Discover The 16 Most Popular Small, Brown Dog Breeds

Written by Katelynn Sobus
Updated: July 29, 2023
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It can be difficult to find breeds that meet specific criteria, such as small brown dog breeds. This is especially true with so many shades of brown and definitions of “small!”

All of the breeds on today’s list will weigh 20 pounds or less and have some shade of brown in their coat, excluding breeds with very light cream coats.

The most popular small brown dog breed is the Dachshund, followed by the Yorkshire Terrier, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, and Shih Tzu.

Today, we’ll discuss the 16 most popular small, brown dog breeds for you to explore, whether you just want to see cute pups or are looking to adopt your next fur baby. This list is ranked according to the American Kennel Club’s (AKC) list of the most popular dog breeds of 2022.

Please remember to research a breed thoroughly before adoption to learn more about their care requirements, temperaments, health, and more, as this list mainly discusses their appearances!

#1: Dachshund

long-haired red dachshund lies on a fur bed at home, selective focus

Doxies have a variety of brown coat colors including chocolate, red, and tan.

©Leka Sergeeva/

Dachshunds are the number one most popular small, brown dog breed.

There are two types of Dachshunds: standard and miniature. Standards are eight to nine inches tall and weigh 16-32 pounds, while mini Doxies are just five to six inches tall and weigh under 11 pounds.

Their coats can be chocolate (a dark brown) and tan, chocolate and cream, red (a reddish-brown color), or “wild boar,” which is most common in wirehaired Dachshunds and refers to banded gray, brown, and black coats. The AKC also lists chocolate by itself as a non-standard coat color.

A Doxie may have one of three coat types: smooth (short-haired), long-haired, or wire-haired. They have long snouts, floppy ears, and short legs. Their short legs make them prone to spinal issues.

#2: Yorkshire Terrier

Chocolate Yorkshire terrier

Although chocolate coats are non-standard in Yorkies, they’re relatively common.

© Nedikova

Yorkshire Terriers stand seven to nine inches tall and weigh approximately seven pounds. Chocolate brown is a non-standard color in Yorkies, but all standard Yorkies have either gold or tan in their coat–both of which are light brown.

Yorkies have long, ever-growing fur. It sheds as little as human hair but requires a lot of grooming maintenance. Dogs should have their fur combed daily and cut once every four to six weeks.

They also have cute, upright ears, large eyes, and short snouts. Their short, or brachycephalic, snouts do cause breathing and health issues.

#3: Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel standing in the grass

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels can have solid reddish-brown coats or brown markings on white coats.


Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are 12-13 inches tall and weigh 13-18 pounds on average.

These pups have two AKC-accepted brown coat colors: ruby, a solid reddish-brown, and Blenheim, which is described as brown patches on a white coat. Cavaliers may also have tan markings.

Their coats are mid-length and curly, especially around their floppy ears. They have relatively short snouts as well, which can cause them health problems.

#4: Shih Tzu

Shih Tzu Teeth - Shih Tzu Puppy

Shih Tzus most commonly have brown markings but may also be brindle or solid red-brown.

©Daz Stock/

Shih Tzus stand 9-10.5 inches tall and weigh nine to 16 pounds. 

Liver is the truest brown color in Shih Tzus. They can also have red, brindle, and liver and white coats as well as tan markings.

Like Yorkies, Shih Tzus have constantly growing fur that can reach the ground if not cut! Of course, the longer their coat is kept, the more work it is to maintain. Shih Tzus should be combed daily and have their fur trimmed once every four to six weeks.

Also, like Yorkies and some others on our list, Shih Tzus are brachycephalic and are likely to develop health issues related to their short snouts.

#5: Pomeranian

Beautiful mini dog pomeranian brown chocolate color. Purebred puppy portrait. Cheerful friendly little dog smiles. Summer walk with the animal. Calendar with pets. Spitz close-up
Pomeranians are most commonly orange but can also have deep brown, chocolate-colored coats.

Pomeranians are just six to seven inches tall and weigh three to six pounds.

Their coats can be chocolate, chocolate, and tan, beaver (dilute brown), chocolate merle, chocolate sable, or beaver sable. Chocolate merle refers to a white coat with brown markings, while sable fur has light roots and darker tips.

Poms can also have a variety of markings, including some that are brown in color.

Pomeranians have long, fluffy coats that shed heavily and require regular brushing. They have tiny, bear-like ears, large eyes, and curly tails.

#6: Havanese

Cute lying chocolate Havanese dog in a bed under a pink blanket, before a mauve background
Havanese coats come in a variety of brown shades, including chocolate.

Havanese are fluffy little dogs that stand 8.5-11.5 inches and weigh seven to 13 pounds. 

Havanese can have chocolate coats that are a rich brown shade, while red is a reddish-brown. Red coats may be solid, brindle, or sable. Gold Havanese coats can also sometimes be dark enough to consider light brown. 

Their coats may also have tan points.

#7: Chihuahua

Chihuahua eyeing its owner's beer

Chocolate and tan is just one of several brown Chihuahua coat colors.

©Claire Lucia/

One of the smallest dog breeds out there, Chihuahuas stand five to eight inches tall and weigh under six pounds.

Chihuahuas can be chocolate, chocolate and tan, or fawn (which, in some cases, takes on a light brown hue). Possible but not accepted by the breed standard are the colors chocolate and white, chocolate blue, chocolate brindled fawn, chocolate sable fawn, and red and white.

Chihuahuas have short coats, large, pointy ears, and big puppy-dog eyes. Like the other short-snouted dogs on this list, they can have breathing and health difficulties.

#8: Italian Greyhound

Italian Greyhound in the field

Fawn, red, and chocolate are a few brown coat colors seen in Italian Greyhounds.

©Utekhina Anna/

Halfway through our list of small brown dog breeds, we have the Italian Greyhound, which is the smallest sighthound breed. They stand 13-15 inches tall and weigh seven to 14 pounds.

Brown shades of Italian Greyhound include fawn, red, red fawn, sable, white and red, white and red fawn, white and fawn. Chocolate is listed by the AKC and is very possible to find within the breed; however, it is not seen as a standard coat color.

Italian Greyhounds have long snouts, folded ears, and skinny sprinters’ bodies.

#9: Border Terrier

Border Terrier

Border Terriers typically have bi-colored brown coats.


Border Terriers stand 12-15 inches at the shoulder and weigh 11.5-15.5 pounds. All Border Terriers of standard color have some brown in the coat, from tan to darker red-brown. 

Their coats are short and wiry, which require special care in the form of stripping the coat during shedding season. This can be done by hand or brush.

Border Terriers have boxy snouts and floppy, triangular ears.

#10: Lhasa Apso

Lhasa Apso dog lying in the grass of a garden

Lhasa Apso coats can range from cream to deep, medium brown.

©aurelie le moigne/

Lhasa Apso males are 10-11 inches tall, with females being slightly smaller, according to the AKC. They weigh 12-18 pounds, with females once again falling on the lower end of that spectrum.

Red, golden, and red gold are all standard brown coat colors you’ll see in this breed. Listed but not standard is the color liver, which is a medium-brown tone.

Similar to others on our list, Lhasa Apsos have long, human-like hair that sheds minimally. They’re also brachycephalic and can suffer from health issues due to this.

#11: Pekingese

Pekingese dog sitting in grass

Pekingese dogs often have light brown fur.


Pekingese stand just six to nine inches at the shoulder and weigh up to 14 pounds.

Pekingese don’t have any dark brown coat colors, at least not as accepted by the AKC, but they can be reddish-brown, tan, or light golden-brown.

They have long, double coats that shed regularly, floppy ears, and large eyes. They also have short snouts that can cause health problems, as we’ve discussed with other breeds above.

#12: Brussels Griffon

Brussels Griffons laying in leaves

Brussels Griffons can have reddish-brown or tan and black coats.


Also known as Griffs, Brussels Griffons stand seven to 10 inches at the shoulder and weigh eight to 10 pounds.

Their coats come in several brown hues, including belge (light brown and black), red (a light reddish-brown), and black and tan.

These cute small pups have folded ears, short to medium coats, and flat faces that can cause health issues. They may have either short, smooth coats or mid-length, wiry fur.

#13: Welsh Terrier

Welsh terrier lying on table

Welsh Terriers commonly have bi-colored coats that contain a light shade of brown.

©Nataliya Kuznetsova/

Male Welsh Terriers are around 15 inches tall and weigh 20 pounds on average. Interestingly, the AKC doesn’t specify a height or weight for females–just that they should be “proportionately smaller.”

Welsh Terriers don’t have solid brown coats, but all coat colors accepted by the AKC are bi-colored with tan in them.

Welsh Terriers have boxy snouts, folded ears, and curly coats.

#14: Silky Terrier

Prettiest / Cutest Dogs - Pedigreed Australian Silky Terrier dog sitting outside on wooden pier with green background.

Silky terriers always have light brown in their coats, which are bi-colored.


Silky Terriers stand nine to 10 inches at the shoulder and weigh about 10 pounds.

All Silky Terriers have tan in their coats, which the AKC breed standard describes as “deep and rich.” I’d say it’s light to medium brown.

Silkies are very similar to Yorkies and have shared ancestry, but they’re larger, more muscular, and have longer snouts.

#15: Australian Terrier

Brown coats in Australian Terriers can range from light sandy brown to darker reddish-brown

©Pleple2000, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons – License

The Australian Terrier was actually used, alongside Yorkies, to create the Silky Terrier! These pups are 10-11 inches tall and weigh 15-20 pounds.

They have mid-length, wiry coats in the colors red, sandy, and blue, and tan. All of these contain shades of brown.

#16: Toy or Miniature Poodle

Poodle (Canis familiaris) - Toy Poodle laying on ground

Poodle coats come in a variety of brown shades, including the uniquely-named cage au lait, which is a shiny brown.

©Lim Tiaw Leong/

Toy Poodles stand under 10 inches tall and weigh four to six pounds. Miniature Poodles are slightly bigger but still small at 10-15 inches and 10-15 pounds. Of course, there are also Standard Poodles, but they’re much bigger!

Both Poodles have the same range of coat colors, which include apricot (orange-brown), brown, red, and cafe au lait (shiny brown). Not accepted by the AKC are bi-colored coats that contain these colors, such as black and brown or red and apricot.

Poodles have fluffy, curly coats that grow constantly and shed little. They require daily grooming and haircuts every four to six weeks.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this list of popular small, brown dog breeds. Maybe you were able to find a specific breed you were searching for here or get some ideas for adopting your next furry friend.

Remember to research more than looks before adopting a new dog. They may have high grooming, training, or exercise needs, and many small dogs cannot be left alone for long periods.

Thank you for reading! If you have feedback on this post, please contact the AZ Animals editorial team.

RankSmall, Brown Dog Breed
2Yorkshire Terrier
3Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
4Shih Tzu
8Italian Greyhound
9Border Terrier
10Lhasa Apso
12Brussels Griffon
13Welsh Terrier
14Silky Terrier
15Australian Terrier
16Toy or Miniature Poodle
Summary Table of 16 Small, Brown Dog Breeds

The photo featured at the top of this post is © James Player/

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About the Author

Katelynn Sobus is a writer at A-Z Animals where her primary focus is on pets including dogs, cats, and exotics. She has been writing about pet care for over five years. Katelynn currently lives in Michigan with her seven senior rescue cats.

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