Toy Dog Breeds

Dog breeds in the Toy Group are known as sociable, affectionate and adaptable to a wide range of lifestyles.

posted: April 13, 2012, 3 p.m. EDT

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Toy breeds come from a wide range of backgrounds. Some of them, such as the Chinese Crested and Maltese, were developed solely as companions. Others, such as the Toy Manchester TerrierPomeranian and Italian Greyhound, are miniaturized versions of other breeds, and they retain many of the traits associated with their larger counterparts. Regardless of their origins, all Toy breeds are naturally attuned to human interaction. They are affectionate, sociable and adaptable to a wide range of lifestyles. Because they are so affectionate, toy breeds are temperamentally suited to children but might not be sturdy enough for rough play, and thus caution must be taken.

Today most Toy dogs live as companions. They are also popular for therapy work, competitive obedience and agility. Despite their size, many Toy breeds are very energetic, requiring quite a bit of daily exercise. Of course, everything is relative. A Japanese Chin can get a good workout just by running around the living room.

Some Toy breeds, such as the Chihuahua and Yorkshire Terrier, have strong protective instinct, requiring consistent training and socialization to prevent associated behavior problems. Others, such as the Shih Tzu and Toy Poodle, need substantial grooming unless they are kept in pet clips. Toy breeds have a reputation for being difficult to train. However, many of these problems are caused by indulgent owners rather than due to any particular traits of Toy-breed temperament.

Is a Toy Dog Breed for you? Look at these 8 facts about the Toy Dog to decide if it is the right dog for your life situation.

1. Easily portable, Toy dogs make great travel companions.
2. Smaller breeds are noted for their longevity.
3. Some Toy breeds, such as the Papillon, Miniature Pinscher and Pug, have very low-maintenance, easy-to-groom coats.
4. Many Toy dogs are surprisingly tough, athletic and energetic. They are, indeed, big dogs in small packages.
5. Small size decreases a dog's resistance to weather conditions.
6. Small size increases a dog's risk of accidental injuries and escapes.
7. Some Toy dogs have a higher than normal incidence of vaccine, anesthesia and drug reactions.
8. Some Toy breeds, such as the Maltese and Havanese, require regular grooming.

Excerpt from the American Kennel Club's Meet the Breeds with permission from its publisher, BowTie Press, a division of BowTie, Inc. Purchase the AKC's Meet the Breeds.
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Stephanie - 141730   North Canton, OH

5/19/2013 6:42:56 PM

Love my pom! Thanks for the info :)

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