Toy dog

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Toy dog traditionally refers to a very small dog or a grouping of small and very small breeds of dog. A toy dog may be of any of various dog types. Types of dogs referred to as toy dogs may include Spaniels, Pinschers and Terriers that have been bred down in size. Not all toy dogs are lapdogs, although that is an important and ancient type of toy dog.

Small dogs[edit]

A well-sized and healthy Yorkshire Terrier. The Yorkie is one of the most popular of the toy breeds.
The Chinese Crested Dog is a hairless toy breed.
Toy Poodle wearing clothes in Tokyo

Dogs found in the Toy Group of breed registries may be of the very ancient lapdog type, or they may be small versions of hunting dogs or working dogs, bred down in size for a particular kind of work or to create a pet of convenient size. In the past, very small dogs not used for hunting were kept as symbols of affluence, as watchdogs, and for the health function of attracting fleas away from their owners.[1]


Most major dog clubs in the English-speaking world have a toy group, under one exact name or another, in which they place breeds of dog that the kennel club categorises as toy, based on size and tradition. The Kennel Club (UK), the Canadian Kennel Club, the American Kennel Club, the Australian National Kennel Council, and the New Zealand Kennel Club all have a group named "Toy", although they may not all categorise the same breeds in this category. The United States has a second major kennel club, the United Kennel Club (UKC, originally formed for hunting and working breeds, though general today), and it does not recognize such a group; instead, small dogs are placed with larger dogs of their type, or into a UKC's "Companion Dog" group.[2] As of September 2008, the American Kennel Club began debating whether or not to change the name of their "Toy" group to "Companion", in order to emphasise that dogs are not playthings, but the name change was resisted by traditionalists.[3]

The Fédération Cynologique Internationale has established common nomenclature to ensure that pedigrees are mutually recognized in all 84 member countries. The following breed sections are recognized by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale in Group 9, Toy and Companion.[4]

  • Section 1: Bichons and related breeds
  • Section 2: Poodle
  • Section 3: Small Belgian dogs
  • Section 4: Hairless dogs
  • Section 5: Tibetan breeds
  • Section 6: Chihuahua
  • Section 7: English Toy Spaniels
  • Section 8: Japanese Chin and Pekingese
  • Section 9: Continental Toy Spaniel
  • Section 10: Kromfohrländer
  • Section 11: Small Molossian type dogs

Not including the colour and size varieties, breeds categorized by Fédération Cynologique Internationale members as "Companion and Toy" are listed here. Those with flags are also recognized by the non-member countries indicated by the flag.

Registries within individual Fédération Cynologique Internationale members, such as the Australian National Kennel Council, may use slightly different nomenclature, depending on the country. Non-member countries use other terminology, but the term toy is only used to group dogs for show purposes.

The Kennel Club (UK) places breeds marked Flag of the United Kingdom.svg in the Toy Group:[5]

The Canadian Kennel Club recognizes breeds marked Flag of Canada.svg in Group 5, Toys:[6]

The American Kennel Club places breeds marked Flag of the United States.svg in the Toy Group:[7]

In addition, these national organizations also recognize the following breeds in their toy groups:

The major national kennel club for each country will have its own list of breeds that it recognizes as Toy. In addition, some new or newly documented rare breeds may be awaiting approval by a given kennel club. Some new breeds may currently be recognized only by their breed clubs. Some rare new breeds have been given breed names, but may only be available from the breeder or breeders who are developing the breed, and may not yet be recognized by any kennel club.

In addition to the major registries, there are a plethora of sporting clubs, breed clubs, and internet-based breed registries and businesses in which dogs may be registered in whatever way the owner or seller wishes.[8]

Teacup dogs[edit]

No major or reputable dog registry recognizes the term teacup dog, thus the toy/teacup boundary remains fuzzy. The standard size for a toy dog ranges from 4 to 7 pounds; anything smaller than the standard size of a toy dog may be the runt of a litter. No official size defines a teacup dog, but unofficially a teacup dog is considered[by whom?] to be a dog that is 17 inches or less and weighs 4 lbs or less at the age of 12 months. There are no specific teacup dog breeds, but popular types for breeding teacup dogs include: Shih Tzu, Chihuahua, Yorkshire Terrier, Poodle, Pug, Maltese, Pomeranian, and Silky Terrier, among others.

Because teacup dogs are bred to be unnaturally miniature-sized, they are prone to many serious health issues. Teacup dogs often suffer from hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), which can cause seizures and even death if not carefully monitored. Teacup dogs often need to be fed several times a day or more to avoid low blood sugar levels. They also commonly suffer from liver shunts, hydrocephalus (water on the brain), heart problems, and respiratory problems.[9] Teacup puppies also tend to have incontinence issues due to their extremely small bladder sizes.[10] This is especially prevalent when genetic health testing and other health testing required by breed clubs is not performed.

Since the teacup dog is not an official or regulated breed category, it is very easy for breeders to mislead uninformed buyers. Breeders can easily market a regular dog as a teacup dog simply by lying about the puppy's age. Teacup dogs are also often the runts of a litter, which means that while they may be unusually small puppies, there is no guarantee that they will not grow to become regular-sized dogs for their breed.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Bruce Felton and Mark Fowler (1994). "Fashion and Grooming". The Best, Worst, and Most Unusual. New York: Galahad Books. p. 538. ISBN 0-88365-861-5.
  2. ^ United Kennel Club (US) breed groups Archived 2011-01-03 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Toys Are Us? by Stephanie Abraham, AKC Gazette, September 2008, pp 55-56
  4. ^ Fédération Cynologique Internationale Group 9
  5. ^ The Kennel Club Toy Group Archived 2008-08-08 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Canadian Kennel Club Group 5
  7. ^ American Kennel Club Toy Group
  8. ^ Dog Breed Registries in North America Archived 2005-12-20 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^

External links[edit]