25 World’s Smallest Dog Breeds

When looking at breeds like the Siberian husky or Samoyed, it is no wonder that dogs originated from the domestication of the gray wolf. But what about all those teeny, tiny breeds?

It’s hard to imagine your grandmother’s little teacup Yorkie hunting down an elk however many generations ago. A new study was done by researchers at UCLA actually found that by comparing DNA, the gene for small body size found in tinier breeds actually better matches the gray wolf population in the Middle East and the surrounding area.

This suggests that small domestic dogs arose there several thousand years ago, after the first wild wolves were being tamed. Whether you share your home with the cousin of a wolf or a feisty pocket dog, you won’t want to miss this list of 25 of the world’s tiniest dog breeds.


Miniature Pinscher


A toy dog breed from Germany, evidence points to the Min Pin being a very old breed. Historical artifacts and paintings illustrate images of the dog, but factual documentation of the breed only began about 200 years ago.

Though its origins are unclear, we know it to be a cross between German Pinscher and Italian Greyhound.


Pembroke Welsh Corgi


The corgi is a cattle herding dog breed finding its origins in Pembrokeshire, Wales. There is one other breed under the Welsh Corgi name, known as the Cardigan Welsh Corgi.

Both are descended from northern spitz-type dogs like huskies. Although the Pembroke is the younger of the two Welsh Corgi breeds, it was made famous by Queen Elizabeth II, who had more than 30 during her reign.




Papillon is French for “butterfly-eared,” and one look at this pup’s sweet face will explain that name. The Papillon is a spaniel breed, and its history is traced through works of art.

Tiziano Vicelli painted these dogs in many famous paintings in the 1500s, including Venus of Urbino. A Papillon is even clearly shown in a portrait of Louis XIV and his family.


Miniature Schnauzer


Originating in Germany in 19th century, the Miniature Schnauzer was refined from the smallest of the Standard Schnauzer breed to make a more effective ratting dog, primarily used by farmers.

The first recorded Miniature Schnauzer was a black female named Findel in 1888. She appeared in the first edition of the Pinscher-Schnauzer Klub’s exhibition book.


Border Terrier


Used as a hunting dog, the Border Terrier was bred to have long enough legs to keep up with horses and other foxhounds, but small enough bodies to chase after foxes through their burrows. The other foxhounds that traveled with them were not small enough to perform this crucial part of hunting.

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