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Your New Friend - Is a small breed dog right for You?
We encourage you to consider some critical characteristics for the dog that will share your home.
Toy Poodles are very smart and funny. They love to be active just as much as they love to cuddle up on your lap. The Maltese are a very laid back, sweet, gentle pets.
Small breed dogs are wonderful pets for anyone. They are great for apartment living and for elderly owners. However, small dogs may be unsuitable for families with very young children or infirm elderly people who could trip over a small, bouncy critter.
The hair of non-shedding dogs grows continuously like human hair. Therefore you should brush their hair as needed to remove tangles and have it professionally groomed 2-3 times each year.
Potential health problems is another consideration. Although purebred dogs are sometimes denigrated as harboring all sorts of genetic abnormalities and mixed breed dogs are sometimes claimed to be healthier than their purebred cousins, the truth is that all dogs have the same range of health problems. Some of these problems are genetic, some result from exposure to disease or parasites, and some are the result of non-inherited birth defects or injuries.
Dogs can be destructive to gardens, lawns, and landscape plantings. If you allow them to run in your yard they urinate on lawns or shrubs. If they are bored they may roll in flowers, chomp on vegetables and branches or dig holes.
Some small breed dogs bark to alert you of a possible intruder or if they are bored, which can become a problem if you have neighbors close by. You should assess your own time and ability for training, walking, and playtimes. All dogs need exercise to stay healthy. Keep in mind that most adult dogs do not exercise themselves, so time for walks and activities are important. Many small breed dogs (especially Poodles) train easily and love to learn tricks.
Deciding on a breed of dog is at least as important as deciding on the right wardrobe for work, the right car or the right school for your children. A small breed dog can easily be part of your family for 15 years or more. You should give it a lot of thought before committing to feed, shelter, and nurture your family friend for that amount of time.
Please read through the individual Breed Descriptions (at the top of the page) for more detail. If you are considering a Mixed Breed puppy, please keep in mind that this puppy can have traits in various degrees from each parent.