Small Dog Types – Part Two

In part two of this article, we look at small dogs in the terrier, toy, non-sporting, and herding groups.

Terrier Dogs

Terriers were bred for the hunt – rabbits, foxes, rats, and even badgers, otters, and river rats. These days, most terriers are bought as pets. And with their loyal and affectionate temperament, they do make lovely pets. It’s wise to keep in mind, however, that they are dogs with strong personalities, and they need similarly strong and determined owners. This is even true of the small, toy terriers – their personalities are just the same as their larger terrier cousins. Terriers also have an abundance of energy, so you’ll need to exercise them a fair bit. They have wiry coats, and to keep the characteristic wiriness of their coats you’ll need to do a special grooming technique called stripping.

If you’re after a small dog, you’re spoilt for choice in the terrier group. The small dog breeds are: the Manchester Terrier, Border Terrier, Irish Terrier, Australian Terrier, West Highland White Terrier, Norwich Terrier and Norfolk Terrier, Kerry Blue Terrier, Dandie Dinmont Terrier, Welsh Terrier, Smooth Fox Terrier, Cairn Terrier, Bedlington Terrier dog breed, Sealyham Terrier, and Scottish Terrier.

Toy Dogs

Toy dogs are a very recognizable small dog type, due to their popularity with both people and celebrities. There are actually toy dogs in some of the other dog categories as well. Many large dogs have in fact been bred down to toy dog size.

Toy dogs are friendly, though they can be fierce and angry as well. They do make great lap dogs, however, and are often cherished members of the family, akin to a child. Toy dogs include: Shih Tzu, Yorkshire Terrier, Miniature Poodle, the Papillon, Chihuahua, and the Pomeranian dog breed.

Non-Sporting Dogs

Non-sporting dogs is a general term for those breeds the AKC recognizes, that don’t fall into any of the other categories. They are different in terms of their color, ancestry, coat, size, and temperament. Small breed dogs in the non-sporting group include: the bichon frise, Tibetan Spaniel, Boston Terrier, Tibetan Terrier, Schipperke, French Bulldog and the Lhasa Apso.

Herding Dogs

The herding dog category is quite new. The dogs in this category used to be part of the working group. And, a lot of breed registrars across the globe they are still a member of the working group, as a sub-category. In the AKC, most dogs in this category are bought as pets, although herding (and working) dogs are still used worldwide on cattle stations and farms due to their unique abilities to herd livestock. They are able to be trained to respond to whistles and commands, and are very good at their job. In families as pets, herding dogs may try and good naturedly herd their human family, particularly the children.

Small dog breeds in the herding group are the Border Collie, Shetland Sheepdog, Pembroke Welsh Corgi, and the Cardigan Welsh Corgi. 

Miscellaneous Dogs

This category is for dog breeds not fully accredited by AKC. There aren’t any small dogs in it currently, however.

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