The Toy Munchkin Breed: An Ongoing Controversy

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Possibly a Fictitious Breed, this small rare dog resembles a Pomeranian with a Lion-Clip Haircut

Toy Munchkin

The rare Toy Munchkin dog breed may or may not exist (see below, "Controversy") in that many believe it is simply a Pomeranian or a Pomeranian mix with its fur trimmed into a particular shape. If it does exist, the Toy Munchkin is much like the Pomeranian, a small companion dog – happy, lively, and intelligent. This little dog is not snippy like many smaller breeds, but is instead well-mannered and eager to please. Although it's possible that this type of dog can develop so-called "Small Dog Syndrome," where the dog becomes a little terror or "spoiled rotten brat," it is much more likely that it won't, given its generally cooperative and friendly personality.

The breed is apparently recognized by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale, or FIC, although it does not appear on the current US site when searched.

Controversy
Although there are sites on the Internet that talk about and describe the Toy Munchkin, it is questionable whether this breed actually exists. What is known is that back in the late 1990s, a new breed began to appear on several talk shows, supposedly developed by a woman named Dawn Roller. She is the same person who developed so-called "non-drooling" Neapolitan Mastiffs, which are also thought to be simply inventions of her imagination.

Naysayers of the breed claim that the Toy Munchkin is a Pomeranian with a lion cut, nothing more. Roller, however, claims that these dogs go back several hundred years, even to the time of the Vikings, according to sources.

In addition, proponent sites for the Toy Munchkin claim that the breed is registered through the Fédération Cynologique Internationale even though it is not presently listed on the FCI's US-based site. Therefore, those looking for Toy Munchkins must take care not to pay thousands of dollars for what may be a false breed. Many, in fact, say that the Toy Munchkin is really a Pomeranian or a Pomeranian hybrid: a possible crossbreeding of a Pomeranian with a small, long-haired Chihuahua. While this in and of itself is not problematic, breeders generally charge several thousand dollars for these "Toy Munchkins" even though they may simply be standard, easily-bred Pomeranians or hybrids. Therefore, do your own homework before you decide to invest in a puppy from this "breed," whether real or fabricated.

History
There are two different versions of this breed's history presently circulating.

First, the claimed history:
The claimed history for the breed is that it goes back several hundred years. Proponent sites state that Toy Munchkins were likely brought over by the Vikings during the Middle Ages, and were originally larger than they are now. At present, they are smaller because they were bred down to the present size over time. These sites state that Toy Munchkins' ancestors were favorite companions for royal families. Newly compact as a result of further breeding, these dogs are now known as Toy Munchkins, and are exceedingly rare, with fewer than 100 present in the United States.

Next, the naysayers’ "history" of what may be a fictitious breed:
As the story goes, back in the late 1990s, a veterinarian began to appear on talk shows touting this "new" breed as something to be desired. Of course, then the question becomes, if this is a "new" breed, why do Toy Munchkin enthusiast pages say that the dog actually has an ancient history?

Regardless, the breed was not really known in the US until the late 1990s until this TV exposure took place, and the breed remains rare; again, some say that it does not exist at all, and is simply, as several commenters put it, "A Pomeranian with a shaved butt."

Appearance
Toy Munchkin enthusiast sites describe the Toy Munchkin as having a rounded skull with a somewhat flat top. The dog has almond shaped eyes and moderately sized ears that are high set. The topline is level, with a chest that isn't too wide but relatively deep set. The tail is set high and carried over the back in a loose "coil." Coat colors are varied, in every shade and pattern, including solids, lion sable, tuxedo, and parti-colored. In adulthood, the Toy Munchkin is said to stand 4 to 10 inches at the shoulder and weigh 2 to 7 pounds.

The coat is dense and fluffy, with a moderate undercoat. It may have a "lion cut" which means cut very closely on the midsection, back legs, hindquarters, and to the shoulders. The tail, too, is shaved down so that only the end represents the full tail, with a "pom-pom" appearance. Fur on the feet, front legs, head and "mane" remains long and can be brushed out for a more natural appearance or slightly trimmed for a finished look.

Temperament
The Toy Munchkin is said to be bred as a companion dog, happy, intelligent, and lively. (Interestingly, this is also the personality description for the Pomeranian.) They can easily adapt to an apartment, but also thrive in a water setting, as boating dogs. They can also be carried in "purses" by owners and will socialize with those who come near very easily. If you wish, you can litter box train your pet so that it will not have to relieve itself outside when you are not home. Intelligent, these dogs purportedly learn very easily and can be taught tricks; as natural performers, you can easily get your pet to show off for visitors. Toy Munchkins get along well with most pets, including cats, other dog breeds, and birds.

Health
Proponents say that Toy Munchkins can live a very long life, 12 to 15 years, with few health problems.

Grooming
The thick, dense coat is long and sheds very little. The fur can be fashioned into a "lion cut," or into a simple puppy cut for easy grooming. In general, brushing once or twice a week should be all the grooming that's needed, along with regular nail trims.

References
Animal Planet touting Toy Munchkin.
http://www.pet-plan.org/1-dogs/58507a86efe062f2.htm.
Retrieved February 5, 2015.

Canis lupus hominis (blog): My favorite scam in dog dealing– the Toy Munchkin.
http://retrieverman.net/2009/03/14/my-favorite-scam-in-dog-dealing-the-toy-munchkin/.
Retrieved February 5, 2015.

Forum Thread: Looking for a "Toy Munchkin" PLEASE HELP!!!
https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/rec.pets.dogs.breeds/bXrRZTmAAUI.
Retrieved February 5, 2015.

Pomeranian (dog). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pomeranian_(dog).
Retrieved February 5, 2015.

Toy Munchkin.
http://www.dogchannel.com/toy-munchkins-dogs-breed-profiles.aspx.
Retrieved February 5, 2015.

Toy Munchkin.
http://www.lhah.com/kiosk/html/body_toy_munchkin.htm.
Retrieved February 5, 2015.

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