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The calmest terrier? Is there one?


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#1 la di dah

Posted 14 November 2012 - 04:43 PM

DH is pretty sure we should go papillon or chihuahua when we get a little-y because we're not looking for a rat-killer and are averse to barking or trying to eat the cats. And I do like those, but I'm a little worried about it wanting to go for long walks, which I enjoy, or being very fragile and having a softspot in its head just perfect for the cat to fall off a table onto, iykwim. I thought maybe the small terriers might be more durable.

BUUUUT I am not such a twunt that'd I'd get a fiery little terrier just on the basis of cuteness and then get mad at it for acting like a terrier. I would rather not have one than be a sh*tty owner to it.

Looks wise, the Min-Pins, Manchester Terriers, English Toy Terriers (which all look alike to me) are INCREDIBLY GORGEOUS to me. But... I've heard lots of things about temperment. Some websites say Min-Pins are boundlessly affectionate, don't need much exercise, and are trainable and "born lap-dogs" that bond closely - and other places say they are not recommended with cats, love to bark and dig and terrorize villages or whatever. Anyone had any of these?

Norwich/folk Terriers and Westies are adorable but kind of in the "could be a huge handful" way.

I have known calm mini-schnauzers that were lovely, is that atypical?

I don't know anything about mini-foxies I can't even seem to get clear on whether they're a recognized breed here or not. wacko.gif

Had dogs before, but I am a terrier-noob. I'd appreciate the good and bad of any terrier breed under about 11 kgs. including any horror stories, wonderful stories, or breeds of that size I haven't mentioned, doesn't Oriental Lily have Cairns? waves.gif

Edited by la di dah, 14 November 2012 - 04:46 PM.


#2 Sassenach2

Posted 14 November 2012 - 04:49 PM

My cousin has a Maltese/Poodle cross little white fluffy dog and he is just the most cuddly thing and not at all "terrier mad".

#3 la di dah

Posted 14 November 2012 - 04:55 PM

QUOTE (Winterdanceparty @ 14/11/2012, 05:49 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
My cousin has a Maltese/Poodle cross little white fluffy dog and he is just the most cuddly thing and not at all "terrier mad".

Toy/Mini poodles are on our possibility list but I keep getting turned around about breed health issues and I'm not sure if they're any sturdier than Chihuahuas or Papillons. I'd be tempted to say maybe just because they're a little chunkier, if nothing else?

They don't have huge ridiculous ears, though! wink.gif (Just kidding; not an actual criteria)

#4 #YKG

Posted 14 November 2012 - 05:09 PM

I want a Yorkshire terrier they aren't yappy and not rat killers very gentle.
All the chihuahuas I've met are yappy and nippy and very intolerant not a breed I would have around little kids.
It really depends on what your after, not all terriers are rat killers or chasers

Edited by YellowKittyGlenn, 14 November 2012 - 05:11 PM.


#5 froglett

Posted 14 November 2012 - 05:10 PM

OP, I can only comment on Westies (never had another terrier, except for a Jack Russell growing up, and she was not your standard JR!)

We brought our girl home when she was 10 weeks old, and for the first two days she was a placid, timid little thing (both of us wondering if she was going to stay like that), then bam, she was satan in cotton wool (I mean that in a good way)!

She was easy to train and very intelligent, although did have a tendency to be a little bit stubborn. She was an outside dog until she was around 18 months old, and we mentioned at adult dog training school that she was a bit of a handful. They suggested bringing her inside, which we did (she ended up sleeping on our bed  rolleyes.gif ), and instantly she bonded more deeply with us, became incredibly loyal, and she calmed down.

By around 2 I could walk her off lead, she'd come back in the dog park (that took a while training wise!!), she'd sit at our feet all day (we work from home) and then of a night time she'd sit on the lounge with us. She still had her quirky personality, but was quite calm. I put that down to her growing out of the puppy stage, training (from everything I've read about Westie's they need quite firm positive training and she certainly needed it), me being an exercise junkie (I walked her 5kms ish each day), and moving her inside to sleep with us.

Unfortunately just a month ago, at almost 3, she died from a paralysis tick. To say we are gutted is an understatement. We'll never be able to replace her, but DH and I miss having a dog in the house so so much! We have got our name down with the same breeder, and will be getting another Westie (I wouldn't have any other breed now!). I am a little bit daunted by the work required to train the next one, but the payoff is a great little loyal dog by around age 2.

So I suppose to summarise, Westie's can be calm, but it does take work to get them there! A friend also has a Westie (male), he is around 8, and would be the calmest most relaxed dog in the world!

Hope this helps original.gif

#6 steppy

Posted 14 November 2012 - 05:10 PM

I have a westie - don't recommend it. HIGH maintenance on top of being a feisty beast.

#7 la di dah

Posted 14 November 2012 - 05:11 PM

I am not really a yappy dog person. But I always wondered how much of it was boredom/lack of exercise, as I like to walk a lot and maybe 5+ km a day would settle them a little or at least give them something to do? I could be kidding myself. Might still be best to get a Chihuahua or Poodle that might actually go ahead and go to sleep afterwards.  biggrin.gif

EDIT: Ooh more replies came in while I was replying! Thanks!

Since many of the local rescues seem to have a range of little dogs - Chi's, Poms, Foxys, etc. I was thinking maybe fostering first would be the go when we are finally ready, but since DH seems to think he wants a puppy I keep looking at researching breeds/breeders.

Edited by la di dah, 14 November 2012 - 05:14 PM.


#8 steppy

Posted 14 November 2012 - 05:14 PM

We can walk our Westie many kilometres and will still bark at birds, winds moving a branch, people next door rocking up. Gets tiring. As he is getting older it's not so bad, but awful for years. And they dig. And they need professional grooming to look good. And they are prone to skin diseases and allergies that cause skin reactions. EXPENSIVE.

That said ... still a nice wee beastie.

Edited by steppy, 14 November 2012 - 05:15 PM.


#9 froglett

Posted 14 November 2012 - 05:14 PM

Oh - and just to add to my last response, Westie's don't malt (because of their coarse coat). They will lose a little bit of hair, but they definitely don't drop clumps of fur.

Also, our girl was quite happy to do our 5km loop at a run, and would sprint alongside DH when he was riding his bike. Once exercised for the day, she'd layout on the balcony in the sun and snooze, or jump on her pillow under DH's feet and go to sleep.

Edited by froglett, 14 November 2012 - 05:16 PM.


#10 steppy

Posted 14 November 2012 - 05:19 PM

QUOTE (froglett @ 14/11/2012, 06:14 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Oh - and just to add to my last response, Westie's don't malt (because of their coarse coat). They will lose a little bit of hair, but they definitely don't drop clumps of fur.


Unless they get aforementioned skin conditions and diseases - then they drop clumps of hair all over and have naked pink patches and it's off to the vet, again. Our westie has allergies and gets eczema - it is a horrible thing. I'd never get a breed prone to that again.

#11 la di dah

Posted 14 November 2012 - 05:24 PM

I edited my last reply to make slightly more sense, sorry about that.

I am a noob to The Way of Little Dog, I basically am not sure what I should be doing. I had big stubborn hard-headed dogs - my family's STAFFY was my "tiny dog" as she was the tiniest dog I ever had. roll2.gif

I have babysat dachshunds though, for weeks at a time. Many different dachshunds. Some were pretty effing weird but some were nice to really gorgeous, temperment wise. Dachshunds aren't terriers, I know, but a similar mentality, I think?

#12 Feral*Spikey*

Posted 14 November 2012 - 07:14 PM

I cannot say that I have ever met a 'calm' terrier. Airedales are probably the least terrier-like, but even then, still terriers.

The barking is not because of boredom, its usually a genetic temperament thing - so that the people hunting the rats/rabbits, etc, could locate the dog in the hole or burrow. Training dogs not to bark is the pits. Its hard, because its instinctive and self-rewarding. You can quieten some dogs down a fair bit, but most terriers still um, 'talk' a lot.



#13 HerringToMarmalade

Posted 14 November 2012 - 07:22 PM

I had a chihuahua X mini-foxy and she did last much on longer on walks than my maltese X shih-tzu, however they are fragileish, can be anxious, particularly about being trodden on  tongue.gif However, after discovering that chihuahuas are prone to seizures etc after my own had some I would not risk getting another one, I don't think I could handle seeing that again. But I would always go straight for any maltese/shih-tzu type dog.

#14 DylJayBen's Mum

Posted 14 November 2012 - 07:37 PM

I know this isn't a terrier but we had a "Sheltie", they look like Lassie dogs but smaller. He was the calmest,placid, bestest dog in the world. He didn't even really chew anything as a puppy and he was super easy to train. Didn't bark for no reason. They do have a lot of fur and it looks daunting but I gave him a good brush once a week and he was great.  I wouldn't get any other small breed. Shelties are awesome rolleyes.gif . Mine was a tri colour but you can also get sable and blue merle.
Good Luck with your search original.gif

#15 The Old Feral

Posted 14 November 2012 - 07:38 PM

Just on the chihuahua thing... my neighbour's miniature chi never EVER stops yapping.  Ever.  I'm really surprised to hear them described as a quiet dog.  Seriously it never stops..... I have all sorts of evil fantasies involving tiny barking dogs and their owners' bums.  It's hell.

#16 *Ker*

Posted 14 November 2012 - 07:39 PM

Maltese aren't a terrier. They're a companion dog and in the toy group.

Terriers are a breed all to their own. They're all very terrierish, generally, lol. I've had Westies as fosters and OMG....NEVER do I want to own one! They're cute as, and really funny, but so frickin stubborn! I think ATH would have heart failure. Why not a Staffordshire bull terrier (English as many call them)? They're smaller than their american counterparts, but similar in temp.

My ex-stepmother breeds Mini Pins and I do NOT like them. Yappy, territorial little bastards. One bit my nephew because he went to give her a hug. Not good with cats, not good with the little kids...just nasty as all hell.

I still think you should go for a Tibbie Tounge1.gif


#17 la di dah

Posted 14 November 2012 - 07:40 PM

QUOTE (jameses mum @ 14/11/2012, 08:25 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Every dachshund I have ever known has been adorable - but I've only known half a dozen. Cuter than chihuahuas though - sorry peeps, but they are hideous.. Have known a couple of cool Maltese terriers - one was even a farm dog, who went to work - but then there is the grooming thing.

Aw, you think this is hideous? or is it the smooth ones?

Some of them get ugly though, its true. Especially when they're fat and snaggle-toothed. But I've seen fat snaggle-toothed dachsies, too.  ph34r.gif

#18 *Ker*

Posted 14 November 2012 - 07:40 PM

Oooh actually, as a PP said, a sheltie might be great for you!


#19 Feral Becky

Posted 14 November 2012 - 07:43 PM

Could ATH cope with the look of a Bichon Frise? They are absolutely delightful.
Ours is a cross but she is very much like a bichon personality.

Our other dog is a silky terrier and though I love her to bits i would never get another they are yappy and bad tempered at times.

Edited by LindsayMK, 14 November 2012 - 07:48 PM.


#20 la di dah

Posted 14 November 2012 - 07:45 PM

QUOTE (DylJayBen's Mum @ 14/11/2012, 08:37 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I know this isn't a terrier but we had a "Sheltie", they look like Lassie dogs but smaller. He was the calmest,placid, bestest dog in the world. He didn't even really chew anything as a puppy and he was super easy to train. Didn't bark for no reason. They do have a lot of fur and it looks daunting but I gave him a good brush once a week and he was great.  I wouldn't get any other small breed. Shelties are awesome rolleyes.gif . Mine was a tri colour but you can also get sable and blue merle.
Good Luck with your search original.gif


I must have known the craziest Sheltie ever. He wasn't stupid, but he was WEIRD. And he loved to threaten strangers with bodily harm, to the point he twice put himself through glass doors on the attack. He'd run down the street flipping his sh*t. But he actually knew a surprising number of commands and things, which is what made it weird.

I did know a nicer one but she was a fiesty little fireball too. I sort of thought that was typical?

Beautiful dogs though. I just didn't know they came in "placid."  ohmy.gif  original.gif

#21 Mrsbrown101

Posted 14 November 2012 - 07:45 PM

I have two mini schnauzers, they are lovely. Calm mostly, but they do like to bark at everyone that walks past. They don't bark for no reason though! And they don't malt! biggrin.gif

#22 BetteBoop

Posted 14 November 2012 - 07:49 PM

I'd go for a mongrel as PPs have said. I had a purebred chihuahua that suffered grand mal seizures which eventually killed him. It's a common problem in the breed due generations of inbreeding and breeding them down in size.

Still, my chihuahua was a terrific little dog. He wasn't yappy at all and was easy to train. They way they look isn't to everyone's taste.

I wouldn't get a purebred terrier because I've never seen a terrier that wasn't completely mad and hyper.

When we get a second dog it will be a foxie x chihuahua. I think that would be an attractive dog that wasn't too fragile without being too energetic.

ETA: years ago my sister had a papillion x chihuahua. It was a lovely placid little girl and very pretty. Definitely more about sitting on laps and being adored than chasing rats.

Edited by BetteBoop, 14 November 2012 - 07:51 PM.


#23 la di dah

Posted 14 November 2012 - 07:50 PM

QUOTE (LindsayMK @ 14/11/2012, 08:43 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Could ATM cope with the look of a Bichon Frise? They are absolutely delightful.
Ours is a cross but she is very much like a bichon personality.

Our other dog is a silky terrier and though I love her to bits i would never get another they are yappy and bad tempered at times.

ATH is the one bucking for a Chi or mini-Poodle, I wanted a big dog. roll2.gif

He had a Bichon-Maltese cross that was 16 when we first got together, and it has since passed away from old age. Its memory is beloved but he never wants another. He has forbidden Malteses as he blames all Kip's faults on that half but he's slightly more cool with the idea of a Bichon. I'm honestly, don't slap me, unclear on the practical differences between a Bichon and a toy Poodle?

It looked like cotton candy and had delusions of badass-osity.

#24 Oriental lily

Posted 14 November 2012 - 07:51 PM

La di dah your correct I own two cairns.

Honestly the only thing two things " terrier" like in my two is they have hopeless recall and they love chasing small furry things ( totally friendly and angelic with my indoor cat though).
They are not yappy, not snappy,fabulous on a lead. Incredibly effectionate, good alarm dogs but are not constant barkers.

They are happy with a twenty minute walk in the morning and play chasey together to burn of energy.
They are incredibly bonded to each other. So I don't think they ever get lonely if we all have to out during the day because they have each other.

My biggest problem I have in them is that they love me and DH but have no real interest with playing and interacting with the kids.

I find this really disappointing. Especially because my youngest and eldest dd love the dogs but you can almost see them rolling their eyes and pleading  with me to get these pesky kids to leave them alone.

They have never shown aggression or even growled but they are certainly more happier and relaxed when the kids are in bed.
They don't play ball or anything with them.

This is not a normal cairn terrier behavior, supposedly they normally love children and playing with them.

I think I might of helped to create this though. I got the dogs as puppies when my eldest was a toddler and was so paranoid she would hurt them or they would nip her that I kept them seperated a lot of the time. So I think they might of learned to be wary of the kids.

I would never get a puppy and a baby at the same time again.

Another thing about cairns is they are garbage guts. Both my two could lose a bit of weight. Constantly trying to beg for food can be annoying.

I have heard people describe them as big dogs in a little body and it's true. They are not a lap dog at all.

However I think the most unlike terrier you could get a and a breed I am actually considering get as a possible next breed after I get a lab is a border terrier.

They are supposedly very similar to a cairn terrier but a bit more trainable and less strong willed as a cairn or westie.

Overall I think cairns are a pretty tricky breed to own.
Certainly not for the faint hearted and if you want a nice obedient  biddable dog then I don't recommend it. They are strong willed and stubborn but also hilarious with their antics. They are certainly not dumb but more happier to please themselves first and you second.

Currently I have a love hate relationship with them and if I had to get them again I probably would pick a different breed.

Still adore them though.


#25 DylJayBen's Mum

Posted 14 November 2012 - 07:51 PM

QUOTE (la di dah @ 14/11/2012, 08:45 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I must have known the craziest Sheltie ever. He wasn't stupid, but he was WEIRD. And he loved to threaten strangers with bodily harm, to the point he twice put himself through glass doors on the attack. He'd run down the street flipping his sh*t. But he actually knew a surprising number of commands and things, which is what made it weird.

I did know a nicer one but she was a fiesty little fireball too. I sort of thought that was typical?

Beautiful dogs though. I just didn't know they came in "placid."  ohmy.gif  original.gif



Maybe I just got the bestest one ever yyes.gif
No seriously he was such a great dog, my DP had one as a teenager (when we met) and again he was a great Sheltie too.  Mine was my DS1's(2years old when we got shelti) best friend and then when we had our 2 other kidlets he would sit by their rockers and guard them as babies, not in a bad way.  So cute and very sadly missed.




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