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Discussion Starter #1
Since my original post seemed to be confusing, I revised it. If a "mod" could delete the previous post thankies.

Anyways, I am a new time dog owner... never had one before due to family allergies... and as such need suggestions.


I am looking for a medium to small - not toy - dog.

Something that will do well with younger children - as I have nieces / nephews visit that range from 3 to 15 years of age.

Something that is "low dander", "low shed"... so called good for allergy sufferers. I know that people say meet the dog / dog breed face to face but I'd like some ideas if people either suffer allergies themselves or have family members that do and have had better results with particular breeds.

A dog that is easy to train or obeys commands easier. As said above new time dog owner so I don't want something that is going to drive me batty... like those little terrors so "famous" with Cesar Millan.

I live in an apartment so the dog doesn't necessarily have it's own yard. It'll go on a walk once if not twice a day - more during the weekend - but I would prefer something that goes into the so-called "low energy" group.

Likewise something that might not bark as much. I know some small dogs bark and bark and bark.


As for myself I am a professional horse trainer - ironically - and as such I will probably work at the very least 8am to 4pm shifts with the occasional odd-ball shift.



And yes I am aware that shelters have fantastic dogs however if I go the shelter way it would be nice to have a general concept behind the background of a parent breed... people's personalized experiences with dogs... when looking.

For example - not real - everyone says miniature poodles are terrors then I wouldn't be interested in a poodle mix.
 

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I'm going to go with miniature poodle (not toy -- minis are 10-15 inches at the shoulder, which fits your "small but not toy" requirement), as they are non-shedding, often good for people with allergies (no dog is completely non-allergenic, but I know people who don't react as much to poodles), highly trainable, not too delicate for children to play with (always supervise, though!), and don't need a ton of exercise -- a daily walk or two and some training sessions should do it. You can also give them pretty much any haircut -- I don't like the floofy show cuts, but I think they're cute cut like a schnauzer.

A bichon would be my second choice for you, followed by a schnauzer. Schnauzers might not be as good with kids or as biddable, though. Shih tzu is another to consider; they are easy first-timer dogs.

I haven't actually owned any of these breeds, just interacted with them at friends' houses and dog shows, so hopefully people who have will weigh in. :)

On the list I would not recommend for a first-timer: Basenji (not easy to train AT ALL, also pretty vocal despite the inability to actually bark), most terriers (not overly biddable, can be snappy with small kids), or Chinese Crested (smaller than you want, also need a lot of skin care, which may be more maintenance than you seem to want).
 

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I don't think you really need a purebred dog. Find a smaller dog at a shelter, with short hair.

Pretty much all dogs have to be trained to be good around kids (some are more easy going than others of course) and you must always supervise.

Mutts can be amazing dogs, because they have so many qualities.

You need to train, socialize, and exercise your dog, and if you do all these things well then you can have a great dog.

As far as my own experiences go, when I was young, I had a small sheep dog (the super shaggy kind, who has a bunch of hair over their eyes) who was great with me. I was only about three when I got him, and he tolerated all my cray antics (I wasn't mean, at all). I could dress him up, brush him, put his hair into ponytails, and walk him around. Now, you may not want something like this because of the hair.

One of my friends had a Shih tzu who was okay. Now that he's older though I hear he's really moody. (That doesn't happen with every dog. I believe he has health issues)

My grandma owned three chihuahuas who were good dogs. They all loved people, and were great for cuddling.

I have met plenty of yappy small dogs, and overly hyper big dogs,. I am just a firm believer in it all has tons to do with the training and the owner. No dog is going to be perfect coming to you.

I myself own a mutt, and a pitbull. My pitbull is more calm than my mutt, but requires more exercise to be satisfied.
 

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I agree that much of it is in the training. For example, I own an Alaskan Klee Kai, which is a vocal breed, but I've trained my guy not to bark excessively, and I'm not worried about moving into an apartment with him next month. My papillon is a little noisier, but still quiets quickly when I acknowledge her alert barking.

This training textbook is great (table of contents is down the left): http://www.dogstardaily.com/training/digital-dog-training-textbook
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I don't think you really need a purebred dog. Find a smaller dog at a shelter, with short hair.

Pretty much all dogs have to be trained to be good around kids (some are more easy going than others of course) and you must always supervise.

Mutts can be amazing dogs, because they have so many qualities.
I am aware of such. However what is the intelligence of going to a shelter and getting a Chihuahua mix. Chihuahuas are reported to be possessive and snappish towards young children... I believe I said one age could be as young as 3 years... so that would be a waste.

I am looking for "experienced" dog owners on their personal experience.

I know all dogs don't fit the norm, but it's smarter to go with some knowledge and get a dog... which is why I posted here looking for some help... rather than as an uneducated idiot that buys a dog on a whim.
 

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FYI pretty much all of us here ARE experienced dog owners.
A dog is what you make it. You can either make conform to the stereotypes or not, it's up to the owner. Not the dog. The dog is a mold and you are the sculptor. If you want a chihuahua that likes children and doesn't snap then make it that way.
 

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I would say a mini poodle. Good size, athletic, low shedding/good for allergies, highly trainable.

They one down side for many is their grooming. But if kept at a short all over cut, they are lower maintance and only need to go to a groomer every 6-8weeks.

I am aware of such. However what is the intelligence of going to a shelter and getting a Chihuahua mix. Chihuahuas are reported to be possessive and snappish towards young children... I believe I said one age could be as young as 3 years... so that would be a waste.
This could be made up for any breed. a dog is what you make it.
 

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As others have noted, training is going to be the key with any dog. A gentle, positive, approach will work best for almost all dogs. Don't get caught up in the dominance/alpha games the trainer you mentioned uses on his TV show.

I agree that a mini-poodle or a poodle-mix would probably be a good choice for you. Remember though that because these dogs are so smart that if you leave them untrained/unsocialized they can become difficult. However, when trained, they can be a very fun dog.

You might also want to take a look at whippets and rescue greyhounds. While athletic dogs, they tend to be quite relaxed and easy going when they're not actively engaged. They're also usually good around kids and strangers. If you have a fenced dog run or park you can take the dog to this would be great for this breed.
 

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Wow you're rude.
You are speaking to experienced dog owners.
"I am a new time dog owner... never had one before" More experienced than you at least.


I am aware of such. However what is the intelligence of going to a shelter and getting a Chihuahua mix. Chihuahuas are reported to be possessive and snappish towards young children... I believe I said one age could be as young as 3 years... so that would be a waste.
My chihuahua LOVES children, always has, and he turned 8 in May. He's well socialized and while he doesn't too much tolerate too much rowdiness, he has never snapped, only walked away.


You are getting good suggestions, but it seems instead of considering them, you're picking out the ones you disagree with and degrading them. -.-
 

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I love my Poodle Mixes! ... they are Schnauzer/Poodles. There are many of them in rescues and some in shelters.

Mine are non-shedding ... but not all are. Until they are adults and have their adult coats you will not know. Mine are low dander. They do require hair cuts ... at least mine do ... and I do it myself. They also need brushed every day or two to keep them from getting matted.

Mine are very intelligent and biddable. They like to talk, are very loyal, and protective.

They have always been great with all 7 of my Nieces and Nephews ... ranging from 5 days old to 16 years old. (Became a Great Aunt for the second time last week! ;) )

A dog is pretty much what the owner makes it ... with "exceptions" of course. :) I also think that getting an adult ... no matter the breed or mix ... would be the best for you. You will be able to see how the coat and personality is with an adult. Plus you may be able to skip all the puppy chewing and biting and potty training and all that great stuff! Lol! Super time consuming .... unless of course ... you want a puppy? :)

I really don't think I am being Bias Lol! ... as I have had many dogs in the 51 years of owning them. I just happen to love this particular mix? Mine just have the greatest personalities!

Now ... Eddee is a Schnauzer mix I found at a shelter three months ago ... but he sheds.
 

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Just as a note with regard to "low dander" and "low shed", the scientific information coming out about this is that the continuously growing coats are actually retaining slightly more allergens. My experience has been that the grooming of the dog is what makes them more/less tolerable, but I believe each allergy sufferer is different, so for some the individual dog will make a difference. It would depend on which allergens you are most sensitive to. We are not allergic to pet dander . . . but are very allergic to pollens and snow mold, leaf mold and grass mold spores etc.

With two asthmatics in my own home, and having always owned lots of dogs, what we have found here that our best bet is with a 'shedding' smallish dog that has a medium length coat (short coats shed more) . . . and then we keep that coat groomed as if it was a non-shedding coat. That means regular brushing, bathing and a trim up of all that gets very long every couple of months (legs, skirts and trousers, underbelly etc.). I do the grooming myself and it is easier to groom this coat (less to cut and no head shaving) for me than the coat of a 'non-shedder' which will have a bearded face and usually more length everywhere.

We have also lived with a couple of non-shedding breeds - Shih Tzu and Mini Poodle - but found at our location rurally that too much got caught up in their coats and brought in unless they were continuously kept in a shave. We have settled here for the Spaniel type coat as it works best for us.

If you are looking at a shelter I believe Poodle mixes/Bichon mixes and Spaniel mixes are generalized groups that will give you some biddability and that might suit your needs. Herding mixes would also work. Of course energy level would have to be assessed dog by dog as well.

I think that many people associate dog hair with dog allergen, and this is simply not the case. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, allergens are harmless proteins contained in pet dander, which is found in their dead skin, saliva, and urine. Pet dander (containing allergens) is not their fur (although the dander may accumulate in their fur). The point is that most people assume that a dog who sheds less will be better for those allergic in the household, but a dog will still produce dander whether or not they shed.
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110707161738.htm

http://sciencebasedlife.wordpress.com/2011/08/30/hypoallergenic-dogs-do-not-produce-less-allergen/

SOB
 

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I had cocker spaniels as a kid - they were perfect temperamentally. Sweet, loving, not too energetic, trainable. Lots of grooming, though, ear infections, weak bladders (they peed when they got excited), and some eye problems.

I've been reading that pet allergies are mostly due to dander, not hair, which means every dog can cause allergies. I know my grandmother's mini poodles always made my nose itch. Best thing to do for allergies is to keep the floor vaccumed, the dog brushed, trimmed and washed, and keeping the dog out of sleeping areas.

As far as kids - a huge part is in the training, both in the kids and the dog. I would go to a shelter that has a large number of choices and has a good idea of the temprament of the dog and ask them for several suggestions, then spend some time with each choice. Make sure the dog isn't jumpy and doesn't get upset at sudden movements or have resource guarding behaviors. I did not get my dog from shelter that had previous experience with her, but I let my kids greet her and watched her reaction. Many, many behaviors can be overcome with training on both sides.

Don't let kids trap the dog or follow the dog that is running away. We have had to institute a "one-hand petting" rule with my 5 year old because she wants to hug the dog all the time and it makes the dog nervous. She can't follow the dog into the dog's safe places, or come near the dog when she is chewing on her rawhide (the only resource guarding episode we have had).
 

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FYI pretty much all of us here ARE experienced dog owners.
A dog is what you make it. You can either make conform to the stereotypes or not, it's up to the owner. Not the dog. The dog is a mold and you are the sculptor. If you want a chihuahua that likes children and doesn't snap then make it that way.
Yes OP almost thinks it's like purchasing a new car or PC you read the specs and if not proper you hunt for product that has all specs needed. Well living breathing creature specs do not always work according to purchaser's plans. With dogs a lot of that molding stuff must be done by new owner.
 

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Originally Posted by mashlee08
FYI pretty much all of us here ARE experienced dog owners.
A dog is what you make it. You can either make conform to the stereotypes or not, it's up to the owner. Not the dog. The dog is a mold and you are the sculptor. If you want a chihuahua that likes children and doesn't snap then make it that way.
Yes OP almost thinks it's like purchasing a new car or PC you read the specs and if not proper you hunt for product that has all specs needed. Well living breathing creature specs do not always work according to purchaser's plans. With dogs a lot of that molding stuff must be done by new owner.
In all fairness to the O.P. there absolutely are breeds that have tendencies that make them more difficult for training or being handled by children . . . and yes sometimes that means that more individual dogs of those breeds WON'T be trainable to suit. Dog personalities are not generic. Training cannot overcome a lot of traits - especially those involving anxiety and nervousness around children.

Those in rescue, have you not seen multiple turn ins of small dogs due to nerves around kids? It happens to be one of the highest ranked reasons for small dog surrenders. What kind of life is it for a dog to be taken in and then have to spend a great deal of it shut away from its family due to nerves?

Why is this idea being ridiculed?

I personally LIKE Chihuahuas and know many . . . but would not ever recommend an inexperienced owner bring the average Chihuahua into their home if that home was regularly over-run with children. Some Chihuahuas might work out (the best I've met have been the larger rescued pet-breds from California) but many would not. The gamble is higher and that needs to be recognized. I have the same opinion of MANY of the tiny breeds through my experiences with them. I happen to LOVE the small breeds, but inherently and instinctually the quick movements of children generally are scary to them . . . for good reason.

The caution the O.P. has related, and the 'specs' that have been requested ARE showing responsibility with regard to the O.P.'s understanding of their own circumstance.

I would suggest, however, that when looking at adult dogs for adoption please keep an open mind for those dogs that DO fall outside of the breed's commonly reported disposition as you might find a gem. As I said above I have met some wonderful larger Chihuahuas that are great with kids.

SOB
 

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I'm obviously biased because I have the best dog in the world, but we adopted an 8 week old dachshund (/terrier??) mix at the shelter in February, and he really is a stellar dog. When we met him he was the pup in the litter who wanted to come see us, and wagged his tail when you talked to him, and hopped in my lap and cuddled down. He has short hair and doesn't really seem to shed much, he's 7 months old and just shy of 16 lbs now, so he's small, but certainly not "toy" sized. He is VERY smart and does great in obedience classes, he is very eager to please, very cuddly, he is really social and loves other dogs. Thus far, he's good with kids. He gets a little overwhelmed when anyone grabs him, but he just backs off, hasn't ever growled or bit at anyone. HOWEVER, this took a LOT of work. I have spent almost every waking hour when I wasn't at work (and some sleeping hours) with my dog for months, brought him to classes, play groups, puppy groups, the park, pet stores, you name it, if the dog could go, he went.

I would definitely recommend not getting a puppy, because that was madness!! We got one because we thought the cats would adapt better. They hate him, but they aren't afraid of him, and he doesn't seem to have a prey drive for them so I guess it's sort of working? But anyway, I think any breed CAN be good if you start off with a nice dog and put in LOTS OF WORK!!
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Yes OP almost thinks it's like purchasing a new car or PC you read the specs and if not proper you hunt for product that has all specs needed. Well living breathing creature specs do not always work according to purchaser's plans. With dogs a lot of that molding stuff must be done by new owner.
I couldn't stop laughing at your rudeness. My goodness, an ass is an ass as the saying goes around the stables when dealing with ignorant clients that think they know how to handle horses.

I handle horses - as dangerous as most dog breeds except for such animals as bully kuttas, Caucasian Shepherd Dogs, and so-called "wolf hybrids" [all of which make pit bulls look like Chihuahuas in comparison] and if you have never ridden a horse that has been mistreated and will trample you under hoof if you fall out of the saddle, kindly don't yip - and have handled horses for 17 years. They have just as much personality as dogs, if not more, and don't come with "instructions".

If you aren't going to be helpful, kindly go away.

I am asking for peoples' personal experiences to make a decision. Some don't seem to understand the concept... I am supposing they are the sort to get animals on a whim... that I would like to see what other people have encountered. After all breeders won't necessarily tell the truth to sell their dogs.

I am going for an educated idea, not ignorance like you show.
 

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Look, no one can tell you if the specific dog you end up with is going to be all you desire. You can buy a purebred dog from the finest lines from the finest breeder and end up with a dog entirely unlike what you expected. That's just the way it is. Living creatures are just that- alive- and life is chaos.

If you can't accept a dog that doesn't exactly conform to what you want, don't get a dog.

If you have leeway in your requirements, a miniature poodle would be perfect. I don't know why people say miniature poodles are terrors. My mother had them and 4 children and they loved us and we loved them.
 

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I am asking for peoples' personal experiences to make a decision. Some don't seem to understand the concept... I am supposing they are the sort to get animals on a whim... that I would like to see what other people have encountered. After all breeders won't necessarily tell the truth to sell their dogs.

I am going for an educated idea, not ignorance like you show.
You should know that the person you're insulting has been training dogs for 50 years, has worked with 90 different breeds, and is pretty well-respected around here. He also wasn't being rude, in my opinion. People are trying to help you in both this thread and your other one. Try not to have knee-jerk reactions to presumed insults, and instead accept suggestions given and ignore any advice you dislike. You'll have a better time here that way!

A few of us suggested miniature poodle in your other thread, and I stand by that suggestion. However, like we said over there, and like wvasko said here, a lot of it is in the training.
 
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