Meet the Tiny and Adorable Dog Breeds of the Toy Group
by Megan Winter
Published on January 23, 2015
Tiny, adorable and often feisty, the Toy group is full of dogs who might enjoy a snuggle in your lap, make you laugh and, well, rule your household with an iron paw. One the best things about this group is that they are usually excellent companions. In fact, providing companionship to humans is what many of these breeds were designed to do.
Thanks to their small size, Toy dogs can be great for apartment living, but many of them are happy in any home — as long as they get to spend quality time with you. Just don’t be fooled by their tiny size, many of these little canines have huge personalities.
The Affenpinscher is a tiny breed with a big attitude who ranges from 9 to 11.5 inches tall and 6 to 13 pounds. This “mustachioed devil” can be a great candidate for apartment living, and thanks to his terrier ancestry, he might be willing to help keep your home rodent free.
The Bolognese is a breed who's usually happiest curled up in a lap. With his long, wavy white locks and affectionate disposition, it’s no surprise the 7-to-12-pound breed was once a favorite of nobility, especially during the Renaissance.
Even though the Brussels Griffon usually doesn't exceed 12 pounds, she runs her household like a boss. Intelligent and full of self-importance, this attention-loving breed has a reputation for naughtiness when she doesn’t feel like she's getting adequate attention from her human.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is one of the larger of the Toy breeds, standing 12 to 13 inches tall and weighing 13 to 18 pounds. Typical Cavaliers are happy to spend quality time in your lap or on long walk or hikes. The breed is a favorite among celebrities and became a TV star when featured on Sex and the City as Charlotte York's dog, Elizabeth Taylor.
Thanks to “¿Yo Quiero Taco Bell?” and celebrity-owned dogs like Paris Hilton’s Tinkerbell, Chihuahuas burst onto the national stage and have been a favorite among the Toy breeds ever since. These tiny companions are generally not more than 5 inches tall and should weigh no more than 6 pounds. But don’t let their diminutive size fool you — they can be excellent watchdogs and are known to be territorial.
The Chinese Crested comes in two varieties: hairless and Powderpuff. The hairless has soft, smooth skin with silky hair on his feet, head and tail, while the Powderpuff is entirely covered with soft, silky fur. In fact, the two types often come from the same litter. Chinese Cresteds are usually 11 to 13 inches tall and weigh 10 to 13 pounds.
English Toy Spaniel
English Toy Spaniels are typically a playful, loving breed. Their calm demeanor and small size make them excellent roommates for apartment dwellers. Just remember: The breed's flat face makes him sensitive to heat, so he should never be left outdoors in the summer.
Recognized as the national dog of Cuba, the Havanese has a silky or fluffy coat that comes in many colors and patterns. The breed tends to get along with children, cats and other dogs, and is fairly quiet for a small dog. They typically weigh 7 to 13 pounds and are known for creating their own games and then playing them with their human companions.
The Italian Greyhound is a smart breed, but somehow he didn't get the memo that he's very, very tiny. He neither knows nor cares that he's a somewhat fragile fella who is only 13 to 15 inches tall and 7 to 15 pounds. IGs are true hounds and tend to love outdoor activities, but they also enjoy the luxuries of home.
The Japanese Chin is a flat-faced Toy who was bred for the Chinese imperial court 1,500 years ago. Ranging from 4 to 9 pounds, the Chin is an agile and playful guy who will entertain you with his mischievous antics.
Generally weighing less than 7 pounds, the Maltese is a spunky breed known for retaining his puppylike attitude throughout his life. It's hard not to fall in love with his adorable shoe-button eyes, flowing coat of silky white and lively personality.
Known as the "King of the Toys,” this spunky breed is best suited for owners with the ability to manage its willful nature. The Min Pin has no idea he’s classified in the Toy group and thinks he’s as big as his attitude — not his body.
The word “papillon” is French for butterfly, which makes it an apt name for a breed whose trademark erect ears resemble butterfly wings. The pint-size Papillon weighs just 3 to 12 pounds, but she doesn't know it. The tiny breed can be just as energetic and smart as dogs more than twice her size.
If you don’t mind letting a dog rule your household, then the Pekingese may very well be the breed for you. Once revered by the Chinese imperial court, the Peke has a regal air about him and is used to getting his way. His size — no more than 14 pounds — makes him suited for any size home, from an apartment to a palace.
Weighing in at less than 7 pounds, the Pomeranian is one of the smaller of the Toys, but don’t expect to find him in a puppy purse. He’s usually far too busy to be toted around. Channel his energy with walks, playtime and (overall health permitting) dog sports like agility, freestyle, obedience and rally.
With his comical face, curly tail and generally sunny disposition, the Pug is certain to charm everyone he meets. The breed is among the larger of the Toys, commonly weighing 14 to 18 pounds. His stocky body means that he's not quite as frail as some other Toy breeds, but he still should be handled respectfully by children and watched when he's with other dogs. Just be sure to supervise all play to make sure it doesn't get out of hand.
The Shih Tzu (pronounced SHEED-zoo) is a favorite among the Toy breeds because of his small size, sweet nature, flowing coat and intelligent mind. This breed usually weighs 9 to 16 pounds, which is the perfect size for cuddling in your lap.
Sure, he's a charmer and he’s highly portable (averaging 10 pounds, give or take), but the Silky Terrier is also a smart, sassy and demanding little canine. Looking for a lap dog? Forget it. The Silky is a true terrier who usually wants to run, dig and play.
Toy Fox Terrier
Thanks to his terrier ancestry, the Toy Fox Terrier typically enjoys digging, barking and investigating. He may weigh less than 10 pounds, but if left to his own devices, the TFT can become bored and destructive. Keep him out of trouble with training, exercise, socialization and mental stimulation.
Generally weighing in at less than 10 pounds, Toy Poodles know how to make an impression, whether they're in the show ring or your lap. Poodles might have a prissy reputation, but these elegant dogs can be very smart and require regular mental and physical exercise.
Typically weighing less than 7 pounds, the Yorkshire Terrier is one of the more popular (and tinier) dog breeds. You might think of Yorkies as a breed only for high-society owners, but it actually appeals to a wide-range of dog lovers. It helps that he has shoe-button eyes and a silky coat.
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