The Most Popular Small Size Dogs in 2018

Most Popular Small Sized DogsMost Popular Small Sized Dogs

Every country has their favorites, but surprisingly, there are a few dogs that tend to hit the top of the charts in many different localities.  What makes some dogs more popular than others?  Is it ease of upkeep, temperament, trainability, or maybe it all boils down to size and looks. 


It's no surprise that small dogs are popular in today's world as homes are getting smaller and incomes may not be able to keep up with the high upkeep costs of large breed dogs.

Movie Effect

Yearnings for a particular dog breed due to its popularity in a movie no longer reflects a desire for that breed like it once did according to some recent research and explained by Julie Hecht.

Health Consideration

Do people study the health profiles of breeds and choose the healthiest breeds?  Likely not, for a couple of reasons.  First, very popular breeds tend to be inbred making them less healthy.  Take the English Bulldog, for example.  His lifespan has steadily declined as its popularity has soared.

Ease of Upkeep

Just take a quick look at the ten most popular small size dog dogs in the U.S. Only four of the ten may have short coats making their grooming requirements minimal.

French Bulldogs, Beagles, Short Coated Dachshunds, and Boston Terriers are not going to require much grooming.  The other six popular breeds require moderate to extensive grooming and upkeep.


Few people would deny that the dog's appearance plays a big role in their decision to buy or adopt.  Think about what a dog's look does to you - Smushy faces that look almost human, big round eyes that stare straight at you, or long droopy ears that make the dog irresistible? 

Maybe you prefer the feel of soft silky hair or the enticing smell of puppy breath. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, or so I've heard, and everyone has their own definition of attractiveness.

Group Norms

How many times have you fallen in love with something a friend possesses?  Or perhaps you are persuaded by an influential person who you've grown to trust.  If that influencer also happens to have a very popular dog breed, it's not difficult to see how one might choose the same breed.


Perhaps it all boils down to personality.  You want your dog to conform to your routine, and that often means choosing a breed that has similar temperament traits. Since everyone is different, they need a dog that meshes with their own lifestyle. Why do you think some breeds become more popular than others.


It goes without saying that for a dog breed to become popular, it must be locally available.  Even if you fall in love with a specific breed, it may not become popular if the closest puppy is only available on the other side of the world. 

Just the logistics and cost of getting your puppy from one part of the world to another part can be difficult let alone all the legal issues involved.

The Most Popular Small Size Dogs in the U.S.

Most national kennel clubs keep some form of statistics about the type of dogs that reside in their country.  For the U.S., it is the American Kennel Club.  Each year, the AKC tallies all of the registrations it receives from dog owners who have purchased purebred dogs during that calendar year.

Is this an accurate way to determine the popularity of dog breeds? 

Well, yes and no. 

Since we don't have a system such as a doggie census, that can collect accurate data about the number of breeds owned in a particular year, this is one of the best ways to estimate popularity.

The statistics do not take into account the number of people who purchase purebred dogs eligible for registration but do not take the time to register.  It also does not take into consideration the many purebred dog breeds that are purchase without papers and are not eligible for registration.

They then list them in descending order according to popularity.  We've used the AKC's list but omitted any dogs that did not fit the "small dog" category and here is what we found.

  1. French Bulldogs
  2. Beagles
  3. Poodles
  4. Yorkshire Terriers
  5. Dachshunds
  6. Pembroke Welsh Corgis
  7. Miniature Schnauzers
  8. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels
  9. Shih Tzu
  10. Boston Terriers
  11. Pomeranians
  12. Havanese
  13. Shetland Sheepdogs
  14. Spaniels (Cocker)
  15. Pugs
  16. Chihuahuas
  17. Maltese
  18. Miniature American Shepherds
  19. West Highland White Terriers
  20. Shiba Inu
  21. Bichons Frises
  22. Papillons
  23. Scottish Terriers
  24. Cardigan Welsh Corgis
  25. Cairn Terriers
  26. Miniature Pinschers
  27. Italian Greyhounds
  28. Lhasa Apsos
  29. Chinese Crested
  30. Coton de Tulear
  31. Basenjis
  32. Pekingese
  33. Border Terriers
  34. Brussels Griffons
  35. Rat Terriers
  36. Fox Terriers (Wire)
  37. Tibetan Terriers
  38. Norwich Terrier
  39. Silky Terrier
  40. Japanese Chin
  41. Welsh Terriers
  42. Schipperkes
  43. Toy Fox Terriers
  44. Miniature Bull Terriers
  45. American Eskimo Dogs
  46. Parson Russell Terriers
  47. Tibetan Spaniels
  48. Fox Terriers (Smooth)
  49. American Hairless Terriers
  50. Norfolk Terriers
  51. English Toy Spaniel
  52. Manchester Terriers
  53. Australian Terriers
  54. Lakeland Terriers
  55. Puli
  56. Xoloitzcuintli
  57. Icelandic Sheepdogs
  58. Affenpinschers
  59. Swedish Vallhunds
  60. Sealyham Terriers
  61. Bedlington Terriers
  62. Glen of Imaal Terriers
  63. Portuguese Podengo Pequenos
  64. Petits Bassets Griffons Vendeens
  65. Pumi
  66. Lowchen
  67. Skye Terriers
  68. Dandie Dinmont Terriers
  69. Cirneco dell’Etna
  70. Cesky Terriers
  71. Norwegian Lundehunds

Most Popular Small Dog Breeds in the UK

The Kennel Club in the UK publishes their statistics quarterly by a group such as gundogs, pastoral, utility and so forth.  I've combined all groups to give you a listing of the most popular small size dogs registered in the U.K.  The number following the breed name refers to the number of dogs registered in the last year.

  1. French Bulldog 30,887
  2. Pug 10,783
  3. Spaniel (Cocker) 7,242
  4. Dachshund (Miniature Smooth Haired) 5,735
  5. Miniature Schnauzer 5,611
  6. Border Terrier 5,130
  7. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel 3,588
  8. Shih Tzu 3,119
  9. Chihuahua (Smooth Coat) 3,058
  10. Beagle 2,309
  11. Boston Terrier 2,287
  12. West Highland White Terrier 2,143
  13. Lhasa Apso 1,926
  14. Poodle (Toy) 1,300
  15. Chihuahua (Long Coat) 1,721
  16. Bull Terrier 1,542
  17. Pomeranian 1,170
  18. Maltese 1,139
  19. Tibetan Terrier 1,125
  20. Yorkshire Terrier 876
  21. Shetland Sheepdog 876
  22. Dachshund (Miniature Wire Haired) 782
  23. Bichon Frise 769
  24. Wire Fox Terrier 688
  25. Cairn Terrier 589
  26. Norfolk Terrier 521
  27. Bedlington Terrier 483
  28. Havanese
  29. Welsh Corgi (Pembroke) 456
  30. Scottish Terrier 453
  31. Papillon 410
  32. Welsh Terrier 388
  33. Miniature Pinscher 380
  34. Irish Terrier 362
  35. Italian Greyhound 346
  36. Japanese Shiba Inu 326
  37. Coton De Tulear
  38. Parson Russell Terrier 306
  39. Chinese Crested 273
  40. Pekingese 229
  41. Japanese Chin 222
  42. Lakeland Terrier 196
  43. Griffon Bruxellois 195
  44. Miniature Bull Terrier 189
  45. Japanese Spitz 182
  46. Tibetan Spaniel 169
  47. Sealyham Terrier 167
  48. Manchester Terrier 160
  49. Welsh Corgi (Cardigan) 141
  50. Jack Russell Terrier 136
  51. Dandie Dinmont Terrier 130
  52. Lancashire Heeler 119
  53. King Charles Spaniel 112
  54. Bolognese 110
  55. German Spitz Klein 97
  56. Affenpinscher 95
  57. English Toy Terrier (Black & Tan) 84
  58. Norwich Terrier 91
  59. Smooth Fox Terrier 82
  60. Kooikerhondje 60
  61. Basenji 59
  62. Glen of Imaal Terrier 48
  63. Hungarian Pumi (Imp) 41
  64. Skye Terrier 40
  65. Russian Toy 37
  66. Cesky Terrier 36
  67. Hungarian Puli 35
  68. Lowchen 34
  69. Schipperke 29
  70. Swedish Vallhund 27
  71. Xoloitzcuintle (Mexican Hairless) (Miniature) 24
  72. Australian Terrier 22
  73. Cirneco Dell'Etna 19
  74. Australian Silky Terrier 5 

The Most Popular Small Size Dogs in Australia

Here are the most popular small size dogs in Australia based on the Australian National Kennel Club (Year end 2017).  The breeds are listed in descending order from the most popular to the least popular.  The number following the name represents the number of dogs of that breed that were registered. 

So far, the French Bulldog tops the charts in three of the top English Speaking countries.

  1. French Bulldog (4082)
  2. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (2491)
  3. Schnauzer (Miniature) (1678)
  4. Pug (1506)
  5. Cocker Spaniel(1503)
  6. Poodle (Toy) (1168)
  7. West Highland White Terrier (849)
  8. Jack Russell Terrier (837)
  9. Dachshund (743)
  10. Chihuahua (Smooth) (734)
  11. Shetland Sheepdog (624)
  12. Chihuahua (Long) (619)
  13. Italian Greyhound (607)
  14. Pomeranian (490)
  15. Bichon Frise(420) 
  16. 415 Boston Terrier
  17. 408 Welsh Corgi (Pembroke)
  18. Papillon (402)
  19. Havanese(374)
  20. Tenterfield Terrier (368)
  21. Shih Tzu (345)
  22. Bull Terrier (Miniature) (339)
  23. Australian Terrier (311)
  24. Fox Terrier (Smooth) (275)
  25. Maltese (243)
  26. Japanese Spitz (241)
  27. Scottish Terrier (221)
  28. Cairn Terrier (219)
  29. Yorkshire Terrier (208)
  30. Miniature Pinscher (204)
  31. Australian Silky Terrier (197)
  32. Chinese Crested Dog (197)
  33. Shiba Inu (184)
  34. Tibetan Spaniel (171)
  35. Border Terrier (158)
  36. Griffon Bruxellois (Brussels Griffon) 137
  37. Pekingese (124)
  38. Lhasa Apso (107)
  39. Welsh Corgi (Cardigan) 106
  40. Schipperke (82)
  41. Lowchen (67)
  42. English Toy Terrier (Black and Tan) 65
  43. Lakeland Terrier (61)
  44. Wire Fox Terrier (53)
  45. Tibetan Terrier (51)
  46. Manchester Terrier (44)
  47. Irish Terrier (42)
  48. Swedish Vallhund (41)
  49. Japanese Chin (40)
  50. Bedlington Terrier (40)
  51. Welsh Terrier (40)
  52. King Charles Spaniel (33)
  53. Affenpinscher (32)
  54. Parson Russell Terrier (30)
  55. Coton De Tulear (28)
  56. Skye Terrier (25)
  57. Norwich Terrier (18)
  58. Norfolk Terrier (16)
  59. Russian Toy (15)
  60. Dandie Dinmont Terrier (15)
  61. Xoloitzcuintli (Miniature) or Mexican Hairless (14)
  62. German Hunting Terrier (Jagdterrier) (12)
  63. Glen of Imaal Terrier (8)
  64. German Spitz Klein (8)
  65. Sealyham Terrier (7)
  66. Cesky Terrier (5)
  67. American Hairless Terrier (4)

The World Loves Dogs

The world loves dogs, but the number of registered dogs varies widely from country to country.  Not surprisingly, the United States tops the charts with a whopping 403,760 registered dogs according to Statistics Brain.

United States 403,760

Canada 23,068

Philippines 13,232

United Kingdom 7,835

Australia 5,301

Singapore 2,688

Malaysia 1,726

Indonesia 1,537

Brazil 1,085

New Zealand 868

India 747

Mexico 702

Germany 683

Netherlands 594

South Africa 583

Let's take a look at different countries to see what their most popular breeds might be.


According to Animal Facts , residents of the Philippines seem to love small size dogs.  Of the top 10 most popular breeds, five were dogs on the smaller side.

Coming in at number number one was the Beagle, followed by the Poodle and Pug. The Shih Tzu and Chihuahua held the places for six and seven respectively.


Singapore boasts an atmosphere of being a dog haven and seem to love small size dogs.  The Shih Tzu, Pomeranian, and Poodle were among the top most popular small breed dogs according to PerroPet. Closely following were the Jack Russell Terrier, Maltese, Miniature Schnauzer, Pug and Chihuahua.

The Most Popular Small Size Dog Around the World

What is your opinion?  What makes a dog breed more popular than others?  We want to hear from you.  Tell us your story and don't forget to add a picture or two of your most popular dog.