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Meet 10 True Dwarf Dog Breeds

There are a number of small and short-legged dogs, but few are truly “dwarf” breeds. While many breeds can suffer from abnormal dwarfism, there are certain breeds that were created to be short-legged in order to better do their jobs. There are also various types of dwarfism and here we’ll focus on the dog breeds that have what’s called “micromelic achondroplasia,” meaning they have short legs but are standard sized elsewhere. 

#1 – Pug


The adorable Pug has shortened legs and a shortened muzzle, because the breed has two types of dwarfism. The breed originates from China and was brought to Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries, where it was loved and adored.

#2 – Dachshund


This German breed was originally bred to scent and flush out badgers and their short legs were required for them to crawl into dens. All variations of the Dachshund are achondroplastic.

#3 – Pembroke Welsh Corgi


The Pembroke Welsh Corgi originated as a cattle herder and its short legs prevented it from getting kicked. The breed is rarely used in farm work today, but can still be found herding sheep, cattle and other livestock throughout the world in sport. 

#4 – Cardigan Welsh Corgi


The Cardigan Welsh Corgi is the older of the Corgi breeds and was also bred as a cattle herding dog. Just like its Pembroke cousin, its short legs kept it from getting kicked during work. 

#5 – English Bulldog


The English Bulldog, although relatively large, is a true dwarf breed with legs that grow abnormally compared to other standard sized dogs. This gives the breed its frog-like hindquarters and shortened muzzle. 

#6 – French Bulldog


The French Bulldog is a dwarf breed just like his English cousin, as he also gets his shorter legs and muzzle from achondroplasia. The breed originated from crossbreeding between bulldog types with French rat hunting dogs. 

#7 – Basset Hound


The Basset Hound is a scent hound that is considered the dwarfed version of a Bloodhound. It’s a French breed with the name Basset coming from the French word, “bas,” meaning “low.”

#8 – Dandie Dinmont Terrier


This unique terrier comes from Scotland, where it was used to hunt badgers and otters. It now makes both an excellent watch dog and family companion, as it is tough but friendly. 

#9 – Skye Terrier

Photo by Chris Phutully via Flickr.

The Skye Terrier is also from Scotland, on the Isle of Skye. They were originally bred to hunt otters and foxes among rocky terrain. Its beautiful, long coat has been loved and appreciated since the 16th century according to early documentation. 

#10 – Scottish Terrier


Although the Scottish Terrier became popular in the United States due to its multiple President owners, the breed comes from Scotland where it was used to hunt vermin on farms as well as foxes and otters. 

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Written by Katie Finlay
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