A dog weighing less than 10 pounds is quite portable -- like a little toy. That's the group name the American Kennel Club uses to refer to the majority of pint-sized pooches. There are many breeds to choose from, with different grooming and exercise requirements. Besides small size, these dogs have something else in common -- most are irresistibly cute.
The active, bright little Pomeranian weighs between 3 and 7 pounds at maturity, although show dogs should weigh between 4 and 6 pounds. This double-coated breed, available in various colors, makes an exceptional companion dog and isn't a bad little watch dog for his size. This outgoing small dog thinks of himself as a big guy, so you might have to protect him from his worst instincts. Poms do tend to bark a lot.
The adorable white Maltese hails from an ancient lineage. The AKC reports that the breed has been known for more than 2,800 years. Even back then, these were tiny canines. This friendly, feisty little dog weighs between 4 to 7 pounds in adulthood. Another fearless small dog, the Maltese loves his person and show great affection.
Once upon a time, the Yorkshire terrier was an English working man's dog, bred to hunt vermin; not anymore. The AKC doesn't list them in the terrier group, which does include other relatively small game dogs. Today's Yorkie is more apt to wear hair bows or jeweled collars than exterminate small rodents. These adorable black and tan terriers mature at 7 pounds and under. Their silky coats require regular brushing and trips to the groomers.
According to their breed standard, Chihuahuas max out at 6 pounds, although many are much smaller. The classic tiny dog, Chihuahuas appear in many colors with white markings permitted. They're available in short- and long-haired versions. Although some Chihuahuas appear high-strung and nervous, their ideal temperament should display traits such as self-confidence and independence.
Other Toy Breeds
Other small breeds meeting the less than 10-pound weight criteria include the silky terrier, which shares many traits with the Yorkie. Many other breeds, such as the Chinese crested, toy poodle, papillon or miniature pinscher, often weigh 10 pounds or less but their breed standard does not include a weight limit.