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Hi

I was wondering if you could advise, which small breeds would be classed as 'companion breeds' for an older lady? she could manage an hour a day walking, either one long walk or 2 shorter ones. The dog would have a garden and owner with them most of the time. Max time on its own a few hours when they have medical appointments to go to a few times a year.

Preferably a breed that would get along with other dogs as person has a disabled collie that's a bit lonely (for doggy company) too, very sweet, gentle dog that loves little dogs. Person was thinking of a Shih Tzu puppy to bring a bit of life into the house but not one that would be as high energy as say a terrier? Thinking along lines of Shih Tzu, Pug, Maltese etc Anyone with any idea what these breeds are like as puppies energy wise compared with terriers etc?

Doesn't matter if it moults or needs professional grooming as finances are not a worry with regards to vet or other care needs.

Thanks
 

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A Shi Tzu would be good. Maltese, Bichon Frise, Havanese, Lhasa Apso. Google "small companion dogs" and you should find a large list to read through. If you want to pick a few and the post here I'm sure someone would be able to tell you more about them.

A Pug isn't really low-energy. They are quite energetic, actually. They might be a little more than this person wants.

Note that a puppy of any breed is going to be rather energetic and will require a considerable amount of training. Does this person want to do that? If not, I would suggest looking at shelters or rescues for adults, or perhaps even a senior dogs. Breeders sometimes have retired shows dogs for sale as well, so that is a place to look. Also be aware that there are a lot of breeders of these small companion breeds who are not reputable and are in it for the money. If you choose to go the route of a breeder, make sure to carefully vet the breeder and make sure he/she health tests and does something with his/her dogs to prove their worth as breeding animals, like obedience, therapy work, something. Make sure you can meet the parents, or the mother, at the very least, and can get a detailed history of the dogs' pedigree. A good breeder can match you with a puppy that fits your needs!
 

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My mother had an adult shi tzu and it was a terrific companion. She would bark once when someone was at the door (the dog, not my mother) and then settle down quickly. That was helpful because my mother was quite hard-of-hearing. She would cheerfully sleep in 'til 11 a.m. if that was the plan for the day, but would get the zoomies even at a pretty advanced age (the dog, not my mother.)

Her life of service nearly ended prematurely when she tried to "protect" my mother from Esther, the Plott hound, who just wanted to say hello. Otherwise, she seemed like a very smart little girl and a devoted companion. She generally got along quite well with other dogs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
lol! this made me laugh not that I thought your mother barked at the door or got the zoomies!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
A Shi Tzu would be good. Maltese, Bichon Frise, Havanese, Lhasa Apso. Google "small companion dogs" and you should find a large list to read through. If you want to pick a few and the post here I'm sure someone would be able to tell you more about them.

A Pug isn't really low-energy. They are quite energetic, actually. They might be a little more than this person wants.

Note that a puppy of any breed is going to be rather energetic and will require a considerable amount of training. Does this person want to do that? If not, I would suggest looking at shelters or rescues for adults, or perhaps even a senior dogs. Breeders sometimes have retired shows dogs for sale as well, so that is a place to look. Also be aware that there are a lot of breeders of these small companion breeds who are not reputable and are in it for the money. If you choose to go the route of a breeder, make sure to carefully vet the breeder and make sure he/she health tests and does something with his/her dogs to prove their worth as breeding animals, like obedience, therapy work, something. Make sure you can meet the parents, or the mother, at the very least, and can get a detailed history of the dogs' pedigree. A good breeder can match you with a puppy that fits your needs!
The lady is quite fit considering her age and has owned several 'high energy' breeds through her life one's that often had a high prey drive which she doesn't want this time around. So she is quite experienced in that respect, but given her age is also looking for a dog that will have a bit more of a docile nature in comparison.

Terriers are often recommended as they are small dogs but they are also just as high energy as something like a border collie and also have a high prey drive towards anything that may move fast given that most are bred for ratting or hunting small creatures! .. so she's looking more towards breeds that have been bred as companion animals so won't have this 'intensity' to them, if you see what I mean? ..which in comparison to what she has raised before, a shih tzu puppy for example may not have as high energy needs as a collie or jack russell and no prey drive? and maybe more laid back/docile in comparison?

oh and how do Papillon's compare energy wise, obedience. temperament etc?
 

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which in comparison to what she has raised before, a shih tzu puppy for example may not have as high energy needs as a collie or jack russell and no prey drive? and maybe more laid back/docile in comparison?
All puppies, especially toy breed puppies with tiny bladders, are going to require a ton of attention during their puppyhood and adolescence. Is she going to want to take a puppy outside every 20-30 minutes while the puppy is active for months on end? Since she sounds very fit, I'm assuming she'd not have issues cleaning up any messes the puppy may make. Puppies require nearly constant supervision so they don't have accidents or get into things they shouldn't. Is she willing and able to manage that type of commitment?

Small companion breeds may be less intense as they enter adolescence and adulthood, but nearly all puppies are demonic landsharks, even the ones that are going to grow into the calmest of dogs.
 

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If she likes border collies (I can't tell if you mean that or a rough/smooth collie) she might really like papillons.

Papillon energy levels vary quite a bit. We've had 7 and they range from very low key (Rose) to medium (Harry), medium-high energy (beau, harry, Hiro, Summer) to extremely busy and high energy (Mia).

They're gentler dogs and very sweet wig their people. Very charming and animated dogs with a lot of personality. They are very trainable dogs, very lively. Even my 13 year old lights up still to train and tries her little heart out. They can be big time barkers though two we've had have been relatively quiet. The two I have now are very loud.

When they're young they can be really hyper but their small size makes exercising them easier than most dogs. I've seen a few people get them from having other toy breeds and they were very unprepared for the energy. But mine are very adaptable. They just want to be with you all the time and do what you want to do. They have a hard time sitting still in my experience. Moreso than 'intense energy' they're just kind of always flitting about, always up in your business and overly excited.

My sister has a show tzu. He's definitely easier going and a very jovial dog. He's much less frantic about things. He requires a lot more grooming though.
 

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A Pug isn't really low-energy. They are quite energetic, actually. They might be a little more than this person wants.
Agreed. Most are bonkers crazy, and higher than expected energy is one of the top reasons they get turned into rescues. My Pug is going to be 11 in December, and he is only NOW finally starting to slow down, and not by much, lol.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
If she likes border collies (I can't tell if you mean that or a rough/smooth collie) she might really like papillons.

Papillon energy levels vary quite a bit. We've had 7 and they range from very low key (Rose) to medium (Harry), medium-high energy (beau, harry, Hiro, Summer) to extremely busy and high energy (Mia).

They're gentler dogs and very sweet wig their people. Very charming and animated dogs with a lot of personality. They are very trainable dogs, very lively. Even my 13 year old lights up still to train and tries her little heart out. They can be big time barkers though two we've had have been relatively quiet. The two I have now are very loud.

When they're young they can be really hyper but their small size makes exercising them easier than most dogs. I've seen a few people get them from having other toy breeds and they were very unprepared for the energy. But mine are very adaptable. They just want to be with you all the time and do what you want to do. They have a hard time sitting still in my experience. Moreso than 'intense energy' they're just kind of always flitting about, always up in your business and overly excited.

My sister has a show tzu. He's definitely easier going and a very jovial dog. He's much less frantic about things. He requires a lot more grooming though.
Grooming isn't an issue, she can easily afford professional groomers and brush him every day between trims.

At what age would toy breeds be considered adult to get an idea of a dogs temperament and final size? (so she may find a calmer older papillon past the puppy/adolescent stage if she wanted to)
 

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Grooming isn't an issue, she can easily afford professional groomers and brush him every day between trims.

At what age would toy breeds be considered adult to get an idea of a dogs temperament and final size? (so she may find a calmer older papillon past the puppy/adolescent stage if she wanted to)
I think around 12-18 months would be when most toy breeds are considered mature.
 

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Mia didn't develop an off switch till around 4 years or so. She is very much like a tiny border collie in that she wants to constantly go and do things (play ball). She still spends most her time either asleep or crouching in a corner waiting for me to throw something or playing with the ball by herself.

I like it but she annoys some people.

Rose was calm when we got her. She was 2. Summer was hyper when I got her at 4 but in a much different way than Mia. Just all over the place all the time and she's 13 and still like this. Beau was like that too. Just couldn't be still. Harry was calm from day 1 at 10 weeks. Bernard was a hyper puppy but became super chilled at 11 months. They really vary!

I've known lots of older people with them. Just depends on what you want.
 

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Would she consider a large, calm dog, such as a 3 - 5 yo Golden or Lab rescue. She might find a dog released from an older family.
 
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