25+ Short-Legged Dog Breeds (With Pictures)

Short-Legged Dog Breeds

Short-legged dog breeds are a unique and fascinating group of canines. From the iconic Dachshund to the charming Basset Hounds, these dogs have captured the hearts of dog lovers worldwide. 

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the world of short-legged dog breeds, delving into their characteristics, histories, and what makes each of them special. Whether you’re a seasoned dog owner or considering bringing one of these delightful breeds into your life, read on to discover the wonders of short-legged dogs.

The Dachshund – A Remarkable Hound

dachshund dog
Image credit:

The Dachshund, often affectionately called the “wiener dog” due to its elongated body and short legs, is a comical and lively short-legged dog breed. Originating from Germany, the name “Dachshund” literally translates to “badger dog,” reflecting their original purpose – to chase badgers into their underground burrows.

The Dachshund, a German breed, is known for its distinctive elongated body and short legs. With a lifespan of 12 to 16 years, Dachshunds make loyal companions. They rank 13th in popularity among AKC-registered breeds, and their unique appearance and playful nature charm dog owners worldwide.

Basset Hounds – The Short Legs of Scent

Basset Hounds

Basset Hounds are famous for their droopy eyes, floppy ears, and, of course, their short legs. Bred for their exceptional scenting abilities, Basset Hounds have a rich history as hunting dogs. 

Basset Hounds are iconic for their droopy ears and keen scenting abilities. These dogs typically live for 10 to 12 years. They hold the 39th spot in AKC popularity rankings. Bassets excel in tracking, making them valuable in search and rescue missions.

3: Pembroke Welsh Corgi – The Heart on Legs

Pembroke Welsh Corgi

The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is a short-legged dog breed that is as charming as it is agile. Originating from Pembrokeshire, Wales, these little herders have become beloved companions worldwide. 

The Pembroke Welsh Corgi, a herding breed, has a lifespan of 12 to 14 years. They are ranked 10th in AKC popularity. Queen Elizabeth II’s love for Corgis brought this breed into the limelight. Their charming appearance and agility make them ideal family pets.

4: Cardigan Corgi – Tails, and Short Legs

In contrast to the Pembroke Welsh Corgi, the Cardigan Corgi boasts a tail and a distinct set of qualities. Cardigan Welsh Corgis, with a lifespan of 12 to 15 years, are less common but equally charming. They rank 67th in AKC popularity. Cardigans are known for their long tails, which distinguish them from the Pembroke variety.

5: Lancashire Heeler – The Clever Short-Legged Dog

Lancashire Heeler

The Lancashire Heeler is a clever short-legged dog breed known for its intelligence and charm. Thought to be a cross between Welsh Corgis and Manchester Terriers, these little dogs are strong and happy. Lancashire Heelers, with a lifespan of 12 to 15 years, are agile and clever herding dogs. They are not widely recognized by the AKC but are appreciated for their intelligence and work ethic.

Dandie Dinmont Terrier – The Fiercely Independent Terrier

Dandie Dinmont Terrier

The Dandie Dinmont Terrier may not be as well-known as some other short-legged breeds, but they possess a unique charm and independence.Dandie Dinmont Terriers have a lifespan of 12 to 15 years. They are considered a rare breed, ranking 178th in AKC popularity. These independent dogs are small but bold, known for their unique appearance.

Scottish Terrier – The Spunky Short-Legged Breed

Scottish Terrier

Scottish Terriers, or “Scotties,” may be short-legged, but they are proud and confident dogs. Scottish Terriers, or “Scotties,” live for about 11 to 13 years. They hold the 59th spot in AKC rankings. Scotties are proud and confident, and their distinct appearance makes them easily recognizable.

8: French Bulldog – The Lovable Compact Companion

French Bulldog

French Bulldogs have become iconic for their adorable bat-like ears and compact bodies. French Bulldogs have an average lifespan of 10 to 12 years. They are immensely popular, ranking 4th in AKC popularity. Despite their short noses and potential breathing issues, Frenchies are cherished for their affectionate nature.

9: Tibetan Spaniel – The Regal Short-Legged Breed

Tibetan Spaniels share physical similarities with other short-legged breeds like the Pug. Tibetan Spaniels live around 12 to 15 years and are not ranked among the top AKC breeds. These assertive dogs may resemble Pugs but have a regal demeanor, making them excellent companions.

10: West Highland White Terriers – The Charismatic Short-Legged Breed


Commonly known as Westies, these terriers are easy to spot despite their short legs. Westies have a lifespan of 12 to 16 years and rank 41st in AKC popularity. Their confident and friendly nature, along with their distinctive white coat, endears them to families worldwide.

11: Skye Terrier – The Rare Short-Legged Welsh Breed


The Skye Terrier may be a rare breed, but it is no less charmingSkye Terriers, with a lifespan of 12 to 15 years, are a rare breed, not featured in the top AKC rankings. Known for their dignified bearing and loyalty, they make excellent companions for those who appreciate their uniqueness.

12: Cairn Terrier – The Scruffy Delight


Cairn Terriers were initially bred for hunting in the Scottish Highlands. Cairn Terriers live approximately 12 to 15 years and rank 68th in AKC popularity. Made famous by Toto from “The Wizard of Oz,” these terriers are spunky and alert, making them wonderful watchdogs.

13: English Bulldog – The Muscular Short-Legged Marvel

English Bulldog

English Bulldogs are unmistakable with their short legs and muscular bodies. English Bulldogs have a lifespan of 8 to 10 years. They are the 5th most popular breed in the AKC rankings. These dogs are known for their distinctive appearance, characterized by loose, wrinkled skin and a pushed-in nose.

14: Miniature Bull Terrier – The Mischievous Short-Legged Terrier

Miniature Bull Terriers are known for their upbeat and slightly mischievous nature. Miniature Bull Terriers have a lifespan of 11 to 14 years and are ranked 120th by the AKC. Their fearless and mischievous nature adds to their appeal as playful companions.

15: Miniature Schnauzer – The Aloof Yet Loyal Breed

Miniature Schnauzer

Miniature Schnauzers may be aloof with strangers, but they are incredibly loyal to their families. Miniature Schnauzers typically live 12 to 15 years and rank 18th in AKC popularity. Their unique appearance, characterized by a beard and bushy eyebrows, pairs with their loyal and alert temperament

16: Norfolk Terrier – The Adorable Big Dog in a Small Package

Norfolk Terrier

Norfolk Terriers are small in size but boast big personalities.Norfolk Terriers have a lifespan of 12 to 16 years and rank 101st in AKC popularity. These small dogs pack a big personality, known for their lovable and assertive nature.

17: Bedlington Terrier – The Short Hunter


Bedlington Terriers were originally bred for hunting and racing. Bedlington Terriers live approximately 12 to 16 years and are not among the top AKC breeds. These dogs were initially bred for hunting and racing, and their distinctive appearance sets them apart.

18: Jack Russell Terriers – The Feisty Bundle of Energy

Jack Russell Terriers

Jack Russell Terriers are known for their boundless energy and intelligence. Jack Russell Terriers have a lifespan of 13 to 16 years and rank 81st in AKC popularity. Known for their boundless energy and intelligence, they excel in various canine sports.

19: Sussex Spaniel – The Even-Tempered Low-Slung Breed

Sussex Spaniels are known for their even-temper and loyalty. Sussex Spaniels have an average lifespan of 10 to 12 years and are not highly ranked in AKC popularity. Their even-tempered nature and loyalty make them wonderful companions.

20: Australian Terrier – Courageous and Alert

Australian Terrier

Australian Terriers bear a resemblance to Yorkshire Terriers but have their own spirited attitude. Australian Terriers live around 11 to 15 years and rank 108th in AKC popularity. These dogs are characterized by their confidence, loyalty, and alertness, which make them excellent watchdogs.

21: Cesky Terrier – The Clever Companion

Cesky Terrier

Cesky Terriers are clever and adaptable dogs. Cesky Terriers have a lifespan of 12 to 15 years and are not highly ranked by the AKC. Their clever and adaptable nature, combined with their unique appearance, appeals to those seeking a distinctive companion.

22: Yorkshire Terrier – The Tiny but Mighty

Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkshire Terriers, or Yorkies, are tiny but full of love and devotion.Yorkshire Terriers have a lifespan of 11 to 15 years and rank 9th in AKC popularity. Despite their small size, they exhibit a bold and confident personality, endearing them to many.

23: Sealyham Terrier – The Rare Welsh Breed


Sealyham Terriers are rare Welsh dogs known for their even-tempered and alert nature. Sealyham Terriers have a lifespan of 12 to 15 years and are a rare breed, not featured in the top AKC rankings. Their even-tempered and alert nature makes them unique companions.

24: Bichon Frise – The Lovable Ball of Cotton

Bichon Frises are known for their lovable nature and fluffy appearance. Bichon Frises live around 12 to 15 years and rank 45th in AKC popularity. These fluffy dogs are cherished for their affectionate nature and high energy levels.

25: Shih Tzu – The Little Lion Dog

Shih Tzu

Shih Tzus are often referred to as “Little Lion Dogs” due to their unique appearance.Shih Tzus have a lifespan of 10 to 18 years and rank 20th in AKC popularity. Their unique appearance and affectionate nature have made them beloved pets worldwide.

26: Coton de Tulear – The Ultimate Companion

Coton de Tulear

Coton de Tulears are considered the ultimate companion dogs. Coton de Tulears live approximately 14 to 17 years and are not highly ranked by the AKC. Their sweet and cuddly nature, combined with a friendly disposition, makes them the ultimate companion.

27: Chihuahua – The Confident Toy Breed


Chihuahuas may be tiny, but they possess the confidence of much larger dogs. Chihuahuas have a lifespan of 14 to 17 years and rank 33rd in AKC popularity. Their confidence and petite size have endeared them to many, and they often serve as loyal watch dogs.

28: English Cocker Spaniel – The Playful and Affectionate

English Cocker Spaniel

English Cocker Spaniels are known for their playful and affectionate nature. English Cocker Spaniels typically live for 12 to 14 years and rank 29th in AKC popularity. Their playful and affectionate nature makes them ideal family pets.

29: Pekingese – The Royal Watchdog

Pekingese dogs have a royal heritage and excel as watchdogs.Pekingese dogs have a lifespan of 12 to 14 years and rank 83rd in AKC popularity. With a regal heritage and loyalty, they excel as watchdogs.


In conclusion, short-legged dog breeds offer a world of diversity in appearance, temperament, and companionship. From the iconic Dachshund and the droopy-eared Basset Hound to the regal Pekingese and the affectionate Shih Tzu, each breed brings its own charm and character to the world of canine companionship. Whether you’re looking for a playful and energetic friend or a loyal and watchful protector, there’s a short-legged breed to match your preferences. 

These remarkable dogs, with their unique features and endearing personalities, have found a special place in the hearts of dog lovers around the globe. So, whether you choose a spirited Jack Russell Terrier or a dignified Skye Terrier, one thing is certain – short-legged dog breeds leave an indelible paw print on our lives, making them cherished members of our families for years to come.