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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by OliviaPug View Post
    Wrong! Pekingese were bred exclusively to be COMPANION dogs and, thus, require a load of attention and companionship. Likewise regarding Pugs. No dog is or was bred to be decorative unless it is made of porcelain.

    O-
    Cavs are companion dogs too, but they tolerate being alone well. They just act like you've been gone for years when you come home . And some Cavs are porcelain, the Staffordshire dogs are Cavs.

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by cruisin View Post
    Cavs are companion dogs too, but they tolerate being alone well. They just act like you've been gone for years when you come home . And some Cavs are porcelain, the Staffordshire dogs are Cavs.
    I guess my coddling of my Pekes and Pugs has led to my own dog issues (Perhaps my companions require more companionship than the average companion dog )

    O-
    P.S. I think Cavs are THE most gorgeous dog breed. Never had one, but it's good I don't. I would never leave home.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by OliviaPug View Post
    I guess my coddling of my Pekes and Pugs has led to my own dog issues (Perhaps my companions require more companionship than the average companion dog )

    O-
    P.S. I think Cavs are THE most gorgeous dog breed. Never had one, but it's good I don't. I would never leave home.
    They are gorgeous. And they are as sweet as they are beautiful. I think you should coddle your Pekes and Pugs, they deserve it! Dogs give us so much more than we can ever give them. We can take care of them, we can cuddle and love them. But, the joy and comfort they give us is enormous. I went through a rough time a few years ago. Lost my Dad and my Mom fairly close together. Cooper kissed away my tears. Enjoy your babies and let them require you, you love it too. My current Cav is so spoiled! My first two had to share me with babies and kids. This one, we got when the kids were in college. So, he has been coddled and babied from day one. He is a mama's boy!

  4. #24

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    Portuguese water dogs are, like poodles and bichons, hypoallergenic. Not inexpensive, and may need more exercise than you'd be able to provide, but just wanted to toss it out there. Agree with those that thorough research is really important, especially with breeders. Breeders can be wonderful, or they can just be in it for the money and either know little or treat their mommy dogs like crap.

    Good luck!!
    BARK LESS. WAG MORE.

  5. #25
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    I would be very. very careful about Cavalier King Charles/mixes of that breed--they do have a hereditary heart problem that can turn up and I wouldn't trust a cross-breeder to breed that out. And for heaven's sake please don't encourage the backyard breeders of maltiepeekacockapoodleschorkiedoos and other designer dogs. There are some labradoodle breeders who have stopped outcrossing and are producing for consistency but most other 'designer' breeds are a complete crapshoot with no guarantee what the dog will turn out-basically they figured out a way to charge people $500+ for mutts.

    And remember it's not the hair that causes allergies, it's the dander, and pretty much all of them have it. Some breeds are just easier to control. I would NOT consider any terrier breed if they're not going to get a lot of attention as they are all high-energy (especially Westies) and can get destructive left alone. Or at least go with a breeder/breed rescue that has a good read on the dog to know if they can handle being alone. Shelters are great (I got my corgi from the county shelter) but remember most don't know a lot about the dog and unlike a private rescue returns are a lot harder. (How difficult a rescue is about adoptions really depends on the rescue--the one I volunteer with basically wants to make sure you're not going to chain it to a tree and hit it with a stick twice daily as "care"; some are harder than adopting from China.)

    And a good breeder will always take a dog back if it doesn't work, so that would probably be your absolute best bet. Even with the best planning you could end up with a Dork. He's the white shepherd puppy who came back to my brother's riding coach (her female had four pups, three she sold, Dork came back when his owners divorced but he's also the..."special" child. So far he's eaten a frisbee, a dish, and part of his plastic doghouse, and helped his brother become a kennel escape artist. He means well, but he's not very bright and he was probably a really lousy house dog.)

  6. #26

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    I beg you to not choose a dog by the breed and instead visit your local shelter and see if there's a nice dog that fits your lifestyle, whether it's a breed or a mutt. The AKC and its emphasis on breeds has a large role in the fact that 10,000 dogs are killed in shelters every day.

    Where do you live? I may be able to recommend some good shelters.

  7. #27
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    I had an apricot poodle toy for 13 years.
    She didn't shed, was incredibly intelligent and very sweet and easy going.
    She could also be a true energetic hurricane around the house at times. She also had some loose bolts in her head (part of the reason I loved her )
    I miss her...

    I heard Corgis are rather good dogs for your profile, but I got that description from one of those "breed all about it" on animal planet, and just I don't know how accurate that show is.

    And if you end up buying a puppy, please make sure to visit the breeder and see the conditions of the place and of the other dogs in person.
    Dá-lhe, Isadora!!
    Lead me not into temptation. I can find it, and eat it, all by myself.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gazpacho View Post
    I beg you to not choose a dog by the breed and instead visit your local shelter and see if there's a nice dog that fits your lifestyle, whether it's a breed or a mutt. The AKC and its emphasis on breeds has a large role in the fact that 10,000 dogs are killed in shelters every day.

    Where do you live? I may be able to recommend some good shelters.
    The OP already said they want to adopt from a shelter or rescue group. Even when you go to a shelter, you still are confronted with considering different breeds. Sure most of the dogs are mixes but what breeds may be in a particular dog's mix is something to consider when choosing the dog that you'll be best suited to.
    Congratulations 2014 World Ice Dance Champions Anna Cappellini & Luca Lanotte!!!

  9. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueRidge View Post
    The OP already said they want to adopt from a shelter or rescue group. Even when you go to a shelter, you still are confronted with considering different breeds. Sure most of the dogs are mixes but what breeds may be in a particular dog's mix is something to consider when choosing the dog that you'll be best suited to.
    About 75% of shelter dogs are mutts. If you're focused on having any breed, you're already ruling out most shelter dogs. If you're focused on one specific breed, then you're overlooking many fantastic dogs.

  10. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gazpacho View Post
    About 75% of shelter dogs are mutts. If you're focused on having any breed, you're already ruling out most shelter dogs. If you're focused on one specific breed, then you're overlooking many fantastic dogs.
    I don't think that any one rule applies. I have heard horror stories from loving, wonderful folks who adopted from shelters. I have heard horror stories from folks who adopted from breeders as well (though not as many). There is a huge difference between reputable breeders and backyard breeder, who are the root of all evil, IMHO, when it comes to canine overpopulation. I am referring to reputable breeders who work to improve the health and disposition of the breed and whose primary goal is to better the breed.

    One of my pugs was fostered by a woman who lived about an hour away from me. I found him online. It was a total crap shoot. I took him, and he is a GEM. Perfect, gorgeous, healthy, silly, and wonderful.

    LUCK. That's about the best thing you can wish for when looking for any dog. Luck and true commitment to their training and socialization process. And love and attention help too!

    NEVER buy a dog from a pet store. That's about the one absolute I would plead no matter what.

    O-

  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bostonfan View Post
    I have a Schnauzer/Poodle mix and they are great dogs that meet most of your criteria. However, I use a doggy daycare if I'm going to be out longer than 4 hours at a time (I work partially from home, so that helps). I've never left my dog by herself for a full 8 hr work day, so I don't know how she would handle it. I also have a friend with a Havanese that also seems like it would be a good fit.
    Hey, I'm owned by a schnoodle too! Great little dogs, mine is smart as a whip too....

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gazpacho View Post
    About 75% of shelter dogs are mutts. If you're focused on having any breed, you're already ruling out most shelter dogs. If you're focused on one specific breed, then you're overlooking many fantastic dogs.
    I adopt mutts from shelters, but I rule out at least 75% of the dogs even before I start. You have to do that if you want to adopt a dog you are right for. I think that researching the characteristics of breeds is a good idea before you decide on a dog to adopt from a shelter because mutts do reflect the breeds that make up their mix.

    I can't say I know how you could do it otherwise.

    ETA: and if someone who has allergies still wants to adopt a dog, I think its particularly important for them to find a dog that doesn't trigger their allergies and breed mix is going to be the best way to start out to finding a dog that a person can commit to for the long term.
    Congratulations 2014 World Ice Dance Champions Anna Cappellini & Luca Lanotte!!!

  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jenya View Post
    I'm allergic to dogs as well and my family has had three Bichons over the years. The smallest one we had was only 6 pounds or so, but I think an average size for the breed is a little bigger. In my experience, they aren't the smartest breed, but ours were all very easygoing and incredibly sweet. I had a Bichon while living in an apartment by myself and had no problems - in my experience, they don't need a lot of exercise, are relatively quiet, and can be fairly low-energy. The best part about Bichons, in my opinion, is that they have great personalities and love people. My Bichon's favorite activity was sleeping on my lap.
    How often do the Bichons need to be taken to a groomer? One thing I read said every 4 weeks, and I'm not sure that I can afford that. They appear to be a little smaller than I was hoping for, but I can get past that.

    I've taken several online quizzes to see what some options might be. More than one has recommended a French bulldog. Anyone have a thought on that?
    I still am drawn to the Westies. I'm wondering if I get an older one (maybe around 2), he at least wouldn't have the puppy energy and could still be trained. Thoughts?

    Thanks so much for all the replies! Proves again that FSU people know a little bit about everything.

  14. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by ross_hy View Post
    How often do the Bichons need to be taken to a groomer? One thing I read said every 4 weeks, and I'm not sure that I can afford that. They appear to be a little smaller than I was hoping for, but I can get past that.
    We took ours about every 6 - 8 weeks - but I think it depends on how often you brush them. Their hair is very prone to matting, since they don't shed. One of my colleagues has a Bichon who she only takes to the groomer every 6 months.

    I think with any hypoallergenic dog, actually, you need to be prepared to brush them and have them groomed on a regular basis.

  15. #35
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    And grooming costs range from $40-100 depending on where you live. Groomers will charge extra if a dog is matted. A lot extra because it is a lot of extra work. And two-year old dogs have just as much energy as a puppy. If you're looking at an older dog hoping it will need less exercise and attention, you're going to have to go senior citizen not young adult. My 5-year old Standard Poodle is just as energetic now as she was at 5 months.

    Frenchies are wonderful little dogs, but all dogs come with their own health issues and needs.

    Do factor costs into pet ownership. I can't stress that enough. Even if your pet never has a serious health issue, annual costs for heartworm and flea prevention along with key vaccines and annual checkups will cost between $500-1,000 depending on where you live. One place you can look for a pup is your local vet's office. They often know of available dogs and their health histories. Stop in whereever you would plan to take the dog and get to know them and see what's on their bulletin board.
    Those who never succeed themselves are always the first to tell you how.

  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by danceronice View Post
    I would be very. very careful about Cavalier King Charles/mixes of that breed--they do have a hereditary heart problem that can turn up and I wouldn't trust a cross-breeder to breed that out. And for heaven's sake please don't encourage the backyard breeders of maltiepeekacockapoodleschorkiedoos and other designer dogs. There are some labradoodle breeders who have stopped outcrossing and are producing for consistency but most other 'designer' breeds are a complete crapshoot with no guarantee what the dog will turn out-basically they figured out a way to charge people $500+ for mutts.
    The heart problem in Cavaliers is mitral valve disease. It is more common in Cavaliers than other dogs. However, it is more common in many small dogs than larger dogs. The CKCSC is taking great pains to breed healthy dogs. The form of mitral valve disease that is genetic occurs in Cavs before the age of 2. Therefore, good breeders do not breed a dog/bitch under 2. I have had 3 Cavs. My second one did develop mitral valve disease. But, he developed it at age 7, so it is not the genetic form. And he was no more at risk than any other dog breed. All dog breeds run the risk of heart valve problems, just as humans do. He was put on Lasix and Prinivil. He lived another 3 years after he was diagnosed. He ultimately died of liver cancer.

    Also, all dog breeds have breed specific problems. For some it is heart, for some eyes, hips, spine, etc. If we only chose dogs with no health risk, there would be no dogs to choose.

    And remember it's not the hair that causes allergies, it's the dander, and pretty much all of them have it.
    It can also be their saliva. I am not allergic to dog's dander. But, if some dogs lick me, I get hives.

  17. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueRidge View Post
    I adopt mutts from shelters, but I rule out at least 75% of the dogs even before I start. You have to do that if you want to adopt a dog you are right for. I think that researching the characteristics of breeds is a good idea before you decide on a dog to adopt from a shelter because mutts do reflect the breeds that make up their mix.

    I can't say I know how you could do it otherwise.
    Many mutts are of unknown breeds. They may have been mutts for so many generations that it's impossible to know the last ancestor that was a breed. Maybe no ancestors were ever breeds. So many dogs are categorized as "shepherd mix" which really means, we have no idea. In addition, the way a dog looks is not that great an indicator of its breed background. As with humans, some physical phenotypes are dominant, so it looks a certain way, but the personality genes are unknown.

    When I adopted my late dog, I did no research on breeds, and it was a great decision.

    I suggest visiting a reputable no-kill shelter. Those animals have often been there longer, and the staff knows the animals personality better. Good shelters will be honest and open about the animals' personality.

  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gazpacho View Post
    .

    When I adopted my late dog, I did no research on breeds, and it was a great decision.
    .
    Good for you, but that strategy doesn't work more often than it does and results in people taking purebreds to shelters or returning a mixed breed to one when they aren't happy because a terrier mix acts like a terrier and chases small animals or children or a beagle mix acts like a beagle and they were expecting a quiet companion who doesn't want to chase squirrels and bark. Understanding what you are getting on the front end saves a lot of heartache and expense later on.
    Those who never succeed themselves are always the first to tell you how.

  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by rfisher View Post
    Good for you, but that strategy doesn't work more often than it does and results in people taking purebreds to shelters or returning a mixed breed to one when they aren't happy because a terrier mix acts like a terrier and chases small animals or children or a beagle mix acts like a beagle and they were expecting a quiet companion who doesn't want to chase squirrels and bark. Understanding what you are getting on the front end saves a lot of heartache and expense later on.
    Exactly!

    If your concern is about the good of the dogs, then you want people who intend to adopt to have an idea what they are getting. Doing some breed research beforehand is a very good idea, even when you go to a shelter to adopt where you can expect them to help you with information about the dogs.

    I know that some folks have extreme views about breeding but it would be a while even if all dog breeding were outlawed today before dogs would no longer reflect the breeds of their mix.

    People ask me all the time what kind of dog mine is and I say, "no idea" because he's a very muttly mutt. Yet he's a muttly mutt that clearly has lab and shepard and when I got him I knew what he would be like personality-wise in part because of that. I'm not going to a shelter blindfolded so I can't tell anything about the dog who comes home with me!

    Of course, I don't do "research on breeds" because I know enough after having adopted four dogs over my adult lifetime from shelters; three of them middle aged dogs. I think people are doing the right thing if they learn about dog breeds before adopting a dog.
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  20. #40
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    Keep in mind that some breeds come with health issues caused by how they're bred to look. Brachycephalic ("short-headed") dogs like pekinese, bulldogs, and pugs often have trouble with breathing, which in turn can cause overheating. There are videos on YouTube where clueless owners have captured the "adorable" noises made by pugs, and how "cute" it is when their bulldog falls asleep sitting up. These are both symptoms of a dog who can't breathe properly; a dog who by design is denied the ability to fulfil its most basic need without struggle. Just because some egghead breeders, kennel clubs and dog show judges decided that a flat face was "desirable" in some breeds.
    Also, the curly tails of pugs are linked to spinal deformities, which can lead to problems with manouverability and incontinence. And apart from the heart condition that cavalier king Charles spaniels suffer from they're also prone to syringomyelia, which means that the skull is too small for the brain.

    The way I see it, anything that would be classed as a deformity and/or handicap in humans - brachycephaly, curved spines, excess skin, stunted legs, etc - is also a deformity/handicap for a dog (or cat/horse/bird/fish/etc), even if the breeders who have worked hard to get their animals to look like that tell you that's what they're "supposed" to look like. It doesn't mean that the animal in question can't be perfectly happy and loving and adorable, I just wish more people would choose their companions based on personality and how they fit with their lifestyle, rather than what they look like.

    So, Ross_hy, if you decide to get a dog from a breeder (I guess hypoallergenic dogs might be tricky to find in shelters), find out what kind of issuses the breed might be prone to, and ask the breeder about them. Have they had their dogs tested for things? How are their previously sold litters doing? In terms of health and temperament, not how many Best in Show awards they've won. It's hard to keep a cool head when there are adorable puppies around, but I don't think anyone here would want to support a breeder who cares more about awards, money, and dogs that "look right" than the health and welfare of the living, breathing animals they're bringing into the world.


    And sorry for ranting a bit. Animals bred to destruction for the sake of looks is one of my pet peeves, so to say (be glad no one's mentioned white tigers). I saw a couple of British documentaries called Pedigree Dogs Exposed a few years ago, and after seeing the second one I once dreamt that I was a pug. It was a nightmare, and I woke up literally gasping for breath. I can't imagine being born and spending every day of your life doing that, just because you were bred that way.
    Last edited by Sofia Alexandra; 06-15-2013 at 12:43 AM.

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