Mini Schnauzers are great dogs, they are sturdy, affectionate, loyal, obedient and look cute and have lots of character. They will keep you entertained. Small breeds are usually harder to potty train than larger dogs, but just be consistent.
In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn't merely try to train him to be semi human. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming partly a dog. ~Edward Hoagland
Advice when looking at a Shih Tzu, Maltese... any in that coat type - if you don't enjoy brushing find something with a harsher coat type. I worked as a pet groomer for a while and dreaded Shih Tzu's, Maltese, Havenese, Yorkie's... because it seems like 9 out of 10 of their owners have an aversion to brushes and most of those little dogs can go from brushed out to tangled to matted in a matter of days... If you keep them clipped short it helps matters a lot, but then you either need to know how to clip your own dog or plan on having it groomed every 4 weeks like clockwork.
I think temperament is a BIG factor in choosing a dog - but upkeep is also something to consider. I raise Shelties, so spend a lot of time brushing... but the harsh double coats don't tangle and matt nearly as badly as a Shih Tzu's!
And start a puppy off going to the groomer BEFORE it really needs it. It's important they have a great experience the first couple of times and the best way to do that is to take them in when their coat is short enough that it will be a fast, easy groom. I always felt awful grooming the dogs that hated being groomed - usually because they hadn't started going to a groomer until they were full grown AND because they only got groomed once every 3-6 months...
I know a guy who shows and raises Shih Tzu's and they are supposed to be friendly, sweet dogs with a mind of their own. Watching Shih Tzu's get groomed at a dog show (takes hours to get one ready for the ring BTW) is a much different experience than doing a pet groom on one... the "show dogs" LOVE being groomed. They fall asleep on the grooming table most of the time and enjoy being pampered and talked to - because they aren't matted and they feel like they are center of attention. That's how grooming every dog should be.
Thanks Abbylynne. I already have one Maltese and have no issues with the brushing. I do all of his grooming myself; I just don't feel comfortable using a professional. I go back and forth on the clipping, so he spends about six months with a full coat and six months in a shorter clip. It is a lot of work keeping his coat white, though. That a big reason I like Shih Tzus. Similar look and temperment, but lot of different colors. I find it absolutely ridiculous that anyone would get a coated breed and think the didn't have to brush it. We brush our hair every day why wouldn't you have to brush a Maltese/yorkie/tzu's hair? Especially when their hair comes into contact with the ground so much.
Well, I surely can't argue with your liking of Shih Tzu. I have a three year old Lhasa Apso, Merphy, and a 3 month old Shih Tzu, Oliver. While I realize that Oliver is still young, and Merphy was poorly bred (puppy mill), I can see differences in their temperament. I love Merphy to death and wouldn't trade him for the world, but that boy has issues! Dude needs prozac! He has come a long way since I first realized he has issues, but still has room for improvement. Oliver is just so easy going. What training I have done with him, he picks up fast. I introduced the bell to him for him to ring when he needs to potty a few weeks ago. He got it in I think three days, and hasn't had an accident in the house since. Thus far, he is not too stubborn (Lhasa's definitely are). He does believe himself to be royalty though! He truly is a companion dog. Oliver does bark though. I just read that the best way to teach them to not bark is to teach them TO bark. So, I gotta figure that out. Merphy's not too bad at barking, but Lhasa's were palace guards, that's what he does. Oliver barks when he's playing. He plays A LOT! Grooming can be difficult. I left Merphy with friends for a long weekend, and came home to matting so bad he had to be shaved.
Small dogs are easy to take a long! I take mine everywhere. I take them on the bus, fly with them, and they are well behaved in the car as well. I'm looking into buying a SmartCar when the rain starts again, and that would be just perfect for the three of us. They also both fit in my bed, however I still find myself being squished to the edge!
Dusty, I've come to the realization that I am a Smooshy Faced Dog lover too. My one neighbor has a Boston, the others have two Shih Tzu...we have the cutest dogs on the block! Even the big dogs I like have a somewhat smooshy face.
Even if you are on the right track, you will still get run over if you just sit there. (Will Rogers)
" I've seen quite a few cute Pekingese lately and would love to know more about the breed. Dusty, you used to have them didn't you? What type of grooming needs do they have? "
ALOT ! They need brushing on a daily basis. Toy was what they call a "sleeve " Pekingese. She weighed 7 pounds at full growth. She was also shorter coated than Radar was. She was easy to keep up by myself. Radar was thick coated , i brushed her 2-3 times a day and she went to the groomer every two months. I was friends with an elderly lady. Her daughter and her daughters bf were staying with her and had a peke named Radar. She would tell me how mean the daughters boyfriend was to this dog and she was going to try to talk her daughter into giving the dog up for her own safety and would i take her. Whenever i would visit, Radar never left my side and she did not go to just anyone like that. One day they showed up at my house with the dog and asked me if i would take her and then the bf had nerve to try to get 200 dollars out of me for her. I was like WTH ? I informed him that if he did not let me have the dog, that i would go to the authorities about the abuse and i had witnesses to back me up. He decided to just let me have her. She was my constant companion and never left my side until the day she died. Here is a pic of her. She was a very sweet dog once she was away from the abuse. Here is a pic of her when she came back from one of her grooming sessions.
She's adorable! I've done a little bit of research and have discovered that they not only require a lot of brushing but they are "heavy shedders." The cats shed enough; I don't need a dog that does it too, LOL. Harley sheds but his hair is "heavy" if that makes sense. It falls to the floor and doesn't clinge to clothes or furniture.
It's so great that you saved your little girl from a bad situation. Several years ago, before Harley, this little pug and/or pekingese mix showed up at our house. He looked like a smooth coated pekingese, if that makes sense. We took him in and looked for his owner. Some guy showed up and insisted it was his dog. I asked him to describe the dog and he told me "she had on a blue collar." The dog was a male that had a tattered faded tan harness. I told him it was definitely not his dog and he got very upset, still insisting it was his dog. He just couldn't tell his dog was a male? We eventually found a good home for the charismatic little brat. We loved him but he didn't seem to like the other dogs.