Many of these dogs were originally bred for specific work, but because dog work is hard to come by these days, they’ve become companions. Unlike other breed groups, there is little consistency in their doggy personalities because they were all originally bred for different tasks. Before considering any of these breeds, consult breed-specific books and speak to a veterinarian to get a truer sense of what they are like.
Many of these breeds are miniaturized versions of working or hunting dogs. Too small to work, they have perfected the art of being adorable. Needing little exercise (though they definitely need exercise), they are perfect for apartment dwellers and older people.
Playful and devoted, they demand constant affection and attention. It’s easy to neglect training for these little guys, but it’s a big mistake. Although small, they can become quite tyrannical, ruling the house with constant barking and snapping. To get the most from these precious companions, train them!
A commonly seen member of the Toy group is the Toy Poodle.
Many people contend that mixed breed dogs are better than purebred dogs. I’ve owned both and have loved them equally. Love and loyalty know no pedigree. The biggest difference between a mixed breed and a purebred is predictability.
When you throw a ball into the water for a retriever, you can predict what’s going to happen next. If you know or can guess something about a puppy’s background, you may be able to gain some insight into his personality. Like any other dog, a mixed breed needs attention, exercise, and training.