Explaining the AKC Dog Breed Groups: Toy Group Dogs

Patrick MacFarland Patrick MacFarland · Updated May 6, 2024

Ensure Your Furry Friend's Comfort!

  • Fast and easy
  • Only pay when you book
Three pugs standing in a row in a garden, with various plants and containers in the background.

Have you ever thought about adding a new member to your family? A furry friend is always an amazing addition because it can lighten up your day and make your heart feel like roses and marshmallows. But, maybe you don’t know where to begin when selecting the dog breed that you want. Sometimes you want a dog breed that is going to fit in with your family just perfectly.

The American Kennel Club (AKC) categorizes dog breeds into seven distinct groupings. There are Sporting, Hound, Working, Terrier, Toy, Non-Sporting and Herding dog breeds.

We’re going to focus on the toy breed group today, to further ensure that you make the best decision on what kind of dog you want to get.

Toy Breed Group at a Glance

One of the breed groups that the American Kennel Club categorizes is the toy breed group. But what is a toy dog? The answer is simple, a toy dog is a dog that is very small or that comes from a very small breed of dog. A toy dog can be of many breeds including terriers and spaniels. Usually these dogs have been bred to ensure they are smaller than normal.

Toy dogs are known for being lovable, friendly and just darn cute. However, they also have some behavior problems that you should take into consideration. For example, toy dogs can be more aggressive than other dogs. They also show Behavior such as guarding and excessive barking.

Popular Breeds in the Toy Group

The American Kennel Club has a list of the most popular breeds of dogs that people buy. When it comes to the toy group, the following dog breeds come up in the top 200 list. Let’s take a look at them now.

Pomeranians are some of the most popular breeds in the AKC toy group.

Pomeranian

The Pomeranian is Number 22 on the American Kennel Club’s popular dog list. The Pomeranian is a Spitz type of dog breed that comes from the Pomeranian region in northwestern Poland and northeastern Germany. These are playful dogs that are also intelligent, lively, extremely friendly and sociable, as well as quite active. The life expectancy of a Pomeranian is 12 to 16 years and they come in various colors including blue, red, white, cream, tan and orange, among others. The Pomeranian usually weighs up to 7 pounds.

Responsible Breeders Test Pomeranians For

  • Eye Clearance
  • Congenital Cardiac Database
  • Patellar Luxation

Pomeranian Grooming Tips

When it comes to grooming, there are several tips that you should follow so that your Pomeranian looks healthy and feels happy.

  • Wipe the eye area every day
  • Clean teeth at home every day
  • Brush your dog’s coat every two to three days
  • Wipe your dog’s coat every day or two
  • Make sure you apply nose balm when you see your Pomeranian needs it
  • Apply paw wax weekly
  • Your Pomeranian should get a bath every 3 weeks
  • Clean your dog’s ears every 6 weeks
  • Trim your Pomeranian’s nails every 6 weeks

Pomeranian Exercise and Training Needs

Pomeranian dogs need about 30 minutes to an hour of exercise every day. When it comes to training, they are easy to train so you will be able to do so fairly easily. They are well-behaved dogs, so there will be little problems in the training department.
Pugs are some of the most popular breeds in the AKC toy group.

Pug

The pug is Number 36 on the American Kennel Club’s popular dog list. This funny-looking breed is charming and playful, but also mischievous and stubborn. They hail from China and can live between 12 and 15 years. Their colors range from black, silver fawn, apricot, among others.

Responsible Breeders Test Pugs For

  • Hip and Elbow X-rays
  • Spine X-rays for hemivertebrae
  • Patella Luxation checks
  • Degenerative Myelopathy
  • Pyruvate Kinase Deficiency (PKD)
  • May-Hegglin Anomaly (MHA)
  • Necrotizing meningoencephalitis (Pug Dog Encephalitis)
  • Entropion, Distichiasis (double eyelashes) and Pigmentary Keratitis eye tests
  • Heart testing for heart murmurs

Pug Grooming Tips

When it comes to grooming, there are several tips that you should follow so that your pug looks healthy and feels happy.

  • You should bathe your pug every 3-4 weeks
  • Brush their coat every other day or so
  • Clean the eye area every day
  • You should clean their wrinkles every day
  • You should clean their ear flaps a few times a week and their ear canals every month and a half

Pug Exercise and Training Needs

Pugs are not fans of exercise and walking, which means that you have to ensure that they get their exercise everyday. You could do several short walks per day, but don’t do long walks because that is not going to work for the pug. When it comes to training, they are not the easiest dogs to train and they can be very difficult to train.

Shih tzus are some of the most popular breeds in the AKC toy group.

Shih Tzu

The Shih Tzu is Number 20 on the American Kennel Club’s popular dog list. These playful dogs hail from Tibet and they are a breed that came from the Lhasa Apso and Pekingese. They are an obedient dog that usually can live between 10 to 16 years. They are affectionate dogs that can also be clever, intelligent and lively.

Responsible Breeders Test Shih Tzu For

  • Degenerative Myelopathy, DM (SOD1A)
  • Chondrodystrophy and Intervertebral Disc Disease, CDDY/IVDD, Type I IVDD
  • Prekallikrein Deficiency (KLKB1 Exon 8)
  • Congenital Dyshormonogenic Hypothyroidism with Goiter (SLC5A5, Shih Tzu Variant)

Shih Tzu Grooming Tips

When it comes to grooming, there are several tips that you should follow so that your Shih Tzu looks healthy and feels happy.

  • Brushing their coats is essential two to three times per week
  • Baths are best when they happen every week or two
  • Cuts are essential every few weeks, to keep their hair shorter

Shih Tzu Exercise and Training Needs

Shih Tzus require at least 30 minutes to 1 hour of exercise per day, because they can be more energetic than other small dogs. When it comes to training, they are very easy to train and you should be able to have them trained in no time.

Papillons are some of the most popular breeds in the AKC toy group.

Papillon

Coming in at number 45 on the American Kennel clubs popular dog list, the Papillon is also called the Continental toy spaniel. It is a spaniel type of dog and one of the oldest ones, as well. It’s named as such because its fringed hair on the ears looks like a butterfly. These dogs originate in France, Belgium and Spain. They live up to 13 to 15 years and weigh approximately 8 pounds. When it comes to colors, they come in white, white and chocolate, red and white, black and white, among others.

Responsible Breeders Test Papillons For

  • Factor VII deficiency genetic test
  • PRA test
  • VWD test

Papillon Grooming Tips

When it comes to grooming, there are several tips that you should follow so that your Papillon looks healthy and feels happy.

  • You should make sure that you give your Papillon a bath every month
  • Combing or brushing should be done daily

Papillon Exercise and Training Needs

Because Papillon dogs have a lot more energy than other small dogs, they do require a fair amount of exercise per day. Usually 30 to 45 minutes of exercise is enough for them. When it comes to training, Papillon dogs are quite easy to train.

Papillons are some of the most popular breeds in the AKC toy group.

Yorkshire Terrier

Number 13 on the American Kennel Club’s popular dog list, Yorkshire Terriers are sometimes called Yorkies. They are the smallest of the terrier dogs and they come from Yorkshire, in England. They live up to 13 to 16 years. Yorkies can be very intelligent, independent, but also confident and courageous.

Responsible Breeders Test Yorkshire Terriers For

  • Eye Tests — prcd-PRA and PLL — for both eyes.

Yorkshire Terrier Grooming Tips

When it comes to grooming, there are several tips that you should follow so that your Yorkie looks healthy and feels happy.

  • Coat Brushing should be done every one to three depending on whether they have a short or long coat
  • Coat shaving should be done about once a week
  • Teeth should be cleaned every day
  • Eye and face area should be cleaned every day
  • Baths should be done every two weeks, although if you have bought a specialty shampoo, then you can do more frequent baths
  • Trimming: coats should be trimmed every 6 weeks and nails every 4-6 weeks

Yorkshire Terrier Exercise and Training Needs

The small pups usually require about 30 minutes to 1 hour of exercise. They may be small but they have a little bit more energy than other small dogs, so make sure that you have proper exercise for them everyday. When it comes to training, Yorkshire Terriers are difficult to train. They can be stubborn dogs, even though they are extremely intelligent.

Is a Toy Group Breed Right for Your Family?

The question that you must ask yourself is if the toy group breed is right for your family. At the end of the day, the decision is going to be yours. but here’s a few things that you need to keep in mind. Toy dogs and small dogs in general are usually more home bodies and so if you are an active person, this dog may not fit in with your lifestyle.

Another thing to consider is that if you have small children, toy dogs may not be the best. They are more fragile than larger dogs, obviously. But they also tend to bite more and that may not be the best pets to have around kids.

Use CitizenShipper to Deliver Your New Family Member Home

If you want to buy a new pup for the family, but the dog is located in another state, you’re going to have to use a transportation company to transport your new doggo. Using a two-way marketplace like CitizenShipper to find an independent pet transporter is a great solution.

You can save money on transportation costs because drivers bid for your business, most often saving up to 60%-70% compared to a traditional pet transportation company. The bottom line is your new family member will be in good hands with CitizenShipper’s qualified drivers, who are animal lovers who will treat your pup like he’s a part of their family. Create a free pet transport listing today and receive quotes within minutes!