What dog breed would best fit my family?

Merry - posted on 12/12/2011 ( 101 moms have responded )

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My husband wants a pug, or a dachshund.
I'd like a mini pincher or maybe a mini schnauzer.

I need a small dog. 10-20lbs

I need minimal shedding.

I need trainable breed, I am experienced but I can't stand dogs that simply don't learn.

I prefer a breed not known to be heavy barkers

I have kids and will have more babies in the future, we re thinking of waiting for a dog for a few more years until we are in a house.
I think all breeds can be good or bad with kids, I know a chihuahua whose amazing with my littles and a Shepard mix who is NOT

My husband wants he smushed pug face but I'm so not one who thinks that's cute and I the snorting

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JoAnn - posted on 12/14/2011

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A Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is the perfect dog for any family. They are intelligent, affectionate, get along well with little ones, in between ones and the elderly. They can be happy with lots of exercise or just being a lap warmer.

Kate CP - posted on 12/12/2011

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Jack Russels or Parson Russels are NOT good dogs for children OR cats. They have a very high prey drive and tend to bond with only one person in the home. They also usually don't like other dogs or cats.

Anita - posted on 12/14/2011

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We have a soft-coated wheaten terrier who does NOT shed. She is a bit bigger than what you are looking for--she weighs about 29 pounds, 30 pounds on a bad day. This breed is wonderful with kids and make a wonderful companion. They want to please their owners. If you were to get a wheaten I would lean toward a female versus a male only because the males tend to weigh a little bit more. I can pick mine up very easily. This breed is energetic and daily walks are a must!!

Susan - posted on 12/14/2011

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If you insist on buing a purebred, please go to the AKC website, be honest with yourself about what you want from a dog and to fit your lifestyle - they have a quiz on their website I think so it can match you with a breed. But I would suggest a pound puppy first and foremost. And something to think about - small dogs very often were bred for hunting small game and can be snappy and hyper. sometimes bigger really is better. For instance, great Pyranees were bread to lie amongst sheep for long periods of time and while they routinely break 100 pounds, they are excellent apartment dogs.

Vanessa - posted on 12/14/2011

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Pugs are great dogs and make wonderful pets but do shed a lot. Min Pins are very fragile dogs so small children can hurt them easily.

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Karen - posted on 12/14/2011

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We have 2 cavailer king charles and they are the best with the kids..very protective of them and love to play with them

Carrie - posted on 12/14/2011

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Hi.. I have a doxie. I'm thinking this is not what you want. They are not known to be the best with kids although they can be taught. You have to teach kids to be gentle mostly because of their backs. They bark.. a lot. They dont shed much. The short haired are harder to train than the long hair. Hope this helps.. Carrie

April - posted on 12/14/2011

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I have a mini pincher they are good dogs and they eat little. They are family oriented yet can be independent

April - posted on 12/14/2011

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I have a mini pincher they are good dogs and they eat little. They are family oriented yet can be independent

Suzie - posted on 12/14/2011

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I agree Poodles are wonderful! I had a Poodle growing up and she was wonderful! The perfect dog.

Suzie - posted on 12/14/2011

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I researched best breeds for kids with allergies. I found that Bichons are good with kids and don't shed. The only downfall is they do need brushing often and they have to be groomed at least every other month. Our dog Chester is about 22lbs and he is pretty big for a Bichon. He has the sweetest disposition, will take lots of rough play by my 10 year old son and it so loving and smart. He can do tricks, play chase, retrieve, and was easy for us to potty train, although the breed is known to have some issues with that. The bread can also be a little stubborn at times but not too bad. We are so happy with our choice, he's a big part of our family.. My in-laws have 3 miniature schnauzers and they are very yappy. They bark at everything. They are very cute and sweet but do not tolerate lots of play by my son. They also have a dachshund. I love the dog, she is so very loving but she has bitten my

child twice in the face when he was 1 and 2 years old. My son is a boy but by no means too rough. He had to get stitches once for the bite very close to his eye and the docItor and nurses said that dachshunds are very prone to biting children and they see a lot of kids bitten by them. Pugs are cute my neighbors had one, but he was not a curl up in your lap kind of dog. Depends on what you are looking for. My husband was against the Bichon at first because they are so pretty but he loves our dog so much that I say often that he talks sweeter to Chester than us. Good luck with your new puppy! They are so much fun!

Lisa - posted on 12/14/2011

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We have a shitsu. He is so sweet. We bought him when my kids were ten years old very gentle and loving.

Christal - posted on 12/14/2011

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Also we have a mini schcauzer. She is a good girl, she loves my 2yr old daughter. She is very smart. She's still a puppy so she is very energetic. She doesnt bark too often. But when near other dogs and if shes on her leash she tends to bark a lot. She doesnt shed either. She is a hypoallergenic dog

Christal - posted on 12/14/2011

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Go to dogbreedinfo.com and on the website they have a questionaire you can take to see what kind of dog would best fit your family. You can also read up on all the dogs you are looking into.

Sarah - posted on 12/14/2011

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pugs are very good children dogs and they do not bark alot nor are they one of the really hyper breeds. They are very loyal. I am biased because they are my favorite breed but I have never known one that isn't a good family dog. One important thing is you need to look at what is good for your family. With all the different breeds finding one that is compatible with your family might not be as easy as just thinking about size.

Karen - posted on 12/14/2011

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We have 3 mini schnauzers who are wonderful with kids. Our male was stolen and mistreated by the people and their kids that took him but after getting him back, feeding him well and loving him, he now loves kids again and is not afraid anymore! I love these dogs they are great indoor/outdoors pets and truely affectionate!

Jamie - posted on 12/14/2011

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We have a half West Highland Terrier and Scottie and she is great with kids. Very mellow and not much of a barker. We love her!

Katherine - posted on 12/14/2011

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Go to puppyfinder.com and answer the questionarre. It will give you by percentages what breeds will best suit your family and lifestyle.

Tracey - posted on 12/14/2011

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We fostered a pug this fall, and while she was sweet and smart, her eyes worried me. I have a friend whose pug's eye *popped* right after she took her to the vet for eyedrops! Those protruding eyes can get scratched easily. My friend figured it was on a blade of grass. Two days later, they went to the vet because her eye was dripping and a little swollen, and the vet put the drops in in the exam room. They got her out to the car and it popped, so she's blind in one eye. There are some deliberately-mutated in traits that just shouldn't have been done.



Dachshunds tend to have back problems, so for me, at least, that's a no.



I would honestly look for a mix, something with perhaps a terrier on one side and a sheltie or herd dog on the other. You'll get intelligence and hopefully a minimum of barking.



There used to be a breed called the Toy Trawler Spaniel. They're supposedly extinct, but I think I have a dog with a *lot* of the breed in her. Small, looks quite a bit like an English Springer Spaniel but also like a Border Collie. Quiet, doesn't shed much, wicked smart (show her something twice and she has it down). She's just about the size of the pug we fostered, but a bit longer in the back and not as heavily-built. The other option for her background is a cross between those two breeds, but made miniature with something else (Corgi? Chihuahua? A terrier of some sort?), to be a Miniature Sprollie.



And yes, a miniature poodle or poodle cross could be great. I grew up with a great dog whose mom was a purebred Yorkie and whose dad was a purebred miniature Poodle (neighbors owned them). Button was another wicked smart dog, not yappy, didn't shed. She could be a bit stubborn (thanks, mom), but was happy and outgoing. She was very much like having a young child around. We gave her the National Geographic intelligence test, and she blew it out of the water. We did have to put baby latches on cabinets, but you get that with many smart dogs. We had Bichons after that--real ones, show-quality ones, and they were a lot like Button. I hear that most of them now (not from show kennels) tend to be not as bright as the ones we had. My parents have one that was not one of my lines, just from a pet breeder, and she's really not as bright as mine were. I just figured it was her until a trainer told me so recently. If you go that route, you should go through a good show kennel.

Sharee - posted on 12/14/2011

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i have a pug and he is great with the kids. He is not a very bright dog but loveable!! Pugs shed lots of hair too

Becky - posted on 12/14/2011

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Poodles are wonderful dogs. They don't shed, they have to be cut regularly. Generally speaking short hair dogs shed more than long hair dogs. You might consider a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Both of these breeds are smart, so will be easy to train.

Karie - posted on 12/14/2011

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We have a dachshund, and he is amazing around kids and babies. Super protective and territorial-no squirrel dares come into our yard. And the breed is very smart, they love some activity but are also good company. They are naturally clean and don't have a smell. They also have a bark that is bigger than their body, not yippy at all. Our neighbors have min-pins, and they are always escaping and running around the neighborhood.

Renee - posted on 12/13/2011

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We have a mini dachshund and although she's a great dog and our first "baby", I would not recommend one right now. She is very snippy with my kids (boys 7 & 2) and she barks A LOT and loudly!! We actually have 4 dogs in the house all together (my parents live with us in an in-law "wing". They have a bro and sis chihuahua/schnauzer mix. They are good dogs, but dumb as a box of rocks. Not sure if it's just them or something from one of those breeds shining through :) Our last dog is a German Shepard/Boxer/Schnauzer mix. She is awesome!! Not long hair, a bit bigger and the kids can lay all over her. I saw someone's post earlier about little dogs being nervous with little kids and I have to agree. Nugget, our doxie, is very nervous around the kids/company I think for that reason. Good luck in your search! It's hard to get so many opinions and analyze them all and find a happy medium :)

Jesse - posted on 12/13/2011

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This would freak a lot of people out but we have a American bull dog and she is massive but the best family dog we have ever had... a lot of people have a certain mind set about Big dogs but ours has the best nature for kids and would never hurt a thing... our five year old jumps all over her poked her eyes (when she was younger) pulled her tail did the whole lot and she just took it all.... The dog and kid are more like best friends now!! It does not matter what sort of dog you get as long as it has heaps of love and the right training it should be a mate for life if done the right way...

Christine - posted on 12/13/2011

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If you google you can find quite a few questionnaires you can answer and it will come up with several suggestions. My husband and I like the nature and description of a whippet, but my husband doesn't like the look. We are hoping to wait and look for a whippet x with another nice natured dog.

Chels - posted on 12/13/2011

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We have a groodle (golden retreiver crossed with poodle) these can be alittle smaller if crossed with a mini poodle. Prob still a little higher thanyour weight restriction. They do not shed, rarely bark and will allow children to be bsolutely horribleto them without lifting an eyebrow. Get down on the groodles!

Elizabeth - posted on 12/13/2011

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I agree with Heidi. We have a mini fox terrier mixed with Jack Russell. She's about 11 pounds and we adopted her from a shelter when she was 4 years old. She has been the absolute PERFECT dog, I have 5 and 2 year old boys and she LOVES them, has the patience of a saint and the energy to play as long as the boys can. She only barks when someone is at the door. She is short haired, but Jack Russells do tend to shed a bit. You can help with this by brushing every day, or at least every day when their coat is changing (winter to summer; summer to winter) They don't eat much, are very smart, are small enough to take anywhere, and LOVE children/people. I cannot recommend Jack Russells or mini fox terriers highly enough!

But each dog is different, and please check shelters before you buy a dog. Save a dogs life and they will love you forever.

Tara - posted on 12/13/2011

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An Italian Greyhound, is just the right size and their hair is very short. They are very living and friendly.

Heidi - posted on 12/13/2011

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We currently have a Jack Russell and out of all the dogs we have had in our 12 years of married life, he is my favorite by far. We have 6 kids, an older dog and 2 cats as well. He is awesome, so much energy, never gets snippy with the kids who always want to play with him as his energy is through the roof. Our kids can play tug of war for hours with him if they like. We did however this time around use a professional trainer in a one on one class and I think that has really helped us become better dog owners and trainers. I think that is the key because even the nicest dogs can be nasty and the ones who wear the nasty tags can be real sweethearts. Happy dog hunting!!

Michelle R - posted on 12/13/2011

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Ibe heard dachshunds are very temperamental. I have 2 friends that have them and they're total opposites. Unless you spend time with that breed id stay away from it just because of the kiddos.
A lot of shelters train their dogs they get and turn out to be really great buddies. Good luck.

Onika - posted on 12/13/2011

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Based on your specifications for a dog...a pug is actually perfect. Despite the distinctive face that doesn't

Onika - posted on 12/13/2011

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Based on your specifications for a dog...a pug is actually perfect. Despite the distinctive face that doesn't

Linda - posted on 12/13/2011

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There is a reason poodles have been such a popular dog for so many years. Very intelligent, don't shed much and can be very good with kids. Of course, there is the grooming issue. I also think Bostons are good family dogs. But any dog can bark and have other issues if not trained properly. So often people with small children just don't have the time or patience to devote to raising a puppy. So an older dog, already house trained and used to children would be your best bet. You might check into a rescue dog. Good luck.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 12/13/2011

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I would highly recommend NOT getting the Schipperkee. They are not good dogs for families with small children. They are aggressive by nature. There primary job was on ships catching rodents. They are nicknamed the "Captain" and they have very strong personalities....they are after all the "Captain". I owned one. I loved him very much, but was not great with children. They like adult companionship, and tend to bond with one owner over the other....they are good little dogs, but I seriously do not recommend them for what you are looking for. Also, you will find dead carcasses all over your yard! Baby rabbits in particular.

Leigh - posted on 12/13/2011

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research the Basenji they are a bit bullheaded because they are hounds but they are good with kids, don't bark (they yodel) and they are very easy to maintain. Don't get a brakeiasphalic breed they have many health problems. Another breed to look into is a Schiperkee, they are smaller than the Basenji but vocalize but they are also great with kids I would not get a Min Pin or a Pug lots of health problems with the pug and Min pins are mouthy.
good luck and AKC.org is a great place to look for various breeds and they can point you to clubs who can answer questions and are happy to do so. Hope this helps.

Vatsala - posted on 12/13/2011

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My Cousin owns a king charle's spaniel and she's inlove. She's great indoors and loveable to death.

Trish - posted on 12/13/2011

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I have a pug, and he is the kindest most gentle little dog with my little girl. He adjusted really well to her arrival. On the bad side, he does shed quite a bit, but there is no dog in the world that I trust completely with children other than our little pug

Betty - posted on 12/13/2011

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@ Susan - I have owned many poodle mixes and 2 mini schnauzers, and they did not shed!! Their hair just continues to grow constantly and that is why they have go get haircuts every 2 or 3 months! Of course a hair might fall out sometime, but there is no constant vacuuming and brushing to get hair off carpet, furniture, and clothes, like there is with even very short-haired breeds.

Betty - posted on 12/13/2011

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Any of these breeds are good. I love mini Schnauzers because I have had 2. They are very smart, love kids, and best of all they don't shed! But I beg you to look for one from a rescue group or a shelter, not a breeder and definitely not a pet store! Also, a small mixed breed will probably have less health problems than a purebred. And I recommend training your dog to stay in a crate when you aren't at home with him. This is the easiest wan to housetrain your dog and also to teach him to behave well and not chew on things that don't belong to him. He will feel safe in his crate and bark less when you leave. Once he has learned all this, you can see if you trust him to be alone in the house. Good luck!

Denise - posted on 12/13/2011

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Most small breeds aren't advisable with such small children underfoot - nor is anyone on Circle of Moms able to verify themselves (most likely) as a dog training professional. What you probably ought to do is find a local, well-reviewed positive dog trainer and see if they can assist you in your search.

The MOST important thing? Training. If you cannot afford at least an 8 week puppy class or don't have the time, now is not the time to get a dog. Even a poorly tempered, small breed can (and has) kill a baby. Working with a professional trainer is your best bet in finding - and keeping - the perfect dog for your family.

Janine - posted on 12/13/2011

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I agree with Kate C!! We have been looking into dog breeds and have decided on a rescue greyhound. They are generally terrific with kids and other pets. As my husband and I both work as well as having 2 small kids we didn't want a dog that was REALLY high maintenance, the greyhound only requires short sharp exercise and is happy lying around on its bed with its toys. Very friendly and cuddly! They are my pick for young families. Oh, also, I know you said you wanted something smaller but they are really light on their feet, a bit like a poodle, very gentle. Go and check some out before you right them off. :)

Kristin - posted on 12/13/2011

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We have a mini-schnauzer and he's been great with my son, babies and other dogs. We never find hair in our house and keep him clipped short so you just have to brush the muzzle hair once a week. He never even smells like a dog! He's smart, trained easily and is protective and playful with kids. He only weighs 15lbs and eats about a cup of food a day. We had him neutered so there weren't a lot of behavior problems, his breed isn't known for a lot of health problems and he only really barks at cats and new people until he gets to know them. All of my friends love this dog and he's been the best pet I've ever had. He did fine in the apartment with a couple walks a day and now has a big yard to play in at our new house. Everyone I know with a mini-schnauzer just loves them as family pets!

Here is a link to a page about dog breeds that shed very little. It has info about each breed to help you decide better. Good Luck!



http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/allergy.htm

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 12/13/2011

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My brother got his pit mix a few months before my older daughter was born and they grew up together. I believe it shows kids how to take care and respect other creatures if they're raised with animals.

Tonya - posted on 12/13/2011

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I was home with my baby and my puppy all day, so it worked out good for us. What I meant was to get the puppy after you have kids, instead of raising a dog in a kid-free home and then expecting them to know how to act around a baby/kids.

Susan - posted on 12/13/2011

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Oh, and ALL Live animals shed! Some don't shed as much as others, but if they have any hair, they will shed. I have seen many "non-shedding" poodles and "designer" mutts turned in to dog rescue and shelters because these ignorant people had unrealistic expectations about "non-shedding" breeds. Sorry, but if more people knew the truth, then not as many animals would be without homes.
Brushing & combing the dogs outside daily or a few times a week helps reduce the shedding inside. I second singing the praises of the Swiffer! Also an investment of a good quality Vacuum is a must with our pets!
Hope It helps, Susan BG

Susan - posted on 12/13/2011

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I agree with Leslee. A house and yard are not mandatory, but you really should wait until you can get a fenced in yard to be easier on you with the kids to manage. The dog has to be watched when with a child, more than cats.

I have also volunteered with Dog Rescue & worked with different breeds. Jack Russels are VERY energetic and need LOTS of exercise to keep from becoming destructive.
Well, ALL dogs need exercise, discipline and to know that YOU and your husband are Alpha & the dog is part of the pack with the children. I'd say get a submissive dog that is about a year old from Rescue. That way they know if the dog is dominant or submissive, if it can be trusted around cats/small children, and should already be house trained and have shots as well as fixed!

We had two Rhodesian Ridgeback mixes from rescue, and they were fantastic with our son when he was born. They are Very big dogs, but just know size doesn't tell you how good or not they will be with little ones. We had the dogs first. We took all the appropriate steps to acclimate the dogs to the baby's arrival. Ruby, my huntress & shadow, became his nursemaid. She would kiss him and let me know if he fussed or diaper smelled. As a toddler, Robert could take bones/toys/food out of their mouths, and take food out of the bowls while eating! (OK, I was inches away even though the 145lb male is very food motivated, he is not aggressive) The 100lb female was the guard dog, and larger male was submissive but sneaky. Rhodesian Ridgebacks are for experienced dog owners that have to love large dogs & be willing to continually train & exercise them. Like all smart dogs, they will get destructive if not given exercise, training & discipline daily. I love my dogs, but no matter what size, they are a big responsibility.
~Susan BG

Merry - posted on 12/13/2011

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Ok an update, I'm thinking we will be waiting a bit longer before a dog, yes I'd love to wait until IMO done having babies so that is a plan, but then again I do miss having a dog in the house.
We had a golden retriever. I got her when I was 15 and had her until this past fall. My sister and her roommates wanted a dog and India, the golden, was really not too happy here as ee are living in an apartment and she didn't get much exersise and she didn't have much room here and she was always taking food off the table and ripping up garbage and she wasn't crate trained and she barked a ton. Our patio opens from our living room so she was always tracking in mud or snow or poop into the living room where my kids play. So a few of these issues are India specific and a few are big dog problems and a few are training issues because she never got proper training.
I don't want to replace India but I do want to eventually have a dog that's a better fit for our family. India now gets three walks a day, a huge doubled to live in with four single women who adore her.
The issues are mostly in the shedding. Shedding is not ok, I'll buy a pet razor and shave the dog as needed. I love cutting hair. But sheddiing I just can't tolerate
So, 30lbs maybe I'd do but really ideal is 15ish.

Donna - posted on 12/13/2011

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I so agree with Angela. We had 2 Shelites when the kids were growing up and you won't find a smarter, loving, well behaved dog. One of our Shelites got our of the back yard and ended up at the school at recess. He was having a ball and didn't want to get in the car to come home. We have 3 Yorkies now. We love this breed but they are too fragile for small kids.

Angela - posted on 12/13/2011

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We have a Sheltie and I have never known a better dog for kids! Our oldest, 8, brushes her every other day, (and if you get a smooth coat, maybe once every two weeks for most of the year) She is gentle with the kids, never had a problem with babies, is a herding dog so she will follow the kids in the yard and circle them to bring them back if the go over to the neighbors yard. She eats very little and is always a happy dog, has great ability to "hold it" and wait if we need her to not go i the house while being gone all day. She never chews on things and does not beg. My mom has three Shelties as well, they are the same way. Just big enough where you don't feel like you or the kids will squish or break them, but small enough to not get in the way or knock kids down.

Chris - posted on 12/13/2011

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Kate is correct of Jack Russells. Very hyper, bond with ony one person and don't like other animals. Mixed breed Jack Russells can be very good dogs though. We took in an 8yr old Jack Russell mix and while she needs plenty of excersize, she is a very well behaved dog. She was frightened of everything when we got her, especially men. However, she bonded with my son and considers herself his dog. She learns quickly and minds very well. She is good around little kids and will walk away from them if she doesn't want/like what they are doing. My worse complaint is she sheds badly!

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I thought that was odd to since I know whippets to have thin skin too...Never know. Maybe the best thing to do would be to go to a dog show and talk to breeders. That way you have all the dogs there and the breeders. They are very honest about their breeds and don't want to place them in homes that are wrong for them. I'm a big dog gal so I could name tons of larger breeds but I don't know my small breeds as well.



Oh and my neighbors have a Lab that drives me nuts! She's always baring her teeth and she barks nonstop when they let her out (and they ignore barking). I used to let my dog in every time he started barking and he learned that if he barks he comes in...so now he will stand at the door and bark to come in (he's also trained to ring bells to go out).

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 12/13/2011

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I just can't stand yappy dogs. Some neighbours of my parents had a mini poodle and it would wake me up at 5:30 every morning yapping!

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