Toy dogs, also known as toy breeds, are small dog breeds that are usually kept as pets due to their compact size and often charming personalities. They are popular choices for families and individuals living in smaller spaces.

Toy dogs are favoured for their suitability for apartment living and their tendency to form strong bonds with their owners. They might require special care due to their small size and potential fragility, making them suitable for families with gentle and caring children. Keep in mind that while toy dogs are adorable and endearing, potential owners should research each breed’s specific needs and characteristics to find the best match for their lifestyle and preferences.

Brown Pomeranian Puppy Looking at Camera in front of a food bowl

Toy Dog Traits

Toy dog breeds are known for their small size and distinct traits.


Toy dog breeds are generally small in size, often weighing less than 12 pounds (5.4 kg) and standing less than 12 inches (30 cm) tall at the shoulder. Their petite size makes them suitable for apartment living and indoor environments.


Many toy dogs are lap dogs, enjoying cuddling and close human interaction.


Many toy breeds are playful and enjoy interactive toys and games. They have a youthful energy that can brighten up any household.

Sociable and Friendly

Toy breeds are usually social dogs that enjoy being around people and other pets. They often get along well with children and can make great companions for families.

Low exercise requirements

Toy dog breeds commonly don’t require a large amount of exercise and are content with short walks and indoor play.


Due to their small size, toy dogs can adapt well to living in small spaces such as apartments.

Intelligent and can be trained effectively

While they might be small, toy breeds are intelligent and can be trained effectively with positive reinforcement techniques. Consistent training and socialization are important to ensure well-behaved and confident dogs.


Despite their size, toy dogs can be quite alert and may make good watchdogs. They tend to be sensitive to their surroundings and may alert their owners to unfamiliar sounds or visitors.


Many toy breeds have a longer lifespan compared to larger dog breeds. It’s not uncommon for toy dogs to live into their late teens or early twenties with proper care.

Susceptible to certain health issues

Toy breeds can be susceptible to certain health issues due to their small size, such as dental problems, patellar luxation (kneecap dislocation), and respiratory issues. Regular vet care is important to ensure their well-being.


History of Toy Dogs

Toy dog breeds are small canine companions that have a rich history. These breeds were often favoured by aristocracy and had various origins and roles. Some were lapdogs for the elite, while others had hunting or working roles.

The Toy Group’s history spans across different cultures, with influences from regions like the Middle East and ancient Rome. The breed’s origins can be traced back thousands of years, with evidence suggesting their existence during the Roman Empire. These miniature dogs were valued for their size, companionship, and unique qualities.

While some were originally bred for specific purposes, many Toy dogs have become beloved companions cherished for their small size and delightful personalities. The history of Toy dog breeds is a fascinating journey through time and human companionship, reflecting the diversity of roles and cultures they’ve been a part of.

King Charles Spaniel

Toy Dog Breeds