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  #1  
Old 12-03-2006, 11:22 PM
chokingvictim chokingvictim is offline
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Default Looking for best breed for our needs

Currently we have 2 cats and a Bichon (male, just over one year old). We've narrowed down what seem like the best breeds for us to just a few:

Keeshond
Finnish Spitz
Norwegian Buhund (we've read they may not be good with cats so this one may not be an option)

Obviously breeds known for not getting along well with cats (or those that have strong chasing instincts) are a bad fit for our needs. Also large breeds would obviously not be a good fit for us because we still may not have a decent yard for the dog's needs to run around, and exercise would be limited to a few long walks through the city each day and trips to the dog park a few times a week (plenty of exercise for many breeds but not adequate for all).

We do not plan on getting a 2nd dog for another year or so. We will be living in a larger apartment or duplex at that point. Things that are not really an issue are
shedding
maintenance of the coat (we have to brush our Bichon daily and it is not an issue with us, we don't mind this)
exercise needed (with the exception of course being dogs that require a large open area to spend most of the day in)

What we would really like is a dog that is very playful and will want to roll around and play inside with us. Our Bichon was not well socialized with people by the breeder, but spent his first few months with the other dogs in the house (12 total with the litter of 6 and the 6 Bichons the breeder had as pets) so he is great with other dogs but not very playful with people (very loyal to my girlfriend, but when inside he tends to lay on the couch and refuse to play, seeming to be only happy when around other dogs or around my girlfriend). We would like to find a breed that would like to play a lot and possibly even wrestle around a bit, not a fragile toy breed. We also hope that since our Bichon is so happy around other dogs, he will become less bored when my girlfriend is gone. Our first cat slept all day until we got a 2nd cat, and now the first cat is healthier and happier and plays most of the day rather than sleeps. We're hoping our Bichon will change as well if he has a canine companion.
If anyone has experience with these breeds, or has suggestions we are very open to any information that would help us. We want to spend a lot of time making sure we find the best fit for us, and sometimes finding all the negative qualities of a breed can be difficult when those who know most about each breed are those who are fond of that breed and fail to mention many of the negative aspects or things to be aware of before committing to taking in the dog as a pet.
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  #2  
Old 12-04-2006, 12:32 PM
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neapolitanpitbull neapolitanpitbull is offline
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You have picked some awesome dogs! I think I can help a wee bit.
Keeshond-An excellent childrens companion. Lively, alert, brave, and friendly. A great companion and is quick to learn. They should be trained patiently and gently without jerking on the lead. Keeshonds and full of personality. If they are happy about something, they are likely to spin around crazily in circles yapping with glee. They are usually good with other pets. They are prone to hip dysplasia, skin disease, and heart disease though, so it is essential to get one from a good breeder.
Finnish Spitz- Brave, Friendly, Lively & Alert and the four words for the Finnish Spitz. They are brave and have no problem protecting their family. They love their family and are very affectionate towards it. They are friendly with other dogs, and usually cats as long as they are raised with them. Although males can be rather dog aggresive if they are not socialized correctly around other dogs. They are lively and can be rather funny dogs, making you laugh all the time. They are alert and very smart, although they can be stubborn. Patience is needing for obedience training. They are a great companion for everyone, esspecialy children.
Norwegian Buhund- Vigulant, Active, Playful, and Untiring are the 4 words that explain this dog best. They are very active and love to play, which fits your lifestyle as said perfectly. They are untiring and love to wrestle for hours on end. If they are raised with cats it would be fine, although they might find chasing very entertaining They love their family and are known for their excellence with children. Excellent watchdog, brave and vocal but not aggresive. They do require a bit of grooming for their fluffy coats.
If you want, I can point you towards a few sites where you can get more information.
Good luck!
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Old 12-04-2006, 01:25 PM
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wolfsoul wolfsoul is offline
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Obviously you like the spitz breeds -- how about a pomeranian? They are generally better with cats than the other breeds listed and they are alot less fragile than they look. I had a pomeranian and she would wrestle around roughhouse with my 110 pound GSD, and she never got hurt. They make good little watchdogs, are very playful with other dogs, usually get along well with kids though they may be indifferent. They have a ton of energy but can just burn it off running around the house. Very cute little dogs.
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Old 12-04-2006, 01:29 PM
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I have relatives with keeshonds (which I know is not the correct plural), and the three they have had were all big barkers - perhaps something to take into consideration if you may be in an apartment.
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Old 12-04-2006, 01:41 PM
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neapolitanpitbull neapolitanpitbull is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfsoul View Post
Obviously you like the spitz breeds -- how about a pomeranian? They are generally better with cats than the other breeds listed and they are alot less fragile than they look. I had a pomeranian and she would wrestle around roughhouse with my 110 pound GSD, and she never got hurt. They make good little watchdogs, are very playful with other dogs, usually get along well with kids though they may be indifferent. They have a ton of energy but can just burn it off running around the house. Very cute little dogs.
Yes. But you must provide a lot of socializing for them for them to turn out to be excellent non-barky dogs.
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Old 12-04-2006, 03:21 PM
chokingvictim chokingvictim is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neapolitanpitbull View Post
Finnish Spitz- Brave, Friendly, Lively & Alert and the four words for the Finnish Spitz. They are brave and have no problem protecting their family. They love their family and are very affectionate towards it.
That's interesting, because I've been reading more online and I read that the Finnish Spitz, although very fluffy and cute as a puppy, do not usually like to be touched or petted.
I have not been able to find a forum devoted to the breed to get more firsthand accounts, but I think a breed like this would not be the best fit for us.

At this point, the more I read the more the Keeshond seems like the breed for us, and it is also the only one that I can find anyways. Breeders for the FS and NB seem impossible to find.
Thanks for the information posted so far, I appreciate everyone's help.
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Old 12-04-2006, 03:52 PM
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There are always some great dogs in the shelters.
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  #8  
Old 12-04-2006, 03:57 PM
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have you considered a sheltie?
they are very smart, and good with cats etc.
and they stand at just 14 - 16 inches

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Old 12-05-2006, 05:31 PM
chokingvictim chokingvictim is offline
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We haven't considered a Sheltie, for whatever reason my girlfriend doesn't like them. I've never particularly liked the ones I've met, but I'm sure it's different when the dog shows completely different behavior to the owners compared to strangers. The herding instincts in some dogs are what really bother us though, because we love cats.
Because of this and the barking with some breeds, the Keeshond is looking to be our next dog, and it's just a matter of finding a breeder than plans to breed next summer/fall and can get us on a waiting list.
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Old 12-05-2006, 05:51 PM
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I know one Buhund, and she barks tons. Her owners are constanyl on her for barking, but a Buhund is a herding breed, and barking comes with a lot of them. Overall though, they're very sweet little dogs and love everyone. The Buhund I know lives with two or three cats and gets along just fine with them. They can be very stubborn when training but they are highly intelligent. Besides that, I don't know a whole lot about them except for this little bit I've been told.
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