Toy Dog Breeds
Among the several breed groups categorized by the American Kennel Club, the toy group deserves a special spot. Appreciated for their diminutive size, these pampered pooches seem to have been purposely crafted throughout the centuries for providing companionship. It doesn’t come as a surprise why many apartment dwellers without much living space select breeds from the toy group. If we look at their size, we’ll readily note how petite most of them are, with some standing at only 4 inches tall at the shoulder and weighing just two to three pounds. Don’t be fooled though by their size; toy breeds still need their daily dose of exercise and they still need some training.
The toy breed group is a grouping of very small or tiny breeds of dog. (For a complete list of small dog breeds click here)
A Look Back in History
What were dogs in the toy group selectively bred for? It ultimately depends on the breed. The great majority of breeds in this group were originally bred for their qualities as lap dogs. These dogs didn’t have any particular working function other than providing companionship and warming up the laps and feet of many European aristocratic ladies. The remaining breeds in the toy group are down-sized versions of many larger working dogs such as hunting, Spitz and terrier types.
Who Should Own a Dog From the Toy Group?
- Apartment dwellers. Most apartment dwellers find that dogs in the toy group adjust just fine in snug living quarters. Landlords may prevent tenants from living on their premises with large dogs, but they will often close an eye and allow smaller ones.
- First-time dog owners. The small size of these dogs makes them easier to own than larger dogs. It’s also much easier to control a pint-sized dog than a dog 10 times that size.
- Families with older children. These companions have the potential for making good family dogs, but some may be nervous around small children and the smallest specimens are quite fragile and can get easily hurt by a young child.
- Those looking for alert watch dogs. Many dogs in the toy group are quite quick to sound the alarm. Their keen senses make them quite alert and vigilant.
In general, dogs in the toy group are very friendly and affectionate. Many though claim them to be “big dogs in small packages” when it comes to personality. It’s not unusual to see a small dog trying to chase away a larger dog or even a stranger from their perceived territory. As with any dog, it’s important to provide toy breeds with exercise, early socialization and training. Over indulging small dogs may result in unstable personalities and problematic behaviors. Finicky eating is not uncommon in these dogs and housebreaking small dogs can sometimes be a challenge.
It’s easy to fall in love with the many specimens included in this category. Indeed, these pooches seem to have been crafted just for their owner’s delight. Many retain puppy-like traits even into adulthood that make them irresistibly cute. Their large eyes, luxurious coats and affectionate demeanor make them extra appealing. If you are interested in opening your heart and home to one of these breeds, make sure you conduct some research to ensure they match your lifestyle.
The Complete List of Toy Dog Breeds
The following are breeds categorized under the toy group: