All dog breeds are part of a group. These groups are made based on the dogs’ shared temperament traits. In some cases, it’s due to their size. So, what is the toy group of dogs? Keep reading to learn more about them. 

Why Are Dog Breeds Categorized Into Groups?

Purebred dogs compete in national dog shows and dog sports. These groups help classify the breeds into different standing categories to compete. This way, all the breeds competing will be evenly matched.

For example, you wouldn’t ask a Chihuahua and a Great Dane to go head-to-head in an agility competition.

No, there are groups, such as the sporting group.

In addition, the groups also help families decide on a dog that’s right for them and their lifestyle. Some breeds require a lot of activity and physical exercise so an active family would be best for them.

On the other hand, other breeds prefer to be lazy. So, if you’re not home much, they’ll prefer the quiet of the house during the day.

But what about the toy group?

What Is The AKC Toy Group Breeds?

The American Kennel Club (AKC) classified all the purebred dogs into these groups. Unfortunately, mixed breeds aren’t recognized by the AKC. So, you won’t see any hybrid dogs on this list.

Many doggos are tiny – meaning they’re smaller than the small dog breeds.

Thus, the toy group was born.

Usually, the breeds are classified together by shared characteristics. However, the toy group is primarily categorized together because of their size.

But there’s a lot to love about these tiny pups. These dogs are not only small, but they have large personalities. Let’s learn more about them. 

What is the toy group of dogs? |

Top Toy Group Characteristics

Aside from their adorable tiny size, dogs within the toy group share a few fun traits. We’ll review some of the characteristics that toy dogs seem to have.


These tiny puppies are as affectionate as can be. The term “lapdog” might ring a bell. They love to cuddle and will often follow you around the house. They’ll hop up and curl up in your lap as soon as you sit down on the couch for the night.

They can be pretty social pups, as well. While they might be wary of strangers initially, they’re generally friendly and welcoming to new people.

However, they tend to stick to one person in their household as a shadow. They’ll love everyone in the family, though.


Toy doggos are apartment-friendly, too. Since these pups are small and don’t require much exercise, apartment living is a good idea for them.

However, most small dogs seem to believe they’re bigger than they are. So, they tend to bark when trying to protect their territory and family from strangers—a lot.

If you’re thinking of their size and physical activity, then living in an apartment with them is a great idea.

On the other hand, you need to be mindful about your dog barking all day which could disrupt your neighbors.

You can train your dog when and when not to bark, but they might still bark regardless. All dogs, especially the little ones, have minds of their own.

What is the toy group of dogs? |

May Need Time Alone

Even though toy dogs enjoy being around their humans, they can be pretty independent. So, you might find that they need time alone once in a while.

If they don’t want to cuddle with you at the end of the day, don’t take it personally. They simply need some space.

They usually won’t cuddle, but they’ll remain in the same room as you. 


Toy dog breeds can be energetic. However, they can’t exercise too much due to their small size and short legs. They’ll tire out faster than big dogs.

You can bring your doggo on a short walk once or twice a day, which will be enough for them.

So, getting a low-energy toy breed is a good idea if you don’t have the time to commit to playing in the yard or at the dog park.

Prefers Adults

Finally, toy breeds tend to prefer adults and older children. They can get along with young kids if they’re raised together and properly socialized and trained.

However, most small dogs can’t keep up with the energy levels of young children. So, they prefer to have a calmer environment with older kids or only have adults around the house.

Which Breeds Are In The Toy Group?

Now that we know a few shared characteristics, let’s look at all purebred toy group dogs. According to the AKC, there are 23 dogs classified as being in the toy group. For example, these dogs are less than 15 pounds, which also categorizes them as toy dogs.

List of Toy Dog Breeds
AffenpinscherBiewer TerrierBrussels Griffon
Cavalier King Charles SpanielChihuahuaChinese Crested
English Toy SpanielHavaneseItalian Greyhound
Japanese ChinMalteseManchester Terrier (Toy)
Miniature PinscherPapillonPekingese
PomeranianPoodle (Toy)Pug
Russian ToyShih TzuSilky Terrier
Toy Fox TerrierYorkshire Terrier

Question Corner: FAQs About The Toy Group Of Dogs

If you have more questions about any of the dog breeds listed above, or the toy group overall, then check out the frequently asked questions answered below.

What is the toy group of dogs? |

Which Toy Dog Breed Is The Most Intelligent?

Together, the Papillon and Toy Poodle are the smartest of the toy group. The Poodle breed, overall, is one of the most intelligent dogs. So, it’s no wonder the Toy Poodle is included with the Papillon being up there with it. 

Are Any Toy Breeds Hypoallergenic?

Yes, if you suffer from allergies, there are five toy breeds you can consider. For example, you can look into getting an Affenpinscher, Chinese Crested, Maltese, Toy Poodle, or a Yorkshire Terrier.

Which Toy Breeds Are The Best Family Dogs?

The Biewer Terrier, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, and Pug are great family options. These dogs especially will be good around adults, seniors, and older children. They might tolerate younger kids more than other breeds, as well.

Can A Toy Dog Breed Be A Guard Dog?

No. These dogs, while they think they’re bigger than they are, aren’t aggressive. They will keep an eye on the family and territory, barking to alert you of something. They won’t make great guard dogs due to their small size.

Should You Get A Toy Group Dog For Your Family?

If you live in a smaller home or an apartment and need a low-energy pup, looking into a toy breed is a good option. Remember that they prefer calmer households, even though they bark a lot. Always research breeds before deciding on adopting one.

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