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I have been doing some research for an ideal apartment dog.

I live alone, work freelance (so I do the majority of my work from home), have no kids or other pets, and live in a city area (my apartment allows dogs, is ground-level, and there is a dog park 2 blocks away).

I am looking for a dog small in size (preferably toy breed), with light to moderate shedding, silky fur (** other types of fur make me itch **), and that is moderately alert but not overly 'yappy'. *( While I am aware that each individual dog differs, I have read some breeds, generally-speaking, are more prone to incessant barking than others.)

I also prefer more compact dogs (that do not have long backs), so it would be less prone to back problems/injuries. ( I grew up with several doxies, and this was a constant concern/worry. So I would like to avoid this stressful issue if possible.)

I grew up with many different breeds and types of dogs (ranging from dachshunds, to labs, to german shepherds, as well as mutts & strays) & other pets, so I am an experienced pet owner.
However, since I am living on my own now (for the first time), I am just looking for one small/toy dog of my own to care for.

I will be going to a local rescue shelter to adopt, but I like to have some specific (breed types and) ideas of what to look for (and what to avoid) in mind.

Some (breed) candidates I found (while researching) were....

- Tibetan Spaniels
- Japanese Chin
- English Toy Spaniel


Does anyone own any of these particular breeds?
and what is your honest opinion? :ponder:

I would appreciate any honest input.

( As I stated before, I do the majority of my work from home, so the dog would never be left alone for an extended lengthy period of time. However, I would still be gone to run errands and everyday normal things for a few hours approx per day... )


Thank you for reading!
 

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I have no experience with the English Toy Spaniel but have you ever considered the King Charles Cavilier Spaniel? They fit the size range and silky fur you want and honestly I've never met one with a bad bone in their body, and I've met quite a few of them! One of the few toy breeds I'd actually recommend as a family dog! They are prone to some health problems but hopefully if you go through a reputable breeder you can avoid that.
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all three breed sound okay for your living circumstances. I'm not a pro for small breeds, but being with the dog a lot and having experience with living with and training different types of breeds, I think you'll find a good dog in any of these breeds.
If I were you. I'd meet loads of good, registered breeders, talk with them, meet dogs of these breeds and then chose the breed you like the most. :)
 
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No experience with any of these breeds. I'm surprised any of these are available from a shelter. None are very common breeds in the US and the odds of finding each of these in a shelter might mean the shelter staff is misidentifying dogs. If you're talking about breed specific rescue groups, then nevermind. :)
 

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I met a Tiberian Spaniel breeder at our local dog show. The breed is charming, IMO. Gentle, friendly and sweet. Not long after the first encounter, I met a couple that had one from a shelter. Again, same temperament. We were all working an outdoor fair and the dog was very quiet, but outgoing and friendly. Just as sweet as he could be. Didn't expect to ever see one at a shelter, but there he was and they scooped him up.
 

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I'm of the opinion that most dog breeds (particularly the toy breeds) will do just fine with apartment life and being left alone for reasonable periods of time provided that the owner provides adequate mental and physical stimulation for the breed. Exceptions to that could include very massive dogs such as an English mastiff in a tiny studio apartment where there's physically not enough space for the dog. Generally speaking dogs don't really get much exercise when at liberty in the house whether it's a large open house or a tiny apartment, so even an owner with a yard and a big home still needs to plan on exercising their dog as necessary. With most toy breeds providing that stimulation will be much easier and take less time than, for example, a border collie. Long story short, as long as you are committed to providing adequate stimulation for the dog any of the toy breeds would be just fine in apartment life.

I have yet to meet or hear of a toy breed that isn't particularly yappy, lol. I hate yappy beasts, but rat terriers (my breed) are considered by many to be yappy. With proper training and management it's extremely manageable and I've never had my neighbors complain about my dogs.

You mention that you want to avoid overly long backed dogs because of the potential back issues, but you do need to do your research on health problems in any breed you are considering. Back issues may not be common in other toy breeds, but there are a number of other health concerns in all toy breeds. For example, heart conditions are very common in certain toy breeds, and luxating patellas are very common in many of them as well. Especially if you're getting a rescue dog you need to be prepared for any of the common breed-related issues to crop up in your dog. Of course we all hope that they won't, but you never know with a dog of unknown parentage. My family (and my breeder before she got into well-bred dogs) easily spent WELL over the cost of a well-bred health tested dog on genetically related health conditions on their BYB bred dogs. The only way to reliably avoid such issues is to go through a responsible breeder who health tests their breeding stock and only breeds healthy dogs. I'm not trying to discourage you from going with a rescue dog in the slightest, but do make sure you're aware of any breed related health concerns and weigh the pros/cons of rescue vs responsible breeder. All of that said, I definitely prefer dogs with more moderate builds and no extreme features as well :D

Regardless of where you plan on getting your dog I would recommend meeting any potential breeds in person. A great way to do this is by finding a dog show close by you and seeing who's there. Some dog show people can be less than engaging towards the public, but many people out there are more than happy to show you their dogs, share breed information with you, and help you find a breeder if you are interested. Because of your sensitivity to certain hair types I would doubly recommend touching and handling any breeds in question. If it's simply because you have sensitive skin then that's one thing, but if it's an allergy to some hair types then that is an additional concern.

All of that said, the only toy breeds I really have personal experience with are Chihuahuas and toy poodles. I don't have personal experience with any of the breeds you mention, but none of them seem like breeds you'd commonly find in rescue. I HIGHLY doubt that you'll find one of those breeds at your local shelter, or even a mix of one of these breeds. There are many shelters who (deliberately or by mistake) mistakenly identify dogs as uncommon breeds, so be wary. This is especially true if you were planning on adopting through local rescue organizations or your local shelter, but if you can find a breed-specific rescue then it may be easier to locate one. There are other more common toy breeds with silky hair, such as yorkies, that would be much easier to find in rescue.

Good luck in your search, and I hope you find the perfect dog for you! It's good to hear that you're doing your research!
 

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These would do great but how are you with grooming? if you dont mind intensive grooming you could add the Maltese and the slightly larger bichon dogs which are bichon frise, havanese, lowchen, bolognese and cotton de tulear.

Barking is going to come down to individuals, training and stimulation but i would stay from the small spitzes like the Pommeranian, german spitz ect. Although their fur isnt very silky anyway.
 
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just had a quick google so is the english toy spaniel the same breed as we call the king charles spaniel in the UK?
 

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I was going to recommend the cavalier king Charles. They are bred to be companion dogs so would work great with your situation. They are super friendly and don't generally bark essesively. They can be found in shelter at times and there are breed rescues.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
thank you everyone for all the helpful info, advice & insight! :thumbsup:

I have found that there are some rescue groups [specific to breed] in my area, so if my local shelters don't have [particularly] what I'm looking for, that is also an option for me as well. thanks again everyone so much!

I truly appreciate it!
 

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I have no experience with the English Toy Spaniel but have you ever considered the King Charles Cavilier Spaniel? ]
The English Toy Spaniel is an alternate name for the King Charles Spaniel, as the dog is basically a spaniel that has been miniaturized and was a popular court dog with various dukes, kings, etc. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a new breed that formed when in the 'Roaring 20's' some dog lovers noted that the Toy Spaniel which was included in a lot of royal portraits (King Charles was a big fan, hence the alternate name) was more spaniel-like, and that the 'ETS' had morphed a lot in the 200 or so years, so they bred back toward the older form.

In both cases, either Cavalier or 'regular' they dogs have an absolutely wonderful temperament and would make great family pets, but I never recommend them for that because both breeds have huge amounts of genetic problems, diseases, and overall poor health


For the OP, your list is sound except the dogs you list are all very rare breeds which means even if you go through a breeder you'll be looking at a hard search and long wait....let alone trying to find one through a shelter or rescue.

Some more common breeds I'd recommend



Tibetan Family

Pekingese - very similar to the Tibetan Spaniel, seen as related to both that dog and the Japanese chin. Was at one time called the Chinese Spaniel. Due to having been exposed to the western world during the early days of dog fancy where breeding for extremes was quite popular, it has a more scrunched in face than the Tibetan Spaniel

Shih Tzu - again, very similar to the Tibetan Spaniel, because it too is a small dog from china/tibet, and the foundation dogs would have been kin to the Tibetan Spaniel, Pekingese, etc. As these were all developed as different breeds, they all diverged in exact size and structure. Shih Tzu is slightly larger, and while short muzzled doesn't have a smushed in face of the Pekingese.

Those two are going to be the most common of the Tibetan Clan, but the Lhasa Apso falls into their group as well. It's less common than the other two but more common than the Tibetan Spaniel and Japanese Chin. It is considered overall a very healthy dog which not a lot of purebreds can claim, BUT breeders have kept strong to the original idea of a close quarters alarm dog, and these dogs are more wary of strangers than its kin.

The Pug is part of the Tibetan family, and is very common, but it's coat doesn't match your needs.

Non-Tibetan

Papillion - a miniaturized spaniel of French descent as opposed to English, and it was bred for finer bones, long thin muzzle, upright ears etc as opposed to the flatter faced droop eared English miniaturized spaniel. Erect ears are a relatively modern change to the Papillion, droop ear variant is called Phalene

Maltese - silky coat Bichon type dog. Very playful and great companions, but can be prone to barking. Size wise these are true toy dogs. Always solid white.

Havanese - another silky coat Bichon type dog developed from various small dogs imported when Cuba was a favorite playground of the rich and famous. At 7-14 lbs, it is twice the size of the Maltese and can come in many colors. These have exploded in popularity in recent years. 5 years ago i'd not have mentioned them because they were rare, now I include them.


Yorkie - most miniaturized terrier, really should need no introduction,

Finally, the dog you are already familiar with but maybe not quite as you remember it...the miniature daschund which comes in 3 coat types, including silky/long coat.
 

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I'd say the ones you listed are good, as are the Papillion, Maltese, Havanese, Pekingese, Shih Tzu, Lhasa Apso, and Coton de Tulear.
@Grabby, depending on the OP's location, I have seen purebred (or near that) Maltese, Papillions, Chins, Cavs, Shih Tzus, and other "designer mix" lap dogs in shelters and rescues. Many cities where these types of dogs are popular do have them when people give them up just like they give up other breeds.
 
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the yorkie could fit you.
it has silky hair, it's small and when provided with enough exercise, mental simulaion and training they're not yappy at all.

if you were okay with not getting as dog with silky hair...for allergics poodles and dogs with fur similiar to them can be great. they're smart, trainable and when trained right they're also not yappy.
 
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My friend has a cavalier. They are beautiful and very sweet. Not barky. But they can have health issues (heart). Choose a good breeder if you go this direction.
 

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I have a lovely Pekingese - Shih Tzu mix that I adopted from a county shelter. He has an absolutely delightful temperament. I'm not entirely sure what his mix is, but his muzzle is not so scrunched in like his pure breed relations.
 

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Friends have a yorkie - he never shuts up. They ignore the barking and just talk louder.
It depends on the dog. My mom's Yorkie Holly NEVER shut up. But she said the Yorkie she had in her 20s was trained well and she barely ever made a peep.
 

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Any breed can be that way without proper training and management. I've known pretty laid back yorkies and super yappy ones.
generally speaking most smaller breeds tend to be often a bit more vocal, but i think it is more the training that the breeds themself. Sadly a lot of people donT' think it is important to train a small dog, so they don't correct and help a constantly stressed and barking dog.
yes, of course there are some breeds that are louder (a lot of the hunting dogs and alert dogs like the Spitz breeds) than others (pugs and frenchies are often quiet if you don't count the loud breathing), but in the long run it depends how you train and excercise them.

I am also allergic, and i personally have more problems with long haired dogs and dogs with a lot of fur (poodles, long haired chihuahua, collie etc...), since they take with them so much dust and pollen, when they run around. this is something you should keep in mind when you're sensitve towards stuff like that.
You can reduce this by bathing and brushing them regularly, but you can't fight dust completely.
I'd try being around the different breeds and test if you react strongly on them.
 
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