Spirited, spunky, and sweet, miniature breeds, are also known as toy dog breeds or just mini dogs.
They have in the distant past however been referred to by the unusual name of "sleeve dogs". This name came about around the time of the Renaissance when balloon sleeves were fashionable with the nobility.
It was an affectionate habit to carry miniature pets within these roomy sleeves, where they also served another practical purpose as arm warmers! Remember this was before central heating!
But, although the toy and miniature breeds have a reputation as lap dogs and appear toy-like, this does not imply that their characters are timid or frail. Far from it.
English Toy Spaniel
Toy Fox Terrier
Who me? Small?
Most of these small breeds are seemingly unaware, or indifferent to their size!
On the contrary, they are sturdy and confident and not afraid of anyone. In fact, many of the miniature breeds are quite fearless and make good watchdogs.
At the same time, they are oh so appealing and delightful. With an eagerness to please and a loving nature, they make wonderful companions and are always ready to be pampered.
You've probably noticed that miniature breeds always turn heads and get a smile. Their confident demeanor combined with cheeky sweet appearances makes them real attention getters, rightfully so, of course!
Note to Allergy sufferers ...
Another vote for the toy breeds is that they are mostly light shedders, which is not only appreciated by fastidious housekeepers, but also those who are prone to allergies.
And, if you are sensitive to dog hair and dander, check out our extensive list of dogs that do not shed (very much).
If you like to travel with your pet, the miniature breeds are easy to take along. And, after all, no pampered pooch expects to stay home alone!
Most toy breeds can fit into airline qualified carriers, so you can happily
fly the friendly skies
with them beside you
in the cabin. Just make sure to plan ahead as the allocation of pets allowed in the cabin is limited.
Toy breeds are easy to take almost anywhere and fit in very well with city life style and apartment dwellers. You've no doubt spotted a few miniature pooches from time to time when you're out shopping, peeking out from fancy pet carriers!
The chart you see above has pictures and links to profiles of the individual miniature breeds which are part of the toy dog breeds category.
These are the breeds that are officially recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC). Clicking the links will take you to more extensive information about each breed's personality and traits which will be of help to you in choosing the best small dog breed for you.
But remember, this is not the last word! The described traits are those that have been "generally" observed in the miniature breeds over time.
Bear in mind , that each breed is unique and can express one trait more than another or even defy a typical characteristic.
Fifi and Fido would expect you to dig a little deeper and read a few books about the miniature breeds that interest you the most. And, if you want a miniature breed of show quality, by all means check the AKC standards for the breed so you'll know what specific details to look for when meeting with a breeder.
In any event, it's always better to get "up close and personal" with a real live look at the miniature breed you're interested in, before deciding.
This may also help you see signs of the traits you were drawn to in the first place. Be sure to observe the activity level, their sociability and all the other things on the checklist you've prepared before starting out. You DO have a checklist, don't you!!
Doing your homework before you go looking for a pet, will give you and Fido the best chance of finding the "ideal" match with each other.
Dogs make wonderful lifetime companions. We have so much to learn from them. It is an experience not to be missed.
Ready? Go fetch - your buddy is waiting for you somewhere.
The American Kennel Club has one of the largest databases of purebred dogs which is categorized into several groups. Dogs in each group are assigned by what was the original intended purpose of the breed.
If you are unsure about the type and size of dog you want, our extensive list of small dog breeds may be of help.
And, here are some of the other purebred groups for reference:
Home › Miniature Breeds