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Dog breeds

Toy Group

The common denominator of the breeds comprising the Toy Group is their small size. Other characteristics are their appealing appearance and love of attention. Many of the breeds have very forceful personalities and make excellent watchdogs. Their convenient size, generally moderate exercise requirements and relatively inexpensive maintenance ensure their popularity in both town and country. The charm and attractiveness of these small dogs quite often leads to them being over-indulged and spoiled, much to their physical and psychological detriment. Very often their apparent fragility conceals a dog of surprising robustness and energy - it is a mistake to assume that lack of height and weight equals ornamental status and a delicate constitution. They require the same training and sensible handling as their larger brethren.

Many were bred specifically as companion or lap dogs with several originating in the Orient where beauty of form and coat was highly prized. Some of the breeds in this Group are miniaturized versions of their larger forebears, eg the Italian Greyhound and Miniature Pinscher. Others still retain the strong hunting instincts for which they were originally developed, eg the Yorkshire Terrier and the English Toy Terrier. It would seem to be only by virtue of their diminutive stature that they classified as Toys.

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