Small, athletic dog?

If you are wondering what is the right dog for you, this is the place to be. In this introductory forum we talk about topics such as breed vs. mix, size, age, grooming, breeders, shelters, rescues as well as requirements for exercise, space and care. No question is too silly here. This particular forum is for getting and giving helpful, nice advice. It is definitely not a forum for criticizing someone else's opinion, knowledge or advice. This forum is all about tail wagging and learning.

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Rowan T.- Brittany
Barked: Thu Sep 22, '11 11:31am PST 
I was thinking that my next dog would be at least Rowan-sized, probably larger, but now I'm thinking that maybe a smaller dog is the way to go for now - easier to rent with, less food to buy, etc. I want to do agility and flyball. I don't expect a top tier competitor but I'd like a dog who, with training of course, do relatively well.

Physically, I don't want a tiny dog because Rowan plays fairly rough and although he usually tempers it with smaller dogs, I'd rather not take that chance. Between 15-30 lbs is ideal. I'm also not big on dogs that need professional grooming; I grew up with poodles, love 'em, but the grooming, oh the grooming! It's not a dealbreaker exactly, I could learn to use clippers, but I'd prefer it not be an issue.

As far as temperament, I want an active, drivey dog, a dog that will be eager to work with me and enjoy doing so. I have a cat so I need a dog that can be ok with cats when raised around them. Prey drive toward cats/other animals outside is ok as long as the dog distinguishes between family pets and prey. Rowan is like this; he's very good with Saffron but anything outside is fair game.

I love a cuddly dog but am thinking it's best if the next dog doesn't feel the need to be in my lap all the time, because that's how Rowan is and I don't want to put him out by giving too much competition wink I do want a velcro dog though. I like a dog that always wants to be with me.

I like what I know about Miniature Schnauzers. We took a training class with one and he was a bright, active little guy. But again there's the grooming, which I'm iffy on. I could overlook that if they're a good match otherwise though.

I would love a Papillon but they're just so small. I'm really interested in Border Terriers, too, although I'm not much of a terrier person; they just sound so fun! I've also considered going to the shelter and picking up some energetic scruffy dog, but I would kind of like to go through a good reputable breeder for my next pup.

I appreciate any ideas and suggestions smile Thanks!
Dublin Rose O'Belle

Sugar Baby!
Barked: Thu Sep 22, '11 11:33am PST 
Corgi or Corgi mix. Like me! I am a lot of fun, have good drive, was very trainable and love to run. I can keep up with the big pups!
Bruno CGC

Honorary Kelpie
Barked: Thu Sep 22, '11 12:26pm PST 
Cocker Spaniel? Min Pin? Australian Cattle Dog? Mini Aussie? American Eskimo? Mini Poodle? Boston Terrier? Whippet? Beagle?

Really there are quite a lot of breeds in this size range, in all categories from spitzes to herders to terriers to sighthounds and scenthounds. Just gotta pick the one that appeals most to you! If you seriously want to pursue agility, I'd look at the ACD or Mini Aussie.


All legs and no- tail
Barked: Thu Sep 22, '11 2:03pm PST 
Have you looked into Boykin Spaniels? From the personality you want, I think a spaniel of some sort would be a good fit for you but then you have to deal with grooming. Still, if you kept one in a shorter coat the upkeep wouldn't be as time-consuming. Boykins are awesome dogs, too. Many still hunt so most lines have retained a strong working drive that you could easily channel into sports.

Queen of Toys
Barked: Thu Sep 22, '11 2:10pm PST 
Just a small asides but minpins are not in the 15-30lb range... they're more like from 7lbs-12lb range. smile

If you can roll- in the dirt, do- it!
Barked: Thu Sep 22, '11 4:15pm PST 
Corgi or mix (they are way way fun dogs), a Cocker or mix, Miniature Poodle, etc.

I am not much of a terrier kind of girl and would rather have a Border Terrier than a Schnauzer.


Edited by author Thu Sep 22, '11 4:16pm PST


bitches love- pantaloons
Barked: Thu Sep 22, '11 4:23pm PST 
Pardon me while I plug my jumbo-Pom! Nicky is 14# and is the perfect size for me. Not too small, not too big. I was looking for the same traits as you and I got them all in Nicky. He LOVES to learn, and learns quickly. He was a natural in his beg. agility class. He hunts squirrels in the backyard, but sees my guinea pig as 'special,' treats her differently, and respects my rules to a tee regarding her. He is a cuddly lap dog that wants belly rubs all day, but a simple hand "stop" sign will send him away if I don't want him on my lap and he will go find something else to do.

Edited by author Thu Sep 22, '11 4:25pm PST

Dr. Watson

Not a wiener- dawg!
Barked: Thu Sep 22, '11 4:24pm PST 
I second Gunner's choice of a Boykin. An American or English cocker might be good for you, especially an English Cocker -- they're pretty drivey. After all, you're a spaniel person. smile

If you really want to compete in agility and don't mind a dog that bounces off the walls, there's always the JRT. laugh out loud

plush destroyer
Barked: Thu Sep 22, '11 7:05pm PST 
I'm thinking JRT, or some type of terrier.
Henry Miller

He's a tramp,- but they love- him!
Barked: Thu Sep 22, '11 8:43pm PST 
If you're going to go the breeder route...I am a big fan of border terriers and norfolk terriers. They both have a bit of a softer temperament when it come to the terrier group and do well with children and other pets. But they are still drivey, sturdy, and healthy.

But of course, I think picking a small scruffy rescue that has been in a foster home with other pets is a great way to go too!way to go
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