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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So, if all goes to plan, we will be moving into a pet-friendly apartment next summer that allows dogs up to 60lbs. If all goes to plan, we have decided that we will be adding a Samoyed to our family! :D I had a mix when I was younger and he was my all time favorite dog, my heart dog. He had such a huge personality, and he was definitely a family member, always where the people were! He was also extremely intelligent and gentle, and great with dogs, cats, and people. He was hilarious in his own way, he had such a huge personality... I realize not every Sammy will be my Titi, but I guess it helps to list the things I loved most about him, to give you all an idea of what I'm looking for personality wise.

But, because I like to be ready for everything, I need a plan B.
Plan B = moving into an apartment with a stricter weight limit. Most apartments that I've seen have a weight limit of 20-30lbs.

--Needs--
I realize most of this is the individual dog/socializing and not necessarily breed, but I think it's important to keep the list in mind.

1) 20 or so pounds. We don't really like teeny-tiny dogs.

2) Dog friendly: When we bring home a new puppy, we will have a 11-12 year old beagle. He is very doggy friendly.

3) Small animal tolerant: I will not ever allow intentional direct contact, but I can't have a dog that will actively attempt to break into cages. We will probably have both hamsters and rats.

4) Kid friendly. Although we don't currently have children, we will have them in the dogs lifetime.

5) We plan on enrolling the dog in many training courses, puppy kindergarten-CGC. We plan on bringing the dog to a playgroup hosted 1x a week. We plan on walking the dog for 30min-1 hour everyday (~2-4 miles), depending on time and weather. Occasional hiking/camping (handful of times per year). Enclosed play area is not guaranteed, but greatly desired and we will try to find an environment that provides it. We are WILLING to enroll the dog in a sport (nose work, rally, agility, etc) but we would prefer a breed where this isn't exactly necessary. We have plenty of mind games saved. We plan on getting Bark Box so there will always be a wide range of toys. I think we're going mid-energy, but we would be a-okay with low energy, and we would be willing to adjust our lifestyle for a high energy breed we fall in love with.

I would love to get the dog therapy certified so that we could volunteer at hospitals, old age homes, schools, etc.

6) Grooming needs aren't a huge concern for me. I would be willing to visit a groomer, but if I can handle the grooming needs at home that would be great too! As a side note though, although I can live with drool (my family has a bull mastiff, haha) it's something I could definitely happily do without!
 

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Just because you mentioned samoyed's and mentioned something smaller the first thing that popped into my head was American Eskimo dogs. I don't know to much about the breed so correct me if I'm wrong but I think they are relatively good family dogs, not sure about the small animals though but part of that and some of the others as you mentioned have to do with socialization, training and individual temperament.
 

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I thought of American Eskimo dogs too. The ones I know are pretty playful but also laid back- low to medium depending on their age. A lot of online information says they're high energy- that hasn't been my experience with the dogs I've worked with but you would have to talk to owners and breeders for a more realistic picture of their exercise needs. The one thing is that they can be pretty vocal.

A couple of other smaller spitz breeds that might work for you are Pomeranians and Japanese Spitz.


Otherwise, you might also be interested in pugs, cavalier king charles spaniels, bichons, tibetan terriers (they aren't actually a real terrier), tibetan spaniels, or maybe another beagle? Also take a look at the Toy Group (but avoid the terriers like the Toy Fox, Yorkie, and Min Pin!).
 

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Shih tzu or Maltese would be good. They're readily available, almost always friendly, low-medium energy and no doubt would be heavily fawned over in a therapy environment. :)
 

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since you want to have kids I'd suggest not getting a dog that's too small.
children just being children and playing can lead to the death of a tiny dog.
these dogs are delicate.
I'd chose a size that's more starting at 8-10 kg, since these dogs a bit more robust than the toy breeds. :)

perhaps one of the smaller Spitze or a Poodle could fit... first because they're awesome dogs (if youR'e okay with the barking thing) and poodle adapt really well.
Neighbours had a small Schnauzer that was awesome with kids, as long as they're okay with dead rats on their bedside carpet...he was a hunter.
Robust, knew when to stay away and when to stay close, always ready tro play with the kids... such a great dog.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the suggestions and input everyone! I did some research on all of the breeds suggested, and a few more small breeds that caught my eye.

I think we will either go with a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel or a Pug for the "back up plan".
 

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Keep in mind that Cavaliers are considered to be a pretty unhealthy breed, even those gotten from "responsible breeder's" lines. Heart problems are the biggest concern, I think. They're a VERY popular breed in NYC and they really are spectacular dogs, especially for apartment and city living (fun, playful, never met an aggressive one, always happy go lucky well into old age and a good size for young children and good energy level for young parents, they'll keep up with you but don't need you to go too far out of your way to exercise them), but more than half of the ones I meet have been hospitalized for something at a young age (as in, before full adulthood at 1-2). Definitely ask about health of the breeder's line.

Also, I don't know if you've ever spent a lot of time with a Brachycephalic breed, but keep in mind that the low heat and cold tolerance is no joke, and unfortunately with pugs it not easy to find breeders who prioritize breathing over breed standard. Pugs that match the breed standard in muzzle length are going to have a difficult time breathing when they play/run/exercise/hike and have a lot of trouble in hot weather. The people I know with pugs (another very common breed in NYC) tend to keep them inside in the A/C most of the summer and walk then only in the early morning and at dusk when it's not so hot in the warmer months. Also, people seem to assume brachy breeds are low energy, perhaps because of their breathing difficulties, but be aware that young pugs tend to have A LOT of energy- nothing unbearable, and I don't think it's usually channeled into being destructive, just asking to play a lot, but you will have to go out of your way to give a young pug enough exercise. Also, as a brachy breed, they will fart. A lot. And it will probably be loud and probably smell bad enough to a clear a room most of the time. That said, they're really great dogs. You might also look into Boston and French Bulldogs if you like Pugs, both of which are more likely to be bred with out-of-standard muzzle length than Pugs.
 

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I third the poodle........... of course I'm a little biased................but I gotta say, until I got one, I thought they were fru fru dogs and I could not have been more wrong! The minis are good all around family dogs that are so intelligent ........my friends and family swear that Molly is a human alien in a fur coat! LOL! Of the three sizes of poodles the mini is believed to be the size with the least health problems too! They adore children and are happy to be Gramas lap companion as well as dad's retrieving, ethusiastic playmate. Historically used as truffle dogs and as circus performers. Now used as medical alert dogs, small service dogs, therapy dogs and excellent agility and OB dogs. If you want one on the larger size you find them as 'over sized' and at just under the size of a Standard Poodle! Even a small Standard would do, although they a bit harder to find!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
@Moonstream: Where the parents of the ones you met health tested before being bred? I ask because a breeder I'm currently looking (for CKCS) has all her dogs tested annually for heart, eye, and knee problems, and they are also OFA certified. She seems like a very responsible breeder to me who strives for healthy pups, but your comment has me a bit worried.

I hate the little squished faced pugs though, I feel so badly for them :(
I found a breeder who mixed a bit of terrier in the lines four generations back and her dogs look SO much better because of it. I know they aren't actually pure, but they look pure pug... except they can actually breath and their legs are a bit longer! She did it solely to help the breathing problem. Unfortunately, she is in New Zealand and I'm in America. I've seen videos of her dogs and they're awesome little things though.

I'll look into poodles more I suppose. In all honestly I just don't like their haircuts xD I know it's a vain reason but eh. I've heard of a "puppy cut" though and those are awfully cute. I guess if I were to get one s/he could have a puppy cut forever.
 

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Half the fun of owning a poodle is the option of all the fun haircuts LOL!!!:thumbsup: And don't forget....they don't shed!
 

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I don't know if they were from health tested lines, no, but it is important to realize health testing doesn't guarantee anything. I would talk to the breeder about the health issues of the breed, see how you feel about their attitude towards it. I will say, I've gotten a dog with a chronic illness from a a breeder that claimed to health test- their dogs were all show champions and I remember them doing the suggested testing for the breed, but we still ended up with a Boston who could barely breed and who had severe cushings that didn't respond to medication. I think yes, there's still a chance you'll end up with an unhealthy Cav, but getting from a breeder who does a lot of testing would also be the only way I would be willing to get a Cavalier also. Just see what vibe you get from her about the health. IMO, an ideal breeder will be willing to talk you through the issues of the breed and be honest about the health of their dogs. See if they admit to ever having to stop using a dog because it tested positive for something, etc.

Also, a note on Italian Greyhounds- I have heard they're prone to leg breaks because of their teeny tiny bones.
 

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Another breed that I have taken a liking to is the Rat Terrier. They do not have the terrier temperament. My niece and sister both have them. My sister competes in Agility with her Rat Terrier. They are friendly, nice short coated dogs, don't need a lot of exercise but are ready to go when you are.

 

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I love love a Jack Russell! They are small dogs but incredibly smart and active and have lots of love to give. A good friend of mine has one and I've always thought that if I wanted to get another dog, or a smaller dog in the future, I would look at jack russells.
 

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Shih tzu or Maltese would be good. They're readily available, almost always friendly, low-medium energy and no doubt would be heavily fawned over in a therapy environment. :)
I had a shih tzu as a child, they're incredibly lovely dogs, so delicate with their environment, and almost no shedding despite most people's first impression. I realize not a lot of people are into flat muzzled breeds though.
 
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