Toy dogs- how small is too small?

Laurelin

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#1
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?
 

Zoom

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#2
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.
 

Fran101

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#3
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.
 

Laurelin

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#4
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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#5
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".
 

Laurelin

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#6
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 :p) 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.
 

MandyPug

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#7
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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#8
Im trying to go through the toy dogs in my mind and am coming up blank...

is there a breed where 2-3 pounds is actually "acceptable" like good breeders are actually breeding to that size?

At least from the dogs I can think of, it seems like 2-3 pounds "teacups" or "micros" are something that puppy mills are creating to make more money not something that is actually accepted in the breed.
 

Laurelin

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#9
Well the problem imo lies in not specifying a lower end for the weight. I know chis can be 2-3 lbs as well as yorkies and poms and even occasionally paps though the smallest I've seen in the ring is about 3 ish lbs. (not a puppy) The smallest papillon I know is 2.5 lbs but not from a show breeder. But you see them showing at 4 lbs on occasion.

There's a lot of 'should not exceed' but no specification for how small is too small.

Poms are listed as 3-7 lbs.
 
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#10
Well the problem imo lies in not specifying a lower end for the weight. I know chis can be 2-3 lbs as well as yorkies and poms and even occasionally paps though the smallest I've seen in the ring is about 3 ish lbs. (not a puppy) The smallest papillon I know is 2.5 lbs but not from a show breeder. But you see them showing at 4 lbs on occasion.

There's a lot of 'should not exceed' but no specification for how small is too small.

Poms are listed as 3-7 lbs.
okay, I see what your saying.

Yes, I think there should be a lower end standard specifically stated... for yorkies I think 4 pounds is good... so 4-7 pounds would be a better way to state the standard.

But, even if it was specifically stated by the AKC I dont think it would make much of a difference in the dogs we see out there, because like I said before good breeders are already breeding to this standard... and those who arent probably wouldnt care either way.
 

Fran101

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#11
Good breeders, even if they personally thought that yorkies or chis or paps needed to be 8-10 pounds.. probably wouldnt last long unfortunatly (and thats probably why its not more common). because generally thats not what judges want to see in the ring and thats not what most people want when they want one of these breeds.

:/
 
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#12
Good breeders, even if they personally thought that yorkies or chis or paps needed to be 8-10 pounds.. probably wouldnt last long unfortunatly (and thats probably why its not more common). because generally thats not what judges want to see in the ring and thats not what most people want when they want one of these breeds.

:/
what is the standard for chis?
 

Laurelin

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#14
A lot of the issue my breeder has is even breeding two large paps she can end up with one substantially smaller from that pair. Rose for example comes from a near 10 lb mom but she matured to 6.5 lbs. Then again her sire isn't the largest.

A few years ago Beau was one of the smallest dogs in the ring. Now if I got to a show, I see many that are much smaller.
 

~Jessie~

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#15
The Chihuahua breed standard is 2-6lbs... and lately I've actually seen more larger, stockier chis in the ring. It seems more common for 4-6lb chis to be shown and bred.

Personally, if I were to breed, I'd never breed a female smaller than 5lbs. Ideally the male should be atleast 1lb lighter than the female.

I couldn't imagine owning a chi smaller than 4lbs, which is what Rylie weighs. Not only do I have to worry about her getting hurt, things like medications affect her more than they do with my other dogs. Tucker weighs 5lbs, and I think he's the perfect weight for a chi. Chloe weighs about 6lbs.

I'd take a 6lb chi ANY DAY over one that is smaller than 4lbs.
 

~Jessie~

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#16
And by the way, I don't understand why breeders will purposely breed for tiny, tiny dogs. It's not like 5lb dogs are difficult to travel with :rolleyes:

Oh, no... the weight from my 5lb chihuahua is just too much. I wish I ended up getting one of those "easier to carry" 2lb chis.

 

Fran101

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#17
And by the way, I don't understand why breeders will purposely breed for tiny, tiny dogs. It's not like 5lb dogs are difficult to travel with :rolleyes:

Oh, no... the weight from my 5lb chihuahua is just too much. I wish I ended up getting one of those "easier to carry" 2lb chis.

MY ARMS! THE AGONY!

lol 5 pounds of pure chihuahua fury!


BACK OFF BIG BLACK DOG!

:rofl1:
 

~Jessie~

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#18
OMG, Romeo looks like he's just KILLING your back! How can you handle carrying such a huge dog? :rofl1:

I used to post a good bit on a chi forum... and there was a member who refused to have "one of those huge 'over 4lb' chis" because they would hurt her back!
 

Laurelin

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#19
Heh I stalk several toy breed forums but I can't bring myself to post there at all. Toy breed people many times annoy the snot out of me.
 
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#20
Heh I stalk several toy breed forums but I can't bring myself to post there at all. Toy breed people many times annoy the snot out of me.
Im pretty sure this has come up on my yorkie forum before and most people there agree that 4-5 pounds is the smallest a breeder should go. Ill see if I can pull up some responses later and post them here... is that allowed, :lol-sign:
 
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