Cute Dog Breeds That Stay Small Forever

If you are craving the companionship of a dog, but lack the energy or resources to take care larger breed, all is not lost. Our Tucson vets provide their insight on six of the cutest breeds of dog that stay small forever.

Finding the Perfect Small Dog Breed

The only thing small dog breeds really have in common with each other is their size. Some small dogs are full of energy and always ready to walk or play, while others would rather curl up and relax for the majority of the day.

Our Spanish Trail Pet Clinic vets explain the characteristics of a few small dog breeds to help you decide the right breed for you and your family.

French Bulldog

Height: 11 - 13 inches
Weight: Less than 28lbs
Life Expectancy: 10 - 12 years

Also known as the 'Frenchie' this affectionate, playful, and intelligent dog is even-tempered and absolutely charming. Their sleek smooth coat, muscular body, flat nose, and bat ears give this dog a recognizable look that you just can't help but love.

French bulldogs make great pets for singles, couples, or even families living in apartments. With low exercise requirements and minimal barking, it's easy to see why. These small dogs crave companionship and love spending time with their owners, children, and other pets.


Height: 9-11 inches
Weight: 9-16lbs
Life Expectancy: 10-18 years

Get a Shih-Tzu and you'll be giggling every day. These little dogs are the perfect size for apartment life, and are brimming with fun-loving character! While their lustrous coat does require a fair amount of grooming to keep it looking beautiful, you won't regret a minute of the effort.

Although these little guys do enjoy barking, they are friendly with strangers, children, and other pets and don't require much exercise to stay healthy and happy. Shih Tzus simply adore curling up on their owner's lap to be petted and adored.

Hairless Chinese Crested

Height: 11-13 inches
Weight: 8-12 pounds
Life expect: 13-18 years

The Hairless Chinese Crested is a lively and sweet-tempered dog breed that doesn't shed and lacks that certain "doggy" smell some people are put off by. These adorable dogs have a hairless body with spotted skin, and fluffy tufts of fur on their head, feet, and tail.

Chinese Crested dogs are incredibly devoted to their people and will follow their owners around from room to room. This is the ideal breed for people who work from home, not those who are out for several hours each day. Fun and with very little need for outdoor exercise, these dogs are ideal for apartment living.


Height: Miniature 5-6 inches | Standard 8-9 inches
Weight: Miniature under 11 lbs | Standard 16-32 lbs
Life Expectancy: 12-16 years

Immediately recognizable, whether you call this breed a 'sausage dog', 'Weiner dog', 'Dashie' or 'Doxie' the dachshund is an adorable and amusing dog breed. This breed is available in two sizes (standard and miniature) depending on just how small of a dog you are interested in. There are also three different styles of coat (from smooth to long and luxurious).

Their tiny legs mean that they do not require (or tolerate) very much exercise, although this breed does have a relatively strong prey drive that can lead them to behave rashly or be stubborn. While they can be somewhat difficult to train these curious dogs to get along well with kids and other dogs.


Height: 10-13 inches
Weight: 14-18 lbs
Life Expectancy: 13-15 years

Pugs adore their owners and love to be cuddled. Typically very quiet, pugs are happy to lounge around at home and just hang out with the family.

Playful and loyal, this small dog breed is very social and requires lots of social activity with their owners, children, or other dogs. Their laid-back and lazy personality does make them prone to weight gain so it's essential to be careful of their diet to keep them healthy.


Height: 8-11 inches
Weight: 3-7 lbs
Life Expectancy: 12-16 years

This small dog breed is very devoted to their owners and socializes with other people and dogs. They make great lapdogs and love to watch everything that is going on around them, making them perfect, miniature watchdogs. 

These cheery dogs are also capable of performing some charming tricks if trained appropriately.

Keep in mind, these fluffy little guys do shed a lot and require grooming on a regular and thorough basis.

If you have a new puppy or rescue dog be sure to bring them to Spanish Trail Pet Clinic for a wellness examination. Contact our Tucson vets for more information.