A dog breed is a particular type of dog. It has as specific look and temperament. Most registered breeds are less than a century old as registered breeds. They are between 50 and 60 years old. All pedigree dogs are from a particular dog breed. Their ancestry or pedigree can be traced back through their linage.
Many of the new dog breeds are in the toy or small dog groups. Lots of these small dog breeds are fearless and they will happily attempt to take on a dog much larger than themselves, not always a wise thing to do.
As with all dog breeds, the small dog breeds can be prone to a variety of health problems, which will vary by breed. Unfortunately nearly all breeds now show levels of genetic defects that may be considered unacceptable because of the relatively small gene pool.
The single-coated dog breeds are often touted as being hypo-allergenic. Although they do still have dander the amount is significantly less than dog with a double coat. So whilst not strictly hypo-allergenic they can substantially reduce allergic reactions. Unfortunately there are no truly allergen-free dog breeds, all dogs have some hair!
How did we end up with the Different Breeds?
It’s no surprise dogs are regarded as mans best friend. Not only were they used as companions and sometimes for entertainment, but they also helped our ancestors to survive. In the process they ensured their own survival too, a win/win situation for man and dog. Different types of dogs are better than others at certain types of work. So different dog breeds began to materialize to increase their specialization.
Larger more agile dogs were used for herding. They help farmers control and move their stock, such as the Boarder Collie which has a huge instinct to herd. Very large dogs were used to pull heavy carts and in the night they were used as guard dogs. It’s only recently that we’ve seen the introduction of night guards and CCTV cameras. Even today large dogs are still used as guard dogs at night and during the day.
Most of the modern dog breeds will naturally act as guardians when at home, but some dog breeds have been selectively bred for their natural tendency to guard and defend their territory, or their charges. For example, livestock guardian dogs are often big enough and strong enough to drive away predators such as coyotes or wolves. Most guard dogs will instinctively do anything possible to protect their pack, (that’s you and your family), and the area they consider as their territory. They will bark and try to ward off potential intruders, and if continually provoked they will eventually attack.
More recently you can find dog breeds becoming specialists, such as the Alsatian for specialist police work or the Labrador as guide-dogs, but the most recent change of dog breeds is towards treasured companions. After that it was only a matter of time before the world of dog fanciers was born! These dogs are usually the toy breeds of dog.
The Toy Dog Breeds
From tough to cute, terriers to toy dogs, there is a whole variety of small dog breeds for you to choose from. Small dogs are cute, compact animals with many varieties to select from. There are many dog breeds exclusive to the toy group, such as the Shih Tzu or the Chihuahua.
Dogs that enjoy or can handle playtime will work better in a household with little ones than dogs that cannot. It is advisable to do some careful research if you have small children or other pets. You’ll find that not all small dog breeds get along with youngsters or other animals, although the majority will be fine with proper care and training.
Small dogs can make ideal pets for apartment dwellers and those with smaller living spaces. They are also a lot easier and cheaper to look after and care for.
Of the small dog breeds in the Toy group, the ones that excel as watchdogs include the: Chihuahua, Yorkshire Terrier, Toy Poodle, and Shih Tzu. Trainability in small dogs can vary depending on the breed so be sure to pick the one that suits you. The dogs in the toy group are delightful characters, and can be lively, entertaining, playful and very loyal.