Meet the World's Smallest Dogs, Plus Amazing Tiny Contenders

From shorter than your hand, to making big impact on the world, these smallest dog record holders and contenders are nothing to bark at.

Updated January 4, 2024
A miniature Yorkshire dog at the opening of the World Dog Show

If you have wondered about the smallest dog on record, you aren't alone. Tons of people are fascinated by exceptionally tiny dogs and love looking at photos of them. It's true that they're absolutely adorable, but sadly, most of these dogs are so tiny thanks to serious congenital medical conditions.

The Smallest Dog Ever 

There are many people who claim to have had the smallest dog ever, and it's difficult to keep up with who is right. 

Sylvia the Yorkie

The "smallest dog ever recorded" is a tiny Yorkie named Sylvia. Sylvia was owned by Arthur Marples of England, and she died in 1945. It is said that she was 2.8 inches tall and measured 3.75 inches from her nose to the base of her tail. She was reported to have weighed only about four ounces. 

Fast Fact

Most record managers require dogs to be over one year old to ensure that they've actually stopped growing when deciding whether the dog is the smallest or not.

More Guinness World Record Smallest Dogs

Nearly every year, someone claims they have a smaller dog than the current title holder, but few go so far as achieving a Guinness World Record, like these pups.

Pearl — Shortest Living Dog

The Guinness World Records recognizes Pearl as the "shortest living dog" as of 2023. Pearl is a chihuahua who is only 3.59 inches tall and weighs just over a pound. 

Heaven Sent Brandy — Smallest Length

Heaven Sent Brandy was a tiny female Chihuahua that measured six inches from her nose to the tip of her tail. Even though she passed in 2014, Guinness considers her the smallest dog ever in terms of length


A tiny female pug, Pip gained notoriety as "Britain's Smallest Pug" in 2015 — and possibly the world's smallest pug. Pip measured in at under four inches tall.

Past Smallest Dog Record Contenders and Movement-Makers

Cuda — the Short-Spined Pit Bull

While she was bigger than all the other dogs on this list, Cuda the pit bull made waves when she lost the World's Ugliest Dog Contest. (We think you're beautiful, Cuda!) During her life, Cuda and her owner, Julie LeRoy, raised awareness about how amazing pit bull type dogs are, celebrated shelter dogs, and spread the word about the rare short spine syndrome Cuda had. For such a small pit bull, that's a large list of achievements!

Cupcake — World's Smallest Service Dog

Cupcake measured only 6.25 inches tall in 2012 and was officially recognized as the World's Smallest Service Dog by the Guinness World Record for her work with her owner.  

Picasso — the World's Smallest Pit Bull, Maybe?

Picasso is teeny, for sure, and while the video claims he's the "World's Smallest Pit Bull," we're not quite so sure. Either way, he's definitely adorable, and we love how he's raising awareness about the challenges pit bull owners and their pups face.

Smallest Breed of Dog

The chihuahua is officially the smallest dog breed in the world. These dogs are generally 5 to 8 inches tall, and they must weigh not more than six pounds to fit the ideal American Kennel Club standard.  

Woman with lap chihuahua standing on road

The Problem With Tiny Dogs and Health

While many small dogs are generally healthy, it's important to note that the tiniest dogs on record often have a variety of health problems or live very short lives due to their unique needs. Tiny dogs are interesting to read about, but caring for them can be exceptionally difficult. According to Torrance Companion Animal Hospital, "To create teacup dogs, breeders will breed together runts from different litters. This can be a problem because sometimes dogs are the runts because of a birth defect or other medical condition." So, while we can adore these tiny puppers from afar, you'll probably be better staying away from buying a tiny dog yourself. 

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Meet the World's Smallest Dogs, Plus Amazing Tiny Contenders