We have four daughters, age 16, 14, 9, and 7. We have a golden retriever- my pal, but a little rough with the little ones. They would like to get a Shih Tzu, as they believe they can handle it without being overpowered. The dog would live outside most of the time, but would have access to a heated garage during Illinois winters.
I've read what I can online, but I would like to hear some advice from someone with experience with this breed, and in particular with knowledge of how they interact with small children.
Second choice is a chihuahua. Would that be better or worse?
Neither dog is appropriate to live outside most of them time. Even breeds made for the outdoors shouldn't really be left outside.. too many horrible things can happen. The thought of a shih tzu or chi outside most of the time is really kinda scary.
I am sorry to say, but NEITHER of the two breeds you mention are outdoor survivor type dogs. Chis simply cannot handle the cold, and Shi Tzus have a type of fur that traps snow in large chunks, which pull and can leave lesions on the dog.
Why don't you just teach your golden some manners? Then your kids could play with it, without being knocked around.
My dog Jesse used to be an outside dog, being of the spitz family and she did just fine. I'm still not sure why people keep saying that dogs shouldn't be outside all the time, some families have dogs that stay outside but are just as much part of the family as people who's dogs are inside, like me for example.
A toy dog, like a Chi or Shih Tzu might not do so well ouside though.
This again, just being my opinion and this subject is a touchy one for some people so don't take some responses too personally on this thread because people have different point of views on different subjects.
Dogs come with all different personalities so the best thing I could offer is take your kids with you to look at some puppies, ask if the breeder if it is ok to let the kids play with them. If the dog looks frightened or stands in a dominant position (tail between legs, crouching down low to the ground, trying to get away) that is a huge red flag. If the puppy is willing to play with the child and seems to be in a friendly position (such as laying on its back exposing its belly, licking faces and hands ) that is a good sign.
A dog exposing its belly to you is letting you know that it knows you are the dominant one and it is not going to pose a threat to you (in the dog world).
As far as experience with kids, I have seen a Shih Tzu that is wonderful with children. As well as a chihuahua. I have also seen dogs that absolutely hate kids because people did not properly watch their kids playtime with the animals and educate the kids how to interract and respect the animal.
It mostly depends on the individual dogs temperment and your very own household.
Take your dogs inside to be a part of the family. Being outside all the time is an awfully lonely way to live.
Good luck, glad to see you are doing your research.
***Edited By: pope1982 on 7/3/2005 9:20:49 PM*** Reason: **
id say no on the kids issue..and no on the outside issue...not a humane way to treat any dog...sorry...something more durable mike a beagle is good with kids..but not to be stuffed in a garage...might just want to stay with stuffed dogs for a while...wait till the kids either grow or the golden mellows out..
If you are allergic you can get hypoallergenic puppys. Some of the best are the maltese or the yorkshire terriers. I know people who are severly allergic but have those types of dogs in the house all the time. They are even able to sleep with them.
If I were you, since you are allergic to dogs, (and maybe other animals?) I would go to the doctors and get allergy medicine so that you can handle an animal. I don't believe any dog should be left outside. I'm sorry, but that's my opinion regardless of the garage being heated. It's very easy to forget about an animal when they are in a different place and not in your home and, such a small breed. I have a friend who is allergic to animals and she is on allergy medication to help her. Her dog stays in the home. It works. But, I'd try the meds first before you get another animal.
We have dogs that stay outside all day but sleep inside and we have dogs inside all the time all of the have equal amount of time spent with us and thats fine. However, I personally feel closer to my dog( and the dog is more responsive to me) when they are inside and with you most of the time.
You are right there aren't, but I did find this: There are no breeds of cats or dogs that are hypoallergenic; however, having said that, I would like to qualify the answer. While there are no hypoallergenic breeds, there are some animals that may be reasonably close to being hypoallergenic.
Within any given litter of dogs or cats of any breed, you may, on occasion find an animal that you do not have a reaction to or, conversely, one that you are especially sensitive to.
As a generalization, the animals that you will probably be least sensitive to will be the females.