Research Outline

Toy Dog Breeds


To identify a dog breed found on social media in order to find breeders for this breed of dog in the United States, particularly in California.

Early Findings

  • A translation of the Instagram page’s description identifies the dog’s name as Cola, but unfortunately does not identify his or her breed. Similarly, translations of individual photo captions and hashtags fail to provide the dog’s breed.
  • While we were unable to provide an exact breed or cross breed for Cola, we were able to identify several breeds which are similar in appearance to him/her, such as Shih Tzu, Maltese, Norwich Terrier, and West Highland White Terrier. More information about each, including their similarities and links to photos have been provided below.

Popular Toy Breeds

  • Shih Tzu is a toy breed first developed in China. This breed of dog looks most similar to Cola in the Instagram post.
  • While this breed of dog has a similar face as Cola, the ears are not quite the same. This suggests that Cola may be a mixed breed.
  • The Maltese is another toy breed which has a similar snout and eye set as that of Cola. The ears, however, are also not straight, which again indicates that Cola may be a toy mix. The Maltese fur texture is also slightly different to that of Cola.
  • It is most helpful to look at mixed breed toy dogs, especially a Shih Tzu mix, which has facial features and a fur texture most similar to that of Cola. Attached is a picture of a Maltese X Shih Tzu mix breed toy dog
  • Another potential match is the Norwich Terrier, which has straight ears like Cola’s; however the shape of the ears is slightly different.
  • The West Highland White Terrier also has straight ears, albeit not quite as round as Cola’s. Because terriers are toy dogs with pointy ears, Cola may be a Shih Tzu and Terrier mix.
  • Photos of each of the aforementioned dog breeds have been provided in the attached Google Docs, along with links to the source material.

Designer Crossbreed Dogs

  • In order to better expand the options to find just the right breed of dog, we found a list of designer crossbreed toy dogs.