Popular Small Breed Dogs

Group of Popular Small Breed DogsPopular Small Breed Dogs

What are the most popular small breed dogs in America?  

If you have your heart set on one of these little dogs, you might be curious to know which ones are the most popular. 

Do you wonder where all these popularity statistics originate?   

In the United States, Each year the American Kennel Club Releases a list of most popular dog breeds based on registration figures. This data is available in February.

Though the list changes from year to year, many small breeds still remain popular. 

This is only part of the answer though, because the statistics do not take into account the growing number of designer breeds people own and they don’t list rare breeds, or dogs that are not registered with the AKC. 

Even so, this is the best estimate of popularity we have in the United States.


I often wondered how the American Kennel Club determined these numbers.

(So I asked the AKC)

Popularity is determined by the number of completed registrations are returned with payment.

Hmm.  Is this a really accurate way of deciding what dogs are popular?

Why the popularity of small breeds?  That’s easy to answer. 

Their small size makes it easy to manage them, keep them in tiny house, apartments and condos and they do well in city living. 

They are portable and can easily go everywhere in carriers and small purse size containers. 

They are more economical in that they eat less and easier to clean up after and they require less exercise. 

Most are good with a wide variety of people:  families, singles, seniors and inexperienced dog owners. 

Top Twenty Most Popular Small Breed Dogs in the
United States in 2016

1. Beagle

Listed as No. 5 in popularity.

2. French Bulldog

Listed as No. 6 in popularity.

3.  Yorkshire Terrier

Listed as No. 7 in popularity.

4. Poodle

Listed No. 8 in popularity.

5.  Dachshund

Listed No. 13 in popularity.

6. Miniature Schnauzer

Listed No. 16 in popularity.

7. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Listed as Number 18 in popularity.

8. Shih Tzu

Listed as Number 19 in popularity.

9. Pembroke Welsh Corgi

Listed as Number 20 in popularity.

10. Pomeranian

Listed as Number 21 in popularity.

11.  Boston Terriers

Listed as Number 22 in popularity.

12.  Shetland Sheepdog

Listed as Number 23 in 2016.

13. Havanese

Listed as Number 24 in popularity.

14. Chihuahua

Listed as Number 28 in popularity.

15. Cocker Spaniel

Listed as Number 30 in popularity.

16. Maltese

Listed at Number 31 in popularity.

17. Pug

Pugs were listed as Number 33 in popularity.

18. West Highland White Terrier

Listed as Number 41 in popularity.

19. Bichon Frise

The Bichon Frise was listed as Number 44 in popularity.

20 Shiba Inu

The Shiba Inu was listed Number 45 in popularity.

The American Kennel Club publishes registration statistics on their breeds each year.

Most Popular Small Breed Dogs in Canada

Most Popular Small Breed Dogs

In Canada, The Ottawa Citizen reported on Feb. 9 2011 the following small dogs topped the list of popular small breed dogs in Canada. 

  1. Chihuahua
  2. Beagle
  3. Pomeranian
  4. Yorkshire Terrier
  5. Shih Tzu
  6. Poodle
  7. Havanese
  8. Miniature Schnauzer
  9. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Most Popular Small Dog Breeds in the UK

Popular Small Breed Dogs:  Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

In 2015, the UK,  the kennel club, in the UK reported these dogs as being in the top twenty most popular small breed dogs in Great Britain:

  1. Cocker Spaniel
  2. French Bulldog
  3. Pug
  4. Border Terrier
  5. Miniature Schnauzer
  6. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
  7. Chihuahua (Smooth Coat)
  8. Shih Tzu
  9. Dachshund (Miniature Smooth-Haired)
  10. Lhasa Apso
  11. West Highland White Terrier
  12. Beagle
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