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Companion dog for DS1


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#1 NannyPlumPudding

Posted 24 May 2020 - 08:36 AM

DS1 has been asking for a pet of his own for a while. He wants a cat but his main requirement is one we can guarantee with a cat "they must give me cuddles and love me".

DS1 has ASD and I think a companion would help him immensely. Our current dog, is a bit too big and even though DS1 has known him from a puppy I think he is slightly intimidated by him (for the record, the dog is very much a big sook and thinks he is a lap dog but DS1 panics if he lays on him).

So I have been considering this for a while. We don't need one straight away which means we have time to wait for the perfect dog. Small problem is that I have NO IDEA what type of dog. I have only ever known medium/large working breeds. Oh and I have tried those breed selector things and I got way too many "oodles" mixes.

So, is there a breed which matches the following conditions:

Small but not tiny
Non smell (like cavaliers have that eye smell)
Doesn't bark too much
Loves a snuggle
Robust with young kids(DS1 is nearly 10,but his sister is 2..)
Good with other dogs
Low/medium shedder (I get allergies if there's too much hair)
Soft fur would be a bonus as it's a sensory thing for DS

please help me out and send me in the right direction! DS1 doesn't know I'm researching just yet but once things open back up, hopefully I can take him to meet a few breeds.

TIA 😊

#2 Elsegundo

Posted 24 May 2020 - 08:48 AM

My son with ASD really wanted a dog as an idea but now he's completely scared of dogs after a few times of meeting them. One dog did rush us but others just being happy and excited, trying to lick him etc. He's now even scared of 7 week old puppy from next door as she chased him in the backyard.

So temperament is important. Would you have a dog adoption place near you that you could talk to so they can be on look out for the right temperament?

#3 NannyPlumPudding

Posted 24 May 2020 - 09:01 AM

View PostElsegundo, on 24 May 2020 - 08:48 AM, said:

My son with ASD really wanted a dog as an idea but now he's completely scared of dogs after a few times of meeting them. One dog did rush us but others just being happy and excited, trying to lick him etc. He's now even scared of 7 week old puppy from next door as she chased him in the backyard.

So temperament is important. Would you have a dog adoption place near you that you could talk to so they can be on look out for the right temperament?

Yep DS1 doesn't like it either! He loves dogs which don't rush him though.

He absolutely fell in love with our friends cavalier. She was so calm and quiet. I found him sitting with her in his lap while he read his book to her. It was then I realised how much he would enjoy having his own.

Unfortunately I can't deal with the hair or the smell!

I will keep an eye out with the rescues but I would prefer a puppy as DS1 is now of an age where he can participate in the puppy classes and I think he would enjoy the training side of it (plus the pup will be trained with his quirks!)

#4 SummerStar

Posted 24 May 2020 - 09:11 AM

OT but I have cavaliers and have never ever heard (or smelt!) an "eye smell"!!?? Out of interest, what is that??

They really are the most gentle breed of dog I've come across. Hair is minimal, they do shed a little but not enough to bother me, but the smell is something I haven't experienced with my 3.

Edited by SummerStar, 24 May 2020 - 09:13 AM.


#5 just roses

Posted 24 May 2020 - 09:20 AM

Look up Havanese. Gorgeous little dogs.

#6 NannyPlumPudding

Posted 24 May 2020 - 09:31 AM

View PostSummerStar, on 24 May 2020 - 09:11 AM, said:

OT but I have cavaliers and have never ever heard (or smelt!) an "eye smell"!!?? Out of interest, what is that??

They really are the most gentle breed of dog I've come across. Hair is minimal, they do shed a little but not enough to bother me, but the smell is something I haven't experienced with my 3.

Maybe it's my friend's dog but she smelt quite doggy and around her tear ducts there was discharge that had to be cleaned regularly - I took her to the vet once for a groom and they never mentioned it so I just assumed it was a breed thing.

#7 SummerStar

Posted 24 May 2020 - 09:42 AM

I've just been googling and alot of info points to it being caused by an infection. Our three have definitely not had this issue in the 6+ years we have owned cavs. I'd notice I'm very sentitive to "dog" smell even living with dogs. They're only ever doggy smelly if they go out in the rain and get wet so I just wash them. Not sure smelly eyes is a problem to be worried about with them. If they aren't the breed for you I'd give it a miss but I wouldn't for that reason. Their nature makes them perfect for kids especially if the child is cautious around dogs.

Edited by SummerStar, 24 May 2020 - 09:45 AM.


#8 NannyPlumPudding

Posted 24 May 2020 - 09:49 AM

View PostSummerStar, on 24 May 2020 - 09:42 AM, said:

I've just been googling and alot of info points to it being caused by an infection. Our three have definitely not had this issue in the 6+ years we have owned cavs. I'd notice I'm very sentitive to "dog" smell even living with dogs. They're only ever doggy smelly if they go out in the rain and get wet so I just wash them. Not sure smelly eyes is a problem to be worried about with them. If they aren't the breed for you I'd give it a miss but I wouldn't for that reason. Their nature makes them perfect for kids especially if the child is cautious around dogs.

Oo thank you! Do they shed lots? My friend's dog did but I don't know if it was typical 🤷‍♀️

I really did love her personality and so did DS1 but she was the first one I had ever met 😊

#9 NannyPlumPudding

Posted 24 May 2020 - 09:51 AM

View Postjust roses, on 24 May 2020 - 09:20 AM, said:

Look up Havanese. Gorgeous little dogs.

They have come up on my searches. But I don't know if their coats would be too much work? They look like absolute sweethearts!

#10 Freddie'sMum

Posted 24 May 2020 - 09:52 AM

Well we have a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and he is the most kid friendly, gentle personality and all round best small dog there is.  They were breed to be lap dogs.  

In terms of the eye discharge that Cavs have, we asked the vet and it is normal thing for this breed of dog.  In fact, when they get older, and their eye ducts start to dry up, you have to put eye drops into their eyes to replicate this.

Honestly our kids were terrified of dogs until we got our Cav and now they love all dogs !  He is the perfect companion dog, loves cuddles - in fact you can't over cuddle this dog - he always wants more cuddles and to sit on your lap.

#11 SummerStar

Posted 24 May 2020 - 09:57 AM

View PostNannyPlumPudding, on 24 May 2020 - 09:49 AM, said:



Oo thank you! Do they shed lots? My friend's dog did but I don't know if it was typical ‍♀️

I really did love her personality and so did DS1 but she was the first one I had ever met

We have three so for three we don't get too much shedding. We have 6 dogs in total and the worst hair comes from cat tumble weeds not the dogs. But they do shed a bit.

As above they do get eye discharge to some degree which can be wiped off but I have not had it smell. Also haven't had them have any issues with needing eye drops as yet, hadn't heard of that happening either until now (eldest is approx 9 he was a rescue and was 4 when we got him, his original breeder was rehoming him due to the original buyers surrendering him when they had a baby...)

#12 SummerStar

Posted 24 May 2020 - 10:00 AM

Can't edit my post I am getting an error but was going to add  I shave them in summer because it's cooler for them and means I don't have to brush them as much.

#13 Baily

Posted 24 May 2020 - 10:18 AM

We have a companion Cav. Never noticed an eye smell.  Best thing we have ever done.  Easiest  dog we have ever owned.  Sweetest, loving nature, who just wants to be with the family.  We do have the dog groomed regularly, only because I prefer shorter hair, mainly due to knots.

#14 ~Peahen~

Posted 24 May 2020 - 12:10 PM

Another Cav house here. Black and Tan.

Both my son and I have ASD and my daughter is suspected and being assessed. I'm extremely sensitive to smell. She actually does get the eye smell occasionally if I don't wipe them everyday but I just try to wipe them everyday. She also smells when she's been outside on a damp day or in the evenings..... But I think the kids do too. It's a smell apparently only I can smell.

She's been wonderful for my daughter. She really helps with her anxiety. She doesn't shed and she rarely barks. I don't react well to barking dogs so I'm so thankful she's not a barker. She's very soft and glossy and loves to snuggle.

The pet that's been the best for my son is our budgie. We call him "therapy birb". He's the best. During this remote learning my son has the therapy birb with him during Maths class to help with his stress.

#15 annodam

Posted 24 May 2020 - 12:20 PM

I'd love to throw a Basenji into the mix for 'ya.
No barking, no smell, no shedding.
And you do have another dog for company.
They get very attached to their one human & are aloof with others.
They are stubborn little buggers though...

#16 sunshine_days

Posted 24 May 2020 - 12:43 PM

We too have a Cavvie.

And Tri colour one. *white brown and black), and shes beautiful.

Very sensitive and loyal and very eager to please. Easy to train, she has loads of energy.. happy to go for a jog and huge walk (6km-10km) and happy to just chill with you.

They can shed, but easy fixed with getting their coat groomed regularly. Do have to watch their eyes and ears. Our has had one ear infection where she need to be have an operation to clean them, and eyes can get gunky l guess due to allergies but you just keep them clean and its fine.

they are prone to heart issues (like any breed has their issues) but ours is 11 and no issues. She does have dodgy knee (patella) but doesn't bother her much at all.

They are a loveable breed, get along with other animals/pets but much prefer human contact.

They are very intelligent too and know which kids need more  care or gentleness. I used to take mine to the school when l picked the kids up, and some she would rough play with and she knew the ones that just wanted a pat and a cuddle.

They also love love love food, and will eat anything... so need to be careful and watch them.

Other then that they are a great breed.

Good luck with your search

Mine now comes to work with me on the farm and loves to be around the other workers, and to explore and sniff her surrounds.

#17 3babygirls

Posted 24 May 2020 - 12:47 PM

Mini Schnauzer?

We have a relative with one and a neighbour with one. Our relatives one is a nice lap dog but completely antisocial to everyone else mainly to them not properly socialising her and making her anxious.

The other one is gorgeous and smart and affectionate. Most schnauzers i've met have been really sweet in nature. We looked into getting one.

#18 TheirMum2

Posted 24 May 2020 - 01:15 PM

My DD8 has a significant disability and does not like large, bouncy, chasey dogs. She actually doesn't like most dogs at all.

We have a cavalier (the only smell he seems to have is from being in the chook poo and no eye problems either).

He is a beautiful dog and lovely with both of my girls. DD with disability is not frightened of him at all. If she just wants to sit quietly with him he will do that, if she wants to play ball  or run with him he will do that, he is happy to sit in the cubby and just be near her. He is not over-bearing or in her face. He is just happy to be with her on her terms.

He has let both DDs pull his ears and tails many times as they were growing and is very patient and calm.

Even though he has long fur he doesn't actually shed much at all.

i would never have any other breed.

Good luck with your decision and I hope you find a pup that suits your DS as much as our boy has suited our DD.

#19 kim27

Posted 24 May 2020 - 01:17 PM

Whippets would tick lots of those boxes, Mine doesn’t smell doggy at all. Short haircut it’s very soft and silky.

Even though I don’t have kids my boy just loves children. He also loves, loves cuddles and attention in general.

#20 Kafkaesque

Posted 24 May 2020 - 01:27 PM

I would seriously consider a cat. If you get an older cat that is in foster care they could give you a pretty good guarantee if it’s a cuddly cat or not. I foster cats and have had two through that are absolutely lovely lap cats that want nothing more than to cuddle all day I’d allowed.

Dogs are hard work, as you would be aware. Cats are so much easier.

#21 BornToLove

Posted 24 May 2020 - 01:32 PM

View PostNannyPlumPudding, on 24 May 2020 - 08:36 AM, said:

DS1 has been asking for a pet of his own for a while. He wants a cat but his main requirement is one we can guarantee with a cat "they must give me cuddles and love me".

I know this is a dog breed post, but you did say he wanted a cat originally. We have a Burmese and he would tick the love and cuddles requirements. They tend to be very people orientated and highly affectionate. They also have a dog-like personality and great with little kids. Worth a look if he still insists on a cat.

#22 just roses

Posted 24 May 2020 - 01:33 PM

View PostBornToLove, on 24 May 2020 - 01:32 PM, said:

I know this is a dog breed post, but you did say he wanted a cat originally. We have a Burmese and he would tick the love and cuddles requirements. They tend to be very people orientated and highly affectionate. They also have a dog-like personality and great with little kids. Worth a look if he still insists on a cat.
I'm not a cat person, generally. But my colleague has the most gorgeous Burmese cats and if I ever got a cat, that's what I'd get.

#23 kadoodle

Posted 24 May 2020 - 09:47 PM

Miniature poodle? They’re low shedding, smart, affectionate and can be trained as a support dog.  If he’s keen on a cat, how about an oriental or bengal?

#24 Tessied

Posted 24 May 2020 - 11:42 PM

I'd consider a ragdoll cat instead.  They are super affectionate, playful like dogs, calm and live for attention.

#25 EmmaFY

Posted 25 May 2020 - 12:58 AM

Not sure on DS age but reading you list of requirements (and I'm not having a dig, so apologies if it comes across that way), a lovely stuffed dog may be suitable?

You can get some beautiful and realistic ones online, I have seen videos. They are particularly helpful with people who have dementia and enjoy a good cuddle but aren't bound by the wants or need requirements of a real life pet. Could be something to look into.

https://cuddleclones...h-cuddle-clone/

Edited by EmmaFY, 25 May 2020 - 01:05 AM.





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