Dogs under 10 pounds are 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, each with different grooming and exercise requirements. Besides small size, these dogs have something else in common, and that is that most are irresistibly cute.
Pomeranian Dog Breed
The active, bright little Pomeranian weighs between 3 and 7 pounds at maturity, although show dogs should weigh between 4 and 6 pounds. They only grow to reach 6 to 7 inches tall. This double-coated breed, available in various colors, makes an exceptional companion dog and isn't a bad little watchdog 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.
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Pomeranians need frequent brushing to manage their fluffy coat. While they happily serve as lapdogs, they do need regular exercise. They are an intelligent breed and will do well with activities like agility and obedience.
Maltese Dog Breed
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 less than 7 pounds in adulthood. They grow 7 to 9 inches tall.
Another fearless small dog, the Maltese loves his person and shows great affection. They sport a long, white coat and require regular grooming. These outgoing and determined dogs will enjoy a daily walk or activity in the yard. They are agreeable but have a stubborn streak, so be patient and use positive training methods.
Yorkshire Terrier Breed
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 and grow 7 to 8 inches tall. Their silky coats require regular brushing and trips to the groomers. Yorkies need moderate exercise and may be stubborn during training sessions.
Chihuahua Dog Breed
According to their breed standard, Chihuahuas max out at 6 pounds, although many are much smaller. They only reach 5 to 8 inches tall. The classic tiny dog, Chihuahuas appear in many colors with white markings permitted. They're available in short- and long-haired versions. They have minimal grooming needs. Long-haired chihuahuas only need to be brushed about once per week and short-haired chihuahuas only need occasional brushing.
Although some Chihuahuas appear high-strung and nervous, their ideal temperament should display traits such as self-confidence and independence. They need moderate exercise, but be careful not to overexert your chihuahua on walks as their short legs require them to take a lot of steps to keep up with you.
Other Small Dog Breeds
Other small dogs that are under 10-pounds include the silky terrier, which shares many traits with the Yorkie; the papillon, which has large, wing-shaped ears and weighs 5 to 10 pounds; and the toy poodle, which weighs just 4 to 6 pounds.
Many other breeds, such as the Chinese crested, English toy spaniel or Italian greyhound, often weigh 10 pounds or less but their breed standard does allow for slightly heavier dogs. The Chinese crested can weigh between 8 and 12 pounds. The English toy spaniel and Italian greyhound can be slightly larger, weighing up to 14 pounds.