The small size and charming facial expressions of Toy Dogs will delight anyone. Don’t let their small size fool you, however, many Toys are as tough as nails. If you haven’t yet experienced the barking of an angry Chihuahua, for example, be prepared to be amazed.
Toy Dogs will always be popular with city dwellers and people without much living space. They make ideal apartment dogs and terrific lap buddies. Small breeds may be found in every Group, not just the Toy Group. For example, the Miniature Schnauzer is a small breed that is included in the Terrier Group.
Everyone should seriously consider getting a small breed, when appropriate, if for no other reason than to minimize some of the problems inherent in dogs such as shedding, creating messes, and cost of care. Training aside, it’s easier to control a ten-pound Affenpenscher tugging on its leash than a 100 pound Rottweiler.
The Affenpinscher is an entertaining family member that everyone will love. Like many small dogs, it may be wary of very small children. Affens do not like being squeezed or chased. It was bred to be a ratter, so it might not be a good companion for rodent-type pets such as gerbils, hamsters, and mice.
Height: 9-11.5 inches; Weight: 7-10 pounds
Lifespan: 12-15 years; AKC rank: 148 of 197;
The Brussels Griffon is a terrier-type dog and, like many terriers, was bred to control the rodent population in Brussels, Belgium. These little dogs have a big personality. They will likely attach to one person. They are good with children if treated properly. Their face resembles an Ewok.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is very affectionate and needs to be with people. It would not be a good choice for people who are gone from home for long periods.
They get along well with children and are not afraid of becoming friends with larger dogs.
The Chihuahua is a sassy but very loyal dog and loves attention. Without proper training, it will take over and try to be the boss. They may be small but they do not know it.
They are not good dogs for rough play due to their small size.
There are two variations of the Chinese Crested dog breed, one has hair and the other does not. Both varieties are alert, playful, and devoted to their family.
The hairless, of course, does not shed and has not body order. The coated Crested is often called a “Powder Puff.”
English Toy Spaniel
If there is such a thing as a professional lapdog, the English Toy Spaniel is a contender for the most professional.
After the Cuban Revolution, many Cuban refugees brought Havanese with them which extended the popularity of the breed worldwide.
Also known as a Japanese Spaniel, the Japanese Chin has a rich history, originally bred for royal companionship, and are affectionate little entertainers at heart.
This naughty little dog belongs to the Toy Group and weighs a mere 6-15 lbs, making for the ideal lap dog. They may not be a good choice if you have small children.
Manchester Terrier (Toy)
The Toy Manchester Terrier was developed in the United States by selecting breeding the Manchester Terrier to a smaller size. The Kennel Club and the FCI do not recognize the Toy Manchester as a separate breed.
In the US, the Toy must weigh under 12 pounds or it will be considered a Standard Manchester Terrier.
The Miniature probably was bred to be a ratter (dog). The common nickname for the Miniature Pinscher is the “Min Pin.”
The Papillon owes its name to the French word for butterfly. It is easy to see how appropriate the name is when you look at its face framed with its ears.
These small, very intelligent dogs are easily trained. They are self-assured, happy, and friendly members of any family.
The flat nose and big eyes are characteristics of the Pekingese. These small dogs were favorite lap dogs and companions of Chinese royalty for centuries.
For a long time, they could only be owned by members of the Chinese Imperial Palace (Forbidden City). These little dogs were sometimes carried in the sleeves of their owners and acted as personal guard dogs.
Height: 6-7 inches; Weight: 3-7 pounds
Lifespan: 12-16 years; AKC rank: 23 of 197;
The Toy Poodle is not a separate breed from the Miniature and Standard Poodles. Poodles under 10 inches tall are Toy Poodles. They are very intelligent (ranking only behind the Border Collie) and expect to be treated as an equal.
The admirable qualities of the Poodle make it a very popular breed to combine into designer dogs.
The Shih Tzu is another of the small Chinese dogs that have become such popular companion dog.
These dogs were so treasured in China that none were allowed to be sold or given away outside the country until the 1930s. Since then, the Shih Tzu has become one the most popular toy dogs.
Silky Terriers were developed in Australia by crossbreeding the Yorkshire Terrier and the Australian Terrier. The Silky Terrier was bred to be a companion dog but its Terrier background carried with it the instinct to react to rodents and snakes.
They are affectionate and loyal but, again maybe to the Terrier thing, can be stubborn.
Toy Fox Terrier
Toy Fox Terriers descend from the Fox Terrier, Chihuahuas, and Italian Greyhounds but are considered a distinct breed. They retained many Terrier traits and began earning their livelihood as a ratter.
The Toy Fox Terrier is perhaps a bit more mellow than other Terriers due to its lineage.
The Yorkshire Terrier is the most popular of the Toy Dog breeds in the United States. They have come a long way from chasing rats in Yorkshire coal mines to the pampered pets they are today.
Although it is small and dainty, beneath that silky hair beats the heart of a true Terrier.