Companion dogs are extremely loyal, lovable, and fun to be with. Although they can be used as guard dogs, these dog breeds were developed to be most effective as domestic pets. They are relatively smaller than guard or working dogs.
Chihuahuas are one of the smallest dog breeds in the world. This dog breed was discovered in Mexico in 1850 and was named after the state of Chihuahua in Mexico. They are lightweight dogs, weighing no more than 6 pounds and stand at about 5 inches and come in several colors with tan and black as the most common. The American Kennel Club considers Chihuahua as a toy dog belonging to Toy Group. Dogs belonging to this group were mostly bred as companion dogs and they excel in this task. Chihuahuas are sociable dogs and they hate to be left alone. They are ideal apartment dogs because they don’t occupy much space and do not require heavy exercise but they enjoy playing in outdoors on warm days. Life span is about 15 years.
Pomeranian dogs (also known as Poms) are originally from Greenland and were brought to Pomerania by European breeders. Pomerania is a place located somewhere in the north of Baltic Sea. English breeders were credited for reducing the size of this dog and for coming up with different colors. These were accomplished through trial and error breeding and the breeders were successful in keeping the dog small just like the Chihuahua. Average weight is 3 to 7 pounds but there are known Poms that weigh up to 15 lbs. Pomeranian dogs became popular during the early days because they were the favorites of known personalities like the Queen Victoria, King Edward, Charles Darwin, Sir Isaac Newton, King Edward, to name a few.
Today, a good number of popular celebrities are known owners of Poms, including Paris Hilton, Maria Sharapova and Nicole Ritchie, among others.
Yorkshire Terrier (Yorkies)
The Yorkshire Terrier (Yorkies) is a small dog breed that usually weighs about 7 lbs. and 7-9 inches tall. This dog originated in Yorkshire, England. This long haired dog is highly independent with above average intelligence.
The Yorkies were brought to the United States in 1872 and immediately became a popular breed. The Yorkies participation in popular movies and shows has contributed immensely to its popularity as a companion or toy dog. These movies or shows include “Funny Face” with Audrey Hepburn, “Meet the Fockers” by Dustin Hoffman and Barbara Streisand and Till Death do us Part, among others. Life span is about 15 years.
Shih Tzu originated in China. It was reported that this dog breed is the smallest and the oldest breed of dog in the Tibetan holy dogs. Shih Tzu dogs weighs from 9-16 lbs. and height of about 10 inches. Average life span is about 15 years. Shih Tzu dog breeds are temperature sensitive. They are problematic when temperature reaches 75 degrees which could be the reason why most airlines would not accept them for shipment.
Poodle breed of dogs come in miniature and standard sizes. The miniature is the breed that comes from the standard size Poodle. Its origin is unknown but they were believed to be related to the Portuguese water dog and the Irish Water Spaniel. They were used in Germany as retriever of ducks in the 16th century. Miniature Poodles usually weighs about 16 pounds and stands at 11-15 inches. Poodle is very popular and is now ranked number 8 out of 154 dogs’ breeds in the 2005 AKC registrations.
Maltese Dogs belong to the small breed of dogs that may have originated in Malta. This dog has a variety of names that include “Bichon”, “Maltese Terrier”, “Spaniel Gentle”, “Shock Dog”, among others.
The Maltese is believed to have descended from the Spitz dog type found among the Swiss lake dwellers that were bred down to its small size. Its real origin it still unknown today. Some breeders theorized that Maltese dogs originated in Asia and are related to Tibetan terrier. Maltese dogs became popular when some royal families were reported to have owned this dog breed. They include Queen Elizabeth, Queen Victoria, Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Sinatra, and Mia Farrow, among others. Maltese dogs normally weigh 3-7 lbs and stands at 5-8 inches. Life span is 10-12 years.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (Cavalier)
Cavalier is believed to be the largest toy dog in its class, along with the Pug. It weighs between 10-18 pounds and stands at 12-13 inches. Cavaliers are highly affectionate, playful and extremely patient. They are very sociable dogs and they want constant companionship from humans as well as other dogs. This breed is one of the friendliest dogs in the toy class and is a great pet for people of all ages. Cavalier dogs are known to have originated in England and have in fact been named after King Charles ll.
Japanese Spitz is a breed of dog that is known to have originated from the White German Spitz of Germany. It is a completely white breed that was developed in Japan in the late 19th century by Japanese dog breeders.
Japanese Spitz breeds are obedient, playful, alert and intelligent dog breeds and they are highly sociable. They like to be with members of the family and enjoy human contact and attention. They are also good as watch dogs as they are normally alert and will call the master’s attention with their loud and continued barking. They do not require extensive exercise but daily long walks are essential for their general physical and mental health.
An adult Japanese Spitz weighs from 11-22 lbs. and stands at 12-15 inches. Life span is 10-16 years.
American Eskimo Dog (Eskie)
American Eskimo Dog is a breed originating in the USA. It is a crossbreed of the German Spitz, the Japanese Spitz and the American Keeshonden. It has been used in the early days as a watch dog and as sled dog. The Eskie as it is fondly called is a loving companion dog and a working dog as well. It is a medium size Nordic dog that usually comes in white or cream color and presents a picture of strength, agility and alertness Eskies weigh about 6-19 pounds and stands 9-13 inches. Life span is 10-20 years.
Australian Silky Terrier
Australian Silky Terrier is a breed of dog from Australia and classified as a toy dog. It was primarily bred as a house toy dog but also makes a good watch dog. This dog breed is sensitive to voice tone. A loud voice will frighten them while a high squeaky shriek will make them freeze. They are family oriented dogs and will usually attached itself to one member and be friendly to the rest. If their master welcomes a visitor, they will normally accept them and get their attention. The Australian Silky Terrier normally weighs from 8-11 pounds and stands at 9-10 inches. Life span is 12-15 years