Don't be fooled by the size of dogs in the toy group. Many of the breeds are just as tough as dogs ten times their size. What they lack in stature is more than made up for by their attitude. I once had a toy poodle that actually chased a labrador out of the yard!
Generally, dogs in the toy group are small dogs that are kept as pets. Not all small dogs belong to this group, especially when they fit into one of the other groups easily. For example, there are several dog breeds in the working group that are about the same size as others in the toy group. Another example is the Australian Terrier, one of the smallest terriers, yet in the Terrier group instead of the toy group. The Yorkshire Terrier, on the other hand fits well into the Toy group.
Most dogs in the toy group are believed to have originated in Asia, where selective breeding to make dogs smaller and smaller began. They were extremely popular during the middle ages as a method of ensuring the fleas that were so prevalent in those times would go to the dog they were carrying instead of the person carrying them.
Because of their size, dogs in the toy group make excellent apartment dogs, as well as great travel companions if your career involves a lot of on the road time.
The following dog breeds are currently in the toy group. As information on each breed is added, you will find a link to the right for it.
- Brussels Griffon
- Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
- Chinese Crested
- English Toy Spaniel
- Italian Greyhound
- Japanese Chin
- Manchester Terrier
- Miniature Pinscher
- Poodle (The Toy Poodle is under the same AKC standard as the Miniature and Standard Poodle.)
- Shih Tzu
- Silky Terrier
- Toy Fox Terrier
- Yorkshire Terrier