6 Smallest Dog Breeds. #5 The Maltese is a small breed of dog in the Toy Group. It descends from dogs originating in the Central Mediterranean Area.Characteristics include slightly rounded skulls, with a finger-wide dome, a black button nose and brown eyes. The body is compact with the length equaling the height. The drop ears with (sometimes) long hair.Maltese are bred to be cuddly companion dogs. They are extremely lively and playful.