The Top 10 Small Purebred Dog Breeds

Picture of a French Bulldogs

When it comes to selecting the right dog breed, every family has their own unique set of “must haves.” Some families are looking for an active companion who will thrill at the thought of joining them on every outdoor adventure they undertake. Still others hope for a lap dog who loves to cuddle on the sofa in front of the TV on cold winter nights. But it’s not just personality traits that people take into consideration when looking for their ideal doggy fit. Coat maintenance, size of the dog, potential health problems, activity requirements, suitability of living in a home with children and/or other pets…all of these factors weigh heavily on families looking to make the right selection in a pooch for their home. Adding a pup to a family is a long term commitment. To this end, families do view it quite seriously and often spend many months researching different breeds to ensure they find the right “fit” for their lifestyle. Many families are not equipped to deal with large breed dogs due to space limitations or exercise requirements they lack the time and resources to fulfil. Most small dog breeds form the ideal compromise. They are amenable to living in smaller spaces such as apartments or condominiums and prefer a more laidback lifestyle than their more active, and often larger, counterparts. If you are looking to add a small purebred dog to your home, what are the most popular breeds?

Why Buy a Purebred?

In today’s society, there is a lot of pressure to adopt instead of shop for your next pet. While North America certainly is experiencing a dramatic pet overpopulation problem, this does not negate the importance of reputable dog breeders in society today.

With many dogs and cats in shelters waiting for loving forever homes, there is no question that it is an excellent resource for families to consider when looking to bring pet to join their family. However, many people like the predictability that comes with a specific breed. Purposefully bred purebred dogs are not the result of indiscriminate breeding practices. These types of dogs are produced by breeders who sole intention is to preserve a breed they cherish and to help ensure its future by carefully placing together only the very best examples of the breed to perpetuate its continued existence. People continue to love purebred dogs today because they are bred to conform to a specific standard which dictates everything from the ideal appearance, health condition, temperament, and personality of each dog of that breed. Predictability is an important trait for many people; particularly when it comes to something as important as the stable temperament of a dog.

In reality, there is room for people to both shop and to adopt. One does not have to be mutually excluded from the other.

Which Small Purebred Dogs Make the Top 10?

If a small purebred dog tops your list of must have qualities, our top ten list will give you an excellent place to begin your search.


Picture of two pomeranians

The cheerful Pomeranian is well-known for its friendly, happy-go-lucky ways. A breed that is excellent with children, the Pomeranian can be prone to excess barking if not properly trained. The Pomeranian is a dog of high intelligence and requires regular grooming and daily activity to remain looking tidy and feeling content.


Picture of a Pug

It’s hard to resist the comical nature of the Pug. A dog breed known to crave the company of children, this good-natured fellow is lots of fun to have around. Pugs are natural born cuddlers and thrive when in the presence of their favorite people. This breed has only moderate activity requirements, and their grooming needs are minimal.

French Bulldog

Picture of a French Bulldog

A dog breed that is gaining in popularity with each passing year, the French Bulldog tops the wish list of many families with a desire to add a small purebred dog to their home. French Bulldogs, also known as “Frenchies,” can be very stubborn, making them a challenge to train. The breed overheats easily, so care must be taken to avoid excess exercise during bouts of extremely hot weather, traits the Frenchie shares in common with the Pug, the Pekingese, and the Boston Terrier. French Bulldogs are known to possess an excellent sense of humor and love to entertain their families.


Picture of a Maltese

A breed renowned for its extreme gentleness, the Maltese is a dog that is highly prized for its regal appearance and demeanor. In spite of this dog’s elegant airs, the Maltese is a pooch of immense energy and vitality that will benefit from regular daily exercise. To keep the Maltese’s coat lower maintenance and relatively stain free, it is best to have the dog clipped by a professional groomer several times a year. A dog that loves to be near people, Maltese make excellent therapy dogs and also excel at a number of different dog performance sports.



The Havanese is a friendly dog who craves affection and bonding time with its family. The breed is known to be easy to train and extremely intelligent. The ideal lap dog, the Havanese is a good-natured companion dog that excels in a home with children and other animals. Like the Maltese, the Havanese coat is higher maintenance, and thus, it is recommended that you keep your pooch’s coat short by visiting a professional groomer several times yearly. Regular brushing will also help reduce the incidents of matting or knotting in the hair.


Picture of a Pekingese

The Pekingese is a distinguished gent who seems a little aware of his royal leanings as one of the original pampered pooches in the homes of aristocrats in China. This pooch can project an aloofness but is generally loyal and affectionate to members of his family. The Pekingese gets long well with other dogs, making him ideally suited to life in a multi-dog home. The Pekingese is not a dog that does well if separated from his family for lengthy periods of time. This is one pooch that has low activity requirements but does need daily brushing to protect his coat from becoming tangled or matted.

Bichon Frise

Picture of a Bichon Frise

The amiable Bichon Frise has long been a family favorite dog. The Bichon’s natural playfulness makes him the ideal companion for children. The breed is extremely affectionate and easy to train though this is certainly one dog breed with a mind all its own. The perfect lap dog, the Bichon Frise is most content curled up next to his family though he does enjoy leaving his perch for his daily walk to maintain his excellent health.

Brussels Griffon

Picture of a Brussels Griffon

The Brussels Griffon is a lesser known small purebred breed, but this pooch is big on charm! This dog breed is characterized by his penchant for spunkiness. A lively character, the Brussels Griffon requires lots of quality time with his people to thrive. A highly intelligent dog, the Brussels Griffon is extremely independent and is not that interested in pleasing his owners, making him more difficult to train. The breed is well known for its eccentric behavior that is sure to bring a smile to even the most stoic dog lover’s lips.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Picture of a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a gentle-natured dog that is often referred to as a “true gentleman.” Naturally given to good manners, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is both an easy and an amiable companion dog. This pooch has moderate activity requirement but does require regular brushing and occasional trips to the groomer to maintain his silky, flowing locks. This Spaniel adores children and craves their affection and attention.

Boston Terrier

Picture of a Boston Terrier

The official dog of the city of Boston, the Boston Terrier is one dog breed that is sure to make you smile. The Boston Terrier is both sweet and comical with a penchant for mischief. With his distinguished looks that are reminiscent of a tuxedo, the Boston Terrier is a handsome fellow that draws a lot of attention wherever he goes. For a dog that loves people and pooches alike, you can’t go wrong with a Boston Terrier!

Looking for small purebred dog breed to join your family?

Consider out list of the top 10 small dogs and contact a reputable breeder to learn more about one today!

To learn about popular medium dog breeds… click here



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