Dogs That Don’t Grow—Pocket-Sized Pooches Who Stay That Way

Dogs That Don’t Grow

Forever a Puppy — The Tiny Dogs That Don’t Grow Too Much

Everybody loves a puppy with their big loving eyes, their cute little button noses, fluffy little tails, and their ever so clumsy tiny paws. But for many dogs, this stage is a temporary affair — some even become larger than their owners. 

However, for those who prefer a pint-sized pooch, there are dogs that don’t grow too much. We’re talking about tiny toy or miniature breeds. 

Despite their size — or lack of — small dogs often have big personalities and make great companions and family pets. So, if you’re looking for a dog that never gets much larger than their puppy days — we’ve got you covered with our 10 favorite mini pooches.

The Appeal of Cute Dogs That Don’t Grow Big

Our canine companions come in all shapes and sizes, and in almost any color you can think of too! And, while some dog owners prefer a gentle giant of a dog, others may think ‘all good things come in small packages.’ 

Whatever your preference, there are a few practical reasons for choosing dogs that don’t grow that big.

Manageable Size and Adaptability

Perhaps the most obvious advantage of small dogs that don’t grow is their compact size. Tiny toy breeds are better suited to apartment living or homes with limited space. Imagine sharing a downtown studio with a St. Bernard — it won’t be easy for you or your pooch!

The compact stature of a small dog also means they’re generally more adaptable to varied living situations.


Small dogs are fuss-free as far as logistics goes — they’re so much easier to travel with compared to larger pooches. Whether accompanying their owners on a road trip or fitting into a travel carrier under your plane seat, these pint-sized pups can accompany you almost anywhere.

Low Maintenance

While during puppyhood, most dogs can be challenging, yet as they grow older puppies that don’t grow big will be much lower maintenance than their larger counterparts. 

Regardless of shedding levels, grooming sessions should be much shorter with smaller dogs, because of their diminutive size, the pup will produce less waste. This is perfect for individuals who want the joy of canine companionship but lead a busy lifestyle.

Small in Size, Big in Personality

Most small breeds are super affectionate — they aren’t called lap dogs for no reason. A Great Dane might try sitting on your lap, but it’s probably not something you want too often.

What’s more, little canines are known to form strong bonds with their owners. Providing unwavering loyalty and companionship, they’re ideal for elderly dog owners, as the pooch doesn’t need too much in return.

Ideal Family Pets

Typically toy breeds such as Poodles or Pomeranians are extremely intelligent and easy to train. And, while they may not require as much exercise as a larger pooch, many dogs that don’t grow a lot have plenty of energy relative to their size. This means you’ll still need to make time for play and walkies. 


Best of all, small dogs tend to live longer than many larger dogs and generally have fewer health issues. Tiny dogs that live the longest can reach almost two decades. No more trying to explain to your younger kids why their little pup has gone over the rainbow bridge.

Our Top 10 Little Dogs That Don’t Grow

Whatever your reason for choosing a smaller pup, here are 10 of our favorite cute dogs that don’t grow much bigger than the day you brought them home.

1. Chihuahua

teacup dogs that don't grow

Height: 5 - 8 inches

Weight: Not exceeding 6 pounds

The smallest of all dog breeds, the Chihuahua is the poster dog for tiny pooches. According to the Guinness Book of Records, the shortest dog by height is a Chihuahua from Florida called Pearl who measures a mere 3.59 inches at the shoulder — basically, your average can of soda would dwarf this little lady!

A sassy pup, the Chihuahua possesses a giant personality that exemplifies many smaller dogs. They’re uber-smart, but if not trained properly they will soon rule the roost. 

Compact yet confident, Chihuahuas make ideal city pets, they’re the ultimate purse-friendly pooch — think Reese Witherspoon from the Legally Blonde movies. However, they can be too fragile to deal with the roughhousing of smaller kids, and special care needs to be taken in colder weather. Those little Chihuahua sweaters aren’t just for show!

2. Yorkshire Terrier

small dogs that dont grow

Height: 7 - 8 inches

Weight: 7 pounds

The Yorkshire Terrier’s determined and feisty, yet affectionate nature gives the Chihuahua a run for their money in the tiny dog ranks. Plus, Yorkie teacup dogs that don’t grow stand only 5 - 7 inches and weigh as little as 4 pounds.

Known for their elegant silky coat, Yorkies are low shedding and hypoallergenic. However, they require daily grooming to keep that coat in top condition. And, as one of the smelliest dog breeds, you’ll need to keep on top of bathing and dental checks — weekly. 

Yorkies make great companions, but they are vocal, they like to protect their territory, often against threats that are twice their size. Great with children, the Yorkshire Terrier is a highly intelligent breed. And, despite their little legs, the Yorkie enjoys nothing more than a game of fetch and going for walkies.

3. Toy Poodle

dogs breeds that don't grow

Height: No more than 10 inches

Weight: 4 - 6 pounds

Loyal, clever, and eager to please, Toy Poodles are popular tiny dogs that don’t grow. The smallest of all the Poodle sizes, the Toy is just as self-confident as their larger — Standard and Miniature — cousins. 

What’s more, they’re just as athletic and as easy to train as their bigger relatives. Toy Poodles are often seen excelling in agility competitions and that high trainability makes them the ideal pooch for a first-time owner.

With tight, curly hair, you’ll need a few essential tools to prevent the coat from matting. Alternatively, you could choose a shorter haircut. But, one plus is that this breed’s coat is hypoallergenic — handy if you have dog allergies.

4. Pomeranian

tiny dogs that don t grow

Height: 6 - 7 inches

Weight: 3 - 7 pounds

Poms are cute small dogs that don’t grow and almost look like lion cubs due to their signature fluffy coats. Descending from the Arctic region Spitz breeds, they have a heavy double coat that sheds a lot.

For such a small pup, the Pom will certainly leave plenty of fluff around your home — brushing several times a week is recommended. And this breed isn’t a good idea if you suffer from dog allergies. 

However, the Pomeranian is highly intelligent, one of the easiest dogs to train, and enjoys playing with older children — who know how to be gentle. Poms only have moderate exercise needs, but they’re lively, so daily walks are a necessity and lots of playtime in between.

5. Chinese Crested

cute dogs that don t grow big

Height: 11 - 13 inches

Weight: 8 - 12 pounds

With their distinctive spiky haircut, pink spotty skin, and cute little furry socks there’s no mistaking the Chinese Crested. This dog has the look of a forever pup and a frolicsome nature to go with it. They’re super affectionate and devoted to playing with their human soulmates.

What truly sets the Chinese Crested apart is their lack of a traditional fur coat, although you can find a coated variety. The Hairless offers the advantage of no doggy odor, and shedding isn’t a problem either. That said, their skin is prone to the effects of the sun and cold temperatures, so they’ll need protection. 

The Chinese Crested's elegant appearance, coupled with their loving demeanor, makes them a much sought-after breed for those seeking a loyal and compact companion that stays pint-sized for a lifetime. However, they have a very sensitive nature and will need training with patience.

6. Miniature Pinscher

little dogs that don t grow

Height: 10 -12.5 inches

Weight: 8 - 10 pounds

You’d be forgiven for thinking these puppies that don’t grow are just a smaller version of the Doberman, but the Miniature Pinscher is a breed in their own right. Known to their many fans as the “King of Toys,” they were originally bred for rat catching in Germany.

Confident and assertive little dogs, Mini Pins can be affectionate. But, don’t be too upset if they don’t want to sit on your lap and cuddle all the time — they’re more independent than many of the other small breeds we’ve looked at. Hence, they can be tricky to train. 

Miniature Pinschers are high energy and need plenty of exercise, both physical and mental. They’re also a little wary of strangers and don’t tolerate younger children too well — something to be mindful of if you have little ones.

7. Japanese Chin

cute dogs that dont grow

Height: 8 - 11 inches

Weight: 7 - 11 pounds

If happiness is one thing that puts you off owning a pup-sized pooch — the Japanese Chin has an almost regal demeanor and is one of the quietest cute small dogs that don’t grow.

Looking like an aristocratic little pup, the Chin has a lustrous silky coat and an affectionate nature, which makes them a great companion dog for all ages. One of the better-known Japanese breeds, the Chin is incredibly versatile, gets on well with older children, other dogs, and adapts to new environments.

Although this breed has low exercise needs due to their tiny size, like all dogs, they will benefit from a daily walk and brief bouts of playtime — just keep it short! These dogs were once the companions of Japanese Emperors and they enjoy plenty of lap time. You’ll never tire of their beautiful faces as they cuddle up for hours.

8. Maltese

dogs which don t grow

Height: 7 - 9 inches

Weight: Under 7 pounds

One of the oldest dog breeds in the world, “Ye Olde Dogge of Malta” has been sitting on laps for thousands of years — and they’ve never grown in size either!

The enchanting Maltese boasts a compact frame and a luxurious floor-length coat, adding to their charm. But, that silky white coat will require regular grooming to keep its pristine condition. These pocket-sized dogs make perfect indoor pets, thriving in close companionship with their owners.

Beyond their petite stature, the Maltese are celebrated for their affection, playful demeanor, and intelligence. They can be stubborn and independent but respond well to positive reinforcement training methods.

9. Manchester Terrier (Toy)

dogs that dont grow a lot

Height: 10 - 12 inches

Weight: Under 12 pounds

Named after the English city where they were first bred, the Manchester Terrier comes in two sizes, with the Toy half the size of their Standard relative. However, they share many characteristics — their race-like figure combines the Terrier instincts of a fearless ratting dog with the sleekness of a coursing hound.

Despite their petite build, the Manc possesses a lively and spirited nature, adding to their popularity as a delightful household pet. Smart and athletic, this little pup of a Terrier excels in various activities, including obedience training and agility courses.

Like many small dogs, the Toy Manchester Terrier doesn’t respond well to harsh corrections — try to keep training sessions fun and rewards-based. And, the Toy Manc also needs socializing early on. But, they quickly form strong bonds with their human family, exhibiting loyalty and affection — another example of the best things coming in small packages.

10. Bolognese

cute dogs that dont grow

Height: 10 - 12 inches

Weight: 6 - 10 pounds

A member of the Barbichon family, this tiny little Italian pup is one of those small fluffy white dogs that don’t grow. They generally lack the high energy levels of puppies, but are witty and intelligent. With a calm, docile nature and only moderate exercise needs, the Bolognese makes a great companion for elderly dog owners.

Despite the unshaped and untrimmed look, their fluffy white coat can be high maintenance if left long. Hence, many owners choose the shorter Bolo cut of less than one inch in length. But, as a bonus, they’re low shedding, so great for people with allergies or who simply don’t want to be forever picking white fur from their sofa.

Devoted to their owners and their families, the Bolognese can be shy around strangers but can warm up quickly when socialized from an early age. Be warned, however, this dog that doesn’t grow is prone to separation anxiety and shouldn’t be left home alone for too long. Definitely not a puppy-size dog for people with a 9-5 workday.

Final Thoughts

It’s a fact of life that most animals, including puppies, will grow, no matter how cute they are during their early days. 

However, there are many dogs that don’t grow too much if you’re looking for a forever puppy. Although remember, small doesn’t always mean they need little exercise — some of the canines we’ve looked at are lively little tailwaggers. So, make sure you pick a breed that’s going to suit your lifestyle, even as an adult dog.

Dogs That Don’t Grow FAQs

What Breed of Dog Stays the Smallest?

Perhaps the most famous example of dogs that don’t grow much are Chihuahuas. They’re officially recognized as the smallest dog breed, many of them could even hide behind a can of soda.

What Dogs Stop Growing?

All dogs stop growing, but when depends on their breed size. 

Small breeds typically stop growing when they’re at the six to eight-month stage of puppyhood. In comparison, medium-sized dogs generally reach adult size at around 12 months, while larger dogs can take up to 18 months to mature. 

And, giant breeds weighing over 70 pounds can even take up to 24 months to reach their full imposing statures.

Does Big Paws Mean Big Dog?

Yes, it’s not just an old wives tale, but the size of your pup’s paws generally relates to the length of their legs and therefore a typically larger frame or taller height. That said, this isn’t always accurate — there may be exceptions to this ‘rule.’ For example, some shorter stocky dogs with big paws and vice versa.

How Can You Predict a Dog’s Size?

All pups will grow to some extent, just some more than others. If you want to try and guestimate the size of a smaller breed when they’re fully grown, experts say you should take their weight at six weeks old and multiply that by four to get an idea of their final adult weight.

At What Age Do Dogs Grow the Fastest?

Generally, pups have the fastest rate of growth between four and six months. Often you’ll notice a change every day during this period. For smaller breeds, the growth will either slow down or completely stop after the first six months, while larger breeds may carry on growing for up to two years.