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Top 10 Small Chinese Dog Breeds That Stays Small And Make Great Pets

Are you aware that besides the US, China is also the homeland of many beautiful dog breeds in the world? Dog breeds such as Pandas, dragons, and silkworms are well-known in China.

Whether you like big or small dogs, fluffy or hairless, China has various dog breeds to choose from. In this article, we’ll look at top 10 Small Chinese Dog Breeds that stay small even as adults.

Nowadays, getting any dog breed in America is easy. There are lovely American mixed and pure breeds available. There were a few popular breeds of dogs that originated in China and gained popularity in the US.

Almost every country has a different breed of dog, but the most adorable dogs come from China. “Sleeve dogs” were common among Chinese royalty. The saggy faces on China’s wrinkly dogs make them simply cute.

The communist leader Mao Zedong had discouraged pet ownership as an act of elitism, Slate reports, causing some Chinese breeds to go extinct at one time.

According to Science Daily, the beloved, wrinkled Shar-Pei breed narrowly escaped extinction during this period.

Thankfully, unique breeds have thrived in the country since then. In China and elsewhere, they are now common pets. We see many dogs originating from Chinese breeding in dog parks, social media platforms, and even our neighbourhood.

We are discussing ten popular small dog breeds with roots in China below. Keep reading!

What Are Small Chinese Dog Breeds?

Small Chinese dogs are dog breeds originated from China and remain small throughout their life. Many reasons contribute to the popularity of small Chinese dogs.

Some people think of ratters as small game hunters. Other people attribute their ability to learn new things to their energetic, solid personalities. Whatever the reason, everyone can agree on one thing: small dogs are adorable!

Among the few things that small dogs have in common, their size is one of them.

Breeds can differ in their level of gregariousness and boldness; others prefer independence and laziness.

The coat types can range from short, straight hair to long, flowing locks to tightly wound curls.

Besides meeting fuzzy little buddies who can’t wait to snuggle with you, you’ll also meet playful creatures who love playing fetch with you.

If you know the breed of your dog, you will be able to correct its behavior and train it appropriately. Read more and explore everything about these Chinese breeds.

Small Chinese Dog Breeds
Almost every country has a different breed of dog, but the most adorable dogs come from China.

TOP 10 Small Chinese Dog Breeds You Can Keep as Pets

Pekingese is the smallest dog breed that originated in China. 

In ancient China, the breed was considered both a lap dog and companion dog. Peking (Beijing), where the Forbidden City resides, is the city’s name where the breed originated. 

As a result of its unique appearance, the breed has several characteristics as well as health issues that we will discuss here.

Besides Pekingese, many other small Chinese breeds such as pug, Chow Chow, Shih Tzu, and more stay small even as adults. 

Here are the top 10 small Chinese dog breeds: 

Small Chinese BreedsSize (smallest to larger)AppearanceCost
Pekingese6 – 9 inchesShort-heighted and long bodied$750 – $3000
Pug10 – 14 inchesBlack muzzle, square body, and flat face$1500 – $2500
Shih Tzu8 – 11 inchesLong, silky, double coat$750 – $3000
Chow Chow17 – 20 inchesTriangular ears and deep muzzle$1000 – $4000
Lhasa Apso9 – 11 inchesLong and dense coat, hanging ears$1500 – $2500
Chinese Imperial7 – 9 inchesShort muzzle, round eyes, and small nose$600 – $3500
Chinese Chongqing15.5 – 20 inchesHairless and leathery skin$1800 – $2000
Chinese Crested10 – 13 inchesHairless body except ears and smooth skin$1200 – $2200
Miniature Shar-Pei14 – 17 inchesBlue or black tongue and broad muzzle$1500 – $2500
Japanese Chin8 – 11 inchesV-shaped ears and distinct oriental expression$1500 – $2500
Size, appearance and price comparison chart of small Chinese dog breeds


Pug and Pekingese breeds of small Chinese dogs
Pug and Pekingese breeds of small Chinese dogs

Originally from China, Pekingese dogs were both companions and lapdogs favored by the Imperial Court’s Chinese royalty. Wikipedia states that. 

A regular dose of playtime keeps Pekingese happy and affectionate no matter what.

Long-haired, flat-faced, and small-sized dogs weigh 7 to 14 pounds and stand 6- 9 inches tall. 

Pekingese dogs need between 296 and 404 calories per day on average. The recommended amount of dry dog food for your cat is half a cup to a cup per day.

Daily or weekly grooming is necessary for Pekingese coats. You can trim your pet’s coat short to make grooming easier.


The pug originates in China and has a charismatic personality. The characteristics that make them perfect companions for humans include their sociability, docility, and playfulness. 

Wikipedia describes Pugs as having wrinkled faces, glossy coats, curly tails, and a short black muzzle.

There are not many requirements for caring for pugs. In addition, they don’t bark very much, so they’re perfect for people living in an apartment or sharing an apartment with roommates. 

Compared to adults, pups require 2-3 meals per day, while puppies need up to three meals per day. 

Pugs can be purchased from various breeders in the US, including Trending Breeders, GreenField Puppies, and others for as low as $450.

Shih Tzu

Shih Tzu is a smart, energetic dog that likes snuggling on the lap of its owners and is native to Tibet, China.

In addition to being a stately, old breed, the Shih Tzu has a lot of character. This breed is well known for its long, silky, luscious double coat that comes in 14 different shades.

As per Wikipedia, Shih Tzus have a flat head, which makes them prone to heatstroke. As opposed to long-nosed dogs, the air entering the lungs is not as well chilled. You should keep them indoors in air-conditioned rooms when it’s warm outside.

For people looking for a stylish pet, the Shih Tzu is a popular breed. Due to their long, beautiful coats, Shih Tzus like getting attention because they turn heads wherever they go with their adorable faces.

Chow Chow and Shih Tzu Chinese dog breeds
Chow Chow and Shih Tzu Chinese dog breeds

Chow Chow

Chow Chows are family dogs that originated in China. With a square head, narrow muzzle, and small ears that are triangular in shape and curled at the ends, the Chow Chow is a tall, powerful dog.

Wikipedia notes that Chow Chows are quite intelligent and tend to be courageous in defending their owners’ property and belongings. 

It varies from dog to dog how much food they need. The average Chow eats about two cups of food in the morning and evening each.

The Chow Chow needs to be brushed almost every day using a thin, pin, or metal comb. 

Lhasa Apso

Lhasa Apsos are Chinese dog breeds and are considered to be ancient breeds in their homeland, Tibet. Their existence dates back at least to 800 A.D. 

White, gold, black, and red are the typical colors of the coat on the Lhasa Apso. The coat is heavy and straight. 

The Lhasa Apso is comparatively smaller and weighs 12-14 pounds for a female than the male, according to Wikipedia.  

Young puppies of Lhasa Apsos should be fed 3 to 4 meals per day; as they get older, fewer meals may be effective. 

If you fail to pay sufficient attention to the health of your Lhasa Apso, you can have a great deal of trouble. They can develop conditions such as juvenile renal disease, eye problems, etc. 

Chinese Imperial

Chinese nobility used to live with small companions, Chinese Imperial dogs, who were greatly regarded for their companionship during ancient times.

It is a beautiful breed that is compact, muscular, yet tiny, with a sweet expression on its face.

According to Wag Walking, Chinese Imperials look adorable, sweet, and completely captivating, however, they do require a great deal of care to keep them looking their best.

As a small, playful, intelligent, outgoing, and trusting little dog, the Chinese Imperial is happy and loves to play.

Chinese Crested and Lhasa Apso
Chinese Crested and Lhasa Apso

Chinese Chongqing

Hundreds of years ago, Chinese Chongqing dogs originated in the regions of Chongqing and Sichuan in China. 

Their short, sparse coat makes their black underside visible beneath the short coat.

Dogs native to these areas are known as Chongqing Dogs, and they descend from Dazhu, Hechuan, Yongchuan, Lingshui, and Guanan, collectively referred to as “Chongqing Dogs.”, as per Wikipedia.

The Chinese Chongqing dog has varying traits based on its use and lineage. Working dogs tend to be less sociable and more driven but also more active.  

Chinese Crested

While hairless dogs have been found in many countries around the world, the Chinese Crested Dog is unlikely to have originated in China. 

As per Wikipedia, Xolotlitzcuintli are believed to have a common ancestor due to a genetic mutation they both share.

Leaving a Chinese Crested unattended in the yard or on a walk should be avoided.

Generally, Chinese Cresteds make great companions and prefer to spend time with their family members. If left alone in the yard, they will dig and climb to escape confinement to escape. 

Miniature Shar-Pei

Shar-Peis are a dog breed from southern China. In the 20th century, Shar-Pei dogs were driven to extinction as watchdogs and property guardians.

The Shar-Pei was introduced to Westerners in the 19th century as the “Chinese fighting dog”; those dogs looked very different from the modern dog, and they were kept for dogfights, as per Wikipedia.

Shar-Peis are sometimes stubborn and willful, though they are devoted to their families.

Shar-Peis don’t need to be bathed every day, but they need to be thoroughly dried when they are. It is easy for fungi to grow in wrinkles and skin folds.

Japanese Chin and Miniature Shar-Pei
Japanese Chin and Miniature Shar-Pei

Japanese Chin

Japanese Chins are believed to originate in China, but their route to Japan is a subject of great debate.

According to Wikipedia, dogs of this breed are said to have a somewhat cat-like attitude in terms of behavior, such as being alert, intelligent, and independent, and using their paws to wash themselves.

Because of their small size, Japanese Chin do not do well with younger children.

In hot weather, Japanese Chins need to be monitored so they do not overexert themselves.

While Japanese Chins are not as active as other breeds, they still enjoy daily walks or yard play.

Wrapping Up

Chinese dog breeds have been gaining popularity for the past decade because of their adorable appearance, small size, and calm temperament.

Check out this list of the ten most famous Chinese breeds if you’re thinking of getting a new pet.

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