Special Report

These Are the 30 Small Dog Breeds People Love the Most

30. Border Terriers
> Overall AKC rank in 2019: 84 out of 193
> Life expectancy: 12-15 years
> Temperament: Affectionate, happy, plucky

Border terriers stand out because of their unique head shape. The head looks like an otter’s head. These dogs, who were bred by farmers along the Scottish-English border to run along with foxhounds, stand about 15 inches tall and weigh about 15 pounds.

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29. Basenji
> Overall AKC rank in 2019: 87 out of 193
> Life expectancy: 13-14 years
> Temperament: Independent, smart, poised

The Basenji is a breed known for not barking — its nickname is Africa’s “barkless dog” (it originated in the Congo) — but it is not silent. This type of hound dog whines and whimpers just like any other breed.

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28. Russell Terrier
> Overall AKC rank in 2019: 75 out of 193
> Life expectancy: 12-14 years
> Temperament: Alert, inquisitive, lively

Russell terriers were originally bred to be used as foxhunters in England. They are very active and energetic. These small dogs don’t usually grow taller than 12 inches and weigh between 12 and 15 pounds.

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27. Coton de Tulear
> Overall AKC rank in 2019: 81 out of 193
> Life expectancy: 15-19 years
> Temperament: Charming, bright, happy-go-lucky

This tiny dog is known for its soft white coat that feels like cotton — or “coton” in French. Its nickname is the “Royal Dog of Madagascar,” because it’s originally from the island country in the Indian Ocean.

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26. Chinese Crested
> Overall AKC rank in 2019: 80 out of 193
> Life expectancy: 13-18 years
> Temperament: Affectionate, alert, lively

The Chinese crested belongs to the toy group — a class of small but very affectionate dogs. They are known for their spotted pink skin and feathery tail and ears. The coated variety is called the “powderdruff.”