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friendofwhales December 27th, 2012 11:34 PM

Looking for advice about picking a dog breed or adopting!
Hi everyone!

I'm hoping you lovely people can give me a hand.
I'm a 21 year old, chronically ill female who is looking at getting a companion dog. I'm just collecting some research so I can decide what I'm gonna do.

I live at home with my parents and will probably be here for a few more years. I've got a rare incurable neurological disease that causes chronic pain and some weird neuro symptoms. As a result, I spend a lot of time at home, which can get lonely. We do have a family dog named Montana who is a 10 year old Sheltie - I love her to bits, but she's quite aloof and stand off-ish. I'm a uni graduate and will be working in a career that allows me to work from home so I will have lots of time to spend with a dog.

I'm looking for a dog that needs low exercise (gentle walks a couple of times a week), not a barker (or can be easily trained to not bark, unlike our Sheltie!), will get along with Montana, and most importantly, is a cuddler! I want a "velcro" dog - something to keep me company. Bonus points if they are small, like a lapdog.

I've been looking at the Havanese breed and the pug so far, but am very open to any suggestions. I'm also looking at potentially adopting a rescue that is already known to be cuddly and needs a home. However, my parents prefer if I get a puppy because they think it will be easier to train them and befriend Montana.

I would love any advice or thoughts you guys have, thanks in advance!

Goldfields December 28th, 2012 01:34 AM

Hahaha! Sorry, I am laughing here over this bit .....

not a barker (or can be easily trained to not bark, unlike our Sheltie!)

LOL:. Noisy devils, aren't they? Welcome to the forum. Sorry to learn of your health problems, hope that someday they can find a way to help you. I own 6 shelties and will not be having a 7th for the same reason. They can even bark under water I reckon. I have a friend in England who owns a Havanese(and shelties), if you like I will ask her how that blend goes.

Winston December 28th, 2012 06:50 AM

Welcome to the Site. You will find another of great people and a ton of knowledge. Sorry to hear of the issues you are having but I must say you seem to show some drive and passion to improve your quality of life. I would suggest. That you search your local area and find a group that. Specializes in assistance dogs. Or even a rescue group letting them know your needs so that when that perfect rescue pup comes along they will know your needs. Here we have places like the cnib which is for the visually impaired. I have also heard of a group in the USA that helps soldiers with ptsd. Not sure a puppy is fair for the other dog or not as it could be stressful

Good luck

LooneyBoone December 28th, 2012 07:40 AM

One thing, no matter the breed is that they can pick up another dog's bad habits very quickly. So even if that particular dog or breed isn't barky they might start to learn from Montana. Boone was never a barker or had any interest in rocks until Ranger came along, Ranger is a barker and is obsessed with rocks. It drive me mental that Boone has learned these two awful habits from him. Ranger also insists on bringing you a toy everytime he greets you, Woof a dog who has very little interest in toys has picked this habit up, but at least that is cute lol.

I've met a handful of Havanese and wow the puppies have been bouncy, happy suckers. I haven't yet met one that has a bad temper however I have been told by owners that they do need reminding and need to be firm with them or else they start to take over.

Pugs seem to be the same thing, very active little buggers as puppies (in short spurts) and seem to calm down once mature. I've met many a barky one though and overweight one which is downright abuse in my mind (for any dog).

A breed you might consider is the Japanese Chin. I met my first one and she was a wonderful dog, although nervous as the owner admitted she never socalized her. Also French Bulldogs, such character they have. Haven't met one I didn't like. I'm not a big lover of small dogs but Frenchies and Paps are two I wouldn't kick out of my home.

If you go the adoption route (can't go wrong with a rescue dog :)) it's a matter of carefully explaining to the adoption group what you are looking for in a dog. Usually they are very helpful about matching you up with the right dog for your needs.

Another thing. Puppy with seniors. This can go very right or very wrong. Depending on the senior. Sometimes it really isn't fair to the senior dog to introduce a puppy, if they have health issues or are slightly grumpy, easily get stressed etc this can be hell for the senior and it may act out towards the puppy or even the people. You need to very much look at Montana and what she is like to determine if a puppy is in her best interest. I did it with Boone and my senior Lab mix Drifter. It was not a great choice, Drifter had bad arthritis and had never been a dog's dog. Boone was a crazy child and wanted nothing more to be Drifter's best friend and playmate. Drifter however tolerated him, but wouldn't think twice in putting him in his place without going too far. Towards the end of Drifter's life they had actually started to get along rather well, Drifter even tried to play sometimes. Two well matched adults will get along, you just need to find the right match and introduce them properly.

Marty11 December 28th, 2012 09:28 AM

Hi there and welcome. It's great to have a lot of time to spend with a dog.:thumbs up Barking comes with no guarantees........but I love the passive nature of the Boston Terrier and French Bulldog. A puppy may be a lot of work. Consider adopting a rescue. They are pretty good at matching your needs for a dog.

ownedbycats December 30th, 2012 01:00 PM

Maybe look into Papillons. Our neighbour has a Papillon cross, and he resembles the Papillon side of his heritage a lot. They aren't a very big dog, and if the neighbour's dog is anything to go by, as long as their person is with them they are quiet, confident little dogs.

Etown_Chick December 30th, 2012 07:33 PM

Havanese are known as velcro dogs so that might be a good choice.
Good luck at finding the best companion, and I'm glad you are looking at rescues.

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