My criteria... (first, I'll say, I love pets, but have never had a dog... I am gentle, caring, and have always had success with fish, cats, horses, etc)...
*big enough to make me feel safe when home alone (but not giant) *cute as a puppy and adult *playful, but also affectionate *not too yappy... I teach music lessons *low maintenance as far as shedding, etc
Okay, so I am still learning, but if you can point me in a general idea so I at least have a little idea of what I am looking for, I would greatly appreciate it!
Too me a lot of those things are subjective. Here's a few more important questions that will help you find the "perfect dog."
How much time are you willing/wanting to devote to exercise and training?
What do you think is cute? Some people(like me) like "fuzzy dogs"(Maltese, Schnauzers) others like dogs with smooshed faces(Boxers, Bostons, Bulldogs).
What do you mean by playful and affectionate? Do you want a dog that has to be in you lap 24/7 or a dog that obsessed with a ball. My Maltese does not play, period, but he is very affectionate to the point of being needy. My Rottweiler isn't overly affectionate, a good pat on the head will last him most of the day. He loves to sleep at my feet and he is pretty playful. Pit bulls are very affectionate and playful. To me, they are a little high energy. Every one I've been around has the softest coat, like velvet. They stay pretty clean and don't seen to shed much. They also have an intimidating appearance. They do need the right owner that will devote time to training and discipline.
The low/non-shedding dogs if I can remember them all are: Poodle, Shih Tzu, Lhasa Apso, Maltese, Bichon Frise & Schnauzers. Most of these will require grooming as they have hair, not fur. Maltese, Shih Tzu, Bichons & the Smaller Poodles are kind of yappy - but can be trained out of it. Both Poodles & Schnauzers come in a Standard size (bigger) and are smart dogs, and easy to train. I suggest you go to meet the different breeds, as pups AND as adults so you can see their personality traits.
I want a perfect dog too! lol. Mine chews,drools,jumps, but loves ALOT But perfect is different, whats cute to you.We have a pitbull but shes very high energy,very affectionate, and as she grows I will feel safe with her as she feels safe with me now. But rottweillers are wonderful wonderful dogs but big unsure what you meant by giant.
I'm with ZOMO on a boxer but they are definitely not a pet for a first time dog owner. They take a while to mature and need a lot of attention and exercise but the personality....and that monkey face!!!
A soft coated wheaten terrier may be a good choice. It's a medium sized dog who will warn you when someone's at the door, it's not yappy, has its puppy attitude all its life and it doesn't shed. However, you must brush it regularly and take it for grooming.
A schnauzer could be a good choice as well but high in the grooming department.
What about a labrador retriever? They do shed but they are playful and lovable, easy to train and loyal. The only caveat is that if they are bored (i.e. not exercised enough), they can be destructive. Labs have a lot of energy, but they are a lot of fun.
I'm not sure if you'll find the perfect dog but maybe with everyone's suggestions, you can narrow it down to almost perfect.
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