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Discussion Starter #1
Looking for advice from the dog experts here on a good breed of dogs for my situation.

My girlfriend and I are in our 20's and looking for small dog that is lap sized to love and be part of our family.

We have no other pets but plan to have kids in the future so a dog that is good with kids is a must.

The breeds we have been looking into have all been non shedding breeds ( i'm sure there is a name for them ).

We do live in an apartment with no yard so please keep that in mind when suggesting good breeds.

Things we are looking for in a dog.

1. Looking for a doggy that will be healthy
2. A dog that has the energy to go on walks with us. ( We don't walk far but from time to time we walk in nature < 2 miles )
3. A dog that is okay with car rides that can come along with us to the park/ lake ect ect and that is good around new people
4. Not hard to train dog as this will be our first dog and we are both new at this.

Any thoughts or advice would be great. Thank you, Jason
 

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Check out your local rescues! An adult dog will be perfect for you and the rescue can tell you how it feels about car rides and such. My dog (see sig) is a little big for my lap, but otherwise he'd be perfect for you. He's 3 years old, so I skipped all the house training and the chewing everything stage, and he loves car rides, walks and is very trainable.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I read that Bichon Frise are hard to train and house break. Is there any truth to that ?

Do you know how they would do around water ?
 

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My white Schnauzer/Poodles are great with kids and everything else ... love car rides and walks. I purchased them. There are many of them in rescues. Mine do not shed. If you found an adult you would know for sure if a particular dog does not shed.

Also ... I found little Eddee in a shelter a month ago. He is only 12 pounds. He is a Schnauzer mix of approximately 10 months to one year old. Minimal shedding so far! :) There are many great little dogs in rescues and shelters that are there for no good reason at all!
 

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I read that Bichon Frise are hard to train and house break. Is there any truth to that ?

Do you know how they would do around water ?
I have a poodle/bichon mix and she is wonderful but was very hard to house break and she is super stubborn, hates water, hates getting her tushy wet in the snow ( I live in Alaska ) and is definitly alpha dog . They do require alot of grooming which can be hard to keep up with. She is wonderful with my grandkids ages 2, 4 and 7 . Good luck with your search
 

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That's a good point. Non shedding breeds require regular trips to the groomer because the never really stops growing. You're looking at every 6 weeks for at least $50. Really, a lot of dogs are pretty minimal as far as shedding goes and don't require that kind of grooming. You get one shed in the spring, another in the fall, and otherwise, not much.

Are you allergic? There are no truly hypoallergenic dogs. You'd be best off visiting the dog and seeing if it sets you off.

Bichons are notoriously hard to house train, but again, get an adult dog and you skip all that stuff. All that stuff is taking them outside every 1-2 hours and several times during the night.

A lot of people think you can raise a puppy to be whatever you want. That's not true. You can't do much about genetics, so if certain qualities are really important to you, an adult dog whose temperament is already set is the best way to go.
 

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How about a Miniature Pinscher. :)
They do shed but not very much from my experience. And would have more then enough energy to go on walks with you. My Min Pin loves to go for rides in the car and will curl up in the passenger side seat and relax. I have trained my miniature pinscher as well as my neighbors and neither of them were hard to train. Very smart dogs. Some people say they are hard to train but you just have to put in the time and patience. :)
 

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If you don't mind paying for grooming every 4-6 weeks, I'd recommend a miniature poodle. They're not as delicate as a Toy, and not as big as a Standard. They're very trainable and love being with their people. I have a small miniature and he likes going places with us and on walks. Food and medicine is cheaper for a smaller dog, as is the crate you'll need. Have fun looking! There are many breed specific rescues that you can check out, as well, once you decide on a breed. Sometimes an adult is the way to go with your first dog - you can skip the chewing and housebreaking phase.
 

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I definitely second looking at rescueing a mature dog - with puppies of any breed, you really never know how they will turn out. Atleast if you look around at the local shelters, the workers there will be able to fit you with a dog that closely meets your needs and requirements.

I was in the exact same boat when I was looking for my first dog, early 20's couple living in an apartment and just wanted a companion to start a 'family' with, a jogging/walking partner, etc. I didn't end up rescueing, because unfortunately I ended up researching breeds prior and fell in love with the Shiba Inu - no other dog came close to fitting my criteria. I found a very reputable local breeder and purchased Cash, he was 2 years old and absolutely perfect. I am happy that we decided to go with a mature dog as our first dog as it made it MUCH easier being a first time dog owner. I got a puppy a year ago, and although I was fully prepared and ready for a puppy after several years of owning a dog .. it was really, really hard work. I highly doubt I will ever get a puppy ever again.. next time around I will opt for another mature Shiba from the same breeder, or rescue.

Shiba's are good apartment dogs, fairly calm, gentle, incredibly smart (atleast the ones I know, anyway). I've recommended them to many people who have ended up buying and have been extremely pleased with them, however, although they are low allergen, they aren't hypoallergenic and they shed like crazy.. so probably not quite for you, so I would recommend checking out the shelters first to see if you can find something that suits your needs. :)

Good luck
 

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I have a Havanese, and she is very smart and learns extremely quickly, non-shedding and likes people. She doesn't like the water, but I think that's dog-specific not breed-wide. She has big enough bones that a child would not easily hurt her, but she's not large (12 lbs). Havanese are by nature very friendly and are great lapdogs. Ours has a GREAT energy level- she needs to get out to run and play for about 30 minutes a day, but she doesn't mind sitting on the couch the rest of the time. We went on 5-8 km hikes with her on vacation and she loved it.

The only issue is that she was difficult to housetrain. She's 2 and a half years old and she can not go the full workday without going to the bathroom, so we have to have a dog walker come at lunch. If we don't have someone come, we expect her to have gone inside while we were out- that's just the way it is. Most Havanese can go all day, but she can't. If you want to skip housetraining, I'd get an older, pre-housetrained dog.

Anyways, that's my breed suggestion but what I'd really suggest is going to a shelter. They will have small furry mixes, which is pretty much what you're looking for. You could also try looking for a small breed rescue. There are a lot of small non-shedding mixes around now which most likely contain Maltese, Shih Tzus, Poodles, Schnauzers, Bichons, etc. any of which I think would work for you.
 

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One thing to realize is that there is a trade-off between 'non shedding' dogs and then grooming. Dogs that do not shed typically need a lot more as far as grooming and clipping goes. With these breeds you'll need to either spend money for regular trips to the groomers or invest in clippers and learn how to groom yourself.

Just a fyi in case you think low/no shedding is going to equal low/no grooming.
 

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While I am hesitant to recommend any breed except my own (Boston Terrier) There is a nice tool on Petsmarts web site that helps you identify what breed would suite you family. Take a look and check it out.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thank you all for the help.

My girlfriend and I will look deeper into shelters and getting a mature dog.

Also going to do some more research into the breeds recommended here.

Babyjinks I looked at the petsmart site and saw tool you talked about for everything but a dog. Can you please point me in the right direction

Thank you all :)
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
After all the advice to look into a grown up dog my girlfriend and I have been visiting the SPCA and humane society every other day to visit the dogs.

There is a 2 year old Miniature schnauzer that has touched our hearts. Sadly they will not let us play out in the open. 2 days ago he needed to go though a behavior test. Today when we visited he had passed but need to get fixed and they were keeping him in his cage with no food.

He seems like a very friendly low key dog. We are going to take the day off work Friday ( the day he gets cleared for adoption ) to be the first one to visit him. What should we look for to make sure he is a good dog ? Should we see if they will let him play with another dog to see how they get along ?

Animal control found them and SPCA got him from them. Should I be worried about that for any reason ? The fee is $200 is that normal ?

Any advice would be great. Thanks
 

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I would suggest reading up on Mini Schnauzers and seeing if the general breed is a fit for you and what your looking for, if you havent already. The 200.00 fee seems in the general range if he come up to date on shots and "neutered".
 

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My new Schnauzer mix rescue was in the shelter twice within a months time. His owners finally got tired of him running away ... and surrendered him rather than pay another fine! He may not have been worth it to them ... but not so for me!

Funny thing is ... Eddee must not have liked them ... because he sure doesn't try and run from me! In fact he accidentally got out the door and when I called his name he came running back!

Sometimes these poor dogs just end up in these places because of others ignorance or sometimes financial issues, etc .... and the list goes on. I would not worry about him being in two places at all. It seems to me someone thought he was worth saving and not euthanizing him.

I love my Schnauzer mixes ... seems they are always up for whatever you want to do ...


I am rooting for the Schnauzer! $200 is a very fair price .... Remember that sometimes one mans loss is another mans gain. Please post pics when you bring him home. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thank you all for the support. Visited him today but he was kind of out of it due to getting out of surgery.

Tomorrow at 11AM he is up for adoption. My girlfriend and I are going to be the first one's there to play with him outside his pen for the first time.

Hope all goes well. Thanks everyone
 
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