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Small dog advice needed, please.

My husband and I are in the market for a small dog. Our house is a decent size, but a yard is .06 acres, and while fenced in, it would not be fair to a medium, to large breed dog. We both grew up with labradors and golden retrievers. We are new to the small dog word. Ultimately, we will adopt from a shelter, so we will most likely end up with a mutt and we are 100% okay with that. So, to anyone with small dog experience, what small dog breeds would you recommend? Which would you recommend avoiding? We have 3 active children ranging in age between 7 and 14 months. Thanks in advance for any advice!

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 10:36 PM on May. 24, 2010 in Just for Fun

Answers (10)
  • I have shared my home with many dogs, some ours and most fosters. We have had adult dogs from 3 pounds to 100 plus pounds. Two of our personal dogs were lab mix and we lived in apartments with them and they did fine. We were really tight on space for about 6 months and in a a 3 bedroom hourse we had our lab/golden retriever, my son's lab, our 3 adult cats, 2 foster kittens, 5 adults and a baby. Big calm dogs that like being around people and other animals can do just fine in small places.

    Right now we have 2 stray toy poodles that are around 9 pounds and a 3 pound chihuahua my son got me for my birthday. It's the first time in 15 years we haven't had a big dog and I am enjoying the little dogs. Poodles are smart and don't shed. I have really fallen in love with my little chihuahua. You can find pure bred dogs from the pound, check


    Answer by Gailll at 10:51 PM on May. 24, 2010

  • I have a Miniature Doberman Pinscher .....she is smart and doesn't mind being "man handled" so to speak.

    I would avoid Pomeranian. My Step-mom loves them, but, they have all been biters.

    Answer by BradenIsMySon at 10:56 PM on May. 24, 2010

  • With a big family, I'd recommend getting a small dog that is easier to train. Toy poodles and dachsunds are very intelligent and easy to train from what I've heard from close friends and family members. Dachsunds are generally better with children than poodles, they are sweethearts. I absolutely love yorkies and have two, but I would not recommend them unless you really really really love dogs and can put up with anything, because they yap at everything, are extremely difficult to housetrain and are not especially good with kids unless you raise them from a puppy with the kids. They are adorable though... Hope that helps.

    Answer by moniquinha at 10:56 PM on May. 24, 2010

  • We have a Dachshund for 10 years now. He is adorable and good with our kids and other kids.

    Answer by sweetmom1007 at 10:57 PM on May. 24, 2010

  • With those age children I would advise avoiding any terrier mix. They tend to herd kids and nip at their heels. They are also fairly high energy and can be a bit jump happy.

    Poodles are always a good bet; but not always likely at a shelter.

    You can also check your local Craigslisting and see if anyone is looking to re-home a pet you might then be able to see it interact with it's current family and see it's kid friendly etc before deciding to adopt - just a thought.


    Answer by Anonymous at 10:57 PM on May. 24, 2010

  • The poodles and my chihuahua get along great with my toddler grandson. I think it depends more on the dog then on the breed. Two houses down there are two chiweenies and they escape and they don't like anyone. One will let me pet it sometimes. They are about 6 pounds and my chihuahua is terrified of them. My chihuahua is friends with the rotti next door.

    If you adopt from a rescue then if it doesn't work out you should be able to take the dog back and get a different dog. One of the rescues I foster with is really nice about that. I would stay away from any dog that has any pit bull mix. I don't trust them. They can be all nice one minute and turn mean the next. Of course dogs should live in the house and not outside.


    Answer by Gailll at 11:01 PM on May. 24, 2010

  • Dachshunds are great with kids. my first dog when i was a kid was one. i think you probably do have enuff room for a goldie, though, and they are even better with kids. and they are not as prone to chewing on things as some other breeds. it ultimately depends on how you raise a dog, and sometimes its hard to find young dogs at shelters, because most people like puppies, and get rid of them when they are full grown, and sometimes it can be challenging to introduce a full grown dog to young children. if you can, i would get the youngest dog avaliable at the shelter. some breeds have bad reps, but that is due to irresponsible owners who didnt take care of the dog properly. i have seen rotts, dobermans, pittbulls all be very loving and good family dogs. for the mutt factor, that is probably a good financial decision, as well, because they are less prone to purebred genetic disease which can be expensive to treat. good luck!

    Answer by jeanniegirl82 at 11:03 PM on May. 24, 2010

  • Beagle mix. They are plentiful at the shelter. Beagles and their mutts are so docile they are used at some dental schools for dental cleaning practice. They are easy to groom and have low instances of health problems. They are easy to train and tolerate hardy exercise.

    Min-pins, chihuahuas, and poodles that are at the shelter were put there for behavior problems. I've seen plenty of pure breads abandoned because some moron bought a designer dog then didn't train it and it wound up out of its poor little mind and chewed the couch. I've seen many chihuahuas with bite history. Poodles require tons of grooming. My in-laws all have min-pins and they are the sickest animals ever.

    Answer by ecodani at 11:45 PM on May. 24, 2010

  • The manager at one of our local animal shelters told me once that they see more chihuahua bites than anything else.

    We have a Pekingese/Lhasa Apso mix who is just a doll, but unless I keep her in a puppy cut the shed factor is really bad. When her coat is long it requires daily brushing.

    I grew up with a toy poodle, and he was wonderful with us. The grooming really wasn't all that bad..he got shorn like a sheep on a regular basis. And he never shed.

    Answer by gdiamante at 2:38 AM on May. 25, 2010

  • I do not recommend JAck Russel Terrier/Parsons Terriers

    Answer by mysilentmorning at 7:00 PM on May. 25, 2010

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