Dwarf Dogs: 10 Dog Breeds With Dwarfism

Dwarf dogs do not necessarily have dwarfism but were bred to have short limbs for diverse purposes that range from the kind of work they were developed for and the nature of their environment. These dog breeds with short legs have been around for ages. In ancient Rome, they were used to hunt small mammals underground and in tight places. Their short legs help them to fit into tight holes to flush out rabbits and badgers.

These dwarf dogs are not to be mixed up with small dogs or toy breeds as even though some of them also belong to the small dog breeds category, their legs are the only small part of the body while the rest are normal size. They are also not necessarily suffering from any abnormality but were created that way for a reason. From Dachshunds to Pugs and English Bulldogs, the following dwarf dogs are the most popular in the world right now.

1. Dachshunds

Dwarf dogs

The Dachshund is a German breed that comes in different variations like smooth-haired, wire-haired, or long-haired with a variety of colors but one thing they all have in common is their short-legged long-bodied features. The Dachshund was developed to sniff and flush out badgers, rabbits, and other animals that live in burrows. The dog’s unique body shape and short legs aid in entering tight spaces where its preys live.

2. Pembroke Welsh Corgi


The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is popularly known as the Queen’s breed. Queen Elizabeth II loved the breed and owned over 30 of them in her lifetime. However, before it became a royal breed, Pembroke Welsh Corgi was originally bred to herd cattle in Pembrokeshire, Wales. Some Pembroke Welsh Corgi share the same descendants as the Dachshunds and also have similar body features with them.

3. English Bulldog


A typical dwarf dog, the English Bulldog has a normal size in all parts of the body except the legs which are noticeably shortened. The British dog breed was used for bull-baiting and was trained to pin a bull by its nose long enough for a rope to be secured around its neck.

4. Pug

Small Dog Breeds
Pug – source

One of the most adorable dwarf dogs around, the Pug comes with shortened legs and a flattened muzzle. The Pug is originally from China but found a loving home in Europe in the sixteenth century. Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom was a lover of Pugs.

5. Cardigan Welsh Corgi


Both Cardigan Welsh Corgi and Pembroke Welsh Corgi are known as the Welsh Corgis as they originated in Wales. They also share similar body features. Cardigan Welsh Corgi is known to be very loyal and can adjust to different settings.

6. Tibetan Spaniel


The Tibetan Spaniel originated from Tibet and comes with very short legs. The breed got its name because of its resemblance to the bred-down lapdog versions of the hunting spaniels but it is not a spaniel in the true sense. The Tibetan Spaniel served as a watchdog and companion. One of the roles it is known for is turning prayer wheels in Tibetan monasteries. The breed has since gone beyond the shores of Tibet and entered America for the first time in 1960.

7. French Bulldog

Dwarf dogs

The French Bulldog is one of the most popular dwarf dogs in the world right now. This breed shares similar features with the English Bulldog, sporting short legs and a flat muzzle. The French Bulldog originated in Paris in the mid-nineteenth century following the cross-breeding of some Toy Bulldogs from England and local ratters from Paris.

8. Basset Hound

Dwarf dogs

The Basset Hound was bred in France for the main purpose of trailing rabbits. The short-legged dog breed is a scent hound with a long body and droopy ears.

9. Dandie Dinmont Terrier


This Scottish breed was bred to hunt badgers and otters but now occupies many homes as a watchdog or family pet. A unique member of the Terrier family, the Dandie Dinmont Terrier has a very long body accentuated by its short legs and hairy head region.

10. Pekingese


This is a Chinese dog breed favored by royals of the Chinese Imperial court. The toy breed has unique features that include a flat face, big eyes, and short legs.

Some Frequently Asked Questions About Dwarf Dogs

What are the dwarf dog breeds?

Dwarf dog breeds are those dogs with short legs and a body very close to the ground. They are not necessarily suffering from dwarfism due to any deficiency but were intentionally bred that way for a purpose.

Can a dog be a dwarf?

As a result of a lack of growth hormones, some dogs can suffer from dwarfism. Dogs with dwarfism can be identified by their bulging eyes and shorter legs.

How long do dwarf dogs live?

Dwarfism in dogs can lead to a shorter life span if left untreated. These dogs may not survive for more than 4 to 5 years without proper treatment.

Do dwarf dogs have problems?

Health problems linked to dwarf dogs include bone disorders like chondrodysplasia, or osteochondrodysplasia, breathing problems, cataracts, and dental issues.

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