The Best Small Asian Dog Breeds

Josie F. Turner
By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. October 25, 2020
The Best Small Asian Dog Breeds

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Are you thinking of adopting a small asian dog breed? In this AnimalWised article we're going to take a look at the best small asian dog breeds. We'll talk about each of them so that you can find the best companion dog for you!

You may also be interested in: Best Small Dog Breeds List


  1. Pug
  2. Shiba Inu
  3. Pekingese
  4. Shih Tzu
  5. Chinese crested
  6. Lhasa apso
  7. Other Asian dog breeds


First on our list is the adorable Pug. This small dog breed is originally from China and often associated with the Pekingese dog. Pugs are characterized by their small size and peculiar flattened face, common in brachiocephalic breed. In addition, they have a short and curled tail on their back. Valid colors can vary, however, the most popular are grayish or cream. Although Pugs have a small body, they also have strong muscles and a large amount of skin, producing wrinkles on their face, giving them their characteristic sad puppy face.

Pugs are very playful and cheerful dogs, making them a great companion dog for families. When it comes to caring for them, they'll need lots of attention and regular check-ups with their veterinarian. This is because pugs, like other brachiocephalic dogs, are prone to many respiratory and heart problems. Read more in our article about the most common health problems in pugs. By going to regular check-ups, you'll make sure that whatever illness that may present itself will be diagnosed and treated early on before it gets too serious.

To learn more, read our breed sheet on Pugs.

The Best Small Asian Dog Breeds - Pug

Shiba Inu

The Shiba Inu dog is believed to have originated in China or Japan. Nowadays, most people assume they are a Japanese dog as they are quite common in Japan and have been for hundreds of years.

This dog is often associated with Akita Inu as it appears to be the smaller version of them. They both have the same colored coat and curled tail. However, they don't only differ in size. Shiba Inu have a longer snout and shorter hair. Shiba Inu dogs don't exceed 15 - 20 kg.

These dogs are very reserved and independent. However, they stand out for their nervousness and desire to play when they feel more confident. It's important to train these dogs from a young age so they can learn to differentiate moments of play and moments of rest. This will help to keep them safe in certain situations. Learn more in our article about how to train a Shiba Inu.

The Best Small Asian Dog Breeds - Shiba Inu


Next on our list is the Pekingese dog. The history of this dog breed is somewhat uncertain. Nevertheless, they are believed to come from China, where they served as a companion animal in palaces and other homes of royal families.

Pekingese are small dogs, not exceeding 6 kilograms in weight, with abundant and soft fur. They are considered a brachoicephalic dog, like a Pug or Shih Tzu. This will, unfortunately, make them prone to certain respiratory and heart problems. So, we must be extra cautious when it comes to their health care.

As for personality, these dogs are very loyal, protective, cheerful and playful. They are a nice balance between a fun and protective dog. They will defend their family at all costs and will love to spend time with them. Learn more in our article about caring for Pekingese dogs.

The Best Small Asian Dog Breeds - Pekingese

Shih Tzu

The Shih Tzu dog is originally from China or Tibet, like many other breeds, it's hard to be certain of their origin. Nevertheless, they are indeed an Asian dog breed that happens to be small in size. Other than their adorable size, these dogs have long and smooth hair. Their coat is so beautiful, it's no wonder that they participate in canine beauty contests. This breed accepts all coat colours too.

Their personality is similar to that of the Pekingese dog, loyal and playful. They are also quite calm dogs that enjoy spending time with their companion and their family. For this, they will need lots of attention and affection. To learn more read our Shih Tzu breed sheet.

The Best Small Asian Dog Breeds - Shih Tzu

Chinese crested

The Chinese Crested dog is also believed to originate in China. They then were spread to other parts of the world, including Europe. They currently serve as great companion dogs and also as participants in canine beauty pageants. They're known for the characteristic physique as they only have hair on their head and extremities. This reveals their soft and delicate skin on the rest of their body.

However, not all Chinese Crested dogs are like this. Some varieties accept the presence of hair on the rest of their bodies. Other than their hair, this breed also stands out for their small size, erect ears, a fine straight tail, dark eyes and a prominent snout.

These dogs are very lively and unruly. They love to spend with their family and play for hours with children. If you adopt this dog, you must keep in mind that they are very shy and fearful of strangers. Therefore, they will need a proper socialization education and basic training.

The Best Small Asian Dog Breeds - Chinese crested

Lhasa apso

Last but not least on our list is the adorable Lhasa Apso. These dogs are originally from Tibet, where they served as a guard dog within numerous monasteries. Their appearance is similar to that of an English Sheepdog, however, Lhasa Apso are smaller in size.

These dogs have long fur that hang down like fringes along their entire body, covering even their eyes. They also have a short snout and a bushy tail. Despite their small size, these dogs have quite the character, perhaps due to their origin as guard dogs. They are usually very active and affectionate, but once they encounter a stranger they may become intimidating and aggressive.

Learn more in our Lhasa Apso breed sheet.

The Best Small Asian Dog Breeds - Lhasa apso

Other Asian dog breeds

Here are some other Asian dog breeds that are medium to large size:

If you want to read similar articles to The Best Small Asian Dog Breeds, we recommend you visit our Comparisons category.

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