Poodle or Shih Tzu? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 35 Old 03-14-2007, 03:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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?

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#2 of 35 Old 03-14-2007, 04:16 AM
 
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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.
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#3 of 35 Old 03-14-2007, 02:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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?

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#4 of 35 Old 03-14-2007, 02:14 PM
 
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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.

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#5 of 35 Old 03-14-2007, 04:17 PM
 
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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.
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#6 of 35 Old 03-14-2007, 05:22 PM
 
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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.
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#7 of 35 Old 03-14-2007, 10:54 PM
 
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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

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#8 of 35 Old 03-14-2007, 11:09 PM
 
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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.
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#9 of 35 Old 03-14-2007, 11:27 PM
 
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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.
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#10 of 35 Old 03-15-2007, 12:40 AM
 
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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.
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#11 of 35 Old 03-15-2007, 12:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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?

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#12 of 35 Old 03-15-2007, 12:54 AM
 
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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!

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#13 of 35 Old 03-15-2007, 12:15 PM
 
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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

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#14 of 35 Old 03-15-2007, 03:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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.

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#15 of 35 Old 03-15-2007, 03:25 PM
 
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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...

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#16 of 35 Old 03-15-2007, 03:27 PM
 
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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...)

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#17 of 35 Old 03-15-2007, 03:41 PM
 
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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.
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#18 of 35 Old 03-15-2007, 04:51 PM
 
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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. :
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#19 of 35 Old 03-15-2007, 06:07 PM
 
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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

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#20 of 35 Old 03-15-2007, 07:40 PM
 
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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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#21 of 35 Old 03-15-2007, 07:50 PM
 
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Grooming bills: If you get a non-shedding, long-haired, or wire-haired breed, grooming is a MUST. If you want to learn to do it yourself of course that's fine, but you should be on a four-week schedule (between clippings/scissorings) with twice-weekly brushouts with a Tzu, and maybe six weeks (again, with brush-outs) with a Poodle. It's just part of the responsibly of owning a non-shedding dog.

Prices vary by location. In your area, it's on the lower end, but a Tzu will run you at least $40 and yeah, a poodle should be $60-ish. But if you don't keep it up, WOW. Dematting is not only hideously uncomfortable for the dog, the prices promptly double.

If you do it yourself, it'll run maybe $300-$400 for a very basic setup (good clippers, combs, brushes, shampoos), double that if you also get a table and a dryer.
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#22 of 35 Old 03-15-2007, 07:59 PM
 
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Yeah! See if you can learn to do it yourself. I always groomed my own pets.....they never looked PROFESSIONAL, but they were comfortable and that's all that mattered to me. But, invest in a GOOD set of clippers, don't get the cheapos because they won't last long.

And yes, from what I know, standards are great with kids......one of the better kid dogs.
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#23 of 35 Old 03-15-2007, 09:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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That link isn't working for me. hmmm...
Could you foster that poodle? Is that an option?
I took the link out because it wasn't working for me either! Sorry! Apparently his owner just let him run around loose and unneutered, and wouldn't pay the fines from the city for doing it, so the pound took him. :

I considered the idea of fostering him. But I'm sure my husband would not like that idea because he isn't housetrained. In fact, my husband doesn't really want me to foster anymore because he's tired of all the pooping and peeing in the house and all the chewed up stuff. : More than that though, my son has been getting really upset when a dog goes to a new home. I don't think he wants us to foster anymore either. I guess I'll explore just volunteering with a rescue without fostering. I could volunteer for lab rescue!

I haven't ruled out poodles, but do you all have any other ideas? What about low-shedding breeds that are good with kids and not hard to housetrain? I bet I could talk my husband into a low-shedding (as opposed to pretty much no-shedding) breed--especially if I tell him how much it costs to have a standard groomed! I'll do some reading about lhasas and havanese.

Thanks for all your help.

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#24 of 35 Old 03-15-2007, 11:42 PM
 
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I fostered an older (10 yr old)shih tzu once, and she was *fabulous*...GREAT temperment, indeed we called her Happy. It was like she was smiling all the time. EVERY shih tzu i've run into in the park or pet store or whereever (with their owner)has had that same smiley, wiggly personality. and FWIW many people with Shih tzus keep them shaved down/clipped short so they don't have to deal with all the brushing. Very common. And while i don't know what the breed standard is (i'd have to go look it up),i've met plenty of Shih Tzus who were closer to fifteen pounds, rather than really tiny, and it seemed like a nice size for a family.

Lhasas on the other hand....i've read twice on here how they are great family dogs, and i'm not sure why people are saying that....i love lhasas but what i've read about them says they are dominant (need an owner who will show them whose boss), and NOT tolerant of small children. Of course individual dogs may be great, but when people are talking generalities....i'm not sure how Lhasas made it to the "great family dogs" list. I remember reading an article in a magazine (maybe Dog World?)when Lhasas were the profiled breed, and it said there as well, not really for a family with small children.

Poodles....i want to like poodles. I really really do. We had a toy poodle when i was small who bit me all the time (yeah, uh, don't get a "teacup" poodle for an active loud family with a crazy dad....good job mom. She was eventually given to my adult brother, and then when he moved home, to an elderly couple, where she bit the wife.) I like Standards better....but i dont like the long snout. Is there a dog just like the poodle (really smart, doesnt shed)but has a more square face? But yeah...poodles are really smart, and i like that.

What about Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers....anyone have any particular feelings about them? They are supposed to be low-shed from what i read. If i ever get a dog, non-shedding is HIGH on my list. Probably first. We fostered Dals and oh my, the hair. It was every freakin' where.


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#25 of 35 Old 03-16-2007, 12:39 AM
 
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I like Standards better....but i dont like the long snout. Is there a dog just like the poodle (really smart, doesnt shed)but has a more square face? But yeah...poodles are really smart, and i like that.



Katherine
I dont like the long snout either, but it doesnt look near as long if you dont do a clean face I love a standard with a full face.

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#26 of 35 Old 03-16-2007, 01:20 AM
 
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Wheatens and Lhasas and Shih Tzus, oh my!

I hate to sound like I'm beating a dead horse, but if a dog does not shed it MATS. Nonshedding dogs absolutely require a dedicated effort to grooming. So never get a nonshedding dog thinking that now your grooming or hair problems will be over--it's all the time and effort of a shedding dog, just concentrated into less frequent, longer periods. So you will have to either commit to a frequent short cut or you'll have to brush out frequently (and learn how to do it properly, from the skin outward).

Lhasas are definitely more stubborn than Shih Tzus. However, I've also found them more stable/less reactive. But I've only known show-bred Lhasas, so that could have a lot to do with it.

Wheatens are TERRIERS. Huge ones. So you've got to really like the terrier personality--scrappy, disobedient, tend to use teeth, tend to take over the house at the slightest opportunity--and again grooming is a must.
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#27 of 35 Old 03-16-2007, 01:23 AM
 
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I read that about lhasas, that they weren't great for kids.
http://www.yourpurebredpuppy.com/rev...hasaapsos.html

You'd think there would be a perfect dog for everybody! lol

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#28 of 35 Old 03-16-2007, 12:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Big sigh... Just when you think you have it narrowed down...

I would, of course, have our dog groomed. But now I'm thinking that for a no-shedding breed, we'd need to have a smaller dog to be able to handle the grooming bills. Yeah, I read that about lhasas too.

I talked to dh last night and he said he'd be ok with low shedding if they actually were low shedding. (When we adopted our dog, we were told she was low shedding, but she sheds big tumbleweeds all the time.) So that opens up my options a little bit.

I read some of the articles on your website, Joanna. I know how you feel about designer dogs. And I read some past threads here about these dogs too. But what about a rescued labradoodle? : I wouldn't be paying $2500 for a mixed breed and if I adopt an adult, we'll have a good idea about its coat type, right? I don't know if this is true, but I read that the ones who shed are usually low shedding, and they only require regular brushing and scissoring a few times a year.

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#29 of 35 Old 03-16-2007, 01:47 PM
 
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I dont know if its the breed or just my dog, but my border collie doesnt shed very much at all. At least not compared to my GSDx who blew tufts of fur everywhere and no matter how long you ran that shed rakle through her, fur kept coming and coming! I brush Daisy every night and I rarely see her hairs around the house. I also joke that she is self cleaning, because we could come home from a hike with her covered in mud and by the time she dries off, its gone. Its like it just falls off her or something. Its a cool feature.

Now I know border collies are high energy, high needs, etc. But not all of them. I read on a BC rescue board and they run across a few calmer ones. Mine is really mellow. In fact, so not-drivey that I worry if I will ever make an agility dog out of her. One long walk a day is enough for her. And if you can find one who likes toys (mine doesnt) you can wear 'em out that way too. She is great with the kids, cats, etc. A bit dog reative, but we are working on it. And she rarely barks - not even when people come to the door.

SO I just thought I would throw that out there. If you get in touch with a quality BC rescue, they might be able to find you a calmer model.

Jenn, perpetually tired mom to DS(9): DD(4.5): DD(2) :
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#30 of 35 Old 03-16-2007, 05:03 PM
 
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I was just reading thay wirehair fox terriers don't shed much.
Schnauzers, westies, yorkies, silky terrier...probably a lot of terriers. But then you are trading shedding for "the dynamic terrier personality" lol

Becky, partner to Teague, SAHM to Keagan (7yo), Jonah (2yo)
 

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