4 min read


Can Dogs Be Dwarfs?



4 min read


Can Dogs Be Dwarfs?


Dogs already suffer enough by being shorter than us and having to look up at us as though we were royalty, but what if you found out your pup was a dwarf? Sure, it sounds cute and you’d get a ‘permanent puppy’ but dwarf doggies are real and they’re not to be made fun of. 

Every dog should feel loved, but if you have a dog who suffers from discomfort and pain, they need some extra TLC. Dwarf dogs derive from breeding specifically to produce a small dog - it’s a fad, and it’s bad! Keep reading to learn more!


Signs of a Dwarf Doggy

Signs of dwarfism can be hidden just as much as they can be obvious. The obvious sign of a dwarf dog is that they are not only short, but have significantly shorter legs, and long bodies. This obvious sign may look cute, but it hides a lot of potentially dangerous deviations such as skeletal defects. This will cause the puppy pain and discomfort while they’re growing, and potential bone problems in their adult life. Dwarf dogs have an increased risk of developing spinal abnormalities and intervertebral disk disease that can cause the doggy to have a lot of back problems.

Dwarf dogs are more prone to have bone disorders like Chondrodysplasia, or osteochondrodysplasia, which means an abnormal growth of the bone or cartilage. They can have breathing problems, dental problems, and cataracts. Arthritis in the front legs is another noticeable sign of a dwarf dog and is caused by the front legs being shorter than the rear ones—creating a lot of pressure and pushing the legs into an S-shape. 

Although these doggies are fun to play with, cuddly and cute, they also are suffering most of the time and cannot enjoy most of the things that the average dog can. It’s important to be aware of these signs, especially if you own a dwarf doggie, to ensure that you are doing everything you can to ease their pain, strengthen their confidence, and ensure they’re cared for properly. 

Body Language

Here are some signs you might notice when your dog is a dwarf:

  • Whining
  • Panting
  • Jumping Up
  • Weakness

Other Signs

These are some other signs you may notice if your dog is a dwarf:

  • Distended Abdomen
  • Bowed Legs
  • Bulging Eyes
  • Difficulty Breathing
  • Underbite
  • Short Legs

History of Dwarf Dogs


Dwarfism in dogs has been around for centuries - dog owners love the idea of a short-legged pup to cuddle up to at the end of the night. The story behind this is that 300 years ago, there was an extra copy of a gene that was acquired by mutation, and that’s how modern dog breeding began. 

This extra gene is what created the stubby legs and long bodies of dwarf dogs. It actually causes an overproduction of a protein that will disrupt their growth during the fetal development. These cute, little doggies have advantages to being small—like fitting into tight spots during hide-and-seek and fitting through that little crack between the door you left open to all the treats. 

The history of these dogs began long ago and is mostly known for creating the corgi and dachshund, but most recently the trend has been for creating a Husky- Pomeranian mix called the Pomsky. This breed of dog wasn’t seen until the late 2000’s and is quickly growing as a fad, but the fact of the matter is, this dog breed was created through artificial insemination, not naturally. Going through all that to create a dog that is bound to have problems doesn’t sit well with many people.

Science Behind Dwarf Dogs


The science behind dwarf dogs is that dogs were purposely bred with other small dogs to create an even smaller, cuter, and appealing dog. It is all within the genetics of each dog that is bred to create the perfect dwarf dog. 

That being said, there has been a lot of trial and error, and some dwarf dogs end up having more complications throughout their lives then others. None of them are perfect and they are largely prone to having problems. The dogs' traits are still similar to that of their breed, they just have more physical problems due to their size and physical abnormalities. 

How to Train Your Dwarf Dog


Training a dwarf dog is similar to training your average pet, you may just have to get down to their level a bit more—because, you know, they’re really small! But they are still just as coherent and able to learn tricks, they might just have a harder time rolling over or jumping very high. These activities might actually hurt their poor, little paws, so don’t overexert them! 

But, like all dogs, you should treat them with the same respect and love that you’d give to any other family member in your house, and through that, you will train them. Teaching them basic commands should be no problem, but each dog is different - some require more treats and others more pets, your dog will let you know.

Some tips on training a dwarf dog to be more mobile are to place one of those doggy-step-ladders near your bed to prevent them from hurting themselves on their way to cuddle up next to you at night time. Also, when taking them on walks, get a harness instead of a leash because they are more prone to breathing problems and you don’t want to make it worse. 

Making sure they drink tons of water to stay hydrated helps, and allowing them to snore (breathing problems) in peace won’t make them anxious or self-conscious about their loudness. Getting an ergonomic bed would be helpful, too, since they tend to suffer from back pain - and you want them to be as comfortable as possible, right?

But most importantly, keep some treats in the bottom drawer of your kitchen cabinet and teach them to go get one! How much fun would that be? Plus, it would really boost their self-confidence. 

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Safety Tips for Dwarf Doggy Owners

  1. Get their eyes checked yearly to avoid cataracts.
  2. Get a doggy-ladder to help those short legs up to bed.
  3. They waddle and look cute while doing it! So don't take them on an intense hike.
  4. Invest in a harness instead of a leash to ensure your dog is breathing to the best of their ability.

Written by a Dalmatian lover Katrina Kryza

Veterinary reviewed by:

Published: 02/09/2018, edited: 04/06/2020

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