The Top 9 Smallest Dogs in the World

Written by AZ Animals Staff
Updated: June 26, 2022
Image Credit Lim Tiaw Leong/Shutterstock.com
Share this post on:
Key Points:
  • The chihuahua, first recognized as a breed in 1908 by the American Kennel Club, is the smallest dog breed in the world, standing at a height of 5-8 inches and typically weighing 6 pounds. This breed is more prone to heart problems than some other breeds but generally lives 14-16 years.
  • The Dorkie is a small breed created by crossing the Mini Dachshund with the Yorkshire Terrier. Dorkies typically weigh between 5-and-12 pounds and stand between 5-and-9-inches tall. They have prey instincts, are wary around children, and tend to bond with one person.
  • A cross between a Shi-tzu and a Maltese, the adorable Mal-Shi dog has a gutsy and gregarious temperament and loves people. This breed is often used as therapy dogs.

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the tiniest dog alive is Milly, who stands 3.8-inches tall at her shoulders. If you think it would be fun to own a dog about the same size as Milly, then there are several choices to consider. When compiling our list, the dog breed’s minimum height was first considered. Then, we evaluated their weight when compiling the final list. Teacup designer dogs can be the perfect addition to your home, but do not overlook some standard breeds that stay small.

#9 Maltichon – 6-to-12 Inches

Breeders created the Maltichon by breeding the Maltese and the Bichon Frise. This dog should stand between 6-and-12-inches tall and weigh between 6-and-14 pounds. It is a friendly family dog who loves to be involved in everything that your family is doing. This dog also does well in homes where there is already another dog.

All Maltichons have soft wide hair. Some will have apricot, bluff, or cream markings. The coat can be a single layer or a double layer of variable length. This designer dog breed will have brown eyes and a black nose. A quick 20-minute romp is appreciated, but take precautions that those with a double-layer coat do not become overheated.

Only The Top 1% Can Ace our Animal Quizzes

Think You Can?
Smallest Dogs: Maltichon
The Maltichon is an adorable mix between a Bichon Frise and a Maltese.

lunamarina/Shutterstock.com

#8 Broodle Griffon – 6-to-11 Inches

Broodle griffons stand between 6-and-11 inches tall. Typically, they weigh between 6 and 12 pounds. This cross between a poodle and a Brussels griffon may also be called brussapoo, brusapoo, brus-A-Poo or griffinpoo.

The head of the Broodle griffon can take after either parent, but it is seldom a mixture of both. This dog can have a wavy, smooth, or curly coat. If you are looking for a hypogenic dog, consider those with a curly coat. If the dog has a curly coat, expect to spend more time grooming it. This dog is eager to please her owners so that makes training much easier.

Smallest Dogs: Broodle Griffon
The Broodle Griffon is also known as a griffinpoo.

Eudyptula/Shutterstock.com

#7 Mal-shi – 6-to-10 Inches

The mal-shi is a cross between the Maltese and the Shih Tzu breeds. They stand between 6-and-10-inches tall and should weigh between 6-and-12 pounds. Most are gutsy and gregarious and love people. Therefore, they often make great therapy dogs. This dog does best when he has a place to romp.

The Mal-shi is prone to heat-aggravated respiratory problems, so if you live in a warmer area, share your air conditioning with your pet. While this dog requires little clipping, you do need to brush it daily. Typically, these dogs do very well in homes with other dogs and children.

Smallest Dogs: Mal-shi
The Mal-shi absolutely loves children.

#6 Chorkie – 6-to-9 Inches

The chorkie is a designer pooch and is a cross between a Yorkshire terrier and a Chihuahua. They should be between 6-and-9-inches tall and weigh between 2-and-8 pounds. They may also be known as a Yorkiechi. Any color combination is possible, but most have a noticeable grizzled appearance because of their Yorkshire heritage. Unlike some designer pups, you cannot breed two chorkies together and get a similar-looking dog, so a Yorkshire terrier and a chihuahua must be bred each time.

While one-or-two baths a month is generally enough, watch for hair growth inside this breed’s ears. This blocks the air from flowing into the air, which can cause ear infections. Frequent ear infections can lead to deafness.

Learn more about chorkies.

Smallest Dogs: Chorkie
Interestingly, a Chorkie is not bred with another Chorkie to create the same breed.

#5 Smallest Dogs: Toy Poodle – 5-to-10 Inches

The toy poodle has been around since at least the 17th century when they were known as sleeve dogs. This breed usually measures between 5-and-10-inches tall and weigh 6-to-10 pounds.

The American Kennel Club says that this dog can live between 10 and 18 years. It is the smallest of the three types of poodles that the club recognizes. A variety of colors are possible, including blues, grays, silvers, browns, cafe-aulaits, apricots and creams, but the dog should be one color over its entire body.

Toy poodles were originally bred as hunting dogs and have lots of energy. Activities they enjoy are playing fetch with balls or sticks, long walks, and even swimming. They are also very intelligent dogs and easy to train.

Learn more about toy poodles.

Smallest Dogs: Toy Poodle
The Toy Poodle dates all the way back to the 17th century.

Lim Tiaw Leong/Shutterstock.com

#4 Smallest Dogs: Dorkie- 5-to-9 Inches

The Dorkie is a cross between Mini Dachshund and the Yorkshire Terriers. These dogs usually weigh between 5-and-12 pounds and stand between 5-and-9-inches tall. Black and tan is the most common color combination, but they can be chocolate and tan, fawn and tan, or gray and tan. They can be dapple, brindle, piebald or sable.

Since their lineage on both sides were hunting dogs, you can expect this designer pooch to have strong prey instincts. Many owners report that they attach themselves to one person. They are often wary around young children. Try limiting the amount of jumping that this dog does as they are prone to intervertebral disk disease.

Learn more about dorkies.

Smallest Dogs: Dorkie
Although small, the Dorkie has strong hunting instincts.

Steve Bruckmann/Shutterstock.com

#3 Smallest Dogs: Mini Dachshund – 5-to-9 Inches

The mini dachshund can weigh up to 11 pounds and stands 5-to-9 inches tall. Its hanging ears on its oval head add to the lovable look of this dog. This breed can be red, tan, or yellow, or a combination of the three. They are brilliant dogs that can quickly get bored. Their coats can be smooth, long-haired, or wire-haired.

The mini dachshund is a highly loyal dog, but it can take the animal a while to warm up to outsiders. They have a long spine and a short rib cage, which can lead to back problems. Most have almost boundless energy.

Smallest Dogs: Mini Dachshund
The Mini Dachshund has an endless amount of energy.

Shedara Weinsberg/Shutterstock.com

#2 Smallest Dogs: Chiweenie – 5-to-9 Inches

Chiweenies stand between 5-and-9 -inches tall and weigh between 4-and-11 pounds. They are a cross between dachshunds and chihuahuas. Most chiweenies have a short coat, but there are long-haired chiweenies. Ears can be erect like the chihuahuas or droopy like the dachshund.

This breed makes terrific watchdogs, but they can be stubborn to train. These dogs usually do not have a high prey instinct, but they will bark to alert you to any changes in your environment. While this designer dog breed may have accidentally bred much earlier, breeders started intentionally breeding these dogs in the 1990s.

Smallest Dogs Chiweenie
The Chiweenie has the funniest name and a charming personality

Jaclyn Vernace/Shutterstock.com

#1 Smallest Dogs: Chihuahua- 5-to-8 Inches

The American Kennel Club’s chihuahua breed standard says this dog will grow to be between 5-and-8 inches tall and should not exceed 6 pounds. This breed often lives between 14-and-16 years. The coat on this breed can be long or short and groomed appropriately. This breed can be any color, and it can be marked or splashed.

Despite their tiny size, chihuahuas have a big-dog attitude. This breed is more prone to heart problems than some other breeds. The American Kennel Club first recognized this breed in 1908.

Learn more about chihuahuas.

Smallest Dogs: Chihuahua
Despite their small size, the Chihuahua will protect their family with courage.

If you are looking for a small dog, consider these breeds. They may make the perfect companion for your household. Remember that taking on any dog is a commitment to love and take care of that dog until it passes away in several years. These tiny and teacup dogs may be the perfect addition to your life. They have a ton of love to give despite their tiny and teacup size.

Summary of the Top 9 Smallest Dogs in the World

Here’s a look back at the dogs that made the cut as the smallest on Earth:

RankDog BreedHeight
1Chihuahua5-to-8 Inches
2Chiweenie5-to-9 Inches
3Mini Dachshund5-to-9 Inches
4Dorkie5-to-9 Inches
5Toy Poodle5-to-10 Inches
6Chorkie6-to-9 Inches
7Mal-shi6-to-10 Inches
8Broodle Griffon6-to-11 Inches
9Maltichon6-to-12 Inches

Up Next…

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.

What's the right dog for you?

Dogs are our best friends but which breed is your perfect match?

X-Small
Small
Medium
Large
Xtra-Large

If you have kids or existing dogs select:

Kids
Other Dogs

Should they be Hypoallergenic?

Yes
No
How important is health?
Which dog groups do you like?
How much exercise should your dog require?
What climate?
How much seperation anxiety?
How much yappiness/barking?

How much energy should they have?

The lower energy the better.
I want a cuddle buddy!
About average energy.
I want a dog that I have to chase after constantly!
All energy levels are great -- I just love dogs!
How much should they shed?
How trainable/obedient does the dog need to be?
How intelligent does the dog need to be?
How much chewing will allow?
Share this post on:
About the Author

AZ Animals is a growing team of animals experts, researchers, farmers, conservationists, writers, editors, and -- of course -- pet owners who have come together to help you better understand the animal kingdom and how we interact.

More from A-Z Animals