There is no doubt that Pomeranians are adorable little fluff balls. Their thick double coat makes them appear as cuddly as can be, but this same coat also means that there will be quite a bit of shedding, and grooming, involved.
This breed is truly tiny, but it doesn’t seem to want to acknowledge that fact. It is the member of the Spitz family, and like its much larger cousins the Alaskan Malamute, the Siberian Elkhound, and the Samoyed, it was bred to pull sleds in the harsh northern climes.
These dogs are truly tiny, standing only 7” to 12” (18cm to 30.5 cm) at the shoulder, and weighing in at a whopping 3 to 7 pounds (1.36kg to 3.18kg), but this doesn’t mean they think like small dogs. They can be feisty, also, and not afraid to take on much larger opponents. These adorable little dogs are friendly and loyal to their families.
They have moderate exercise needs, but can readily adjust to apartment living, but with their thick fur and sled dog heritage, are not the best choice for hot climates.
This breed comes in a variety of colors such as black, brown, blue, white or cream, red, and orange. Rarely, they can be multi-colored, with any of the above colors splotched across a white base, of a combination of black and tan, or even orange and sable.
Unlike the Pomeranian, the fluffy-coated Havenese was bred in warmer climes, namely Cuba. While its coat is thick and fluffy, the hairs themselves are fine and light, resembling raw silk threads.
This type of coat has evolved to protect against the harsh tropical sun, not the frigid temperatures of the North. This breed is small, originally bred as a companion animal. It stands anywhere from 8” to 11” (20cm to 28cm) tall, and weighs from 7 to 13 pounds (3.2kg to 5.8kg), and comes in a wide variety of colors including, black, white, grey, sable, and black and tan.
This is one of the friendliest of dog breeds and gets along well with the family, including children, strangers, and other dogs. Although bred to be a companion animal, don’t think of it as only a lap dog. The breed is highly intelligent and readily trainable.
They have served as therapy dogs, mould and termite sniffers, and even performers. Their silky coat will require light brushing each day to prevent matting, and their exercise demands are moderate. They adapt well to apartment living and are ideal for novice dog-owners.
Yet another small, fluffy breed of dog is the ancient royal dog of China, the Pekingese. Bred to be the companion of emperors and other members of the Imperial Family, these dogs have a long and pampered history.
They come in a variety of colors: black, white, cream, grey, fawn, and fawn brindle, and sport a long, silky coat which requires extensive grooming to keep in tangle and matt free.
This small breed stands just 6” to 9” (15.24cm to 22.84cm) tall, but can weigh up to 14 pounds (6.35kg) due to its stocky build. Smaller ones were often carried in the sleeves of court robes to serve as protectors for their masters.
They are excellent guard dogs, as they were meant to guard royalty, and will bark vociferously at any perceived threat.
Legend says that the dogs are mini-lions, downsized by the Buddha himself, and their regal attitude does nothing to dispel this belief. You need not worry about jogging for hours with these companions, as a simple walk, a couple of times a day will satisfy their exercise needs.
 Lhasa Apso
The Lhasa Apso breed of small, fluffy dog developed in Tibet, high in the Himalaya Mountains, where it served as a guardian of castles and monasteries.
This is a small but tough breed, comfortable in the cold, and ever vigilant. Despite its rather regal and aloof appearance, the American Kennel Club describes this pet as a bit of a comedian within the family environment, but usually somewhat aloof with strangers.
This small bundle of long, sweeping fur will require just a bit of exercise, While not generally a couch potato, he will amuse himself but running energetically throughout your home from time to time, which serves as a bit of self exercise. But some outside time, such as a romp in the yard or a brisk walk, will be necessary from time to time.
This breed coat comes in virtually any color and is long and thick, parted in the middle of the back and cascading down each side, This long coat should be shampooed every two weeks, with a thorough brushing every week. This small dog will grow to about 10” to 11” tall (25.4cm to 28cm) and weigh between 13 to 15 pounds (5.9kg to 6.8kg).
 Miniature Poodle
The Miniature Poodle is the mid-sized member of the Poodle family, smaller than the Standard Poodle but larger than the Toy Poodle.
But this breed does not seem to suffer from any form of middle child syndrome. Active, affectionate, loyal, and intelligent, it makes a perfect family pet.
The breed is easily trainable and tolerates children of all ages quite handily. This is an inside pet. It will not do well in a kennel but needs the warmth and companionship of a family environment. You won’t need a yard if you simply walk your companion once a day. Grooming can be a task at times.
The coat is either curly or corded and will require trimming every six to eight weeks as well as regular baths. You can cut back on the labor involved by having your pet sport what is known as a “pet clip”, “puppy clip”, or “lamb clip”, where the cut is cut close to the skin. The more traditional show clips are much more labor intensive.
This breed comes in almost every solid color imaginable, from black to white, and all shades in between, including cafe au lait! This type of pet will grow to be 11” to 15” (28cmto 38cm) tall and weigh in at 15 to 17 pounds (7kg to 8kg).
One of the most adorable dogs out there is the Pumi, a Hungarian herding dog just as cute as its name. This breed is on the smallish side, standing 16 to 19 inches (41cm to 47cm) at the shoulder, and weighing from 22 to 31 pounds (10kg to 15kg).
Its coat is thick and curly, in a variety of colors which include black, sand, rust, grey, silver, and grizzle, and its semi-erect ears give it a rather quizzical look.
The pet was originally bred to herd sheep, and, like most herding dogs, shows a quick intelligence, a protective spirit, and a large degree of loyalty.
It may seem a bit energetic at first, but after you have expended that energy with a walk or a play session, your companion will be content to follow you around your home, or simply curl up at your feet. This breed requires very little grooming, and
forms strong bonds with family members, although they may tend to treat children like errant sheep, nipping at the heels or pulling at their pants, so it’s best to nip this behavior in the bud.
The Schipperke breed originated in Belgium as a herding dog, While small, ranging from 11” to 13” (28cm to 33cm) in height and weighing in at about 6.6 to 20 pounds (3kg to 9kg), this dog has perfected a big-dog attitude.
Fearless and fiercely protective, he will patrol the home endlessly, searching out threats, even if these threats are only the occasional mouse or squirrel.
Like other herders, he is highly intelligent and thus easily trained. But his intelligence, an independent streak, may not make him the ideal dog for a first-time dog owner. They are also highly energetic and will require regular exercise.
The breed has a thick coat that requires minimal grooming, perhaps a brushing once a week. Colors vary, but black is the most common. In fact, in his native Belgium, this dog is sometimes known as “the little black devil” for his fiercely protective demeanor.
If you prefer your devils in other colors, there are also apricots, cream, chocolate, blue, and black and tan variations.
 Tibetian Spaniel
In addition to the aforementioned Lhasa Apso, Tibet has given us yet another charmingly cuddly canine companion, the Tibetan Spaniel. This dog was bred for companionship and guard duties high in the mountains of Tibet.
Perhaps it’s this heritage that drives it to seek the highest point in the room on which to perch and watch over its family. This dog is small. Standing only about 10 inches tall (25cm) and weighing just 9 to 15 pounds (4kg to 7kg). Because of its small size and active nature, it may not be the ideal companion for young children, as the rough play may put the dog at risk.
This breed has a long, silky coat which will require brushing about once a week, and comes in shades of black, white, black and tan, cream, sable, gold, and red. The dog will do well in an apartment, as its exercise needs are minimal.
A daily walk or some playtime in a fenced yard will do just fine. But be prepared to spend a lot of time with your friend, as he will crave companionship, and leaving him alone will cause him to become unhappy and bored. And everyone knows how vocal and destructive a bored dog can be!
 Chinese Crested
Most dog lovers are familiar with the so-called ugly dog contest, where the winner is often a dog that looks more alien than earthly.
Quite often hairless, except for the extravagant plumes on the head, ears, or tail. This familiar image is the Chinese Crested.
But there is another type of this breed, the Chinese Crested Powderpuff, and this is a whole different animal. Long silky hair cascades from the head to the tail, making this dog seem elegant and graceful in motion.
Its hairless cousins must be so jealous. But all this beauty comes at a cost in grooming. This type must be groomed every day to keep its luxuriant tresses from tangling and matting.
It is a double coat, but a different sort of double coat in the undercoat is longer than the outer one. The good news is that this makes the daily grooming sessions that much easier. This breed is smallish, standing 11 to 13 inches (28cm to 33cm), and weighing from 5.1 to 12 pounds (2.3kg to 5.4kg).
Exercise needs are not too demanding, as this breed will do well on short daily walks or play sessions in the backyard. Colors available are black, apricot, cream, chocolate, tri-color, and blue.
 Tibetian Terrier
Tibet has given the world yet another fluffy and faithful companion, the Tibetan Terrier. Surprisingly, this dog is not a terrier at all but was mistakenly named by Europeans because he resembled terriers they had seen in their home countries.
This breed was bred to provide several services. He herded livestock, guarded nomadic camps, served as a companion and a mascot. The hair of this breed is long and silky. Because it grows so long, it will require the occasional trim, as well as brushing a couple of times a week. The dog has a moderate energy level and would make an excellent companion on walks or jogs.
This breed does not shed as others do, but loses hair at a gradual pace, just as humans. There is one drastic exception to this. When the dog is about nine months old, he will shed his entire puppy coat in preparation for the adult coat. This may well lead you to believe he is going bald, but rest assured that this is completely normal.
This breed is mild-mannered and loving. It will grow to be 14” to 16” tall (35.5cm to 40.6cm) and weigh between 18 to 31 pounds (8.2kg to 14kg). In their home country of Tibet, this breed is known as the “Luck Bringer,” just in case you’re on the fence about owning one.
¹ Photo by Elias Gayles on Flickr
³ Photo by Rob Bixby on Flickr
⁴ Photo by Iain Watson on Flickr
⁵ Photo by David McKelvey on Flickr
⁶ Photo by Sarah Easterday on Flickr
⁷ Photo by patrickkavanagh on Flickr
⁸ Photo by Sheri Terris on Flickr