Fun facts about some of our favourite small breeds

May 19, 2022 8:17:43 AM

Short in stature but always big in personality, small dog breeds are growing in popularity, with almost 40,000 French Bulldogs being registered with the UK Kennel Club in 2020 alone (source: Country Living). The preference for smaller dogs might be linked with many of their benefits such as requiring less room, portability and cost to feed – and compared with their larger counterparts this makes a lot of sense!

According to British Pet Insurance Services, the top (insured) dogs of 2021 were: Pug, French Bulldog, English Bulldog, Jack Russell, Miniature Schnauzers, Pomeranians and Yorkshire Terriers. For fun facts about these, and a few others, read on!

Pug

You know you’re dealing with a distinguished dog breed when it has its own motto and Multum in Parvo or ‘a lot in a little’ speaks volumes about our favourite wrinkled, pint-size pet.

Dachshund

Affectionately nick-named the ‘sausage dog’, a Dachshund’s physical attributes are accurately summed up with the phrase “half a dog high and a dog and a half long” uttered by journalist H L Mencken.

Don’t underestimate our long and low friends though as they were originally bred to fit down holes and take on badgers, hence the name Dachs meaning badger; hund meaning dog.

Pomeranian

This small dog breed which when groomed can be indistinguishable from a pom pom, is nicknamed “the little dog who thinks he can”. As well as being popular with royalty (particularly Queen Victoria) Pomeranians have had a number of famous owners throughout history including physicist Isaac Newton, artist Michelangelo and the composer Mozart.

Bichon Frise

Another small dog breed that has been popular with royalty is the playful Bichon Frise. In the 16th century King Henry III liked his Bichons so much that he carried them around in a basket that he hung from his neck.

Jack Russell

An energetic working breed, well-known for fox hunting in the 19th century, the Jack Russell can be known to jump over 5ft fences. You have been warned!

Cairn Terrier

Terry the Cairn Terrier is perhaps the most well-known Cairn from starring as Toto in The Wizard of Oz. Having worked in films before, Terry’s career almost reached an abrupt end when one of the Wicked Witch of the West’s Winkie guards accidentally stepped on her foot and broke it. Terry didn’t do too badly though as she was taken to convalesce at Judy Garland’s house and was duly rewarded for her endeavours, reputedly taking home a salary larger than some of the human actors on the film.

Miniature Schnauzer

One of the most aptly named breeds is the Miniature Schnauzer. Schnauzer is German for ‘small beard’ and there are few small breeds whose personality is expressed so well in their face with their huge bushy eyebrows, small beard and folded pointy ears.

Pekingese

Pekingese or the Lion Dog are traceable back to the 8th century in China where they were bred by palace eunuchs and treated like members of the royal family. Their small stature allowed them to be carried around in the large sleeves of their Chinese owners and thus they were known as sleeve dogs.

French Bulldog

Also known as Frenchies, the French Bulldog was a favourite with lacemakers in Nottingham as they slept on their laps and kept them warm while they worked. When those laceworkers moved to France following the Industrial Revolution they were adored by the French and called Bouledogue Francais.

Yorkshire Terrier

An enduring favourite, the Yorkie is a regular proud winner of the world’s smallest dog and its fur has a very similar texture to human hair. Despite an often quite pampered existence, the Yorkshire Terrier has its pedigree firmly embedded in ratting and vermin control. Returning to the Wizard of Oz (see Cairn Terrier), the original drawings for Toto were actually based on a Yorkshire Terrier. Yorkies, you were robbed!

We know, via our Nutritional Advisers, that our dog owners adore their small breeds and we love to see your photos and hear your stories, keep them coming! Which is your favourite small breed?

For regular competitions, useful information and top tips for looking after your dog, whatever its size, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

References:

https://www.countryliving.com/uk/wildlife/dog-breeds/a37031475/small-dog-breeds/

https://www.britishpetinsurance.co.uk/most-popular-small-breed-dogs-in-the-uk/

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