|Barked: Sun Aug 24, '08 1:14pm PST |
|Firstly....those are some outrageously darling puppy pictures!
Secondly, I am really old hat at this....I've done it for the longest time and have consulted many others. And I am gosh darn RAUNCHY about it as concerns my own crew ....the Giant Schnauzer is considered not to be a good multi dog (extremely dominant and pushy) and many would say he is way too vigorous for small dogs. Tiller shares his life with two Am Cockers, Onion before him as well, and prior to that I kept a mini Dachs with a GSD and a Doberman.
It depends on the breed how cautious you want to go, and also the breed MIX is very important. The great news for you is that you have a Lab, so he's taking a lot of the complexity out for you - Labs are GREAT multi dogs. What you need to keep an eye on, in terms of the breeds you consider, is that Labs are not ballerinas, they play vigorously and they have lots of energy (particularly off your boy's pedigree). For you, my advice is to stay away from breeds that are sharp or soft....the former may get temperamental with an eager, playful and young Lab and the latter may get overwhelmed. If your boy is one of those Lab gentlemen, the door opens wider, but at his age I would figure he is still full of verve and enthusiasm.
Do you want something for YOURSELF? A particular kind of dog? Maybe something mellower, softer? A good lap dog? A snuggler or cuddler? I myself like having a different type of dog around...I appreciate it, and it helps me cope of the various stresses of both better as it's not more of the same. Giants and Cockers offer me very different things. I can appreciate my Giant's seriousness more given that my Cockers are so naive and undiscerning, I can appreciate the soft sweetness of my Cockers more because my Giant is so hard. The stress of a Giant being hard to train is lightened because my Cockers are so easy, and the Cocker propensity to be a little iffy on the housebreaking stuff is eased by the Giant being so reliable. And YES....it is nice for me as a Giant owner to have soft, cuddly jesters. These breed get along because, yes, a Giant is too much, but Cockers are rowdy and playful AND (very important!) almost obtuse when it comes to dominance struggles....it is just not what where their head is at, so Tiller's cute dominance plays are really a party of one. Any politics he plays goes right over their heads. For a while he was trying to do the whole hog bit, straddling Daniel then lowering down to sit his chest on Daniel's head, and all Daniel does is "he, he....that's FUN!"
Of the breeds you've given, the Shih Tzu is a standout. The Maltese has WAY too much opinion (they often consider other dogs, well....the REST ) and a Cav may get overwhelmed if your Lab is bombastic. Shih Tzus are really good joes, little party guys, and tend to play well with larger and more vigorous dogs. Spaniels get along with Labs typically, but Am Cockers are best because they are rowdy (particularly the buff color). Bostons will do fine although things may get keyed up....they can show lots of impish energy! Pekes also seem to tolerate larger dogs well and have enough attitude to rule the roost. Pugs....Pugs are one of the ultimate toy breeds with larger dogs, and they have the vigor for anything.
That's a quick list. Hope the comments were helpful
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