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  • Dogs?

    Hi everyone... I'd appreciate some help here. \

    My fiancé and I have decided to try to find a smaller ( under 20 lbs as an adult?) but sturdy dog that I can take to the barn, horse shows and the like. We currently have three pit bulls and while they are angels at home... I can't take them out in public. They are all well behaved, but are 'funny' with strangers in their face so we avoid putting them in uncomfortable situations which is best for all involved. Anyway- i DO want a dog that I can take out as I enjoy animal companionship far better than that of people.

    I know all the typical 'barn dog' breeds ( corgi's , JRT , Springers and the like) I am very interested in Dachshunds , Toy Fox Terriers and Poodles but worry that they are not 'sturdy' enough.

    So please, share with me your experiences or opinions on smaller, sturdy and rough and tumble dogs. I don't care about grooming requirements as I used to be a groomer. . . so I'll just do it.

    And while I applaud those of you who rescue and rehab other dogs we're in agreement that this time we'd like to stick to a dog from a breeder. Nothing against rescues, but we want to have the option to find a show quality dog if possible. I've rescued for the last 15 years and it's time to take a break.

  • #2
    Fellow Pit Bull owner here (have 3 myself; 1 purebred and 2 mixes..all rescues) and am in a similar situation...love them all to death but they are not dogs I can just bring to the barn and let them go while I ride. So nice to hear about people who love them for what they are and realize their limitations and that it doesn't make them a "bad" dog.

    Anyways, I'm not looking to add another dog at this point, but we've thought about it and really would like either a small mutt or a JRT at some point in the future. My farrier has an Irish JRT who is awesome, most obedient, impeccably trained dog I've ever met. The dog does tend to wander off, but he always comes back and he's very horse smart.

    I'm not a big fan of toy poodles, but my boyfriend's family has one and she is a great horse show dog...just not my type of dog in general...too hairy, too much maintenance grooming wise, really yippy/barky...but pretty smart and you can take her anywhere. She was actually given to them by another rider when they couldn't keep her anymore, and she would go to about 6-7 away horse shows a year and loved every minute of it.

    Have fun finding another pup!


    • #3
      The right dog in any of those breeds will work well. Personally I am really enjoying my long haired whippet. She is under 20 pounds and a great out and about dog. Regular whippets would be the same, I just like the hair so they don't look so nekkid lol.


      I have a friend who comes and stays with her american cocker. He is a delightful right around 20 pound dog. Can be a little oblivious about the horses but another great dog to take out and about.

      ETA adding a JRT is like adding another APBT some are great with other dogs, some are not. Dog aggression is an issue there. Though if you get the 'irish jacks' you might be fine as they have watered down the dogs to the point they aren't 'really' JRTs anymore.


      • #4
        How will your bigger pits be with a new, smaller dog in the house?

        My parents bred Boxers, and I wanted a smaller, herding group dog to take to the barn. I looked at Heelers, Cattle Dogs and tried to find a very small Aussies (I stayed away from minis, but a reputable breeder might have some nice ones). Before I decided against a Terrier, I looked into Boarder Terriers, Smooth Hair Fox Terriers (I had wanted a JRT, but known a few who have killed cats and chickens, plus they can be quite snippy). I finally went with a Sheltie. He is 22lbs, 15 inches tall. It's great because he can have a "job" at the barn, keeps busy herding things, and I also compete in Agility. My parents ended up with two themselves, a little more yappy than mine (I think mine is the quietest Sheltie ever!) Sometimes the Boxers get annoyed with the barking and herding games, and snap at, roll one over, which can be scary since they are so small and so non-aggressive, but nothing serious has ever happened.

        I've had friends ask what breed they should get. I think as an owner, you have to decide what traits are most appealing and try to pick a breed accordingly. I have one friend who has the sweetest Pit I've ever met, and goes to the barn every day, no problems with people, horses, dogs, cats, easy to be around. But I think that is the exception, not norm. Training and environmental influences go a long way, but a breed has certain traits you can't control. I never brought the Boxers to the barn-they can be territorial with other dogs, and tend to wander when bored. Yet, my Sheltie and Aussie are what herding dogs should be-wary of strangers, but all that means is bark, and perfectly content to stay around the barn/lifestock. I think it's unfair when owners try to conform their dogs to their own lifestyle, so kudos to both of you for being realistic and fair to your dogs, and those you may cross paths with.


        • #5
          Under 20 pounds + sturdy can be a tough one. You didn't mention if you were considering toy dogs (OK, you did mention the poodles) but of all the toy breeds, Papillons are far and away my favorite. In fact, I used to have one who would have been a PERFECT horse event dog but I had to rehome him because he hated one of the Border Collies so much that he kept attempting to commit suicide by attacking the Border Collie. I'm not into keeping dogs separated all the time, so Skeeter the Yapillon lives with someone else now and everyone (including new owner) is much, much happier. (I did just call him a Yapillon -- do not get a Pap unless you can handle barking.)

          I would hesitate to add another bully on top of three pit bulls, in case of altercations, but my current "other-breed" obsession (i.e., not a Border Collie -- I have three) is miniature Bull Terriers. They can be hard to find, but they fit your criteria of small and sturdy and I LOVE their egg-shaped heads. A nice Staffordshire Bull Terrier ("Staffy Bull") would suit also for the same reasons, except for the egg-shaped head.

          I would also recommend a Border Terrier -- actually, that sounds tailor-made for your situation -- except that I would hesitate to add a terrier to a pack of pitties. I love pits, but I think multi-terrier or bully/terrier situations can be difficult unless all the individual dogs involved are somewhat unusual.

          Shelties are another good suggestion. You need to determine if you like the herding breed types of personalities, but if you do they definitely fit into your size criteria. The warning about barking also applies to Shelties as they are known to be quite vocal. Actually, most of the Shelties I have known, and this is in the context of dog sports like agility and flyball, were debarked for that reason. Debarking consists of nicking the vocal cords so that the dog no longer produces a yap, but instead something that sounds like a hoarse cough. That way they could bark all they wanted but no one minded. I wouldn't do it to a dog, but I will never again own a committed yapper so the point is moot.

          I used to compete in sheepdog trials with my Border Collies, and nearly every handler, no matter how many working dogs s/he had, seemed to have one small auxiliary dog as well. The most popular breeds seem to be JRTs and Chihuahuas, with a scattering of mini Dachshunds.
          MelanieC * Canis soloensis


          • #6
            Over 20 pounds, but Standard Poodles are awesome. Very smart and do require training, but really fun dogs.


            • #7
              Originally posted by IFG View Post
              Over 20 pounds, but Standard Poodles are awesome. Very smart and do require training, but really fun dogs.
              I agree, I love my standard and he an go anywhere, always good, smart and a blast to have around. Just a little over the weight you wanted!


              • #8
                Forgot to add, my profile pic is my SP as a puppy playing with his corgi friend.


                • #9
                  Joining the Standard Poodle chorus! Best. Dogs. Ever. (although I do love my rescue mutt)

                  I wouldn't get a mini poodle though. They have a different personality and I think finding a good one is hard.

                  Rescue Mutt has dachsund in him (we think) and is a great dog. Dachsunds can be nippy though. They also hate to go out in the rain.

                  What about a cairn terrier? My sister just got one and she's a tough little dog and cute as can be.

                  ETA: Love the picture IFG! My poodle had a good corgi friend as a puppy and loves them all to this day.


                  • Original Poster

                    I love all the reccomendations, please keep them coming!

                    I had thought standard poo as well... but it's a LOT bigger than we wanted to go. Carins were discussed ( well, my childhood dog- Norwich terriers were) but they are STARTING at 3500 on most websites ( and those are the puppy mill sites-not the place i was planning on actually getting one from- i emailed a few breeders and EGADS!)

                    Pitties will accept another dog into the house granted its a puppy and its NOT a female . the only real issue is My bug because, well shes a freak. She just is VERY drivey and doesnt back down. Yes, i socialized her to death from 8-16 weeks. but she just doesnt like other dogs in her face. and i respect that.

                    Is the mini bull the same as the American French Bull Terrier ( aka French bulldogs/Pit bull mix).

                    I spoke to a Doxie ( ok can't spell the other , true name) breeder today as well. she was all for the pitties and had handled some am staffs in the past but when i said my girl was drivey and if something growls in her face scruff goes up and she growls right back- she said not the breed for us. Apparently they are "dont back down" dogs as well. NOT the compliment for a pitty.


                    • #11
                      That's "Cairn".

                      How about a Portuguese Podengo? They come in three sizes - small, medium, and large.
                      Laurie Higgins
                      "Expectation is premeditated disappointment."


                      • #12
                        I wanted to add my two cents with my Doxies and my pitt. They get along and even play together. All three of them....1 pitt, 2 doxies. Very good friends. With the right dog, it is possible. It just has to be the right match.

                        I really like my mini female, long haired doxie. Very smart and savvy around other dogs and horses. She plays with the pitt. We don't leave them alone unsupervised. I just won't do it even though they are fine. We do leave them in the house for a couple of hours after everyone has had a long walk. No worries here. But usually, they are separated.

                        I vote for Doxies. My absolute favorite farm dog. My male does have a strong hunt drive. We can't let him off leash. He will take off. We got him as a 3 yo. Oh well....the only one that has to be on a leash.

                        Have fun shopping.
                        Life is too short to argue with a mare! Just don't engage! It is much easier that way!

                        Have fun, be safe, and let the mare think it is her idea!


                        • #13
                          Honestly, no reputable breeder is going to sell you a dog once they hear that you own an aggressive dog and that your current three dogs are confined to the home. A good breeder wants to place their puppies in a home with other well-socialized dogs. What is the quality of life for your dogs if they never get to go out in public?

                          All it takes is one snap from your pits jaws and she could permenantly damage a puppy (if she doesn't kill it) and result in thousands of dollars of medical bills. I work in a vets office and 2-3 times we have received a mangled puppy because someone brought a puppy into a household with a touchy alpha dog who had a large personal bubble.

                          Is it fair to bring a puppy into your household with a dog who "just is VERY drivey and doesnt back down ... she just doesnt like other dogs in her face."

                          A puppy doesn't always know to back down.

                          Do you have a way of rehoming a puppy if your female decides that she is an unwelcome vistor? Do you have the time to socialize a puppy (8 weeks of socialization is not sufficient)?

                          A barn dog is made, not born.


                          • Original Poster

                            Originally posted by GraceLikeRain View Post
                            Honestly, no reputable breeder is going to sell you a dog once they hear that you own an aggressive dog and that your current three dogs are confined to the home. A good breeder wants to place their puppies in a home with other well-socialized dogs. What is the quality of life for your dogs if they never get to go out in public?

                            Ok. I knew it was coming.

                            My dogs have better lives than a good deal of the dogs I know. I live in a Rural farm community in Georgia. Dogs are livestock for many. many. families around here. your dog gets hit by a car? shoot it. your dog is aggressive ? shoot it. my "confined to the home" dogs get treated better than children that live near us. My dogs have had in the last year 3 dental cleanings and extractions, ACL surgery and OFA evaluations. And on that note, these were all "elective" options that not everyone does- and yeah- they set our one income family back but the dogs wouldnt know it.

                            they are DOGS. they have a pack. they have 2 people in their pack that love them. their food costs more than OUR food costs. I feed my female grain free food because she has allergies, I bathe her weekly with baby shampoo and she sleeps between us in the bed. Our other two get along fine with her. They run, they sleep, they play, they eat, they get loved. So please explain to me how they are lacking by not going out 'into the world'. Or, did you just jump to the conclusion that I keep her locked in a closet with a Hannibal mask?

                            I have Pit Bulls. REAL pit bulls. not that the Pit bull mixes, bullies ect don't have the same general gene pool, but i have actual GAME BRED dogs. the drive is desired. I have had her trained professionally. As in I can stand in a busy parking lot and put her down and drop the leash and walk a row away... she sticks to the pavement. So. . . YES i can bring her to petsmart and petco and hey! probably even the dog park. but i know one of those times that we could conceivably have some idiot let their little untrained yappy dog jump up on her or get in her face and yup- you said it- one bite and that would be it. So i micromanage her to make sure it NEVER happens.

                            And as far as im concerned, bringing in a young, opposite sex puppy into our carefully managed home .. will be fine-I mean we did bring in Ms. Beezley when bug was a year and a half old and we're FINE now. I simply expressed the desire to hear about breeds that will be EASIER to make into barn dogs. . . I could conceivably take one of the other pit bulls but I am just tired of the breed stigma and i'd rather just leave my babies at home and NOT hear about how vicious they are.

                            I hope i can find an intelligent educated breeder who respects my choice to keep my dogs safe from ever having to be put down because someone is too dumb to control their own dog .

                            I don't mean to rant at you but i'm very very passionate about how my dogs are raised.

                            Pitties on Parade- Enjoying a rare GA snow with my Inlaws dogs.

                            Last edited by gardenofsimple22; Jul. 12, 2010, 01:31 AM. Reason: ha! spelled Intelligent wrong


                            • #15
                              Doxies (not the mini but the full size) are very sturdy. And will probably be over 20 lbs. You have to be a bit careful with the backs ofcourse. Mine was kinda cranky with big dogs though and would roll them over.


                              • #16
                                Not exactly sure what you mean by "sturdy," but I have a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and he is absolutely FANTASTIC. I realize they look like snobby dogs and that many probably stay stuck in Manhattan penthouses their whole lives, but mine is treated like a spaniel, not an accessory.

                                Breed standards put Cavaliers between 13 and 18 lbs. I find the ones who are over 20 lbs are too fat. They are VERY friendly with all sorts of people and dogs, but they are also smart and understand when to back off or approach with caution. My pup gets along fantastically with my dad's Pit mix and my sister's Pit/Boxer. Cavaliers are also quite smart (though not as genius as BCs) and very much want to please their people, so they are quite easy to train.

                                Since they do have the spaniel hunting instinct, they can be a little distractable, but I found my dog grew out of this as he got older (he's almost 11 months now!). He is always off-leash at the barn, never runs towards the road, respects the horses, and comes the second I call his name.

                                Again, I realize they might not *look* as sturdy as you may be looking for, but I guarantee these guys can hold their own. Mine will outlast my friends and I on day hikes, and will run around for hours at the barn, jumping and rolling through mud, tall grass, hay, manure, you name it. They do require some grooming, but you said you should be fine with that. All I've really had to deal with is ear mats, burrs, and hosing him down if he gets too gross at the barn.

                                Sorry to blab on and on :-P but you can tell, I really love my breed! He is the perfect combination of fun, smart, cuddly, and adventurous. Plus, he's SUPER cute

                                Aaaand, just because I'm a crazy dog mom, here's a picture of him hanging out at the barn last night: http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-..._5122917_n.jpg
                                "Last time I picked your feet, you broke my toe!"


                                • #17
                                  Wire Haired Fox Terrier came to mind. BUT...you might have a hard time convincing it to not try to kill the Pits. I have known a few that were perfect and not at all crazy aggressive but I have also owned the exact opposite dog that never, ever gave up trying to kill every male dog he met. We went through many pro trainers that said "I quit" with him. I think the females are much easier and a sturdier dog you won't find.

                                  How cute is this guy? http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/16457213

                                  Or her? http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/16581519

                                  I would expect you would have a very difficult time adopting from most rescues with 3 Pits at home though. And I agree...any decent breeder. You said yourself that little dogs "in her face" results in violence. How can you "train" a pup to know that being friendly will result in death? I would probably try to find someone who will adopt an adult dog to you...not a pup.
                                  "look deep into his pedigree. Look for the name of a one-of-a-kind horse who lends to his kin a fierce tenacity, a will of iron, a look of eagles. Look & know that Slew is still very much with us."


                                  • #18
                                    What about a boston terrier? They're very sturdy and usually top out at about 20 lbs. I have two pits and the three of them get along very well.


                                    • #19
                                      Thats rude to say a good breeder won't look at someone with pits. I am a good breeder (lol could be biased) No I would not sell a JRT to someone with APBT but thats because a JRT won't back down and is a mouthful to an annoyed APBT. I would however sell a LHW to someone like the OP. Whippets are so non confrontational. They make a good compliment to the VERY confrontational JRTs.

                                      A good breeder is going to know that APBTs are not child eating monsters who are going to devour any new dog or person who enters the house. Some are very DA, most that I know are very 'strange dog aggressive' and are ok with polite dogs who live in the group.


                                      • #20
                                        Aven, I think that what was meant that most terriers (that meet the small and sturdy reqts) would potentially be confrontational and a good breeder would worry about that. They are bred to not back down from varmints after all. There will be some concerns about adding a fourth dog to the mix of three already.

                                        To the OP, have you considered Welsh Corgis? Either variety although the Cardigans are quite laid back.