10 Adorable Dog Breeds Under 40 Pounds (Pictures and Specs)

When prospective dog owners begin their research into exactly what breed would be a great fit, it’s helpful to have an idea of how much you would like a dog to weigh when fully grown.

In this article, we will be discussing 10 dog breeds under 40 pounds, their origins, and helpful information to help determine your ideal match.

The 10 Different Dog Breeds Under 40 Pounds

We hope this article can successfully aid you in your search for a new furry best friend, and that you enjoy our list of 10 types of dog breeds that weigh under 40 pounds!

1. Basenji

basenji | image by fugzu via Flickr | CC BY 4.0

Average Lifespan: 13-14 years
Average Size: 22-24 pounds
Coat: short, smooth

This ancient breed of canine originated in Central Africa. Basenji were originally bred to hunt lions, which is extremely impressive due to their small stature. Unfortunately, this breed is considered to be rare and not the easiest to obtain.

Basenji are often described as having curious, alert, playful, and affectionate personalities. This breed needs to have an owner who is experienced in owning dogs and obedience training.

They need dedicated socialization from a very early age to avoid developing any severe aggression issues. Basenji are not good with small children, are generally wary of strangers, and need dedicated physical and mental exercise daily.

If you live in a cold climate, this is not the breed for you. They have a very short and smooth coat that does not insulate well enough to keep them warm.

Basenji are genetically predisposed to a few health issues like progressive retinal atrophy, Basenji enteropathy, and Fanconi syndrome. They are also hypoallergenic!

2. Beagle

beagle | image by Don Burkett via Flickr | CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

Average Lifespan: 10-15 years
Average Size: 20-30 pounds
Coat: short, smooth

The Beagle originated in England and was originally bred to hunt rabbits in packs, which is what made them so popular. Beagles are considered a dog breed under 40 pounds!

Even-tempered, gentle, friendly, and loyal, the Beagle is best suited for an owner with experience in obedience training, as they can be difficult to train at times.

This breed is known to be great with children and other animals if properly socialized and needs dedicated daily physical and mental exercise.

Beagles are genetically predisposed to a few health issues, like hypothyroidism, epilepsy, cherry eye, and obesity, but they can live long, healthy and happy lives if properly cared for!

3. Boston Terrier

boston terrier | image by Alex Gorzen via Flickr | CC BY-SA 4.0

Average Lifespan: 11-13 years
Average Size: 12-25 pounds
Coat: short, smooth

The Boston Terrier, as its name suggests, originated in 19th-century Boston. Originally bred for dog fighting, the Boston Terrier was known for its aggressive abilities in the ring.

Though they are newer to the dog world than most of the breeds on this list, they sure are interesting to learn about. Today, Boston Terriers are known to have intelligent and playful personalities with medium energy levels.

This breed is a great choice for a first-time owner, as they are easy to train because of their intelligence. They can be great with other animals and children if properly socialized from a young age.

Boston Terriers are genetically predisposed to a variety of health issues, like deafness, heart issues, cataracts, and cherry eye. But with proper care, they can live a very long, healthy, and happy life surrounded by their favorite people!

4. Lagotto Romagnolo

lagotto romagnolo | image by Nilss Heinrihsons via Flickr | CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

Average Lifespan: 15-17 years
Average Size: 24-35 pounds
Coat: medium, curly, double

This truly beautiful breed originates in Italy where they were originally bred for the hunting and retrieval of waterfowl. At this time they were commonly known as water dogs and were extremely popular among Italian sportsmen.

Lagotto Romagnolo is described as being great family dogs due to their affectionate, intelligent, and loyal personalities.  However, they are known to develop separation anxiety when away from their loved ones for too long.

They are great with children and other animals if properly socialized, regarded as easy to train,  and can be wary of strangers if not properly trained. This dog needs dedicated physical and mental exercise daily to be happy and healthy.

This breed is genetically predisposed to a few health issues such as neurological disorders, hip dysplasia, cataracts, and joint issues. These are minor, few, and far between, so as long as they receive proper care, they are known to have long lifespans.

5. Mudi

mudi | image by Doriental Mudi via Flickr | CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

Average Lifespan: 12-14 years
Average Size: 18-29 pounds
Coat: medium, curly

The rarest of dog breeds under 40 pounds and originating in Hungary as sheepdogs, the Mudi was, very sadly, nearly killed (shortly after their discovery) in World War II. It is for this reason that they are one of the rarest breeds of dogs.

The Mudi is often described as having playful, alert, loyal, high-energy, and easily trainable personalities. They can do great with other animals and small children if properly socialized.

This breed is not recommended for anyone who doesn’t have a lot of free time, as they need an abundance of daily physical and mental exercise to stay happy and healthy.

They are prone to a few mild health issues like hip and elbow dysplasia, cataracts, and occasional epilepsy, but for the most part, are a healthy breed.

6. Pug

pug | image by Corinne Benavides via Flickr | CC BY-NC 4.0

Average Lifespan: 13-15 years
Average Size: 14-18 pounds
Coat: short, smooth

Pugs are widely recognizable and originated in 400 B.C. China! Originally bred as companion pets for the wealthy, these pups can be seen portrayed in art history countless times.

Known to be loving, outgoing, friendly, and stubborn, Pugs are generally eager to please their owners but can be difficult to train at times.

This breed is great with children and other animals if properly socialized, and are a great option for a first-time dog owner. They don’t require much physical exercise, but they do need to be walked daily.

As you may know, Pugs are predisposed to some severe health issues like brachycephaly, hip dysplasia, obesity, skin infections, and various eye issues, so they will need to have a great veterinarian to be able to live as long and healthy as they possibly can.

7. West Highland White Terrier

west highland white terrier | image by Gregory Wake via Flickr | CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

Average Lifespan: 13-15 years
Average Size: 15-20 pounds
Coat: medium, double

Westies originate from Scotland, where they were originally bred for hunting fox, otter, and badger, as well as exterminating various vermin.

They have great personalities and are often described as affectionate, bold, amusing, and friendly. This breed can be great family pets and get along well with other animals if well socialized, but not the best option for smaller children as they can be easily excitable.

Known to be intelligent, quick learners, this breed is easily trainable, and a great option for first-time dog owners.

Westies are predisposed to a few health issues like luxating patella’s, cataracts, eye infections, skin infections, and obesity, but they are more than capable of living a long and healthy life.

8. French Bulldog

french bulldog | image by bitslammer via Flickr | CC BY-NC 4.0

Average Lifespan: 10-12 years
Average Size: under 28 pounds
Coat: short, smooth

The French Bulldog, unlike its name suggests, is a UK native that was originally bred to be a compact version of the English Bulldog and was primarily kept as a companion pet.

Frenchies are known to be intelligent, stubborn, fun, and affectionate, and often described as being easy to train, but needs dedicated socialization from a young age to avoid developing any unwanted behavior.

They can be great family dogs with proper training, and are often known to be amusing and love to spend time with their family.

This breed is unfortunately prone to a multitude of health issues: ear and skin infections, severe and minor allergies, brachiocephalic, hip dysplasia, deafness, eye issues, obesity, GI problems, and deafness.

9. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

cavalier king charles spaniel | image by György Rétvári via Flickr | CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

Average Lifespan: 12-15
Average Size: 13-18 pounds
Coat: medium, wavy, silky

Originating in England, these dogs were bred as companion dogs for the wealthy. Often described as being fun, sweet, and affectionate as well as easily trainable, these dogs are a great option for beginner dog owners!

They typically get along great with children and other animals if properly socialized, and require regular grooming and exercise. Prone to destructive behaviors when left alone for extended periods, they do best in a home with constant human company.

This breed is prone to various non-serious health issues but is generally regarded as a very healthy breed with a long lifespan.

10. Cardigan Welsh Corgi

cardigan welsh corgi | image by Svenska Mässan via Flickr | CC BY 4.0

Average Lifespan: 12-15 years
Average Size: 25-38 pounds
Coat: medium, double

Last, but certainly not least on our list of 10 dog breeds under 40 pounds is the Cardigan Welsh Corgi! This breed is from Wales, originally bred for herding and protecting livestock.

They are known as intelligent, excitable, and playful little troublemakers. Due to their intelligence, this breed is known to be easily trainable. Because of their ability to be mouthy and bossy, they are not the best with small children.

Corgis need dedicated daily physical and mental exercise, and proper socialization from a young age so they successfully can get along with strangers and other animals. This breed is considered healthy and can live a long, healthy, and happy life if properly cared for and loved!