Toy dog breeds present a unique opportunity for people who want to own a dog but may lack the space for one.
The Benefits of Toy Breed Puppies
Standard size dogs do require plenty of space to run and play and to just live but with small dogs the space requirement is significantly smaller. This is ideal for people living in the city where space is at a premium or for renters who landlord has imposed size limitations for pets.
Toy dogs still make for great companions with large hearts that more than make up for their short statures. Despite the name, the breeds in the toy group are still dogs and require time, care, and attention just like their larger counterparts.
What are Toy Dogs?
The American Kennel Club (AKC) has divided all dog breeds into specific categories grouping similar traits and tendencies together. The toy dog breed is one such group. Some of the most well-known in the toy breeds list of dogs are:
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
King Charles Spaniel
Toy Manchester Terrier
Toy Fox Terrier
How large do Toy Breed Dogs Get?
The size range of breeds in the toy group generally falls between 6 and 20 pounds. They vary in color, coat characteristics, and temperament despite their similarity of size.
Many of the breeds in this group are miniaturized versions of larger counterparts that have been bred down in size. The Toy Poodle and the Toy Terrier are only two examples of this. Not all breeds in this group are smaller versions such as the Chihuahua which is such an ancient breed that it is impossible to trace its lineage back to a larger breed size.
A Note about “Teacup” Toy Breeds
Teacups are not recognized by the AKC and are therefore not found in any official list of toy dogs. While growing in popularity due to their diminutive size teacups are not generally recommended due to their increased health issues. Often, teacups are runts of the litter and due to over-breeding and irresponsible breeding are more prone to complications such as heart failure, behavioral issues, and shorted lifespans.
The Historical Role of Toy Breed Puppies
It is also the case that not all breeds classified as toys were first bred for purely companionship purposes. Some breeds such as many of the Terriers were bred to be smaller in order to make it easier for them to catch rats and other vermin. So, this group enjoys a varied mix of what could be considered lap dogs to small working dogs.
For the most part, these small dogs were bred to be companions to the nobility and the rich. They were often placed at the foot of the bed to keep Lords and Ladies warm during cold nights in drafty castles. These dogs also enjoyed a privileged life sitting on the laps of royalty in the Far East as well.
Toy Breed Puppies Today
Today of course, what with the advent of central heating the use of these dogs as living, breathing heating pads has come to an end. Instead, toy dogs are now sought after for their companionship and devotion.
The question of whether a toy dog will make for a good companion answers itself. The short answer is yes, of course. These dogs were bred to be just that; companions. They are fiercely loyal and devoted often times attaching to their owner and no one else. What was mainly a status symbol enjoyed by first nobility and then Hollywood elite, these dogs are now affordable to nearly anyone and are loved by everyone.
It is hard not to fall in love with these dogs especially if you have ever seen any of the toy breed puppies. Their appearance is one of the qualities that attract potential owners in the first place. Many of these breeds have big dark eyes, cute noses, and beautiful coats. Toy puppy breeds are even cuter and you are sure to fall in love the moment you set eyes on them.
Love is blind as they say so do not be taken in by those big eyes until you do some research into the toy group and the specific breed you are considering. For the most part toy dogs are:
- Easily trainable
- Make great watch dogs
Common Misconceptions about Toy Group Dogs
Small toy dogs are often preferred by many people over larger breeds because it is felt that they do not require as much attention. This is simply not true.
While these dogs may not require as much exercise as a larger dog toy breeds still need considerable attention in order to avoid behavioral problems. A dog, any dog cannot be left alone for 10 or 12 hours a day without exhibiting issues such as chewing or incessant yapping. Small dogs are already prone to yapping and dogs that exhibit this trait will only worsen if care is not taken and attention not given.
Now, many breeds in the list of toy dogs are prone to ‘small dog syndrome’ or Napoleon Complexes. This is when a small dog believes that it is the size of a Pit Bull which causes them to be snappy, highly territorial, and confrontational. Caused by a lack of discipline, alpha male small dogs require obedience training in order to avoid small dog syndrome.
Is a Toy Dog Breed Right for You?
Toy breeds are perfect for people that lack the space for standard sized breeds. Apartment life and city living are ideal. If you enjoy a lifestyle where you can bring your dog with you while you run errands or even your work you will find that a toy breed will make for a steadfast friend though they will steal the limelight.
As you look over the toy dog breed list be mindful of how much time and attention you can afford to the new addition to your life. Families are not often the perfect fit for these dogs especially families with small children.
These dogs are small and delicate and cannot handle an extreme amount of stress or reckless behavior.
These dogs, if placed correctly, will make for amazing pets offering love and companionship for years to come. Toy dog breeds are perfect if you lack the space for larger dogs but have the love and time for a pet.