Toy Breeds


Toys or 'lap-dogs' were designed to sit on human laps so they could be stroked and petted. Historically developed over centuries by the aristocracy, these small dogs possess great dignity as they were pampered, fed gourmet delicacies and slept in privileged sleeping places. Although some Toy breeds may not be as robust as their larger counterparts and prefer to live indoors, they make wonderful companions for people living in small houses and apartments.


Toy Breed Index

The classification of the dogs in the Toy Group varies from country to country. For simplicity of navigation and accessibility, the table below lists the breeds alphabetically as they appear in the Australian classification. They are divided into five sections based broadly on their historical purpose. »» Read more...

Shih Tzu Chinese Lion Dog c1700AD Right

Asian Toy Breeds

This section examines the Asian Toy breeds which served no other function than live as Companion Dogs for the wealthy aristocracy. So they enjoyed privileged lives! Among the earliest Companion Dogs were the "short legged" and "short-headed" "Pai" dogs known to exist in China more than three thousand years BC. »» Read more...

King Charles7

Toy Spaniels

The History of Toy Spaniels indicates that they developed independently in England, Europe and Asia simultaneously. Today we have distinctly different modern pure breeds descending directly from these ancient Spaniels. The line between Spaniels (Toy) and Spaniels (Sporting) historically dates back to over one thousand years ago to the days of using dogs for hunting. Here we shall consider Toy ... »» Read more...

Toy Terrier Two Pups

Historically Ratters

In the mid to late 1800's, ratting or vermin killing was important to maintain some form of human hygiene. As the show dog scene developed, individual breeds were recorded in the first Stud Books. Over the next century or so, the traditional role of ratting terriers diminished because of the use of more sophisticated means of vermin destruction. But in ... »» Read more...

Dog on vase 5C BC

Maltese and Bichon Varieties

The fore-runners of today's Maltese are among the most ancient of all Toy Breeds. They were originally called 'Melitaie', an ancient name for the Island of Malta from which the Phoenicians traded between the East and the West. Around 300 BC Aristotle described these as 'about the size of a Maltese dog of the little, tiny sort'. Consequently, we have ... »» Read more...

Chi Long Coat in cup GIMP

Miniature Toy Breeds

This section contains Miniature Toy breeds that were always bred to be tiny like the Chihuahua and the Russian Toy. It also contains breeds like the Pomeranian that has been miniaturized from the family of Spitz breeds. »» Read more...