Smaller dog breeds are a popular option these days. It’s not hard to see why dwarf dog breeds are so popular – shorter walks, with more petting and playing!
But as the demand for dwarf dog breeds surges, more unscrupulous breeders are pitching ‘dwarf’ and ‘teacup’ puppies as rare, expensive dogs when they are really just normal but young dogs.
So, what are some true dwarf dog breeds that actually have a form of dwarfism? Well, in this article, we talk about our favorite 8 true dwarf dog breeds that are real dwarfs. So, if you can’t wait to learn more about these charming pooches, read on!
First up on our list is the Skye Terrier. A Scottish dog breed named after its home, the Isle of Skye, the Skye Terrier was first bred to hunt foxes and otters.
With the Isle of Skye’s often rocky terrain, a Skye Terrier’s short legs are perfect for meticulously picking their way around. The breed also sports a beautiful silky, long coat that keeps them toasty in Scotland’s cool climate.
The farms of the Isles of Skye once had a problem. An otter and fox problem. Not only were foxes occasionally picking off a cow or sheep, but the holes these den-dwelling animals were then leaving behind were tripping up larger livestock.
So, what did ingenious Scottish farmers do? They invented a dog that could hunt the hunters! With their lush, thick coat, the Skye Terrier can stay warm and dry while spending all day darting about the fields of Scottish farms – or the backyard! Plus, their tiny feet and short legs are perfect for both digging up the beach or burrowing deeper into animals’ dens.
Like all Terriers, the Skye Terrier is “canny” – cunning and intelligent. The Skye Terrier has heaps of character and will both impress and enrage you with its brightness. Like many dogs on our list, the Skye Terrier is achondroplastic. This form of dwarfism results in the Skye Terrier having bowed legs, so this dog has to take care jumping on and off furniture.
Dandie Dinmont Terrier
Another unique Scottish dwarf dog breed, the Dandie Dinmont Terrier, historically hunted otters and badgers but now hunts pets and snuggles with their family members! Tough and attentive yet equally as friendly, the Dandie Dinmont Terrier makes an amazing family companion with a fluffy head plumage.
Friendly and calm for a Terrier, the small Dandie Dinmont makes a perfect children’s companion. With a typical wiry coat that needs little care besides the paramount daily scratching of their fluffy “poof”, this long, broad-chested dog is a piece of cake to take care of.
The Dandie Dinmont Terrier existed for a time before they were immortalized and popularized in the novel Guy Mannering (The Astrologer). The farmer Dandie Dinmont had six unusual, short, “lichen”-sporting terriers: Little Pepper, Little Mustard, Young Pepper, Young Mustard, Auld Pepper, and Auld Mustard.
Considered the dwarf version of the Bloodhound, the Basset Hound is just as cunning and fast. With “bas” meaning “low” in French, it’s not hard to see where the Basset Hound got its name!
Basset Hounds probably came into existence when a mutation in the St Hubert Hound – the Bloodhound’s ancestor – created an unusual dwarf dog. It’s thought that this dwarf Hound was kept only as a curiosity before people later spotted the short-legged dog’s hunting prowess in the undergrowth and decided to deliberately breed this waddling “Jolie” pooch.
The Basset Hound later became popular among French commoners, as people who didn’t own horses could follow this slower hunting dog on foot. Much more recently, Basset Hounds began to be used for advertising Hush Puppy shoes. A Basset Hound protagonist also stars in the famous comic strip, Fred Basset.
One of the larger dwarf dogs on our list is the English Bulldog. The English Bulldog actually grows abnormally with one-of-a-kind frog-esque hind legs and a short, brachycephalic and incredibly wrinkly muzzle. The breed appears as the mascot for the insurance brand Churchill. The English Bulldog breed is internationally popular.
With their big round head and that unique jutting underbite, their perpetually grinning jowls and their unusual stubby tail, it’s not hard to see why so many people find the English Bulldog so cute. However, the flat-faced Bulldog’s tendencies to drool, snore, and wheeze have more of a divided reception.
The Pembroke & Cardigan Welsh Corgis
Both the Pembroke and Cardigan Welsh Corgis were first bred as two highly effective cattle herding dogs. These Corgis have a unique quirk – their short legs stop them from getting injured by cattle and sheep as they herd them! This trait has given these breeds a lasting reputation as master herders.
The name Corgi literally means ‘dwarf dog’ in Welsh. The Corgi is a ‘heeler’ sheepdog. This is a dog that knows how to skillfully nips at the heels of large cattle to keep them moving. Both Corgi breeds come in a range of colors – blue-merle and red, among others.
So, if you want to tell them apart, look at their tails. Cardigan Welsh Corgis have a short stump of a tail, while Pembroke Welsh Corgis do not.
The ultra-low Dachshund, a German dwarf dog breed, was developed to crawl into badger’s dens without getting stuck or injured. All Dachshunds are ‘achondroplastic’. Achondroplasia is a form of dwarfism that gives the Dachshund its characteristic super-short legs and unusual skull structure.
In fact, ‘Dachs’ actually means badger, while ‘hund’ means dog. The breed’s extremely long body and unique paddle-shaped paws allow them to dig right into badgers’ and other animals’ dens and even fight the animals down there!
You might think that such a short-legged dog would tire easily. But no, the Dachshund has a secret weapon. The Dachshund’s large, broad chest and, thus, good lung capacity allow the breed to keep going, whether they’re on a hunt or a walk.
Of course, today, this dwarf breed is more popular as a pet than a hunter. But give a Dachshund a squeaky toy and watch as they promptly set about ‘disembowelling’ it!
One of the most famous dwarf dogs, the Pug is instantly recognizable. With an inimitable short, wrinkly muzzle coupled with short legs, this king of cute actually has two different types of dwarfism.
Though there are some concerns about the ethics of breeding the extremely flat-faced Pug in recent years, this breed is thoroughly adored from its home in China and throughout the entire world.