Please tell me about very small dogs(62 Posts)
I only lost my old girl on Monday so I'm still in shock and feeling bereft. But I have always had dogs and can't imagine being without one forever.
When the time is right I am thinking that my next dog would need to be a small one, I'm thinking Yorkie or similar. My youngest DC will be off to uni in a couple of years and I will be looking to downsize significantly.
The thing is all my previous dogs have been medium or large breeds. So what do I need to know? How far can a smaller breed walk? Are they more difficult to train etc.
I imagine other people may be my issue, wanting to pick up and cuddle a cute tiny dog? I'm all for snuggles but I do want a dog that is a dog and not a furry accessory.
I'm guessing that a dog is a dog is a dog and it will depend a lot on how it is trained/treated but I would like to hear your experiences please. Especially if you too have gone from bigger high energy dogs to little tiny ones.
I'm so sorry to hear about your girl, I hope you're not feeling too awful
What breeds did you have before? That might help narrow down what you're looking for in a smaller dog. Bear in mind that lots of small breeds are hunting/working dogs so will have plenty of zip as well as being small enough to sit on your lap at the end of the day!
Hi Rebecca, thank you for the flowers. It's tough but I'm glad that her pain is over.
I have had Springers, Grey hounds, Lurchers and Labs. Also had Jack Russels growing up but they were mainly farm dogs and always on the go but not particularly well behaved. Bad recall if anything else was happening etc. Not sure if it was the breed or the owner
I'm now thinking the smaller the better as circumstances are bound to change in the next few years. Possibly even a chihuahua but I do like to walk and take the dog to the beach or up in the hills. I don't want to be unfair to a little short legs!
Aww Little that is exactly what I'm thinking of. Gorgeous.
One of our local parkrunners regularly finishes first with a Yorkshire Terrier so 5k in 19 minutes or so. I also know Jack Russeks who go out for a couple of hours with horses. Obviously flat faced breeds won't have the same exercise tolerance as more functionally bred small dogs!
How about a Border terrier? They are small but enjoy a good walk. They are also not as "terrier" in nature as Jack Russells.
A lot of the terrier family will easily go for the same sort of exercise that a bigger dog will do and you get all the benefits of a bigger dog but in a smaller package ;)
Aww if you're used to those kind of dogs then I don't think a working small dog would shock you at all!!
I'm going to say Dachshund - I've always had big dogs (still got 2 of them) but just been joined by a Dachshund and he is like both of them (and more) wrapped up in a small body! They are great dogs, love exercise and love cuddles.
Naughty as hell though (he is way more difficult to train than any other dogs I've ever had - turns out gun dogs are a walk in the park compared to a mini-hound!). But with your experience you could no doubt cope with that!
I’m sorry about your dog
I have a cairns terrier who will walk or run for as long as you let him. Unless it’s a hot day and then he likes to be picked up every so often!
I am dogless, but a close friend of mine has a JRT/Schnauzer and she does fine with one long walk a day and lots of playtime during the day/evening.
Thank you everyone, it certainly seems like I have options 😊
DS has always wanted a Daschund Rebecca but I feel a little cautious as I was told that they can have spinal problems and other issues related to their length. But they definitely have the cute factor.
Going to look up border terriers, the only one that I know in real life likes to chase traffic
Our Chi is more laid back than the border.
But the Chi is terrified of of traffic
And the border loves to bark at nothing!
I'd definitely second a border terrier. We have two 😊 Still very much a hardy dog and generally a very healthy breed . Could tackle any length of walk (or run) but also love cuddles on the sofa and I agree, generally not as feisty as JRT can be (and I say that having if some very lovely JRTs). Very sociable, loyal little dogs. Our two are great with our kids and follow them wherever they go.
My mum has got 2 yorkies. They bark, bark, bark...and oh, they bark. And they smell of rotting fish as they've got anal gland issues (boak). They really are pointless dogs, they have to be dragged along on a lead to get them anywhere, and all they do when they're out is bark like they are rottweilers at every passing person, dog, cat and car. They have put me off small dogs for life, and my only wish in life is they die before my mum does as otherwise I will be tying them to the gates of the nearest animal shelter and driving off at speed.
I've got a small working cocker spaniel, and he's a lovely size. He sits on my lap, fits perfectly in the front footwell of the car and he is very portable...comes everywhere with me. And he rarely barks, in fact when he does, I usually jump. I really luffs him.
I've got a Chihuahua Jack Russel cross who honestly will walk for England (as long as it's not cold and wet I may add). Unless I'm carrying him over a puddle (they eat dogs you know) he hates being carried on walks. He likes the beach and the field. Though is banned from being off lead in open spaces as his recall is naff and no amount of treats/praise will bring him back.
Can't really comment on training as he's a rescue with a very difficult history (used as fighting bait, locked in a tiny cage, hit etc) but he does sit, stay and come quite well. He likes company and loves cuddling up. He is reactive with dogs he doesn't know well but is happy once he knows them - his best doggy pals are a lurcher and a spaniel jack Russel cross. He is a right little character and has me laughing at least once a day.
On wet days though he's happier with a short walk and out in the garden.
I too had grown up with/owned medium & large dogs... burnese mountain dogs and a boxer staffy cross and always swore blind I wasn't a little dog person...
So sorry for your loss, been there, it sucks.
Sadly most Minnie's, while cute were bred for cuteness not usefulness so can be very difficult to train. If you are used to bigger dogs who were bred to be trained for a purpose (or a mix of those breeds) it could be very frustrating.
Maybe look for a small breed that was bred for brains. One of my favourites in the border terrier. They are small, really friendly, easy coat and not over bred do no major health concerns. Best of all they are super intelligent
We have an American Mini Rat Terrier who ticks the boxes for many people's dog requirements...
- had no specific training but is as good as gold
- playful but equally loves to curl up with a blanket on the sofa
- enjoys his walks and can walk for a few miles if that's what you want but doesn't NEED to
- is confident and friendly outside but never goes too far away from you and happy to miss a walk and stay indoors playing if it's raining
- no great grooming requirements
- really responsive to fuss and cuddles
- doesn't mind being left alone
- is long lived (he's 12 years old and still as fit as he was at 5)
The 'downsides' (if you call them that) is that he can be chatty: not barking, more constantly yipping and squeaking and moaning when getting fuss etc. He doesn't like the cold or wet so would prefer not to go out in them. He is fine boned and quick moving so potentially could get underfoot easily and could be hurt quite badly by it.
I've never known another one so couldn't say if that was all of them or just him but might be worth a look?
I have a Tibetan spaniel. Small sturdy and excellent with children. Enough of a bark to alert you to strangers but not too much. Walks long hikes with ease. Excellent with recall, and stay but won’t sit on command....photo later as he’s upside down napping
Dachshunds can do massive hill walks. They were bred for hunting, that long body accommodates big lungs. But if the weather is foul they are happy to stay in.
As with all breeds, each is an individual, some are more biddable than others. I've never met a quiet one though!
There seem to be some around now which are longer in the leg and not quite so long bodied.
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