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I have to buy a dog for my 2 girls, they are 4 and 9 years of age and really want a puppy. I cannot handle dog fur smell so I really want to find a dog that doesn't shed too much, doesn't smell and is a good family pet. Preferably a small dog. My daughter wants a Labrador and although they could be a good family dog, I think it will be too hard to look after. Can you please make some suggestions for us.
A few thoughts:
You don't "have" to buy a dog (you want to get a dog) =)
You don't have to "buy" a dog (you could adopt) =)
A dog should be the family's dog (and the family's responsibility) not the children's dog.
Dog's don't smell when they are brushed and bathed. I brush my terrier mixes daily and bathe them once a month.
Why not consider an adult dog? You know exactly what you're getting, and you'll be saving a life.
Check out http://www.petfinder.com and look for mid-sized poodle mixes in your area. Poodles and mixes thereof tend to shed less than other breeds (but NO breed is hypoallergenic and all dogs shed)
In the meantime, do some serious soul-searching. From reading your post, it doesn't sound to me like you are the one who really wants a dog....and if that's the case, don't get one OK?
I have a 2yr old Lab cross. Not only do they shed fur all year round, they are excitable, stay "puppies" mentally for at least 2 years, chew a lot, and need a lot of training with a good trainer/behavourist. They will pull on the lead (unmercifully) if not trained and are born scavengers and mischevious to extreme. They also need a lot of excersize.
I don't know how they are with children, as mine are grown up, still at home, but work full time, and two years on we are still having problems giving him enough excersize and mental stimulation to keep him occupied, so unless you have plenty of time, patience and plenty of space in your home, I would recommend you get a "lower maintenance" breed, maybe from a rescue centre, who can match a dog to your needs.
A nice dog that is relatively easy to care for is a Shih Tzu. They have a GREAT disposition and are very friendly. Not at all little "yippy" dogs. My sister has one and it's the best dog I have ever been around. Very easy to care for, smart, friendly and calm.
Labs are great but in my experience shed like crazy. They also require a lot of exercise and care. I like to think of them more as a "farm" dog where they have lots of room to stretch their legs.
We are currently looking for a dog for my sons, who are 5 and 8. We will NOT be getting a puppy because they are almost as much work as having another toddler. I think a young female, maybe just over a year. We also are going to adopt a dog from the Humane Society. That way, it will have all it's shots, be fixed so no puppies or behavior problems in the future, have a microchip just in case and we will be taking this dog out of the overcrowded shelter system. Our animal shelter also has a 30 day return policy so if the dog doesn't work out with the kids, you can return it and get a dog that suits you and your family.
I have heard too much about puppy mills and problems with purebred dogs to want to "invest" in a dog that could have just the same (or worse) medical conditions as any "pound dog." The only reasons that I can see getting a purebred is if you want a show dog or as a status symbol. I'm just looking for a friend for my kids.
Good luck and be sure to post a picture of your new dog when you get him or her.
Small children CANNOT safely handle a lab on a leash, even if it's well trained. I suggest a poodle, or poodle mix. They don't shed much, and usually are bright. You could try a poodle rescue, I'd recommend one already proven with children, not too much over the age of 2, which will be out of the puppy stage but still young enough to "learn new tricks" (so to speak) : )
Any dog at some point will stink. They might get into something gross in the yard, get sprayed by a skunk & just be ready for a bath. They all shed to some degree so if you don't want dog hair, forget it. The dog should be in the house as a part of the whole family w/everyone responsible for the mental, emotional & physical health of the dog.
We have a yellow lab and a Jack Russell Terrier. The lab chewed on everything when he was young, but he is a wonderful dog now. I wouldn't recommend the terrier to anyone! We love him but he is alot of work and a bundle of energy! Please consider adopting a dog instead of buying one. I work with animal rescue and there are a ton of wonderful animals looking for their "fur-ever" home!
I am with luvmygingerkids, it doesn't sound to me like you want a dog. If you are buying the dog just because your children "have" to have one, don't do it.
I have 2 granddaughters, ages 4 and 5, and several cats. I lost my German Shepherd to old age last year and am wanting to get another dog. I am looking for advice on a really good breed that likes children and cats. Any suggestions?