6 Classes Of Small Dogs – Part Two

In part 2 of this article, we look at small in the herding, terrier, non-sporting, and toy groups.

Terrier Dogs

Terrier dogs were bred to hunt – rats, rabbits, foxes, and even badgers, river rats, and otters. These days, almost all terriers are bought as pets. And with their affectionate and loyal temperament, they do make great pets. However, they are dogs with a strong personality, and they need equally strong willed owners. This is just as true for the small, toy terriers – they don’t see themselves as small dogs. Terriers also have an abundance of energy, so you’ll need to exercise them a fair bit. Their coats are wiry, and to keep the characteristic wiriness of their coats you’ll need to do a special grooming technique called stripping.

There are many small breeds in the terrier grouping. They are: the West Highland White Terrier, Irish Terrier, Manchester Terrier, Border Terrier, Australian Terrier, and , Kerry Blue Terrier, Dandie Dinmont Terrier, Cairn Terrier, Welsh Terrier, , Bedlington Terrier dog breed, Sealyham Terrier, and Scottish Terrier.

Toy Dogs

Toy dogs are amongst the most well known of the small dog types, due to their popularity with both people and celebrities. Because many toy dogs are large breeds bred down to size, you’ll find toy breeds in many of the other groups as well.

Toy dogs are friendly, though they can be angry and fierce as well. They do make great lap dogs, however, and are often cherished members of the family, akin to a child. Toy dogs include: Pug Dog Breed, Chinese Crested, Italian Greyhound, and the Pomeranian dog breed.

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

Herding Dogs

Herding dogs are a fairly recent classification in the AKC. The breeds in this category were part of the working group. And, in many countries they still are a sub-catgory of the working group. The dogs registered by the American Kennel Club are generally bought as pets, although working (and herding) dogs are still used throughout the world on farms, cattle stations, and ranches due to their abilities to herd livestock. They are able to be trained to respond to whistles and commands, and are very good at their job. When herding dogs are pets, the herding instinct is still there. It tends to be channeled by gently herding their humans, especially if there are any kids in the family.

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

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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