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!
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
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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
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 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 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.
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Summary Of The 16 Most Popular Small, Brown Dog Breeds
|Rank||Small, Brown Dog Breed|
|3||Cavalier King Charles Spaniel|
|16||Toy or Miniature Poodle|
Ready to discover the top 10 cutest dog breeds in the entire world?
How about the fastest dogs, the largest dogs and those that are -- quite frankly -- just the kindest dogs on the planet? Each day, AZ Animals sends out lists just like this to our thousands of email subscribers. And the best part? It's FREE. Join today by entering your email below.
Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.