Toy dogs, not to be confused with dog toys, are the smallest dogs in the canine world, smaller than even “small” dogs. Sound confusing? Don’t worry, we’ll help you figure it out.
You can easily distinguish a toy dog from a small dog by how much they weigh. Generally, any dog that weighs less than 12 pounds is a Toy, though some clubs may recognize dogs up to 18 pounds as such.
Some of these dogs have been around since ancient times, kept primarily as lapdogs by royalty or the affluent. Others are small versions of bigger dogs that have been bred down to the Toy size they are now.
Despite being so small, toy dogs are more than just lapdogs; they can have great endurance and energy levels. Some breeds, such as Papillons or Maltese excel at dog agility trials.
If you are planning on getting a toy dog, know that they should be kept indoors, and they do well even in apartment living and urban settings.
The biggest concern for toy dogs are larger dogs and children. Due to their small size, toys can easily get injured even when they are just playing around with other animals, so always keep an eye out.
On the other hand, the benefits of owning a toy dog is how easy they are to take care of compared to larger breeds. They are easier to handle, less expensive to feed, and any messes they make can be quickly cleaned up.
If you are looking to adopt a toy dog, read our overviews below to find the right breed for you.