Small breeds

milos_mommy

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#1
I am, as always, considering the possibility of adding a small dog next. I tend to prefer larger breeds, and some of the perks associated (deterrent factor, ability to tolerate play with larger socially-inept dogs and children, ability to participate in big-dog sports).

However, small dogs also have perks, such as ease of travel (semi-important. We travel semi-frequently, have reliable pet care, but also would enjoy bringing a dog on some of our airline trips and would be really convenient for future train travel, etc), perks as a renter, and god forbid in case of emergency it's a lot easier to scoop up a 16 lb dog for an e-vet visit than to load up a 60 lb pit bull and two kids).

Anyway, those of you with small dogs (I'll say 20 lbs under or slightly over in a small frame), can you tell me about your breed/mix/individual dog?

My thoughts, for those who care to give their opinion:

~I'm likely looking at a small terrier or poodle mix (or similar breed)
~Bostons, pugs, and cavaliers are all options, however, I'd like to rescue, so health is a concern.
~I want to do sports/activities, so am slightly hesitant on a seriously brachy breed, but I'm also not looking to compete heavily. Basically a dog that can keep up with a moderately active family and dabble in sports.
~ I LOVE pomeranians, but the barking in an apartment doesn't seem super doable. If I wasn't going to be renting, I'd definitely be looking for that.

Other breeds I'd be interested in : mini pins, manchester terriers, yorkie-type-mixes, maltese-type-mixes (or purebreds), havanese, shih tzu (probably not active enough), miniature dachshunds (probably too many health concerns/not suitable for sports/not biddable enough), miniature american eskimos, miniature aussies (too big?), papillons.
 

Laurelin

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#2
Well I've had shelties, papillons and Hank.

Paps aren't really dogs I'd say are great with little kids. Some are pretty moody (Mia) and while Summer is excessively friendly and good natured, she's just very small and breakable. She's good with my nieces and has been but when they were 2-4ish it was work watching them together and making sure the kids were gentle enough. Mia is not kid friendly at all. My paps are also very very barky. Honest to God they are just as barky as my shelties, maybe even moreso especially Summer. She is loud.

Shelties have the barking thing again.

Hank is not a breed but his size is imo ideal with kids. He's right around 21ish lbs and is sturdy but also small enough to be portable and not intimidating to kids. I'd personally aim for that size with kids.

I know some great small agility dogs. I've honestly seen every breed listed doing agility even the mini dachshunds. There's some really great agility beagles in the area and those are great kids dogs imo. Cocker spaniels. Havanese are wonderful happy little things. A couple of my friends have small poodle mixes (I think shih tzu x poodles) and they're a bit sturdier than a poodle but really great little dogs and trainable. Bichons are another breed that imo make great little family dogs and are also very trainable. Also some random terrier mixes and bigger chihuahuas/mixes do well.

I also have a lot of friends with mini aussies and they can be a bit sharp too in temperament. Size varies a lot even in good lines. One of my friends has two from the same breeder and one is about 15 lbs, and shorter than Hank (so I'm guessing around 14" tall). The other is over 17 inches tall and 30 lbs. Energy level also varies a lot. Both of hers are pretty active and driven.
 

rosemc

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#3
I am, as always, considering the possibility of adding a small dog next. I tend to prefer larger breeds, and some of the perks associated (deterrent factor, ability to tolerate play with larger socially-inept dogs and children, ability to participate in big-dog sports).

However, small dogs also have perks, such as ease of travel (semi-important. We travel semi-frequently, have reliable pet care, but also would enjoy bringing a dog on some of our airline trips and would be really convenient for future train travel, etc), perks as a renter, and god forbid in case of emergency it's a lot easier to scoop up a 16 lb dog for an e-vet visit than to load up a 60 lb pit bull and two kids).

Anyway, those of you with small dogs (I'll say 20 lbs under or slightly over in a small frame), can you tell me about your breed/mix/individual dog?

My thoughts, for those who care to give their opinion:

~I'm likely looking at a small terrier or poodle mix (or similar breed)
~Bostons, pugs, and cavaliers are all options, however, I'd like to rescue, so health is a concern.
~I want to do sports/activities, so am slightly hesitant on a seriously brachy breed, but I'm also not looking to compete heavily. Basically a dog that can keep up with a moderately active family and dabble in sports.
~ I LOVE pomeranians, but the barking in an apartment doesn't seem super doable. If I wasn't going to be renting, I'd definitely be looking for that.

Other breeds I'd be interested in : mini pins, manchester terriers, yorkie-type-mixes, maltese-type-mixes (or purebreds), havanese, shih tzu (probably not active enough), miniature dachshunds (probably too many health concerns/not suitable for sports/not biddable enough), miniature american eskimos, miniature aussies (too big?), papillons.
A friend of mine has a Caton de Tulear and she is SUCH a great dog. Her name is Oreo Speedwagon and she is quiet, amazing with kids, loves other dogs, and loves to run and play. She knows all of her toys by name and tons of tricks (much to the delight of kids that come over) and loves to snuggle. She'd be a perfect family dog and sports dog!
 
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#4
What about a Border Terrier? I think my most favorite dog of all time was a border terrier. Was quiet, got along with everyone and everything, but was super agile and eager to please, and willing to work. Seemed to really like children, in particular. Plus, cute.

I have a shih tzu, and she is an awesome, awesome dog. I really should have done agility with her, because she would have rocked it. And the travel thing is one of the reasons we got a shih tzu - at the time we traveled by airplane a lot. She does overheat easily though, so not sure if you really want to do sports it would be the *best* fit.
 
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#5
Oh ya, and our shih tzu magically knows all her toys by name too. We discovered it by accident. She is seriously such an awesome dog.
 

milos_mommy

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#6
Thanks all!! Coton is a great suggestion, I've only met a few but definitely fit what I would look for! However, grooming might be a bit much (seems like a crime to keep them short-short), and I don't know how easily I'd find one in rescue.

Beagles, border terriers, and cockers all seem too large for airline travel?

I'd really prefer something with low grooming requirements. I may be willing to do a short puppy cut every few months but I know the dog will look like a mop in between and I'll put it off far too long.

I don't know if I'd be THAT concerned about heat, we live up north and although summers get quite hot and humid but they're short, like I said, I'm not looking to compete heavily so could easily take a break in the worst months. I would be concerned about a Shih tzu being lower energy than I care for, but I can probably find a higher energy dog.

A friend of mine had a fabulous border terrier mix that was very small, so maybe it would be worth looking into!
 

Beanie

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#7
Border terriers aren't really that big, how small do they have to be for airline travel? I don't think I've ever met one bigger than Auggie. They are my favorite of the terriers but I might be a little biased having a friend in agility who owns several great ones!

A havanese sounds like the best from what you've listed, honestly! I would be worried about a min pin around kids, the ones I have met are rather sharp and I wouldn't really want them around small children.
 
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#8
Borders are pretty small. Our shih tzu is 15lbs and 10.5" at the shoulder, and she can travel in cabin with us. I wouldn't want anything ANY bigger though. Just not fair to the poor dog.
 
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#9
I know shih tzus are described as low energy. I was banking on it when we got ours. LOL! Didn't turn out that way.

She was the craziest puppy ever. So. Much. Energy. It was virtually impossible to tire her out until she got to be ... maybe 4 or 5 years old? She has so much drive, loves to work so much, it's really a shame I didn't do more than obedience with her. She would have been an awesome agility or flyball dog. And she never got tired of working - we'd go to a class, an intense obedience session, and at an hour she was fresh as a daisy. Wanted more. I'd give a command and bam! Within a millisecond she was doing it, laser focus on me for the next command. So much fun!

Honestly, as a puppy, our shih tzu was way, way more of a handful than our current Bouvier des Flandres puppy. LOL!
 

milos_mommy

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#11
Do you have a list of characteristics/traits/and such you are hoping to find?
Maybe the borders around here are unusually large, but bigger than a westie or JRT. I've only met a few though, and could be the same breeder in the area.


- low grooming requirements. Prefer wash and wear or just brushing (pom coat or mini Aussie coat) but would consider less frequent short puppy clips
- good with (respectful) children
- at least somewhat biddable, intelligent, good candidate for sports dabble and trick training
- medium/high energy, good for a moderately active family, off switch
- prefer no or manageable DA, can deal with some reactivity
- don't care about prey drive or off leash ability
- can find in rescue
- preferably no horrific health issues
- friendly with people, I don't care if they're not a love-everyone dog but would prefer no protective/territorial breeds
- not too vocal
 

JacksonsMom

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#12
What about a Border Terrier? I think my most favorite dog of all time was a border terrier. Was quiet, got along with everyone and everything, but was super agile and eager to please, and willing to work. Seemed to really like children, in particular. Plus, cute.

I have a shih tzu, and she is an awesome, awesome dog. I really should have done agility with her, because she would have rocked it. And the travel thing is one of the reasons we got a shih tzu - at the time we traveled by airplane a lot. She does overheat easily though, so not sure if you really want to do sports it would be the *best* fit.
This! I really really want a BT because I feel like it will be all of the qualities about Jackson that I love but not the ones I could maybe live without. Lol. They're just really great little dogs and I can't wait to have one because I know I will. The first time I saw one I was actually surprised at how "small" they seemed. They were all a tiny bit smaller than Jackson, who is 19lbs and 19" girth and about 12" ? tall. But still a good sized dog, nothing TOO fragile. Most I know of seem to be good with kids and other dogs as well.


You could always find a BT mix in the shelter somewhere. I see quite a bit of yorkie/BT looking scruffy things in shelters that are oh so cute.
 

Catsi

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#13
Maybe the borders around here are unusually large, but bigger than a westie or JRT. I've only met a few though, and could be the same breeder in the area.


- low grooming requirements. Prefer wash and wear or just brushing (pom coat or mini Aussie coat) but would consider less frequent short puppy clips
- good with (respectful) children
- at least somewhat biddable, intelligent, good candidate for sports dabble and trick training
- medium/high energy, good for a moderately active family, off switch
- prefer no or manageable DA, can deal with some reactivity
- don't care about prey drive or off leash ability
- can find in rescue
- preferably no horrific health issues
- friendly with people, I don't care if they're not a love-everyone dog but would prefer no protective/territorial breeds
- not too vocal
I.do.apologise.in.advance.because.my.spacebar.has.died.

What.about.a.schipperke?

From.what.I've.heard.they.are.definitely.wash.and.wear.
They.seem.like.a.healthy.breed.as.well.
They'd.suit.your.criteria.for.activity.levels.and.training.
I've.heard.some.can.be.a.bit.vocal.though?
And.some.have.a.protective.streak.

Also,I'm.not.too.sure.about.the.frequency.that.they'd.be.found.in.rescue.
 

milos_mommy

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#14
GUYS I just saw a post for two senior boxers that need a home together and if I had the space I 100% would have taken them.

I do not think I will end up with a small dog. Pupper is just gonna have to stay at Grandpa's when we travel by plane LMAO. I just like big breeds too much.
 

GoingNowhere

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#15
Don't know much about them IRL, so this might be off, but Staffordshire bull terrier? Too big for an airplane likely but still small enough to be portable. Plus lots of energy and from what I've heard, happy, friendly dogs!
 

milos_mommy

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#16
If I did go for small dog, it would be almost entirely for the purpose of public transportation - airline and train travel. And partly for easier renting. So I don't think a sbt would fit my small-dog needs, they're definitely pretty perfect for all my other requirements.
 

frostfell

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#17
If you are looking at rescues, dont look at breed. Most mutts are not going to be "by the book" and thats even if you can puzzle out their lineage, and the rare purebred that ends up in a rescue is going to be from a BYB and chances are, that BYB isnt one thats doing a whole ton of work to maintain textbook breed characteristics like personality and abilities.

go to a rescue you like, pick a small dog thats aesthetically pleasing to you, that looks at you and focuses and is interested in what you have to say, and shows interest in toys. that said, avoid things with easty westy feet or dramatically bad structure, those are obviously not going to be able to hold up to sports or hiking.
 
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#18
If you are looking at rescues, dont look at breed. Most mutts are not going to be "by the book" and thats even if you can puzzle out their lineage, and the rare purebred that ends up in a rescue is going to be from a BYB and chances are, that BYB isnt one thats doing a whole ton of work to maintain textbook breed characteristics like personality and abilities.

go to a rescue you like, pick a small dog thats aesthetically pleasing to you, that looks at you and focuses and is interested in what you have to say, and shows interest in toys. that said, avoid things with easty westy feet or dramatically bad structure, those are obviously not going to be able to hold up to sports or hiking.
Purebreds are hardly rare in rescues/shelters.
 

milos_mommy

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#19
Well, I'm not really going to be caring about breed enough to go search for a clearly purebred and up to standard anything.

But, having a general idea of breed or breed type when searching through rescue is pretty helpful. Aside from the fact that most rescues here are breed/type specific.
 

milos_mommy

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#20
Also, I just glanced at the largest local no-kill (not town) shelter. They have 36 dogs currently. At least 16 of those dogs are labeled as a single breed and look like an average representation of the breed (mostly beagles, chihuahuas, and Shih tzus, a pair of Pekingese, and a mini pin). I didn't even guess on the bully types, some of which I'm sure are pure APBT.

ETA because I'm super dorky:

6/20 purebred at a similar shelter nearby (schnauzer, German shepherd, two Australian shepherds, can't remember the others)

12/48 at the largest shelter on the island.

Not counting "designer breeds" - a couple small poo mixes, a puggle, etc...or dogs that looked mostly like a breed but may have had a little of something else thrown in (a golden with weird ears for example).

These are really large shelters...as far as I know private rescues have an even higher ratio of purebred to mixed breed.

I think it depends on breed, too. I know the local golden rescue has at least a dozen dogs, English bulldog as well. And some are seemingly from good breeders, the owners were just too proud to return the dog there instead of in rescue. If I wanted a purebred chihuahua or shih tzu I could go in any city shelter and find one. If I was looking for something like a papillon or dalmation, I'd have to wait a few months, or go to a breed rescue a few hours away. They come through though, just not always. I'd bet barring the really rare breeds I could find a purebred of almost any breed in my region (within a 2 hour drive).
 

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