11 Dogs That Stay Small Forever (with Photos)

There are many reasons for considering dogs that stay small forever. For example, not everyone has the space for a large dog. And even if they do, small dogs outlive many of their larger contemporaries by a significant margin.

Here are eleven small dogs that stay small forever to help you find the breed that suits you. 

dogs that stay small forever
11 Dogs That Stay Small Forever (with Photos)

English Toy Spaniel 

Average Height: 10 – 12 inches 

Average Weight: eight to 14 pounds 

English Toy Spaniels are fun-loving, sweet-natured, and gentle dogs. They are also smart due to their history as hunting dogs. 

They respond well to training and positive reinforcement. That said, they can also be stubborn, and if they get on a scent, you may have a hard time convincing your English Toy Spaniel to leave it. 

Another thing to consider is that English Toy Spaniels need company, or they may act out. They don’t handle well spending long periods on their own. They can also struggle with excitable children.

However, they are generally calm dogs with a moderate energy level that tolerate strangers and love their humans whole-heartedly. 

english toy spaniel
Two English Toy Spaniels. Small dogs, and trainable!

French Bulldog 

Average height: 11 – 12 inches

Average weight: 16 – 28 pounds

French Bulldogs are another variety of dog that stays small forever. They have affectionate natures and are loyal to family members. The only drawback is that these dogs are so devoted to their people that they hate being alone. 

There are ways to manage this, but it’s not uncommon for French Bulldogs may bark when you leave for work or experience separation anxiety.

Another advantage of these small dogs is that they have a moderate energy level. That makes them well-suited to households that don’t have lots of spare time for long, rambling walks. 

However, keep in mind that French Bulldogs can become expensive, especially if you are concerned about the cost of acquiring a new dog. 


Average Height: eight to 10 inches

Average Weight: seven pounds or less

Maltese stand out as a small dog breed that trains quickly. That is partly because of their high intelligence and eagerness to please their humans.

While Malteses don’t shed excessively, grooming them can be a chore. This is especially true if you want to keep their coats clean because while affectionate and easy-going, the Maltese share the love white dogs the world over appear to have for a good mud puddle

Keeping them clean and their coat free of mats requires routine grooming, especially if you and your Maltese are avid outdoor explorers. 

Maltese and a peanut butter
A Maltese smells peanut butter.

Miniature Dachshund 

Average Height: five to six inches 

Average weight: four to 11 pounds 

Don’t let their small stature fool you. Miniature Dachshunds have more opinions than they are long-backed. What’s more, they compensate for their size with a stubborn streak a mile long. 

But that shouldn’t deter you from considering one for a pet. In addition to their stubbornness, they’re also clever dogs and make excellent companions with time and training.

Moreover, they are very affectionate and love cuddles, second only to their love of snacks. Their size makes them ideal for apartment living. Just ensure there aren’t too many steps.

Miniature Dachshund bites a toy
A Miniature Dachshund bites a toy held by his owner.


Average Height: eight to eleven inches

Average Weight: four to nine pounds

Papillons are immediately recognizable by the butterfly-shaped ears that give them their name.

There are many things to recommend Papillons as pets. They are yet another dog that stays small forever, and they are affectionate, loyal pets. They are also an excellent choice of small dogs for households looking for cat-friendly canines. 

Naturally submissive and friendly, the Papillon’s disposition makes it well-suited to play second-fiddle to a domineering cat. 

However, Papillons are highly energetic, and they thrive on environmental enrichment both indoors and outdoors. Make sure that you factor in walks and playtime when deciding if you can give a Papillon the attention it needs. 

Papillons are tiny and cute pups! But they are ENERGETIC


Average Height: six to nine inches

Average Weight: seven to 15 pounds

Not only are Pekingese dogs that stay small forever, but they’ve also had a resurgence in the popular consciousness thanks to the television series All Creatures Great and Small. 

They are long-haired dogs that come in several coat colors, including:

They are loyal and protective of their people. While sweet with people they know, Pekingese can also be aggressive when they feel a loved one is at risk. This can sometimes translate into biting or nipping over-exuberant children, so they are not the ideal small dog for families with young children.

But they may do better with children who know how to approach and handle dogs. 

Another consideration when deciding if a Pekingese is right for your family is their grooming needs. Pekingese have a double coat, so they require extensive and routine grooming.


Average Height: seven to 12 inches

Average Weight: three to seven pounds 

Pomeranians hail from Pomerania, a region in Poland and Germany. They are active, comedic little dogs with moderately long hair. They have a double coat, which requires grooming several times a week. 

Although Pomeranians shed less than other dogs, they do experience seasonal shedding.

And while they are bright and readily trainable, they don’t always do well with:

  • Children
  • Strangers
  • Other dogs 

That means even though these dogs stay small forever and take up a minimum of space, they typically do better as only pets. 

Pomeranian on the grass
A white Pomeranian smiling on the grass.


Average Height: 10 to 14 inches

Average Weight: 14 to 18 pounds

Like Papillons, Pugs have a distinctive look. In the case of the Pug, it’s their brachycephalic faces

They are affectionate pets who do well with everyone, from family members to children and strangers. They are also low-maintenance in that they have short coats, so they need minimal grooming.

However, they shed more than other small dogs that stay small forever, so they may not be suitable for families with members who are allergic to dog dander.

pug dog with curly tail
Pugs are famous for their curly tails

Toy Poodle 

Average Height: Under ten inches

Average Weight: Four to six pounds 

Toy Poodles are the smallest size of Poodles. Like their bigger contemporaries, they are clever and comedic dogs. They are loyal and are often accidentally absurd

Also, like Standard Poodles, Toy Poodles have a high energy level and benefit from extensive play sessions or walks. 

They’re hypoallergenic dogs, which means they’re an excellent match for families that want a dog but have concerns about allergies. However, keep in mind that their hypoallergenic coat requires routine upkeep, even if you don’t opt for the classic Poodle coat cut.

poodle running outside
A Toy Apricot Poodle running happily outside

Welsh Corgi

Average Height: 10 to 12 inches

Average Weight: 30 pounds or lighter

Not only do these dogs stay small forever, but Corgis are a royal favorite for a reason. They are playful and friendly dogs that do well with children and other pets. (See Corgi PROS vs CONS here)

They also are active dogs, despite their size. If you can’t guarantee rigorous playtimes yourself, consider getting a pair of corgis. They are small enough they won’t take over the house, and they’ll wear each other out wrestling. 

However, there’s no getting around the grooming needs of the Corgi. Their double coat requires regular brushing and washing to keep it looking its royal best. Additionally, they shed year-round, so they may not be the best fit for people who are allergic to dogs.

blue eyed cardigan welsh corgi
A Cardigan Welsh Corgi

Yorkshire Terrier 

Average Height: six to nine inches

Average Weight: three to seven pounds 

Last but not least is the Yorkshire Terrier breed. Since they become lonely easily, they’re another dog that benefits from being adopted in pairs or into a home with other animals.

Despite their size, they are incredibly active dogs and require lots of play and exercise to keep happy and healthy. An under-stimulated Yorkie may act out through:

  • Inappropriate chewing 
  • Inappropriate elimination

While Yorkies tend not to shed much, grooming is necessary. This can be tricky because their hair is fine and mats easily. 

Yorkshire Terrier in the forest
Yorkshire Terrier is standing on a wood.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to finding a dog that stays small forever, you have many options. Carefully consider temperament, energy level, and available space at home as you make your choice. Also, keep in mind that some dogs naturally cost more than others, especially if you go through breeders rather than rescue services.

The important thing is to find a dog you bond to. Man’s best friend comes by his name honestly, and you want to make the most of that relationship.