Owning a smaller dog.

(22 Posts)
Springermum1350 Mon 13-Jun-16 10:11:15

We are looking at having a dog next spring. I have always owned middle sized dogs ( springers ) but I am thinking this time that a smaller dog would be more suitable for my
Life style now.

Thinking Maltese size. Those of you who own smaller dogs or have both bigger and smaller. Can you tell me the differences that there are ... Walking food behaviour exercising the mind etc. Thanks.

Wyldfyre Mon 13-Jun-16 12:25:41

I've always owned large/medium breeds (labs and springers) but I think if I was going for a small dog I'd go for a Border Terrier. They seem smart and trainable but with a huge dollop of spirit.

Princesspeach1980 Mon 13-Jun-16 16:09:22

I have a chi X jrt, under 3kg so doesn't come much smaller 😃 He has 2 walks per day, usually about 30-40 minutes each time, but he has walked up to 5 miles with us before. He's surprisingly sturdy, took him to the beach for the first time and he was like a little mountain goat across the rock pools.

He was tough to toilet train, but cracked it by about 6 months. We got him in Autumn and he hated going out on the wet grass when he was tiny. He also feels the cold quite easily and need a decent coat in winter (but not a onesie in the house like some chi owners do confused). He has also been quite tricky to train, he's not very treat orientated as he has a small appetite, but he's very well behaved and has a good recall.

Plus sides, cheap to feed, cheaper medication bills at the vets, easy to tuck under your arm if you need to go in a shop, doesn't take much space in the car, and can sleep in my bed without taking up all the space.

Negatives, hard to buy accessories like harnesses without going online, tiresome judgy comments from people all the time about how small he is, and falling over him all the time because he's so small. You also have to dog proof your garden really well, mine weaselled under the tiniest gap under our face when he was a pup.

CMOTDibbler Mon 13-Jun-16 16:12:20

I guess it depends by what you mean by fitting with your lifestyle tbh. My friend has 3 small dogs, the smallest being a tiny chi, and apart from the fact she has a catflap for them to go in and out of, they are actually harder work than my lurchers as they are all bright little buttons who need a lot of stimulation.

TrionicLettuce Mon 13-Jun-16 17:42:44

A lot will depend on the breed as well as size, smaller doesn't necessarily mean a lower energy or "easier" dog, if that's what you mean by better fitting your lifestyle now.

There's a world of difference between something like a CKCS and a small terrier. Even some toy breeds are pretty on the go, miniature pinschers are tiny but they're really buzzy and active little things.

Springermum1350 Mon 13-Jun-16 18:00:02

Sorry. Life style is the wrong word. I have back pain and when I walk bigger dogs ( family ones as well) my back started to hurt. Especially if they suddenly rush in the other direction.
Walking is good for my back so having a dog brings me a lot of benefits. The more I move the better my back is. Playing with them , bending up and down, etc etc.

So in my head ( I could be wrong about this please tell me if I am ) a smaller dog and I mean Maltese and smaller chihuahua size would be easier in my back when walking.

Or am I just making this up as I miss having a dog.

Princesspeach1980 Mon 13-Jun-16 18:30:23

I understand what you mean and it makes sense. My old dog was very strong on the lead if she disagreed on which direction we should go in. I can hold my current dog's lead with one finger when he's at full tilt grin. He's also easy to lift into the bath, pop onto the table at the vets etc. Plus although he will walk miles, he's equally happy with a quick spin round the block if I've got a busy day.

Springermum1350 Mon 13-Jun-16 18:37:04

Princess peach.... That's what I was hoping to hear. What dog do you have

RebuildingMyself Mon 13-Jun-16 18:42:36

So in my head ( I could be wrong about this please tell me if I am ) a smaller dog and I mean Maltese and smaller chihuahua size would be easier in my back when walking.

Before committing to a dog, I'd ask a rescue if you can volunteer to do some walking and see how your back is affected when walking smaller dogs. That way you can be sure it will be OK for you (backs are funny things and I don't think you can ever tell what's best for you without testing it)

Princesspeach1980 Mon 13-Jun-16 19:44:44

I have a 10 month old chihuahua X Jack Russell (75%chi 25% jrt). i never would have imagined myself with a tiny dog but he's such a sweetheart and has just slotted into our lives perfectly.

Springermum1350 Mon 13-Jun-16 19:48:32

Princess peach that is the size I was thinking about.

MadisonMontgomery Mon 13-Jun-16 19:52:58

I've got a pug X Lhasa apso. I don't think I'd want a bigger dog - my dad has always had labs and my little fatty is so much easier, he was toilet trained really quickly, he's easy to walk as he doesn't pull and isn't one for running off, plus you can pick him up whenever you want. He's a real character, everyone loves him.

Princesspeach1980 Mon 13-Jun-16 19:54:26

I think as long as you can walk round the block on a bad day, and manage bending to attach lead, scoop poop etc then you should go for it.

Tuco says do it!

Springermum1350 Mon 13-Jun-16 20:22:48

My friend has a long haired chihuahua called buttons. I didn't like that breed before I met him but he is so gorgeous. His little feet!!!!! Just adorable.

FenellaMaxwell Mon 13-Jun-16 20:26:11

I've only ever had big dogs before our ridiculous, tiny fluffball chose us. It turns out the smaller the dog, the bigger the personality! They are more prone to separation anxiety, harder to toilet train and need more stimulation but they are oh so worth it!

CarpetDiem Mon 13-Jun-16 20:41:12

We have a Bichon Frise, she's the most loving, cute dog ever. She's nearly one yr old & although she only needs 2 x15 min walks a day, she can manage big walks if we go out for the day.
My main issue (common with bichons) has been house training, lots of accidents and she was slow to learn blush despot crate training etc.
She loves attention & can't be left for long periods, I work part time so she's never on her own all day. Have a google of bichons 🐩🐶😀

gingerbreadmanm Mon 13-Jun-16 20:51:49

We've got a miniature dachshund hes bloody lovely. Did pull a bit until we got him harness trained. He's lively but not too much (1 now) and is an absolute pleasure to be around.

Great with kids. Yappy though. As are most small dogs. Were trying to train him out of it at the moment.

He is sooooo loving and loyal. I love my dog blush

BagelGoesWalking Tue 14-Jun-16 00:16:48

Silver Fox Dog Rescue seems to specialise in small dogs. They also have a branch in Scotland (don't know where you are).

A small poodle would probably be quite manageable? You could look at specific breed rescues as well.

Lokibuddyboo Tue 14-Jun-16 13:28:03

I had always had big dogs till I got my current ddog who is a chihuahua cross jrt.
I never thought I would get a small dog but he is great, he can manage big walks but is happy if he only gets small walks.
Some of the pros of a small dog:- they don't pull you over, cheaper to feed, cheaper medication at vets (worm and flea treatments) etc, you can pick them up easily, smaller poos to clean up.
Some cons are :- harder to toilet train, can be yappy sometimes, people always want to stoke him when out walking,separation anxiety, can escape through the smallest of holes in garden fence.
I can't amagine not having my little dog he's awesome.

Evenstar Tue 14-Jun-16 17:11:22

I have a Pug and a Pomeranian, I used to have a GSD and a Golden Retriever, after having dogs for 26 years I had a four year break after losing my retriever in 2011. I too had quite bad back problems in the intervening years so when I cut my hours at work and decided to get another dog last year I felt it had to be a small one. I didn't want a big dog pulling me, and looking ahead 10 years or so to having an elderly big dog I felt it was unlikely I would be able to help them into the car etc.

I got the pug first and my Pom a couple of months ago and I have no regrets at all, they are definitely the right fit for my lifestyle and physical capabilities. If they need bathing I can pop them in the big utility room sink, I can easily lift them into the car and they share a big crate in the kitchen at night.

They are great fun, and are definitely not lesser dogs because of their smaller size, they have big personalities smile and as other people have said lower costs for many of the regular expenses. I took my pug on from PreLoved she was almost 3 and my Pom came at 4 months old from a contact in one of my Pug meet groups as a rehome from a young couple who thought emigrating with him to a hot country would be a good idea confused then realised it really wasn't.

insan1tyscartching Tue 14-Jun-16 17:57:47

We have Eric a shih tzu poodle cross, he's smaller than a shih tzu about 9 inches to his shoulder. We didn't want a big dog because ds is scared of dogs (but adores Eric)
In terms of size I'm not sure that that determines how demanding the dog is as Eric is far more needy than my friend's St Bernard and elderly Lurcher. He can run their legs off and then some and still be ready for his next walk on time because he knows exactly when his next walk is due and fetches his lead and whines to make sure you don't forget.
Eric does about five miles a day walking but would quite happily double that given the opportunity. He looks like a lapdog but really he's a hardy, energetic, adventurous dog who likes nothing more than being out in the Peaks getting wet and dirty. He climbs the eight foot stiles like a pro, I swear he smirks at the dogs who go through the gates wink, which attracts plenty of admiration.
Foodwise he would be cheap to feed if he wasn't so fussy and I didn't have to rotate his foods as he eats only a small amount. He's clipped every six weeks so we don't have any hair shed but because he's small he gets wet and dirty every walk as there isn't much clearance between the grass and mud and his tummy.
I don't suppose you'd choose an Eric if you wanted a guard dog but he's got a deep bark for a little dog and he's protective of his family herding us like sheep when we're out en masse.

cutefluffyunicorn Thu 16-Jun-16 20:08:45

we have a 25kg collie, a 15kg staffie cross and a 4kg chinese crested x chihuaha
The little one will happily tear around the field with the bigger ones, but is just as happy with a 20 min on lead walk. He is very smart though and has been to training and done very well and will be starting roper agility when he turns 12 months. He is very easy to walk , but then so is our staffie cross because she is old and wise and finally has learned to walk nicely on a lead! The 25 kg collie is a challenge! He takes up very little room, eats less than the bigger dogs and is really the most lovely little personality!
The only disadvantages to the little dog is I have been known to trip over him (he follows be everywhere!) and he has been very slow to toilet train (yes, he still isn't 100% reliable at 10 months old ) Oh and the fact he can fit under the sofa so always darts under there when he has picked something up to chew that he shouldn't have!!

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now