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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi all!
My husband and I are looking to get our very first dog in the spring!! We currently have 2 cats who we are absolutely obsessed with and treat like kings. We've wanted a dog for years but it was never the right time.

Currently, my husband and I work opposite shifts so if that doesn't change come springtime, someone will always be home which is ideal for getting a puppy. If our schedules change we will ensure the dog is taken care of during the day of course.

We want to get a puppy but will consider an older dog as well - my husband,specifically, wants the most time possible with a pet hence a puppy. Otherwise it would need to be young.

I keep going all over the place with breeds. I am someone who does a TON of research for everything and I want to make sure we're fully prepared.

Here's what we're thinking we would like in a dog:
-MUST get along with our cats (I know this will vary by dog but we would want to steer clear of any breeds that were bred to chase smaller animals like cats. Also another reason we might want a puppy so that he/she is raised with the cats)
-Not crazy energetic. Obviously puppies are energetic and we expect that the first couple of years, but we don't want to be spending 8 hours exercising our adult dog every day
-Velcro dog. We LOVE to cuddle with our cats
-Small to medium size - hair/shedding doesn't really matter to us
-Friendly - not super reserved
-Good with kids- we will be trying to start a family next year

I think that's everything! Does anyone have any recommendations? Or is this some perfect image I have created in my head but doesn't really exist? haha I appreciate your help :]
 

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Sounds like an exciting decision in your future!

First, I would always recommend looking at your local animal shelters and see if they have any dogs coming through that might work with your lifestyle. Usually the shelters have descriptions of the dogs, and if you go you to meet the dog, they often have behaviorists and adoption counselors you can speak to. If you are looking for a puppy, the often also have puppies. There are also more "advanced" rescue places that actually put all their dogs into foster homes before they are adopted, and then the foster family can tell you everything about the dog. (I personally have two collie mixes rescues that are absolutely sweet and well mannered.)

If you are more interested in the idea of buying a dog from a breeder, I would look at labradors, or one of their "designer" breeds, such as a labradoodle. Labradoodles are generally very sweet and smart dogs, and do have hair instead of fur, so they shed less.

English Springer Spaniels are known to be smart, loving dogs and are a perfect medium size and medium energy level.

Corgis are very sweet, intelligent, incredibly adorable little guys, but can be a little stubborn at times...

If you want a super duper smart, but more high energy dog, I would highly recommend an Australian Shepherd, or a Border Collie. They are incredible dogs, but be prepared to set aside some time for exercise, though some can be couch potatoes... Because they are herding dogs, sometimes they try to herd children and small pets, which can be a problem. There are a few designer breeders that mix lab with both breeds, which tends to calm then down a bit.

If you want a little fur ball, maybe look at the Shetland Sheep dog. If you want a bigger fur ball, then an Old English Sheepdog might be right for you. Sheepadoodles are also very, very cute and have great personalities.

I hope I was a little helpful! Good luck with your search!
 

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West highland white terrier, wheaten terrier, havanese, bichon frise, Labrador retriever.

Also I think it is worth looking around at rescues in your area.

I would stay away from dogs that are
a) very small and fine-boned, like chihuahuas, Pomeranians, whippets
b) dogs that are very prey-driven: sled dogs, most terriers, hounds.

Some breeds that I would stay away from (that are often recommended for new dog owners and families) are Belgian Malnois, Brittany Spaniel, Border Collie (the 3 B's LOL), vizslas, weimaraners and jack Russell terriers. They are purported to be highly intelligent (hence their trainability) which, combined with their astronomical energy level, can be a very consuming combination!!! They are not easier to train they are just very difficult to properly keep occupied and well-behaved!
 

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DON'T GET A BORDER COLLIE. As someone who has a young one that I absolutely love, just don't do it. They are not a pet, they're a lifestyle. They also are a little freaky with their stare. I wouldn't really recommend an Aussie either (also, just speaking from personal experience). They're way less intense than a BC, but they are definitely not super outgoing. My Aussie was very well socialized from day one, and fears nothing (except sewer grates oddly enough...), but he has zero interest in strangers. I also wouldn't look into any of the mixes with these guys, because you'll be disappointed to shell out big bucks for a dog that should be more mellow but isn't. If you meet a dog with any amount of BC in there, it's going to come out.

I would look into the breeds @kelly528 mentioned as well as Golden Retrievers, Poodles, or mixes.
 
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Honestly you have some really broad choices there. Just steer clear of any herding breeds or sight hounds like greyhounds. With cats, typically getting a puppy IS the best choice. If you want specific personality traits like being a "velcro dog" it might be good to find a dog at the shelter that you can meet. If you want a dog that's good with kids, it's a good idea to socialize your puppy to kids. That is, have the pup have positive interactions with kids, so invite nieces and nephews or neighbor kids over to play with the puppy. But you'd have to make sure they were gentle and didn't teach the puppy that children are scary things.

IF there are any purebreds you're interested in then maybe just toss some of your own ideas out at us and we'll tell you if they'd fit what you want or not. Also steer clear of hybrid/designer dogs like "labradoodles" and all that, as they are usually scams, fads, and bred poorly. More importantly, NEVER get a dog from a pet store or order from online, they're all from puppy mills. The best places to get dogs are shelters, rescues, and breeders that let you meet the pup's mom and see the kennel, as well as lots of health records.

It's great you're doing research beforehand! You're off to a great start as a new dog owner. :)
 

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As has been said, there are many breeds that would fit into those categories.

Personally I would recommend a spaniel - either a Cocker or King Charles. The springer is awesome too, however the ones I have met have all been extremely high energy. These breeds can have a lot of health issues though, so it is important to properly research where you are getting your pup from. Although I suppose this is important no matter what breed you choose.

The black dog in my pic is my mums dog - a King Charles cross Cocker Spaniel, and he is my favourite dog of all time. He loves everyone and everything, is very much a velcro dog, and does ok with only one walk a day.

It is good that you are doing your research, and im sure you'll find the perfect breed for you :)
 

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I'd stay with the companion dogs, but stay away of the more terrier-like terriers, hounds and herders.
A Shi Tzu or a Bichon Frisé could perhaps fit.
If you pick the breeder (it has to be able to breath without rattling even after running) very carefully a Pug could also fit.
Most small companion dogs are able to adapt but are more on the energetic side though.
You will have to walk and spend time with every dog every day and regardless of the size and breed...with some it's more though.
 
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Hello, welcome to the forum! Puppies are always exciting but also a lot of work so it's good that you're doing research :)

I have to note that Velcro breeds are generally dogs that were bred over hundreds of years to work closely with their person, both mentally and physically. You'll see this typical in border collies, Australian shepherds, German shepherds, Malinois, and collies. These are dogs that WILL need a lot of exercise and, as Shandula said, are a lifestyle. It may be hard to find a dog that is obsessed with you, but doesn't want you to work with them, train with them, hike bike walk with them all day every day.

As far as finding a small Velcro dog, that will be even tougher. Golden retrievers are wonderful, loyal, cat friendly, kid friendly, gentle, well rounded dogs. I would suggest a good breeder, as goldens can be poorly bred and have a lot of health issues. It will also probably be an expensive puppy though, because they're bought as service animals from breeders much of the time. I know they not small, but they generally match the rest of your criteria fairly well.

I can't really think of any small dogs I would place with babies and small children that match the rest of your desires, as small dogs and children can be a disaster. Pugs come to mind for their versatility, but they aren't Velcro in my experience and many of the pugs I met cared more about food than people. They also have a slew of health problems that can get expensive and emotionally painful to deal with.

If you don't want to breed shop, your perfect medium sized loyal Velcro dog may be waiting for you in a shelter, but with shelter puppies it's always a wild card. You really don't know what you're going to find, but a lot of the time I think you'll find that when it all comes down to it, even if they're not what you imagined, you'll still love them to pieces. Cosmo certainly isn't my idea of what I was looking for in my perfect dog world, but I absolutely adore him.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Wow thank you all for your replies! I'm so glad I posted. I am looking into all of the breeds you recommended. I thought I was being too specific rather than broad but I can't think of other requirements. I LOVE our cats but half the time they completely ignore us lol so I want a lap dog. Any dog that will cuddle is just adorable to me.

I actually really always wanted a chihuahua for as long as I can remember. I researched them like crazy. People would buy me little chihuahua things all the time even though I never had one. I still love them but am looking at other breeds too. I know the teeny breeds are not recommended when you have kids though.

Here are the breeds I was considering:
-chihuahua
-pomeranian
-boxer
-goldendoodle

I like golden retrievers a lot too but was worried about health problems and my husband isn't a big fan of the breed for some odd reason. I'm going to go through all of your recommendations and see which ones I will add. Then I'll have to narrow it down again haha.

I think we will probably end up getting a puppy. In the past, I assumed I would go through a breeder but I would feel badly not adopting. I'm not sure which way it will go. I just want to find a good fit.
 

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I find doodle-anythings to be a little off-the-wall in terms of energy. Doodles also have a tendency to get obscenely tall. I am talking like waist-height.

Have you looked into some of the more mid-sized spitz breeds like German Spitz, Finnish Spitz, Keeshond, Icelandic Sheepdog? They have the same lively, happy personality of poms in a slightly more childproof package.
 

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I'm going to reccomend a Keeshond. They are a velcro dog, are known to be friendly with just about everything, and are big enough that kids won't severely injure them by tripping over them.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I find doodle-anythings to be a little off-the-wall in terms of energy. Doodles also have a tendency to get obscenely tall. I am talking like waist-height.

Have you looked into some of the more mid-sized spitz breeds like German Spitz, Finnish Spitz, Keeshond, Icelandic Sheepdog? They have the same lively, happy personality of poms in a slightly more childproof package.
The doodles did seem to be quite large based on pictures, I just think they are absolutely adorable. I've just spent some time looking at the spitz breeds you suggested. I particularly like the German Spitz; they are adorable! I was thinking about a Keeshond too but they just look so tubby lol I love their coloring and their personalities sound great though. I think the German Spitz are cuter and I see some have the coloring like a Keeshond.
 

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The doodles did seem to be quite large based on pictures, I just think they are absolutely adorable. I've just spent some time looking at the spitz breeds you suggested. I particularly like the German Spitz; they are adorable! I was thinking about a Keeshond too but they just look so tubby lol I love their coloring and their personalities sound great though. I think the German Spitz are cuter and I see some have the coloring like a Keeshond.

Spitze are awesome and great family dogs,but the TS asked for a calm dog with not too much energy and I think then you're searching at the wrong address. the Dt. Spitze I know, regardless of the size, were dogs with tons of energy.
they are also are very talkative... you've got to like or at least accept stuff like that, because it is only to some part changable zhrough training.
they bark a lot.
it's "better" with Wolf and Großspitz, but still if you compare them to other dogs they're still pretty talkative and energetic dogs.
 
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Wow thank you all for your replies! I'm so glad I posted. I am looking into all of the breeds you recommended. I thought I was being too specific rather than broad but I can't think of other requirements. I LOVE our cats but half the time they completely ignore us lol so I want a lap dog. Any dog that will cuddle is just adorable to me.

I actually really always wanted a chihuahua for as long as I can remember. I researched them like crazy. People would buy me little chihuahua things all the time even though I never had one. I still love them but am looking at other breeds too. I know the teeny breeds are not recommended when you have kids though.

Here are the breeds I was considering:
-chihuahua
-pomeranian
-boxer
-goldendoodle

I like golden retrievers a lot too but was worried about health problems and my husband isn't a big fan of the breed for some odd reason. I'm going to go through all of your recommendations and see which ones I will add. Then I'll have to narrow it down again haha.

I think we will probably end up getting a puppy. In the past, I assumed I would go through a breeder but I would feel badly not adopting. I'm not sure which way it will go. I just want to find a good fit.
I wouldn't recommend a chihuahua or a Pom for a baby or infant, as poms can have a tendency to get impatient with kids and nip (as in draw blood from the 8 month old baby that picked it up wrong) and chihuahuas have a tendency to have thin skin and tiny bones, easily able to be crushed underneath a tumbling rumbling infant.

Goldendoodles, I have to admit, would be a good option. Boxers can be a bit thick headed and doofy (wiggling and knocking children over) but if you had him a while and got him used to children from the get go, I think that'd be fine. They make wonderful family pets.

I also want to say don't feel bad for not adopting. I have done both, and believe me, it's been a lot less heartache with Cosmo knowing his breeder, where he came from, and that he came from a healthy working line. The dog we adopted with an autoimmune disease who ended up having to be euthanized - wasn't such a pleasant experience. Of course my next dog will probably be a rescue just because I like the idea, but really don't feel bad. I'll definitely end up with another breeder puppy somewhere along the line as well.
 

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I'm partial for the boxer, because I grew up with one and have seen how awesome they can be with kids (we were 4 kids at home, the youngest was around 2-3 years old), when trained right.

but their relatively big, they're working dogs and it is very likely that you've got to adress a certain protection drive at some point.
they're not calm at all, they're pretty energetic and need "entertainment" every day to be happy.
they are relatively fast learners if you know how to work with them, but they can be a bit more stubborn than other dogs.
 

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Your posts make me think you're leaning more towards looks rather than personality and I urge you to avoid that mindset, as its better to have a funny looking dog that you love and blends well with your family and lifestyle than a cute dog you loathe and can't handle, making the both of you miserable.

The two Spitz I met were fairly high energy dogs.
 

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In my experience, the difference between spitz and boxers is that spitz are easier to entertain in the house of need be. Big dogs you pretty much have to take out for a run.

But yes, I'd count on 1-2 hours of daily exercise for a spitz, and a solid 2 hours for a boxer.
 

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Miniature (not toy) poodles are very underrated in my opinion. As are standard schnauzers, who tend to be mellower than the miniatures in my experience.

Also, there are "mini" doodles - using miniature poodles for the poodle parents. Doodles seem to vary somewhat by region, though, depending on who is breeding them. In my area they are consistently really great family dogs. I've heard people in other areas the country say they are just awful, though. So get a lot of references if you go that route.

If you can't find a smaller size doodle, you could also consider a cockapoo.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Hmmm okay looks like there is still a lot of research to be done. I feel like sometimes I read one thing and then the next thing I read contradicts the previous information. My husband actually just told me he's not even a fan of boxers so I might at well take them off the list. Goldendoodles are still on it though

It makes me sad to think about not getting a chi or pom since I've literally always wanted one but I am definitely thinking it over because of our future children. I have to admit I do go a lot by looks as one poster commented, but it is definitely not all I take into consideration. If I went just by looks, I would be getting an Alaskan Klee Kai which I absolutely love. But I know they don't really meet my other requirements and are tricky for first time dog owners. So I am trying to have a balance. It's just harder than I thought!
 
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