To the layperson, Chihuahuas and Yorkies may be characterized simply as small dogs. But, to the American Kennel Club (AKC), there’s a distinct category for these smaller canines: the toy group. The toy group consists of dogs that are small in size, yet large in personality.

Whether you own a small dog for apartment living or simply love small dogs, the toy group is filled with plenty of playful pups that are sure to win your heart.

About the Toy Group of Dogs

Toy breed: Maltese

Toy breed dogs have a long history. They’ve been traced back to 12,000 years ago when they were first domesticated. With that said, there have been many changes in the small breed dog throughout the centuries, including the dog size, the shape of the head, nose length, and behavioral traits.

The toy group dogs are bred for the sole purpose of being companions for their humans. These dogs are the cousins of larger dogs, but their size has morphed throughout the centuries.

Characteristics of the toy breed dog include the following:

  • Affectionate
  • Sociable
  • Adaptable to small environments
  • May need space to be alone
  • Don’t have to work off a lot of energy
  • Better with adults and older children

The AKC has a set list of standards for toy breed dogs. These standards vary depending on the type of toy breed dog as each dog breed has its own set of standards, according to the AKC.



Types of Breeds

Two back Chihuahua

Dogs within the toy breed category come in all different varieties. From the energetic chihuahua to the silky-eared English toy spaniel, toy breed dogs are each unique in their own way.

Here are some of the more popular toy breeds:


Toy breed: Chihuahua

Are Chihuahuas a hypoallergenic breed? Do Chihuahuas shed, and how long is their lifespan? These small dogs belong to the toy group and are not a hypoallergenic breed. Modern Chihuahuas are bred for companionship. Chihuahuas do not shed much, but they do require minimal grooming to keep them in top health. This tiny and intelligent canine can live 10 to 18 years. As with any animal you bring into your family, understanding the commitment before acquiring your new friend is essential.


Toy breed: Pekingese

This loyal toy breed is not hypoallergenic and sports a considerable coat that requires lengthy and weekly brushing to keep it from matting. Pekes love their people and will be quick to alert them if anything seems out of place. This charming breed will remain ever watchful. The Pekingese comes in a variety of colors. From Cream and Gray to Red Brindle and Fawn, this inquisitive friend is sure to delight owners and admirers alike.  


Toy breed: Pomeranian

A classic Napoleon complex is often associated with the tiny and adorable Pomeranian who doesn’t fear most larger dogs and may even challenge them. Ranging from a minuscule three pounds and topping out in the featherweight class at seven pounds, the term toy has never been more fitting. Make sure to tend to their double coat twice a week and to indulge them in daily grooming sessions during their shedding session.


Toy breed: Pug

Prominent eyes, soft wrinkles, and a mischievous mind describe this stout, little companion that is sure to make you laugh out loud daily. You’ll need to give your Pug the occasional bath and brush them once a week to keep their shedding to a minimum. The Pug’s same zest for getting into trouble applies to their enthusiasm for mealtime. You’ll want to be mindful of giving them treats regardless of their pleading expression. Pugs are prone to obesity for a reason.

Shih Tzu

Toy breed: Shih Tzu

This royal lapdog is a tiny bundle of love wrapped in a luxurious and silky coat. What more could you ask? If you would enjoy a small four-legged shadow, who insists on joining your daily activities than the dapper Shih Tzu is the perfect breed for you. You may want to know, “Are Shih Tzus hypoallergenic? Do they shed? Where do Shih Tzus come from?”  Shih Tzus are not a hypoallergenic breed. They do shed and require daily brushing to keep their long coats mat-free. Shih Tzu lineage can be traced back to Tibetan Monks who created the breed as gift offerings for Chinese emperors.

Toy Poodle

Toy breed: Toy Poodle

If you prefer a small pup, who’s intelligence set them at the top of the class, then this affectionate breed may be for you. Extremely trainable and hard-working, a Poodle can excel at obedience and agility classes, while winning the hearts of family and friends. Make sure your fluffy friend gets daily physical exercise and are exposed to brain games that stimulate and entertain them. The beautiful thing about this smart breed is that you can choose to style their many colorful varieties of fur anyway you, please. Some people want to shape their Poodle’s coat into painstaking show cuts. A more practical everyday approach could be to keep them clipped short, which is easier to maintain. Poodles shed very little, but responsible pet owners know to keep them groomed monthly to avoid mats that pull at their skin.

Yorkshire Terrier

Toy breed: Terrier toy

Who’s the boss, is not only the title of a popular ‘80s sitcom. Yorkshire Terriers demand your adoration, which you’ll give freely to these loveable puppers. Whether you clip their coat short or let their long locks flow, their good looks are hard to resist. Yorkies like to keep life interesting by investigating their surroundings and alerting their owners to new developments. This breed doesn’t require much exercise, but they should be allowed to run about outside from time to time. Be sure to keep them under observation while outdoors, and to keep them warm in colder weather. Their diminutive stature can make them prone to getting the chills.

Toy Dog Breeds in Hollywood

Chihuahua in mans arms

These are just a few of the more popular types of dogs included within the toy breed dog category. There are many unique types of toy breed dogs out there, many of which you may not have even heard of. However, if you are a toy breed dog aficionado, you may know all there is to know about this breed of dog.

You’ll often find many toy breed dogs play a significant part in Hollywood. Toy breed dogs are seen in many movies, commercials, and other high-visibility situations. The chihuahua is a famous toy breed dog to appear in various films and commercials, including the Taco Bell commercials of years past and movies such as Beverly Hills Chihuahua and Legally Blond.

And, this popularity is sure to keep going strong. Many people have a love for toy breed dogs, and you will undoubtedly continue to see this breed of dog in commercials, TV shows, and movies as the years progress.

Dogs in the Toy Group Are Popular for Many Reasons

Hairy puppy and mouse toy

The toy group of dogs always draws a large following, from their small size that makes them ideal for apartment living to their lively demeanor, a toy breed dog is a popular choice. Whether you adore the sweet face of a pug or appreciate the friendship of the poodle, there is a toy breed dog perfect for you. This type of dog will provide you years of love and companionship that you’re sure to appreciate.

For some dog lovers, a larger dog, such as a hound dog or sporting dog, is ideal. And, that’s okay! Everyone has their preferred breed. Some individuals go with the breed they grew up with while others like to stay within a sporting dog category or another type of AKC category. No matter what breed of dog you prefer, your pup is sure to love being a part of the family.

Whichever type of breed you choose to welcome into your home, make sure you protect your beloved pet with dog insurance. Pet insurance provides you with peace of mind knowing that should your pet require a trip to the veterinarian, medication, surgery, or other medical requirements, you will be able to pay for your pup’s treatment with ease.

Prudent Pet offers a wide array of dog insurance options for you to choose from to properly care for your pet. Contact Prudent Pet for a pet insurance quote today!