Toy Breed Dogs History and Origins


The toy breed dog has recently been traced through the evolutionary history of the Grey Wolf, wild canines, and a variety of other breed dogs. Archeologists have found ancient canine remains from Belgium, Germany, and Russia that date back 12,000-31,000 years that were similar in size to the Great Dane. Other canine remains discovered in the middle east, dated 12,000 years old were similar to a small terrier dog.

To discover the origins of the toy breed dog, researchers studied a gene called IGF1, which was studied using the grey wolf, and other canines. Researches found that the history of the toy breed dogs can be traced back to the grey wolf. All small dogs weighing 20 pounds or less, share this IGF1 gene found in the grey wolf. This means that the gene must have surfaced early in the history of small and toy breed dogs.Toy Breed Dogs History and Origins

Toy breed dogs where first domesticated about 12,000 years ago based upon DNA studies and archeological records. Humans have played a major role in mutating the small breed dog using a process of selection for the most desired trait. The change in small dog’s, size, head shape, nose length,coat length, temperament, hunting, and gathering behaviors over the years have been a result of this manual selection process which is still evolving to this day.

Ancient small and toy breed dogs were commonly used for fur and as a food source unlike today’s toy breed dogs who are bred mainly as companions. Small breed dogs like chihuahuas became treasured companions and eventually status symbols of wealthy.

Toy Breed Dogs: History & Origins note:

  • Humans also domesticated other animals around 12,00 years ago as well, such as Cattle, pigs, and goats.
  • Small dogs the world over can all trace their ancestry back to the Middle East, where the first small dog emerged more than 12,000 years ago.
  • These dogs are related to the Middle Eastern gray wolf, which shares a particular version of the size gene.
  • A single gene is responsible for the size of all small and large breed dogs.


List of Small & Toy Breed Dogs:

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