Help me Choose Small dog that can do big dog things

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.


Member Since
Barked: Mon Aug 18, '14 6:50am PST 
Hello everyone. I need your help choosing the right dog for my wife and I. We are looking for a dog that is under 30lbs
Obedient (trainable)
Trusted off leash(a lot of terriers run off after critters)
Can hike up to 10 miles or so with me. I do a lot of camping/hiking/backpacking
I don't mind a little shed but nothing excessive.
I love the looks of most shepherds, retrievers, husky types, akitas, spitz types etc..

This may be a pipe dream but is there any smaller dogs that fit this bill?

forever loved
Barked: Mon Aug 18, '14 2:12pm PST 
Well, there are plenty of small dogs who would be up for camping/hiking. But for off-leash/low-prey AND low-shed...you're probably going to have to pick what you absolutely must have over what you would simply prefer. The type of look in dogs you prefer will all shed...a lot. Most low-shed dogs will actually need a lot of grooming/shaving (poodles, Havanese, Maltese, etc).
To be good off-leash, for just about any dog, is going to be a matter of training...never automatically trust any dog to be good off-leash, even if they are well-known for it. Terriers go after critters, but herder-types will too, hounds follow their noses, etc. Best bet on that is finding an individual dog that is more dependent and has a low-prey drive (all dogs have a prey drive of some level, imo).

Here are some dogs that you may be interested in, though they may not fit the entire bill (if a link doesn't work, check for spaces in-between letters; sorry I couldn't figure out the quick links):

1) Shetland Sheepdog (fantastic dogs, but can be yappy, shedders, and like to herd).
http://www.breederretriever.com/dog-breeds/209/shetland-shee pdog.php

2) Schipperke

3 ) Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (spaniels will go after small animals)
http://www.breederretriever.com/dog-breeds/123/cavalier-ki ng-charles-spaniel.php

4) Cardigan Welsh Corgi
http://www.breederretriever.com/dog-breeds/122/cardigan-welsh -corgi.php

5) Bichon Frise (will need to be clipped)
http://www.breederretriever.com/dog-breeds/106/bichon-fris e.php

6) Shiba Inu (will shed, may not be good around small animals)
http://www.breederretriever.com/dog-breeds/210/shiba-inu.p hp

7) MINI (not toy) POODLE (will need to be clipped, but I think would meet the other req)
http://www.breederretriever.com/dog-breeds/195/poodle-standard ,-miniature-and-toy.php

8) MINI SCHNAUZER (will need grooming)
http://www.breederretriever.com/dog-breeds/176/miniature- schnauzer.php

Of course, you can also visit your local shelter...you never know what you can find there! Just keep in mind that each dog is an individual, and go from there.way to go

Here is an article I found you might like. smile

Good luck!blue dog

forever loved
Barked: Mon Aug 18, '14 2:13pm PST 

nom nom nomdog

Edited by author Mon Aug 18, '14 2:14pm PST


Princesse- Lily CGN

I am RoyalChi!
Barked: Mon Aug 18, '14 6:49pm PST 
Chihuahuas can do a lot of big dog things wink I don'tknow if Princesse could do 10 miles, but maybe if she was conditionedthinking She is very trainble and trustable off leash smile

Barked: Sun Aug 24, '14 5:57am PST 
Going to throw out there at a Kai Ken might fit what you'd like (but not terribly perfect).
My Kai female is just shy of one year old and is 25lb, some are 30lb, males tend to be larger but there are smaller ones (30lb).. Depends widely on genetics.

Kai have lots of energy, Tavi will easily do 10 miles, and still have the energy to rip up your leather seats in stealth (I know from experience). They are super versatile, Tavi herds sheep and ducks, competes in barn hunt, agility, obedience, and we're getting into flyball. We're going to take the TDI with her (Therapy dog certification) very soon. smile

They are a Japanese breed like the Shiba Inu and Akita, but much more friendly-- dog and people wise, and bidding. However, this comes with a price as many are emotional (handler soft) and can be quite flighty / fearful, so socialization and lots of exposure from early on is good.

Feel free to join the Kai community at:

You can also e-mail me at omgtain@gmail.com for more info, questions, etc.

Barked: Mon Sep 1, '14 4:12pm PST 
I think that Tavi herds sheep and ducks, competes in barn hunt, agility, obedience, and we're getting into flyball. We're going to take the TDI with her
Jasper- (1998~2016)

Ignorance is a- Choice
Barked: Fri Oct 31, '14 11:56am PST 
Your best breed would probably be a Standard Poodle. However, since you want something smaller, I'd look into a Miniature Poodle or even Toy Poodle. One of the Poodle types would be the way to go. I still think Standard Poodles are your best bet. An English Boodle, Boxerdoodle or Poogle would all be good choices, too. Since you said under 30 pounds, a Klein Poodle is another way to go. However, for all the activity you want the dog to do, a Standard Poodle is your best bet. Maybe look into Foodles. But, a Standard Poodle is the best breed if you really want your dog to do all that activity with you. A Pootalian or Bassetoodle would also be good choices. If conditioned, a Toy Poodle may be able to keep up with you. A Weimardoodle or Cadoodle would also be excellent choices. They may be too big for you, so look into a Miniature Poodle. A Jack-A-Poo would be an excellent choice. Any Poodle mix would really fit your bill.