Find Small Dogs For Adoption by Owner
Looking for small dogs for adoption near you? At Pet Adoptions Network, we rehome small dogs and puppies of all breeds, including both purebred and mixed breed dogs and puppies from throughout the USA and Canada.
Listed below are mini breed profiles of each of our line up small dogs, with links to a full breed profile and to listings for small dogs and puppies for adoption.
If you don’t find the small breed dog or your dreams, be sure to complete our waiting list form so that we can notify you when we have a match for you in your area.
Adopt Small Breed Dogs
Just one gaze into the expressive eyes of an American Cocker Spaniel, and most folks are hooked. This sweet, sensitive and intelligent breed is as loyal and companionable as it is beautiful and adorable.
Originally developed as a gun dog for hunting water fowl, the American Cocker has found it’s way into the hearts and homes of loving families world-wide.
The Cocker Spaniel is an inseparable friend of children, and respectful of its master’s authority without much challenge.
Merry and endearing, this happy tail wagger is gentle, trusting, intelligent, lively, playful and devoted. Cockers need people to be happy and love everyone.
Although they can be a challenge to house break and some like to bark, Cockers are fairly easy to train, provided the training is consistent and early. Cockers get along well with cats and other animals, and make exceptional family pets. They do equally well in the city or the country, provided that they are given daily exercise. The long, silky, baby-fine coat requires daily brushing to keep it lustrous and tangle-free.
The spirited Australian Terrier is descended from cairn, Skye, and Yorkshire terriers, among others. It was used as a ratter in 19th-century Australia. Although originally bred to kill small vermin, they may be able to live peacefully with cats if raised with them, but pity the poor dog that picks a fight with an Aussie.
These terriers are pugnacious and tenacious–they will not back down. Australian terriers are affectionate, entertaining, and energetic little dogs. They do fine with young children if raised with them and if they are not teased.
The outer coat is harsh and straight, about two to three inches long; the undercoat is short and soft. Coat color is blue and tan, solid red, or sandy. This dog needs to be brushed two to three times a week. Daily exercise should include a romp in a secured area and a few brisk walks.
The Basenji was brought to Europe from Africa in 1934. Basenjis are small, with a smooth shiny coat in a variety of shades. The breed has a distinctive, horse-like running gait and does not bark, but does have a lot of other unusual vocalizations.
Basenjis love to play and make good pets, but should be handled regularly from an early age. They are very intelligent and respond well to training.
Basenjis are good with children, but should not be left alone with cats or other non-canine animals. The Basenji washes itself like a cat and has no doggie smell, so very little grooming is needed. This breed sheds very little – a great choice for allergy-sufferers!
When considering the purchase of a Basenji for your family, it is extremely important to carefully research the breed to ensure that it is the right choice for you. Basenjis are very special dogs with special requirements for care.
It is also very important to choose a responsible, knowledgeable breeder, as Basenjis are prone to hereditary disorders including Fanconi disease, Retinal Atrophy and Hip Dysplasia. Careful screening for these disorders is very important in the choice of a puppy.
Since the 14th century, this loveable “moving powder puff” has adorned the laps of dog lovers ranging from royalty to celebrities and everyone in between.
Originating in the Canary Islands, the Bichon Frise gained recognition and popularity as a distinct breed in the 1930’s with the French Kennel Club and has since found it’s way into the hearts and homes of dog lovers everywhere.
Standing just 9 to 12 inches at the shoulder, the Bichon Frise’s incredible cuteness and sunny disposition make it a wonderful companion. It is an ideal choice for apartment dwellers and dog lovers with limited mobility.
Although it’s exercise needs are minimal, the Bichon’s grooming needs are a bit more demanding. Frequent bathing and brushing is a must, as are regular trips to the groomer. In gorgeous contrast to it’s black nose and large, intelligent dark eyes, the soft, curly coat is snow white.
The Bichon Frise (translation: curly coated lap dog) makes a wonderful pet for singles, as well as families with well-behaved, older children. As an added bonus, Bichon Frise dogs do not shed, making them a good choice for dog-lovers with allergies.
The impish, snub nosed breed known as the Brussels Griffon has become amazingly popular with dog lover’s world-wide, and it’s easy to understand why.
Remarkably intelligent, sensitive and good natured, this small dog breed excels as a family watchdog and requires little space, as they get plenty of exercise hopping from one lap to another.
They love attention! Small dogs, weighing less than 12 pounds, the breed gained notoriety thanks to the movie “As Good As It Gets”, where a Griff played a prominent role.
The coat comes in two varieties; harsh and wiry or smooth and tight, and sheds very little. Ears may be cropped to a sharp point or carried naturally in a semi-erect position.
The rough coat variety requires hand stripping to keep it’s texture and appearance, but the smooth coat requires minimal grooming – weekly brushing will do the trick nicely.
Brussels Griffons are best suited to families with older, well-behaved children who can treat them with love and respect. Early obedience training is recommended.
The Cairn Terrier is a tiny terrier originated in the Western Highlands and Islands of Scotland, where it was originally called the “Short-Haired Skye Terrier”, and is considered to be the oldest of the British Terrier breeds.
In order to avoid confusing this breed with the Skye Terrier, fanciers later changed the name to Cairn Terrier. At one time, the small and feisty Cairn Terrier was used to hunt rats and other vermin and keep their populations down.
Cairn Terriers make wonderful family pets. They are active and intelligent and full of fun! Cairn Terriers love to play and are a great choice for well-behaved children (older than 4 is recommended, as younger children may inadvertently harm the small pooch).
Cairn Terriers are well-suited for live in almost any setting, from apartments in the city to large acreages. They are quite active and need to be given plenty of opportunity to exercise, preferably a safely fenced, outdoor area to play in.
Cairn Terriers stand about 10 inches at the shoulder and have a thick, harsh coat that comes in a variety of shades. Regular combing is required to remove dead hair, and occasional “hand-stripping” is also recommended to keep the outline of your Cairn Terrier’s coat trim.
Despite it’s name, the small, hairless and coated dogs known as Chinese Cresteds are actually thought to have originated in Africa, and have existed for many centuries in Central and South America and the West Indies.
Once the cherished pets of Chinese Mandarins, these small, elegant little dogs were given the name “Chinese Crested Dogs” because of that association. Chinese Crested Dogs are a toy breed, measuring from 9 to 13 inches, and weighing under 12 pounds.
There are two variations in coat; hairless skin or powderpuff (both can be born in the same litter) which come in a wide variety of colors or color combinations. Hairless Chinese Crested Dogs have a very distinctive crest of hair or mane that grows from the top of it’s head and the back of it’s neck, a plume of hair flowing from the tail, and unique tufts of hair on it’s feet.
These dogs require special care as they are susceptible to dry skin, sunburn and even acne. The powder puff variety has a short undercoat covered by a soft, straight veil of long hair. Chinese Crested Dogs are happy, alert and agile dogs that make wonderful companions. They are very clean and have very little odor. They are hypoallergenic and do not shed.
Chinese Crested Dogs are best suited to city or suburban life, and thrive on plenty of love and attention. Exercise needs are moderate. Extra care must be taken when out for a walk to protect this dog from extremes of hot or cold weather.
If you like the idea of having a fluffy dog, but don’t like the idea of having to clean up a lot of dog fur, the Coton de Tulear may be the breed for you. These fluffy and fun little dogs originated in Madagascar, and details on how they arrived there are somewhat sketchy.
Some say the breed descended from dogs that accompanied troops of the Indian Company settling on the island of Madagascar, while others believe that dogs who swam ashore provided the foundation for this unique breed, which dates back as far as the 15th century.
Beautifully proportioned and symmetrically balanced, the Coton De Tulear is now known as the Royal Dog of Madagascar, and is even depicted on postage stamps from the island. The Coton was recognized by the Federation Cynologique Internationale (FCI) in 1971, and has since found it’s way into the hearts and homes of dog lovers all over the world.
Cotons are happy, lively, affectionate and playful – traits that make them sought-after by families, singles and elderly people alike. Cotons love to please their owners, and are intelligent and easily trained. They develop strong bonds with their human counterparts, and love to be part of a family. Their fondness of children is without equal, making the Coton De Tulear an excellent choice for families with children.
Cotons stand 10 to 12-1/2 inches, and weigh about nine to 14 pounds. Despite it’s appearance, the Coton’s fluffy, cotton-like coat does not require a lot of grooming – a thorough weekly brushing is adequate, and again, shedding is minimal. A great choice for fastidious housekeepers and allergy sufferers alike! Cotons are indoor pets, and do not require a lot of exercise to stay happy and healthy. The breed also makes an effective watchdog.
This adorable breed boasts the distinction of being the Cuban national dog breed. The only true Cuban breed, the Havanese is thought to be a member of the Bichon family, which originated in the Mediterranean and includes more popular breeds such as the Maltese and the Bichon Frise.
It is thought that ancestors of the Havanese may have traveled to Cuba at the time that the Spanish were exploring the Caribbean. It may also be that the Havanese is a cross between the Bolognese and a small Poodle.
Although the Havanese is new to the AKC and CKC, the breed has been in existence in it’s native Cuba for centuries as a treasured family pet. Through the years, the Havanese has been bred for companionship. It’s gorgeous good looks and endearing personality make the breed a wonderful house pet.
A Toy breed, the Havanese ranges in height from 8-1/2 to 11-1/2 inches and weighs from seven to 13 pounds. He has large, dark and appealing eyes. The non-shedding coat is long, soft and wispy with tufts or curls at the ends.
The breed comes in a rainbow of colors, from white to shades of cream, champagne, gold, black, blue, silver, chocolate or any combination of these. The plumed tail is carried over the back.
This beautiful little dog can be seen in art objects dating back as far as 3,000 years! The Maltese dog breed‘s exact origins are uncertain – they may have obtained their name from the Island of Malta, or from the Italian town of Melita.
Maltese dog fanciers were widespread throughout most of continental Europe, and Maltese dogs were especially popular in Britain during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I (1558-1603), having been brought to Britain at the time of the Roman invasion or by returning Crusaders.
The Maltese dog was one of the first of the purebreds to be exhibited at dog shows in North America. The Maltese dog is affectionate, intelligent and sturdy, and loves to romp and play – especially with children.
This tiny breed measures up to 10 inches at the shoulder and weighs up to seven pounds maximum. The Maltese dog has a gorgeous, long, pure-white, silky coat that hangs straight to the ground from a center part running from nose to tip of tail.
It’s expressive dark eyes and dark nose, lips and eye rims enhance the Maltese dog’s exquisite face. Grooming requirements for the Maltese are fairly intensive – the coat needs daily brushing to stay tangle-free and frequent bathing to keep it sparkling white, even if you choose to give it a shorter ‘pet’ trim.
The Maltese dog is a great choice for elderly or disabled people, since it’s exercise needs are minimal. A wonderful choice for apartment dwellers too!
What do you get when you cross the petite and pretty Maltese dog with the highly intelligent and devoted Miniature Poodle?
You get the Maltipoo – one of the most popular small designer dog breeds out there.
Whether you’re an allergy sufferer looking for a hypo-allergenic dog breed, or a family with older children looking for an amazing companion that will teach the kids all about unconditional love, the Malti-poo has it all. This designer small dog breed comes in an array of Poodle colors and can range in size from 8 to 25 pounds.
Active, fun and great with children, Malti-poos are thieves (of hearts, that is!) – they can steal your heart instantly upon meeting you.
Maltipoos don’t need a lot of exercise, since being tiny means that just following you around the house is a good work-out for these miniscule mutts.
As with many hybrid dog breeds, Maltipoos generally enjoy good health and longevity – and can live as long as 15 years.
The Lhasa Apso is a regal little dog, originating in the ancient monasteries of Tibet where it was revered as a watchdog and believed to bring good luck. Intelligent, calm and extremely devoted to family, the Lhasa Apso is a sturdy little mountain dog that is said to be a clown – but never a fool.
A Lhasa Apso puppy will grow up to be a good watch dog because of it’s keen hearing and the ability to discern between friends and strangers.
Lhasa Apso dogs thrive in homes – country or city – with well-behaved, older children. The Lhasa Apso has exercise needs which are minimal, but thorough brushing is required every day to keep your Lhasa Apso’s long, silky coat tangle-free.
If you are looking for a rugged, yet glamorous dog that makes a great family companion, then a Lhasa Apso puppy is an excellent choice for your family.
Despite it’s rather diminutive size, the Miniature Schnauzer is a sturdy, muscular dog with the “heart” of a much larger breed. Originating in Germany, the Miniature Schnauzer was originally bred as a small farm dog to “go to ground” in order to keep vermin populations down.
Today’s Miniature Schnauzer still enjoys the pursuit of tiny vermin, and can be counted upon as a great mouser, putting many cats to shame. These adorable little dogs are playful, perky, friendly, affectionate and very devoted to their owners.
Miniature Schnauzers adapt well to almost any living arrangements, country or city, and their minimal exercise needs makes them an excellent choice for dog lovers with limited mobility. They thrive on attention and love nothing more than to be by your side, and they adore children. Mini Schnauzers are very easy to train and excel in obedience classes.
Despite their size, Miniature Schnauzers make wonderful watch dogs. They require regular brushing and an occasional trip to the groomers for a trim to keep the distinctively handsome appearance. These little dogs do not shed, making them a good choice for dog-lovers with allergies.
Make sure you have your Miniature Schnauzer on a leash when you walk him or in a well-fenced yard if left outside – his desire to pursue mice and rodents may lead him into trouble if the opportunity arises.
Just like the Standard Poodle, the Miniature Poodle is a beautiful, loveable dog – just in a smaller package. The Miniature measures 15 inches or less at the shoulder, making the breed more suitable for Poodle-lovers living in the city.
The coat colors, conformation and general care of the Miniature are identical to those of the Toy Poodle. Easy to train and full of fun, these bright, affectionate dogs make wonderful playmates for children and all-round excellent family companions.
What do you get when you cross the feisty and fun Schnauzer with the highly intelligent, highly trainable and extremely lovable Poodle? A delightful new hybrid breed known as the Schnoodle!
Whether you’re an allergy sufferer looking for a hypo-allergenic dog breed, or a family looking for an intelligent, playful and loving pet, the Schnoodle fits the bill on all counts!
This breed is the result of a cross between the Miniature Poodle or Standard Poodle and the Miniature Schnauzer, Standard Schnauzer or Giant Schnauzer. Understandably, this unique hybrid dog breed comes in a wide range of sizes and colors.
Active, fun and great with children, these designer mutts are becoming very popular world wide – as they are very good at stealing hearts – both by their adorable appearance and wonderful fun-loving personality and intelligence.
Schnoodles come in a range of colors, including silver, black, chocolate and white. Their coats can be wavy or slightly curly – and are very easy to maintain. Grooming needs are moderate – a trip to the groomers is needed about 2 to 4 times a year.
Schoodles like plenty of exercise and need a good, brisk walk every day to keep them happy and healthy. They love to run and play – and are great for dog sports including agility & flyball.
As with many hybrid dog breeds, Schnoodles generally enjoy good health and longevity – and can live as long as 15 years.
Affectionately known as the “Scottie”, the Scottish Terrier is a working terrier that hails from the Scottish Highlands, and was once a member of the “Scotch Terrier Group”, which included a variety of terrier types.
This group underwent renaming in the mid 1800’s by British dog fanciers in an attempt to differentiate between the various breeds, and the Scottie was given the name ” Hard-Haired Scotch Terrier” Two years later, the breed was renamed the Scottish Terrier and continues to carry that name today.
Playful, loveable and very loyal, the Scottie makes and excellent house dog and family pet. He also makes a great watchdog, and will eagerly alert his owners to the presence of intruders. Scotties can be aggressive with other dogs, so special care should be taken to avoid “canine disagreements”.
Scotties love the great outdoors, and should be given at least one brisk walk each day. The Scottie is a sturdy, low-set terrier that stands about 10 inches at the shoulder and weighs from 18 to 22 pounds. It’s outer coat is hard and wiry with a dense, softer undercoat. The coat comes in colors of are grey, brindle, black or wheaten.
To keep the trim, “Scottie” look, regular grooming is required, although many owners prefer to clipper their Scotties to soften the hard-textured coat and reduce grooming time and expense. Scotties are well-suited to almost any accommodations, whether country or city, apartment or acreage, provided that regular daily walks are offered.
For more than 2000 years, the little “lion dog” known as the Shih-Tzu has held court in everything from the Imperial Palaces of China to loving homes world-wide.
Measuring just 11 inches at the shoulder, the Shih-Tzu makes an excellent pet for city dwellers – and can even live well in an apartment. Friendly and outgoing, the Shih-Tzu has a very trusting nature and loves the companionship of humans.
Shih Tzu dogs are a good choice for a family with well-behaved children as they love to play, as long as they are handled with care. The Shih Tzu dog’s long, silky coat requires daily brushing to keep it’s elegant appearance.
When it comes to spunk, these adorable little terriers have it in abundance! This breed originated in Scotland – first developed by the Malcolm family – either from a mix of popular terrier breeds or as a “cast-off” of the Cairn Terrier. These “tiny terrors” were originally used to hunt otter and fox, and always enjoy chasing the odd cat or rabbit. Self-reliant and spirited, these dogs make good family pets.
They are tenacious, bold and loyal, making good watch dogs. Westies have a pure white double coat and black eyes, nose, paws and toenails. They require daily brushing and plenty of exercise. Westie puppies love to play and do well in families with well-behaved children – either rural or suburban. Be warned: Westies love to dig!
Originally developed to help control the rat population in mid-19th century industrial Britain, the Yorkshire Terrier hails from an area in Northern England after which the breed was named.
Yorkshire Terriers of the time weighed around 15 pounds, and were featured participants in rat-killing contests – a rather unsavory pastime of the age. Today’s Yorkie is a much smaller, daintier and more glamorous creature, seemingly put on Earth to be pampered!
Although the exact details are not known, it is thought that the Yorkie of Old was cross-bred with other terrier breeds as well as the Maltese (from which the Yorkshire Terrier inherited it’s long, silky coat) to produce the modern, more compact version.
The Yorkie is the most popular toy breed in Britain, and is also very popular in North America and world-wide. Yorkie puppies are born with an almost black coat, which lightens and changes to silvery blue with tan head and legs by the first year of life.
Yorkshire Terriers are intelligent (almost human at times!), playful, loyal and affectionate. Yorkies make wonderful pets for singles, couples, elderly and disabled people who are at home much of the time.
Yorkies are not suitable as pets for young children, as they are quite dainty and can easily be injured. Daily brushing is essential to keep the Yorkie’s long, silky coat tangle-free. Exercise needs are minimal, and this breed is best suited for city living – either in an apartment or house. Despite it’s tiny stature, the Yorkshire Terrier makes a wonderful, alert watchdog!
Thank you for your interest in our list of small breeds of dog. Didn’t find the dog of your dreams? Get on our waiting list, and we will notify you when we have a match for you.
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