|Barked: Wed Apr 4, '12 12:45pm PST |
|Really finding this forum helpful! Thanks to all who post.
Here is our situation. We are retired empty nesters with a cat in an apartment in Hawaii (no yard, high floor so we'd need a small dog). We enjoy walking - we walk an hour every morning or could possibly walk a dog twice a day. We are first-time dog owners but grooming doesn't scare us. Lots of barking not a plus, however, as we are in close quarters.
The tricky part - we live in rabies-free Hawaii (no shipping from mainland allowed for dogs under 10 months). Small dogs aren't very popular here, with a very limited supply of reputable breeders, zero luck at rescues (with little sign of change) and a shelter whose small dogs are almost entirely chihuahuas.
We've narrowed the field to three and I was hoping for your advice. All three options are expensive and approximately the same in cost:
* Cavalier - as there are no vet cardiologists in state, and shipping from mainland is difficult, we are talking to breeders in Australia. We found one that seems excellent - full heart/hip/eye certifications, DNA testing for curly coat (not sure what this is) and dry eye plus MRIs performed on parents and three of the four grandparents. No rabies in Australia so we can get a pup. We love the Cavalier temperament. Downsides are despite all this testing I'm still a little bit worried about the health of this breed, and we can't meet the breeder in person. (We also found a good breeder in the U.S., but the wait there would be seven months.)
* Havanese - We found a local breeder we like. A little concerned about housebreaking difficulties (we have never owned a dog before) and barking. Also there are no pups available until later this year.
* Coton - Amazingly, Hawaii has an excellent breeder of Cotons (go figure). It is such a rare breed the reviews we've read are a little all over the place - little concerned about housebreaking and barking. Also no pups available for quite a while.
Any advice appreciated!
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