5 Small Dog Breeds This Veterinarian Would Like to See More Of
Little dogs might be small in stature, but they often have gigantic hearts. Small dogs are often so full of love and spunk that they just can’t hold it in, so they share it with their people. This is why I am always happy to meet a plucky Papillon, a charming Cavalier or a rootin’ tootin’ Rat Terrier.
Toy and small-breed dogs have a lot going for them. They tend to be just the right size for any type of home, from a studio apartment in the city to a thousand-acre ranch. They’re frequently easy to travel with, whether you’re driving or flying. And even though they might shed, there will most likely be a lot less fur flying around your home when you live with a little dog. Best of all, they frequently have life spans that stretch well into the teens.
I love all dogs, but there’s a special place in my heart for the ones who are just the right size to snuggle in my arms — like my little QT Pie. Here are five small breeds I wouldn’t mind seeing more of in the coming year.
5 Breeds With Big Hearts and Small Bodies
Papillon. Fans of this French Toy spaniel often refer to him as the Border Collie of the Toy breeds, largely because of his brains and activity level. It’s no surprise to find him starring in agility trials, sniffing out ribbons at nose work trials, acing tracking tests and more. His name comes from the French word for "butterfly," which is understandable once you see his big, beautiful fringed ears. (His brother, the Phalène — French for "moth" — has drop ears, while the Papillon’s are upstanding. Otherwise, they are the same breed.) Get a Papillon only if you are quick witted enough to stay a few steps ahead of this clever little dog and active enough to prevent him from being bored.
English Toy Spaniel. This cousin to the Cavalier might look a little snooty, but he typically has a silly side. Known as Charlies to their fans, English Toy Spaniels are most often devoted companions who tend to prefer family members above all others. They are frequently happy to be lap dogs but have an adaptable activity level and may also enjoy participating in dog sports, such as agility, rally and nose work.
Toy Fox Terrier. This breed’s motto always makes me laugh: “Life is merrier with a Toy Fox Terrier.” That’s the truth! Typically playful, silly and fearless, this made-in-America dog was created to be a ratter on small family farms, but he has morphed into a family dog whose personality and activity level can range from couch potato to live wire. He has a lot going for him, including a smooth, easy-care coat; ease of housetraining (including learning to use a litterbox!); and an athletic bent that often makes him a natural at agility, rally and other dog sports. Plan on sharing the furniture with him, though — and don’t be surprised to find him snuggled inside your pillowcase at bedtime.
Miniature Pinscher. This handsome black-and-tan dog is often mistaken for a scaled-down Doberman, but he actually predates that breed. Nicknamed “The King of the Toys,” the Min Pin thinks he’s hot stuff. I can’t tell you how many of them I’ve met who are named Harley, thanks to their tough-guy personae. Underneath it, though, they are most often affectionate and funny dogs with short, easy-care coats. Though a Min Pin can be a hilarious companion, be aware that he sometimes has issues with housetraining and isn’t afraid to take on the Mastiff down the street.
Lowchen. Talk about an old-fashioned breed! The ancestors of the Lowchen can be seen in woodcuts dating to the 15th century. In German, his name translates to “little lion,” and that’s what he is supposed to resemble with the mane of fur around his face, bare rear end and bare tail with a pouf of fur at the tip. Of course, that’s all achieved with a lion trim; he doesn’t come that way. You can also let his hair grow out, so he’s furry all over. I love the Lowchen for his outgoing and clownish personality. He tends to be curious and smart, not to mention overflowing with charisma.
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