If we're ever feeling a little blue, all it really takes is five minutes with a tiny dog to perk us up. It's like being able to cuddle with a little stuffed animal that's actually alive — what's not to love about that?
And were not the only ones who have a deep affection for small dog breeds — the AKC's most popular breeds for 2016 included Pomeranians, Yorkies and miniature schnauzers. Sure, there were some big dog breeds on the list too... but just try looking one of our favorite little dogs listed in eyes and telling them they're not as cute as a Labrador.
1. Yorkshire terrier
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Lovingly referred to as the «Yorkie,» the Yorkshire terrier is the ultimate cutie in small breeds. Not only are they tiny (some are even «teacup»!), but the Yorkshire terrier is a small breed with a big personality and perfect as a companion on the go. Yorkies have been a «fashionable» pet since the late Victorian era.
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Another breed that makes an excellent companion, the papillon is a loyal and loving friend. Great with kids and families, this pint-size pup makes an excellent watchdog. Calm but alert, it is extremely protective of its master. A papillon's most distinctive feature is its large butterfly ears.
3. Cavalier King Charles spaniel
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Not only is the Cavalier King Charles spaniel adorable, but it loves to cuddle, too! A member of the toy group, this pup is gentle and extremely caring of its family. These dogs are considered to be very elegant, possibly the reason Charlotte York from Sex and the City had one. One of the most popular in small breeds, it's a dog worthy of all of your love.
4. Brussels griffon
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Some may think that the Brussels griffon isn't the most attractive dog on the planet, but it sure is cute. A bit awkward looking, Brussels griffons are smart, adaptable and cat-friendly. What they lack in appearance they make up for with their ability to perform a variety of tricks. Not great with kids, it'll make a single owner a very happy one.
5. Boston terrier
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Just like the natives of the city it was named after, the Boston terrier is one loyal breed. It loves people, kids, cats and other dogs alike and is extremely adaptable. One of the most popular small breeds, the Boston terrier is one tiny pup that dog lovers like to have around.
6. Shih Tzu
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The Shih Tzu's cuteness matches its vibrant and spunky personality. A breed known for its luxurious coat and adorable appearance, the Shih Tzu needs a lot of grooming to keep it looking good, including daily brushing. This dog makes a great companion for adults and older children.
7. Bichon frise
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It's tiny and super-fluffy: The bichon frise is the epitome of cuteness. A feisty breed, this little guy loves to play with its beloved owner. Despite the fact that it looks just like a child's toy, the bichon frise is not actually classified as a toy breed but rather one of the non-sporting group. A super-cuddlebug, the bichon frise is also very affectionate and loving toward adults and other furred friends.
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Another fluff ball to love up to, the Pomeranian is a compact puppy of Nordic descent. Smart and curious, this is a soft and lively breed. Excellent as a show dog, the Pomeranian is easily trained due to its incredible intelligence. Not very good with kids, this dog does amazingly well with cats.
9. Scottish terrier
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There's a reason we see the Scottish terrier adorning sweaters and holiday gear — it's super-adorable! Their thick eyebrows and stout build make them resemble old men, in the most charming way. With more than just cute looks, the Scottish terrier makes a wonderful watchdog. Witty and hypoallergenic, it's another small dog breed best suited for adults and older children.
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A designer breed, the cockapoo is a mix of the English cocker spaniel and the poodle. Small and cute, this breed hits every mark for a great dog. A cockapoo will never leave your side, as it loves to show affection and follow its owner. Good with kids and other animals, the cockapoo is intelligent and adaptable.
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A member of both the toy and companion groups, the Pekingese is a charming and delightful dog to be around. An intelligent pooch, it's a watchdog that prefers adults and kitty friends. These pups are usually between 7 and 14 pounds, yet they are mighty and quick to defend themselves. They have a lot of fur, so the Pekingese's luxurious coat requires regular grooming.
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The Maltese is a breed that loves to shower its owner with affection. Lively and energetic, this breed also enjoys playing with its adult owner and fur-covered friends. The Maltese loves its owner so much, however, that it often suffers from separation anxiety when left alone too long. The Maltese requires daily brushing.
13. Lhasa apso
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Small yet assertive, the Lhasa apso is a companion breed that was bred to protect its family. Good with all kinds of people and pets, it makes a great addition to any family. Fearless and devoted, the Lhasa apso is a pretty pup that enjoys a good pampering, requiring lots of grooming, and cuddle sessions at the end of a busy day.
14. Skye terrier
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Made famous by Queen Victoria herself, this versatile breed can get fiercely protective or just be a friendly companion. Don't be fooled by its small size — the Skye terrier is an excellent watchdog. Smart, friendly and outgoing, this is a happy pup to have around. Fearless and loyal, the Skye terrier is a breed suited for a one-pet-only household.
15. Sussex spaniel
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A sporting and gun dog, the cute Sussex spaniel makes an excellent hunting and family pet. Reliable and a lover of dogs and kids, the pup is friendly, lovable and notoriously slow. Looking a bit somber, the Sussex spaniel is actually a very happy and good-natured dog and loves the company of other dogs.
16. Petit basset griffon Vendéen
A hound breed, the petit basset griffon Vendéen loves to be active and will often keep itself entertained by getting into a little trouble. Adorable with its furry features, this dog requires a lot of grooming and playtime. Smart and easily trained, the petit basset griffon Vendéen makes a great family dog with its friendly and outgoing nature.
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There isn't a furry friend or human the Havanese doesn't like. A charming little pup, the Havanese has a soft, easy-maintenance coat. A pup that loves to cuddle, this lovable pooch enjoys the company of its owner 24/7, which is why it's nicknamed «Velcro dog.»
18. Japanese chin
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Another toy breed, the darling Japanese chin also falls into the category of a companion breed. Well-mannered, affectionate and extremely loyal, this dog believes its life goal is to be at the service of its owner. Beware, however, of these pooches' jumping skills, as they can leap up great distances in just a single bound. A bit on the sensitive side, the Japanese chin does best with adults and feline siblings.
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Still sometimes referred to as the «Taco Bell dog,» the Chihuahua is one of the most well-known small breeds on the planet. Filled with a feisty personality and watchdog abilities to boot, this pooch is a confident and sassy breed. Best as a one-human kind of pet, the Chihuahua gets along best with cats and adult humans.
20. West Highland white terrier
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The West Highland white terrier is arguably the cutest dog on the entire planet. White, fluffy and a great therapy dog, there's no denying this breed's awesomeness. A «Westie» is good with kids, families, cats and pretty much everyone. Perhaps their best quality is how easily they are house-trained due to their preference for cleanliness.
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