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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello everyone.
I hope it's the right place to ask.
I've been wanting a dog for a long time now, just can't seem to find the right breed. I went through many online tests but they have failed me. Either that or I'm just really hard to please. :D
Anyway, this is what I want in a dog:

Physically I want him to:
-be small to medium [or even a little bigger if all other criteria are met] because I live in an apartment
-not have long hair, not require more than minimal grooming
-not be hyperactive because my life style is kind of the opposite of that, although I could provide around 30 minutes of exercise on work days
-not have a short snout, like pugs or bulldogs or such

Mentally I want him to be:
-intelligent, as much as possible
-relatively calm, don't want him to disturb my pet guinea pig or other dogs, people, etc. also no barking
-ideally: affectionate towards me and reserved towards strangers

I hope you guys can help me, because honestly I'm starting to lose faith that I'll ever find a matching dog. :(
Sorry for bad English, it's not my native language.
 

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A lot of those things depend on training and how much time you spend with the dog, not the breed. Also, expecting NO barking is unrealistic--dogs bark; it's what they do. They also need a lot of attention. And you probably don't want an intelligent dog :p. Smart dogs make up their own games and you probably won't like what they make up! And no puppy will meet your requirements. An older dog would be a much calmer choice.

What breeds did the breed tests recommend?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yes I know they all bark, I meant as little as possible.
Their own games are fine as long as they don't wreck stuff.
I'm prepared to train my puppy for most of the time that I'm not working.

Another thing I didn't mention - ideally the dog should be affectionate.

Here are the results from one of the tests:
http://animal.discovery.com/breed-s...&q4=3-4&q5=5&q6=4-5&q7=2-3&q8=1-2&q9=1-2&q10=
Most of these dogs I don't like, and others are too rare to find here where I live.
From those available to me the ones who made it into consideration are Miniature Schnauzer and Jack Russell Terrier. First one's coat is a bit tough to maintain and the second one is lively and sometimes aggressive.
 

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Most terriers are probably more dog than you want. They bark and they dig and they kill small critters. That's precisely what they were bred for.

All puppies will wreck your stuff. How many hours a day are you out of the home? I still think a puppy of any breed would be a poor choice. I also think that 30 minutes of exercise a day might not even be enough for an elderly dog, although a very small dog might be able to get most of his exercise indoors.

Are you flexible on the coat? Most small dogs have long coats. If you take the dog to the groomer regularly, there's really not much you'd have to do.

Have you ever lived with a dog? What makes you want a dog?
 

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finding a dog that does not shed AND does not require grooming is going to be near impossible. its one or the other- short, self sufficient lab-type coat that sheds, or non shedding poodle/schnauzer type coat that requires grooming.

If the fur doesn't fall out (shed), then it needs to be cut (grooming).
 

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Well finding a dog that doesn't shed, eliminates all dogs, as all dogs shed. And most of the breeds that are typically touted as non-shedding/"hypoallergenic" can be grooming nightmares as the fur that sheds gets trapped in the coat.

Really shedding can be managed by regular grooming sessions.

Not wanting a hyper dog basically eliminates most sporting, herding, terriers, some toys, quite a few working, and many hounds. But not every dog of it's breed is a carbon copy, so you could find one that is not as active.

JRT's weren't even on that list btw.
 

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That's a really, really specific list, and I'm not sure the dog exists that would fit all of those criteria. Can you rank them, maybe? Decide what's a real deal-breaker and what you can be flexible on?

Also, think really hard about why you want a dog and what you expect to get out of having one. What kind of companion do you expect the dog to be for you? That might be a better indicator of the right breed than anything else.

Conversely, I would really, really recommend going to a shelter and just meeting dogs and seeing if anything clicks for you. We spent hours talking about what kind of dog we wanted, read all of the books, did all the little online quizzes, etc. We went to the shelter and fell in love with a big ball of fluff who fit a grand total of zero of our criteria and wasn't even remotely related to anything that had been our list, and we couldn't possibly be happier with our choice. It's like any other kind of falling in love - you can idealize all you want, but in the end, sometimes you just have to throw out your list and follow your heart.
 

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Honestly, the only dog that I can think of that will fit all of your criteria is a stuffed dog. Dogs are going to shed (or need grooming), bark, and well...be dogs. Perhaps the hairless variety of the Chinese Crested would work for you. Definately no puppies.
 

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Jack Russell Terriers are VERY active. They would need much more than a 30 minute walk daily and if they don't get the exercise and mental stimulation they need they can become destructive (and will bark, a LOT). I would strongly recommend against that breed for you. Most highly intelligent breeds are also very active, if they don't get what they need from you (lots of exercise and direction) they will find other "games" (wrecking the couch, finding ALL the food in the house, barking at the sound of a leaf falling).

I would suggest looking at rescues for an older dog (4 ish and up). Puppy energy will be a lot to handle and you never know what kind of dog it will grow up to be. Tell the rescue coordinator what you're looking for and they will be able to give you options.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Guys no need to get cynical, I'm aware that all dogs require patience and tolerance but some do a lot more than others.

Most terriers are probably more dog than you want. They bark and they dig and they kill small critters. That's precisely what they were bred for.

All puppies will wreck your stuff. How many hours a day are you out of the home? I still think a puppy of any breed would be a poor choice. I also think that 30 minutes of exercise a day might not even be enough for an elderly dog, although a very small dog might be able to get most of his exercise indoors.

Are you flexible on the coat? Most small dogs have long coats. If you take the dog to the groomer regularly, there's really not much you'd have to do.

Have you ever lived with a dog? What makes you want a dog?
While the puppy is young I would keep it in a crate so their destructiveness at that age shouldn't be a problem.
I'm away for 9 hours a day, 6 days a week, but I don't live alone so family could take care of the dog.
What you're saying is reasonable but I would really like to get a puppy or at least a very young dog. I want to be with it from the beginning so I would feel that he's truly mine... Sounds silly but I can't explain it well.
About the coat...not really, no. Shedding I can deal with but grooming and taking care of long hair would be problematic. Medium sized dogs are also in consideration, and preferable actually. If all other criteria are met, even a little larger than that shouldn't be a deal breaker.
I've never had a dog before, but would love to have one. As a D&D gamer the idea of a companion thrills me, also I want a sweet little animal buddy to cuddle but one that doesn't look like a toy, and also the one that's very intelligent so I'm constantly impressed by what he's doing. I've had pets most of my life, this would be an advanced phase.

finding a dog that does not shed AND does not require grooming is going to be near impossible. its one or the other- short, self sufficient lab-type coat that sheds, or non shedding poodle/schnauzer type coat that requires grooming.

If the fur doesn't fall out (shed), then it needs to be cut (grooming).
You're right, I hadn't considered that.
I've edited the list so now it only says no grooming.

That's a really, really specific list, and I'm not sure the dog exists that would fit all of those criteria. Can you rank them, maybe? Decide what's a real deal-breaker and what you can be flexible on?

Also, think really hard about why you want a dog and what you expect to get out of having one. What kind of companion do you expect the dog to be for you? That might be a better indicator of the right breed than anything else.

Conversely, I would really, really recommend going to a shelter and just meeting dogs and seeing if anything clicks for you. We spent hours talking about what kind of dog we wanted, read all of the books, did all the little online quizzes, etc. We went to the shelter and fell in love with a big ball of fluff who fit a grand total of zero of our criteria and wasn't even remotely related to anything that had been our list, and we couldn't possibly be happier with our choice. It's like any other kind of falling in love - you can idealize all you want, but in the end, sometimes you just have to throw out your list and follow your heart.
I keep editing the list, losing all the non essential conditions... Check it again please. :)

As for your shelter idea, I'm not so sure. It does sound interesting and romantic and whatnot but it's kind of a gamble isn't it? Gamble on dog's size, looks, character, needs etc. I'd rather not, but thanks.

Jack Russell Terriers are VERY active. They would need much more than a 30 minute walk daily and if they don't get the exercise and mental stimulation they need they can become destructive (and will bark, a LOT). I would strongly recommend against that breed for you. Most highly intelligent breeds are also very active, if they don't get what they need from you (lots of exercise and direction) they will find other "games" (wrecking the couch, finding ALL the food in the house, barking at the sound of a leaf falling).

I would suggest looking at rescues for an older dog (4 ish and up). Puppy energy will be a lot to handle and you never know what kind of dog it will grow up to be. Tell the rescue coordinator what you're looking for and they will be able to give you options.
I've answered some of this by now. The only thing left to add is that by 30 minutes of exercise I don't mean walking, it could be more intense if the dog needs it, I could get him to fetch or as I ride my bicycle he could run with me... :S
 

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not trying to be cynical, but do you realize how much of a commitment dogs (especially puppies) are?

the general rule of crating is one hour per month (age). So an 8 week old puppy... you better have someone that can watch that dog all day while you're gone. nine hours isnt really doable for six days a week- potty breaks are fine but a smaller puppy is going to require a lot more than a potty break every two hours. they pee, chew, bark.... it's HARD. puppies are nothing short of frustrating, 90% of the time.

that being said, 30 mins a day of exercise is NOTHING. thats about 3 potty breaks alone for a puppy- throw in walks, leash training, ect...

I just want to make sure you know what you're getting into. I honestly feel an older dog might be a better fit- though any breed is going to require more than 30 mins exercise a day. Also, puppies cannot really "exercise" until their joints are formed at 18-24 months. Which means that at 7 months old when the dog is old enough and big enough to get into everything, you can't do any "forced" exercise...it has to ALL be at their pace (biking is out).

As a D&D gamer the idea of a companion thrills me, also I want a sweet little animal buddy to cuddle but one that doesn't look like a toy, and also the one that's very intelligent so I'm constantly impressed by what he's doing.
this is what worries me. Guess what puppy will be doing while you want to play on the computer? I just took bubba for his fourth legit walk today, in addition to three leashed potty breaks, he went to class with me and the store, and we played fetch and worked on commands for about an hour. he's 14 months old, and thats the only reason that I have time to be on the computer.

puppies arent impossible. but they also don't start out as sweet, intelligent little cuddle buddies...
 

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That's hysterical... So I can either afford a dog OR have enough time for one... FML >.<
it can be done! I just don't think your situation is right for a puppy. A rescue will have plenty of dogs that they KNOW the adult personality, activity level, fur type, size, bad habits, intelligence of.

Honestly, I've fostered puppies for almost 8 years. Hattie was my first adult rescue.

I dont know if I'll ever go the puppy route again. She just fit right in- already potty trained, knew how to walk on a leash, had all her shots, was past the chewing stage.

(and is 30 lbs, shorthaired, extremely intelligent, and a cuddler :)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks, I'll give that idea a second chance. :) Either that or getting an older dog from online ads or something... What's the lowest age you recommend?

edit: BTW I don't think our rescues are as specialized as yours, I live in a 2nd world country... I'll give it a shot though. :)
 

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Their own games are fine as long as they don't wreck stuff.
As a D&D gamer the idea of a companion thrills me, also I want a sweet little animal buddy to cuddle but one that doesn't look like a toy, and also the one that's very intelligent so I'm constantly impressed by what he's doing.
The thing is, though, that an understimulated intelligent dog will come up with games that you don't like. He'll make up games like Dig Up the Carpet to See What's Underneath! and Which Flavor is This Shoe? Things I doubt would impress you. He won't sit down and do calculus or create a dog version of chess.

Intelligent dogs need more work than "unintelligent" (lol, are there any breeds described as unintelligent?) dogs, because they need ample mental stimulation on top of physical exercise. But trust me, a dog of any intelligence level will still have entertaining antics.
 

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The thing is, though, that an understimulated intelligent dog will come up with games that you don't like. He'll make up games like Dig Up the Carpet to See What's Underneath! and Which Flavor is This Shoe? Things I doubt would impress you. He won't sit down and do calculus or create a dog version of chess.

Intelligent dogs need more work than "unintelligent" (lol, are there any breeds described as unintelligent?) dogs, because they need ample mental stimulation on top of physical exercise. But trust me, a dog of any intelligence level will still have entertaining antics.
Yes there are lol, for instance Basenji and Beagles are described as of very low intelligence, I have no idea how that applies. :)
 

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Physically I want him to:
-be small to medium [or even a little bigger if all other criteria are met] because I live in an apartment
-not have long hair, not require more than minimal grooming
-not be hyperactive because my life style is kind of the opposite of that, although I could provide around 30 minutes of exercise on work days
-not have a short snout, like pugs or bulldogs or such

Mentally I want him to be:
-intelligent, as much as possible
-relatively calm, don't want him to disturb my pet guinea pig or other dogs, people, etc. also no barking
-ideally: affectionate towards me and reserved towards strangers

I hope you guys can help me, because honestly I'm starting to lose faith that I'll ever find a matching dog. :(
Sorry for bad English, it's not my native language.
I think you may want a Poodle ..
 

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The thing is, though, that an understimulated intelligent dog will come up with games that you don't like. He'll make up games like Dig Up the Carpet to See What's Underneath! and Which Flavor is This Shoe? Things I doubt would impress you. He won't sit down and do calculus or create a dog version of chess.
YES. when toby was younger, he could play "push my bone underneath the tv and scratch at it until you come and get it out for me and then i'll do it again" for HOURS. Intelligent dogs WILL find something to occupy them. But without training and exercise and stimulation from you, it WILL NOT be an occupation that pleases you.

Honestly, I would look for a dog that is 2+ years old. Nothing wrong with a mutt- there aren't any breeds that seem to be a near perfect match for you, so any adult dog with known characteristics (known because the dog is no longer a puppy) will work. Think less about breed and more about the individual dog.

I think you may want a Poodle ..
Poodles are about the polar opposite of no grooming...
 

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As for your shelter idea, I'm not so sure. It does sound interesting and romantic and whatnot but it's kind of a gamble isn't it? Gamble on dog's size, looks, character, needs etc. I'd rather not, but thanks.
Actually I think the shelter option is a safer bet. With puppies so much is unknown, how big they will be, how active, smart, healthy, aggressive, sweet, assertive... You just can't know for sure. Consider human babies, imagine trying to choose a baby that you KNEW would fit all your criteria when it grew to be an adult. You can guess but you won't know for sure. A grown dog is right in front of you, the changes they will undergo are minimal.

Ultimately of course its your choice, if you do choose a puppy be prepared, they are a LOT of work. Super cute, but behind that sweet little face....Housebreaking, training, chewing, nipping, barking they'll really test you (can you tell I find them totally exhausting? :)

Honestly I'm not enough of an expert to recommend a single dog breed (although the first thing that popped into my mind is Bassett Hound). I am pretty sure though that a Jack Russell Terrier will just be WAY too active. They can easily take an hour or two of exercise a day and that active mind can get put to use barking at the wind and eating your couch.
 

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As for your shelter idea, I'm not so sure. It does sound interesting and romantic and whatnot but it's kind of a gamble isn't it? Gamble on dog's size, looks, character, needs etc. I'd rather not, but thanks.
I really never understand people with this kind of attitude. What makes you think purchasing a puppy isn't a gamble? It's a BABY. Babies are not only difficult and needy but also totally undeveloped. I know a lot more people who have been surprised by the personalities their puppies develop than have been surprised by the personalities of their young/adult rescues. Also, how on earth would you NOT know the dog's size and looks? You'd be seeing it before you took it home, as opposed to a puppy, where you have no idea what it will eventually become. With a puppy, you don't even know what color the dog will eventually be, as they often change coats as they age. It doesn't have to be an older adult - just a year or so in age will give you a much clearer idea of what you're dealing with, along with a much less needy dog. With a rescue of a year or more in age, you are getting a much more developed personality, and, therefore fewer surprises. With a puppy you get only the generalities of breed characteristics, which manifest in different ways in different dogs. My parents had three dogs of the same breed, all from the same breeder (two with the same mother, the third a generation or two later, so all related). While they had a some things in common, each of the three had wildly different personalities, even though they were all basically the same as puppies. They also, by the way, were all slightly different in body size and build. Again, all basically the same as puppies.

Quite honestly, from what you describe, I have to agree with others that it simply does not sound like you are going to be able to handle a puppy. A puppy cannot be crated like that for so long, and relying on family to care for your puppy is never really fair to anybody. Thirty minutes of exercise is nothing for a puppy, whether it's a run, walk, bike, or Olympic sprint. With a puppy, you can kiss goodbye to most of your D&D time.

I wish you the best of luck finding the right dog. I'm glad to see that you've started prioritizing your must-have list, because that will give you a better chance of finding the right dog. Just please consider whether you really have the time and energy to properly care for a dog, especially a puppy. We could all be judging you unfairly here, but all we have to go on is what you've said here (after all, we don't know you!), and what you've said is a little concerning.
 
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