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11 Absolute Best Small Dog Breeds (UK Version)

Small dog breeds UK

We all know that small canine breeds have a bad reputation for being snappy, loud, and snobby. However, small dog breeds of the UK are very popular and loved by many. Today we will take a look at small dog breeds UK version.

There are many different small dog breeds. Small breeds range from Yorkies to Pomeranians. We’ve done the research to find absolute top small dog breeds in the UK. You may be surprised to see who made the list.

I have not come across any snobby small dog breeds, and I have owned only small breeds being a Yorkshire Terrier named Kiki, and a Jack Russell Terrier named Rocky.

Okay,  Rocky may have had a bit of an attitude, but he was a very affectionate dog. As for Kiki, she is the sweetest little dog out there. 

Today we are going to look at the top small dog breeds in the UK. Let’s start with my favorite, the Yorkshire Terrier.

Yorkshire terrier with a blanket, Dog resting, Cute dog, Funny Yorkie

Yorkshire TerrierFavorite Small Dog Breeds UK

I’m a bit biased when it comes to this breed, considering I own one, but they are a great small dog breed.  Let me tell you why.

Yorkies are super affectionate.  When I come home from work, she greets me at the door, and when I kneel, she puts her head and paws on my lap in a cute little hug. Makes my day every time!

Yorkies are very energetic and require playtime, be it throwing toys around for them, or taking them on a walk around the block.  

They also like to chill, so do not be surprised if your Yorkie wants to spend a few hours on the couch or your lap while you are winding down from your workday with one of your favorite movies. 

The Yorkie lives 13- 15 years and weighs about 4-7 Lbs depending on if you go with a teacup or standard.

Oh and one more thing, did I mention that they do not shed and are hypoallergenic?

Want to know more about the Yorkshire Terrier? I found this book on Yorkies that is well worth the read, called Yorkies. The Ultimate Yorkie Dog Manual by George Hoppendale and Asia Moore (see the book here on Amazon).

Bichon FriseA top Favorite Small Dog Breeds UK

A purebred Bichon Frise dog with a white fluffy coat looking very cute.

The Bichon Frise is playful, curious, and vigorous.  They are also extremely affectionate to their family and adorable!   As well as highly intelligent and easily trained. 

This dog is excellent for families with small children being it is quite tiny itself.  These dogs do suffer from separation anxiety if they are away from their families for too long.  I would not recommend this breed for a one-person household. 

Bichons are known as being a non-shedding small breed, so they have been recommended to people with allergies.  I suggest checking with your doctor first before you go out and purchase one if you or anyone in your family has allergies.

Bichon Frise lives between 12-15 years old and weighs 12-15 Lbs.  

To learn more about the bichon frise, I recommend The Complete Guide To The Bichon Frise, Raising, Feeding, Training, Socializing, and Loving Your New Bichon Puppy by Rachel Kass and Kristyanna Wolf. (See the book here on Amazon)

Small Dog Breeds UKPembroke Welsh Corgi

Corgi dog Pembroke welsh corgi walking outdoor in summer park

The Corgi is an adorable small dog breed and very popular in the UK.  They are very affectionate, silly, and love being with their families, and are known to follow their owners all over the place.  

Corgis make good guard dogs due to their alertness and tendency to bark when warranted.  They are very protective of their families and will fight if they feel the family is in trouble. 

The life expectancy of a Corgi is 12-15 years, and they weigh between 24-30 Lbs. They tend to gain weight, so make sure not to overfeed them.

Trivia:  Did you know that the Corgi is the only dog breed that Queen Elizabeth owns?  She has owned Corgi’s since she received one on her 18th birthday.

West Highland Terrier

Beautiful West Highland White Terrier lies on the green field. Portrait of funny happy westie on the blurred background.

One of the most popular dog breeds in the UK, the West Highland Terrier, are loyal companions and make great family pets.  

Westies are moderate shedders, and they adapt quite well to condo or apartment living. They love to play, so these small dog breeds would be great for a family with children.

These little guys love to hear the sound of their voices, which means they bark a lot.  They can be very stubborn, which makes it hard to train them.

You will have to be consistent with training and put in extra time than you would with let’s say a German Shepherd.  

The West Highland Terrier is prone to allergies and a few health issues so you can expect high vet bills. The lifespan of a West Highland Terrier is 12-15 years, and they weigh between 15 and 20 Lbs.

Trivia:  James I, the King of England, was known to have owned Westies that came to him by particular order from kennels in Argyleshire.

Even though they like to bark and are prone to health issues,  the Westie is a great and rewarding companion. 

French Bulldog

little cute French bulldog puppy

The Frenchie is related to the American Bulldog and the English Bulldog.  They are smaller and much cuter, in my opinion!  

They are the favorite small dog breed in the UK.  Frenchies are incredibly playful and good-natured, which makes them great family pets.

The French Bulldog love to please, so, therefore, they are easily trained, and they do just fine in a house, condo, or apartment.  

French Bulldogs are low maintenance, so they make great first-time dogs.  They do not need long walks like a giant dog, but they still need to be taken out at least three times a day for a little exercise. 

his dog can get rather smelly at times if not bathed regularly.  They cannot swim and should never go in the water without a personal floating device. Frenchies do not do well in warm weather.

Frenchies have a life span of 10-14 years and weigh between 20-28 Lbs.

Trivia:  The French Bulldog is said to be dated back to Ancient Greece

Chihuahua – One Of Many Famous Small Dog Breeds UK

A Chihuahua sitting and smiling
Chihuahuas are very popular in the UK and are the smallest dog breed.

The Chihuahua is considered the smallest dog of the little dog breed category.   Chihuahuas may be tiny, but they certainly don’t think so! They are quite vocal and are not afraid to let everyone know.  

They should be socialized early in life, given they are known to be one of the most aggressive breeds towards humans and dogs outside their kind. 

You will find that the Chihuahua creates a strong bond with its owner.  They do best with an adult owner who can spend lots of time with them.  

They are good family dogs as well.  Children need to be extra careful playing with a chihuahua since they are so tiny and delicate.

Life expectancy is 15-20 years, and they weigh up to 6 Lbs. 

Trivia:  Chihuahuas are believed to have been around as early as the 9 Century CE, and are descendants of an ancient breed called the Techichi.


Close-up of Pug

Another great small dog breed is the Pug.  They are easy to maintain and happy with living in a house or a condo.   Pugs are very social, affectionate, and loyal.

They do not require as much daily exercise as most breeds, so going around the block or out in the backyard is just fine.  

The life expectancy of a Pug is 13-15 years.  Pugs weigh between 14 and 18 Lbs. They do not do well on humid, hot, or sunny days, so make sure they do not spend a lot of time outdoors during the hot months of the summer. 

Trivia: Queen Victoria loved Pugs! She didn’t like the idea of cropping of their ears, that she had it banned.


Puppies Dachshund, Dachshund Puppies with mom, brown Dachshund, and puppies. Mother puppies of the breed of Dachshund.

Who doesn’t love the wiener dog? Dachshunds are great little dogs that are affectionate and loyal.  The people of the UK love this small dog breed. Playful and Fun-loving, these little guys love to please and are very intelligent. 

Dachshunds are a little harder to house train and can be stubborn from time to time.  They like to bark, so they should be trained at an early age not to bark unnecessarily, or they will grow up to be excessive barkers.

The lifespan of a Dachshund is 12-13 years and weighs 16-32 Lbs.  Do not overfeed this breed as they can easily gain weight.

Trivia:  The Dachshund is Britain’s first cloned dog.  Rebecca Smith from Battersea had her 12-year-old dachshund cloned after winning a contest. 

Rebecca named it Mini – Winnie after Winnie who was cloned.  The dog is in excellent health and expected to live a long life.

Mini Schnauzer: Popular Small Dog Breeds InThe UK

portrait of miniature schnauzer pup with a soft-focused background. A sweet face with folded over ears.

The Mini Schnauzer is a common small dog breed in the UK.   They are brilliant, loyal, affectionate, and playful, which makes them excellent family pets. The mini schnauzer is excellent with children of all ages and makes a great watchdog.

Miniature Schnauzers form incredibly strong bonds with their owners and families, which means they hate being left alone. They can develop lots of unwanted and destructive behaviors around the home, and this includes barking incessantly if left alone. 

Mini schnauzers can live between 12-15 years and weigh 11- 18 Lbs.

Trivia: Simon Peg owns a mini schnauzer

Pomeranian Popularity

Did you know that Pomeranians are one of the most popular small dog breeds in the UK?

cream sable orange pomeranian spitz adult dog running outdoor

The tiny Pomeranian, long a favorite of royals and commoners alike, has been called the ideal companion. The beautiful coat, smiling, foxy face, and spunky personality have helped make the Pom one of the UK’s most popular small dog breeds.

Alert and intelligent, Pomeranians are easily trained and make excellent watchdogs and spunky pets for families with children old enough to know not to horse around with the dog as it could get harmed. 

Pomeranians are active, however, they will do just fine with indoor play and short walks. 

Poms have a life expectancy of  12-16 years and weigh between 3-7 lbs. 

Pomeranian Trivia: Michelangelo had a Pomeranian by his side as he painted the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

Small Dog Breeds UKFinal Thoughts

As you can see, many different small dog breeds are popular in the UK.  All of them are cute and lovable and great with multiple family members. I hope you found this article helpful. We do have a dog breed section, so check it out if you want to learn more about dog breeds.

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