Ten of the world smallest dog (aka Toy dog) breeds

Ten of the world smallest dog (aka Toy dog) breeds

1) Chihuahua

Chihuahua originated from Mexico. Its history dates back to 9th century. Not much was known of this breed before the 9th century as there were no actual records or lacking of evidence in documents even though there were artifacts unearthed which dates back to around 1200 AD depicting this breed of dog. Chihuahua is one of the more popular breed of dogs in America and is recognized in 1904 by the American Kennel Club.
The two varieties of this breed are the short haired Smooth Coat and the Long Coat. They have big upright standing ears with big rounded eyes set apart. Chihuahua tends to have a noticeable round skull like the shape of an apple. This give the Chihuahua the cute look.
Chihuahua is an active and playful dog. Yet it has a graceful and charming look. Do not underestimate this breed for its charm as it loves activities. However it has the tendency of rivalry aggressiveness and is very protective of its owner.
Usually the lifespan of Chihuahua average from 12 to 18 years. As it is a small dog, it weighs between 4 to 6 pounds. The height of a Chihuahua is between 6 to 10 inches.


2) Maltese

This breed was originated from the Central Mediterranean Area. This history dates back to the 17th century that its name comes from the island of Malta. It is also known as the Maltese Lion Dog as its head with long shaggy coat of hair resembles that of a lion. As it is known with long coat of hair, Maltese also somewhat has some Spitz-like nature though not so prominent. Some evidence also indicated that this breed was also partly a descendent of the type of terrier of the Tibetian.
It has a rounded dome-like head with eyes set that makes it look like a toy rather than a real dog. Standing at a height of 7 to 12 in tall which is the normal dog kennel association/society standard, some may varies as breeding were of crucial in maintaining its normal stature. Maltese can weight from 4 to 7 pounds. The lifespan of this breed is 12 to 15 years.
With its cute stature, this dog is known to be cuddly like a teddy bear. Being as a teddy bear like, it is very active and playful. They are well adapted to human. However being playful and active, sometimes they may overdo and it is wise that adults should supervise when children is around. As it is small, it is well suited in the house or confined place.


3) Affenpinscher

This breeds originated from Germany and its history dates as far back as the 17th century. This breed of dog were initially used by the people to rid mice as they were active and can get into confined places especially in the home kitchen. The Affenpinscher is popular as a farm dog in Europe. Their fearless attitude in pursuing their prey has been one of the reason that they were used for this purpose.
The face of an Affenpinscher resembles that of an ape when you look straight at it and this has been the reason that its name comes from the German word “ape” or “monkey”. It has a rough and long coat with a shaggy look that appears to be unkempt. Due to its thick and wiry coat, it tends to get matted and needs to be brushed often.
It has a lively nature and is very active being able to get along well with children and with other dogs. Affenpinscher has a stubborn disposition of a terrier and its curiosity inclined passionately towards fun-loving. The loving nature and its attachment to family members make them the more protective towards them. It was known to have won awards at dog show and one of it was at the 2013 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show bagging the award of Best in Show in this category for the first time.
The lifespan of an Affenpinscher averages at 11.5 years. Its body weight is around 6 to 13 pounds. Its height stands at 9 to 12 inches.


4) Japanese Chin

This Japanese Chin has its place in the Japanese royalty. It was kept as a lap dog and also as a companion dog. This breed of dog has its origin traced back to China. However this was widely disputed as there were other version of its origin. This breed has its special place in the palace as there was restriction to ordinary citizen ownership. So the Japanese Chin becomes the royal dogs of the old days.
The Japanese Chin has a broad head with large eyes set apart and its ears covered by it long coat of hair fanning out like feathers. Its coat can come in five different colors, recognized by the color coding namely; black & white, black white & tan, lemon & white, white and black and sable & white.
The Japanese Chin weights from 5 to 14 pounds and stands at a height of 8 to 11 inches tall. Japanese Chin usually have a lifespan of 10 to 13 years.
Its character leans towards that of a feline and its tendency is more like a cat. With its good sense of balance, it likes to rest on high surfaces that cats always do. This breed gets along well with human especially children and dogs of other breeds. It has a more tolerance tendency and will adapts to new surroundings and people.


5) Boston Terrier

This breed was originated from the United States of America. History dates back to the late 19th century and was known to be descended from bull dog and terrier dog. Earlier information gathered and documents showed that it was first bred for the sport of fighting. This breed tends to be fierce, bold and courage to keep going. Pound for pound, this breed is a real fighter. However that was a long time ago when pit-fighting was a sport as now you would find that this breed of dog is really a lover and not a fighter.
It has a short muzzle like that of a bull dog, usually without wrinkles, and it body is well built being compact and muscular with great disposition. The ears of Boston Terrier are erected and its tail is short. It stands at 10 to 15 inches in height and its weight from 7 to 25 pounds, usually males being the heavier ones. It has a short coat and white crested chest being distinctive. However to be identified and recognized as a Boston Terrier by the American Kennel Club, it must have white with the combination of either any one, two or of the three colors, black, brindle and seal.
The average lifespan of a Boston Terrier is about 12 to 14 years. Its temperament is of a happy and friendly nature. It is an intelligent and smart dog but it can be stubborn and territorial being aggressive with other dogs or strangers. However it can be very gentle and obedient with its owner. Therefore it is advisable that socialization is of importance for the Boston Terrier and it should be introduced to the family, especially with children in the house, as early stage of the puppy as possible. The recommendation to bring home as a puppy, when the owner has children as its socialization with the children making the puppy grow up to be gentle.
The Boston Terriers are well suited for people living in apartments as it do not bark unnecessary being the quiet type. This makes for the numbers and is popular with the Americans.


6) Pug

Pug originated from China and its history is as far back as 200BC. It was said to be during the Han Dynasty in China that this breed has a special place in the royalty. They were of high value to the emperors so Pugs lived a luxurious life. Documents has shown that even the Tibetian monks kept Pugs in their monasteries since ancient times. This bring about the opinion of some historians that Pugs were far cousins of the Tibetian Mastiff.
Even though this breed has a long and extensive history, it was only introduced to the Europe around the 16th century. It was at that period of time when the Europeans were trading with the Chinese in China that they brought back the Pug dogs to their countries. In England, Pugs were even known to have existed during the mid-16th century according to the history of king William III. Pugs were of high stature even in the European countries as records show paintings, tapestry, carpets and may items depicting the Pugs as its central figure.
Similar to Bulldog, Pug has a short muzzle yet wide at the front. It has a muscular, short and square body. Short coat which is smooth and glossy usually the color of black or fawn-colored. Its ears are folded to the side of its head sometime it looks sort of rolled up as a button.
Generally it stands at 10 to 14 inches tall and weighs between 13 to 18 pounds. The lifespan of Pug is between 12 to 15 years.
Pugs are well suited to live with humans as they crave for attention with a playful temperament. Yet they can be excellent lap dog as they are more of the “lazy” type and can laze around on your lap for a long time without making much fuss.


7) Miniature Pinscher

This small dog originated from Germany. It is believed that their ancestors came from the line of dachshund, greyhounds and other pinscher breed. Although it is a comparatively long time breed that dates back to ancient time, documentation were only done in the early 19th century. Its appearance, looks and stature proportion appears to be uncannily similar to those of Dobermann Pinscher. It has often been mistakenly assumed that this Miniature Pinscher was supposed to be a smaller version of a Doberman Pinscher. Let us clear the air here that the breed, Miniature Pinscher, is a pure thoroughbred whereas Dobermann Pinscher is a hybrid which was “created” by a German travelling salesman, during 1890.

Doberman Pinscher was bred from a mixture of Greyhound, Rottweiler, German Pointer and Great Dane.
The Miniature Pinscher has a well-built and balanced structure. Beautifully structured body with a big chest tapering to the abdomen. It has a short and smooth coat that is easy to maintain. Miniature Pinscher comes in solid colors such as black, stag red, chocolate and red with tan and rust points.

The tail is thin and slightly curved pointing upwards. Usually the tail docking is done at 2 to eight days after birth, either cut by surgical or placing a special band to cut off the blood supply, thereby causing the tail to fall off. It is believed that with a snub tail it has a kempt appearance. This has been the usual practice for a long time, but in recent time, activists have made it an issue of cruelty to animals. As it is, now more and more registered dog associations do not accept registration of the dog if its tail is docked. It also applies the same and forbids the cropping of the ears, into its registry.

Its fearless character is most prominent even though its size is small, it will take on bigger animals without hesitation. A very active and alert dog, it sits well as a “guard” dog alerting its owner of any intruders. Family with big compound will be a good home to the Miniature Pinscher as it needs a lot of exercise.
The Miniature Pinscher stands at 10 to 13 inches high (at shoulder blade highest point). It can weigh between 8 to 12 pounds. The life expectancy of a Miniature Pinscher can be from 10 to 15 years


8) Toy Poodle

In this category of Poodle breed, there are four sizes being recognized widely. The four sizes of this breed being; standard, medium, miniature and toy. Nevertheless some kennels only recognize three sizes, being Standard, Miniature and Toy. Originally from Germany as a water dog used for hunting waterfowl. However France was the country that establish the standard of the Poodle breed sizes. As France standardized the Poodle breed, it becomes so popular with its citizen that it becomes the number one breed in France.
Poodle has a squarish built and is well balanced and proportionate. Its eyes are oval in shape, set far apart and usually very dark to the point of black making it more like a doll. It has a skull that is moderately rounded with muzzle long and straight. Its ears are down by the side of its head. However it is hardly ever noticeable as the coat is so thick and dense that the ears are covered by it. Toy Poodles have single layer coat which is a curly strands of fur and is closely compact.
This is an elegant breed and it always stands with distinct dignity and proud as if knowing that it is look upon as a “fashion” setter. What more with its owner grooming cut to the “fashion and pattern” that suits the owner lifestyle. Poodle is one of the most intelligent dogs and it is always learning new tricks to please. A very playful and faithful dog, it can be very obedient. Logically Toy Poodle are lap dogs as its size represents. Owners are usually strongly attached to the poodle as it is obedient, affectionate and quick witted. This is always reciprocated.
Toy Poodle generally stands at about 10 inches in height. Its weight can varies from 6 to 10 pounds. The lifespan of Toy Poodle is between 12 to 15 years.


9) Shih Tzu

Shih Tzu has a history of long ancient time and there were a prolonged public disputes since it was passed down thru so many generations. They were so ancient that their genetic closeness was one as with the wolves. It is one of the oldest breed as skeletal evidence were found in China way back 8,000 BC. This one is also one of the “royal” breed as it was treasured by the royalty.
The name Shih Tzu derived from the Chinese word meaning “lion dog”. With such an esteem name, you can even guess that this a prized breed and of high value to the Chinese. There were lots of documented evidence during the Tang Dynasty (618-907AD) that it is highly praised such as arts, paintings and writings in China.
Shih Tzu has a good and solid built structure. Good proportion as the body length is not much longer than its height. With such gifted physical structure, its stride is graceful when it moves with the flow of its long fur like nature. It has a long smooth and silky coat that sort of floats. Its coat colors includes different shades of gold, white, brown, silver, brindle and black. Or the variation of these colors that could include red & white or gray & white. It has a broad face and a short muzzle. Its ears are folded downwards usually not visible since its coat is so long covering it. The tail is upwards with a curl.
Shih Tzu is a good family and lap dog. It is a very energetic, playful and lively dog. Even though its name in Chinese is a lion dog, it does not have the nature of a lion as it is a very tame and an adorable companion. Logically this breed needs attention in grooming as its coat is long.
The Shih Tzu stands at a height of 8 to 11 inches tall. It can weigh from 9 to 16 pounds. The life expectancy of this breed is 12 to 16 years.


10) Russian Toy

As its name said it, this breed is originated from Russia and it is a small dog. They are also called the Russky Toy. The Russian Toy was also previously called the Russian Toy Terrier. Other earlier name was Moscovite Miniature Terrier. The Russian breed seems to be very ”secretive” as there were hardly any documentation of it until the late 1950s. The Russian Toy has its ancestry relating to the Manchester Terrier as it was believed to be developed from the English ancestor.

There are two types, one smooth coat and the other one with the long coat. Both of the Russian Toy types were almost annihilated due to the uprising of Communism in the 1920s as it was considered a breed that was for the elite, and the fall of Communism in the early1990s. There were no clear record of this breed in Russia, even though it was believed that it existed long ago. Only in the late 1958 was there a documentation of the Russian Toy dog breeding and this was to be the long coat type. And there was not any known owner of this breed outside of Russia until the 1990s. So this is a mysterious breed that needs a lot of learning to do.
Well-built body structure resembling that of a Miniature Pinscher with a small head and a dear-like look. Its muzzle is pointed, lean but not long. Big round dark eyes which are set apart. Ears that are large and upright. It has impressive fringes on its ears and limbs, looking like feathers. Its neck is slightly arched and high. Its tail is traditionally docked. However an undocked tail is curved up over the body.
Their colors can be brown and tan, and blue and tan being the most rare and hard to find. Black tan is the most commonly found. Solid black also qualify in this breed.

The Russian Toy is a cheerful and agile little fellow. Intelligent, loving and elegant a very faithful companion.
The height of a Russian Toy stands at 8 to 11 inches at shoulder height. It can weight from 3 to 6 pounds. The life expectancy of this breed is from 10 to 13 years.