Shelley Mamott, Staff Writer
10. Shih Tzu
The Shih Tzu is small dog with a short muzzle and large, dark eyes. It has a dense, long and luxurious double coat with a soft undercoat that requires daily brushing.
This dog is known as a companion dog, with a personality that is outgoing, friendly, affectionate, intelligent, and docile. Always alert, but with an air of arrogance and self-importance. The Shih Tzu is a warm, sweet dog with a wide-eyed, friendly and trusting expression. The Shih Tzu thrives on companionship, both adult and child, and needs a lot of attention and in return, is completely devoted.
9. Yorkshire Terrier
The Yorkie is a small sized, compact and well proportioned little dog with self-confidence and an air of self-importance.
Although small, the Yorkshire Terrier is spirited and alert. The Yorkie is independent yet devoted companion. Despite his small size, he is always more than willing to protect his family. This little dog is playful, inquisitive, intelligent, friendly and willing to please.
The Yorkie’s active nature makes him ideal for participating in several dog sports and activities such as obedience, agility, flyball and frisbee. The Yorkie is also commonly seen working as a therapy dog.
8. Bichon Frise
The Bichon Frise is a white powder puff with black eyes, lips, nose and footpads. The coat is naturally curly but when brushed and scissored, it appears to be velvety plush. The Bichon is small and sturdy with an intelligent expression creating an appearance of elegance and dignity.
The Bichon Frisé was bred as a companion dog because of it’s friendly and affectionate disposition. This dog is known to be cheerful, stable, gentle, sensitive, playful, outgoing, alert, and makes a wonderful family dog. The Bichon gets along with people as well as children and other pets. The Bichon also loves to play but is not overly energetic. With a delightfully entertaining personality and talent for performing tricks, this is not a guard dog but will announce strangers.
The Pug is one of the oldest breeds of dogs. An excellent companion as well as a fairly good watchdog who will alert you to the presence of strangers. The Pug is extremely people oriented and should not be left alone for extended periods of time. These days Pugs are seen in obedience competitions and as working and therapy dogs.
Intelligent and even-tempered, but can be a bit stubborn. With a loving, outgoing, and playful nature, wanting nothing more than to please.
6. French Bulldog
Two distinctive features of the Frenchie are bat shaped ears and the flatness of their skull between the ears.
The French Bulldog is a quiet and well-mannered dog who does not bark unnecessarily. As with other short-nosed breeds, the French Bulldog may snort or snore. Alert, active and playful, this dog very good with children and happiest when surrounded by family. They make an excellent companion for the less active person. Primarily bred as a companion dog, the Frenchie is very intelligent and protective of his home and family.
The Maltese has a pure white, flat, long, silky coat that hangs almost to the ground and an expression enhanced by dark eyes, nose, lips and eye rims.
The Maltese is believed to be one of the oldest of the European Toy breeds. Intelligent, affectionate, fearless and sweet-tempered. The Maltese is known to be one of the most gentle mannered of the toy breeds. They are also very playful and energetic, making them wonderful companions for your family.
The Pekingese is a very dignified dog with an air of self-importance. The Peke can at times be extremely stubborn, although calm, good-tempered, non-aggressive and fearless. Naturally aloof with strangers, the Pekingese can be very protective of family, which makes for a good watchdog. However, this protective nature can get to the point of becoming possessive which may require training to ensure that this guarding instinct does not turn into aggression.
The Poodle is well known as an intelligent, amusing, good natured and eager-to-please dog that makes a wonderful companion. Throughout history, the Poodle has worked in several capacities and can excel at just about any task given to him. The Poodle is often seen competing in the show ring, in obedience, agility and in field trials.
The Miniature and Toy varieties were bred down from the larger Standard Poodles and all three exhibit the same general characteristics. The Poodle is calm and steady and carries themselves proudly with an air of distinction and nobility. The Poodle is an active breed and requires regular exercise.
Photo: Damascusroad Pomeranians
The Pomeranian is the smallest member of the Spitz family and a descendent of sled dogs from Iceland and Lapland. The Pom is one of the most popular of the toy breeds.
With their docile temperament, intelligence and devotion, they make a wonderful companion dog. The Pomeranian being very defensive of his home and family makes for a great watchdog. Also known to be fearless when it comes to other dogs, even with larger dogs. Known to have a “big dog” attitude, the Pom is alert, active and very easily trained.
Pomeranians are seen successfully competing in obedience trials. They also work as hearing assistance dogs, therapy dogs, as well as in search and rescue on sites where small sized dogs are needed.
Chihuahua is one of the smallest dog breeds and are excellent companions as they are loving and affectionate. Graceful, alert and swift-moving with a saucy expression, Chihuahuas are highly intelligent and should not be underestimated even though small in size.
They are good with families if the children are gentle and patient. Because of their small size, they require little exercise and are good city dogs, but can be sensitive to cold temperatures.
Chihuahuas are also one of the longest living dogs and can live up to 18 years.