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Advice for Choosing a Dog Breed

Three years ago our poodle passed on during a serious illness. We said we never wanted another pet although everyone said we should get one. Well, now we are ready for one. But we have no idea which breed to even look for.


We want to decide the breed before falling in love with the first pet we see, which we know is what would happen. We want a non-shedder, that isn't hyper, and that doesn't need a monthly hair-cut. But that is small, like maybe 12 lbs. We would love another poodle, we loved her so. But also have to pay attention to finances.

Also, I've heard that certain breeds are susceptible to certain illnesses. Is there any hope for a perfect pet for us? Part of me feels like I'm betraying our pet who passed. She was perfect. She didn't know she was a dog, we called her our baby. We aren't cat people so that's out. We just want a nice dog. Thanks for any advice.

Ariela from FL


Advice for Choosing a Dog Breed

I found this website to be informative and think it might help you decide which short haired breed is best for you. Don't forget a beagle too. (02/18/2009)

By Lorelei

Advice for Choosing a Dog Breed

I would suggest looking around at friends and neighbors to see what kind of dog they have, and if you see one that interests you, ask questions. People are more willing to disclose imperfections about their dogs than they are their children!

You can also go to see or call your vet. They know all kinds and can have some ideas for you. Yes, certain breeds are prone to specific health problems and you should be aware of them. You can also do some "googling" to find out info.

If you're like so many people who have just lost a beloved friend/dog you are saying you don't want another of the same breed because you don't want an "almost" dog. Almost as sweet as, almost as good as, almost as smart as, etc. But I'm suspecting you'll find yourself drawn to the same breed because you loved that dog so much that you want another to love just as much.

That's how I felt when I lost my little doxie, Lucy. It was going to be no more dogs for me, then absolutely no more doxies...until I met Penny Louise. I began to see that it was almost a show of respect for Lucy to get the same breed again. I had such a good relationship with Lucy that I wanted that again. I'm sure you'll find just what you want if you keep your eyes open. (02/18/2009)


By Glenn'sMom

Advice for Choosing a Dog Breed

Don't ever feel you are being disrespectful to the dog you lost when you finally feel you are ready for another. I can't prove it, but I think they know, and they want you to have another dog to make you happy.

I don't know if I've ever met a "calm puppy," it almost seems against mother nature. Puppies are experiencing, learning, and making their way in life. I don't know about "calmness." Older dogs can be calm.

We just got two Toy Fox Terriers. They have very short fur, but they are not "calm." I wanted to leave the house, but I cannot. They zoom and run, they grab socks, shoes, clothing, the sofa, anything. I keep pointing them toward their toys. If I left them unattended, I am sure we would no longer have a sofa. Once they have grown out of this stage, I am sure they will be wonderful.

It had been such a long time since we had puppies, I'd forgotten. I now have plugs for the electrical outlets, and childproof locks for the lower cabinets, in the event that I do have to leave the house.

They will wake my husband at night, and he tells me to take over. The first month we had them, we were up at all hours feeding them, just like a baby. They are almost fully grown now, but they still have eight months or so of being puppies. (02/18/2009)

By Carol L.

Advice for Choosing a Dog Breed

Thank you for all the replies. I wanted to reply sooner but I didn't want you to *hear my tears.* I wish I could have our dog back. Sounds silly I know, but it's hard to get over, even after 3 years. This house where I clean, they have a Yorkie. She's so sweet and she really got me to wanting another pet. My hubby about flipped when I mentioned I was ready for another one.

I think he was too but didn't want to say it first. He is laid off so money is tight. I work part time so that's why we don't want one that requires monthly haircuts. Neighbors here mostly have larger dogs. We stay pretty close to home so we don't see a lot. Thanks to who suggested calling local vets for info, I will do that. Thanks again for the replies. (02/18/2009)

By Ariela

Advice for Choosing a Dog Breed

Try to watch the TV show on Animal Planet called Dogs 101. It's a very entertaining hour-long program that goes into detail about different pure-bred dog breeds and both the pros and cons of owning them. Topics covered include how much exercise the breed requires, how difficult it is to train them, how much grooming is needed, whether they're good around children, what health problems they are susceptible to, etc. The Animal Planet website may possibly have this info summarized for you. Good Luck! (02/18/2009)

By truerblue

Advice for Choosing a Dog Breed

What I would do, as I am also looking for a pet, is to go on and look at the pets they have there. The profiles will tell you what breed it is and you can "window shop" until you see one that speaks to you. As I have decided that we will be getting a shelter pet, this is most likely where I will start.

As for the pet you described, the "doodle" breeds seem to be particularly hot. They breed different types of dogs with Poodles. I guess because poodles don't shed. My uncle has a Golden Doodle (Golden retriever and poodle mix) who is very laid back and doesn't shed. Usually these custom breeds are available from breeders. I don't know how I really feel about getting one from a breeder. Nothing wrong with it really, but you really want to check them out. (02/18/2009)

By Corene

Advice for Choosing a Dog Breed

It would be wise to decide what kind of activity level and what you expect it to do (cuddle, run with you, lay around all day, do tricks, or be a watchdog or a lapdog), since all breeds are not alike. Chihuahuas are lap dogs and little dogs are often lap dogs, labs and most other big dogs need lots of exercise (and more food).


Once you make a list, then you can call the shelter and ask which dog breed fits this bill. Then you will know which breed or type of dog to get. It seems to me you are looking for a lap dog so I would suggest some sort of chihuahua or small breed. I have 4 dogs, and the chihuahua and the mountain feist/chihuahua never leave my side. This is great for me, but might overwhelm someone else. (02/19/2009)

By Robyn

Advice for Choosing a Dog Breed

As you've already seen a Yorkie, take another look. You can learn to trim them fairly easily, but can be little tyrants if not properly trained. They are very sweet/playful, and aren't very big. Check with petfinder - you might find somebody who needs you! (02/19/2009)

By dj_pinkey

Advice for Choosing a Dog Breed

Try a dachshund. Perfect pet for me anyway. (02/19/2009)

By Mary Ann

Advice for Choosing a Dog Breed

Try looking at rescue organizations for the breed that you decide to go with. You can get an older dog and sometimes puppies that have been in a bad situation. They normally don't cost as much either and you are getting a pure breed. Plus you will be saving a life, and rescue dogs tend to give lots of love to their forever home parents. (02/19/2009)

By cats4me

Advice for Choosing a Dog Breed

I hope you would consider just going to the local shelter and seeing if any of the dogs there seem like they would fit your needs. Paying money for a dog from a breeder while there are lots of dogs that just want a good home seems wrong. I wanted a "doodle" dog for a long time but found out most of them are hyper despite what other posts say. We ended up with a beagle from a shelter who has her issues, but she has a good home and we love her and she loves us. (02/19/2009)

By TC in MO

Advice for Choosing a Dog Breed

I also strongly encourage you to seek out a mixed breed at the local shelter. I have had 2 mixed dogs. For the vets to tell me that mixed breeds are less likely to have serious health ailments was my clincher. I will always get a mutt and always go to the shelter first. (02/19/2009)

By sandy63

Advice for Choosing a Dog Breed

The best option for disease free dogs is to go to the local municipal animal shelter and get a mixed breed at least 2 or 3 years old. By that age you usually see any genetic problems already, you're saving money and you're saving a life.

Keep in mind that most adoptions fail NOT because of the animal but because of the owner's unrealistic expectations. You might think you can train a dog to "need less" exercise but you can't. You may love to sleep late but your dog needs a very regular schedule. No matter how big your house or yard, your dog can NOT get their exercise inside or by "being let out." YOU have to exercise with them!

Breed rescue groups are a good second choice but then you will be open to the breed specific health problems. You're way better off going with a mix than trying to select a breed based on books or pet shows. Go walk some shelter dogs and see who fits your family. Don't rule out anyone because of how they seem the first minute or two out of their cage. Many dogs are overwhelmed when they end up in a shelter and need a few minutes to calm down or warm up to you.

Also, don't fall into the current and very WRONG thinking that if you get a smaller dog they're easier to handle or need less exercise. They all need tons of daily exercise to lead a happy and healthy life. Also, toy dogs are in such demand to use as fashion accessories now they are being puppy milled faster and harder than ever before in the US...all horrors and health problems included.

Good luck! (02/19/2009)

By Shelter Worker

Advice for Choosing a Dog Breed

I have gotten all of my dogs from the animal shelter and I still have 1 that is now 18 years old. Look online at, they have some beautiful animals. I also have 10 cats. (02/19/2009)

By Brenda

Advice for Choosing a Dog Breed

I agree on checking with the local shelters for a mixed breed. I have also heard they are less likely to get the serious ailments that are associated with a particular breed. The shelters can help you identify some breeds that would be good for your family.

They also have pet foster care where you temporarily take in a pet that is not yet adoptable due to a minor health issue. We did this with our last adoption to make sure we had a good match for our home since we already had 1 dog. They are always begging for foster care parents in my area.

We have done 3 mixed breed adoptions over the years and we have not had any major health issues. As a bonus, all 3 were already house-trained! Also, in my opinion, they all knew they were rescued.

I have 2 mixed rat terriers. My vet calls them 'terrorists,' so you know they are very active. They are, however, low maintenance. Short hair makes for literally no grooming. All I have to do is regular baths. (02/19/2009)

By TraceyI

Advice for Choosing a Dog Breed

I also advise They have links to both shelters and rescue groups (if you want a poodle or poodle mix). It's a learning process on both sides when you take an adult animal, but it's worth it. On the other hand, they don't only have adult animals and you won't have problems finding a puppy. If you go to a rescue organization, though, don't commit before you see and interact with the animal. Good luck and enjoy your new family member. (02/19/2009)

By tennesue

Advice for Choosing a Dog Breed

The best source for ideas on which dogs are susceptible to diseases genetically, I would think, would be the veterinarian who gets to deal with the results of those diseases. My grandfather was a DVM and he had strong opinions about which dogs not to get. God bless. (02/19/2009)

By kimhis

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