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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey everyone! Long time no see...life has been crazy!

Cosmo, our American Eskimo, is almost a year and a half and doing great. I'm currently in the initial stage of researching and thinking about a second dog - though that step is still a long while away. I'm hoping I can rally some suggestions from the forum about breeds as I continue my research (very open to rescuing or adopting an older dog, too). Here's my ambitious ideal:


A companion. A loving, loyal, family-oriented dog who likes being close and who is unquestionably "our" dog. I don't need a velcro dog, but I would certainly love a dog who wants to be by our sides (without being needy).

A hardy, fun-loving dog who's up for whatever we are, but can also relax happily in the house.

A dog with protective instincts who will alert or guard us.

A medium-or-lower energy dog. Cosmo gets at least an hour a day of outdoor activity, and we're happy with that.

Leaning towards a Toy, but not 100% set on it. If on the bigger side, no drool!

Coat and grooming is flexible. I'm fine with weekly maintenance and most coat types - though not super crazy about scraggly or wiry hair.

As a consideration, we have two cats as well.



Breeds I'm partial to, whether logical or not: Cavalier King Charles, Bichon, Toy/Miniature Poodle or Poodle mixes, Doberman, Brussels Griffon, German Shepherd, etc.

All opinions welcome! Thanks so much!
 

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Unless you're rescuing an older dog (so you know that it's lower energy) a Doberman (and probably the GSD) is not for you, especially if you are looking to get a puppy. They're fiery balls or energy and they're wicked clumsy.

What about Corgis? I'm a little biased, they're one of my favorite breeds. I think a well bred poodle could be good too.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Unless you're rescuing an older dog (so you know that it's lower energy) a Doberman (and probably the GSD) is not for you, especially if you are looking to get a puppy. They're fiery balls or energy and they're wicked clumsy.

What about Corgis? I'm a little biased, they're one of my favorite breeds. I think a well bred poodle could be good too.
Thanks for the reply, Patchwork!

I say Doberman and GSD because they're both very dear breeds to me. I grew up with Shepherds, and have been utterly in love with Dobes for a long time (however illogical!) But if I were to adopt either, they'd most likely be rescues or older dogs with lower energy levels.

As for corgis, I'm not too familiar with them. I wonder if they'd have issues keeping up with our more strenuous hikes and adventures? Totally open to learning more, though!
 

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The only place I would ever get a Poodle mix again is in rescue. But my two Schnauzer/Poodle mixes are awesome. They fit your criteria. They can turn on and off and hike a good hour without being worn out. Their coat however needs weekly or every two week grooming and sometimes a good brushing every other day. They do not shed, but that is not a sure thing with Poodle mixes until they are grown. I always disliked Poodles in general until I actually got a mix almost 6 years ago. Actually, ... I disliked Poodles very much! The only thing they really like to do that may not be up your alley is rodent hunt and they can be quite good at voicing their opinions in some instances. But they are very intelligent and biddable and they follow you around, love attention but can do well left alone also. I know I feel very strongly about this particular mix and may be a little partial .... but there are many of these and other Poodle mixes in rescues as well as all the other breeds and mixes out there.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The only place I would ever get a Poodle mix again is in rescue. But my two Schnauzer/Poodle mixes are awesome. They fit your criteria. They can turn on and off and hike a good hour without being worn out. Their coat however needs weekly or every two week grooming and sometimes a good brushing every other day. They do not shed, but that is not a sure thing with Poodle mixes until they are grown. I always disliked Poodles in general until I actually got a mix almost 6 years ago. Actually, ... I disliked Poodles very much! The only thing they really like to do that may not be up your alley is rodent hunt and they can be quite good at voicing their opinions in some instances. But they are very intelligent and biddable and they follow you around, love attention but can do well left alone also. I know I feel very strongly about this particular mix and may be a little partial .... but there are many of these and other Poodle mixes in rescues as well as all the other breeds and mixes out there.
Hey Abbylnn,

Thanks for the reply. I've met so many great Poodle mixes, and they all seem to truly love their owners (plus, I looooove the curly hair!) Would never buy one from a breeder - for the obvious reasons and because there are so many Poodle mixes in shelters. How do yours fare in terms of protectiveness?
 

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Hey Abbylnn,

Thanks for the reply. I've met so many great Poodle mixes, and they all seem to truly love their owners (plus, I looooove the curly hair!) Would never buy one from a breeder - for the obvious reasons and because there are so many Poodle mixes in shelters. How do yours fare in terms of protectiveness?
They are very very protective. I believe they would make wonderful guard dogs if they were only a little bigger than 19 and 20 pounds. I adore my Leeo ... I have often said he would be the perfect dog if only about 50 pounds. :) An intruder probably does not respect smaller dogs as they would the bark and size of a larger dog. But I am 99.9% positive they would protect me with their lives.
 

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Remember to pick a dog with a comparable energy level to your current pet. You'll want them to enjoy playing together.

Just this October we lost our Miniature American Eskimo x Poodle at age 12.5. She was a nice size, energy level, temperament, etc., but those are two breeds that should never be bred together because of the risk of luxating patellae. Bailey was diagnosed at her very first puppy exam and suffered off an on all of her life.
 

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I would veto the Doberman as well as far as energy levels go. Saint doesn't really have an off switch even after hours of hiking, fetch and mental exercises. Sometimes I wonder if someone is giving my dog speed behind my back.lol. I would look into the shelter if purebreds aren't a definite thing for you. You may find a dog that fits what you expect in temperament if not necessarily in looks. My Grandmother has had Poodles for the last 20 years both miniatures and standards and I pity the person who raises a hand against her. They always sound the alarm before her Sheltie ever had a clue a car or a person was on the property. Her's are also very low maintenance as long as she keeps them trimmed. I love them personally...the standards more so than the miniature just because I like a sturdier dog and the standards are just show stoppers.
 

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I don't know much about toy breeds, but be sure you're looking into health issues that are common to the breed, especially in the case of Cavaliers.
 

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We have a nine-month-old standard poodle and so far, she seems to fit your requirements. We've only had her since she was 5 1/2 months, so it may be far too soon to tell, but here are my comments to your requirements.

She loves to be with us, but isn't on top of us - unless we want her to be. She really enjoys our company, but can entertain herself.

She loves to go on adventures - rides in the car, trips to the park, visits to friends / relatives, but she is calm in the house. We had her at my mother-in-law's for thanksgiving dinner and had family at our house for new years. She was incredibly calm (except when our niece was getting her riled up), and even slept through dinner on both occasions.

She's alert - perhaps too alert and that's something we're working on. She likes to look out the window and bark at neighbors and deer. Her bark definitely makes her sound much bigger and meaner than she is. I'm not sure if she'd actually guard us as she's generally friendly with everyone.

She gets about an hour of exercise a day - 2 walks plus some running in the yard. She's perfectly happy to find a stick and race in circles or to follow a scent around the yard. We wanted a medium or lower energy dog, and I suspect that as she gets older, she'll be less rambunctious. I will say that one of the reasons I wanted a dog was encouragement to walk more, so she's been a great fit for me in that respect. As with many dogs, mental stimulation is just as important as physical activity, so we generally spend time training every night.

She's smaller than we wanted, but bigger than a toy. She was weighed about two weeks ago and is ~43 lbs. She doesn't drool.

She does need regular grooming. We've been getting her trimmed short about every 7-8 weeks and we brush a few times in between. We should bathe her - she smells a bit - but that's not really necessary. Her fur is similar to my mother-in-law's lab, but fluffier.

I don't know how she'd be with cats, but I know people who have standard poodles and cats or smaller dogs.

An older rescue poodle or poodle mix who is known to be good with cats might be something to consider.

Good luck with your search. I'm already planning for dog #2 :)
 

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Patchwork are you getting a cardigan or Pembroke?
I know you mentioned you were planning on getting one this summer so I was jsut wondering.

Didnt mean to hijack.
And no, I dont think a corgi(I speak from a Cardigan point of view) would have trouble keeping up with hikes etc.
At dogs are individuals but Wilbur can have a care free day where he plays some ball, but then others when he has lots of mental and physical excersize. With some of those other breeds, they arent as flexible and you have to know if your ok with that.
 

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I would recommend a Cavachon. We've been really impressed with the breed and it isn't scared of bigger dogs.


Peter
www.mypuppup.com
This scares me. Mostly the "it isn't scared of bigger dogs." Isn't this a dog specific thing? I'm not saying that the breed doesn't lean that way, but I would be hesitant making broad all encompassing statements about any dog, let alone a mutt.

As for Schnauzer Poodle crosses, I have one (long story). Anyway, I cant speak for the cross, but as an individual he really doesn't have any stamina to speak of. Less than a mile and he gets tired and wants to be carried. He does have an on and off switch and I wouldn't trade him for the world, he is a great dog, a few quirks, but what dog doesn't have a few quirks?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
My Grandmother has had Poodles for the last 20 years both miniatures and standards and I pity the person who raises a hand against her. They always sound the alarm before her Sheltie ever had a clue a car or a person was on the property. Her's are also very low maintenance as long as she keeps them trimmed. I love them personally...the standards more so than the miniature just because I like a sturdier dog and the standards are just show stoppers.
I've heard this from a lot of Poodle owners. Definitely leaning towards a purebred Poodle or an adopted mix.

I don't know much about toy breeds, but be sure you're looking into health issues that are common to the breed, especially in the case of Cavaliers.
For sure. I'd never decide on a breed before extensive research - especially when it comes to known health issues.

We have a nine-month-old standard poodle and so far, she seems to fit your requirements. We've only had her since she was 5 1/2 months, so it may be far too soon to tell, but here are my comments to your requirements.

She loves to be with us, but isn't on top of us - unless we want her to be. She really enjoys our company, but can entertain herself.

She loves to go on adventures - rides in the car, trips to the park, visits to friends / relatives, but she is calm in the house. We had her at my mother-in-law's for thanksgiving dinner and had family at our house for new years. She was incredibly calm (except when our niece was getting her riled up), and even slept through dinner on both occasions.

She's alert - perhaps too alert and that's something we're working on. She likes to look out the window and bark at neighbors and deer. Her bark definitely makes her sound much bigger and meaner than she is. I'm not sure if she'd actually guard us as she's generally friendly with everyone.

She gets about an hour of exercise a day - 2 walks plus some running in the yard. She's perfectly happy to find a stick and race in circles or to follow a scent around the yard. We wanted a medium or lower energy dog, and I suspect that as she gets older, she'll be less rambunctious. I will say that one of the reasons I wanted a dog was encouragement to walk more, so she's been a great fit for me in that respect. As with many dogs, mental stimulation is just as important as physical activity, so we generally spend time training every night.

She's smaller than we wanted, but bigger than a toy. She was weighed about two weeks ago and is ~43 lbs. She doesn't drool.

She does need regular grooming. We've been getting her trimmed short about every 7-8 weeks and we brush a few times in between. We should bathe her - she smells a bit - but that's not really necessary. Her fur is similar to my mother-in-law's lab, but fluffier.

I don't know how she'd be with cats, but I know people who have standard poodles and cats or smaller dogs.

An older rescue poodle or poodle mix who is known to be good with cats might be something to consider.

Good luck with your search. I'm already planning for dog #2 :)
Sounds amazing! I can't say a Poodle has ever been one of my favourite breeds, but the more I talk to their owners, the more I'm starting to think otherwise. :)

Thanks for all the input, guys. I'm still researching like crazy (mostly because I love the research process and learning about all the breeds I can). I'd totally welcome any more ideas or stories. :)
 

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Sounds amazing! I can't say a Poodle has ever been one of my favourite breeds, but the more I talk to their owners, the more I'm starting to think otherwise. :)
Poodles were never even on our long list of breeds to consider; I had all sorts of misconceptions about their being yappy, high strung, fru-fru dogs. They're not. But beware, the more you talk to owners, the more wonderful they sound ;)
 

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Thumbs up to the poodle and bichon recommendations. I re-read your criteria/desires and the lhaso apso might work presuming no small children. They are hearty and adventurous and would make a good joint guardian companion as they are alert and very protective of their owner.
 

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I don't know much about toy breeds, but be sure you're looking into health issues that are common to the breed, especially in the case of Cavaliers.
This.

I'm a big fan of cavaliers even though I'm not a small dog person. They meet just about every requirement in your list except protective instinct. If something goes down, you can count on a Cav to run the other way.

My roommate's Cav, Kennedy, keeps up with a lot of exercise. However, she flunked out as a running buddy. The farthest she has ever run with me is five miles but she clearly does not enjoy it. Though she has walked up to 12 miles in a day with no complaints. She has been hiking too but that knocks her out for a day or two. I don't know what your definition of strenuous activity is though; it varies from one person to the next.

I have never met an aggressive(DA or HA) cav. I'm still not convinced that it's possible. They all seem to be uniformly easy going little love bugs.

If you went with a Cav pup, expect it to cost a pretty penny. Any good breeder will be health testing out the wazoo because of all the issues that come with the breed.
 

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Just in case you are thinking of a mix ... I had forgot to mention that my particular Schnauzer/Poodle mixes love cats. It could be an individual thing ... I am not sure. Leeo and Blu Boy had only been around a cat as newborn to 12 week old pups before I acquired them. All the stray cats that have ended up in my yard the dogs play with them as if they are another dog. :) They however are not very fond of birds ... as they must seem like rodents to them being the birds are small and active and noisy. This could say something about the prey drive in this mix? Not sure.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I'm a big fan of cavaliers even though I'm not a small dog person. They meet just about every requirement in your list except protective instinct. If something goes down, you can count on a Cav to run the other way.

If you went with a Cav pup, expect it to cost a pretty penny. Any good breeder will be health testing out the wazoo because of all the issues that come with the breed.
Pretty much what I'm thinking. I do love the Cav, but because of their inherent health issues and lack of protective instincts (from what I've heard), I'm leaning further away from them.

Thumbs up to the poodle and bichon recommendations. I re-read your criteria/desires and the lhaso apso might work presuming no small children. They are hearty and adventurous and would make a good joint guardian companion as they are alert and very protective of their owner.
Haven't thought too much about the Lhaso Apso...thanks for the thought! I think I've always been deterred by the ear hair maintenance...but totally open to everything right now.


I think my biggest issue is that I'm torn between two ideas: the small, devoted, loving companion dog, and the loving, loyal protection dog. My current Eskimo is quick to sound the alarm and alert us, but I have no idea how he'd actually act in a time of need. And while I don't necessarily NEED to be physically protected, as a young woman in the city, it would certainly help put me at ease. I've definitely encountered a few questionable people while out and about with Cosmo, and a 30lb fluffy dog isn't so deterring!

I think I'll just need to consider what's most important to me and what best suites our life as I continue researching.
 

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I think my biggest issue is that I'm torn between two ideas: the small, devoted, loving companion dog, and the loving, loyal protection dog.
The obvious solution is get two dogs :D

My current Eskimo is quick to sound the alarm and alert us, but I have no idea how he'd actually act in a time of need. And while I don't necessarily NEED to be physically protected, as a young woman in the city, it would certainly help put me at ease. I've definitely encountered a few questionable people while out and about with Cosmo, and a 30lb fluffy dog isn't so deterring!

I think I'll just need to consider what's most important to me and what best suites our life as I continue researching.
From what I've read, any moderately sized, dark colored dog (esp. black) is a decent deterrent. Even if s/he isn't protective, a big barking, growling dog would likely make most people think twice about approaching you. My 9-month-old poodle has had people turn the other way. I'm embarrassed by it, but I can see how it can be a good thing in the right situation. Carrying mace or pepper spray could offer added peace of mind.
 
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