Hi, today my dad said that I could get a dog and I'm in the process of researching possible breeds that will suit my family's lifestyle, and I was hoping some experienced people could give me some suggestions? - I won't be rushing out to get my dog, but will be taking the time and care to make sure that we get a dog that is RIGHT rather than "cute" or conveniently available, etc.
I have pretty bad post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), so I'm looking for a companion/therapy dog.
The types of traits the breed MUST have are:
* Friendly and loyal
* An indoor breed
* Low maintenance in terms of both exercise (so around 30 mins for their daily walks) and general care (so no daily grooming), etc.
* Preferably not TREMENDOUSLY active when indoors (so I don't want it being destructive or bouncing from the walls in boredom 24/7, etc).
* Small/toy dog (I'm not sure if my dad will allow me to get a medium-large dog, as he believes that the size of the dog equals the amount of space it needs, even though I've explained to him that that isn't necessarily true (like with greyhounds), but that it actually comes down to the amount of energy and activity level of the breed.)
* Short coat is preferable, but a medium-short coat would be acceptable as well.
* Cat friendly (I have 2 indoor cats, so they'll be sharing the same space most of the time.)
* Easy to train, or at least house train.
* Doesn't slobber everywhere.
Preferred traits, but not "must haves":
* Not too yappy
* Doesn't shed too much.
* I prefer dogs that have a smooth coat, rather than course.
We live in a house and have a large back large backyard (but the dog will only have access to about half the yard when it's let out, as we have chickens up the back).
And as far as allergies go, I don't think there is anyone in my family who is allergic...though in saying that my best friend is, so non-allergy breeds would certainly be a plus! =] (Though we mostly spend time at her house, so it wouldn't be a HUGE inconvenience if it messed with her allergies (at least I hope not! =S))
When I was living with my mum as a kid I used to have a chihuahua (who severely suffered from small dog syndrome thanks to my mum's influence, and unfortunately I was the one to receive the brunt of the aggression), mini foxies, and a tenterfield terrier.
My dad's friend used to have a chihuahua who was absolutely lovely and friendly to everyone (which is the reason we decided to get my chihuahua), but due to my experiences as a kid I'm still a bit cautious... I plan to do LOTS of research on small dog syndrome and how to avoid it, before getting my dog, but I'm worried that may not be enough, and I know for a fact that if my new dog ends up behaving like Sandy (my chihuahua) it will mess with my PTSD. In saying that though, my dad really likes chihuahuas and I really loved Sandy, and wouldn't mind having another chihuahua... especially now that I know about small dog syndrome! However I've heard that they can be difficult to house train, which would be a big problem as most of my house is carpeted (and my dad was emphatic that my new dog can be easily toilet trained).
One of my dad's other friends also have pugs (which I adore! XD), but I've heard that you need to be really careful in terms of keeping the wrinkles on their faces clean, and stuff like that... also I know that they can be weezy and have trouble breathing, which may be a bit of a bother (as we have shag carpet and no matter how much you vacuum it, it can still be quite dusty).
Anyway these are the dog breeds that I'm familiar with, but it's been a long time since I've had dogs so I would love some expert opinions from anyone who has had these breeds, or any other breeds that may be suitable. - I'm not expecting anyone to do my research for me, but considering how many breeds are out there and the varying degrees of information and people opinions on each breed, I figured getting some experienced suggestions may help in actually finding the perfect dog for me and my family! =)
Any and all help is much appreciated, thanks! =)