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10 Lovable Dogs with Short Legs

These petite-sized pups with short legs pack a major dose of cuteness.

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close up of corgi sitting near owner's legs outsidefotografixx/Getty Images

Cute pups come in small packages

You know dogs come in all shapes and sizes, but there’s something especially “aww”-worthy about short-legged dogs. Sure, they may not rank as one of the fastest dog breeds, but the way they waddle across the room to get some snuggles from you, and the way their little entire torsos wiggle back and forth when they greet you at the door, is irresistible.

Whether you’re in the market to adopt a new pup or you simply want to learn about cute canines, we’ve put together a handy guide on the most popular dog breeds with short legs. Dog lovers will also want to learn more about dogs with pointy ears and dogs with gorgeous blue eyes.

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pomeranian dog sitting on a rock outsidePattarawat/Getty Images

1. Pomeranian

Dogs with short legs are inherently small, but the Pomeranian—also referred to as a pommy or pom—is especially tiny! Even though it only weighs in at about eight pounds, this little fluffball can truly stand with the big dogs. Pomeranians, a toy dog breed, descended from sled dogs and are known for their bold and lively demeanor.

What’s more, the American Kennel Club (AKC) says this breed is easy to train, and that they even make effective watchdogs. As for care, the pommy has a beautiful double coat that comes in over two dozen variations and requires a good grooming three to five times a week.

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Portrait of Pembroke Welsh Corgi dog outdoors in the park on a sunny summer day.Ирина Мещерякова/Getty Images

2. Pembroke Welsh Corgi

Beloved by Queen Elizabeth, the smart and lovable Pembroke Welsh Corgi is among the world’s most popular herding dogs. Although the Pembroke’s legs are small, its muscular thighs and strong chest make for one powerful pooch. This Corgi breed is also notably easy to train and is known for being hardworking and full of energy.

These qualities, paired with its vigilance and independence, also make the Pembroke Welsh Corgi a fine guard dog. Another perk about this breed is that it’s relatively easy to groom: Their thick double coat comes in five different colors and only requires grooming every four to six weeks.

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Cardigan Welsh corgi sitting outside on the sidewalkAlexander Sorokopud/Getty Images

3. Cardigan Welsh Corgi

Not to be confused with the Pembroke variety we detailed above, the slightly larger Cardigan Welsh Corgi is smart, loyal, and notably affectionate. Compared to the Pembroke, this breed’s ears are more rounded, and it has a distinct, long, foxlike tail. In addition to its adorable appearance, the Cardigan Welsh Corgi is good with kids and has a very approachable and affectionate demeanor.

This breed needs plenty of mental stimulation and is quite energetic, so make sure to pencil in plenty of playtime if you own this breed. They are also seasonal shedders that need to be brushed at least once a week to maintain a shiny and healthy appearance.

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White american bulldog on a background of autumn parkYuliya Golland/Getty Images

4. American bulldog

Stout, gloriously wrinkled, and ever loyal, the bulldog is another one of the most popular short-legged dogs. Originally bred to help butchers bring the cattle to market, bulldogs have since become a gentler, more friendly companion and are known as one of the calmest dog breeds. These small muscular dogs can weigh up to 50 pounds and—though they may not look it—do need about an hour of moderate exercise every day.

Also note that their short snout can sometimes make breathing more difficult during warm, humid weather; the AKC recommends keeping them indoors in the summertime. Their smooth shiny coat is naturally clean, though it benefits from a proper wash every four weeks. A soft brushing at least once a week will also keep this dog dashingly handsome and happy.

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Portrait of basset hound standing on rockMica Ringo/Getty Images

5. Basset Hound

Hear that? It’s the familiar crooning of the Basset Hound, a larger-than-life pup with droopy features and little legs. Compared to other dogs with short legs, the Basset Hound is a larger medium breed, weighing in anywhere between 40 to 65 pounds. This recognizable breed is most well-known for its drooping face, sagging eyes, and long floppy ears.

Like most hound dogs, Basset Hounds are pack dogs built for distance—not for speed. What they lack in miles per hour, though, they make up for in their incredible sniffing abilities! Basset Hounds’ short, smooth hair needs to be brushed a few times a week to control shedding. They also require an occasional bath.

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Miniature schnauzer standing in a parkMark Nicol/Getty Images

6. Miniature schnauzer

Fearless but friendly, the Miniature Schnauzer is a true sight to behold with its shaggy beard and dramatic eyebrows! Surprisingly, this pup was originally bred as a farm dog—those little legs made them robust little farm workers—but has since become more of a charming, loyal house pup. Miniature Schnauzers are also known for their outgoing personalities and their desire to please their owners, which makes this breed especially easy to train.

This breed has a wiry topcoat and a soft undercoat that doesn’t shed often but does need to be groomed every five to eight weeks to keep its bearded face and shiny coat looking tiptop.

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Scottish Terrier Dog standing on a step outsideMayWhiston/Getty Images

7. Scottish terrier

Distinguished, charming, and independent, the iconic Scottish terrier has an appearance that gives the impression of a formidable pup in a petite package. Their keen awareness combined with strong hunting instincts make Scotties exceptional watchdogs. Like other terrier breeds, Scottish terriers are known for their spunky energy and lively personalities—they do need some playful exercise, and benefit particularly from small bursts of action-packed play throughout the day.

The Scottish terrier’s dual coat is one part wiry topcoat and one part soft undercoat. It benefits from regular grooming and should also be brushed two to three times a week to help manage shedding.

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Dachshund puppy dog with a tennis ball in mouthIan Payne/Getty Images

8. Dachshund

The Dachshund is a brave, strong-willed, and curious German breed with an iconic, unmistakable appearance. Though we know them better as lounge-y house pets, their low bodies, long backs, short legs, and hound dog instincts make them excellent hunting dogs. In fact, their name even translates from German to “badger dog” (one of their top prey). These traits also make Dachshunds notable watchdogs.

While petite, this breed is quick to let out a bark at strangers and packs a deceiving amount of energy—they require lots of activity throughout the day. Dachshunds come in a standard size, as well as a miniature version, and their coats can be longhaired, wiry, or smooth. Their occasional shedding requires regular brushing.

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French bulldog puppy standing in grass outsidefotokostic/Getty Images

9. French bulldog

Like bulldogs, the French bulldog—referred to as a Frenchie—also has a square, wrinkled, and flat face. This breed’s most distinguishing feature, beyond its stout frame and short legs, is its set of large, wide ears that are stiff and pointed upward. The AKC describes French bulldogs as being playful and adaptable, meaning that they can get along with just about anyone, including other animals.

Because they’re a lower-energy pup, French bulldogs only need a good short walk each day to remain healthy, which makes them excellent apartment dogs. Also, note that their flat face can create some breathing difficulties with too much activity or hot weather. Weekly brushing paired with the occasional bath can help manage this breed’s minimal shedding.

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Australian terrier dog standing in sunset rays on beach sandnickpo/Getty Images

10. Australian terrier

As a member of the terrier family, this Australian dog breed is a feisty and energetic dog packed in a petite frame. They love digging, chasing small critters, and spending most of their time with their own humans. With a long and strong body, this breed is no stranger to hard work; owners may be hard-pressed to control this breed’s urge to chase and hunt small vermin. That’s a plus if you’re in need of someone to keep the field mice away, but it can turn into a bit of a nuisance if you’re trying to maintain a manicured lawn.

These dogs with short legs have a long, weatherproof double coat around their neck and legs with much softer fur on their head. Their coat rarely sheds, and it only needs a good brushing once a week to maintain its appearance.

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Wendy Rose Gould
Wendy Rose Gould is a freelance lifestyle reporter covering pets for Reader's Digest, Healthy Paws Pet Insurance, and Rescue Pop. She's also a regular contributor to NBC, Real Simple, Brides, Business Insider, and other outlets. Based in Phoenix, Arizona, by way of the Indiana countryside, Wendy holds a journalism degree from the Franklin College Pulliam School of Journalism and another bachelor's degree in Philosophy. Follow her on Instagram or Twitter @wendyrgould.

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