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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I've won the battle with my parents (aka they've finally agreed I'm responsible enough) and I've been told the possible puppy-buying date is November 1st. Yay! Problem is, I'm not sure what breed (or mix of breeds) I should be shooting for, despite a fair amount of research. (I'm a bit of a dog fanatic, haha.)

My family owns a miniature poodle, Cleo, who is about nine years old, very friendly and sweet with people and she loves other dogs. She shows her age a little, but she still loves to play and run around and act like a generally adorable nutcase. I adore her, and I've been responsible for walking, feeding, training and generally caring for her since I was around thirteen, since my mom didn't have a lot of time- but she is far from attached to me, always having been really in love with my mom.

Oh, to clear the time issue up, I'm a homeschooled student with a very limited number of activities and I've got more then enough time to devote to a new puppy.

Since I could have this dog into my late twenties-early thirties, I've only been considering dogs I've been told are good with kids and have a generally easygoing demeanor. I'd really like a trainable dog as well, since I'd like me and my dog to be able to compete in obedience trials in the future. I love bassets in particular, but they're a little too couch-potato for me- I've been volunteering at an animal shelter for a year or so, and my favorite dogs are the medium-sized, bouncy ones who like to chase toys and play tug-of-war. They're fun and they inspire me to run around with them, whereas I think if I got a basset I'd probably spent a lot of time napping. (Seriously.)

Anyway, don't want anything toy or miniature, very small, or anything too large, unfortunately- I'm going to have to live off-campus with this dog so it can't be massive. But I do love larger dog breeds... sigh...

Also, as I said, it should be patient and trainable. Patient especially with kids, 'cause I still live at home with my large family (Four other kids + two parents, me, five cats, Cleo, my rats... you get the idea.) and in the future I may want kids. (Gah.)

So I'm looking for breed suggestions or crowing endorsements, that or a warning against particular breeds (Don't be shy about telling me who is okay with ear-pulling and being crawled on and who has much to much dignity for that sort of behavior, please!) that aren't family-friendly. I'd prefer an unusual breed, if possible, and I haven't yet decided whether I want to go to a breeder or head to an animal shelter or foster care program for my new pet.

I'm leaning towards a mix breed, so I'll probably try and track down a combination of the best breeds possible for my living situation and for me. I'm wicked psyched. (Keep in mind, for my age I'm a capable dog trainer. ^^)
I'm also aware that each dog is an individual, but I think breeds help you get the general idea.

A few breeds I've noticed and tagged as options:
(Some I'd only want mixes of- for instance, Newfoundland dogs are great but to big for me!)
American Bulldog - Newfoundland - Golden Retriever - Labrador Retriever - Samoyed - French Bulldog (I know they're a bit couch-potato esque but I just love frenchies, haha) - Pembroke Welsh Corgi (I hear these guys tend to herd kids?) - Tibetan Terrier - Standard Schnauzer - Standard Poodle.

(I'm also not looking for anything vaguely related to a pit bull, because of an incident where I was attacked by one that nearly put me off dogs for good, I prefer not to be around them. Nothing against the breed, but this one dog was scary!)

Additionally, any extra advice about raising a puppy would be great! Though I have read tons of books on the subject and feel pretty confident about my abilities to do so, I'd love straight-from-dog-owners heads up on what to expect. :3
 

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Since you already volunteer at your local shelter, why not just adopt?

Surely, you will come across the perfect dog!

If you want more info on puppies, check out the puppy area of the forum. There are some great sticky threads there all about house training, crate training, and loose leash walking.

And don't rule out the adult dogs. Personally I really like adopting adults. Puppies are adopted so quickly. Adults have a harder time finding a home. Also, with an adult, you know what you are getting as their temeraments have already developed. That is not always the case with puppies!

Also, as you are living with your parents, you really should take into consideration what they would like. It should be a family decision!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks so much for replying!
I'd love to adopt a puppy, if the right combination of breeds shows up within a few hours of here. We get a fair amount of puppies in, but most are Border Collie or Beagle mixes- neither breed is ideal. I'm primarily interested in finding out which breeds are before I make such a serious choice.

I've considered adopting an older dog, but I'd really like to have the experience of raising my own dog from puppyhood, so I decided against it. I'm sure this is the first of many dogs I'll own myself, and I plan to foster and rescue dogs when I'm older, but this time I want it to be all mine, even if a puppy is a lot of work and a bit of a wildcard.

My parents and the other members of my family, whom I have discussed this over and over with, agree that as long as it's family-friendly, they don't really care about the breed, since I'll be taking nearly all responsibility and they all love dogs as a whole. (Two guidelines: Nothing too big, and nobody likes toy dogs in particular.)
My mom's all for Golden Retrievers, which I agree make wonderful family dogs, but I personally really want a dog that looks unique- the mutts and the crossbred dogs kinda have my soul, haha. They're some of the prettiest dogs around, in my opinion. My dad likes dachshunds, but I don't want a dog that small. They both hate the eyes on a basset hound, for some unfathomable reason, and neither of them like pug types. Shouldn't be too much of a problem.
 

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If you are going to allow children to climb all over and pull at the dogs fur or ears then a dog is not for you IMO. This is not acceptable to many dogs even if they are good around children. I have seen dogs of all breeds bite or nip at children because they have been allowed to do such things to dogs.

I am all about rescuing so I am no help here other than that tidbit ^
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Don't worry, pawzaddict, I was paraphrasing. I'm not at all naive about dogs, so let me make it clear that I don't think causing a dog pain is appropriate. But a dog with a tendency towards family living- and therefore patience- would be advisable if I plan to have kids. That's my thinking, anyway. My little sister has never been rough with animals, and I certainly wouldn't let any potential kids of mine be. Animals are to be treated gently, and that's how it's always been in my family.
No roughhousing or hair pulling, but a bit of being fawned over by kids, who tend to be a little clumsy in their affection.

If I wasn't in a good situation to get a dog, or didn't know a lot about them or hadn't had the experience of training and caring for one already, I wouldn't even consider taking a puppy home. I know my limits when it comes to responsibility- I've raised wild animals- I've also volunteered at a wild animal rehab, and I've been personally responsible for birds that needed to be fed every ten minutes from five a.m. on. I feel like this is proof enough to myself that I can handle a puppy, and shelter work has taught me that they're not all fun and games. I don't take this lightly, but I also really, really want a dog of my own! My mom's mini poodle is a sweet girl and I love her, and, as I said, provide most of her care, but she is essentially a one-person dog.

I'm not looking to get a dog from a breeder, necessarily! I'm just looking for advice about intelligent, sweet breeds that would fit my living situation, even in the future when they're not little and puffy. :3
 

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I'm totally biased here, but when I was told I could have a dog at seventeen, my mama said it had to be : small to medium sized so it couldn't knock a child over, good with kids, non-shedding, and clever (trainable).

The best dog I found to fit this was a Miniature Schnauzer! They're clever, cute, and they don't take up a huge amount of space. Mainly a people dog, they will want to spend all day under your arm, but they do need at least half an hour of exercise each day. As for with kids - I trained my brother, who's five and was three at the time, to be calm and quiet with the dogs, had him help with training, and most of all taught him never, ever, ever to be rough or spiteful with the dogs. The result is : two Miniature Schnauzers, because I was allowed a second when my mama realised how awesome the first one was! I show my girl, but my boy is now two years old and the most chilled out, well-behaved dog ever. I would say SOCIALISE a lot with this breed as they're pretty rude when it comes to other dogs and are not toy dogs at all - this is not a breed that will fit in your handbag, they're sturdy square-like dogs and will have no problem playing with the big boys. They can be vocal, as they're technically a guarding breed, but they're also very very trainable and neither of mine are barkers. They need a comb through every week to keep free of tangles, and grooming every two months as they don't shed, so that hair will grow and either need to be hand-stripped or clipped (Recommended for a pet). You can obviously have it clipped right down so you don't have to comb it, but they look daaaarn cute all fluffy and such. I groom both of mine. Yeah. I am pretty obsessed with Minis.

Anyway!
Other breeds that might suit you:
Wheaten Terrier
Miniature Poodle
Tibetan Terrier
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Havanese
Portugese Water Dog


That's all my brain can access at 3am, I'm afraid. :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Wow, thanks so much for your in-depth reply!
I'll definitely take mini schnauzers into consideration, yours sound adorable! I plan on socializing my dog, whatever the breed, at puppy play groups and all that jazz, since I want to do this right all over, and plus, it'll be so much fun! :D

I've looked into the dogs you suggested, and it's a great list! All of them have been on my radar for a while, and after reading their breed descriptions I've gotta say you got the idea of what I'm looking for pretty much to a t. Adding these to a long list of possibilities immediately, and thanks for typing out such a long post even though it's late!
 

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Heh, that's okay. I didn't read your comment about the breeds you had in mind until after - I got the impression you wanted a small dog but not toyish, so er, there's the small dogs I would suggest! Didn't realise you were looking into bigger. ;)
 

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Well I don't have any suggestions for you but at least you know what you don't want. I think you're going about this in a really responsible way. I also agree that most mixes are better looking. :D

I'm not really a "puppy person" so I would suggest a young adult but I see you sort of have your mind set on a puppy. I wish you all the best. I wouldn't pass up a great dog because they didn't look unique enough though -- but I guess you have to follow your heart. Just take your time and I'm sure the "right one" will surface. :)
 

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You may also want to look into Beagles, Cocker Spaniels, and Bichon Frises.

Since you are planning to take this dog with you in the future, a smaller breed is going to be easiest (so it is really good that you are looking for something on the smaller side!). It can be difficult to find an apartment that will allow larger dogs, and it can extremely difficult/almost impossible in many places to find an apartment that allows breeds such as pits and other bully breeds, GSD's, rotties, Akitas, etc.

Also, if you do choose to buy a puppy, please do your research and only buy from a reputable breeder!
Never buy from a pet shop because those puppies come from puppy mills.
 

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I can't add much to the discussion as I'm only a recent puppy owner myself. I did find that when I asked opinions (not on this forum) I got lots of people recommending the dog they have/had despite that it didn't meet any of my criteria! At least on this forum you'll get educated replies.

My Poodle/Schnauzer cross (Schnoodle) is proving to be an absolute delight and meets your criteria - but then I am somewhat biased. :)

BTW - very impressed at your forward planning ("Also, as I said, it should be patient and trainable. Patient especially with kids.....in the future I may want kids.").
 

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I have to say this...no breed is always ok with kids. I have met labs who are frightened by children, schnauzers, cockers, chihuahuas, etc etc etc. Just an fyi
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Wow, thanks for all the informative replies, everyone!
I am primarily looking for a medium sized dog, but I'm perfectly all right with smaller breeds as well- I might end up getting one if I decide it's a better idea, or if I have to have a french bulldog because they're so darn adorable. xD

As for not passing up a dog if it isn't interesting looking, I'll make sure not to. Whomever I fall in love with and get along with, personality-wise, will be coming home with me, and that's that. I'm not so picky when I'm in puppy-mode. x3 But I can't really not be picky about some breeds vs. other breeds.

I'd never get a dog from a pet shop. I was always unnerved by the runny noses and often hyper or exhausted-seeming dogs they sold there, and now that I'm older and I've read so much about puppy mills and the like there's no chance I'll buy a pup from one. I'm also well-versed in what to look for if I'm going to head to a breeder, so that won't be a problem, thank goodness.

I love schnoodles! They're a mix of two dogs I really adore and I'd love to have one. I'm really into goldendoodles, to, and other poodle mixes. I meet a lot of standard poodles when I'm walking our mini and the majority have been well behaved and friendly, as well as really pretty. Thanks for the recommendation, I don't care if you're biased- I'm sure I'll be just as biased towards whatever dog breed I get. ;3 Thanks for the comment about planning, I've put a lot of thought into it, or so I hope. I want the best possible outcome for me and my prospective dog.

Thanks for pointing that out, pawzaddict. I know that dogs are individuals, and I plan to socialize my puppy with other dogs, young children, cats, etc, slowly and with positive reinforcement so whomever I get gets used to these things meaning fun and other good stuff. I've also got a seven year old sister who is very, very sweet and polite with animals (she reads to her guinea pig, it's the cutest thing x3) and the puppy'll get to know her, which should help as well. I'm just trying to raise my chances of succeeding by doing my research about this breed vs. that breed before I do my choosing about this puppy vs. that puppy. :3
 

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Given that you've put so much thought into what sort of dog you're getting I'm sure you'll end up with the right one. Let us know what you decide.
 

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If you are going to allow children to climb all over and pull at the dogs fur or ears then a dog is not for you IMO.

Funny but this was my No1 recommendation when I rescued my boy!! I volunteered at the shelter he was at. I poked & prodded him. Pulled his lips and ears, lay on him & tried my best to annoy him (NO I would not recommend you all do this), he did nothing. But I did get to know him first.

Ducking out of the way now!!
 

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This is a wonderful project! Raising a puppy is a lot of work, but very rewarding. If you are looking for a good chance of a "bomb proof" dog in terms of children and lots of activity, I've seen a lot of good labs in that department. My nephew's family has two labs and they are terrific with their 3 year old boy, and other children who visit. As you say, kids can be a bit physical with dogs. The older lab is 4 years and they have a new baby yellow lab puppy too. The older dog is extremely gentle with the boy, and never takes offense when the child climbs around him or what ever. The dog loves all the attention and boy and dog are best buds. The new puppy is following suit, in terms of her enjoyment of the boy, and being very calm even around all the activity created by a 3 year old. Now I'm sure not all labs are so great with kids, but there are definitely some rugged, tolerant genetics to be found in this breed. :p
 

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Funny but this was my No1 recommendation when I rescued my boy!! I volunteered at the shelter he was at. I poked & prodded him. Pulled his lips and ears, lay on him & tried my best to annoy him (NO I would not recommend you all do this), he did nothing. But I did get to know him first.

Ducking out of the way now!!

lol, I did the same thing with my first dog, not that I had kids...I just think its a good idea (within reason) to know if your getting a dog thats going to nail you if you touch his feet, etc.



Dog | Forum | Rocks!
 

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Funny but this was my No1 recommendation when I rescued my boy!! I volunteered at the shelter he was at. I poked & prodded him. Pulled his lips and ears, lay on him & tried my best to annoy him (NO I would not recommend you all do this), he did nothing. But I did get to know him first.

Ducking out of the way now!!
Nothing wrong with that! We all realize kids need some guidance/supervision around dogs, but it certainly is sensible to make sure a dog you plan to have around kids, is not overly sensitive or reactive. Kids make mistakes and things can happen quickly, an arm's length away. Its good planning to lower the odds there will be an unpleasant incident.

My Mom had a boxer when my brothers were little. She said it was the best dog ever to have with young kids. She was gentle and tolerant with the boys, and also protective of them. At they time my family was living in a not very safe area, so the dog gave my Mom lots of peace of mind.
 

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No no no my point is if you are going to allow kids to do that to your dog its not a good idea. To make sure the dog will not bite when touching or poking at it is one thing, to sit back and watch kids climb all over dogs and pull ears and never do anything is another. That was my point. I met a kid who was attacked by a shih tzi to the point of plastic surgery at the age of 3 because he pulled the dogs ear one day and the dog was NOT having it at that point
 
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