Nursery Rhymes

Toy Dogs

Toy dogs are small, even diminutive in size.  Toy dogs are generally easy care pets however some do not like young children and their fragility can be a concern in large families.

They have a tendency toward being "yappy" but are loyal and intelligent and especially good at learning tricks.

Picture of a Toy Dog

General Information about Toy Dogs

All of the dogs listed below belong to the collection of dogs referred to as Toy Dogs. Dogs in the Toy Group were initially developed to ease the lifestyle and provide pleasure to rich people.

These dogs were initially owned by the wealthy and were viewed by others as status symbols - a luxury item with little apparent purpose.

Dogs in other groups had specific working roles and played a major part in providing food for the table and therefore justified the cost of their upkeep and care - these were the dogs which were commonly owned by the lower classes. Changes in the economy, lifestyles, living conditions and the environment brought the luxury and pleasure of owning a toy breed dog to everyone.

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Toy Dog Breed Duties
Characteristics and features of Toy Dogs have been introduced and strengthened by breeding with animals who already demonstrated the desired traits. Breeding for appearance was only introduced in the 19th Century. Before this time dogs and puppies were bred to increase useful abilities and traits helpful for the duties they were intended for. Toy Group dogs had limited duties which included the following tasks were were specifically utilised in Oriental and European Courts by royalty and the nobility: 

  • Warmth - A dog's temperature is between 100.2-102.8 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Warmth - toy dogs sat on laps (hence the term 'lapdogs')
  • Warmth - toy dogs warmed beds in cold castles and palaces
  • Companionship
  • Status symbols 

Although toy dogs are most commonly known as lap dogs Oriental Emperors and courtiers carried them around in their copious sleeves!

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Information about Toy Dogs
To discover more about the various specific breeds of Toy Dogs, their origins, history, temperaments and characteristics - please follow one of the following links below:
Affenpinscher
Brussels Griffon
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Chihuahua
Chinese Crested
English Toy Spaniel
Havanese
Italian Greyhound
Japanese Chin
Maltese
Manchester Terrier (Toy)
Miniature Pinscher
Papillon
Pekingese
Pomeranian
Pug
Shih Tzu
Silky Terrier
Toy Fox Terrier
Yorkshire Terrier
Poodles

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