The Toy Group
A toy dog is a very small dog
kept as a pet, as compared to a very small working
dog, although both pet and working dogs can be very
small. When an all-breed association or kennel club
divides dog breeds into groups for purposes of competition,
the Toy Group contains most of the smallest dog
breeds in the club's registry. There has been much
discussion as to whether the designation signifies
only a dog's size (weight, height, or both), or
also refers to how a breed is used or its temperament.
This has sometimes led to misunderstanding or bad
feeling in the world of purebred dogs; there seems
to be no consensus. The size most toy breeds grow
to is the size of your arm length.
It seems safest to define toy
dogs as being determined by the size of the dogs,
and leave discussion of function and temperament
to the various breed clubs. However, this can also
be problematic, as there is no firm agreement on
what height or weight makes a dog a toy, and the
upper height limit of some toy dog breeds is over
12 inches at the withers, which places these dogs
within the height range of dogs in some other groups
The use of the word "toy"
to describe small dogs that belong to a toy breed
is redundant and also incorrect, suggesting that
the breed comes in different sizes—there is
no such thing, for example, as a "toy Chihuahua";
all Chihuahuas are toy dogs. (However, some breeds
do come in different sizes, such as Poodles, which
come in standard, miniature, and toy varieties).