Toy dog breeds include greyhounds, terriers, pinschers, pugs, chihuahuas, pekingese, spaniels--the official list of the AKC is quite extensive. Regardless of breed, toy dogs are desired for their cuteness and cuddle-ability. Many retain the characteristics of a puppy for their entire lives. This may be one of the big attractions that toy dog breeds hold over larger breed dogs.
Diminutive size, however, does not mean that toy dog breeds are less hardy. Once safely past puppyhood, their energy levels and enthusiasm rival any breed of dog. Some are excellent watch dogs, but they won't be able to follow through preventing entry of an intruder. The hue and cry of toy dog breeds can be enough to make your hair stand on end!
There are several advantages to toy dog breeds. Besides the ease of handling a smaller sized dog, they are more appropriate for apartment dwellers because they do not require as much exercise space as a large dog. Additionally, toy dog breeds usually shed less than their larger counterparts--not because they have different coat characteristics, but because there is less dog! All sides of dog care are smaller: from cleaning to clean-up and food consumed to food expelled.
Historically, toy dog breeds were used as companion dogs. They were friendly and alert, yet willing to be held and petted. They are very comforting and can bring peace to an owner. Nursing homes and adult care facilities have found toy dog breeds to be soothing for their patients. Contrary to common perception, there is no law preventing animals from living in nursing homes. It is up to the eldercare facility to allow--or disallow--pets. The calming influence of any pet, especially one that will transfer affections to everyone equally, is a wonderful aid for patient facilities.
You don't have to reside in an eldercare facility to enjoy toy dog breeds. They do provide companionable joy for many who otherwise would be concerned about space, exercise and care requirements of a larger breed of dog.
About The Author
Description: Stephanie is a dog lover and the editor of the Cute Puppy Dog Newsletter. You can subscribe at http://www.cutepuppydog.com/cutepuppydognewsletter.html (every subscribers get 20 exclusive puppy pics, 2 dog screensavers and 3 dog ebooks).