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Dogs traditionally referred to as toy dogs are usually the very smallest breeds, although the Australian Terrier, despite being one of the smallest terriers, is classified in the Terrier group, while the Yorkshire Terrier is considered a Toy breed. Toy dogs can be one of several dog types. Some are of ancient lap dog types, and some are small versions of hunting dog or terrier types, bred down in size for a particular kind of work or to create a pet of convenient size. 

Toy dogs, are still dogs, are need to be treated as such. When selecting a toy breed as a pet or companion care should still be given to the nature of the breed in question and the purpose the dog was original developed to fulfil. Training and socialisation are every bit as essential for these tiny dogs as they are for their larger counterparts. Toy breeds need manners just as much as large dogs. Though tiny, these dogs are pack animals with pack instincts. If you do not take the leadership role, your petite, furry friend will rule you.

Toy dogs should not be thought of solely as lap dogs or companion animals, with little need for exercise and with low endurance, while the French Bulldog for example, may happily adopt a take it or leave it approach to exercise, the Pekinese and the Papillon although dainty and small are quite capable of taking long walks. Maltese are another example of very robust daintiness.