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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello.

I'd like to get some breed suggestions. I am looking for

a companion dog - doesn't have to be a "velcro" but friendly and playful
small to medium sized
minimal to low shedding
easy to housebreak - heard it is more difficult for some breeds
low to medium energy level - can do 30 min to 1 hr exercise daily

From what I read, poodles (toy or miniature) fit my requirements, but I'd like to have a couple more options and decide among them. I also read retired greyhounds are good but they are too big for my taste. Not sure about their shedding, either.

I am considering either one from a (reputable) breeder or a rescue. I've never owned a dog, by the way.

Thank you in advance.
 

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For first timers, I highly recommend an adult dog. Puppies are a lot of work and are very frustrating. It's best to cut your teeth on an adult dog. I'd go to a shelter or rescue that fosters their dogs and give them that list. They can pick a perfect dog for you.

Mine would fulfill your qualifications exactly. He's a golden retriever mix, maybe with beagle or border collie.
 

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You might consider a Schnauzer,
http://www.akc.org/breeds/miniature_schnauzer/
A Border Terrier,
http://www.akc.org/breeds/border_terrier/
A Bichon Frise
http://www.akc.org/breeds/bichon_frise/

Keep in mind that when you are looking for low to no shed dogs, you will have some grooming bills or grooming needs, if you wish to learn how to do that yourself. If you have no problem with paying for grooming/haircuts a few times a year maybe 5-6 times a year if you want a certain look, then a Poodle is a fabulous dog. I myself would only consider a standard poodle but we all have our own needs. I assume when you say 30 minutes to an hour of exercise a day you mean a nice brisk walk and that you will also be giving the dog plenty of attention at home?

Also, think about the commitment you are willing to make. What you put in, you will get back. I would recommend checking into some obedience classes and planning to go through more then a basic puppy class. Well worth your money and your time to socialize and train your dog properly. What age dog you chose is less important if you are willing to commit to the training. Not knowing how is less important if you are willing to take classes at a good training facility. Kennel club in your area might be a really good start for classes as well as finding the breed you are interested in. Remember to read about each one, know the common health issues and find a breeder that tests for those issues and breeds accordingly.
 

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Hi,

If you do not want a velcro dog I would stay away from anything in the sight hound family. They tend to be a clingy bunch from the enormous Irish Wolfhound down to the itty bitty Italian greyhound. Mind you a lot of them are only clingy with "their" people - my Afghan hounds really don't like being touched by non-family members, they will put up with it but they don't like it much.

Poodles are great first time dogs - others to consider are Shih-tzu, Havanese, Bedlington Terriers, Chinese Crested (hairless or powderpuff!), Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers, and if you don't mind the "cling" - consider a whippet!

As mentioned I would really recommend going with a young adult/adult dog verses a puppy - especially if you are looking at a whippet or one of the terriers as they tend to be especially crazy as puppies.

We have an almost 4mo old whippet puppy now and though I adore his shenanigans I can see other people not finding it quite so endearing.

Bea & Co.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you all for the great suggstions. To answer some of the questions:

- I am open to adult dogs as well.
- I also plan to take training classes.
- The dog will get plenty of attention at home in addition to daily exercise.
- A friend of mine owns a bichon and she is one happy dog. He mentioned though that it was really tough to housetrain her. I also read bichons are rather difficult to housetrain. Maybe it makes sense to get an adult one who's already housebroken.
- I heard Labs and Goldens are heavy shedder?
- I don't mind a velcro dog, but would like to avoid "one-person" dog if possible. I don't know if that is breed-specific thing though.
- As for schnauzers and terriers, can a typical novice owner handle their temperament even after training?

Thank you again.
 

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There are a lot of first time owners that get terriers or Schnauzer's or for that matter, any breed. The important thing is to go into each breed with your eyes wide open. Know what you want in a dog, and what that breed can offer. Some people will tell you there are breeds that are easier or harder to train. I think that again depends on you and finding the right breed for YOU. Most often people who are not happy with their dog have a breed that is not appropriate for them. I would recommend going to some dog shows and meeting some dogs. Spend some time with people who own those breeds.

Another breed that comes to mind for you is a Boston Terrier.
http://www.akc.org/breeds/boston_terrier/

Keep in mind that most dogs shed and the ones that are considered no shed dogs, require a lot of maintenance for their coats. Haircuts or stripping depending on breed. Again, Poodles are wonderful dogs, I just have a hard time recommending a toy Poodle. I would recommend a standard Poodle and if you want a smaller one, go with a female, they are not real big. They are smart, funny, generally easy to train, don't shed. At the same time, I don't want someone to over look other breeds that might also work for them.

Maltese?
http://www.akc.org/breeds/maltese/ Keep in mind, you can keep the dog in a "puppy cut" so they do not have to have the long hair style. https://www.google.com/search?q=Maltese&hl=en&client=firefox-a&hs=35R&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&prmd=imvns&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=6CdCT-SvC8L40gHn_ZzCBw&ved=0CGEQsAQ&biw=1680&bih=957

There is a sticky on potty training/crate training etc... Again, what you put into your dog, you will get out. I do believe that there are some breeds that might be slightly more difficult to train but if you do it right, it is less of a head ache. Some people just allow the puppy to have too much freedom too soon. I am not bragging when I say that I have trained many puppies to potty outside and most of them had less then 2 accidents in the house ever during the process. This is simply because I set them up for success and really watch them until I feel they are truly trained. You can do it! :) Find the breed you want to spend the next 10-15 y ears with and you will be a happy dog owner.

The shelter is another place you could go hang out and meet dogs. There are many pure bred dogs in shelters but there is also a lot of nice mixed breed dogs that are just as fantastic as companions. Maybe you will find your next pal there. Even if you don't you will learn characteristics that you like and those you don't. Keep in mind those dogs are sitting in a kennel all day and once in your home, getting exercise and training and good food, they will settle in. Think of them as a 2 year old child that has not been able to get out and play for awhile and someone gave them all kinds of sugar.
 

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I vote on a bichon. I have a 3 year old bichon, the best dog that I could hope for. He is very adaptable, in the summer he will do hikes with me in the winter he will snuggle up on the couch. He is excellent with children of all ages, was potty trained when I got him(by breeder basically potty trained him before I got him). Although these are general characteristics of most bichons I have met, not all bichons behave the same and that goes for all breeds of dogs. I have met bichons with behavioral problems, and who by nature are not outgoing and happy go lucky dogs that the standard says they should be.Although bichons don't shed (although during spring and fall if you wear something black you will be able to see white dog hair) their grooming requirements are extreme. Every two to three months be prepared to pay hundred dollars for their grooming. Also dog brush will become your best friend since dogs that dont shed for the most part require daily grooming. For you I would suggest an older dog, because then you can see the real temperament of the dog. Also puppies are a lots of work, they bite, they chew, they whine and they have accidents.
 

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How about a Brittany? They're great medium sized family dogs. My only concern would be that they'd need more exercise than you're describing.
 

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Thank you all for the great suggstions. To answer some of the questions:

- I am open to adult dogs as well.
- I also plan to take training classes.
- The dog will get plenty of attention at home in addition to daily exercise.
- A friend of mine owns a bichon and she is one happy dog. He mentioned though that it was really tough to housetrain her. I also read bichons are rather difficult to housetrain. Maybe it makes sense to get an adult one who's already housebroken.
- I heard Labs and Goldens are heavy shedder?
- I don't mind a velcro dog, but would like to avoid "one-person" dog if possible. I don't know if that is breed-specific thing though.
- As for schnauzers and terriers, can a typical novice owner handle their temperament even after training?

Thank you again.
I'm not entirely sure about Goldens (although I think they shed a fair amount) but Labs definitely shed like crazy. Also I think both breeds are larger than your requirements state.
 
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