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Mia, Christmas in June 2010
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I'm now looking more at other dog breeds including havanese, shih tzu, and bichon frise.
Those breeds sound like better fits for what you're looking for, in terms of both personality and compatibility with large dogs. I am a fan of the large dog - medium dog combo.
 

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I think you would do well with a pit bull. They are the dog of choice for combat veterans with PTSD. They can take the bad feelings you have, just absorb them. Any bull breed would be good, but pit bulls are especially known as good therapy dogs.
 

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I think you would do well with a pit bull. They are the dog of choice for combat veterans with PTSD. They can take the bad feelings you have, just absorb them. Any bull breed would be good, but pit bulls are especially known as good therapy dogs.
I would not recommend a bull breed for the OP. The APBT (pitbull) breed in particular has dog aggression in the breed standard, and is by no means an easy dog. Many people say pitbull when they are really referring to the mixes that fill shelters. Shelter pit mixes can be nice dogs, it's true, but I would also not recommend a pitbull type dog to a young person who may want to live in an apartment. Most apartments have breed restrictions against these dogs. I think the OP is right to look for a smaller dog with an easygoing temperament.

On another note, I am curious where you find info that pitbulls are the preferred breed for PTSD. Pitbulls4Patriots was founded in 2011 and was a non-profit aimed at training rescued pitbulls as service dogs for veterans but they soon stopped using pitbulls as they found them too sensitive and their temperaments became unstable. They switched to greyhounds instead and renamed to Hounds4Heros.
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
Yeah, as much as I love pitties I'm not interested in owning one. They're much too big along with the things others have mentioned. Thank you for the suggestion though!
 

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Going by the Pittbulls I have known, they were very good for people with anxiety.
WE dog sit 2 pitts. Both are really nice dogs. The younger one is strong, muscular . She is the sweetest calm dog however when she gets it in her head she is not. They have a fenced in yard and one time when we were out there with her, a new neighbor behind them put their dog in the yard, well she didn't take kindly to it, ran up to the fence and busted a hole in it with her head. (albeit the fence was old and the wood probably had rot) but you never know. On the other side of the fence is another dog, who she loves and will play with unless you throw a ball then its all hers. While she has been very good she is now about 5 and the owner can no longer give both the dogs any bones as the younger pitt will aggressively take the older dogs and a fight will start. She was never like this before but I guess she realizes her sibling is getting weak and she is right there to take advantage of it. I would not recommend a pitt to any young person starting out with their own dog.
 

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I just want to thank you all again SO MUCH for the advice and suggestions. I'm now looking more at other dog breeds including havanese, shih tzu, and bichon frise. I still adore poodles but I have to really think about it and maybe talk to a breeder about what their dogs are like personality-wise and what they enjoy for exercise. Are toy poodles more relaxed than miniatures or is it about the same?
There are some great Havanese breeders in Minnesota - Adelheid produces excellent dogs. The breeder describes them as "Golden Retrievers in a small package." Waiting lists can be pretty long though, which is why I got a miniature poodle. He's a great pup for me because I'm retired and want to be more active. Also take a look at Happy Paws Havanese. I liked that breeder when I talked to her during my puppy search.
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
There are some great Havanese breeders in Minnesota - Adelheid produces excellent dogs. The breeder describes them as "Golden Retrievers in a small package." Waiting lists can be pretty long though, which is why I got a miniature poodle. He's a great pup for me because I'm retired and want to be more active. Also take a look at Happy Paws Havanese. I liked that breeder when I talked to her during my puppy search.
Thanks for the recommendations!
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
So I've been talking with my parents about a poodle and if we got one what we could do to exercise it, etc. My dad had a poodle when he was a kid, a standard named Duchess. He had her in the 70s when he lived in California, she would jump into the pool with the kids and swim around with them.

I want a miniature but my mom doesn't want a smaller dog. I REALLY prefer smaller dogs but my mom is worried about it running out the door since it's so small and fast, and I'm worried about that too, but I'm just not usually a fan of smaller dogs.

So I wanted to ask, how big are standard poodles usually? What are their exercise requirements compared to a miniatures? What is their lifespan generally like? I'm sure a standard might be a better playmate for Maxwell since it'll be closer to his size, and it won't be so small that we have to worry about it getting accidentally stepped on, but... I'd love a dog that would cuddle and sleep in my bed without crushing my organs when it steps on me! :p

I know I said I was looking at other breeds but I just don't feel the same way about them as I do a poodle, and I don't want to end up with a dog that I don't enjoy owning, even if it may be easier. I just prefer poodle type dogs aesthetically, if that makes sense. I feel kind of bad about it because as long as a dog is happy and healthy I should be happy but... I don't know, my autism makes it hard for me to explain things sometimes.
 

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My standard sleeps in my bed with me but she doesn't step on me. :) She is a cuddler, but doesn't enjoy active petting as much as she enjoys just hanging out on the couch or bed, touching. YMMV, all dogs are different.

Standards range from 30-70+ pounds. By definition, they are any poodle over I think 15"? 16"? But most are 20"+. 50 lbs and 23-24" seems to be pretty common.

Standards need similar levels of exercise to minis and can get into a lot of trouble if they don't receive it. One of the reasons I enjoy my dog is she makes me get up and do things every day whether I want to or not. As a 2 year old, Annie gets 1hr + of exercise every day, and needs daily running play. She also needs a mental work every day. Sniffy walks outside, sitting together and watching the world go by after a walk, trick training, dog classes, etc.

Play with another dog would help with physical exercise, but expect to need walks too. She loves hikes through the forest, trips into town, etc. Standard poodle adolescence can be a big challenge. Many are nippy/mouthy. An obedience class and lots of training time as an adolescent are good ideas. Poodles also tend to be sensitive so positive reinforcement works really well, other sorts of training not so much.

How do you exercise Maxwell? Can you describe what his typical day is like?
 

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Here is a thought. No matter what breed you end up with, Maxwell is going to need to interact with the puppy. Do you think you could enroll him in a training class and work towards getting him his CGC (Canine Good Citizen) certificate ahead of time? Getting his manners tuned up will reduce the stress on you when you get your puppy. It will also expose you to dogs your classmates have, so you can see what kinds of problems they are having and learn from them.

You might want to include the English Cocker Spaniel in the list of breeds to investigate. They have the cheerfulness and trainability typical of the gun dog type. They weigh in at around 30 pounds, which is a great size.
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
My standard sleeps in my bed with me but she doesn't step on me. :) She is a cuddler, but doesn't enjoy active petting as much as she enjoys just hanging out on the couch or bed, touching. YMMV, all dogs are different.

Standards range from 30-70+ pounds. By definition, they are any poodle over I think 15"? 16"? But most are 20"+. 50 lbs and 23-24" seems to be pretty common.

Standards need similar levels of exercise to minis and can get into a lot of trouble if they don't receive it. One of the reasons I enjoy my dog is she makes me get up and do things every day whether I want to or not. As a 2 year old, Annie gets 1hr + of exercise every day, and needs daily running play. She also needs a mental work every day. Sniffy walks outside, sitting together and watching the world go by after a walk, trick training, dog classes, etc.

Play with another dog would help with physical exercise, but expect to need walks too. She loves hikes through the forest, trips into town, etc. Standard poodle adolescence can be a big challenge. Many are nippy/mouthy. An obedience class and lots of training time as an adolescent are good ideas. Poodles also tend to be sensitive so positive reinforcement works really well, other sorts of training not so much.

How do you exercise Maxwell? Can you describe what his typical day is like?
Maxwell gets multiple walks during the day around our neighborhood and whenever the weather is cooperating my mom and I will take him out to local wildlife areas to explore in the woods/along the rivers. We also have a very large back yard and take him out multiple times a day to run around, the yard is very long so he has plenty of room to run up and down.

Here is a thought. No matter what breed you end up with, Maxwell is going to need to interact with the puppy. Do you think you could enroll him in a training class and work towards getting him his CGC (Canine Good Citizen) certificate ahead of time? Getting his manners tuned up will reduce the stress on you when you get your puppy. It will also expose you to dogs your classmates have, so you can see what kinds of problems they are having and learn from them.

You might want to include the English Cocker Spaniel in the list of breeds to investigate. They have the cheerfulness and trainability typical of the gun dog type. They weigh in at around 30 pounds, which is a great size.
We've been taking Maxwell to a very good trainer (who we're trying to set up a play-date with) but she's currently moving (or buying her house? I'm not sure) so we haven't seen her lately, but we've been working with him at home. He's great at doing sit and down and he's getting a LOT better at stay, we can actually take a few steps back without him coming towards us now!

I've looked at spaniels a little bit, an acquaintance of mine has a few so I can always talk to her about them! I'm not really interested in English cocker spaniels but I like the look of American water spaniels, Brittany's and Welsh springer spaniels!
 

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That actually sounds like a decent amount of exercise, especially if you have a fenced yard and the dogs can play (be warned my poodle won't play alone outside by herself - she wants a person or a dog with her).

Again, once Maxwell is 2 or so, perhaps a chat with your trainer, another chat with your parents, and a chat with a few breeders with a realistic description of your lifestyle.

While you wait, maybe try trick training with Maxwell to sharpen your skills for the next dog - Do More With Your Dog has free Facebook groups and lots of video resources on how to teach tricks. There's usually a thread running here for the Poodle Trick of the Month club - I am pretty sure a smooth collie would be more than welcome to join in, we are dog lovers, not just poodle lovers (I really like collies).
 

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We've been taking Maxwell to a very good trainer (who we're trying to set up a play-date with) but she's currently moving (or buying her house? I'm not sure) so we haven't seen her lately, but we've been working with him at home. He's great at doing sit and down and he's getting a LOT better at stay, we can actually take a few steps back without him coming towards us now!
That's good he's already had some formal training. Reasons I was suggesting going to a class are so you get used to working with him in the presence of other dogs, and he gets used to obeying you when surrounded by distractions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
That actually sounds like a decent amount of exercise, especially if you have a fenced yard and the dogs can play (be warned my poodle won't play alone outside by herself - she wants a person or a dog with her).

Again, once Maxwell is 2 or so, perhaps a chat with your trainer, another chat with your parents, and a chat with a few breeders with a realistic description of your lifestyle.

While you wait, maybe try trick training with Maxwell to sharpen your skills for the next dog - Do More With Your Dog has free Facebook groups and lots of video resources on how to teach tricks. There's usually a thread running here for the Poodle Trick of the Month club - I am pretty sure a smooth collie would be more than welcome to join in, we are dog lovers, not just poodle lovers (I really like collies).
That's fine if a poodle wouldn't play if they were alone, I don't plan on leaving them in the yard by themselves :)

Thank you for telling me about the group, I'll be sure to join!

That's good he's already had some formal training. Reasons I was suggesting going to a class are so you get used to working with him in the presence of other dogs, and he gets used to obeying you when surrounded by distractions.
Yeah, our trainer just does 1-on-1 but she's brought other dogs in to see how ours would react.
 

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I think Standards are great, but they can be trouble for at least the first 2-3 years. Mine was shark toothed and I have plenty dog experience, just never had a standard before. I asked myself if I were crazy and felt I lost my touch at training. But it got better. Renn is now a bit of a couch potato though he enjoys running and retrieving a ball in the backyard. He is not really all that dog friendly but most of that is my fault with lack of socializing and when we did meet other dogs it wasn't pleasant. All in all though I'm ok with it, I don't feel the need to have doggie playdates, maybe if I were younger it would be fun to do. But he is my total companion, at my side 24/7. He at 3 now sleeps in my queensize bed but he tries to take over, and that includes laying his head on my pillow. Only problem was he does not like being disturbed when he is in a deep sleep and I am a restless sleeper. So I let him up and he lies there and watches tv with me, enjoys his pets , he will paw me if I stop but once I'm ready to roll over and go to sleep I make him get off the bed and go to his own bed. He is 68 lbs .
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
I think Standards are great, but they can be trouble for at least the first 2-3 years. Mine was shark toothed and I have plenty dog experience, just never had a standard before. I asked myself if I were crazy and felt I lost my touch at training. But it got better. Renn is now a bit of a couch potato though he enjoys running and retrieving a ball in the backyard. He is not really all that dog friendly but most of that is my fault with lack of socializing and when we did meet other dogs it wasn't pleasant. All in all though I'm ok with it, I don't feel the need to have doggie playdates, maybe if I were younger it would be fun to do. But he is my total companion, at my side 24/7. He at 3 now sleeps in my queensize bed but he tries to take over, and that includes laying his head on my pillow. Only problem was he does not like being disturbed when he is in a deep sleep and I am a restless sleeper. So I let him up and he lies there and watches tv with me, enjoys his pets , he will paw me if I stop but once I'm ready to roll over and go to sleep I make him get off the bed and go to his own bed. He is 68 lbs .
Awww he sounds like a sweetheart! My rat terrier Ollie would hog the bed too, he was only about 15lbs but he still wanted my entire bed to himself. :LOL:
 
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