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Old 02-16-2010, 01:17 PM
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Default Toy dogs- how small is too small?

Okay I'm NOT trying to ruffle feathers but I think this is a very important discussion for anyone in toys to think about. It greatly concerns me because a) the ring trend in the past few years has seen papillons decrease about 2 lbs and b) I intend to breed a toy breed in the far-ish future. It's been on my mind a lot with recent threads.

So how small is too small? Our standard is 9-12 inches without weight specified. The ring trend lately especially with American dogs is averaging about 6 lbs whereas paps used to average about 8 lbs. I know that doesn't sound like much to most people, but it's a LOT. Fortunately it's been discussed in the papillon breed club and magazine a lot and there is a concerted effort to bump the weight back up at least among most breeders I know. Still I see some 3-4 lb papillons showing and being bred when to me that is pretty much disqualifying them in my opinion from breeding.

Most papillon people I know agree that 3 lbs is the "safe weight" as far as hypoglycemia goes. And yet there are breeds where 3 lbs or even under is within standard. Is this right? I can't wrap my mind around it. That's not even getting into whelping issues that increase a lot the smaller you go. And bone structure. With people with large breeds it probably doesn't seem to matter that 2 or so pounds, but there is a large difference in how sturdy a 2 lb dog is from a 4 lb from a 6 lb, etc. Even taking Mia and Summer for example, Mia is just under 6 lbs and is smaller than I'd want a dog whereas Summer is almost 8 lbs. Just looking at their bone structure, Summer has much sturdier legs. I don't worry about Summer as much as I do Mia at all.

I dunno, just a jumble of thoughts but I really have to wonder WHY are we breeding dogs that are 2-3 lbs and why is this okay? You greatly reduce the health risks just by bumping up the weight 2 or so pounds. I don't think it's just teacup breeders that are breeding things too small.

Personally for my breed I want to see the average go back up to 8-10 lbs. I would never breed a dog that was under 5 lbs and under 6 lbs would be with serious, serious hesitation.

So thoughts?
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Old 02-16-2010, 01:23 PM
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Itsy bitsy dogs are being bred cause they're "cute" and "easier to carry around in bags". I personally would like to see most of the toy breeds bump their sizes back up to "safe" sizes. Yorkies used to regularly be 8-12lbs and now you see the waify little 2-3 lbers walking around.
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Old 02-16-2010, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Zoom View Post
Itsy bitsy dogs are being bred cause they're "cute" and "easier to carry around in bags". I personally would like to see most of the toy breeds bump their sizes back up to "safe" sizes. Yorkies used to regularly be 8-12lbs and now you see the waify little 2-3 lbers walking around.
I agree. Poms are another, they used to be around 30 lbs, not 2-3! Papillons are interesting because they appear to have always been pretty small or maybe even smaller. Most old standards I read say 8 lbs, but I read one from the early 1900s that said 3-5lbs! I'm glad they're not that tiny anymore.
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Old 02-16-2010, 01:26 PM
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I think as long as dogs are healthy and STURDY (no breaking bones every time they jump off a couch) then things are fine. For a chihuahua, 8-10 would be a bit much.. Id say about 5 pounds is perfect size. They are still small enough for travel and being in a carrier, yet big enough that they aren't fragile.

breeders breed small because well..thats what people want (small meaning 6 lbs or less). if people wanted larger dogs they wouldnt be looking at toy breeds lol and as long as they are raising healthy dogs then I don't see the issue really..
I wouldnt want an 8-10 lb chihuahua. for that, id go to a shelter, not a breeder.

as for 2-3 lb dogs. I agree with you there, I see no reason to be breeding dogs that tiny. 9 times out of 10 health problems arise because of the size. and theres no reason to HAVE a dog that small. 5-7 pound dogs, I see why some people (including myself) prefer it. Easier to travel with for instance. but 3 pounds? I think thats sacrificing the health/well being of a dog just to be able to say "my dog is tiny"

thats just my 2 cents.
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Old 02-16-2010, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Fransheska101 View Post

breeders breed small because well..thats what people want (small meaning 6 lbs or less). if people wanted larger dogs they wouldnt be looking at toy breeds lol and as long as they are raising healthy dogs then I don't see the issue really..
I wouldnt want an 8-10 lb chihuahua. for that, id go to a shelter, not a breeder.
I don't have a problem with toy dogs (obviously ) or the fact that they are small. It's of course their trademark and part of the reason they are so desirable to some people. But honestly when you look at them in all real instances except for health there isn't much a difference between a 5 lb dog and an 8 lb dog, except the 8 lb dog is quite a bit sturdier. Just using my dogs as an example. I think Mia will top at about 6- 6.5 lbs and she's tiny as is. Summer is just as portable as Mia and just as easy to travel with but those 2 lbs do add a lot in the way of how sturdy she is.

I don't really have a problem with 5-6 lbs. I have 2 dogs in that range as is and they're sturdy enough and hypoglycemia isn't an issue. But for my breed in particular, I'd like to see them even a bit bigger.
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Old 02-16-2010, 01:32 PM
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In yorkies the standard is "under 7 pounds" with no minimum weight specified, but if you talk to anyone who knows a lot about the breed they will agree that 4 to 7 pounds is really what you should be breeding for... sometimes a runt will end up a little smaller, but you will usually see them listed by breeders as needing to go to "special homes" or "experienced homes" and they almost always stay with the breeder longer then the rest of the litter. Bitches should really be at the high end of the range 6-7 pounds for breeding, the males can be slightly smaller and still be "breeding worthy".
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Old 02-16-2010, 01:41 PM
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With Pugs it isn't an issue thankfully... Unfortunately it's going the OTHER way! The dogs winning in the ring are in the 20-25lb range usually! The standard calls for 14-18lbs, but no one really cares about it anymore.

I think that's a big issue too. They're still a toy dog, but when people are looking for that toy dog that's small enough to be portable but big enough to be sturdy that 25lb pug is too much dog.

Back to the topic... I like to see those smaller end toy dogs in the 7-8lb range as an average for most and no smaller than 5lbs. Those tiny tiny 2-3lb dogs are just too fragile and have too much potential for issues
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Old 02-21-2010, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by MandyPug View Post
With Pugs it isn't an issue thankfully... Unfortunately it's going the OTHER way! The dogs winning in the ring are in the 20-25lb range usually! The standard calls for 14-18lbs, but no one really cares about it anymore.
See, and this ^^^ always mystifies me.
WHY are Pugs in the "Toy" group at all when that is the standard? Their standard on height/weight is about the same as Westies ... yet Westies are in the terrier group and not considered toys. It's not just because they are terriers ... the Yorkie temperament is ALL terrier ... but they are in the toy group due to smaller size, which makes sense to me as their standard is so much smaller/lighter than Westies and Pugs.

But why aren't Pugs in the Non-Sporting group since their standard is so much bigger/heavier than the other toys? Especially since they are apparently being bred to be even bigger these days ... up to 25 - 30 lbs? That is NOT a toy-sized dog ... but neither is an 18 lb. dog, which is included in the standard for Pugs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoom View Post
Itsy bitsy dogs are being bred cause they're "cute" and "easier to carry around in bags". I personally would like to see most of the toy breeds bump their sizes back up to "safe" sizes. Yorkies used to regularly be 8-12lbs and now you see the waify little 2-3 lbers walking around.
^^^That, as far as why many toys are being bred to be smaller and smaller. There's ads all the time on Craigslist and elsewhere from so many people demanding "teacup" size dogs.

They don't even seem to realize that "teacup" is NOT a separate breed or a separate standard. It's out of standard ... often resulting in fragile and shivering tiny little dogs with many health and dental issues ... and with a life-time propensity to be FAR more prone to hypoglycemia than the normal-sized toys.
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Old 02-21-2010, 02:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheGoldenRetriever View Post
See, and this ^^^ always mystifies me.
WHY are Pugs in the "Toy" group at all when that is the standard? Their standard on height/weight is about the same as Westies ... yet Westies are in the terrier group and not considered toys. It's not just because they are terriers ... the Yorkie temperament is ALL terrier ... but they are in the toy group due to smaller size, which makes sense to me as their standard is so much smaller/lighter than Westies and Pugs.

But why aren't Pugs in the Non-Sporting group since their standard is so much bigger/heavier than the other toys? Especially since they are apparently being bred to be even bigger these days ... up to 25 - 30 lbs? That is NOT a toy-sized dog ... but neither is an 18 lb. dog, which is included in the standard for Pugs.
They were bred to be companion dogs and nothing else. No purpose like bulldogs or poodles or bostons. Strictly companions, that's why they're in the toys. They also have the domed toy head. They're not terriers, not bulldogs, not herders, not retrievers, not pointers, not setters, not protection dogs, just companions. Cavaliers are also 13-18lbs in the standard, ShihTzus are also 9-16lbs in the standard, so it's not just pugs that are big in the toy group.

ETA: I dunno why the small terriers are in the toy group when they're really terriers and descended from working terriers. Who knows. But i do know pugs don't really fit in anywhere else.
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Old 02-22-2010, 04:37 AM
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Originally Posted by MandyPug View Post
They were bred to be companion dogs and nothing else. No purpose like bulldogs or poodles or bostons. Strictly companions, that's why they're in the toys. They also have the domed toy head. They're not terriers, not bulldogs, not herders, not retrievers, not pointers, not setters, not protection dogs, just companions. Cavaliers are also 13-18lbs in the standard, ShihTzus are also 9-16lbs in the standard, so it's not just pugs that are big in the toy group.
Thanks for the explanation. But French Bulldogs and Lowchen were also bred to be companions only ... yet they're both in the Non-Sporting Group.

American Kennel Club - French Bulldog

American Kennel Club - Lwchen

(These are AKC links ... I do realize you're in Canada, but guess Pugs are in the Toy Group in Canada as well ... since you said yours are.)

Tibetan Spaniels and Tibetan Terriers (which are not true terriers) were bred primarily as companions ... though both were used as watchdogs. (But I would imagine most in the "Toy" group would bark at a doorbell? All the Toy dogs I have ever met certainly do. ) Again, both in the Non-Sporting Group.

American Kennel Club - Tibetan Spaniel

American Kennel Club - Tibetan Terrier

Quote:
Originally Posted by MandyPug View Post
ETA: I dunno why the small terriers are in the toy group when they're really terriers and descended from working terriers. Who knows. But i do know pugs don't really fit in anywhere else.
Not sure ... but I always assumed it was the size difference, they're about half the size of the other small terriers such as Westies and Cairns. Which is why I can see the Yorkies in the Toy Group, but not Pugs. Or Cavaliers either for that matter, considering they're also pretty big compared to others in the Toy Group. The Non-Sporting Group is VERY diverse, and it seems to be the "catch-all" for breeds that don't fit in anywhere else, rather than the Toy Group.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PoodleMommy View Post
my yorkies are trying to do what they are bred for... they just keep getting cats confused for rats


Our Westie actually LIKES cats, go figure! He was raised with them though ... perhaps that's the difference. But gophers or squirrels are "rats" to him .. he always wants to go after them.
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