Ah, the little
dogs. Big dog lovers frequently refer to these pint
sized pooches as "hamster dogs". The AKC
groups them as "Toys"
The advantages toys have over other breeds are obvious:
Any of the
"problems" that are part of the dog owning
experience are all pint sized with a toy. Shedding,
drooling, the cost of medications and boarding are all
less with a toy breed. Also, a toy breed isn't going
to destroy the leg of your great grandmother's antique
grand piano during his puppy chewing phase.
Toy breeds can be trained to
"go in a litter box" just like a cat making them
perfect for apartment dwellers.
They are easy to clean up
after to and to travel with.
Neighbors are not afraid of
them and they are often allowed by landlords (and when not
allowed, easier to sneak in).
You can often fudge on obedience training.
(Although, there is absolutely NOTHING more adorable than
a miniature dog performing obedience exercises.)
They come in a variety of
coats and temperaments.
Sound perfect, don't they?
There's one serious drawback to the toy breeds if
you have a young or growing family: toy breeds in general do
not tolerate small children well. The only exceptions
seem to be the Pug,
who has been characterized as one of the sturdiest and most
stable of the toys, and the newly recognized Havanese.
The problem with toy breeds and
small children is that small children tend to view them as,
well, toys. And while a few children are excruciatingly
careful with their toys 100% of the time, most are not.
It's just the nature of most children.
So if your family is not yet
complete, or if you have frequent visitors under the age of
eight, it's probably best if you remove the toy breeds from
the exception of the Pug and the Havanese.
If you're willing to venture a
little larger than the teacup crowd, here are some small dog
breeds that are wonderful with children: