Shih Tzu Another toy dog breed that originated in ancient China, the Shih Tzu is believed to be one of the oldest dog breeds in the world – it was found out that these dogs existed as early as 8,000 BC. The Shih Tzu was originally kept in royal palaces as a lap dog but recently, it started to be used in dog sports, particularly obedience, rally and agility competitions.
Schipperke Originally a companion dog of Belgian sailors, the Schipperke is considered one of the smallest shepherd breeds in the world. It is an extremely lively and energetic dog that loves to chase anything that moves. An alert watchdog, the Schipperke is usually reserved with strangers. This breed can make an amiable and pleasant apartment dog but needs daily exercise.
Silky Terrier Closely related and similar to the Yorkshire Terrier, the Silky Terrier was developed in Australia in the 19th century. Usually weighing about 4 – 4.5 kg (9 – 10 lb), this little dog is notable for its straight, silky and shiny coat. The silky terrier is a tough character that is always up for a challenge and adventure. Despite its tiny size, it loves to go vermin hunting whenever given the chance.
Papillon Named after its characteristic butterfly-like look, the Papillon (French word for butterfly) is one of the oldest, smartest, most popular and most trainable toy dogs. The highly energetic and spirited Papillon is commonly chosen by obedience or agility exhibitors who want a top-notch competition dog in a very small package.
Miniature Schnauzer Originally developed as a ratter, the Miniature Schnauzer is easily identifiable by its long beard and bushy eyebrows. A tiny dog with a whole lot of heart, this pooch is always in the top 20 most popular breeds in the US, UK and Germany, but it is commonly found around the world. The Miniature Schnauzer is a very intelligent and affectionate dog that loves to be in the center of the action.5
Chinese Crested Dog The Chinese Crested Dog comes in two distinct varieties – the “hairless” and the “powderpuff”. The hairless variety is just that: hairless, except for its feet, head and tail. The “powderpuff” has a long, soft coat. These dogs are alert, charming, agile and lovable. They are playful with children but due to their tiny size and the lack of protective fur (the hairless form), they can get injured easily.
Bichon Frise Standing about 25 cm (10 in) tall at the shoulder, the Bichon Frise is a small fluffy dog that probably originated in Spain. Bred specifically to be a companion, the Bichon Frise is a wonderfully affectionate dog. Because his job was to entertain, his nifty repertoire of tricks made him an ideal circus dog. Today, though, it is more often found entertaining families at home.
Lancashire Heeler The Lancashire Heeler was once used to drive livestock to market and hunt rats and rabbits at home, but is now a popular companion dog breed in his native UK. In appearance, it resembles its Corgi cousins but it is smaller, usually weighing just about 6 kg (14 lb). The Lancashire Heeler makes an alert, friendly, energetic, intelligent and playful dog companion.
Volpino Italiano Similar in size and appearance to the Pomeranian, the Volpino Italiano is a rare breed of the spitz. Developed in ancient Italy, this dog breed was loved by royalty and peasants alike as it is very friendly and energetic. It makes a great family dog as it is very loyal and bonds firmly with its human owners. Because of the long and bushy coat, however, this dog requires weekly coat brushing and regular bathing.
Biewer Terrier A relatively new breed developed in Germany, the Biewer Terrier is a long-haired toy terrier. Despite being one of the tiniest terriers, usually weighing no more than 3 kg (7 lb), this dog is highly energetic, brave, loyal, intelligent and always eager for adventure. Its lively and affectionate nature makes it a great pet for adults and older children (young kids might accidentally hurt it).
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