TOY Group

The Toy Group is simply a compilation of small or tiny breeds. Some are miniature versions of dogs in other groups, while many are of ancient ancestry that can no longer be traced back to the original larger breed.

Unlike some of the other AKC groups, the Toy group breeds have only their size in common. Though some of these tiny dogs were originally bred to do a specific job, they have long since been retired to indoor living as companions and lapdogs.

In general, these little, enjoyably entertaining dogs are often quite tough and though they cannot be guard dogs, they make great watchdogs.

Toy breeds are a favorable choice for city life or apartment dwelling as well as senior pet parents. All dogs, large or small, need exercise but the Toy breeds can do well with a long walk and running around indoors.

Training a small breed dog is not necessarily easier but controlling one is. For pet-parents that prefer not to take a house-trained dog outdoors routinely, a toy breed is preferable as they can be trained to use pads indoors.


Cavalier King Charles  Spaniel

Height: 12-13 inches                                                                                                                                                             Weight: 13-18 pounds

Life Expectancy: 12-15 years

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel’s impressive name displays his obvious connection to British history. Though the Cavaliers are a most gentle and loyal companion they have the spunk and vitality of a sporting spaniel.

It’s easy to fall in love at first sight with the beautiful sweet face and large, round eyes of a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.

Happy to curl up on the couch or play chase outside, the Cavalier is a wonderful companion for active families with children or a stay at home pet parents.

They are easily trained and eager to please.



Height: 5-8 inches                                                                                                                                                                 Weight: not exceeding 6 pounds

Life Expectancy: 14-16 years

The Chihuahua is a tiny dog with a huge personality. These alert and amusing “purse dogs” are a national symbol of Mexico.

The round “apple” head is a trademark of the breed. Their coats come in a variety of colors and patterns and can be long or short.

Chihuahuas are a loyal, engrossing, and confident tiny dog with a big dog attitude. However, they are not a suitable pet for children to roughhouse with. Chihuahuas are adaptable but need special care in cold weather. Their favorite pastime is curling up on someone’s lap.

Chihuahuas will take control of your home if allowed to so training is a good idea.



Height: 8.5-11.5 inches                                                                                                                                                        Weight: 7-13 pounds

Life Expectancy: 14-16 years

Havanese, the only dog breed native to Cuba, have become very popular with American city dwellers. These cheerful and full of life little dogs make wonderful social companions.

​The Havanese has a gorgeous silky coat, which comes in a variety of colors and an adorable curled tail. Similar to the puppy-cut styles of other breeds with continuously growing hair, some pet parents keep the coat of their Havanese short to reduce grooming time.

These sturdy and highly adaptable social dogs are ideal for the city or the suburbs. They are intelligent and easily trained.  Havanese usually do not bark excessively but make excellent watchdogs.


Italian Greyhound

Height: 13-15 inches                                                                                                                                                             Weight: 7-14 pounds

Life Expectancy: 14-15 years

The Italian Greyhound is an alert, playful, and highly affectionate toy replica of the G. companion. Just like the large breed, these little dogs are couch dogs, but fast as lightning hounds with an instinct for pursuit.

The Italian Greyhound is a good choice for the pet-parent who loves to have a small companion dog in their bed or their lap, as this is a dog that craves attention and does not like to be ignored.

Greyhounds large or small require extra care in cold weather and have extensive wardrobes designed especially for short-coated and low body fat breeds.

Training should be firm but never threatening as this is a stubborn but very sensitive breed.



Height: 7-9 inches                                                                                                                                                                 Weight: under 7 pounds

Life Expectancy: 12-15 years

The ever affectionate Maltese has a coat of long, straight, silky white hair. Their adorable little face with big dark eyes and black nose makes them love-at-first-sight dogs.

Maltese are physically fit and versatile pets. Though they are charming and social they make fearless watchdogs. Maltese have low-shedding continuously growing hair that most pet parents choose to keep short.

A little stubborn at times, the Maltese can still be easily trained.


Miniature Pinscher

Height: 10-12.5 inches                                                                                                                                                         Weight: 8-10 pounds

Life Expectancy: 12-16 years

Miniature Pinschers are sturdy, compact, and confident little dogs with a “big dog” personality. The smooth, shiny coat comes in two shades of solid red, or chocolate-and-rust or black-and-rust.

Despite the similarity in looks, they are not closely related to the Doberman Pincher and are very different in temperament and personality.

Compared to the Doberman, Min Pins are more possessive of toys and food, less tolerant of children just to mention a few examples.

Early socialization and training are highly recommended.



Height: 8-11 inches                                                                                                                                                               Weight: 5-10 pounds

Life Expectancy: 14-16 years

The name Papillon is French for butterfly and was given to this breed because of its distinctive wing-shaped ears. Papillons have a delicate and dignified look with a long silky coat and a plumed tail. Their coat has a white base but patterned with many color combinations.

They are highly adaptable to city life or suburban living as well as warm or cool climates. They make wonderful family companions and enjoy cuddle time but prefer not to be alone. They do well with other dogs in the household and like to participate in outdoor activities.

Training is recommended but easily accomplished with consistency.



Height: 6-7 inches                                                                                                                                                                 Weight: 3-7 pounds

Life Expectancy: 12-16 years

The Pomeranian has become one of the most popular toy breeds. Most commonly seen in orange or red, the Pomeranian has a thick double coat that comes in about two dozen colors and patterns.

This intelligent and vigilant watchdog makes a great family dog but needs training or they will control the household. Pomeranians can become nippy, bark excessively, and become defiant if allowed to have a free run.


Toy Poodle

Height: No more than 10 inches                                                                                                                                       Weight: 4-6 pounds

Life Expectancy: 10-18 years

Toy Poodles are the smallest of the three sizes, Standard, Miniature, and Toy. Toy poodles are simply the smallest in size but all varieties carry the same traits they were bred for. Their coat comes in a wide variety of colors and patterns and their hair is a low allergen. They are extremely intelligent, alert, and make great watchdogs as well as companions.

The Toy Poodle can be easily trained and is usually not a destructive dog by nature. Because of the Toy Poodles tiny size and delicate build, this is not the best choice for small children. As with most highly intelligent dogs, physical activity and mental stimulation like training and games are advised.



Height: 10-13 inches                                                                                                                                                             Weight: 14-18 pounds

Life Expectancy: 13-15 years


The Pug is a small but muscular breed and that has become very popular as a family companion. They come in three colors: silver or apricot-fawn with a black face mask, or all black.

Pug pet parents consider this breed to be the ideal house dog. Their highly adaptable nature makes the Pug a good fit for the city or country, with kids or seniors, as an only pet or in a pack.

The Pug is a brachycephalic breed that requires extra care to keep them comfortable in extreme weather conditions. Additionally, they should be kept trim and fit. A veterinarian would be able to advise the best care for a brachycephalic breed.

This is an easily trained but sensitive breed. They do not do well being left alone for long periods and early socialization is recommended.


Shih Tzu

Height: 9-10.5 inches                                                                                                                                                      Weight: 9-16 pounds

Life Expectancy: 10-18 years

The Shih Tzu is a true lap dog and great family dog with children. Small but sturdy the Shih Tzu will melt your heart with their beautiful coats of hair in many colors and patterns and their tiny wide-eyed faces. Though they are outstanding beautiful when their coats are floor-length, most pet parents choose to keep their Shih Tzu in a puppy cut because it is easier to groom and keep clean.

This is a brachycephalic breed that does not tolerate heat well and will prefer comfortably air-conditioned indoor living.

Gentle but firm training methods should be used on this sensitive and loving dog and training early is recommended especially for house training.


Yorkshire Terrier

Height: 7-8 inches                                                                                                                                                                 Weight: 7 pounds

Life Expectancy: 11-15 years

Before the Yorkshire Terrier became a lapdog, the Yorkie was bred to be a ratter. With that said it becomes apparently clear why the Yorkie is a tough and confident little dog with a huge personality.

The Yorkshire Terriers floor-length, low-allergen silky human-like hair of silver and rich golden tan is not often seen as a short cut grooming has become more favorable amongst pet parents.

Yorkies are very popular apartment living, busy lifestyles, and pet parents that want a combination of small, take me with you, watchdog and I can go on paper kind of dog.

Training can be easy if the pet parent is firm and consistent, does not pick their puppy up when a behavior is not acceptable and the Yorkie is not allowed to control the household.