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fastEddie Dork
5/20/08 6:21 p.m.
CrackMonkey wrote: My two small dogs (Mini Schnauzer and a Bichon Frise) don't bark any more than any other dog. The Bichon isn't hyper active at all - she's content to sit in my lap and keep me warm. The Schnauzer has more energy, but walking him a few miles a day is plenty to keep him relaxed at home.

Tell me more about your Frise. I hear they require a lot of grooming because they don't shed. What about their temperament?

Salanis HalfDork
5/20/08 6:33 p.m.

Along with Bichon type dogs (along with the Frise, there is the Havanese, and others), I'd also recommend the Lhasa Apso.

The Lhasa is a small Tibetan dog. They were bread to be monestary companions/watch dogs. They tend to be intelligent and like people more than other dogs (they aren't aggressive so much as not interested). They like to show off. As I stated earlier, they tend to be mostly quiet, usually just barking to announce that there is someone entering their territory. They have a well defined sense of territory.

They are longer-haired and require regular grooming.

The Tibettan Terrier (which is not an actual terrier) is very similar in personality and grooming, but is a bit bigger and heartier.

My girlfriend has a mutt that I swear is part lhasa (she thinks something in the Bichon family). Her neighbors have commented that her dog is very quiet and doesn't bark that often. It generally barks just when someone is on the outside landing. When people walk in the door, she says "Hello." I'm not kidding. "Herrrrooooooo. Heh-ooooo. Herr-roo-rooo-rrrroooooooo. Herro. Herr-herr-heh."

Chebbie_SB Reader
5/20/08 7:19 p.m.

Go for the shelter/Rescue dog, pick the breed-mix based on you and your family in regard to whether you want a dog that is always "On" (some dogs are hyper, some are happy to chill). I have a German Short-Hair Pointer that is the smartest, well behaved "Pre-Enjoyed" dog you could imagine! Good Luck!

Salanis HalfDork
5/20/08 10:03 p.m.
Chebbie_SB wrote: Go for the shelter/Rescue dog, pick the breed-mix based on you and your family in regard to whether you want a dog that is always "On" (some dogs are hyper, some are happy to chill). I have a German Short-Hair Pointer that is the smartest, well behaved "Pre-Enjoyed" dog you could imagine! Good Luck!

That way, you let some other poor sap take the hit of depreciation in initial value. Everyone knows things things are WAAAAY cheaper a year off of lease.

Per Schroeder
Per Schroeder Technical Editor/Advertising Director
5/21/08 8:40 a.m.

My older Schnauzer is a rescue dog. He's got his issues, but he's my best friend......we got him by way of the Bull Terrier rescue group (My parent's belong/rescue) and had him flown in from Missouri.

You may want to try www.petfinder.com

CrackMonkey Reader
5/21/08 8:51 a.m.
Tell me more about your Frise. I hear they require a lot of grooming because they don't shed. What about their temperament?

Yeah, they do require weekly brushing, if you want to keep their hair in a more show-like cut. Especially when it's wet outside. In summer, we just keep it cut short, so brushing isn't needed as much. It is very soft hair - no bristles or undercoat. Little kids love her, and she loves little kids.

Temperament is good. Very affectionate towards her people - as I said, she's usually happy to lie in one of our laps, or next to us on the sofa. Usually ambivalent/aloof towards strange dogs - doesn't bark at them, just doesn't really care. She's a bit of a prima donna - almost like she's half cat. She'll roll over to get her belly rubbed, but it's more of a "you better rub my belly NOW!" than a submissive "please rub my belly".

My only complaint is she HATES the rain. She'll whine to go out to pee, then as soon as she feels the rain, she strains to go back inside. Every Bichon I've ever known (three of them) have been like this. Pretty much have to drag her to the middle of the yard and stand there until she figures out the sooner she pees, the faster she can get back inside.

Bichon, maltese, and the one or two related breeds are lap dogs. If that's what you want, years of selective breeding really has produced an amazing critter. But, they certainly aren't going to go camping with you, run a 10k, or anything else "rugged".

wlkelley3 Reader
5/21/08 11:54 a.m.

I had a rescue black Lab/Britanny Spaniel mix. Looked like a Lab with longer nose. About the smartest dog I've ever had. Learned fast, calm and only barked for a reason. Do anything to please and adored kids. Had to sometimes watch her around kids as she was bigger than some kids (85 lbs) and would sometimes knock them over unintentionaly. The abuse she took from kids was amazing, daughter and friends used to hang on the dogs ears, tail, collar, anyplace and the dog would drag them around the yard, when one fell off she would go back for the kid. In her later years, she suffered from the big dog joint issues and one night we came home from work to find that she passed while we were gone. She was 13-yo That was a few years ago and we still miss her. Daughter has a rescue AKC registered Lab and that thing just won't settle down, she's almost 2 now. Their boxer/pit mix puppy is loads better. I grew up taught that mixed breed are usually calmer than pure breeds. My other daughter has a Husky/wolf hybrid that is calm around people and likes people. No patience for other rambunctious animals though. Had a mix (Cocker/pekapoo) while growing up, she was smart too and loved slides and riding in cars.

wlkelley3 Reader
5/23/08 7:07 p.m.

Got a call from my wife today while driving home from work. She said stop by her work and pick up a dog she just saved from going to the shelter. Surprises me :omg: as she is old fashioned Korean and dogs have to have a purpose. She tolerated the lab-mix we had because the lab would eat anything, including kimchi/sushi. We now have a 5-yo toy poodle. It seems as though it hasn't been well treated, it runs on 3 legs and favors the left hind leg and has long nails that need trimming and a bump that's tender at the base of the ribs. Seems like possibly broken rib in the past. I think she has been kicked around. She kinda skittish but will settle down on my lap. Got to take her to the vet in the next day or so. Wonder how long till she learns that she now will have an easy life and settle down. hard typing this with her on my lap and head resting on my left arm. :grin: She not getting a fru-fru hair cut though.

Snowdoggie New Reader
5/23/08 10:13 p.m.

+100 on a Rescue dog. I have been doing rescue for almost 10 years now for three different groups, two of which I started myself. Every time I go into a shelter to pick one up I try to acknowlege every dog I walk past in the runs. I give each one a friendly wave, sometimes I even let one or two sniff my had on the walk by. I always make eye contact as the dogs come up to the end of their cage to greet me. I know that 90% of those guys will not make it out of the shelter alive.

When you get a dog from a Rescue Group or a Shelter you are saving a life.

Dwight Varnes
Dwight Varnes SuperDork
5/24/08 7:07 a.m.

Shelter or rescue, either way is good. Pet stores are the most evil thing in the world (except those that do not actually sell live animals other than, say, fish). "Breeders" are rarely interested in more than money. A real breeder will not be advertising in your local shopping rag.

My "Patented Dog Selection Process" at the shelter is pretty much let the dog pick me. I lean towards medium to large sized dogs. Black dogs have a harder time getting adopted, for some reason. Anything with Lab roots is a good bet, as are Goldens (however, the laundry list of health issues in purebred Goldens should give you some pause). German Shepherd mixes I like, but have not found most GSD's to be my kind of dog. I have no tolerance for yappy or constantly vocal dogs (beagles, bassetts, shelties and any number of drop-kick breeds). I think you are very wise to skip the puppy process. The cuteness wears off in about a day and you are left with a infantile PITA for at least 6 months. Adult dogs are pretty much plug and play. :cool: DO talk to the staff at the shelter about what you are looking for. They may be able to point you towards something you would otherwise have not given a thought to. Do not use size as a deciding factor; I have not found the larger dogs to be any more trouble than the terriers I grew up with. In fact, the smaller dogs can be an annoyance, because they will climb all over the furniture and YOU, among other things. If you wind up with a strong dog that is a leash challenge, get yourself a "Gentle Leader". They rock!

Kids should grow up with a dog. It teaches them a lot. Just understand, you will do all the work.

grtechguy Dork
5/24/08 8:21 a.m.

Another vote here for a golden mix. Our last dog was a 110lb 3/4 Golden with 1/4 choc Lab.

our 3 very (at the time twin 1 yo and a 3yo) children could pull the dog around by his lips. and ride him!

But, last summer we had to put him down due to a non-op brain tumor. :(

redbonechkn New Reader
5/25/08 11:52 p.m.

Ive got a bluetick coonhound in a one bedroom apt yeah she's a handful but I walk her to the point of exhaustion and she and me gets a good nights sleep. Hyper but a good dog she is 5 months old and heeling pretty well sits good and a electric no bark collar took care of her bawling problem. She goes to work with me everyday and although she ain't my old lab she id growing on me

neon4891 Reader
5/26/08 12:28 a.m.

+1 rescue a dog -1 beagels are loud as hell and love to run off

curtis73 New Reader
5/26/08 8:25 p.m.

My wife and I rescue dogs and she works at a doggie day care, so I'll offer my observatory opinion.

I used to breed beagles and bassets when I was growing up. Beagles are friggin great, but can be intensely vocal. They are also hounds and frequently mask their scent by rolling in road kill or feces. Not fun when you pet your dog only to realize you've just stroked cougar poop and its all over the seat of your miata as well. Bassets roll too, but of all the hounds they are the most stubborn. Very difficult to train. They aren't really dumb, they just don't care about consequences so punishing them has little effect on training. Rewarding them rarely bridges the learning gap.

Retrievers are dopey. Smart, but dopey and a little like a bull in a china shop. They are fine as outdoor dogs, but can be a handful inside until they're old and can't walk.

I like labs; brilliant, loyal, beautiful, and for the most part healthy.

A couple general rules as you search the pound (because you wouldn't dream of buying a puppy-mill dog from a pet store, right?) 1- avoid pure breeds. You're searching for a family pet, not a trophy, so you don't need the exclusive dog. Pure bred dogs also have much shorter lives, increased incidents of health issues, and just represent cruelty. Mixed dogs typically have even temperaments and are uglier... and that's cool. 2- small dogs live longer. A typical Chihuahua is expected to live 15-18 years. A Great Dane is more like 8. Consider your investment.

I have three dogs right now, all rescues, and all three are pure breeds; two chihuahuas and one french bulldog. We have to watch the Chi's for luxating patellas and mouth/tooth infections. The Frenchie has to be watched for rectal prolapse, cherry eye, overheats VERY easily, and is prone to sinus infections. Not to mention she farts constantly and is darn near impossible to train. We adopted her 5 months ago and despite hard efforts we are just to the "sit" stage, and even that is only if she wants to.

Get a mutt, get one from the pound, and enjoy.

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