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Bichon Frise, Westie, Lhasa Apso or Shi Tzu? Advice please

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by Rufus15, Jun 8, 2017.


  1. Rufus15

    Rufus15 Banned

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    Hi all, hope it's ok to post in this section.

    We're still debating over a dog in the future, but after seeing how my eldest is still quite wary of dogs, we think a small breed would be a better option for us.

    We've narrowed our choices down to the above breeds, but I would really appreciate experienced advice.

    We are keen to buy responsibly from a registered, ethical breeder that tests for the appropriate genetic problems in the breed, however we aren't sure what health problems are in the breeds and we aren't sure where to start looking.

    I also wanted to ask if it is standard practice with KC breeders for pups to go to new homes at 8 weeks? Surely 14-16 weeks is better?

    Finally, as we have a young family, do you think these breeds are appropriate for young children? I know that training is a huge part of it, are they easy to train with puppy classes and such?

    Thanks in advance :)
     
  2. Amelia66

    Amelia66 PetForums VIP

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    What are you looking for in the dog?

    Its better for them to go to you at 8 weeks due to them needing to be socialised from a young age. They have no issues going at 8 weeks than a larger dog would have.

    I would just advise puppies are alot of work, and depending on the age of your children that can add alot of extra stresses to the household. Not saying it cant be done just to be warned.
    Its about teaching the children as much as it is teaching the dog. Letting them have space where they can go and not be bothered, not leaving them with the children unless supervised ect.

    It depends on the dog with the trainability. Some are easier than other, what sort of training are you looking at doing?
     
  3. Rafa

    Rafa PetForums VIP

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    All of those Breeds should be fine with children under correct supervision.

    You will increase your chances of success if you buy from a reputable Breeder who breeds with temperament very much in mind.

    It's perfectly normal for a pup to go into a new home at eight weeks old - 12/14 weeks is far too old.
     
  4. Rufus15

    Rufus15 Banned

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    Thank you for replies, they're very helpful.

    We're not looking to buy a puppy for a couple of years until our little humans are bigger. I want to be able to give a puppy the necessary amount of attention to train and socialise them properly, and we don't want to rush into anything either.

    We have cats and my children are very clear that they must give the cats space, they must not use their hands anywhere except the body of the cats, so no ears, eyes, tails, etc., and everything is supervised. The cats also have space away from them. The same will be given to any pooch we have, we're very strict on that.

    We would look at puppy training classes to teach them not to jump up, to follow commands, to behave on walks, etc.
     
  5. Rafa

    Rafa PetForums VIP

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    I would say that maybe, given that you have cats, a Westie, being a Terrier may not be the best choice.

    One of the other three Breeds may be your best option.

    It sounds as though you've thought it through very carefully.
     
  6. SixStar

    SixStar Banned

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    Why do you think 14-16 weeks would be a better age? 8 weeks is the norm.

    Westies are fun little dogs - they're hardy, active and generally very sweet and suitable as family dogs. As @Sweety has said, being terriers they're not always renown for being cat-friendly, but if raised with one from a puppy, you shouldn't have any issues. Mine is cat friendly, but not child friendly - all depends on the individual dog and how they're raised.

    Whilst I have no direct experience of Bichons, I think they're generally regarded as happy go lucky little dogs, again quite suited to family life.
     
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  7. Rufus15

    Rufus15 Banned

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    Thank you for replies, I didn't realise Westies are a terrier type (I know very little!), so that's definitely something we need to take into consideration.

    I always thought that they needed more socialisation from mum so needed to stay longer. It would seem I was uneducated on that front too!
     
  8. SixStar

    SixStar Banned

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    Westie is an abbreviation for West Highland White Terrier :)
     
  9. Rafa

    Rafa PetForums VIP

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    The Mum can't socialise a pup, she can only raise it to a certain age.

    Socialisation, to some degree, should begin with the Breeder, that is acclimatising the pup to household noises, such as vacuums, televisions, etc.

    Once you bring your puppy home and before his vaccinations are complete, you should take him out and about, being carried to get him used to the sights and sounds of the outside World.

    Westies are West Highland White Terriers.
     
  10. SingingWhippet

    SingingWhippet PetForums VIP

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    You might find a read through this site quite interesting. It breaks down the different developmental stages of puppies and what either the breeder or new owner should be doing during each to try and maximise the chances of the puppy growing up into a well rounded individual.

    Temperament also has a pretty strong genetic component (socialisation and training is building on what is already there but it can't fundamentally change a puppy's nature) which is why it's also important to find a breeder who is taking that into account alongside health, conformation, genetic diversity, etc..
     
  11. Rufus15

    Rufus15 Banned

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    Ohh dear, I look like a right plonker now :oops: but this is good, I need to learn before even approaching breeders


    Thank you, I understand what you're saying and I'm glad I asked - I've learned something very new today! I was also under the impression that pups couldn't go out until vaccs are completed, so your advice to take them out is really helpful and I'll make sure I keep it in mind when we're ready for a puppy. When you say carried, do you mean in our arms? Just want to clarify as I don't want to misunderstand and get it wrong
     
  12. Rufus15

    Rufus15 Banned

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    Thank you for the link, I'll look through it now.

    Yes I agree, temperament is very important too and we'll be taking our time with looking for a breeder that produces puppies that match our need. I imagine we will need a confident but gentle pup, not one that's crazy hyper or a bit of a nibbler
     
  13. Amelia66

    Amelia66 PetForums VIP

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    Yes you just keep them in your arms. Putting them on the ground out and about puts them at risk of disease but in your arms they will be fine.

    Pup will also be fine in your garden if no other dogs have acess to it so toilet training outside from day 1 will be much easier for you
     
  14. Amelia66

    Amelia66 PetForums VIP

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    Most puppies will start out like this, they all do through a bitey phase when teething
     
  15. Rafa

    Rafa PetForums VIP

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    I'm afraid all pups mouth and bite at first. It's what they would have done with their siblings and it can be a difficult phase to deal with.

    Pups change their teeth for their adult bite at around 16 weeks of age and, usually, they become less mouthy at that point.
     
  16. Rufus15

    Rufus15 Banned

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    Thank you, yes I knew they would go through phases but I meant more nippers as adults. Perhaps that's more of a behaviour issue than a temperament issue so was a poor example. I know to distract with toys and lots of positive reinforcement :)
     
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