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I Need Your Help . . . My Boyfriend and I Can't Agree on Breeds!

I Need Your Help . . . My Boyfriend and I Can't Agree on Breeds!

Picking a puppy is hard enough for one person, so imagine the process for two! When caligirlnyc wrote in about her situation, I decided to toss her question to the crowd:

My boyfriend and I want to get a dog but we're disagreeing on size. I like super cute, dainty varieties and he wants a "real dog" — help!

Sadly, I know he's not alone as I've heard others comment on certain dogs appearing "girly" while others are more "manly" — do you feel the same way and what size or type pooch would be a good compromise?

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lylpookie lylpookie 7 years
The boyfriend and I just went through this same issue. He wanted a lab, and I wanted a small dog that I could handle (I'm 5 feet). We ended up with an adorable lab/jack russell mix. He looks exactly like a lab, except he's the size of a slightly larger jack russell. It's perfect. His personality is also pretty energetic too so we're both happy. Try to find a mixed dog, you should be able to find a happy compromise!
Darlena Darlena 8 years
you like little dogs and your boyfriend likes big dogs. Seems like a golden retriever would be good for you. They are calm docile dogs and so lovable. You can dress her up for a date and paint her toenails. Put a harley hat on her, take her out on a boat, let her drive your car! These are the best dogs, very enjoyable easy to train and love their parents! Good luck hope you get one!
jessiduh jessiduh 8 years
Try a dog breed selector quiz--there's lots of them online--and leave the size question blank. That way you'll find out what breeds are good for your lifestyle. You essentially type in what you're looking for (activity level, protection ability, barking, shedding, grooming requirements, etc.) and it spits out a list that would be a good match. The beauty of choosing a breed and going with a reputable breeder is that you know what you're getting. I used dog breed selectors to guide my choice--and spent a lot of time searching for a breeder that I trusted--and I can honestly say that I have a dog that is a perfect fit for my lifestyle. She's the pup of my dreams.
kaciw kaciw 8 years
My husband and I had the same struggle! and then I fell in love with certain Boston Terrier and the rest was history! We wouldn't have it any other way! You just have to find that compromise - if you get married, you will learn that there are plenty more of those to come! Oh, and I def. suggest you two look at Boston Terriers - they are amazing dogs! Our Boston, Oakley, likes to play like a bigger dog but also cuddles up like the toy sized pups! Good luck!
Renees3 Renees3 8 years
just because people like little dogs doesn't mean we want to carry them in a purse. Jeez, that bugs me when people say that. For us (we have a miniature dachshund and a doxie mix) they're easier to care for, less poop, less food, and we travel a lot, so easier for that too. But the decision is up to you guys. I would say maybe meet in the middle with a medium sized dog. But really the best idea is to go to your pound or some sort of shelter and just go and look at ALL the dogs, choose a couple of both all sizes you like and take some time with them. Keep an open mind and choose the best one for your circumstance. How much room do they need? What are the breeds specific health concerns? How much exercise/grooming/etc do they need?
katiekat95 katiekat95 8 years
I recently adopted a pug (she's in my pic :)) from our rescue and she is wonderful. She thinks she weighs 300 lbs. I have to bring her to the large dog park cause she has such a big dog personality but can still cuddle on the couch with me.
bernerowner bernerowner 8 years
As a dog trainer, I hear this kind of thing all the time. For some reason, women want the little dogs so they can carry them around in their purses and dress them up. Men want a 'manly' looking dog and wouldn't be caught dead with a tiny dog on a leash. I am a woman and I have four very large dogs. I am not 'manly' and I have these large dogs because they are great to hug onto, great to play with without worrying they might break a bone and I don't have to worry about stepping on them in the dark. Plus, when I walk all four, NO ONE comes near me!! A guy doesn't have to own a Pittbull to feel 'manly' nor does he have to own a vicious looking dog. Professionally speaking, picking out the 'right' dog depends on your lifestyle. You MUST do your 'homework' before acquiring a dog. Don't get a sporting dog if you are a couch potato. Don't get a Bassett hound if you like to jog. I always tell people to take things slow, research the breeds especially the health issues and then instead of buying a dog from a breeder, go to the animal shelter and give a homeless dog a home. Never EVER buy a dog from a pet store. These dogs come from puppy mills. The dog will choose YOU. There are a great many breeds to choose from and what you want is a dog with a good temperament, non-aggressive, non-dominating, and not submissive either. If the dog cowers in the corner, this dog isn't for you. If the dog charges towards you with teeth bared, this one isn't for you either. It's the friendly dog with the bright eyes and happy to see you attitude that you want. Don't get a high energy, high maintenance dog if it doesn't mirror your lifestyle. Good luck and happy dog hunting!
minhoca minhoca 8 years
I had a similar conflict when getting a dog. I adopted for the first time, and could not be more happy. Bailey is 20 lbs, but because of his build, guys love him.. "he looks like a mini pit.or bull dog or.. something? he's all muscle!!" picking him at the kill shelter, i went for checked out how he was in his kennel, took him out, petting him. led him a bit around. got a little feel for his personality and we were off. my biggest concern adopting was "bad habits" but i must say he was very easy to train, and he's very obedient.
ladyr ladyr 8 years
Personally, I have one of each (a 70 lb lab mix and an 8 lb chihuahua mix). What about getting a medium sized dog? Tons of mixes fall into this category, and they can be so cute and unique. There are also many pure bred dogs that are not too big or too small. Rescue is great, and if you are patient and do your research, you can find exactly what you want (pure bred rescue or mixed breed). Like runningesq said, do NOT get your dog from a pet store! If you want a pure bred dog and can't find the one you want in a rescue, choose a reputable breeder. If you do go this route, make sure that you ask to see where ALL the dogs are kept on the property, including Mommy and Daddy, so that you can make sure they are breeding dogs because they love the breed, and not just to make money. A good breeder should be proud to show you their entire kennel and all their beautiful healthy dogs. Also, as some of the other posters have said, it is VERY important to consider individual temperament and energy level in your final decision. Some tiny and adorable little dogs can be loud, neurotic, destructive and very energetic; and sometimes a huge dog can be super mellow and easy going, so be conscious of that when those big puppy eyes are looking up at you. Make a decision with your heart AND your mind. Good luck!!
Ellenora Ellenora 8 years
My mom and dad were the same way. They ended up compromising on size. Our first "smaller" dog was Kimo, A Rat Terrier/Jack Russel, from a pet store. We think she was a puppy mill dog because she was so ill and died so young. We're forever adopting from shelters or buying from a reputable breeder. We now have Zena--a Decker Rat Terrier. She's a medium sized dog but she fits seamlessly into our family. Her personality fits both what my mom wanted, what we kids wanted and what my dad wanted. I suggest writing down the qualities each of you want in a dog OTHER than size (personality, energy level, etc) , research what breeds fit those and look around at shelters or reputable breeders.
kitkatherine kitkatherine 8 years
i would agree with runningesq - adopt! Go to and look in the area. You may find a mix dog that meets both of your standards. I love small dogs - corgis are my favorite. My boyfriend likes hounds - particularly bassets. We ended up with a small beagle / basset that is the right size for me (around 30 pounds - I wanted a dog that I could lift - not vice versa) and is "manly" enough for him. Hounds, terriers, and dogs like that fit both genders. "mutts" or "mixes" are also good because you can get great aspects from two or more breeds. For example, my pup has the floppy ears of a basset, but when she is attentive, her ears perk up like a beagle. Her temperament is also perfect. The other thing is getting a "manly" dog that is a girl. You can still give her pink collars and bows. I love dressing the hound up with her pink and green alligator collar - it's just the right juxtaposition. has a lot about hybrids and mutts - it's not top notch into by any means - but it gives you an idea. I loved looking through pet finder and finding all the fun mixes. I almost got a beagle / border collie before finding and falling in love with the girl. Also - check the local SCPA. Going through the dogs there and seeing which ones you like, which one he likes, and which ones you both like can help. They also let you sit in the room with each dog individually and play with them. This way you can decide on things before the dog arrives in your house. this was good for us when we found a really sweet dog that (unfortunately) jumped a lot and would have probably been able to seriously harm our guinea pigs as she jumped INTO things. Good luck - it's a fun process - I just went through it with my fiancee
kiwitwist kiwitwist 8 years
I agree with Yoga, don't base it souly on size. Base your decision on temperment, activity level etc. I have always had large breeds and wanted to remain that way... ended up with a Mini Australian Shepherd and she is the perfect size, in my opinion. So, judge on the more important things first then discuss size. I know, sounds easier said than done.
weffie weffie 8 years
and, echoing runningesq, you should definitely adopt! that can also help make the decision of what type of dog to get, because when you're actually fact-to-face with them you may both fall in love with one... it's really hard not to!
weffie weffie 8 years
This is easy: Whoever will be giving the majority of walks (and therefore picking up most of the poop) should get to decide how big the dog is :)
Yogaforlife Yogaforlife 8 years
Personally my husband never wanted a dog because he thought they were too much work and wanted a cat. I'm deathly allergic cats so we couldn't do that. We ended up getting a herding mix which luckily worked out well for us and fit our type of personality. That being said, I don't recommend getting any breed, even if you think it's cute or the right size without researching the breed to see what it's personality and needs are. There are large dogs that don't need much exercise and little dogs that need a lot of exercise. Size alone should not be a determining factor. I recommend googling dog breeds online and trying quizes that are designed to help you find the right breed for your needs/desires. I've attached a link to Animal Planet's "Dog Breed Selector" and recommend that you try the quiz with the first answer "size is not important" to see what breeds meet your other needs since you and your boyfriend have opposing views concerning dogs. I like this quiz because it makes you consider other factors such as exercise, energy, attention, trainability, protectiveness, coat care, even friendliness to other pets. You may want to have you and your boyfriend each take the quiz and see if any breeds occur on BOTH your lists. Chances are you'll both be happy with that breed.
sonya-ina sonya-ina 8 years
Growing up, both my husband and I were large dog people. So when we got married we always sort of thought we'd get a large dog. However, when the time came we weighed the pros and cons of getting a big vs. small dog and decided a smaller dog would be better for us (main reason being the size of our house and backyard). I always thought pugs were cute, so we decided to get a black one. At first my husband cringed at the idea, but he fell in love with Eegor (our pug) faster than I thought possible. Get the breed of dog that works for you. If you have a small place, a smaller dog will likely be better, but if you can manage a large dog, then why not? All in all, keep your options open and do your research. Not all dogs are equal... they all have different "needs". If you do end up with a small dog, I guarantee your boyfriend will fall in love with it. They have tons of personality.
runningesq runningesq 8 years
Please consider adopting a dog. If you decide to go with a pure bred dog, GET IT FROM A REPUTABLE BREEDER ... or better yet, A RESCUE GROUP ! . Pet shops are notorious for supporting puppy mills.
mandaleebee mandaleebee 8 years
Grew up with Golden Retrievers, so I am definitely a large breed sort of girl. I met a guy at a happy hour once, and I would be lying if I said I didn't judge him at least a little when he said he owned a Boston Terrier... at least he named it Conan the Barbarian! So yeah, I love all dogs, but I think small dainty dogs look sort of "girly" with men. That, and I met a guy once with a miniature beagle who turned out to be insane (the guy, not the beagle).
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