Let's talk about dogs, man


Aug 23, 1985
Stevensville, MD
So my wife wants to get a dog. Me, I'm not so sure. If we do get a dog, I would like a relaxed, low-key, kind of dog that isn't bouncing off the walls and doesn't require a lot of exercise. I'd also prefer a smallish breed.

What kind of advice can you give me? Since dog ownership is a serious matter, I'd like to hear the good and the bad.

One more thing. I'd also like a dog that doesn't shed alot.
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We just lost ours after 6 wonderful years so they are going to be a real part of your family and someday leave a real hole in your heart
My wife and I have owned Shih Tzus for 20 years. We've had 5 alltogether. They are extremely intelligent and possess the laid back qualities you describe.
When my wife (then girlfriend) brought the first one home, I literally said, "That's not a 'dog'. That's just some wussy little yippy fur ball."
I was right in one regard - they're not 'dogs' - they're smarter than that and I fell in love with the breed. They're like little kids.
The only down side to owning one is the grooming. They have a lot of fur and if you look at pics, it grows to the floor if you let it. We keep ours cut short. They don't shed. Running a brush through the coat once or twice a day avoids tangled matts. It's no big deal.
I can't imagine owning another breed. Everyone I've run into who has owned one falls in love with them.
Gus is 18 lbs. and thinks he's a dog. Low maintenance and one heck of a pal.

Im going to be honest and suggest that you visit your local shelter and meet some mixed breeds - they tend to be healtier, live longer and are usually easier to train. Why? I have no idea but its what Ive been told and also experienced personally. Ive had nothing but good experiences with pets and theyve all been rescues :)

We just lost ours after 6 wonderful years so they are going to be a real part of your family and someday leave a real hole in your heart

Its true, its beyond hard to loose a pet. Ive always adopted a new pet after the loss of one because not only does it make the grieving process easier, there is nothing like saving the life of an animal who could possibly become your next very best friend :)
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While they don't shed much, I don't recommend a Boxer if you want low key/low energy...we have 2, & their energy is endless. We exercise them 2+ hours a day, & they're still nuts! It's like having 8 kids. That said, they're the best dogs ever if you ask my wife and I!

Dogs are A LOT of work and I don't recommend them to people who don't want to commit to the time and energy it takes. A well exercised pet is a happy, healthy, better behaved dog in my experience. But if you're willing to put in the time/energy, you'll never have a more loving, loyal companion! Good luck in your search!

Here's 1 of our Boxers from a camping trip last weekend:

Shawn we used to raise dogs when I was a kid, had aGerman Sheperd kennel, and lived for years with fur everywhere.

Now we have a Peekapoo, Lhasa Apso, and a Shitzu-Lhasa Apso mix........all have hair not fur and don't shed at all! Plus they are cute and have really distinct personalities, low maintenance, and don't have to be run or walked a lot.

These are about 15 pounds each, well trained ( indoor dogs that go outdoors for pooping), and stay in their tiled room while we're at work with food water and plenty of toys and beds to lay in. Great little guys that sleep on the foot of the bed.

Also they are real mellow and while you hang out they nap at your feet, not pestering you all the time, very good for a chill lifestyle.
I agree with themike... check out your shelters! Most of my pets have been shelter animals, and the mixed breads tend to avoid the issues some of the pure lines tend to have issues with. And it's good karma. :)
Based on your comments - check out a Maltese. They're small but have lots of personality, and they have no idea that they are small. They are also hypo-allergenic, so no shedding. In the dog shows, you usually see them with long dust mop hair and ribbons... but a puppy cut and NO ribbons is more my style. Great dogs. Buddy (below) is ~6 pounds, travels short or long hauls with ease.

While they don't shed much, I don't recommend a Boxer if you want low key/low energy...we have 2, & their energy is endless. We exercise them 2+ hours a day, & they're still nuts! It's like having 8 kids. That said, they're the best dogs ever if you ask my wife and I!


I know it's the norm that boxers are high energy but I know of at least one who is the laziest SOB I have ever met! He's pretty cool, but easily one of the mellowest dogs I have ever met.

My labrador is awesome. He's also pretty mellow, but he's older. He's always happy and loves everyone. However, he sheds like mad. They do have Labradoodles, which have the lab temperament with no shedding.

We have a "Schnoodle" (a miniature Schnauzer/Poodle mix), that we love to death. It's our second one (we lost Tele 2 years ago and Maggie joind out family about 6-7 months later). They are very friendly, incredibly smart, can learn all sorts of tricks, are hypoallergenic, don't shed and grow to about 12-15 lbs..




And our beloved Tele:


Be a little carefull.
Most young dogs that can be described as quiet, low key and like to lay around a lot can also be described as profoundly stupid.

Earlier posters got it right...make a couple of visits to a dog pound and play with some of the dogs. You'll find a few that want to adopt you and hopefully one will stand out as one you want to take home.
After owning a Sheppard for 17 years. yes 17. When we lost her it was like losing a member of the family. I was also 18 at the time. We swore we would never have another one. Sheppard are big playful dogs, not for you.

About 3 yrs ago, my mother in law got cancer. While they were gone for treatments, I took care of their dog since I was also home for health reasons. I am actually allergic to dogs. But I love them. This dog was a 2yr old Shih Tzu. Now, I always thought of little dogs as yappy annoying things. I liked big dogs that I could take walking, hunting, fishing whatever. So when they said they were getting a Shih Tzu I laughed and said they were getting a rat not a dog.

While taking care of the little guy I realised just how wrong I was. Smart, fun little thing, sweet as hell. Very loyal, nothing like most dogs, almost human-like in their behavoir, they are hilarious to be around. So we ended up getting one . And my allergies aren't too bad at all. Ours is now just over 2 years old, full of energy though and we have 3 in the family and they are together most days so they can play. They will miss you if you aren't home. My evenings do consist of trying to beat him out. If I could, I'd have two so they could keep each other company. Males tend to be more energetic, playful, while the females tend to more cat-like and tend to stick to whoever grooms them. Whereas the Males just play with everyone they see. Honestly, despite the fact that he can consume a lot of time, like any pet, the single best thing I have ever spent my money on. But, Grooming is a big deal. Every 4 weeks he gets cut down, they grow hair quickly. They do not shed, BUT there will be some hairs around the house, but nothing like a shedding dog. I swear that the cure for male pattern baldness is inside a Shih Tzu! We have a Pure Bred, and his fur is the softest thing you'll ever touch though.
at 8 weeks old.



All dogs consume a lot of time. But you get back from them what you put in. I look forward to seeing my buddy every day. The first 2 years you have a puppy, they will all have lots of energy and want to play play play. Let me put is this way, after 2.5 yrs, I'm just now finding some time to actually play guitar again. We have one dog, and no kids.
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My step dog. He's pretty good. No idea what the breed mix is.


Not a huge dog person, but he's easy. He'd let himself out if he had thumbs. Vocal as all get out, though.
You sure your son will like a dog? I mean maybe he'd prefer .... oh I dont know..... an older brother. You know, one that also would love to go with him to the factory from time to time? LOL

And yes, I'm house broken.
Having a dog is like having another child with the amount of care and attention they require.
I have a dachshund named Oskar. He's a long-haired black and tan with a different colored eyes. Dogs are exactly like having another child!
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