If your dream of having a puppy-sized dog forever, this can become a reality – all you have to do is get yourself a toy dog breed. As the name suggests, toy dog breeds are all small, but what they lack in stature they make up for in massive personalities.
What is a toy dog breed?
Toy dogs are small breeds of dogs that weigh 15 pounds or less when fully grown. They get their cute name because they resemble soft toys in size.
Casey Ehrlich of the Embark Science Team says toy dog breeds have a long history. “Toy breeds were selectively bred for a smaller size, sometimes for hundreds of years.” Another cool fact: “Scientists have identified nearly 20 genes associated with smaller size in dogs,” she explains.
While you might think that all toy dog breeds are lap dogs, think again! “Breeds like the Papillon and Boston Terriers have a lot of energy and vigor, and even enjoy dog sports like agility,” says Ehrlich. “Others, like the pug or Shih Tzu, tend to spend their time on the couch.”
And just because they’re tiny doesn’t mean they can’t hang out with the kids. “Breeds like the Havanese and the Miniature Poodle can make excellent family dogs (and good allergy dogs too), she says. Ultimately: “There is as much variety in toy breeds as there is in large ones,” explains Ehrlich, “which is why it is important to learn more about each breed in order to find out which one suits you and your family best.”
30 toy dog breeds
1. Mini schnauzer
If you’re looking for a really loyal pet, a mini schnauzer is for you. They will be your little shadow and follow you everywhere. They also get along with everyone.
2. Miniature poodle
Toy poodles have curly hair like standard poodles, but are only about 10 inches tall compared to a 24-inch standard poodle. They’re also available in a variety of colors including brown, cream, red, silver, white, and more!
3. English toy spaniel
This small breed was once very popular with British royalty. In fact, in England the England Toy Spaniel is called the King Charles Spaniel (not to be confused with the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel), named after King Charles I.
Take a close look at the primate face of an Affenpinscher and you will see why it was nicknamed “Monkey Dog” and “Monkey Terrier”. But don’t worry, they don’t climb trees. However, they have a mischievous personality and are playful like monkeys.
As one of the funniest dog breeds, pugs are pure entertainment. These short-nosed pups are known for making a variety of facial expressions that are sure to make you a LOL.
6. Cotton from Tulear
This adorable pooch is from Madagascar. They owe their name to their cotton-like coat, which is not only pretty, but also hypoallergenic. So if you have allergies and are looking for a toy breed this dog is for you.
A Schipperke, a small Belgian breed, is both curious and clever. Males can be up to 13 inches tall and females can be up to 12.
In French, Papillon means “butterfly”, which inspired the name of this breed thanks to its beautiful ears that fan out like the wings of a butterfly. And while most papillons have these ears, some have so-called “moth ears” that are slacker and fall.
9. Russian toy terrier
This handsome breed can weigh as little as 3 pounds and enjoys both lounging and playing. They can have long or short coats, but long-haired Russian Toy Terriers do not tend to get their adult coats until they are over a year old.
10. Manchester Toy Terrier
With their smooth fur, Manchester Toy Terriers are showy dogs that weigh around 8 pounds. They love to be the center of attention and you won’t mind if you cuddle them like crazy to show them that you care.
11. Italian Greyhound
If you get any of these toy breeds, make sure you keep them in a fenced yard. Why? These 11 pound pups are fast and can run up to 25 miles per hour!
12. Miniature Pinscher
Mini Pins are often referred to as the king of toys and with their confidence and fearlessness it’s easy to see why. One thing that makes them unique is their distinctive way of walking, or should we say they jump high.
13. Biewer Terriers
Biewer Terriers are a rare breed that is short and has a beautiful coat. Their fur is piebald, which means that they have irregular patches of color all over their bodies that make each one unique.
Members of the AKC Toy Group, these loyal pups are full of energy and typically only weigh around 5 pounds! They come in two different varieties, explains Dr. Jerry Klein, Chief Veterinary Officer of the American Kennel Club (AKC): Smooth coat and long hair. “They are the smallest AKC breed,” he says – which says a lot since the AKC recognizes 197 breeds of dogs. “They are an old breed from Mexico,” he adds. The hallmarks of a Chihuahua: “They are fearless and secure; intelligent and devoted, “says Dr. Small.
15. Toy Xoloitzcuintli
Xoloitzcuintli (or Zolos for short) dates from the Aztec period in ancient Mexico and has been around for over 3,000 years. People once thought they were even mystical powers and kept them in their homes to keep evil spirits away.
16. Chinese forelock
Tender? Check. Lively? Check. Playful? Check. These are just a few of the characteristics of Chinese Crested Dogs. In addition to their great personality, they are known for their unique looks, which include two signature styles: hairless and coated.
17. Toy fox terrier
Toy Fox Terriers are an American breed at 7 pounds. They are quick to learn, which means they are easy to train and very obedient pets.
18. Shih Tzu
Thousands of years ago, Shih Tzus were royal household pets. And with her charming personality, small looks, and gorgeous cloaks, there’s no denying why kings and queens adored her so much.
19. Pocket Beagle
Big favorites, pocket beagles are basically smaller versions of beagles. They are less than a foot tall and weigh between 7 and 15 pounds.
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20. Brussels Griffon
Known as “Griffs” and part of the AKC Toy Group, this breed can weigh between 5 and 15 pounds and grow to be between 9 and 11 inches tall. There are two varieties that Dr. Small parts: rough fur and smooth fur. “It’s a very devoted breed with their owner,” he says, “but a little suspicious of strangers.” They also have a great sense of humor and character, he adds. If this breed sounds familiar, it’s because you’ve probably seen it on screen: “This breed was made famous in the Jack Nicholson film As Good as It Gets.
21. Yorkshire Terrier
Yorkshire Terriers are lovely, lively, and loving little dogs that have been around since the 19th century.the Century. They are also the most popular breed of toys in the United States.
As one of the oldest toy breeds, Maltese have been around for over 28 centuries! One fun quality they have about them (besides being cuteness) is the fact that they have a color-changing nose that switches between different shades depending on whether or not they’re in the sunlight.
This playful mix is small as a Yorkie and smart as a poodle. Not only are they super cute, they’re also hypoallergenic. Talk about winning combinations.
24. Boston Terrier
You guessed it! This breed originated in the United States. They are lively, can be stubborn and are great all-round companions.
These little lion puffballs are total beauties! They have incredibly playful personalities for their tiny frames and a luscious double coat of luxurious fur that requires regular grooming.
26. Japanese Chin
With a long history as companions of Japanese royalty, these majestic pups make great pets. They love to snuggle up on their owner’s lap, have a cute demeanor, and their hair is always on point.
A Pekingese may be small, but it is powerful! They are fearless little nuggets that make great watch dogs and are extremely loyal to their owners and those who care about them.
28. American toy Eskimo
Toy American Eskimos have beautiful coats that come in two colors: white or biscuit cream. And while their name suggests their breed originated in America, they are actually from Germany.
Havanese, a member of the AKC Toy Group, belong to Dr. Small to the best toy dog breeds: “They are wonderful companions – playful, affectionate and get on with other people and dogs.” A Havanese coat is more than just pretty; it’s a form of protection. It acts as a barrier against the sun and prevents overheating. How cool is that Be aware, however, that his long coat takes a lot of grooming to look sharp, notes Dr. Small.
30. Norwich Terrier
The portrait of a Norwich Terrier in a garden
With their short and straight fur, Norwich Terriers shed twice a year and require a lot of brushing from their owner. They have a sweet personality and like an active lifestyle.
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