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Companion Breeds

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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Sarah

I am the queen.- You must bow- before me!
 
 
Barked: Sun Jun 3, '07 8:58pm PST 
Ok, so there are dogs that require jobs or lots of activites, like shepards. But, what breeds are happiest being at your side and dont need a "job" ?
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Mia Bella

Just a little- girl!
 
 
Barked: Sun Jun 3, '07 9:49pm PST 
Chihuahuas!
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Tucker

A tail that can- clear a table
 
 
Barked: Sun Jun 3, '07 11:06pm PST 
Some may disagree with this; I can only tell you from my experience...my labrador retriever is a wondeful companion dog, and he doesn't require a job. Oh sure, they're smart, and you could do hunt tests or field trials, or actual hunting with them. But with mine....going on walks, letting him run through fields, taking him swimming...he loves to be active that way; but he doesn't require intensive exercise everyday. For a job, he helps carry grocery bags into the house, and could do other 'jobs' around the house if I trained him.

But mine (and this isn't the case with all labs, I realize) is very quiet, calm, and laid-back. He loves to be either inside or out, and to be wherever we are. He's a great companion.
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MacLeod

Best lil pal in- the world
 
 
Barked: Mon Jun 4, '07 8:45am PST 
There are many breeds that were bred specifically to be companions. Most of them are the toy breeds like Pekingese, Shih Tzu, Bichon Frise, Toy Poodles, Pug, Maltese, etc....

Some larger dogs can also be good companions but it depends on the dog. I've worked with many Labs who were laid back and just loved to hang out with their owner, but just as many who are very athletic and need alot of exercise to be happy. If you wanted a breed besides the Toy's, you could try adopting an older dog.
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Gio

CD RE (CKC)- RXMCL (CARO) FM- CGN SJATD
 
 
Barked: Mon Jun 4, '07 8:49am PST 
Any dog will benefit from a job, no matter how small. But there are some breeds that NEED a job to a lesser extent. They often include the toy breeds, but there are some larger ones as well. Common companion breeds includ Shih Tzu, Lhasa Apso, Chihuahua, Maltese, Havanese, Bichon Frise, Pekinese, Pug, Coton de Tulear, Pomeranian, and Lowchen. There are also many breeds that were originally bred for a purpose (herding, hunting, hauling, etc.) that have recently had their instinct and drive bred out of them. Rough/Smooth Collies are a good example. There are, of course, still intense working lines of R/S Collies, but many of them have been so intensively bred that they no longer have the drive or instinct to herd. This is also sometimes the case with breeds that have been "miniaturized". So while a standard Poodle still benefits from a job, a miniature Poodle requires one to a lesser extent.

Many times, though, whether a dog will be a good companion or not depends more on the individual and how they are raised/trained than the breed!
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Missie

Teeth kisses for- everyone!
 
 
Barked: Mon Jun 4, '07 9:02am PST 
Macleod and Gio's advise is spot on.

About companion breeds, though, to add to the list, English Toy Spaniels (called King Charles Spaniels on other continents), Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, and Papillons were all bred specifically just to hang with their owners. Going farther east, the Tibetan Spaniel and Japanese Chin are as well just meant to hang out with the family.

Having said that, I own a Cavalier King Charles and a Tibetan Spaniel mix. They are both still very young. The Cavalier has a slightly higher energy level and needs to at least have a couple of rounds of fetch or tug everyday. They both do much better if they get a half hour walk or two every day. I believe this is true of all dogs, even the companion ones who don't necessarily need a walk, thrive better when they get one. Less boredom and more stimulation is always good.

It is nice, though, that we can have 25 below days in the winter, and in the house playtime is enough to keep them happy.

Edited by author Mon Jun 4, '07 9:08am PST

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Sarah

I am the queen.- You must bow- before me!
 
 
Barked: Mon Jun 4, '07 9:32am PST 
ahh ok..so its basically the little dogs. I gotcha.
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Josie - CGC

California Girl
 
 
Barked: Mon Jun 4, '07 6:03pm PST 
No, not at all. You know who would be happiest on the couch and has minimal needs?

Great Danes.
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Chloe

I like to- waddle, cuddle,- and go 'Aroo!'
 
 
Barked: Mon Jun 4, '07 6:24pm PST 
Basset Hounds make GREAT companion dogs.
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Josie - CGC

California Girl
 
 
Barked: Mon Jun 4, '07 9:00pm PST 
Also, it's a bad choice to stereotype "small dogs" as companion breeds.

Many small dogs are awful house pets. I would never recommend a Jack Russel Terrier to anyone looking for a "lap dog". JRT's are big dogs in small bodies with maintained-exercise requirements up there with Border Collies. They will shred your house, your garden, and your possessions if not properly (constantly) stimulated. These are an example of "small" Experienced-Owners-Only dogs. (A common mistake and also how the JRT got its awful reputation.)
frown
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