Does anyone have any advice on the type of a breed of dog that is good with children and cats?

Groovy Girl - posted on 12/04/2011 ( 189 moms have responded )

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My Boys really want a dog. We have a cat(indoor) and she sheds. We are looking for a dog that doesn't shed much and doesn't like to run away( we live on a busy road) and good with kids. Is there such a thing???

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Kate CP - posted on 12/04/2011

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Don't panic, I'm a dog trainer.

1. DO NOT GET A DOG FOR CHRISTMAS. Pets are NOT presents!

2. Any given dog may want to run away or want to chase (read: eat) cats. Every dog is different just like every child is different. Those qualities you're looking for are individual based and not breed based. Some dogs are more prone to wandering off or have a high prey drive based on breeding.

3. All dogs shed. All humans shed. If you have any kind of hair you will shed. The amount of shedding you're willing to tolerate is what is key here. Also, if you choose a dog that sheds less as a breed you're probably going to end up with a dog that requires one to two visits to a grooming salon a month.

So, what's the best dog for you? Find a local rescue group and speak to their adoption coordinator. Share your concerns and needs in a pet and see what they can come up with. Meet several dogs, bring your boys with you, and if you find that perfect pooch adopt him or her! The bonus? You know the kind of dog you're getting, you don't have to pay to have them vetted and spayed/neutered, AND you've just saved a life.

PS: Don't forget to take your dog to training classes!

-Kate The Dog Trainer.

Denikka - posted on 12/04/2011

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Cocker spaniels are NOT awesome dogs for children!!!
I'm sorry, some individuals may be great, I won't deny that, but as a breed, I would NEVER recommend them for a family with young children.
Their ears are just too tempting to tug, and from what I know, they are prone to ear infections. Pain+tug or even an inadvertent touch=grumpy and quite possible a bitey dog.
I would personally recommend a lab or retriever. They ARE super high energy (for the most part), but make awesome pets and, as long as you're getting a short hair, will not shed as much.
Another breed I would recommend is a border collie. From my own experience (border collie mix) they're a great breed, especially if you have some property.

Ultimately, I would NOT recommend getting a pure bred. There are MANY genetic issues with purebreds. The original stock is too small to have genetic diversity, and people are seeing more and more problems with their purebred dogs. Go for a mutt. They're (usually) genetically sounder and just as great (if not greater) than a purebred.

In all honesty though, I wouldn't pick a breed. Figure out what size you can handle, go down to the shelter and see what DOG (not breed) fits your family. Dogs are as varied as people. Each one has their own personality, likes and dislikes. Just because a breed is known for some things doesn't mean that they are all one way or another.

Kate CP - posted on 12/08/2011

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I would NOT get a Boston. I would also not get a puppy. If you have boys who like to rough house, looking for a small-medium sized dog, minimal shedding, less prone to wandering off, and fairly easy to train...that spells a Miniature Schnauzer to me. You can look for a breed specific rescue group in your area and see if they have any adult dogs that fit your family's lifestyle.

Sherri - posted on 12/06/2011

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Go to the pound and get a mutt they make the best pets and will have already been child and animal tested. So you will know if they are good with cats or children already.

Because just because a breed is supposed to be good with kids or cats doesn't mean it will be either. It all depends on the personality of the dog.

Anne - posted on 12/19/2011

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Another thing you have to consider are the cost of a dog. Not the adoption/breeding cost, but the every-day cost. We once calculated that our 2 cost us about $2,000 per year. That includes the food, flea and tick meds, vaccinations, kennel costs for vacations when we can't take them, grooming, and those unplanned vet costs which can easily add up. The dog beds, collars, crate, etc.

We did this breakdown once after a friend asked us about the cost. We were shocked to actually see it black on white!!

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User - posted on 02/07/2012

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The best dog is going to depend more on the energy level, what kind of exercise you can provide than breed. Any dog with too little exercise could chase the cat or run in the road. With a cat there are some breeds who may see the cat more as prey than another pet but this even varies wildly within the breed. Spaying and neutering any dog will also reduce running away. I would recommend trying a medium energy mutt, Mutts tend to have a little less "oomph" or "wiring" as I like to say and can be really awesome pets for a family. maybe an adult with a little more life experience. With any new dog it is always good practice to stick to a leash or long line to keep them safe around the road. Good luck and enjoy!

Tammy - posted on 02/03/2012

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Seriously Jenn I do not think pitties are bad dogs for children when properly raised, trained, handled and socialized. It is about the owner not the breed but they are not for everyone! I have been very active in the rescue community for several years and have met some super terrific pitties! On the other hand, I have met some little dogs who are absolutely terrible and now bear the scars from a rotten little dachshund who made hamburger of my arm! Dogs, kids, family needs are NOT one size fits all, AND there is absolutely no charge to sit down with an adoption councilor from a local shelter so it is an absolute no brainer to sit down with the professionals and decide together!

Jenn - posted on 02/03/2012

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Staffordshire terrier=pitbull I am sure there are some that are wonderful pets but I wouldnt recommend one when there are children in the home....they have too strong a bite and jaw so if they bite, it isnt going to be a small bite....not a breed I would suggest with children....

Jenn - posted on 02/03/2012

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Staffordshire terrier=pitbull I am sure there are some that are wonderful pets but I wouldnt recommend one when there are children in the home....they have too strong a bite and jaw so if they bite, it isnt going to be a small bite....not a breed I would suggest with children....

Claire - posted on 01/22/2012

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I have a staffordshire bull terrier, fantastic temperaments with the right kind of people, she is in love with my 3 kids (age range 4-11) and is VERY good with our year old cat also. They dont call staffys the nanny dog for nothing!

Andrea - posted on 01/16/2012

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We have a chocolate labrador and my son LOVES him. She's an outside dog so they have supervised interactions (which I think should be the case anyway). She's almost 10 so an older dog, and doesn't have much patience with little yappy dogs but has a huge amount for my son and just loves attention from him.

Carmie - posted on 01/16/2012

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I have a bichon/poodle - he is wonderful with children and does not shed. I have 5 other friends with poodles and they all agree they are the ideal dog.

Janelle - posted on 01/15/2012

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we had a boxer great with the kids and cranky cat! now we have a Schnauzer-poodle chihuahua mix...she loves the kids and cats, crazy high energy though!

Tammy - posted on 01/10/2012

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If your family is ready for a dog then grab your coat, head to the local animal shelter and spend some time with an adoption councilor! All dogs shed (YES even those who are advertised as SHED FREE) but some less than others. Certain breeds contain traits that would make them more likely to wander or chase prey animals (cats) but be careful to not over generalize and get to know the individual animal itself! Remember that how well behaved a dog is and if it will return when called should it get out the door is a direct reflection of what you put into training your pet. Old dogs CAN be taught new tricks and the more you work with your pet in a positive training manner the better behaved it will be!

Lesley - posted on 01/10/2012

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We have a pug and he's wonderful with the kids and other animals. He just wants tyo be loved and he doesn't care who it gets it from. He has never run out the front door. Ocassionally, he'll trot himself out to the front lawn to cock his leg on the tree out there, if the door is left open but he has never run off. I would say that is normally a training issue, but in our case, we got him when he was 5 from a resuce and he was a stud dog in a puppy mill so his training was minimal. When selecting our breed, my son (9 at the time) did an online breed compatibility test and research to determine the most appropriate dog for our lifestyle. I can't remember the site he used but it was bang on. Try googling or check with your local humane society.

Jenn - posted on 01/09/2012

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We have a Pyredoodle....half great pyranese and half stnd poodle....He is a GREAT family dog!! He is big, about 60 lbs at 8mo old but we got him at 11 wks, I trained him using the DVD Training the Perfect Dog (or something like that) and he is the most gentle, friendly, wellbehaved dog I have EVER had! We have 2 children, ages 2 and 8 and he is great with both of them....he loves other animals, his best buddy is this stray cat who comes to our back porch to visit every day =) but he also is friends with ALL the local neighbor dogs and kids too!! He was very easy to train and also very eager to learn....I am so so very happy with him and my neighbor got one also from the same breeder but a different litter and different parents so we MAY breed them in order to hopefully carry on their wonderful traits and characteristics so other families can have what we have!! =) Wouldnt be soon though as they are both still "teenagers" respectively....haha....but good luck, the woman I got him from was in Indiana and her name is Leanne and her website I think is Amazing Doodles if I remember correctly....but if you google Pyredoodle and Leanne she will come up! Best wishes!!

Jesse - posted on 01/06/2012

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good luck ...we had a rottwieler he was the best dog ever .never ran away good protector and also tollerated my daughter even though he was there first and was the biggest spolied rotten dog. now we have a boxer and he is the sweetest dog loves everyone but he is a runner!!!! we need a fence! he dosent shed much though my rott. did bad. youll know when u see him or her take ur time there alot of work just like you have a nother kid

Lori - posted on 01/02/2012

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Shih Tzu, doesn't shed, run away, my husband accuses him of acting like a "lazy cat"...he is non confrontational and is very sweet...I have had him for 15 years...he is small enough to live in the home and not ever be capable of seriously hurting a child like the larger breeds mentioned, and strong and patient enough to stand the hugs and tail pulling of a toddler...as my grandson does when I am not looking!

Joy - posted on 01/02/2012

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A lot of dogs can be great with kids. Now I am not suggesting this, I am only stating this to reinforce my statement. I had a German Shepard/American Pit. I got lucky and he got the brains of the Shepard but he was loving, easy to train, loved my son and even played with him gently. He would go for walks with no leash because he listened well and he was just as energetic as my son. We miss him. We had to find him a new home when we moved because he had the Pitbull colorings and the apartments we lived in would not make exceptions. And that person let him get out and he was hit by a car. But I have to say, with all the dogs I have had, he was the best. Best behaved and all.

Kelly - posted on 01/02/2012

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I have a Boston Terrier and she is fantastic with my 7 year old daughter and my very ruff 4 year twin boys. I had the dog before the kids and she doesnt mind them at all as a matter of fact she likes to run around the house and play with them. The down side is she does shed. A great bread though and I'll never not own one!

Dawn - posted on 01/01/2012

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I have 3 small kids and a miniature poodle. He is just big enough to handle the rough handling from the kids but not too big. He is patient with the kids and trains easily. Best of all he does not shed, in the lifetime of the dog it will save you hundreds of hours in cleaning pet hair! My sister has a labradoodle and I have to say he is like a lab without the shed. I would get any specialty mix with poodle in it if the breeder guarantees that it won't shed. Just keep in mind that any non-shed dog comes with grooming requirements. With my poodle I sometimes take him to the groomer for $60.00 but I purchased a good trimmer and have learned to groom him my self. It does take about half hour to 45 minutes to shave a dog without heavy brushing and fancy grooming efforts. My poodle is a great dog, but make sure you purchase directly from a breeder and meet the parents. They can be high strung and you want to get one that comes from parents with good dispositions or you could end up with a really neurotic dog. i don't know if you have every had a dog before, but getting a puppy is liking having another kid. make sure you have the time to train and walk your dog especially when it is a puppy or you will end up with this annoying and potentially destructive creature living in your home. You give it the time and training it need though and it can become a really wonderful edition to your lives. Getting a dog should not be a decision made on a whim, that is not fair to dog or you and your family.

Roxanne - posted on 12/30/2011

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Go to Animalplanet.com find the section for Tv show "dogs101" there is a quiz you can take to help u find the right breed for your family. But like Kate said, dogs are like kids and each have their own personality. Good luck.

Joy - posted on 12/28/2011

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Well it is hard to find a dog that doesnt shed so much. But my information tells me that poodles ( i know, surprising) don't have fur, but they have HAIR that does not shed anywhere near as much as typical dogs. They are good with children and one of the highest intelligence dogs. Do some research and see what you find on poodles.

Also, good family dogs (you will have to check how much they shed) from experience seem to be golden retrievers and sometimes german sheppards.

Felicia - posted on 12/25/2011

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We have had Labrador Retrievers all our lives and they have always been good with kids. I grew up with black and now my family is growing up with Yellows..Never Ever had any issue with biting or aggressive behavior. I have 4 kids from 14 to 4 and they have been great from day 1. :)

Ashlee - posted on 12/25/2011

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YES I LOVE MY DOG !! t he breed is very intelligent like little humans they are, and very calm with children but loves to run around and play with them this breed sleeps alot aswell doesnt need alot of physical activity and barely barks and they are chinese shar-pei's or aka wrinkle dogs lol i know a breeder in fl. who gets them potty trained an all for you before sending them to where ever you live if interested, tho these dogs are not cheap mine was 800.00 but that included the plane and crate cost : ) they are great dogs and do not bite or nip at people or high strung kids like mine, this dog will be a protector of the family and companion.I'd recomend a female tho males tend to be like they are above everything else lol

Ruthie - posted on 12/24/2011

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I would suggest a Sheba Enu. They are a small version of the Akita. The Sheba Enu is very intelligent, great with kids and other animals, very family oriented and very low maintenanced.

Claire - posted on 12/24/2011

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Update: We have our dog, Barney, who is a border collie. Got him 2 days ago. Hes nearly 8 months and my son loves him so much. Barney is so gentle and puts up with my son hugging him all the time. He is a good dog for our family.

Echorin - posted on 12/23/2011

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It looks like everybody has stated most of the obvious but I would not recommend a Jack Russell. They are high strung and often do not listen. Definitely go to a shelter or rescue, as everyone has said the dogs have usually been tested around cats and the shelters have recommendations regarding children. I work for an animal rescue and we always try to know our dogs before they go to their new home. We want it to be a permanent home. If you are a dog newbie do not get a puppy. Puppies are a lot of work. More so than most people realize. I also agree with the pit bull statement. They are great with kids although some have pretty high prey drives. I have an Am Staff/Sharpei mix and a Lab/Chow mix and they both have been around since my son was born (he is now 3). They are both extremely tolerant and I completely trust them with my son. My son on occasion annoys the crap out of the dogs and so I'll put the dogs outside for awhile or send my son to play in his room. You have to know a dogs individual tolerance, no matter how good they are with kids, every dog has his limits.

Echorin - posted on 12/23/2011

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It looks like everybody has stated most of the obvious but I would not recommend a Jack Russell. They are high strung and often do not listen. Definitely go to a shelter or rescue, as everyone has said the dogs have usually been tested around cats and the shelters have recommendations regarding children. I work for an animal rescue and we always try to know our dogs before they go to their new home. We want it to be a permanent home. If you are a dog newbie do not get a puppy. Puppies are a lot of work. More so than most people realize. I also agree with the pit bull statement. They are great with kids although some have pretty high prey drives. I have an Am Staff/Sharpei mix and a Lab/Chow mix and they both have been around since my son was born (he is now 3). They are both extremely tolerant and I completely trust them with my son. My son on occasion annoys the crap out of the dogs and so I'll put the dogs outside for awhile or send my son to play in his room. You have to know a dogs individual tolerance, no matter how good they are with kids, every dog has his limits.

Darci - posted on 12/21/2011

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Thats a tough one. I lived on a busy street growing up we had one cat and 2 dogs get hit by cars it was sad. We had a fenced in yard but those dang dogs we small and found a hole and would squeeze out. We have a Doberman and they are good family dogs especially if you get them as puppys and they grow up with the kids and you train the dog well. Although the thing I hate about our doberman is she sheds a lot. those tiny black hairs everywhere, cant stand it. There are a lot of dogs some think are good family dogs but really aren't if you do your research. I really dont now what kind of dog would be good but doesnt shed all the dogs I can think of that dont shed are nippy and and barky dogs. But I can say dobermans are good they just shed although the shedding can be maintained if you are willing to brush your dog regularly that helps I bath our dog once a week but I have slacked big time on brushing her. She would probably shed a lot less if I brushed her every day or two.

Jessica - posted on 12/20/2011

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Our family has a Lab Mix, she is almost 7 years old and is great with my 6 year old daughter! We love her... she was given to us by a family at church when she was a puppy. We already had an older male pure bred Lab and we were happy to add another one to our family. She was super easy to potty train and we have never had any problems with her playing with children because she loves all the attention! She does shed a bunch but its not out of control. I would definitely recommend a Lab but make sure you have time to spend with the dog you choose and take the time to train it too, you can teach simple commands yourself and they really pay off in the long run. Good luck!

Deb - posted on 12/20/2011

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We have always had cats, and have had 2 dachshunds, one standard, and one mini. They both got along wonderful with the cats and actually are one of the least shedding dogs there is. I would definitely recommend a dachshund.

Sal - posted on 12/20/2011

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We have. a poodle he loves the kids Plays puppy games sheds very little and lives outside highly recommended Could easily be an indoor dog but I dont like them inside and have no need to as we have Plenty of sheltered out door areas

Kelly - posted on 12/20/2011

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All dogs are different and any breed can bite. I have had labs and goldens try to bite me ( ex dog groomer) and dogs with bad reputations be push overs and awesome family pets. So get to know the dog. I love rescues. You can get an older dog that is potty trained and really see how their personality has developed. You must train your dog, but I agree under the right circumstance they could run off. ( a tasty squirrel or scare could be too much for them) So make sure you have a good fence or run for them. There are websites that you can look up what type of dog matches your needs. Many "bad" dogs are due to bad owners who didn't match their dogs needs in exercise, attention, or training. (our family loves couch potato dogs that want to please) As for shedding all dogs shed, so do we. I found many short hair dogs shed something awful. Labs are on of them. Some dogs that are better are Poodles ( the large ones are really sweet), Shih Tzus, and Gray Hounds. ( these are great couch potato dogs and the rescue racers groups really help you find a personality match) Also look for single coated breeds and if you brush them most dogs are manageable. Remember this dog may be for your kids, but make sure you are ok with the work. Good luck

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 12/19/2011

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Nicole I agree with you 100%. As a matter of fact my brother owns a pit mix and he's great with kids. You just have to socialize them early and take them to obediance school. Guy (my brother's dog) is wonderful! He grew up with my older daughter and allowed her to do whatever she wanted to him even taking his food while he was eatting! My brother and SIL now have a baby and he's great with their son too.



Nicole, you should blog or something about your dog because she'd help kill the myth about pits being aggressive dogs!

Nicole - posted on 12/19/2011

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i know that allot of people are not going to agree with me but i am going to say a pitt bull or bull dog. a few years ago i would have said no way but after having two of them (around my daughter since she was born) they have been the best dog I have ever owned!! the one i have now her name is Bella and she treats my daughter like she is her baby. even to the point of if my daughter is yelling at me for something and i yell back Bella will get in between of us to "protect her baby" she is amazing i can't even describe how wonderful she is with my girl.

Danielle - posted on 12/19/2011

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I speak from MY experience with the breed. It's great that your dog lives inside but like I said, my dog would rather be outside.

Kate CP - posted on 12/19/2011

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Danielle: I have a Great Pyranese and she's an inside dog. Yes, she sheds like crazy...even more than my husky did. But she's happy to be inside. She loves to be outside, too, but she LIVES inside with us.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 12/19/2011

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I believe I said this once, but poodles come in 3 sizes, toy miniature and standard. Standard poodles are medium sized dogs. Some terriers are als medium sized dogs. But terriers are rather fiesty, stubborn and hyper

Candy - posted on 12/19/2011

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In general Terriers and Poodles don't shed. They say to stay away from small dogs if you have kids because small dogs are afraid of getting hurt. A Labradoodle may be good with small kids because they are bigger and labradoors are great with kids and the poodle in it would make it so it doesn't shed.

Danielle - posted on 12/19/2011

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Maybe it was the fact that he was born in a barn full of goats but he and the goat are attached at the hip or maybe the fact that the goat doesn't know she's a goat and thinks she's a dog. He's not alone, I wouldn't do that to him, they sleep together, eat together and chase the cats together. (No that is not an exaggeration lol) My intentions when we got him was that he was going to be an inside/outside dog but it got to the point where I couldn't get him to come back in the house and when I did coax him back in he'd sit at the door and wait for someone to go out and he'd go back to the goat pen. He'd prlly be happy to come in if I let Tink (the goat) in but I'm not keen on having goat smell in my house lol.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 12/19/2011

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Well as long as he has some form of companionship that's fine. But I couldn't let my dog be an outside dog. However I don't believe it's a breed standard, more like your dog.

Danielle - posted on 12/19/2011

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We'll just have to agree to disagree on that b/c I have had large dogs in the house (pit bull, lab and a golden retriever) and they did fine inside, but even as a puppy Rufus didn't like being inside, he's happier outside with the goat.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 12/19/2011

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Danielle, I don't agree. Any dog can be kept in the house as long as it's given necessary excersize. However not all dogs can be apartment dwellers.

Danielle - posted on 12/19/2011

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If you were to google the breed Great Pyranese, you would see that they are HERDING dogs and are too high energy to live in the house. Not to mention we live on three acres and got him specifically to protect our livestock from coyotes and foxes, which is something he couldn't do if he was inside. Great Pyranese are working dogs and that's what they exel at and that's what we got him for. Not all dogs are meant to be inside pets and would be misrable if they were inside all the time. I also have a maltese that DOES live inside b/c that's where she belongs. You want an inside dog I suggest you DON'T get a Great Pyranese. They'll be misrable.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 12/19/2011

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You can get a medium sized running buddy. My dad had a sub standard (12-14 inches high) beagle and she wasn't delicate and loved to run. She also took a month and a half to go through a large bag of dog food. There are plenty of active medium sized dogs. Most of them are in the hunting dog catergory and many are not fragile and very active.



ETA: The other post wasn't directed entirely at you Anne, I was stating a fact.

Anne - posted on 12/19/2011

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Yes, we but we wanted medium dogs, not toy dogs. I wanted a running buddy and someone the kids can play with balls and such and are not too fragile. ;)

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 12/19/2011

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That's true Anne. But if you get a dog that doesn't need as much grooming and can get him or her used to you clipping their nails you can reduce some cost. Also the size of your dog determines your food bill.

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