My boss brings her tiny poodle, Mr. Bruce Sussman to work every day. He just kind of hangs out in her office, taking naps and watching over the ballet students as they come and go. On Halloween, he lets us dress him up and doesn’t really cause a fuss. He’s quite the little fixture around the workplace.
So, I began to think about dog groups and how a group is determined. Using Mr. B. Sussman as my jumping off point, I started to question and become curious, what exactly is a toy dog? Dogs are broken up into seven different groups: Terrier, Working, Sporting, Hound, Herding, Nonsporting, and Toy. From their groups, they are then broken down into breeds. According to the American Kennel Club, all the dogs listed in the Toy group are as follows: Affenpinscher, Brussels Griffon, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Chihuahua, Chinese Crested, English Toy Spaniel, Havanese, Italian Greyhound, Japanese Chin, Maltese, Manchester Terrier, Miniature Pinscher, Papillon, Pekingese, Pomeranian, Poodle, Pug, Shih Tzu, Silky Terrier, Toy Fox Terrier, and the Yorkshire Terrier.
Toy breeds were initially developed as an accessory to those living an affluent lifestyle and were viewed within the community as a symbol of wealth and of status. They could be bred as smaller versions of hunting or working dogs (two other groups of dog) to work jobs that require a very small dog to complete. Other toy dogs were originally bred to be lapdogs (literally meaning that they kept the lap of the owner warm) and to warm the beds of their owners. And of course, most Toys these days are bred purely for companionship.
Obviously Toy dogs are very petite and tiny in size compared to other dog breeds. They tend to be on the easier side to care for and are often thought of as being loyal and intelligent with an exceptional ability at learning tricks. You’ll often find a Toy dog in larger cities because they tend to need less vigorous exercise as bigger dogs. They can scamper around their apartment during the day and exert an adequate amount of energy to be ready to snuggle as your companion when you get home. I mean, all dogs need to be taken out and given that fresh air and a chance to stretch their legs, it’s just that these legs are a lot tinier, so the stretching is not as great.
So, there we have it, just a small snapshot of what your neighbors/coworkers/friends Toy dog is all about. The next time you meet someone who owns one, you can wow them with just a tiny bit of Toy dog trivia!