Funny Melanie started a thread with my name in it, because I've been meaning to ask her and other Pap owners about them as family dogs.

My neice has 2 small (but very dog-savvy) kids and a 15 year old Lhasa. She wants to be ready to bring in a new dog really quickly when he goes. And I have this hankering to train a small dog for agility, but I SO do not need another dog in my household. So I'm kinda looking into what might fit both our needs.

I'm pretty sure a Pap might work for me, but how are they with kids? Would she need to start with a puppy to socialize it to the rugrats, or do you think a rescue Pap could adjust?
I've just never personally known one to judge what basic temperament they have. And having Goldens myself, well, I don't want to asume too much.

My other choices right now would be a Border Terrier, a little Poodle, or a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (although I am very worried about health with those). What else?
(And rescue would be great, although if I am going to get excited about training the little guy, he/she would need to ILP, since most of what we have around here is AKC agility.)
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I'm pretty sure a Pap might work for me, but how are they with kids? Would she need to start with a puppy to socialize it to the rugrats, or do you think a rescue Pap could adjust?
Well, not having a family or regular access to little kids it's hard for me to say. They are VERY fragile. I think they are actually made of balsa wood and cotton balls. Skeeter is a pretty balls-out dog so I guess he's more durable than he looks but I'm still struck by how birdlike he is every time I pick him up. I never felt that way about Harley; Poms are much more substantial than Paps.
Skeeter personally is not crazy about kids. I have a feeling he had some bad grandchild experiences in his previous homes. He tolerates them, but never goes up to them on his own and if they are really pushy he stands there and yaps at them. I don't know if he's representative of the breed in this respect. If you got a rescue you'd be able to find out beforehand how the dog was with kids.
One consideration about going through rescue is that there are very few rescue Paps to begin with, and most of the ones that seem to come available seem to have issues that would rule out agility (i.e., old, injured, traumatized puppy mill rescue) but that doesn't mean a dog for you isn't out there. And I do watch the rescue websites and occasionally there's a dog who came available just because he was too much for his prior owners, like Skeeter. And those dogs of course have "agility" written all over them. They seem to go pretty fast.

I've just never personally known one to judge what basic temperament they have. And having Goldens myself, well, I don't want to asume too much.
As far as I can tell, it's hard to say. I don't know if Skeeter is representative of the breed, and what some other Pap owners have told me (from the Agilepaps email list) I'm lucky in how much drive and moxie he does have. Skeeter was originally from a pet store and comes from more or less the same lines as a fairly famous agility Pap (Sharon Chenault's Kizzy). I have friends with a retired show champion and she is a very different dog Skeeter lives to run and swim and make mischief, Serena is a princess with a very sweet way about her but who doesn't even like to walk on her own and is carried most of the time.

And with about five times as much hair. What I've taken away from all I've read thus far is that they aren't really bred for any sort of temperament or behaviors in particular and you could end up with pretty much anything.

My other choices right now would be a Border Terrier, a little Poodle, or a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (although I am very worried about health with those). What else?
I don't know any Cavs I could imagine doing dog sports they don't seem to have much drive. But, I don't know many Cavs.
(And rescue would be great, although if I am going to get excited about training the little guy, he/she would need to ILP, since most of what we have around here is AKC agility.)
It seems like rescue Paps usually look Pappy enough to be ILPed (no matter how poorly bred, they still tend to have The Ears). The only common issue is that they're often oversized but that probably doesn't matter for the ILP unless they're really huge.

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I'm pretty sure a Pap might work for me, but how are they with kids?

Paps are very popular in agility around here and seem to do well (a friend and her's were on the Canadian team for the 2003 FCIs: http://members.shaw.ca/canadianagilityteam/2003team.htm)

Any tiny dog can be brittle, but I've seen many Paps in families with pre-teens, though these were fairly dog-savvy families.

Matt. Rocky's a Dog.
As far as I can tell, it's hard to say. I don't know if Skeeter is representative of the breed, and what some other Pap owners have told me (from the Agilepaps email list) I'm lucky in how much drive and moxie he does have.

We have a number competing in this area and they're ALL fast and seem to have a lot of attitude. Nice little dogs.
I don't know any Cavs I could imagine doing dog sports they don't seem to have much drive. But, I don't know many Cavs.

Heh. I know 9 Cavs; 7 of them, I know because they do agility - and one of them just earned his NADAC NATCH.
Having said that- of the 7 who do agility, only 3 appear to have a reasonable amount of drive, and I have to say that only *2* seem to really enjoy what they're doing; although in the case of at least one of the others, the problem's the handler.
My neice has 2 small (but very dog-savvy) kids and a 15 year old Lhasa.She wants to be ready to bring in a new dog really quickly when he goes. And Ihave this hankering to train a small dog for agility,

I know nothing about Paps - except that what I've seen have been great little dogs in general - but when we decided on our last dogs, while thinking of doing agility, we made one big decision.

First get the dog you (or in this case, your niece) want to live with for 15 years. Then do agility with it. You can do what you can to make it a dual purpose dog - and sometimes you can do a lot - but no matter what you do, the dog may hate agility. Or may get injured. Or have some health problem that makes it difficult. (I know you know this - it's more of a general thing.)
From what I can see watching other dogs at trials, AKC and NADAC, any breed can do agility. Okay, there are the obvious physical differences, some of which make some breeds more of a challenge to make competitive. But basically, I see more difference in individuals within breeds than between breeds. For instance, you mentioned Border Terriers. I love those little dogs. And I have been told that there are many very competitive Border Terriers in agility. Most of the ones I've seen make it very easy for their handlers to do front crosses anywhere they choose. Rear crosses are never even considered. I would not think of a Border Terrier if my first interest was agility. (Although I'd probably try it if I had one!)

I don't expect people to think of Miniature Schnauzers when they think of agility breeds. But the two we have absolutely love it. Spenser just plain loves the "doing" of it. Sassy loves playing with DH. They both show much more potential than their handlers will ever hope to achieve! And more and more people who are watching them do agility are impressed with their enthusiasm and aptitude for it. (I've actually had BC and Aussies owners comment on it so you know it's showing to someone other than just us!)

I'm not suggesting a miniature schnauzer for your best choice here. Not that it's a bad one. But the basic advice is: Get the dog they want to live with.
~~Judy
From what I can see watching other dogs at trials, AKC and NADAC, any breed can do agility.

I know two English bulldogs who are agility champs. They are also in the best shape that I've ever seen that breed - muscular, not fleshy like they usually are.
I'd love to see them run. I can understand them participating since, as you say, any breed can do agility. But it floors me that they have won matches! Bulldogs aren't known for their speed or their agility. :}

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: My other choices right now would be a Border Terrier, a little Poodle, or a : Cavalier King Charles ... I could imagine doing dog sports they don't seem to have much drive. But, I don't know many Cavs.

This is true. Cavs mostly like to be on people's laps.

However, there are four colors of Cavaliers, and some say that each of the colors have a predisposition toward certain personality characteristics. My two "fit", but I don't know how often it happens in the general population:

Rubies are known to be laid back.
Black and tans tend to be more stand-offish.
Tri's are major lovers and lap dogs.
Blenheim's tend to be the most playful.
I have a tri and a blenheim, and, yes, the tri is a velcro dog, and the blenheim is mischevious.
Sheila
Funny Melanie started a thread with my name in it, because I've beenmeaning to ask her and other Pap owners ... need to start with a puppy to socialize it to the rugrats, or do you thinka rescue Pap could adjust?

I've met two types of Paps, and frankly neither of them strike me as suitable for this particular situation. I've met some that are very sweet, mellow dogs that really enjoy sitting in laps, and I've met some that are high drive and wound pretty tight. The former would seem to be fine in a pet home but would make unlikely perf prospects, and the latter excel in agility but would seem to be difficult for a pet home with kids. I like the breed a lot, but I'm not sure you could find a happy medium that would be suitable for both pet and perf, at least as easily as you could in other breeds.
I've just never personally known one to judge what basic temperament theyhave. And having Goldens myself, well, I don't want to asume too much.

The ones I've met have been VERY different from Goldens, although one thing I've noticed that I don't care for in SOME Paps and SOME Goldens are dog reactiveness (I hesitate to say dog aggression but it borders on it.) I don't think it is appropriate temperament-wise for the breed, though.
My other choices right now would be a Border Terrier, a little Poodle, ora Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (although I am very worried about healthwith those). What else?

BTs are spiffy little terriers and one of the only terrier-terriers that I really like (I like the bully-terriers, and oddly enough, Bedlingtons.) But as someone else mentioned, they don't tend towards high drive. Cavs are lovely and you MAY find one that would be drivey enough for agility, but they are pretty few and far between, and with the added issue of health, it seems like a poor prospect.
Poodles, on the other hand, might be the way to go. I'd look for a mini rather than a toy - the toys are more fragile and don't seem to have as much drive, though I have seen some nice working toys. There are some folk breeding mini and standard and getting a larger mini (17-18") with more drive but not quite the ballistic gooneyness of a standard, in a smaller package - a lot of poodle people hate this concept but I've seen a really nice pup that resulted from one of these breedings. However, you're getting further away from the "small dog" here... even minis are generally 14-16" tall if I remember correctly.
(And rescue would be great, although if I am going to get excited about training the little guy, he/she would need to ILP, since most of what wehave around here is AKC agility.)[/nq]Certainly, rescue in any of these breeds would give you a better shot at determining the suitability of the dog as both pet and perf prospect. But I echo what someone said, your neice needs to live with this dog first and foremost so that is probably going to need to be the top requirement for whatever breed is selected. Poodles and terriers all have higher than normal grooming requirements, for example. You mentioned her kids are small - how small? Pre-school, elementary? Makes a big difference in how they behave with dogs.

I wouldn't recommend a toy breed for a family with kids under 5, and most breeders won't sell pups to them, even if they are dog-savvy (accidents happen, and a toddler is more likely to "break" a puppy than a 5 year old, just by falling or dropping it.) I'd suggest getting the family out and meeting a lot of breeds - go to an agility trial and check out the 8" and 12" competitors. The majority will probably be shelties, and that is certainly a way to go for agility, and many are great family dogs, though I find temperament issues to crop up the smaller they get (and everyone wants them TINY, ack!) There will also probably be Paps, corgis, PRTs, maybe poms, schipperkes, and other not-as-common agility breeds.

I saw some darling 12 week old longhair dachshund puppies last weekend - now that was a temptation, since they are almost guaranteed to jump 8"!! Emotion: wink

Christy
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