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Choosing a Dog Breed

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four dogs of different breeds lying outside
You will have your pet for years to come, so choosing the best breed for your lifestyle is very important. This is a guide about choosing a dog breed.
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December 31, 20160 found this helpful

This is a guide about, "Which breeds make good service dogs?". While certain dog breeds seem to naturally have the temperament needed to be successfully trained as a service dog, with good training, many mixed breed dogs can also serve.

A golden retreiver service dog.

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By 0 found this helpful
October 19, 2010

I want a small dog, but one that doesn't yap a lot. I like the Maltese terrier, but have been told they yap a lot? Is this true?

By mumacool from West Yorkshire

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October 19, 20100 found this helpful

I have three Pomeranians, purported to be yappers, but none of mine are. They seldom even bark. I think it really depends on training, home environment, the dog's personality, and *some* on the breed themselves.

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October 20, 20100 found this helpful

I had 4 Japanese Chins at one time. None were yappers. I agree w/Jron7667. My Panda Bear lived for almost 15 years and rarely. If she did it was to get my attention.You could go on line an check a particular breeds traits. Chins are one of the most lovable lap dogs you'd ever want to have.

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October 20, 20100 found this helpful

Terriers are often referred to as "terrors". It's not the easiest breed to deal with, so if you are up for the challenge.

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October 20, 20100 found this helpful

Most little dogs are yappers. A true barkless dog is a breed called a Basenji. The African bush dog. It is a small short haired dog with a curly tail. It think it is quite cute. You can look it up on line and get more details. I thought you should have a barkless choice also.

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October 20, 20100 found this helpful

I have a Maltese X. She is the best pet I have ever had. When she does bark, she is telling me something. So as you get to know your dog you will be able to read her/him.

As a rule, she is quiet and keeps me company. So I would say go for a Maltese and teach them right.

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October 20, 20100 found this helpful

Dogbreedinfo.com is a great web-site to check out different types of dogs. You can look them up alphabeticlally or by type. Not all small dogs are yappers. I have a Boston Terrier. They tend to be quiet, only barking when someone comes to the door. He doesn't even bark when we go for walks and other dogs are barking their fool heads off!

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October 23, 20100 found this helpful

Basenji's are the only ones that don't "yap". I think I have a Basenji mix and she rarely speaks.

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October 29, 20100 found this helpful

For any breed, some dogs yap and some don't, it's specific to each dog. I've fostered a Chihuahua that barked all the time, and one that was silent. I would look up a local rescue, and go to an adoption event to actually meet a bunch of dogs (they usually have them at pet stores on weekends). That way you can see how the different dogs and puppies act, and you might find one you fall in love with!

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December 12, 20100 found this helpful

I agree with Jron7667. The yappiness of a dog has more to do with training (or lack thereof) than it does with the breed. For starters, the Maltese is not a terrier. It belongs to the Bichon group (wikipedia "bichon dog breed" to see all the varities ie: Bichon Frise, Maltese, Bichon hHvanesa, etc.). I trained my Havanese with the soda can/pennies technique. The shake of the can followed by the "no bark" command worked wonders. He never barks or yaps unless to alert me to something out of the ordinary (ie: strange noise).

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October 22, 20060 found this helpful

I am between a Pomeranian and Chihuahua? I really want a lap dog that really loves me and is loyal. Please help me!

Beth from Saint Charles, IL

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October 22, 20060 found this helpful

Hi Beth,

I remember when I decided on getting a puppy and I did a lot of research before choosing a breed. The American Kennel Club has a wonderful site that tells you all about the different breeds. I think that Pomeranians would require a lot of brushing, that is something to consider when choosing a puppy, how much time do you have to spend maintaining their coats? My best friend had a Chihuahua and he was forever shedding! Have you ever thought of a Papillion? They are small like a Chihuahua, but have a longer, more silky coat. My sister-in-law has two of them and they are the sweetest little things. They have lots of energy and like to play, and they love to give lots of kisses. How about a Toy Poodle? My brother has two of them, they need to go to the groomer to get trimmed, but they don't shed, they are friendly little dogs that have a lot of energy and they are very affectionate. My one friend has a Maltese and he is a wonderful little lap dog; he also goes to the groomer to be trimmed but he doesn't shed, he is friendly and playful, but likes to sit in your lap and cuddle too. I have two "furbabies" myself; I did a lot of research before I decided to get a Norwich Terrier, she is a little rambunctious and very stubborn, but likes her belly rubbed and loves to give kisses. My other was a rescue dog that loves to cuddle on your lap, she thinks she is a chihuahua but unfortunately is a German Shorthair mix and squishes me when she wants to cuddle on my lap! Best wishes to you, Paula

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October 23, 20060 found this helpful

My mom has a wonderful miniature dachshund. She is the most loving little lap dog! When she was a puppy she was restless and chewed things, but since reaching adulthood she has calmed down. She would sit in Mom's lap all day if she could! Also she is low-maintenance, being a smooth short-hair.

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October 23, 20060 found this helpful

Dear Beth,

You did not give any info about your livestyle, so it is hard to give you an answer. I have 2 very tiny Chis, both under 4 lbs. They are very spoiled, and expect to be. ;-) They are good watch dogs, as they will bark when there are people around the house and inside, if they do not know them. They are so small that they are really not good for children to be round.

Over the years I have always had mixed breeds, mostly chi's with something else and they have been very good, but alot bigger than mine now. I have short haired chis and they do shed some, esp. if they get stressed or nervous. They bond with one or two people and are very loving and close to them. There are regular sized chis too, and they are very loving.

Small poodles do not shed and need to be cut and groomed. I would agree with the poster who said to really do some research about the breeds you are thinking about. Many people I know have Tsi Shues or Lasos and love them dearly. Personally, I like a dog with a real nose. LOL Also I would get a mixed breed again in a heart beat, as they are usually really better dogs IMO.

Gayle

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October 29, 20060 found this helpful

My sister has 2 pomeranians. They are wonderful little dogs and very good with her 4 year old daughter. One is 10 and the other is 5. One thing you need to be sure to check is the breeder. One of my sisters Poms has an inherited skin condition that made him lose most of his beautiful coat. He has never regained it. But as far as upkeep they do have very thick coats but if you brush every day it helps tremendously, you can also clip them in the summer. My sister does and they love it.

I own a toy poodle and he is such a lap dog. Poodles are very intelligent and can be trained quite easily. I groom my own poodle, it is quite simple to do and saves me lots of money.

Good luck with whatever breed you choose.

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July 10, 20070 found this helpful

Alert and spirited, the Chihuahua is personality in a small package. Chihuahuas become very attached to their owners and are very willing to please. Very much a lap dog, the Chihuahua enjoys being pampered. But don't let the small size fool you into thinking these dogs lack spunk! They are affectionate but they're also alert and make a fine little watchdog.

Pomeranians are small dogs that can get plenty of exercise just following you around the house. This makes the breed an exceptional choice for dog lovers with limited mobility, elderly people and people with disabilities. Loveable lap dogs, Pomeranians are very content to spend every minute of the day in your presence, whether cuddled up warm and cozy in your lap, or snug in a comfortable small dog bed at your feet. That being said, a Pomeranian will gladly partake of a lively walk or jog with owners who are able to get out and get some exercise and fresh air.

So, with that said, I would say either one, but the pom would be better if you have children, and the chihuahua is better for someone who wants a campanion for life, and a copy cat...or should I say copy dog. I myself have one teacup chihuahua and love him to death, never owned a pom but always heard good things about the poms. I can tell you only good things about my dog too. tough decision, but totally different personalities in each!!!

OR YOU CAN JUST GO ALL OUT AND GET A POM CHI! (SHOWN IN PIC)

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July 10, 20070 found this helpful

Hi Beth. Dogs love you and and are loyal. Many people will say this breed or that breed is better but to me that sounds too much like saying Hispanics are better than Eskimos. Every dog even in different breeds and litters has their own personality. And there are many things you can train a dog.

I think the beauty is in the individual dog, not what his ethnic background is, to draw a parallell, I mean.

I have 2 Poms but only because my husband made the choice. Of course I wouldnt trade them for anything but it's the first time I lived with purebreds. Every purebred has some sort of heredity tendency to specific health issues.

With Poms it is luxating patellas, which are basically loose knee joints that pop sometimes when you pick them up and can lead to arthritis in later years. And teeth problems which show up in later years. Basically they rot and fall out.

My 8 year old Pom recently was looking very bad cuz her eye was all crooked and the white was showing. It looked like wandering eye but was from a swollen absess in her mouth.

Not to scare you off at all, dog companionship is so unjudging, loving and wonderful. It's just something that comes with purebreds.

I brush my girls every week when they are shedding and otherwise they can go for a month or so at a time. I dont see brushing as a chore and think that if you dont have time to brush your dog you dont deserve her love and companionship. Whether you spend the time with her on your lap petting or brushing is all the same.

If youre concerned about dog hair--well a Pom isnt for you. I got a special pet hair vacuum just for the dogs hair which seems to wind itself into the carpet.

You can have them clipped in the summer and they look like chihuahuas.:-)

You havent said what sort of lifestyle you expect the dog to fit in to but you can discover a lot if you meet them with their litter mates. You can see which are the really active ones and the dominant one in the litter and which are the snuggle bunnies. Take some time to discern this for yourself.

Although Poms are usually only one or two to a litter.

Take lots of time to do your own research, notice other dogs.

I definitely wouldnt recommend a Toy Pom--anything under 5 lbs fully grown. They are bred to be small and have enormous health problems. it can be heart breaking.

My Swiffer was a real wiggle bunny as a tiny baby, her Mom had her in my house. As her fur grew in I would rub my face in it, it was so soft. And then she would stop wiggling and just melt. I guess she thought I was licking her like her Mom.

Now she just loves it when I rub my face in her belly and gets this look of pure ecstacy when the cat licks her bib.

I can still remember her as a little puppy running mad little circles around the living room while the cats took play swats at her.

I know that a perfectly delightful and wonderful little doggie is waiting to meet you. And you will have a wonderful life together.

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By guest (Guest Post)
July 10, 20070 found this helpful

I have been owned by two dogs, a 100 pound lab mix, and an 8 pound toy poodle. The lab, Ma Barker,(she was a thief) lived to be 14. Pookie, the poodle is 17. If you want loyal, cuddly and small, you cannot beat a non-shedding poodle. If you start when the dog is young, you can do your own clipping. With short hair, Pookie needs brushing 2-3 times weekly. Not low/no maintenance, but not too demanding either. And while he doesn't like baths, he tolerates them, and is easy to handle. If there are children in your home, a poodle is probably better than a chi, because most chis bond to one person, and are highly protective. Some potential for nips/bites there. While all dogs have their own personalities, poodles(unless overbred) seem to be be more mellow. Whatever breed you decide to get, I hope that you and the dog enjoy a long, happy life together.

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October 19, 20100 found this helpful

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

Answers:

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.

http://www.petplace.com/dogs/top-dog-breeds-for-apartment-life/page1.aspx (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 Petfinder.com 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 petfinder.com, 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 PetFinders.com. 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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