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Hello! Our family might be getting a dog. We know the responsibility needed and how hard and expensive it can be to keep one. We need a bit of help picking the breed.

We have some criteria though:
1. Should be hypoallergenic (I understand there is no such thing as a 100% hypoallergenic dog)
2. Should be a "beginner"/"first time owner" dog. I know there isn't a really good criteria, but just avoid "hard to keep" dogs.
3. Shouldn't be too large. Our family wants something more like a small dog, not a large one like a golden retriever.
4. Shouldn't be known for barking. This is for personal reasons.

* we do have a large yard and we can/will walk the dog every day, or even more if needed.

Thank you!
 

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From what you have said, a poodle sounds like it might be a good fit. They are bright, friendly little dogs and if you prefer, they don't have to be clipped in a frou frou style. They do need clipped every couple of months though so that would be an expense to factor in (but if low allergy is important, that would apply to other non shedding breeds too).

Whatever breed you choose, please be careful not to get one bred in a puppy farm/mill. You should see the litter with the mother, and the mother should clearly have recently given birth. These links should help.




Also, responsible breeders will carry out tests on the parent dogs - proper health tests for things like hip dysplasia and retinal atrophy, not just health checks which say the dog is capable of siring or carrying a litter. The tests they should do depend on which breed you choose, the purpose is to help breed out congenital conditions. Once you have decided on a breed, we can add more specific details if that would help.
 

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Is a great website that you can put in your personality and it will suggest breeds that match your interests.
Oh I wouldn’t recommend that at all. Unfortunately that breed selector (and every other I’ve tested) is absolutely useless and contributes to a lot of misinformation.

Lets just go through the test I just made. I ticked in that I was (no these are not the correct answers, I just wanted to test it out) :
  • New to dogs
  • Lived in an apartment
  • Had kids
  • And low tolerance to barking
These were the only questions. No one could make a judgement by that. It tells you absolutely nothing about which breed would suit you. However, the top breeds I got selected for me were the American eskimo dog and Beagle... I mean that’s just comical. They had almost nothing to base the matching on and even then they manage to suggest breeds that obviously doesn’t suit my life or wishes.

It really aggravates me that akc is the one behind this test. Extremely irresponsible and shows on total lack of knowledge.

Sorry this rant wasn’t directed at you but at akc, which you thought would be a credible source where people could educate themselves. Unfortunately that doesn’t seem to be the case.
 

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I’m sorry I just took the test again to see what it would suggest and I had to share it.
So this time my answers were:
  • Currently owning a dog
  • Have little time to train my dog (1-5 h/week)
  • Lives in an apartment
(Yes these were the only questions I had to answer)

My suggestions were:
  1. Beauceron
  2. Berger Picard
  3. Border collie
  4. Brittany
  5. Doberman Pinscher
  6. Dogo Argentino
  7. Flat-coated retriever
  8. German shorthaired pointer
  9. German wirehaired pointer
  10. Giant schnauzer
I mean come on at this point it’s like a joke. It’s more like a “random dog breed selector” than anything else. I feel like I don’t have to explain how extremely inaccurate this test is because these results are very self explanatory. Honestly I feel like a toddler could give me better advise than this test.
 

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Wow. These suggestions are shocking, I have a friend who has a Brittany and she is a massively high energy dog that needs a huge amount of stimulation. As do the others of course but what a dreadful tool.

@SunFlower, have you considered complaining to the AKC?
 

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I gave the answers
  • Currently owning a dog
  • Have little time to train my dog (1-5 h/week)
  • Lives in an apartment
and got Border collie.

This was a breed that OH and I thought of but rejected because having previously had one and knowing a couple of others we didnt think at our age and with our energy level that we would be suitable owners.
This selector has no questions about a potential owners ability to walk the dog to spend time with the dog , no questions about coat type or vocal issues. Just how big is your yard a question that for me throws up more red flags than ideas.
 

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Oh I wouldn’t recommend that at all. Unfortunately that breed selector (and every other I’ve tested) is absolutely useless and contributes to a lot of misinformation.

Lets just go through the test I just made. I ticked in that I was (no these are not the correct answers, I just wanted to test it out) :
  • New to dogs
  • Lived in an apartment
  • Had kids
  • And low tolerance to barking
These were the only questions. No one could make a judgement by that. It tells you absolutely nothing about which breed would suit you. However, the top breeds I got selected for me were the American eskimo dog and Beagle... I mean that’s just comical. They had almost nothing to base the matching on and even then they manage to suggest breeds that obviously doesn’t suit my life or wishes.

It really aggravates me that akc is the one behind this test. Extremely irresponsible and shows on total lack of knowledge.

Sorry this rant wasn’t directed at you but at akc, which you thought would be a credible source where people could educate themselves. Unfortunately that doesn’t seem to be the case.
I found my results quite accurate for me. There wasnt many questions though i agree. I would never ever recommend anyone to take suggestions seriously but there fun to do.
 

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Wow. These suggestions are shocking, I have a friend who has a Brittany and she is a massively high energy dog that needs a huge amount of stimulation. As do the others of course but what a dreadful tool.

@SunFlower, have you considered complaining to the AKC?
Well now I’m considering it. And I encourage anyone else to do it as well. The more complains, the bigger impact, hopefully.

I found my results quite accurate for me. There wasnt many questions though i agree. I would never ever recommend anyone to take suggestions seriously but there fun to do.
My point is that you can’t make an accurate suggestion from these few and very shallow questions. So even though you personally found it to be accurate, no one could determine a suitable breed based on these questions. I agree that it’s quite fun to take these tests and I have no problem with them if they’re created and used as nothing else than as for entertainment purposes.

But what’s the issue in this case is that it’s the american kennel club that have created this test with the intention to make a serious suggestion of breed for people. Remember that this is one of the biggest and most well established kennel clubs through out the whole world. This should be a very accurate and reliable source for people that’s looking for advice to make this major decision.

They brand this test to be the only research you have to do to find a suitable breed. This is a part of the text before you start the test:
“[...] Thoughtfully and seriously assess your needs before making a decision, and you'll live long, happy lives together. Using our Dog Breed Selector, just answer a series of questions, and we'll find the right breed of dog for you.”

And then they suggest 10 working, high demand, difficult breeds to a person that maybe just will spend 1 hour training the dog A WEEK. How is that even an option, 1 h/week?? And what training?? I also noticed that you won’t even receive this question if you chose “new to dogs”. I mean like whaat?? Why? It’s just so extremely stupid :—-)

Then I scroll down to “breed comparison” where the breeds are ranked in different categories. All of the breeds suggested had the highest ranking on the activity level? So they seem to understand that these breeds are very active and demand a lot, but they’re still suggesting them so I truly don’t understand how that goes together. Did some poor trainee make this test, someone’s child maybe? Or do they just simply not care?

Jeez I’m sorry for this rant again, I’ll stop now. I just get so angry when organizations like akc, that should provide good and correct information, a source that should be experts on the subject, instead fails so hard and contributes to some serious misinformation.
 

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Well now I’m considering it. And I encourage anyone else to do it as well. The more complains, the bigger impact, hopefully.



My point is that you can’t make an accurate suggestion from these few and very shallow questions. So even though you personally found it to be accurate, no one could determine a suitable breed based on these questions. I agree that it’s quite fun to take these tests and I have no problem with them if they’re created and used as nothing else than as for entertainment purposes.

But what’s the issue in this case is that it’s the american kennel club that have created this test with the intention to make a serious suggestion of breed for people. Remember that this is one of the biggest and most well established kennel clubs through out the whole world. This should be a very accurate and reliable source for people that’s looking for advice to make this major decision.

They brand this test to be the only research you have to do to find a suitable breed. This is a part of the text before you start the test:
“[...] Thoughtfully and seriously assess your needs before making a decision, and you'll live long, happy lives together. Using our Dog Breed Selector, just answer a series of questions, and we'll find the right breed of dog for you.”

And then they suggest 10 working, high demand, difficult breeds to a person that maybe just will spend 1 hour training the dog A WEEK. How is that even an option, 1 h/week?? And what training?? I also noticed that you won’t even receive this question if you chose “new to dogs”. I mean like whaat?? Why? It’s just so extremely stupid :—-)

Then I scroll down to “breed comparison” where the breeds are ranked in different categories. All of the breeds suggested had the highest ranking on the activity level? So they seem to understand that these breeds are very active and demand a lot, but they’re still suggesting them so I truly don’t understand how that goes together. Did some poor trainee make this test, someone’s child maybe? Or do they just simply not care?

Jeez I’m sorry for this rant again, I’ll stop now. I just get so angry when organizations like akc, that should provide good and correct information, a source that should be experts on the subject, instead fails so hard and contributes to some serious misinformation.
Its frightening to think if anyone buys a dog breed becausr a selector says so. Im horrified theres no disclaimer saying this is for entertaining purposes. Im happy to complain to them also over this.
 

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I hate the akc one, it’s not even entertaining for a fun test. The animal planet one I think is set up much better. It was surprisingly accurate for me when I did it for fun and has decent questions in it.
 

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Hello! Our family might be getting a dog. We know the responsibility needed and how hard and expensive it can be to keep one. We need a bit of help picking the breed.

We have some criteria though:
1. Should be hypoallergenic (I understand there is no such thing as a 100% hypoallergenic dog)
2. Should be a "beginner"/"first time owner" dog. I know there isn't a really good criteria, but just avoid "hard to keep" dogs.
3. Shouldn't be too large. Our family wants something more like a small dog, not a large one like a golden retriever.
4. Shouldn't be known for barking. This is for personal reasons.

* we do have a large yard and we can/will walk the dog every day, or even more if needed.

Thank you!
I’m sorry for somewhat hijacking your thread.

What’s the reason that it has to be hypoallergenic? Is it because someone is allergic or because you don’t want fur everywhere? If it’s because someone’s allergic I just want to clarify that there’s absolutely no guarantee that a hypoallergenic breed would work. Often you’re allergic to the skin and saliva. Usually it’s individually based so you might tolerate one specific dog but not another, even though they’re from the same litter. Speaking from personal experience I react more to some dogs and the two dogs I’ve reacted most to were a havanese and a schnauzer, which are both considered to be hypoallergenic. However it could help that the dog won’t shed and that the fur gets everywhere, but there’s no guarantee. So the best would be if you would be able to have the dog on a test period to try out if it works with that specific dog. Otherwise you might have to rehome the dog after a while.
How long and how many walks are you planning to take every day? Do you consider doing any other activities with the dog? What would a normal day for the dog look like?

I think the poodle could possibly be a good choice as already suggested. Otherwise I’m thinking the Italian greyhound.
There’s quite a few small, hypoallergenic breeds that could fit but most of these breeds have been bred to be alerting dogs. Which means that they have a tendency to alert with a bark at noises and people approaching your home. However this is also a matter of training and they should only bark occasionally when necessary, even though they might be more prone to barking than some other breeds. Yet they might be worth to consider. The breeds I’m talking about are the bichon havanese, bichon frise, maltese and coton de tulear, bolgonese and lhasa apso. Some of these breeds might be a better option if you want a quieter dog though.
 

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I hate the akc one, it’s not even entertaining for a fun test. The animal planet one I think is set up much better. It was surprisingly accurate for me when I did it for fun and has decent questions in it.
Oh unfortunately it’s “not available In my region”. What questions are included? With which results?
 

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It asks 10 questions
1)What size dog are you interested in?
  • Tiny (up to 11 pounds)
  • Small (12 - 22 pounds)
  • Medium (23 - 44 pounds)
  • Large (45 - 88 pounds)
  • Extra large (89 - 140 pounds-plus)
  • Not important
2)
How energetic do you want your new dog to be?
  • A sprinter
  • A jogger
  • A couch potato
  • Not important
3)
How much time can you devote to exercising your dog daily?
  • 30 - 45 minutes
  • 20 - 30 minutes
  • Little to none
  • Not important
4)
How often will you be able to play with your dog?
  • All day
  • A few times a day
  • Maybe once a day
  • Not important
5)
How affectionate would you like your dog to be?
  • Never leaves my side
  • Gives me some love when I get home, but keeps to himself most of the time
  • I'm looking for more of a roommate than a companion
  • Not important
6)
Do you have other pets?
  • Yes. So, it's important that my new dog can live among other animals
  • No. But, I plan on having my dog interact with other animals, so he needs to be friendly
  • No. I'm looking for a dog who can hunt, so friendliness towards other animals isn't a top priority
  • Not important
7)
How trainable would you like your dog to be?
  • Very trainable. I plan to teach him all the basic commands, plus a lot of fun tricks
  • Fairly trainable. He needs to know all the basic commands
  • Not very trainable. I have a laid-back approach to rules and commands
  • Not important
8)
How protective do you want your new dog to be?
  • Extremely protective. I'm looking for a round-the-clock watchdog
  • Somewhat protective. I'm looking for a protector, but not a guard dog
  • Little to no protection needed here
  • Not important
9)
How much maintenance and grooming are you able to provide for your dog?
  • I am able to groom my dog 5 - 7 times a week as well as frequent the groomer
  • I am able to groom my dog 3 - 5 times a week with the occasional visit to a groomer
  • I want a dog that's as low maintenance as possible
  • Not important
10)
What kind of temperature tolerance does your new dog need to have?
  • I live in a warm climate, so he needs to tolerate hot weather
  • I live in a cold climate, so he needs to tolerate cold weather
  • I live where it's warm during summer and cold during winter, so he needs to tolerate both warm and cold weather
  • Not important
 

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It asks 10 questions
1)What size dog are you interested in?
  • Tiny (up to 11 pounds)
  • Small (12 - 22 pounds)
  • Medium (23 - 44 pounds)
  • Large (45 - 88 pounds)
  • Extra large (89 - 140 pounds-plus)
  • Not important
2)
How energetic do you want your new dog to be?
  • A sprinter
  • A jogger
  • A couch potato
  • Not important
3)
How much time can you devote to exercising your dog daily?
  • 30 - 45 minutes
  • 20 - 30 minutes
  • Little to none
  • Not important
4)
How often will you be able to play with your dog?
  • All day
  • A few times a day
  • Maybe once a day
  • Not important
5)
How affectionate would you like your dog to be?
  • Never leaves my side
  • Gives me some love when I get home, but keeps to himself most of the time
  • I'm looking for more of a roommate than a companion
  • Not important
6)
Do you have other pets?
  • Yes. So, it's important that my new dog can live among other animals
  • No. But, I plan on having my dog interact with other animals, so he needs to be friendly
  • No. I'm looking for a dog who can hunt, so friendliness towards other animals isn't a top priority
  • Not important
7)
How trainable would you like your dog to be?
  • Very trainable. I plan to teach him all the basic commands, plus a lot of fun tricks
  • Fairly trainable. He needs to know all the basic commands
  • Not very trainable. I have a laid-back approach to rules and commands
  • Not important
8)
How protective do you want your new dog to be?
  • Extremely protective. I'm looking for a round-the-clock watchdog
  • Somewhat protective. I'm looking for a protector, but not a guard dog
  • Little to no protection needed here
  • Not important
9)
How much maintenance and grooming are you able to provide for your dog?
  • I am able to groom my dog 5 - 7 times a week as well as frequent the groomer
  • I am able to groom my dog 3 - 5 times a week with the occasional visit to a groomer
  • I want a dog that's as low maintenance as possible
  • Not important
10)
What kind of temperature tolerance does your new dog need to have?
  • I live in a warm climate, so he needs to tolerate hot weather
  • I live in a cold climate, so he needs to tolerate cold weather
  • I live where it's warm during summer and cold during winter, so he needs to tolerate both warm and cold weather
  • Not important
Thank you for posting the questions.

Yes it might be slightly better than the akcs’ but it’s still not good at all. The questions focus more on what you wish for in a dog (coat, size etc) rather than what kind of life you can offer and what dog would be happy living with you. Especially question nr 3 and the options really scares me. This just shows that the people that’ve created this test really doesn’t know anything about dogs or their needs.
 
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