Pet dogs are getting smaller because owners are living in more compact homes than ever before, new research suggests.

Figures provided by The Kennel Club and analysed by The Economist magazine show that the average puppy weighs 12 per cent less than it did 10 years ago.

Experts believe that a combination of stagnating wages and small houses, often without gardens, have led owners to increasingly select miniature breeds, which has also led breeders to focus on smaller animals.

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