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Poodle or Shih Tzu?

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 
My husband informed me tonight that he wants all future dogs of ours to be non-shedding breeds. He likes calm, quiet dogs who don't poop and pee in the house. My son likes smaller dogs who are playful, but who enjoy being lap dogs too. I like friendly, well-behaved dogs who follow you around and lay at your feet. Labs and lab mixes are my favorites. We have a 5 year old lab mix who weighs 50 pounds, and we're considering getting a second dog.

I've been doing some reading and did a search on this forum about different non-shedding breeds. I think I've narrowed it down to poodles and shih tzus. I also had the Portugese Water Dog on my list, but then I read that they can shed and that they're not all that common. I'd like to be able to rescue a dog if I can.

What do you think?
post #2 of 35
Standard poodle. Absolutely. If you don't want to deal with a dog as big as a Standard, look at miniatures (NOT toys). A well-bred toy is a fine dog (not for kids, though), but the ones coming into rescue typically have major behavioral problems.

Remember the smaller the dog, the more frequent the elimination and the harder the housetraining. Toy dogs (Shih Tzus rampant among them) are notorious for NEVER being fully housetrained.
post #3 of 35
Thread Starter 
So with minis, do you avoid the problems with toys? What are the benefits of a standard over a mini? Are there personality differences?

I was looking on petfinder and there were lots of poodles for rescue, but hardly any shih tzus. Why do you think that is?
post #4 of 35
I was also considering Shih tzus, as well as poodles. So I'm quite interested in this!
I think from what I've read, that shih tzus are more stubborn dogs, and may take more training.
Poodles, I guess, are super sensitive to their surroundings, so they wouldn't be the best match for a family that has a lot of negative commotion going on.
But that's just stuff I've read. lol

There seem to be shih tzus and poodles (mostly older ones) on petfinder around here.
post #5 of 35
Remember that Shih Tzus are a brachycephalic breed (short-faced) and their eyes have a bigger profile than other dogs'. So you must watch out for heat, for collapsing tracheas, and grooming is CRITICAL. I would count on a Tzu to need frequent brushing at home and a grooming every few weeks to keep the hair out of his or her eyes (clipped out from under and around the eyes), and from matting. If you're considering a rescue Tzu, you'll need to have his or her eyes checked immediately (SO MANY of them come in with corneal issues because of the lack of grooming). Housebreaking a Tzu will always be an issue; you'd do yourself a huge favor if you also litterbox or piddle-pad train.

Poodles are incredibly adaptable and intuitive. They'll try to fit in no matter what's going on. That makes them a nice dog for families because they're willing to turn on but also willing to turn off. Standards have a more tolerant temperament, but a well-bred mini is also wonderful. Poodles should be clipped/groomed every 4-6 weeks, and MUST be brushed out regularly at home unless you keep them in an incredibly short clip.
post #6 of 35
poodle hands down. my god shitz tzu are some of the most annoying dogs I've ever been around. They really need professional grooming unless you are quite skilled too, and it needs to be regularly done. You can't really get lax on it. A close friend had a standard poodle, she was a fabulous dog.
post #7 of 35
One thing I've read about poodles (and seen it on the profile of many poodles on petfinder) is that they tend to be barky. But they also are fast learners, so I imagine they'd learn to NOT bark that often?
Dp wouldn't like the barking too much. lol
post #8 of 35
Shih Tzu
Pros: Very sweet, great companions, great with children, non-shedding (which doesn't work if they are not brushed regularly), high energy (this could be good or bad).

Cons: Grooming is a huge pain, impossible to housetrain (my parents' shih tzu uses the living room as her bathroom on a regular basis), barks a lot, have breathing and eye issues from the excessive hair and skeletal structure.

Poodles (mini/toy)
Pros: Good companion dog, non-shedding, playful

Cons: Need to be professionally groomed, bark a LOT, will bite, a lot of inbreeding, can act very neurotic if not given enough attn.
post #9 of 35
I'd get a Lhasa Apso over a Shih Tzu any day of the week. Actually, I did. Our LA is awesome with kids, though we do have the grooming issue - I keep her short though. LAs don't have the squashed face of STs, are a bit bigger, and every Lhasa I've met has been nicer than every ST I've met.

But I grew up with Poodles, and like them too.
post #10 of 35
I love love love standard poodles!!! Such elegant dogs! Most of the ones I saw in the clinic were working dogs, for the deaf actually. Beautiful, graceful, wonderful temperaments.....and a perfect size. Personally, I never cared for miniatures or toys. There was ONE miniature that I was in love with (you know how you have your favorite patients when working in the clinic.......) but otherwise, not a fan so much.
post #11 of 35
Thread Starter 
I guess I can cross shih tzus off my list, because pets being housebroken is very important in our house. Besides being a non-shedding breed, being housebroken is my husband's top criteria in a dog. That and he doesn't like big chewers who destroy our house. Imagine that! Can you tell we've had foster dogs?

I'm warming up to the idea of a standard poodle, especially if they are good for families with kids. I like going for walks on trails with my dog. I don't know if minis would be up for that. But here's the thing--I can't tolerate a growling, snapping dog. Friendliness and tolerance with kids are my top criteria. One of the reasons I like labs so much is that they are so friendly and outgoing. I need a kid-friendly dog. How are standards with kids?
post #12 of 35
I've always heard that standards are great with kids.
I'd so love to have a standard. In the grooming shop I worked for, they were ALL reliably sweet, gentle, smart dogs. And so...what's the word, ladylike (not the right word, but ykwim)
Friendly in a way that no other dogs were (of course, we rarely had labs in).

I'd so get one if I were SURE I could do daily walks of an hour or more. I'd be so worried that I'd be likely to slip into less, and I'm not willing to take that risk!
post #13 of 35
I think I would actually pick a standard over a lab for children Labs are so high energy, they can overwhelm children IMO. Also, unfortunately from what I have seen, its harder and harder to find a good lab as they are so popular and there are tons of backyard breeders out there. In the past 5 years or so, we really noticed more and more aggression, anxiety, etc coming out in labs that we saw where I worked
post #14 of 35
Thread Starter 
What about grooming bills with standards? I read somewhere that it can cost $60-75 a grooming! I definitely could not afford that.

I got an email today from the local poodle club/rescue about a 2 year old dark grey male mini poodle. The thing is, he's not housetrained and I don't know about how he'd be with kids. He hasn't been fostered yet. Usually, my policy for rescues is that they have to have been fostered in a home with kids.

I would really, really like to rescue, but I don't know if that would be best in this situation. We rescued a mini poodle/schnauzer several years ago and she was kid aggressive. So we are cautious about it now. But I like adult dogs! Puppies wear me out.
post #15 of 35
I have a secret, closet love of the standard Poodle...They are so smart!! And gorgeous!!

A good rescue will help you find the right dog for your family. They don't want a dog to go to a home and the home not work out. I think you could very well rescue a dog that is kid-friendly and a good match. Or, because you've fostered before, maybe you could find a foster-to-adopt kind of situation so you could have a "trial run"?

Could you learn to groom the dog yourself? It's not like it needs a show coat, just a healthy, happy, everyday coat! The money you spend on equipment would probably pay for itself after you skipped a few trips to the groomer. As a teenager I learned to groom our Mini Schnauzer myself. It was easy, and fun! Obviously the coat of my Schnauzer and the coat of a Poodle are quite different, but...I would think you could learn?? I've never attempted to groom a poodle, though, so maybe someone else could weigh in...
post #16 of 35
That link isn't working for me. hmmm...
I'm a little wary of adopting a dog who hasn't been fostered, as well. There are so many things that I need to know, to be sure that I can give the dog a life that it will be happy with, and to know that WE will be happy with it.
Could you foster that poodle? Is that an option?

I hadn't really thought a lot about grooming costs. I wouldn't be able to afford that much every couple months either. (obviously, if something health related came up, we'd find a way, but ya know...)
post #17 of 35
We have a Havanese, and she is awesome.

She is similar in look to shihtzu (although, my girl is much cuter ) but they have a much better temper.

I would compare our Hav to a golden in a small body that doesn't shed.
post #18 of 35
The poodles i have know where incredible dogs. Smart, not barky, and just all around a nice animal.

My dream is to someday have a standard. :
post #19 of 35
Okay, I know this will sound weird, but given the description you gave of your dream dog (a quiet, mellow dog that doesn't shed, poop or pee in the house) have you considered a greyhound?

Greyhounds are gentle, non-barkers who shed very little. There are lots of them available as they get retired from tracks (they used to be put down, but now greyhound welfare organizations train them and place them into homes).

Greys also come in a large variety of colors. They also can vary a lot in size (50-90 pound)... Still, because they are so quiet, clean, and mellow, pet rescuers frequently hail them as fantastic apartment and family pets (even over the tiny toy breeds).

http://www.centralohiogreyhound.org/faqs.htm

http://www.nlga-mn.org/greyhoundFAQ.htm
post #20 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Red_Lil_Mamma View Post
Okay, I know this will sound weird, but given the description you gave of your dream dog (a quiet, mellow dog that doesn't shed, poop or pee in the house) have you considered a greyhound?

Greyhounds are gentle, non-barkers who shed very little. There are lots of them available as they get retired from tracks (they used to be put down, but now greyhound welfare organizations train them and place them into homes).

Greys also come in a large variety of colors. They also can vary a lot in size (50-90 pound)... Still, because they are so quiet, clean, and mellow, pet rescuers frequently hail them as fantastic apartment and family pets (even over the tiny toy breeds).

http://www.centralohiogreyhound.org/faqs.htm

http://www.nlga-mn.org/greyhoundFAQ.htm
Dont get me wrong, I think greyhounds are great, but the ones I have seen definitely shed, sometimes a lot.
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