I am interested in adopting my first dog. I had dogs as a child but only one as an adult. In my mid 20's we adopted a puppy. I could not stop it from digging under the fence, getting out of the yard and running in the street. We'd had it for about 5 months when it was killed by a car. I had grown so attached to the pup and was so torn up by the experience I have never been willing to do it again, but I've decided I need a small companion. Because it's my first time to do this in over 40 years I have a criteria list that is probably too demanding, but I hope to start with this and relax it later as necessary.

My situation:
I'm 70
I'm not very active, but I'm not handicapped in any way Both my wife and I are retired
I have plenty of time to care for a dog
There is someone at home most of the day every day

I want a dog:
To live in the house
That's small but not tiny 12 inches and 15 pounds (plus or minus a few) That doesn't require a lot of activity/exercise
That comes from a caring home (given up reluctantly unforeseen circumstances) That's confidently house broken
That doesn't bite and is not aggressive
That has no significant behavior problems
That has no medical problems
That's no longer a puppy
That's about 1-4 years old (I want to outlive the dog) Low activity level preferable
My breed choices: (purebred doesn't matter, but the choices were made based on size, behavior and appearance of these breeds, so a cross with a breed that alters these may be a problem)
o Miniature Pinscher
o Schnoodle
o Glen of Imaal Terrier
o Cavalier King Charles
o Manchester Terrier
o Beagle small type
I was able to get the perfect wife, so why not expect to find the perfect dog.

Jim
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To live in the house That's small but not tiny 12 inches and 15 pounds (plus or minus a few) That doesn't require a lot of activity/exercise

Depends on your definition of "a lot"
That comes from a caring home (given up reluctantly unforeseen circumstances)

Oh so if it is a great dog but had a sucky owner you don't want it? Why?
That's confidently house broken

It is very common for a completely housebroken dog to need some retraining on rehoming. It often happens even when dogs stay with their families but move to a new home.
That doesn't bite and is not aggressive That has no significant behavior problems

You can do a good job of tilting the odds in your favor, but I've seen plenty of times where a dog is good at a home where someone knows how to set rules and limits, and a big pain in the *** in another home. A lot will have to do with how you actually handle the dog.
That has no medical problems

That excludes all dogs. You can tilt the odds in your favor depending upon the amount of money you want to spend on pre-sceening for health issues. But rescues can't typically afford to do x-rays, full blood panels, thyrod screening, CERF, BAER testing. And even the most careful breeder can't promise that a condition won't show up next month. The best they can do is offer you a dog that is currently apparently healthy. If you choose a well bred adult dog the odds may be a little more favorable.
That's no longer a puppy That's about 1-4 years old (I want to outlive the dog) Low activity level preferable ... isn't particularly small. I was able to get the perfect wife, so why not expect to find the perfect dog.

Depends on your ability to meet perfection half-way.

Diane Blackman
http://dog-play.com /
http://dogplay.com/Shop /
Why not add a poodle to your list? We are in your exact situation and have gotten (rescued) a toy poodle, 20 months old with all the attributes you mention and we couldn't be happier. I take him to nursing homes for people to cuddle. Currently he is lying on my desk in front of the monitor watching me type.
o Miniature Pinscher o Schnoodle o Glen of Imaal Terrier o Cavalier King Charles o Manchester Terrier o Beagle small type

A lot of the problem I see with all of these dogs is that the problem you had with your previous dog was its digging under the fence and getting out into the street. The smaller the dog, the more ways it can find to get out of fencing, IME. In addition, terriers tend to be diggers and beagles are escape artists extraordinaire, from what I have heard (though I've never had one). This doesn't have to be a problem. The dog should not be left outside without supervision. If you are willing to keep the dog inside the house and only outside when you are there with it, you don't have to worry about escape factors.
I was surprised to see the Cavalier King Charles on your list for a different reason. They are notorious for having serious health problems. If you do a search on the breed, you will find out just how pervasive heart problems are in that breed. I think that before you choose any dog, one on your list or otherwise, it would help you to research each of the breeds a bit more. I am not sure what research you have done to come up with that list, but they don't seem to meet your stated criteria very well, so I am wondering if it is a size and cuteness factor that you are looking at.

There is nothing wrong with getting a dog whose looks you like, but you want to know enough about the breed in other ways that you get a dog you can love living with as well as love looking at.
I was able to get the perfect wife, so why not expect to find the perfect dog.

Maybe you used up all your points getting that wife! Emotion: smile

Paula
"Anyway, other people are weird, but sometimes they have candy, so it's best to try to get along with them." Joe Bay
Why not add a poodle to your list? We are in your exact situation and have gotten (rescued) a ... homes for people to cuddle. Currently he is lying on my desk in front of the monitor watching me type.

Low activity??? :}
It really depends on the individual dog more than the breed. My advice would be to find breed rescue organizations with the breeds you like, and shop the available dogs.
Though I'd be cautious of some of the dogs on that list. I've rarely met a min pin or a manchester terrier without some kind of significant behavioral issue. Usually territorial guarding or fear-aggression.

Leah Roberts, Family Dog Trainer
It's A Dog's World
http://hometown.aol.com/dfrntdrums/myhomepage/index.html Get Healthy, Build Your Immune System, Lose Weight http://re-vita.net/dfrntdrums
I am not sure what research you have done to come up with that list, but they don't seem to ... breed in other ways that you get a dog you can love living with as well as love looking at.[/nq]All these dogs were chosen based on the results of "Choosing a dog" webpages, such as purina's http://tinyurl.com/3uwcm . I used three different choosers like this one. No chooser listed more than four dogs that met my criteria, but since they yielded different lists I was about to find a total of about 10. I starting with these 10. I then (and only then) chose the ones I liked looks of. I want a dog that looks like a dog, a small dog but a dog not a stuffed toy, kitten, rat, etc.

I review all their characteristics in this list http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/abc.htm . Somehow I didn't find the Cavalier King Charles on the list. It was the only one I couldn't find, but based on your comments I went again and found it this time. I see the health problems. I've removed it from my candidate list.
The replies I've gotten are confusing. Many seem to be people shouting at one another instead of addressing my questions. I think someone said even small Beagles are not really small that's why they are listed last.

Your response and the little I could decipher of the other replies seemed to be saying small dogs are inconsistent with my other criteria, period. From other things I've read large dogs require more activity, which I can't give, and we can't (are unwilling to) keep a large dog in the house. So, that makes large and small dogs inconsistent with my criteria.
Many seem to be people shouting at one another instead of addressing my questions.

There are several people here who are killfiled by the majority of us because all they do is shout at one another. :}

Leah Roberts, Family Dog Trainer
It's A Dog's World
http://hometown.aol.com/dfrntdrums/myhomepage/index.html Get Healthy, Build Your Immune System, Lose Weight http://re-vita.net/dfrntdrums
All these dogs were chosen based on the results of "Choosing a dog" webpages, such as purina's .

Now it makes better sense. These breed selectors are notoriously inaccurate. One of the better ones (I think so anyway) is at http://animal.discovery.com/guides/dogs/selector/selector1.jsp

You would do better to look through breed books - you can probably find them in the library, or look through one at a book store.
The replies I've gotten are confusing. Many seem to be people shouting at one another instead of addressing my questions.

That's the resident loon. Just ignore or killfile him.
I think someone said even small Beagles are not really small that's why they are listed last.

We have no way of knowing that. The information we have is what you've given us, and there is no way for any of us to tell whether you knew already that the 13" and under Beagles generally weigh in the 20 lbs. range.
Your response and the little I could decipher of the other replies seemed to be saying small dogs are inconsistent with my other criteria, period.

Not necessarily. What they're saying is that some of the breeds you've chosen don't seem to be appropriate for you for one reason or the other.
From other things I've read large dogs require more activity, which I can't give,

That's not necessarily true. I have very large dogs (90 and 120 lbs) and they're mellower than most of the smaller dogs I've met.
and we can't (are unwilling to) keep a large dog in the house.

That would make large dogs inappropriate for you then. Maybe something like an English Toy Spaniel or Pekingese?
Suja
That would make large dogs inappropriate for you then. Maybe something like an English Toy Spaniel or Pekingese?

Other ideas: shih tzu, lhasa apso, pug, Japanese chin

Leah Roberts, Family Dog Trainer
It's A Dog's World
http://hometown.aol.com/dfrntdrums/myhomepage/index.html Get Healthy, Build Your Immune System, Lose Weight http://re-vita.net/dfrntdrums
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