21 Cutest Toy Dog Breeds

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What can possibly be any more adorable than miniature dogs that are happily barking and running around every time they see you? Taking care of a toy dog can be challenging at times, but in the end, you get a loyal companion that will love you unquestionably for as long as they live. They might be small, but they have huge hearts, and will show you they care whenever they have the chance.

Choosing the right breed can also be tricky – every single toy pooch is unique, and you should learn a few things about some of the cutest breeds before deciding which one to adopt. Here’s a list of 21 best toy dog breeds:

1. Yorkshire Terrier

Everyone knows a Yorkshire terrier when they see one – they are easily recognizable thanks to their elegant looks and adorable behavior. According to research, the “Yorkie” is the most popular toy dog breed in the U.S. and has won many a heart with his devotion to his owners and suitability to apartment living. They are very sensitive and can’t stand being left alone – he’s like an adorable child that you can never put down.

Like most smaller dogs, Yorkies are prone to smaller health issues, and they tend to take trips to the vet more often than other breeds. They are fairly difficult to groom (despite their small size) and you usually won’t see a Yorkshire terrier performing many tricks. This is the ideal pooch to put a vest on, carry around in a handbag and take to anywhere in the city. They love being the center of attention, and your bag is the perfect spot.

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2. Chihuahua

Being the smallest dog in the world, and seeing how smaller breeds are usually associated with cuteness, it would be odd not to see the Chihuahua on this list. But don’t get surprised when they bark at you and try to drive you away if they don’t like you – they are feisty little doggies, and they don’t have a problem with showing it openly.

The Chihuahua comes in a variety of coat types and colors, so you might see two Chihuahuas looking like different breeds, which adds to their unique touch. They are adorable in every single way and are quite obedient and agile. They are also among the top 10 watchdogs, as stated by experts. But in the end, all a Chihuahua wants is just to rest and relax with their family, to love them and be loved.

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3. Shih Tzu

Even though their name means “little lion,” there’s really nothing fierce about this specific breed – in fact, they are about as dangerous and savage as a box of kittens (although they can deliver a nasty nip if necessary). Take a look at that majestic fur, though – you will groom it for hours and actually catch yourself enjoying it.

They are gracious, lovable, loving and loyal. Shih Tzu dogs were bred solely to be companions, and they are affectionate, happy, and outgoing. They love nothing more than to follow their people around from place to place and rest in their laps for eons.

Despite this, some owners have recently taken the Shih Tzu into dog sports, training them for high obedience and exceptional agility. They won’t mind running through hoops, but then again they won’t mind you putting bow ties on their cute necks either.

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4. Pug

Ah, pugs. Often described as a dog with lots of personality in a small body, these compact, hardy dogs are a proud member of the American Kennel Club’s Toy group. They are also well-known for their desire to be the center of everyone’s attention – they have a fantastic sense of humor and really like to show off.

They were originally bred to be lap dogs, and they remain true to themselves to this day – they thrive on human companionship. Pugs are relatively easy to handle, even people who have no previous experience with owning a dog find it easy to train them. They don’t, however, take too kindly to being left alone, as they always crave the undivided attention of their owners.

They are friendly, affectionate, go well with other dogs and other people, and even know how to behave well around children. Pugs also don’t mind being around a lot of people at once, and it’s not uncommon to see a pug driving around on a motorcycle with their owners – they’re just cool like that.

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5. Pomeranian

Pomeranians were once these huge, strong, sturdy dogs that were bred to pull sleds but are now tiny and well-suited for a completely different way of handling. They have a long and interesting history and are nicknamed “the little dogs who think they can.”

This might be because of their appearance, they always look like they’ve done something heroic and should be honored for it. All jokes aside, Pomeranians are compact, very active and incredibly agile. They are also obedient and excel at being good, loyal family friends.

They don’t mind you scratching and petting them for hours (in fact, they welcome it) and they love being your little ‘baby’. Sensitivity is not an unknown term to an average Pomeranian and intolerance to being alone is another one. They are intelligent and energetic, and won’t have a problem with following you around wherever you may go. Oh, and they are also fantastically adorable.

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6. Maltese

This is a gentle and fearless breed that tends to treat every single living being as a friend, whether it’s a random dog on the street or your old high school friend. They are covered with a gorgeous white coat which gives them a touch of nobility, but don’t forget – looks can deceive.

This is a spirited, vigorous dog who won’t just be your companion but will also be a competitor in dog sports and a mighty fine therapy dog. But in the end, everything a Maltese wants is just to be around their people every day, the whole day. They are rather easy to handle (once you get used to the barking), they adapt well to apartment living, they are very sensitive and incredibly social.

Remember to give them a nice, cozy vest during colder days because they don’t like the cold too much. They also have delicate digestive systems and tend to be picky eaters. Just take it easy with them, and they will pay you back with undeniable loyalty and love.

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7. Papillon

You simply can’t meet a papillon and stay indifferent to their cuteness. They descent from toy spaniels, those dogs you might have had the chance of seeing in paintings by the Old Masters, dating as far back as the 16th century.

Papillons are very active dogs with a high energy level and they are wonderful competitors in both agility and obedience. The moment you see a papillon, they will try their best to appeal to you, and believe us, they will very soon become one of your favorite dogs.

They prefer warmer climates and they won’t take too kindly to you leaving them home alone for too long – they will probably bite, chew and tear up everything they can get their paws on. But still, their small size enables their owners to carry them around pretty much anywhere they want.

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8. Affenpinscher

Affenpinscher’s will have you falling in love with them on first sight, and they have faces that somewhat resemble the Ewoks from the Star Wars movies (except they won’t throw rocks and spears at you). They were originally created to be ratter dogs in various places such as stables, shops, and homes.

They eventually reduced in size and stepped up in the world, becoming ladies’ pets, and later on happy, mischievous companion dogs. They are incredibly friendly towards their owners, but not so much towards strangers and other dogs. They are exceptionally bad with kids, so if you have any, make sure not to get an Affenpinscher unless you’re ready to give a lot of money for their strict training.

They shed like crazy, they are literally little hair-producing machines and they drool excessively. And still, despite all this, they are incredibly pleasant to have around, and there’s but a few people who’ve owned an Affenpinscher that weren’t satisfied with them.

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9. Japanese Chin

The Japanese chin hails from Asia (who would’ve guessed?), where they were treated as companion dogs for more than a thousand years. These little dogs had a pretty royal treatment, as they were popular members of both the Chinese and the Japanese imperial courts, and it was exactly in Japan that their distinctive look was developed.

Nowadays, it seems that they have gotten tired of playing political games with those ‘pesky humans’ and enjoy nothing more than hanging out with their families. They are still gracious and elegant, although they’re not snobs, mind you. They are mild-mannered, honest, playful and lovable, and that’s just what you would want if you’re looking for a toy dog.

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10. Miniature Pinscher

It’s not uncommon for people to take a breed and say “Wow, this is such a great breed. We’re going to create a mini-version of it now to make it even cuter!” – but that’s not the case with the miniature Pinscher, they’re not miniature versions of the common Doberman. In fact, the ‘Min Pin’ is a much older breed than the Doberman.

Min Pins were originally bred in Germany to help hunt vermin, mostly rats, in homes, stables, workshops, and other places where rats like to hang out. This dog is known as the “King of Toys” because of their stately appearance and strong, self-assured attitude. They are fearless, alert and energetic dogs who love their families unquestionably. If you want to get a toy dog and have a king in the house at the same time, look no further.

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11. Havanese

This is a dog that has won thousands of admirers worldwide with their silky hair, beautiful eyes and cuddly temper. The Havanese are companion dogs bred for the Cuban aristocracy in the 1800s and are true representatives of the ‘velcro dog’ type. But they are not just your everyday lap dogs; the Havenese are incredibly trainable and surprisingly energetic.

They have also excelled in all kinds of sporting activities and canine careers. They have been used for pretty much any doggy job, so you could see a Havanese in a circus performing alongside other people and animals, but you could also see a Havanese therapy dog, providing exceptional assistance to people in need. They like whatever you like doing with them, so don’t be afraid to buy them funny dog clothes or take them on adventures like visiting a water park.

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12. Chinese Crested Dog

These funny-looking dogs were primarily created to assist disabled people, and in that setting, there isn’t a better dog. Chinese crested dogs are almost magical in terms of understanding their owners – they will lie in bed next to you for hours without moving a muscle, and you won’t even realize that you wanted that. They will simply know.

Funny thing about them is that, although you will rarely, almost never see them frantically running outside to play like other dogs, they are still incredibly athletic. It’s not an odd sight to see a Chinese crested jump over a surprisingly tall fence.

They are also not very gregarious, but they form very strong bonds within their inner circle of friends and family. Once you gain their trust, you have a friend for life – and they will show you how much they care. Every. Single. Moment.

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13. Pekingese

The Pekingese is yet another one of those ancient Asian breeds that have been around for centuries and were created with the specific purpose of being cherished companions. But not just to anyone, no, these were royal dogs, companions of the imperial family of China.

And you can see that the moment you look at them, they are proud, stout and they keep their heads high. They also have a beautiful coat of fur that requires some practice to be groomed perfectly.

They are still cherished family companions and show dogs who greet everyone they meet with dignity and grace. Just be careful not to anger them – they’re known to have quite the temper. Of course, this is nothing that can’t be handled – just be patient and start training them as soon as possible.

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14. Italian Greyhound

One of the most beautiful dog breeds ever, the Italian greyhound was the favored companion of women of noble origin in the Middle Ages, especially in Italy (hence the name). Although they are somewhat bigger than your average toy dog, these little guys made it to the list because they are simply remarkable…and undeniably cute.

And they are more than just a lap dog, Italian greyhounds are graced by amazing speed, endurance, and a strong determination to hunt smaller animals like rabbits. Although it would seem that most greyhounds are through with their rabbit-hunting days, they still retain many of the traits they were bred for. They are now mostly family dogs whose beauty and love charm anybody in their vicinity.

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15. Phalene

Phalenes are happy, outgoing, affectionate, and lively lap dogs who just can’t get enough of running and playing around – especially outdoors. They have been named number one toy dog in terms of obedience, which doesn’t strike anyone as that great of a surprise – when you take their high intellect into account. Phalenes simply love to cuddle and give kisses and are mostly calm, gentle and patient. What more could you ask for from a lap dog?

They are extremely easy to train and highly obedient; eager to please and interested in pretty much anything, they will always find a way to put a smile on your face. Whether you’re carrying them around in your arms or driving them around the city or even sitting with them in a café, they are sure to have a good time – and you’re sure to have a good time with them, too.

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16. Toy Fox Terrier

This little dog is lively, affectionate, (VERY) playful, protective and fiercely loyal to their family – they will always love you and they will always need to be with you. In general, toy fox terriers are known to be friendly with all kinds of people, although they have a certain suspicion towards strangers at first. They are also outstanding watchdogs, extremely protective of their owners, and they are not easily intimidated.

One thing you will have to get used to when dealing with these terriers is their loud bark. Don’t worry, though – they are not your average yappy dogs and don’t run around barking frantically for no reason. Toy fox terriers are intelligent and ever-watchful, they will bark to alert you of unusual sounds and happenings. They are quick to learn new commands and are always an adorable sight to behold. They are good around children and they make excellent service dogs.

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17. King Charles Spaniel

Originally bred to be companion dogs, these fantastic spaniels have retained the sporty, fiery nature of their ancestors. The moment they are not sitting in your lap in front of the TV, resting their little head on your legs or getting a belly rub, nothing will stop them from springing into action. They will be happiest running around the yard chasing birds and attempting to retrieve them.

King Charles spaniels are one of the largest toy breeds out there, but that doesn’t stop them from being as athletic and sporty as possible. They enjoy going on long walks, running on beaches, and dog sports such as flyball and rally. It’s not uncommon for them to be used as hunting dogs, but most of them have turned to the restful lifestyle and found their success as family members and therapy dogs.

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18. Norfolk Terrier

This outgoing, playful and affectionate breed loves to curl up in bed next to you, but they also like to climb sofas to see what the world looks like from a higher point of view. They thrive on human companionship and generally prefer people to other dogs and pets, although they can get along with other animals if introduced to them during puppyhood.

They sometimes bark too much, and they make this funny shrieking sound when they are overly excited. Make sure to spend enough time with them, as they can get stubborn and independent when it comes to training.

Norfolk terriers have an insane amount of energy and require an active life to be satisfied. They may rest on your lap from time to time, but they prefer playtime and games – especially if you’re involved in them!

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19. Silky Terrier

The moment you lay your eyes on their gorgeous fur, you will instantly fall in love with these energetic, curious and self-assured dogs who form incredibly strong bonds with their owners and family. They looove the attention, they want it, they need it and they’ll do anything to get it. They don’t necessarily love spending that much time cuddling and hugging with you – they prefer to romp and wrestle with you and ball chasing is their synonym for having a real blast.

Silky terriers, or “Silkies,” make excellent watchdogs because they are always alert. This is where their suspicion towards strangers stems and you should be careful when introducing them to new people or other dogs. On the other hand, they love nothing more than to play with their owners in the back yard or going for long walks. And plus, you have to give them some style points, that fur looks mighty fine on them.

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20. Poodle

Poodles are renowned for their love towards all humans and they usually bond not just with one person, but with the entire family – everybody is their best friend! They also love to learn tricks (they really love it, not just that they’re good at it) and they love to use those same tricks to earn your attention and affection.

Pay attention to your poodle. Always pay close attention to your poodle, we cannot stress this enough. Ignore them for a few hours or, heaven forbid, neglect them, and they will turn into mischievous, destructive barking machines within moments. But don’t worry, there isn’t a person in the world who can’t communicate with a poodle; they literally seem like they understand every word we tell them, our expressions and our wishes. And what’s better than a dog who understands you perfectly?

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21. Bichon Frise

The ultimate toy dog breed would definitely be the bichon frise. There have been numerous accounts of people actually confusing these dogs for stuffed toys because of their unbelievable coat (which doesn’t shed, by the way, double win), and their incredibly adorable behavior.

They are those little dogs that you spoil so much they almost forget how to eat on their own, and then they give you that look, and you go all like “Oh fine, I’ll chew it for you.” They are very sensitive and naturally sociable dogs who don’t fancy the outdoors that much – give them a sofa and a warm, cozy living room and they’ll be happy for the rest of their lives.

Don’t even think about leaving them alone in that same room for more than a few hours because they really, really, really don’t like being left alone. Any room’s fine if you’re around but no room will make up for your sudden, immediate and irreversible departure from their lives.

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