Toy breed dogs are the perfect pets for any family living in small space or for anyone who doesn’t like the idea of a large dog running around and knocking things over. Toy breed dogs have personalities ranging from doting to stand-offish, so it’s important to choose the right one for your family.
Related: 5 All-Around Best Small Hypoallergenic Dogs for Families
Toy Breed Dogs – Compact Companions
By and large, toy breed dogs make excellent family companions. Most toy breeds were bred specifically for human companionship, however there are a few breeds that were bred as ratters and other vermin hunters. This doesn’t preclude them from being great family pets, it just means they aren’t quite as stuck to their people as other breeds. All of the toy breed dogs listed below are excellent family dogs, and they’re all under 10 pounds.
I’ll start with my favorite toy breed, the Shih Tzu. This breed is one of the best combinations of couch potato and play mate out there. This breed is highly inquisitive and loving, and it loves to both play a game of tug of war and lay on the couch while you binge watch your favorite show.
Related: Meet the Shih Tzu – The Ultimate House Dog
Be aware that the Shih Tzu is one of the more stubborn toy breed dogs, so you’ll have to exercise patience with training. After they learn, though, it’s cemented into their brains. In addition, Shih Tzus have long hair that requires daily brushing and excessive grooming. To get around this, most owners who don’t show their Shih Tzus simply get what’s called a puppy cut every six weeks.
The Pomeranian is another of my favorite small breed dogs. The Pomeranian is full of life and love, and it is simply too cute. This is a curious, playful, and highly self confident breed that loves to play and explore. It’s also highly affectionate, and it wants to do all of its exploring with its people.
Because the Pomeranian is nothing more than a super small Spitz, you need to socialize it early and well. This will prevent aggression towards other dogs.
Ah, the Maltese. I’ve had several of these. The Maltese is a wonderful family dog. It’s the consummate lap dog, and it loves nothing more than to be with its people – at all times. It is gentle and kind with its family, however it can be full of energy and needs adequate play time. Because of its spunky side, the Maltese may challenge larger dogs and be standoffish with strangers. To avoid that, be sure you socialize your Maltese very well beginning at puppyhood.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
This is the quintessential family dog of all the toy breed dogs. While indoors, its gentle, sweet, and affectionate nature pair perfectly with its eagerness to please and its quietness. However, when you take your Cav out to play in the backyard, it becomes an explorative, sniffer and chaser. It’s quite at home no matter what environment it happens to be in.
Just like its standard size counterpart, the Toy Poodle is a wonderful family dog. It has a combination of loyalty, devotion, playfulness, and responsiveness that make it a popular choice among families with children. The Toy Poodle is one of the easiest toy breed dogs to train, and it absolutely adores its family. Because it can be reserved with strangers, make sure you socialize it properly.
Toy Breed Dogs Make Great Pets
These were only my five top picks for toy breed dogs. There are more breeds out there, and any of them can be great family dogs when socialized and trained properly. If you’re looking for a family companion, I would highly recommend beginning your research with these 5 toy breed dogs.
As always, remember that adoption is the best option. You can find pure bred dogs at your local shelter, and even if you can’t, a mutt can be the best dog you’ve ever had!
Do you have any of these toy breeds? Which is your favorite? Tell us below!