The Skinny on Chihuahuas and Other Toy Breed Dogs

As you know by now, my mission is to educate about the health and training of Chihuahuas. But, most of the information found here can also apply to all toy breed dogs.

What is a “Toy Breed”?

Some toy dogs are a scaled down versions of their larger cousins. Toy Poodle for example. The Miniature Pinscher though has been around for longer than the larger Doberman Pinscher.


The Chihuahua is not a scaled down version of anything. There is not a different “type” of Chihuahua. There is no such thing as a “tea cup” or “micro” Chihuahua. The Chihuahua is a true toy breed and was bred for the one and only purpose of being a companion dog. They do it so well, don’t they?

Let’s not forget about the other toy breeds. What do all of them have in common? They are living proof that great things really do come in small packages. Toy dogs are small and they fit anywhere. Sometimes even in your pocket or purse and they can be great dogs for apartment dwellers.

Here is a list of Toy Breeds according to the AKC.

  • Affenpinscher
  • Brussels Griffon
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
  • Chihuahua (smooth coat and long coat)
  • Chinese Crested (hairless or powder puff)
  • English Toy Spaniel
  • Fox Terrier (Toy Version)
  • Havanese
  • Italian Greyhound
  • Japanese Chin
  • Maltese
  • Manchester Terrier (Toy version)
  • Miniature Pinscher
  • Papillon
  • Pekingese
  • Pomeranian
  • Toy Poodle
  • Pug
  • Shih Tzu
  • Silky Terrier
  • Yorkshire Terrier

With all of that being said, just because they all fit into the Toy Group does not mean that they all have the same characteristics and temperament. They do not.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

So, what is terrific about Toy Breeds?

  • Toy dogs are small. They fit anywhere – some even in your pocket or purse.
  • Toy dogs are cuddly and love human attention. They form extremely strong bonds with their people, and many are perfectly content to warm your lap for hours.
  • Toy dogs are portable. They are the ideal dog for people who travel a lot and want to take their dogs with them.
  • Toy dogs are often welcome where larger breeds are not. Some condo associations and hotels allow dogs under a certain weight.
  • Toy dogs love to show off. Most of them are very smart and enjoy learning new things.
  • Toy dogs are real dogs. In spite of their compact size, they are real dogs. They are intelligent, affectionate and fun-loving. Many make alert watch dogs.
  • Toy dogs need careful owners. This could be a concern depending on your nature. Although most Chihuahuas think they are big and tough, they are more vulnerable to injury. They have the potential to be stepped on or tripped over.

Are there any potential problems with Toy Breed?

  • home-page-slider-2-shutterstock_159483965
    Long-haired fawn Chihuahua

    Toy dogs are so small and cute that some owners overdo carrying and cuddling and are lax with the training. Because after all everything they do is cute, so why train them not to do certain things? If toy dogs are not properly trained they can be turned into little tyrants or nervous, scared little dogs.

  • Toy breeds are social creatures. This means that they need plenty of social interaction with a variety of people and other animals from puppy hood on.
  • Toy dogs that are neglected when puppies or come from puppy mills or irresponsible breeders may suffer many physical, emotional or mental problems when they mature.
  • Some people, believe it or not, dislike toy dogs and may make rude remarks when you walk him. Either ignore them or say something like: “shhh”, he thinks he’s a Great Dane”.
  • Toy dogs are real dogs that need training and guidance just like any other breed of dog. If you don’t have the patience, time or money to train your dog, get a cat.

In conclusion:

Although toy dogs have a lot in common, they do not all have the same characteristics or the same temperament. When considering getting a toy breed dog, please do your research on each breed before you decide which toy breed will fit in with your family and lifestyle.

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