Top 5 Toy Breeds In Singapore

These breeds rule the roost in our HDB flats. And as a bonus, we'll introduce follow-worthy IG accounts from each breed.
By Vince Wong
Published on Thursday, 11 July 2019

Singaporeans have it tough as dog-lovers - more than 80% of us live in public housing known as Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats.

Public housing authorities, seeking to address the concerns of residents who may not be dog-lovers, restricted us HDB-dwellers to smaller-sized breeds, and of certain dimensions. This was done, we are told, “to preserve a pleasant living environment and good neighbourly relations.”

But according to the Ministry of National Development, the list of approved breeds are “generally smaller dogs that are more manageable and easily carried, especially in confined public spaces such as lifts.”

Sounds like they could have just made bigger lifts? Or just made it mandatory for bigger breed owners to wait a turn or take the stairs?

Well if you didn’t know, now you know.

Anyway that is why toy dogs, also called companion dogs, form the majority of breeds owned in Singapore today.

And without any further ado, here are Singapore’s five most popular breeds:

5.         Jack Russell Terrier

Weight: 6.4 – 8.2 kg
Height: 25 – 38 cm
Temperament: Stubborn, Fearless, Energetic, Intelligent, Athletic, Vocal

Ringing in pet shop cash registers at number 5 are Jack Russell terrier puppies. These sturdy and robust dogs were once bred for fox hunting, and hence require a large amount of exercise and stimulation. Their popularity is high world-wide may be due to a large number of starring roles in the movies, but mostly because they are so cute and clever.

Check out Atlas on Instagram:

A post shared by Atlas (@atlas.jrt) on Mar 17, 2019 at 9:26am PDT


4          Miniature Schnauzer

Weight: Female: 5.4 – 9.1 kg
Height:  30–36 cm
Temperament: Fearless, Spirited Obedient, Intelligent, Friendly, Alert, Spirited

The miniature version of the Standard Schnauzer, these come in at number 4 and simply ooze personality from every hair. Their natural good looks hail from their long German pedigree, and are naturally sporty dogs, loving every opportunity to compete. Moustaches, beards and a square shape make these dogs a sign of strength and solidarity. Plus, they are very very smart dogs.

Look out, here's Kai the Mini-Schnauzer:

A post shared by Kai The Mini Schnauzer (@kaiminischnauzer) on Jun 26, 2019 at 11:18pm PDT


3.         Miniature Poodle

Weight: 6.8 to 7.7kg
Height: 28 – 35 cm
Temperament:  Highly intelligent, Sociable, Energetic, Active, Eager to please

Mini-Poodles are super popular in Singapore, and are also one of the toy dogs with the most variation in sizes – don’t take the height and weight managements as gospel, as we’ve seen anywhere from a teacup poodle ranging around 3kg and the size of a shoebox to a biggish 10kg pupper. The large number of them also results in a wide variety of grooming styles. Their high intelligence (the most intelligent of the toy dogs) goes a long way towards this high ranking, and their hypoallergenic profiles and cheerful demeanor can’t hurt too!

And here's Teddy:

A post shared by Teddy Ong 王一心 (@teddy_ong_poodle) on Sep 24, 2018 at 6:12pm PDT


2.         Maltese

Weight: 3 – 4 kg
Height: 20–25 cm
Temperament: Docile, Sweet-Tempered, Fearless, Easygoing, Lively, Intelligent, Affectionate, Responsive, Playful, Active, Gentle

This is the 2nd most favourite dog breed in Singapore. There’s so many of them here that, like the Miniature Poodle, official breed weight and size definitions no longer mean anything – mine is about 4.8kg, but that could be because she was crossbred with a Shih Tzu (which is not uncommon for local-born Malteses, says my vet). They are white, fluffy, come in fun-size packages, and will steal your heart - don't look one in the eyes unless you want a dog.

This is Casey:

A post shared by Casey (The Blur Queen) (@casey_the_maltese) on Apr 23, 2017 at 2:03am PDT


1.         Shih Tzu

Weight:  4 – 7.2 kg
Height: 20–28 centimetres
Temperament: Clever, Lively, Intelligent, Affectionate, Friendly, 

And now, taking the top spot is the Shih Tzu. Sometimes confused with the Pekenese, this is a sturdy little dog with a short snoot and big, expressive peepers. Short legs give them a signature waddling strut. That also means they can get enough exercise even in a smallish apartment and short walks. Owners tend to leave these dogs' luxurious fur long, tied up with top knots, ribbons and hair clips. If there’s ever a Barbie dog, this would be it.

Be wowed by Paningning, whose sleeping style has Won The Internet:

A post shared by Paningning (@therealpaningning) on Apr 21, 2019 at 7:36pm PDT