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House broken and not very noisy?

Mike JacobsenMike Jacobsen Posts: 53Member
edited 21 March, 2011 in Choosing the Right Dog
We're retired and planning for a new addition to our family and also planning on spending a fair amount of time in an RV. We are drawn, after much research, to various members of the Bichon family and Miniature Poodles. Which members of the Bichon family are the easiest to "potty train?" We've been told, from several sources, that Havanese, among the Bichons, don't bark all that much other than "someone is here." Dogs that bark a lot are a problem for RVer's. We've learned the Mini-poodles are given to a fair amount of barking but are pretty easy to house break. We, of course, are working hard to find as close to a perfect match to our life style as possible.


  • Claire RobisonClaire Robison Oregon CityPosts: 4,926Member
    edited 15 March, 2011
    there is always some compromise in choosing a dog, I think... but you\'re right to narrow down the factors that are really important to you and try to choose based on that. I think you might do best getting an adult dog- within every breed, temperament varies enormously, and there are quiet Poodles and barky Bichons. And adult dogs often are already housetrained, yay! is a great resource for finding shelter and rescue dogs of every breed, I don\'t know what area you\'re in, but these are not rare breeds so there should be some available locally. And it can help you get in contact with breed groups that may help you find the dog you want- housebroken, not incessantly barky, and fairly young and healthy, right? I know you said before in a previous thread that you\'d had bad experience with a rescue dog before, and wanted a puppy, (I think? Am I mixing up \"Guest\"s here?) but I just had to put in a plug for rescue dogs- you could have had a bad experience with a dog from a breeder too, it happens all the time! Also, barkiness can be mitigated with training and socializing too. Yes, Poodles tend to be a little more high-strung and bark more, but should be capable of learning a \"Quiet!\" command too. They\'re smart. Perfect dogs aren\'t born, they\'re trained. :)
  • Mike JacobsenMike Jacobsen Posts: 53Member
    edited 16 March, 2011
    We are trying to be responsible and learn from the experts about this important decision. We have received a lot of very useful information from dogster and other sources. There are problems with both rescues and breeders in MO. Right now a rescue has had all of its animals taken away at the same time that our legislature is making it easier for puppy mills to exist in the state. Given our previous experiences, we know that we need to start with respecting breed differences by knowing them very well. Given that, we, my partner particularly, wants to start with a puppy that WE socialize given our, and our families bad experiences with rescues and shelters. We are experienced dog owners who are very capable of having the stuff, including dedication to our new family member, to help create an enjoyable canine family member. We've done it before. And then there is the "breeder problem." Honestly, all we've found to date in our immediate area are breeders who the experts here on dogster, and others, warn against; puppy mills, byb's, breeding 6-7 different breeds, insufficient warranties, etc. We've found a few a few hundred miles away that might have some potential, given the breeds we are interested in. But, my partner says NO to a dog costing $1,500 to $2,500. We don't really need championship quality and won't be doing any breeding. We have very specific needs/wishes and are trying to the best we can to be successful. Thanks for your recommendations.
  • Kimi HKimi H SunderlandPosts: 2,257Member
    edited 16 March, 2011
    There is nothing wrong with wanting and acquiring a puppy if that is what you want, but if you are interested in an older dog that is possibly even housebroken already and has nice manners, yet would still rather have a purebred, or simply make sure your dog is from someone who cares and is "doing it right," I just want you to be aware that this is not impossible! Many reputable breeders will "retire" show dogs who are done with their careers into private homes. These dogs might be quite young, perhaps they matured to have some fault, or didn't like showing much and didn't have "the attitude," or were good enough to be "finished" (gain champion status) at an early age but not exceptional enough to add to the breeding program. You may have to begin a dialogue and stand up to some scrutiny to be deemed worthy, but the best breeders will ask you plenty of questions to be certain you're going to do right by their dogs/pups anyway. ;)
  • Mike JacobsenMike Jacobsen Posts: 53Member
    edited 18 March, 2011
    I truly hate being a "yes, but" person, but we're not doing too well on the breeder search in our area. I think that if we could find the sort of breeder that is suggested by dogster folks, that would work just fine. Problem is, we have not yet found such a breeder. We have yet to have one return a telephone call or answer a less than threatening e-mail. And we only contacted those who presented information on the internet that suggested that they are not a puppy mill, not a byb, don't breed three or more breeds, etc. and live within 100 miles of our home. We live in MO. A state whose legislature is working on turning back a voter initiated law putting limits on puppy mills. And we still have some "breed" questions.
  • Halo HuthHalo Huth Posts: 482Member
    edited 18 March, 2011
    Try Poodle Patch and Friends in Texarkana, TX. They have lots of great dogs, most are poodles but a few others as well. I know a bit further than you planned, but, since you intend on traveling, why not start with traveling to get your dog? :)
  • Kimi HKimi H SunderlandPosts: 2,257Member
    edited 18 March, 2011
    Well what kind of breed questions do you have? Once you settle on a breed you think you like the best, there might even be some dogsters who can recommend breeders to you. Both the breeds you mentioned previously would probably fit your lifestyle nicely, though each would result in a slightly different experience in your life! As a general warning, small breeds take more patience to housebreak if for no other reason than the fact that they need time to grow into their bladders. However, if you are vigilant they won't have an accident and if you're patient eventually those little bodies will mature enough to hold it in better. Also if you are really concerned about barking, be sure to teach a "speak" command so that you can also teach an "off" command to let them know the time for speaking is done. It also helps, when you have an alarm barker, to check out whatever neighbor or squirrel they're alerting to through the window or whatever. Once they know you have seen it and are handling things from there you can give the off command and it tends to satisfy their "duty" as the household alarm. Always make sure they know that barking is no huge deal by keeping yourself calm and your voice level and soft when addressing a barking dog, otherwise the message is "you're excited and making sounds? I'm excited and making sounds! we're barking together! we're a pack! let's bark at that neighbor! LOUDER!" In other words, never, ever yell at a barking dog. ;) I think with a little patience and training you'd do well with either breed. And I've heard of RVers having all sorts of dogs (mini/toy poodles are common I thought, in the traveling lifestyle!).
  • Claire RobisonClaire Robison Oregon CityPosts: 4,926Member
    edited 18 March, 2011
    you will probably have to look outside your immediate area, unfortunately. Truly ethical breeders are rare, which is sad, but that\'s life. Everyone\'s cutting corners. Many dogsters here have had puppies flown to them from another state or even another country because there was no one local good enough, or the breed they wanted was kind of rare. I encourage you to look at breeders outside your state. Shipping (or driving/flying to pick them up from the breeder) will cost more, but often it\'s the only way to get what you really want. Of course since you can\'t go to meet them in person, try to get references from previous satisfied customers, and search for their name on Google to see if any complaints have ever been made, and of course you should be talking on the phone and emailing back and forth LOTS before they clear you to buy a puppy. On price, you know what they say, \"Quality isn\'t expensive, it\'s priceless.\"
  • Jane MorrisonJane Morrison Posts: 210Member
    edited 20 March, 2011
    If you do live in MO you'll have to look outside the state area. We've had our trouble as well. You're probably not a Cragslist person but when I'm bored I'll get on it has it's own section of animals and we look at the dogs sometimes. That's where we found Uggles. :\
  • Rebecca LandonRebecca Landon Posts: 5,368Member
    edited 21 March, 2011
    Ditto to those who said to look outside your state... Be open to the right dog coming from anywhere (location-wise)!!! You have an RV, it isn't like you can't go pick it up ;) BTW, love that ya'll have retired and are going to RV around. I would LOVE to do that someday!!! I just might have to pick a smaller breed before that day comes :-k Good luck in your search!!!
  • Lucille PLucille P Posts: 3,390Member
    edited 21 March, 2011
    Have you considered a breed specific rescue? Once you\'ve hit upon a couple of breeds that are right for you, do a BSR search for those. This is often a great route because those folks are in it to help their heart breed. They are often breeders/showers that have retired themselves and/or have retired dogs and take in pups of their breed from shelters, ACs, or owner-surrenders. Because they specialize in a specific breed, they tend to be a wealth of knowledge and support. They work hard to match you with a pup that fits well with your family and lifestyle. Tell them what you are looking for in a travelling many great dogs out there would love to share that life with you! If you\'ve got some lead time, all the better, because many BSRs will have you fill out an application and put you on a waiting list for just the right kind of pup if they don\'t already have one that is a good fit. You\'re right, being in a state with so many puppy mills and looking for a small dog (mills churn the small ones out by the thousands)you\'re going to have it tough. Thank you for NOT supporting puppy mills! I\'d go out of state or BSR. Best of luck with your search!:q
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