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Discussion Starter #1
Ok...got a ton to ask so please bear with me...

My girlfriend and I are looking to become dog owners and are learning it is not as simple as running to the local pet store and picking a cute one. We don't have a problem with putting time and effort into doing things the right way...its more a problem of not being sure what the right way is...

Right off the bat...here are some stats for what I'm dealing with when choosing a dog. We are NYC located and also living in an Apt (right across the street from miles of park area so the dog wont be starved for physical activity. But we are still looking to choose a smaller breed cause of the apt space)

I was thinking about getting a miniature Siberian Husky...until I read there is no such breed...and anyone who claims there is...is only doing so for profit and the small version has been obtained by breeding runts with runts which will lead to health / temperament problems down the line.

Can anyone suggest a similar looking breed? (Alaskan?) Klee Kai seems to be a suitable alternative based on looks and size...is this another "breed" that is purely created for profit?

Also can anyone point us in the right direction maybe for a diff breed to be looking at / reputable breeders or where I could look at pups in NYC? Sorry if my post seems a bit rambling....I've been trying to research for 2 days now..but every time I feel I get somewhere...I see something contradictory. Thank you in advance.
 

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Congratulations for doing the research ahead of time! And welcome to the board.

My first advice would be to slow down. :) 2 days' research is nothing, when compared to the next 8 to 16 years that you're going to spend with this dog. Spend a couple months researching the different breeds and training methods, etc and get a really good handle on what you want before you decide on a breed.

Secondly, can you give some more information about what you're looking for in a dog?

Energy level - Couch potato or bouncing off the walls?
Grooming requirements - Will you be grooming the dog or taking it to a groomer? Short hair or long? Slobber?
Affection level - Kissing monster or aloof?
Intelligence and so on.

Take this breed selector test and this one and then take this one to see what you come up with. You can start to get an idea of what breed you really want.

You want to really learn as much as you can about the breed you decide on to enable you to pick the best breeder for you.

And have you considered adopting from the local shelter? I have 2 great dogs that I got as puppies from the shelter.

Or maybe you'd like to adopt a retired racing greyhound? They're great apartment dogs.
 

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I don't know much about this breed of dogs (temperament/training/grooming)....but look wise you could try researching the Shiba Inu
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
^ Thank you for the quick reply. Yes I do agree that 2 days is not nearly enough time...I just feel with all the misinformation out there...I keep getting undercut anytime I feel like I make any progress I at least narrowing down what to look for.

As far as what I'm looking for....

Energy level - Couch potato or bouncing off the walls?

I would prefer something in the middle? Is that wishful thinking? I don't want it to be lazy...but nothing overly overly energetic. I plan on him (yes I've decided a boy pup lol) having a lot of activity in the park across the street and around the neighborhood.

Grooming requirements - Will you be grooming the dog or taking it to a groomer? Short hair or long? Slobber?

I would do as much as I can for it..and would take to a groomer for the tasks that I can't do myself yet

Affection level - Kissing monster or aloof?

I would like the dog to be friendly ...not timid or "attacking" of new people that visit the apartment. Kissing monster I can live with lol.




Solely based on looks and size...the Klee Kai seems to be a decent choice. Where would be a reputable place to get more information on that breed? Thanks again.

I don't know much about this breed of dogs (temperament/training/grooming)....but look wise you could try researching the Shiba Inu
Just took a quick look at pics of that breed. Awesome suggestion thank you...very cute lol.




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Congratulations for doing the research ahead of time! And welcome to the board.

My first advice would be to slow down. :) 2 days' research is nothing, when compared to the next 8 to 16 years that you're going to spend with this dog. Spend a couple months researching the different breeds and training methods, etc and get a really good handle on what you want before you decide on a breed.

Secondly, can you give some more information about what you're looking for in a dog?

Energy level - Couch potato or bouncing off the walls?
Grooming requirements - Will you be grooming the dog or taking it to a groomer? Short hair or long? Slobber?
Affection level - Kissing monster or aloof?
Intelligence and so on.

Take this breed selector test and this one and then take this one to see what you come up with. You can start to get an idea of what breed you really want.

You want to really learn as much as you can about the breed you decide on to enable you to pick the best breeder for you.

And have you considered adopting from the local shelter? I have 2 great dogs that I got as puppies from the shelter.

Or maybe you'd like to adopt a retired racing greyhound? They're great apartment dogs.

Ditto to everything...esp taking some more time researching breeds and really thinking about what you want in a pet. There are lots of breeds I adore, but would be a disaster for me to actually own whether due to temperament or grooming requirements, etc...So, I just admire them when I encounter them and drool over pics!

A greyhound is worlds away in apperance from a fuzzy northern-type breed, but the do make fabulous apartment dogs and have a great temperament for being low maintenance, easy-keeping pets. They do have a unique look that doesn't appeal to everyone...and of course once you own one, you tend to think all other dogs look a bit weird LOL
 

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If you like the northern look but want a smaller dog, how about a pomeranian?

But I second the suggestion of looking at dog breed quizzes and researching the attributes of various breeds. You might find that the perfect dog is one you never thought of.
 

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I'm not saying a Klee Kai is a bad choice (I don't really know much about them), but you may be going at this backwards. Choosing a dog primarily by looks/size can get you into trouble. Medium or small dogs are not always lower energy than larger breeds. What breeds work in apartments or row houses--with their postage stamp sized backyards--is not always obvious from looking at them. The absolute best apartment dog I ever saw was my Great Dane. I used to come home from work and have to search my 3-bedroom flat for the dog. She'd fold herself up and snuggle into a corner that you'd never guess she'd fit into. My two Rotties did well in apartments as well. I'm not saying you should get one of those breeds, but that the right dog may not look like the right dog.

Consider, too, that the NYPD and the Park Police are very free with summonses for failure to obey the leash laws. So your dog is pretty much limited to the exercise s/he can get from the end of a 6 ft. leash. It's not advisable to let most spitz types run off leash anyway. If you and your SO are genuine athletes (with lots of free time) the choices are more extensive. Some dogs thrive on brisk walks, while others need real room to run.

Undertake an honest audit of your lifestyle, and pick the breed or shelter mutt that is the best fit. You'll love that dog more than the one who fits only your mental image of the right dog. Some breeds are thoroughly unsuitable for most 1st time dog owners. Someone with reasonable intelligence (i.e., smarter than the dog) and enough interest can learn to deal, but such a mismatch can create unnecessary stress for all concerned.
 

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Just thought I'd pop in to say (more for the OP's benefit) that the AKK is indeed a legitimate breed. They're not currently recognized by the AKC, but do have membership with United Kennel Club.

Place to start for more information -
http://akkaoa.org/ - This website isn't as comprehensive as other cub sites I've seen, but there is some info on health problems, breed history, and the like that might be useful to you. They also have a breeder referral list so you can take a look at some of the breeder's site and get a better idea regarding trends within the breed, general pricing, etc.
 

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Klee Kai Dog

Alaskan Klee Kai's shed, bark, and have a high energy level, therefore not making them ideal choices for everyone. Without the proper amount of daily and physical exercise they can become high strung. However, if in an appropriate home, the Klee Kai can be a wonderful companion. They are friendly but somewhat reserved with strangers. Socialize well. Docile and very loving, they need the humans around them to be calm but firm, confident and consistent pack leaders. Do not allow the Alaskan Klee Kai to develop Small Dog Syndrome.
More on the Klee Kai


More...
 

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Just wanted to pop a note in on Northern Breeds (Huskies, Shibas, Akitas, etc.). While I positively love them, they are not for the faint of heart. *g* Their looks are certainly amazing, which is probably why there are so many surrendered. People by them for their looks, and forget about everything else (how hard you have to work on training, the importance of rules and sticking to them, the importance of ALWAYS having the dog on a leash, the crazy shedding, the digging, etc. etc. etc.).
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks all...took the Animal Planet breed selector and the Shiba Inu came up on the third page of results, fitting approx 97% of the answers I supplied. Also found a decent looking (to my new eyes at least) about a three hour drive away from me. Got the site from the American Kennel Club breeder referral.

This is the breeders website...anyone care to give an opinion of how it looks? Any info would be appreciated. And again much thanks for all the help so far.

www.HonshuKennels.com

Also this breeder from the referral list...this one is about 4 hrs away.

http://www.shibas.net
 

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I can't say, but if you talk to them, be sure to ask if they do health testing. The breeder should be able to show you the documentation (don't take their word for it) that shows OFA or PENN hip results and CERF tests (eyes).

Shiba inus have been known to have eye problems, hip problems and knee problems. Hips and knees can be X-rayed and the X-rays evaluated for the quality of joint structure. The most common certifications are those given by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA), although there are other popular methods of testing, such as the University of Pennsylvania Hip Improvement Program (PENNHip) and the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC). For eyes, an examiner certified by the Canine Eye Registry Foundation (CERF) must inspect and evaluate the eye structure, looking for signs of glaucoma and other eye problems.
Shiba Inu Health Testing
 

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I'll be honest, I wouldn't recommend a Shiba for your situation - particularly with your lack of dog experience.

If you like the spitz breeds but want something bigger than a toy, the FIRST place I would look is at an American Eskimo (they tend to be outgoing and a little more forgiving, socialization-wise then Klee Kai). Then a larger Pom from rescue (Or a German Spitz, but I don't know any litters planned till Lizzie's proposed litter next spring- I know a couple Pom folks who have bigger dogs pop up fairly regularly in reputably bred litters, though) ,then the Klee Kai, then a Schipperke (you CAN find undocked Schipps in rescue!), then a Keeshond, and a bunch of rare breeds before a Shiba. Basically, they're probably the LAST breed I'd suggest. :p

It's not that they're impossible to live with, but you have to have a pretty high tolerence for 'This is the way I'm going to do things." in the dog OR be a very creative, persistant trainer to establish things otherwise. Forget dog-whispering and dominance stuff - you need actual SKILLS- an ability to know when to push and when not to, the ability to make training FUN and read when your DOG is having fun regardless of whether or not YOU think he should be having fun, and a really robust sense of humor. :p

The Continental Spitz family (GS, Pom, AED, Kees) are a lot more people oriented- they were mostly bred as watchdogs (not guard dogs) and companions (the GS and AED as a small all-purpose farmdog that frequently worked with larger herders- they're the same breed, split about a hundred years back); the Pom split off earlier from the GS to be a companion, and the Kees was a boatman's watchdog and company on cargo barges. The Schipperke did about the same thing and is probably some proto-Spitz+Belgian sheepherding dogs. The Shiba, by contrast, is a small game hunter, bred to work totally independently of humans, and really should have gone into the hound group with the Norweigan Elkhound rather than the Non-sporting group.
 

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It's not that they're impossible to live with, but you have to have a pretty high tolerence for 'This is the way I'm going to do things." in the dog OR be a very creative, persistant trainer to establish things otherwise. Forget dog-whispering and dominance stuff - you need actual SKILLS- an ability to know when to push and when not to, the ability to make training FUN and read when your DOG is having fun regardless of whether or not YOU think he should be having fun, and a really robust sense of humor. :p
Consider this advice carefully. I consider myself a competent amateur trainer, and would be reluctant to take on one of these dogs. Even the so-called "easy to train" breeds, like Labs and Goldens, can totally test your patience, your sanity, and even your personal commitment to non-violence.
 

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I too am going to say NO to the Shiba. They can be an extremely difficult little dog. Fun and humourous, but they do have a penchant for dog aggression, and are incredibly independent.

I would suggest a mild mannered terrer, such as a Cairn or Aussie. Their energy levels are in the middle in my experience, they can be a bit aloof, but are not unfriendly, they have a wire coat which minimizes shedding, they're highly intelligent, and they are of small stature without being small in personality.

A Sealyham or Soft Coated Wheaten could also fit the bill (The SCWT's are a bit bouncier though ;))
 

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Cairn might be a good choice. I think the Aussies are a little more "go go go" than the Cairns. At least that's the way a very good friend of mine, who is also a fellow trainer's dog is.
 
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