Searching for the perfect breed of dog can be an exhausting process. Many prospective owners want a dog that has all of the characteristics and looks of a full-size dog but would prefer to avoid the extra time and energy it takes to keep larger breeds well fed and exercised.

Miniature dog breeds are a great compromise between small and large dogs. The “miniature” designation applies to varieties of gigantic dogs that have been bred over time to grow smaller and easier to manage. If you don’t have the space or money to care for a big dog but love their traits, a miniature version of that breed is the way to go.

Certain miniature dogs are known as individual breeds and are no longer tagged as “miniature” versions, like the Maltese and Pomeranian. The dogs listed below are some of the most popular breeds of miniature animals for all different types of owners. Check out each one to decide which is right for you.

Miniature Bulldog


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The first animal on our list is the miniature bulldog. This breed generally weighs in between 20 and 40 pounds, significantly less than their larger cousins. Like full-size English bulldogs, miniature bulldogs are usually more reserved and don’t need tons of exercise.

Bulldogs are known for their affectionate, sensitive nature -- they form incredibly close bonds with their owners, which makes them outstanding family pets.



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Malteses are one of the most popular miniature dogs in the United States. Their iconic white coat has become the trademark of the breed; they’re also known for their high energy levels and playful, happy disposition. 

Malteses are exceptionally small, generally weighing in at under 10 pounds even when fully grown. In many ways, they’re among the smallest of miniature dogs.



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Known everywhere as the “wiener dog,” Dachshunds are famous for their distinctive elongated body and short, clean coat. However, they offer more than just a unique look -- Dachshunds are friendly and outgoing dogs and bond tightly with their family. Their small size and bubbly personality make them an excellent choice for miniature dog enthusiasts.

Miniature Poodle


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A smaller form of the much larger standard poodle, miniature poodles were first bred as companion and toy dogs. Larger standard poodles may have been initially harnessed for hunting, but their miniature cousins are sweet and energetic.

Miniature poodles are instantly recognizable for their curly, fluffy coat. They generally reach between 15 and 20 pounds when fully grown.



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Many people think of chihuahuas as temperamental and difficult to handle. And while it’s true that they can be prone to barking and yapping at strangers, chihuahuas have a bright, perky personality and classic lapdog features.

Chihuahuas may weigh five pounds or less when grown, which makes them a great choice if you’re looking for a smaller, more manageable miniature dog. When properly trained, they’re eye-catching social dogs as well.

Boston Terrier

boston terrier

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Often referred to as the “American gentleman,” the Boston terrier’s unique black and white coat give these dogs an upscale, tuxedo-like appearance. They weigh in between 17 and 25 pounds, which makes them slightly more prominent than some other breeds on this list.

Beyond their looks, they’re also amiable and easy to train, with a zesty, exciting personality. They don’t require too much exercise, but love to play with kids and adults alike.

Other Miniature Breeds



Beyond the breeds listed above, some other popular miniature dog breeds include:

  • Shih Tzu
  • Yorkshire Terrier
  • Pomeranian
  • Jack Russell Terrier
  • Corgi
  • Pekingese
  • Pug


The world of miniature dog breeds includes plenty of variety in physical size, style, and personality. No matter what you’re looking for in a miniature dog, you’re sure to find a breed that’s just right for you. 

When searching for a miniature dog, be sure to check out many different breeds as you look for the best one. Forming a list of the features you want in an ideal miniature dog may help you narrow down your list of potential options. Remember to keep an open mind, however -- it could help you find your new best friend!

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