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Old 04-03-2009, 06:53 PM
SimplyCoutured SimplyCoutured is offline
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Red face Help me pick the perfect breed

Towards the end of the year I will most likely be bringing home a new puppy as a gift from my grandparents. I've had such trouble picking out a breed I'm interested in, it's ridiculous. I thought that maybe if I described myself and what I need/prefer in a dog, that you could all help me come up with one or even two breeds that are compatible with my life.

About Me:
I'll be 20 soon. I'm in college, but despite going full time, I have very flexible hours. I would be able to come home around lunch time to be with the puppy until it did fine on its own. I'll be getting the puppy when I have almost 2 months off of class, so she'll have enough time to get some basic training done. I've worked at a vet's office for awhile, so I have a decent amount of background knowledge. I've also had pets, including dogs, throughout my life. My family has a rott/german shepherd mix right now, but she's at a different house. She plays too rough to be a good companion to my dog :/
I own a 6 year old, neutared, front declawed cat, who is very attached to me. I definitely need a dog that does well with cats.
I stay at my grandparents house but sometimes my siblings come over. However, the youngest is already 11, so she's not a danger to small animals.
I'm very active, but would like a dog that loves to snuggle up on the couch sometimes. I would like to take her through a few obedience courses, from puppy to advanced, so a dog that isn't too stubborn would be nice, although i do realize that that also depends on the individual's personality. Also, I'd like one that would like to go on little errands with me wherever dogs are allowed (don't you hate seeing dogs in grocery stores? D: ) Also, living in Southern California, there is an awesome dog beach nearby I'd consider taking her to. And various dog parks as well. I have a neighbor and a good friend with amazing yards that would love to have her over to be pals with their small dogs.
I prefer to not have a dog that yaps his little head off. Some breeds are more prone to being 'talkative' I guess.
A big issue I have is that it would have to be litter trained. We have a big back/front yard, but unfortunately it was rocked in a few years ago (and we have a pool). I don't like puppy pads. At all. So I would need a dog that's alright with a litter box. Training won't be a big deal. I expect accidents and that it will take awhile, especially with a box.
I'm definitely going to be getting a toy dog. I'd prefer the weight to be no more than 15 lbs. give or take a few. Also, I'm not too picky on the coat length, although I prefer them to be on the long-ish side. I DO have allergies to every animal on this planet however, and it can be to the point where it's difficult to breathe. BUT this hasn't stopped me from owning dogs, cats, horses, rabbits, etc., but it would be nice to not have layers of dog hair on every outfit I own. I'm fine with grooming, even a few times a day. It's relaxing and even my cat looks forward to it (and we all know how cats are...).

The breeds I'm considering:
-Papillon (my top pick right now)
-Yorkie
-Maltese
-Mini Dachshund (long hair)
-Pomeranian (very hairy, I know)
-Westie (iffy on this, heard they're not so good with cats?).

I'd love to hear of your experience with these breeds, or even just your opinions. Or even suggestions for a different breed? I'm open to 'designer' breeds as well, as long as they fit in with my life/needs.
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Old 04-03-2009, 07:03 PM
Gempress Gempress is offline
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Congrats on the dog! First, I'd skip the westie. Not always good with small animals, and like most terriers, can be yappy. And sense you want to train to litter, I personally would get a female just because they usually squat instead of spray.

All the rest look like good choices, though. Papillons in particular are active little dogs.

But whatever breed you get, be extremely careful in your search for a breeder or rescue pup. All the toy breeds are very much in vogue right now. There are unscrupulous breeders left and right, churning out as many pups and possible and selling for as high as possible.
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Old 04-03-2009, 07:36 PM
SimplyCoutured SimplyCoutured is offline
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Yeah, I've seen evidence of that. :/ But I have quite awhile to look for the perfect pup. I realize that I may have to go online to find the right one, even if the idea is a little scary D:
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Old 04-03-2009, 08:01 PM
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Have you considered a Long Coat Chihuahua? They seem to fit into your list of breed choices.
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Old 04-03-2009, 08:17 PM
SimplyCoutured SimplyCoutured is offline
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Not to offend any Chihuahua owners, but I've never been all that partial to them. The Long coats do interest me to a point, but I've never known a decent one. They all tend to be too afraid or too bossy. I don't want a dog that shakes from fear, nor do i want one that thinks he's top dog, so to speak. I understand that this is nature vs nurture, but I don't think they're the right breed for me.
I appreciate the input though It's suggestions like yours that are really helpful


The Maltese are growing on me more and more. Do they tend to have problems with tearing? I'd love to hear a lot about them. I'm doing some research right now. Lately, I've only really been looking at Papillon info.
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Old 04-03-2009, 08:23 PM
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Laurelin Laurelin is offline
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I know I've talked to you before, but a couple things I think I should mention...

Papillons can be pretty talkative dogs. Mine are quiet most the day but they do bark more than some other breeds. Rose is abnormal in that she doesn't bark hardly at all- maybe once or twice every week or two. she does make other noises, lots of little grunts and groans. Nard makes some weird noises that the forum has heard before. He doesn't bark except for when he's really keyed up or bugging one of the older dogs.

They also shed. summer sheds so much more than the others. I don't know why, but my bed is covered in little white hairs. A lint roller is a must. They don't blow coat like most other longhaired dogs do, they don't have an undercoat. I think if I just had one (and no sheltie) the hair would be easy to manage, but with 4 constantly camping out on my bed they do get hair on it.

Other than that, they fit great with what you want. I can't say enough good things about the breed. They're outstanding little dogs.
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Last edited by Laurelin; 04-03-2009 at 08:46 PM.
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Old 04-03-2009, 08:37 PM
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I can't suggest to you as I like bigger breeds . I would suggest not picking a breed but go to HS or Petfinder and let them find you !
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Old 04-03-2009, 08:45 PM
SimplyCoutured SimplyCoutured is offline
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Laurelin: I've been meaning to get back to you. I was away from the computer for a week or so lol Talkative is ok, but excessive barking for no reason is not. But I do understand that most of that can be corrected/prevented with good training Also, I don't expect to find a non shedding dog :P Even humans shed, me especially with long hair hahaha My cat does and he's gray. You wear black, you see it. You wear white, you see it :P Lint rollers are a staple in my life XD But I've been to someone's house where it seems to be snowing hair all around the dog. That's what i don't want XD

Bubbatd: We've had some rescue dogs in the past. Their wonderful and loving and it feels good to do something good like adopt, but I'm pretty adamant this time about finding a breeder and being able to know about the parents, siblings, etc. I know that if I'm not looking for a specific breed, I'll bring home something I might not be ready for.
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Old 04-03-2009, 09:06 PM
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SC ... I was a breed snob for over 50 yrs. !! So I completely understand !! When my daughter had one of my offsprings and then adopted a HS Lab I was "" what the ___ " Yogi turned out to be a wonderful dog and now Hunter is Grammy's love . So when I lost my Chip , I bit the bullet and adopted Ollie ... I'll never regret ! Go with your heart !
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Old 04-03-2009, 10:09 PM
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With your allergies, have you considered a Miniature Poodle or a Crestie? Either breed would fit very well with your other criteria.
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