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Picking out the right breed of dog

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
My sister and her boyfriend are expecting a baby and currently live in an apartment, and want to adopt a small breed of dog. I think they are crazy, as the apartment only has a bathroom,kitchen,living room, and 1 bedroom, and no yard. The boyfriend works most of the day and my sister just wont walk a dog everyday or as often as needed I dont think especially being 7 months pregnant. Pets are allowed (35 - pounds) and they can walk the dog outside to use the bathroom but it cant run loose.

Anyway, being we never owned a dog or her, I told her i'd ask for opinions on possibly what dog breed would suit their lifestyle if they are getting one.

So this might help narrow it down.

1- must be 35 pounds or under (meaning adult dog no more than 35 pounds)
2- must be good around baby/small children and company.
3- wont try to eat everything in sight
4- wont bark like crazy (ex beagles which are known for being barkers)
5- being the lack of space, cant require too much excerise or be a "hyper" breed"
6- easiest breeds to groom
7- no breeds with too serious health related issues as this is the first dog so not much experience on health care.

I dont know where they are adopting the dog as they are limited on money for adoption, some shelters are expensive, yet pet store dogs are almost always from mills.
post #2 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by keith p View Post
My sister and her boyfriend are expecting a baby and currently live in an apartment, and want to adopt a small breed of dog. I think they are crazy, as the apartment only has a bathroom,kitchen,living room, and 1 bedroom, and no yard. The boyfriend works most of the day and my sister just wont walk a dog everyday or as often as needed I dont think especially being 7 months pregnant. Pets are allowed (35 - pounds) and they can walk the dog outside to use the bathroom but it cant run loose.

Anyway, being we never owned a dog or her, I told her i'd ask for opinions on possibly what dog breed would suit their lifestyle if they are getting one.

So this might help narrow it down.

1- must be 35 pounds or under (meaning adult dog no more than 35 pounds)
2- must be good around baby/small children and company.
3- wont try to eat everything in sight
4- wont bark like crazy (ex beagles which are known for being barkers)
5- being the lack of space, cant require too much excerise or be a "hyper" breed"
6- easiest breeds to groom
7- no breeds with too serious health related issues as this is the first dog so not much experience on health care.

I dont know where they are adopting the dog as they are limited on money for adoption, some shelters are expensive, yet pet store dogs are almost always from mills.
hmmm, I agree, right now is not the best time to be adopting a dog. You should suggest that they wait until after the baby is born and they have established a routine. What's 6 more months? The last thing your sister is going to want to deal with in addition to a baby is a puppy. But for the future they can do a search for "what kind of dog should I get" and a bunch of sites come up that can help them, cause honestly, i don't know of any dog that fulfills all those requirements. Most dogs under 35 lbs require regular, every 8-10 weeks, grooming. Smaller dogs are also known to be a bit nippier than others which wouldn't be good with a baby, and all puppies teethe which mean they are going to be eating everything
post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 
I meant to add they were thinking of adopting an adult dog. But you made a good point small dogs do tend to nip which is why they shouldnt get a dog until the baby is older, or get some other animal.
post #4 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by katiemae1277 View Post
hmmm, I agree, right now is not the best time to be adopting a dog. You should suggest that they wait until after the baby is born and they have established a routine. What's 6 more months? The last thing your sister is going to want to deal with in addition to a baby is a puppy. But for the future they can do a search for "what kind of dog should I get" and a bunch of sites come up that can help them, cause honestly, i don't know of any dog that fulfills all those requirements. Most dogs under 35 lbs require regular, every 8-10 weeks, grooming. Smaller dogs are also known to be a bit nippier than others which wouldn't be good with a baby, and all puppies teethe which mean they are going to be eating everything
I agree. A new baby and a dog is going to be a lot of work! When my mom had my little sis, she was extremely tired and busy. Maybe after the baby gets a bit older? Anyhow, I think a good dog for the future would be bishon frise.

http://dogbreedinfo.com/bichonfrise.htm
Although they do require a lot of grooming!

I'd say a small dog that is great with family and requires little grooming is hard to find lol!

A boston terrier would be good, but they require a good amount of training and can be stubborn at times.

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

A deer chihuahua might be the best choice. Unlike most chihuahuas, they're pretty socialized, small, and don't require much grooming.
Then again, some people say there is no such thing as a deer chihuahua
But I'd have to disagree. They look like miniature deers with very long legs. My best friend has 3 of them.
post #5 of 19
I have to agree and say that now is not the best time for a dog. Maybe a stuffed dog is a good option for right now?

It's going to be VERY hard to find a dog that fits into that description. Most small breeds require regular grooming. Small dogs are known for dental problems, which is costly. Actually, all dogs are costly. It's hard to say if a dog will develop health problems later down the road simply by judging their breed. What if the dog gets poisoned? Hit by a vehicle? Develops cancer or another disease? Dog owners have to be prepared for those types of medical emergencies that can pop up at anytime. I think that they should wait a while to get a dog, IMO.
post #6 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by meminikitty View Post
A deer chihuahua might be the best choice. Unlike most chihuahuas, they're pretty socialized, small, and don't require much grooming.
A Chi is a Chi, even if they have a "deer head" (which is a fault, BTW). The "deer Chihuahuas" are just those that are bred to look a little different, but their personalities are the same. If they're well-trained and nice, this means they were raised that way, it's not because of how their heads look. But, in general, Chihuahuas aren't very good with kids, and tend to be easily injured by small children.

I would NOT recommend that they get a dog now. They're going to be VERY busy in a couple of months and won't have time to train a dog. This is a major reason dogs end up in shelters ("new baby in home"). When the kid is a bit older it will be much easier on everyone.

Badly bred dogs of any breed will be prone to health issues, and good breeders are not cheap. So that might be a problem. If they go with a rescue, it's an unknown whether the dog is well-bred or not (probably not, as good breeders take steps to make sure dogs of their breeding don't end up in shelters), but at least they'd be saving a life, and, in most cases, the vet work would already be done for them. They could also check with a good breeder to see if they have any older dogs (retired breeders, show potentials that didn't work out, etc.) for adoption. This is a good way to get a well-bred dog that isn't a puppy.

By that list it's hard to make a breed recommendation. Most little dogs that are good with kids require extensive grooming, or are barky, or are "too hyper".
post #7 of 19
I would recommend against getting a dog. They're doing the typical thing everyone does 'Oh we're having a baby, let's get a dog!' A few months later the dog is a burden and they are too busy with their kid so they feel they aren't giving the dog enough attention.

In any case I think they should go for a small breed mutt if they insist on getting a dog. Get a dog based on how they fit with your personality, not based on breed.
post #8 of 19
I agree with everyone else, they should wait a while. Though whatever they get they should have the advantage of raising their child to be good to the dog so that should avoid most problems.

As for quieter toy breeds, I've met some very nice Shih Tzus and Shi mixes - though as with a lot of those type of little dogs there's the coat (can be clipped) that needs a lot of care, possible breathing issues, and some stubbornness. They can go either way with strangers and how well they deal with kids - either raising the dog with the child or adopting a dog that has been around children should take care of that though.
I had a friend growing up that had a Silky - she'd had the dog since she was 4 or 5. Sweet dog, personality wise she was playful but like a toned down terrier. She was on the larger side for a silky, though.

My in-laws have some neighbors that have a long haired chihuahua. Their girls are of varying ages but the dog and the children were raised together. From what I've seen the chi (Peanut ) is very affectionate and protective of her girls and they're gentle with her. I think a lot of problems can be avoided if the parents are responsible and teach their children to respect all animals. I was raised with cats - I never harmed any when I was little, though I had a bad tendency to bring home feral kittens and get scratched all to you know what.

About the only thing I suggest they don't get is any of the higher energy terrier breeds - like rat, fox, or jack russel. Lots of barking and dogs that need a lot of attention/walks to keep them happy.
post #9 of 19
Definitely not a good idea, actually a really bad idea.......Better to focus on their first baby, please don't add a first dog into the mix! That would be completely unfair to all involved.....
post #10 of 19
Getting a dog at this point would be bad for your sister and her husband and the dog! A baby is full time work - especially the first baby! Also, small children and small dogs are usually not a good mix. While there are some exceptions it's because of the parents being extra vigilent and very careful to teach the child to be extra gentle. It doesn't take much for a small dog to feel threatened and because they think like dogs the first reaction is often to use their teeth to tell the child to back off. Unfortunately this is often seen as aggression and the dog suffers.

Lot's of people have a bit of a romantic idea about a child and dog growing up together but the problem is that by the time the child is old enough to even pet the dog without supervision the dog is already middle aged, and by the time the child is ready to play with the dog the dog is too old to play the way the kid wants.

Also, the idea of taking in a rescue is very admirable, however, a person has to understand that that rescue was given away for a reason and most of the time it's been lack of socialization or lack of training and all the problems that come with them. Neither of these are something your sister is going to want to be trying to deal with at the moment.

From many years of dog experience I'd suggest they hold off until the child is at least three, but five would be even better. Then they could enjoy the dog as a family and not have all the stress of a new dog added to the stress of a newborn.
post #11 of 19
Westie, Italian Greyhound, Whippet,
post #12 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
Westie, Italian Greyhound, Whippet,
Westies are some of the best "family" terriers out there but they are still terriers - I would talk to more than a few breeders before settling on them. Italian greyhounds and whippets are both site hounds and react to visual stimuli. A baby falling could be enough to get them grabbed before the dog even thinks. Not only that but Italian greyhounds are notorious for having their bones break by simple things like jumping off of couches. I doubt you would find a good breeder who would recommend either of these sight hound breeds.

Edited to add: While whippets are listed in the breed books as good apartment dogs they still need to be take out and let run at least once a week. This would require a fenced area since the hunting instinct is still intact and they have been known to run down and kill everything from squirrels to cats. Also Westies need a good bit of exercise to keep them happy.
post #13 of 19
Sorry, just realized that my last post might have sounded grumpy or condemning, it wasn't intended that way; not at all.
post #14 of 19
If they are determined to get a dog the best breed would be a Bichon. They do required regular grooming though including haircuts. They shed very little if any. It would be better if they waited until their circumstances change. All dogs need to be walked everyday more than just taken out to use the bathroom.
post #15 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by bean View Post
Westies are some of the best "family" terriers out there but they are still terriers
The neighbors behind me have a westie. Since his owner is the sister to the former owner of our house, he occasionally marches right into our backyard - thankfully he is a very friendly and social dog. However he is rambunctious for a middle age dog and gets his fun from antagonizing the other fenced dogs on the street. Definitely a breed with enough energy that it needs to be taken out and played with a lot.
The neighbors childrens' (think children as in late 20s-30s) rot puppy is more subdued and doesn't keep up with the westie well...
post #16 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
Westie, Italian Greyhound, Whippet,
I agree with others that they probably should wait to get a dog, but the smaller sighthounds such as whippets and Italian greyhounds would probably fit most of those requirements.
post #17 of 19
I would also say they should not get a dog right now. However most likely they will anyway.

I would suggest either a Shitzu or a Bichon or a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. All of these dogs are going to have a coat on them that needs grooming (the King Charles Spaniel less so than the others) but no matter which dog they get, they are going to have to put work into some area.

I would strongly warn against JRT. Despite what movies show, they really aren't that good with children, especially small children.

No matter what dog they get, they are going to have to work with both dog and child on what the appropriate behavior is for both towards the other. Since you mention that your sister isn't likely to even walk the dog like she should, then I highly doubt that proper training for any dog will happen either. Again, I hope they don't get a dog at all.

I don't mean to sound harsh but I rescued and fostered dogs for a long time and I have little patience for people who suddenly want a puppy but they really don't want to have to walk it, train it or groom it. For those kind of people, stuffed animals are the way to go.
post #18 of 19
Oh man, that will be a lot of work.

Speaking by experience I would suggest a Chihuahua or a Chihuahua mix. I've got a long haired Chihuahua and he pretty much has always laid around the house all day long, even when he was a puppy. We don't have any troubles with him tearing things up. The only thing that wouldn't match up well is the fact that Chihuahuas make great "hearing ear dogs" for people who are deaf because they will bark and run back and forth to whatever noise is going on until you react.

The problem I see with a small dog is their small bladder, and if they are gone most of the day I'm sure they won't be happy to find messes around the house.

Other than that..... a small dog that doesn't need much room and doesn't need exercise....I'm at a loss.
post #19 of 19
If they did go with a small dog and they found the right breeder who starts them that way, you can litter train a puppy. Some people have had success with that (other people who have been less consistant have had no end of trouble). What would be better is if they had a balcony and planted a box with grass and taught the dog to go there, that would save them the hassle of having to run a dog outside several times a day.

But no one should start with a baby and a puppy at the same time. People who have never had a dog have no clue how much work they actually can be.
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