By Nan Talleno

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Toy breeds capture our hearts with their size and personalities. They include the Chihuahua, the Toy Poodle, the Pomeranian, the Pug, the Maltese, the Yorkshire Terrier, the Italian Greyhound, the Pekingese, the miniature Pinscher and the Shih Tzu, among many others.

Don’t let their size fool you, toy breeds need training just like any other breeds and more importantly, just like dogs of any size, age or breed, they need physical exercise, psychological challenges and boundaries to keep them safe, healthy and naturally well-balanced both physically and mentally.

Proper behavioral training and leadership create a healthy balance in their lives that helps curb hyperactivity, anxiety and frustration. It’s essential to their physical as well as psychological well-being by helping to avert behavioral problems, stress and phobias and to avoid Small Dog Syndrome. This occurs as many times people tend to overlook inappropriate behaviors due to their dog’s tiny size but this only masks and even tends to exacerbate the problems. They need the proper amount of physical exercise as well.

Remember ALL dogs need a healthy balance of leadership, exercise, praise and rewards. The only difference with toy breeds is to be aware of their delicate physiology as you work with them.