you want to know more about your next fur baby, scroll down!

What is a Toy Dog Breed?

Toy dogs weigh only about 15 pounds or less even when they are fully grown and look like stuffed animals, hence, the name.

Toy dog breeds may be miniature, but don't let their physical characteristics fool you.

Breeds like the Papillon and Boston Terrier have lots of energy. And they can even participate in canine sports such as agility.

Also, these tiny dogs are great family dogs too. With proper training and socialization, they can hang out and bond with kids as well.

For instance, dogs like Toy Poodles and the Havanese are excellent family dogs.

Toy dog breeds fit into almost any kind of lifestyle. Whether it's city life or the countryside, these dogs will be a great match. But they are specifically good for city living.

Now without further ado, let's get right into the ten best toy dog breeds!

10 Best Toy Dog Breeds

Below, we have compiled a list of the best of the best toy dog breeds that you'll fall in love with. Also, keep in mind that this list is arranged in no particular order.

Toy Poodle

toy poodle

Height: 9 to 11 inches

Weight: 6 to 9 pounds

Lifespan: 12 to 14 years


First on the list is the smallest-sized Poodle. Toy poodles are extremely dedicated to its family.

Every dog is unique; some toy poodles are shy and will hide when there are strangers, and some will bark too much.

These toy dogs are energetic and highly intelligent. You'll enjoy training them as they are eager to please, responsive, alert, and lively.

Possible Health Problems

Toy poodles are generally healthy dogs. However, just like any other breed, they are prone to several health issues that you should look out for.

Toy poodles are prone to diseases such as Trichiasis, Entropion, and Cataracts.

However, they are also susceptible to major health issues like Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), Legg-Calve-Perthes disease, patellar luxation, and Epilepsy.


Chihuahua black, brown and white outside on the streets

Height: 6 to 9 inches

Weight: 2 to 6 pounds

Lifespan: 12 to 20 years


Chihuahua is probably the best definition of a “small in size but big at heart” kind of dog. These dogs are loving and very loyal to their person.

Chihuahuas are also good for first-time owners. They love their owners so much that they are willing to accompany them anytime and anywhere.

Unfortunately, this kind of behavior can develop separation anxiety.

Besides being fiercely loyal, Chihuahuas are easy to train due to their high intelligence and fast learning ability.

These small dogs can also compete with the big dogs in agility and obedience trials.

Possible Health Problems

If you're planning to adopt a Chihuahua, keep in mind that there are certain health problems that Chihuahuas are prone to.

A few of those issues are Patter luxation, heart problems, seizures, dental issues, and respiratory disorders.

Miniature Schnauzer

Miniature Schnauzer Appearance

Height: 12 to 14 inches

Weight: 11 to 20 pounds

Lifespan: 12 to 15 years


The Miniature Schnauzer is one of the most popular toy dogs out there. They are friendly, active, and eager to please.

Just like the dogs above, the miniature schnauzer is one intelligent dog. But as owners of these smart dogs, you have to keep in mind that you need to be consistent in their training so they won't get bored.

Keep their training and exercises fun. Bonding with a miniature schnauzer is one of the best feelings for pet owners.

They are great for families with well-behaved children. These dogs are obedient and devoted to their humans.

Possible Health Problems

Miniature schnauzers have a naturally high body fat count. That's why it's important to keep track of their diet and ensure they get the right amount of exercise every day.

Unfortunately, these dogs are prone to health problems such as hyperlipidemia, pancreatitis, urinary stones, and cataracts.


affenpinscher puppy

Height: 9.5 to 11.5 inches

Weight: 7 to 9 pounds

Lifespan: 12 to 14 years


Ladies and gentlemen, we'd like to introduce one of the cutest toy dogs in the world, the Affenpinscher.

But just like the Chihuahuas, don't underestimate their small size as they are courageous, bold, and feisty. That's why it's best advised to have this pup for basic obedience training.

Possible Health Problems

Affenpinschers are generally healthy dogs, but just like any other breed, they are vulnerable to specific health conditions.

If you're planning to adopt an affenpinscher puppy, you should be aware that they are prone to patellar luxation, heart patella, heart anomalies, eye problems, and hip dysplasia.

Yorkshire Terrier (Yorkie)

Yorkshire Terrier Breed

Height: 8 to 9 inches

Weight: 5 to 7 pounds

Lifespan: 13 to 16 years


To end the first half of the list, we have the Yorkshire Terrier. This toy dog breed is active, feisty, and a bit domineering, but they can also be very affectionate.

If you're living in an apartment, it is said that these dogs are the best fit for you. The Yorkie might be small, but it has a big personality.

Keep in mind that if you're planning to adopt a Yorkie, they can be a bit yappy. But they can still be great for apartment living.

Possible Health Problems

Yorkies are healthy dogs. However, they are still prone to certain health conditions. But with a proper diet, regular checkups, and plenty of exercise, they'll live for about 13-16 years.

Unfortunately, these dogs are prone to collapsing tracheas, patellar luxation, hypothyroidism, and Legg-Calve-Perthese disease.


pug dog breed

Height: 10 to 13 inches

Weight: 14 to 18 pounds

Lifespan: 12 to 15 years


The Pug is a unique dog breed from the ones we've discussed above. These toy dogs are not lively, and they are not exactly social butterflies.

Pugs are more of a laid-back, serious, with a dry sense of humor kind of dog. Also, these dogs tend to be stubborn, but they are still eager to please most of the time.

Don't get me wrong. Pugs are still great for companionship! They are loving and true to their group.

Possible Health Problems

Pugs, however, are not recommended to live in hot or humid weather as they need to be observed for heatstroke.

Pugs are also known for their love of food. That's why you have to ensure that you're giving the right diet to avoid further health complications.

Unfortunately, these dogs are prone to epilepsy, allergies, hemivertebrae, hip dysplasia, patellar luxation, and nerve degeneration.



Height: 7 to 9 inches

Weight: 7 pounds or less

Lifespan: 12 to 15 years


The Maltese dog breed is one of the most expensive dogs in the world. These adorable little puppies are gentle, loving, smart, and trusting.

They are great family dogs as they are active and playful, and they enjoy learning new tricks.

But if you have children at home, make sure to also train them on how to hand these kinds of small dogs as the Maltese tend to be snappy around misbehaving kids.

Possible Health Problems

One of the most common health issues these dogs are prone to be dental problems. That's why it's advised to talk to your vet about how to take good care of its teeth.

Other than that, they are also prone to patellar luxation, Legge-Calve-Perthes disease, collapsed trachea, reverse sneezing, and Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA).

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Height: 12 to 13 inches

Weight: 13 to 18 pounds

Lifespan: 9 to 14 years


The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel may be on the larger scale of toy dog breeds, and they are still as adorable and loving as the others. These dogs are affectionate, playful, and smart.

They love to please their owners! Most of these dogs are also not shy and aggressive. They are just joyful dogs that are great with kids and the perfect fit for your family.

Possible Health Problems

Generally, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are healthy dogs. But just like any other dog breed, they are vulnerable to certain types of health issues.

These toy dogs are prone to mitral valve disease. It is a heart condition that weakens the valves and can lead to heart murmurs.

Also, they are vulnerable to Syringomyelia, which is a condition affecting the brain and spine.

Shih Tzu

Shih Tzu Dog Breed

Height: 9 to 10.5 inches

Weight: 9 to 16 pounds

Lifespan: 10 to 16 years


Shih Tzu is known for their lively and happy characteristics. They are very friendly! How friendly, you ask?

Well, they get along well with people of all ages and even with other dogs and pets of different species.

They are born to be great companions who love to sit on everyone's lap. They were not bred to hunt, herd, or guard. These dogs were simply bred to be near their owners.

Possible Health Problems

There are a few health issues that you should be aware of if you're looking to adopt a Shih Tzu.

For instance, they are prone to ear infections, hip dysplasia, patellar luxation, and umbilical hernias.


papillon dog breed

Height: 8 to 11 inches

Weight: 5 to 10 pounds

Lifespan: 13 to 15 years


Typically, Papillons are outgoing and joyful dogs. They love to sit on their owners' laps and run around the house.

These active dogs are like the opposite of Pugs because they enjoy socializing with other pets and with other dogs.

Papillons have no fear. They do not hesitate to engage with larger animals. But as dog owners, we must watch over them, and we should never let larger dogs treat papillons as prey.

Possible Health Problems

If you're looking to adopt a papillon, you should be knowledgeable about its overall health. You should be aware that there are certain health problems that these dogs are prone to.

For instance, these dogs are vulnerable to patellar luxation, Progressive Retinal Atrophy, and Von Willebrand's disease.

Researching these kinds of information means that you're on the right track to becoming a great pet parent.

It shows that you care and that you want them to live their best life. Kudos to you!

Frequently Asked Questions about Toy Dog Breeds

Are toy dogs good pets?

Of course, they are! Toy dogs are not only good pets but also good for first-time dog owners as they are easy to take care of since they do not eat a lot and require fewer workouts.

These dogs are not only affectionate, but they are also intelligent. You'll for sure have fun training them.

What is the calmest toy dog breed?

If you're not fond of dogs running around or excessively barking in your home, there are a few calm small dog breeds for you.

Here's a quick list of a few of the calmest small dog breeds that you can check out:

  • Bichon Frise
  • Lhasa Apso
  • Shih Tzu
  • Pug
  • Havanese
  • Miniature Schnauzer
  • Italian Greyhound

What is the most common toy dog?

Toy dog breeds are still gaining popularity to this day. The love for these mini dogs is rapidly growing across the world.

But if you're looking for the most famous toy dog breeds, a few examples are the French Bulldog, Yorkshire Terrier, Dachshund, Pomeranian, and Shih Tzu.

Toy Dog Breeds That Will Steal Your Heart: Summary

Are you looking to adopt a new baby to cuddle with around the house? Well, the list above is just a few of the best toy dog breeds out there.

From the toy poodles to the papillon dog, you can't go wrong with choosing any of these dogs.

Toy dogs are loving, intelligent, and loyal to their family. If you're looking for a dog mainly for companionship, you should adopt it from the toy dog breeds category.

Usually, these dogs are under 12 inches tall and weigh less than 15 pounds. They are easy to take care of as they don't eat as much as large dogs. Toy dogs also require fewer workouts due to their tiny body.

But don't get it confused. Because these dogs may be small, but they certainly have big personalities and even bigger hearts.


Toby loves spending time with his dog and two cats. They are the best stress reliever and affectionate pets, especially his Belgian Malinois, Shawie. Shawie's favorite activity is running or jogging. But their go-to spot is to chill and swim around a nearby river.