Illustration by Louis Agassiz Fuertes
Toy dogs have been developed from larger breeds by selective breeding. They all serve one main purpose, and it is a good one—they bring joy and companionship to the thousands of people who own them. And they do harm to none, unless it be tc those very few foolish people who lose all sense of values and make themselves the slaves of tlicir canine pets.
As companions, even little dogs are far preferable to cats. They love with an unselfish love, which cats do not, and they are guiltless of the slaughter of the millions of useful birds which are destroyed by cats in the United States alone every year. If we keep pets, it isour duly to keep those which are not perennially destructive to useful things.
One of the most popular toy dogs in this country and in England, is the Pomeranian, which from his general appearance, including the bushy tail curled over the hind quarters, would appear to he descended, long ago, no doubt, from the Snmoyed dog of the north (see page 225). Their more recent forefather is the spitz (see page 224), and today the chief difference between a spitz and a Pomeranian is in size.
As a result of careful breeding, many "Poms" are less than five pounds in weight, and in addition to black and white we now see several beautiful colors, including blue, brown, sable, red, orange, and fawn.
The best, or at least most desired, class scale under eight pounds. They are deep-furred, kitten - footed, round-headed, pointed - nosed, prick-eared, mincing little toy dogs, and they come in all colors, but the parti-colored ones are not so desirable and are seldom seen.
The coat consists of a deep, soft, fluffy underfur, through which protrudes a plentiful overfur of long, straight, glossy hair covering the whole body, being especially full and abundant on the throat, chest, neck, rump, and hindquarters. The tail is a pompon flowing over the back. The legs are straight and" delicate, and the dog in action is exceedingly light and "steppy."
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