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Is this the right breed for me?


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#1 Guest_Irma Cooper_*

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Posted 17 December 2005 - 10:10 AM

I / We are a couple in Alberta Canada with an 18 yr old daughter. we are ready to bring a family pet back into our lives and are consider a few different breeds. I am alergic to cats and with dogs that have similar fine dander hair and excessive shedding. My last dog was a terrier with coarse wiry hair which had no affect on me. Other than the allergy factor, my other concerns about this breed are listed below.
How do they fare in Canadian weather (winters)?
How would one behave alone during the day when everyone works fulltime?
Can they be trusted off leach supervised?
Can I train them to stay OFF furniture?
I dont want a young puppy - is rescue my best option?
How are they generally with potty accidents in the house?
If I'm looking for a low maintenance breed, am I barking up the wrong tree?

Would appreciate any feedback
THank you

#2 vfolly

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Posted 17 December 2005 - 10:35 AM

:welcomesign: Irma...

As much as we can help, only you will ultimately be able to answer, but here are the stats...

We have a number of canadian iggies here on the board and they do well, but we all make concessions with this breed. For one thing, they get under your skin and live there and you cannot say no easily to the way they wish to live....neither of you will be happy.

Yes they can do fine in cold climates if you provide them a very warm cozy place to hang out and many clothes to keep them warm for those brief excursions to the outside to do business and excercise.

It's very hard to train a young pup if they are left unsupervised during the day every day, so an older rescue might be the ticket. And they are very difficult to housebreak (not impossible), but that takes much time and patience and you to be there to read the signs. So again, an older, perhaps litter trained dog might work well.

They are very attached to their human pack and feel a sense of entitlement to your space, so not being allowed on furniture is not something you are going to want to deal with....I cannot say there is a single iggie on this board who doesn't spend much of their time snuggled on your bed or sofa...if so, I haven't found them yet. They are lap dogs and were bred for that and need the comfort and warmth.

An older dog can be a low maintenance dog as long as the rescue person you work with knows what you are looking for and one becomes available...but potty accidents are endemic in the breed for most people, and for the most part those are the owners who are not around during the day, or cannot watch their iggie full time. They are small dogs and many toy dogs cannot hold it that long at all. Yes there are exceptions, but it's not the norm, and an 8 hour day is too much for most.

Again a potty/litter trained older dog might work if you can find one who's reliable.

But the furniture issue is a pretty big one and only you can decide on that comfort level. My 5 dogs spend a huge amount of their time on their own down comforters on MY sofas and sleep under the covers with me. I'd venture to say that's true for the majority of iggyplanet members with some variation as to sleep locations.

OFF-LEASH is NOT an option an any unfenced area for 99% or sighthounds. You will lose them to the nearest vehicle in the nearest street. In a fenced area with safe other dogs of their own size, certainly, but NEVER loose on the street or yard without a fence. This breed is still a sighthound and was bred to chase game....birds, cars, bikes, children, mice, gophers, and anything like them will attract their chase skills and you can say goodbye. Only safe martingale or no-choke type collars are safe with a sighthound, and even then, there are stories of iggies who slipped their collars and were gone.

So there are the facts as I know them and you can answer your question with your own feelings on the subject.

Best of luck in your decision.

#3 Zia

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Posted 17 December 2005 - 11:21 AM

How do they fare in Canadian weather (winters)?
How would one behave alone during the day when everyone works fulltime?
Can they be trusted off leach supervised?
Can I train them to stay OFF furniture?
I dont want a young puppy - is rescue my best option?
How are they generally with potty accidents in the house?
If I'm looking for a low maintenance breed, am I barking up the wrong tree?

You don't say where in Alberta you live. There are several members here who live in Alberta, and if you want to meet one up close and personal, would probably be glad to meet you.

I find that the dogs do okay in cold weather - within reason. When it is cold, they will run outside and pee, run inside, warm up, then back outside for a poop. I never leave mine unattended outside, as they have been known to freeze their feet within inches of the door, necessitating a rescue.

I leave mine in an exercise pen while at work, but if I had a nice room that had windows that I could close the door on, that I didn't have to worry about them getting into trouble in, I'd probably be fine with that - although in that case, I would leave a potty pad or paper down, as it is hard for them to hold their pee for an entire work day. As well, with free roam, they have been known to shred toilet paper etc. My concern with leaving them free in the house is the chance that I could come home to a broken leg. (Just my own personal fear).

I'm sure they can be trained to stay off the furniture, but it would necessitate a lot of comfy beds and blankets on the floor. However, most people seem to want to cuddle with them, and they with you. It might be easier to have a chair or piece of furniture that they are allowed on, rather than a total ban.

In Canada, your best option for any age of dog is not rescue. In total for 2005 (not over yet, so fingers are crossed). we've had 2 elderly dogs in Rescue in Ontario. One is still available, he is 13 years old. Breeders sometimes have adult dogs they want to retire, or sometimes an adult is returned for a variety of reasons, so maybe check with several breeders, and ask to be put on their waiting list, if you want an adult. It never hurts to try.

An adult would certainly be lower maintenance than a puppy, but I'm never certain what is meant by that statement.

My own dogs like exercise, and they like pets, they will haunt your footsteps in the kitchen. They don't require a lot of brushing, but they do need their nails trimmed every week or two, and they do need their teeth brushed.

I don't run them off leash, with the exception of during agility. I find their recall is good (but I do a lot of obedience), but I do not trust other people and their dogs. As well, we have coyotes in the area which would be more than capable of killing my dog. Having said all that, my dogs don't mind not being off leash. They find the back yard sufficient to run in, and they adore their walks in the parks.

#4 Hala

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Posted 17 December 2005 - 12:18 PM

IG's are meant to be a lap dog, if you want a dog that you don't want on the furniture, then the IG is not the right dog for you, the dog would be totally miserable if it couldn't sit on the sofa or chair with you.

#5 Guest_Irma Cooper_*

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Posted 17 December 2005 - 12:59 PM

Thank you all for your responses - you have all been very helpful in helping me decide on this breed. In response to the 'couch' concern, our former pooch had bed priveleges with us but was quite happy to setting on a comfy pillow on the floor right by our feet. I think I can surrender and share my couch to one easily enough so that will not be a major deciding factor. We are considering a few other breeds and will not rule any one out until we have carefully weighed all our options and concerns with all breeds. Daytime behaviour will be the biggest concern as we do not want him/her to get bored and terrorize the house, or even worse, - hurt himself. I'm not totally sold on daytime crating and would prefer to give him his own room with a potty pad or litter box. Another playmate would be an option but we haven't really given it much thought at this point.
Again, thank you all for your feedback and we will continue to do our homework
Irma
(Edmonton)

#6 Raindance

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Posted 19 December 2005 - 01:23 PM

I / We are a couple in Alberta Canada with an 18 yr old daughter.  we are ready to bring a family pet back into our lives and are consider a few different breeds. I am alergic to cats and with dogs that have similar fine dander hair and excessive shedding.  My last dog was a terrier with coarse wiry hair which had no affect on me.  Other than the allergy factor, my other concerns about this breed are listed below.


How do they fare in Canadian weather (winters)?


IGs are not a big fan of cold weather, they have little fur and fat to keep them warm. Many people provide an indoor potty area for their IGs when they live in the colder climates.

How would one behave alone during the day when everyone works fulltime?


A new IG, or really any new dog, should never be left alone unsupervised with full roam of the house. Your best bet would be to provide a "doggy proof" room or an enclosed pen for your dog to stay in during the day, and provide an indoor potty area where they have access to it.

Can they be trusted off leach supervised?


Some can, but it depends on the dog. These ARE sighthounds and if they see something they would like to chase/hunt, and it can be very hard to have them come on command when "in pursuit" of their prey.

Can I train them to stay OFF furniture?


Good luck :lmfao: :lmfao: :lmfao: :lmfao: :lmfao: :lmfao: :lmfao: :lmfao: :lmfao: :lmfao:
I suppose it is possible, but if you were by some miracle able to train them to stay off the furniture, they would be completely miserable. They do not want to simply sit next to you, but on you.

I dont want a young puppy - is rescue my best option?


Rescue is a wonderful option. Also sometimes breeders have retired show dogs that they would like to place in companion homes.

How are they generally with potty accidents in the house?


IGs are very intelligent dogs and can be very stubborn, and some people do have a lot of housebreaking issues. This is usually not a breed that is completely housebroken after a week, and will usually take several weeks or months of close supervision and training to truly be reliable and REMAIN reliable. I seem to think the people that have an indoor potty area have a lot LESS problems when housebreaking. It is also much eaisier to train IMO.

If I'm looking for a low maintenance breed, am I barking up the wrong tree?


While yes they are small and shorthaired, they are NOT low maintenance by any means. Teeth should be brushed on a regular basis, ideally every day. No they do not require much other grooming, but they are a very demanding breed that constantly wants to be with you and want to be the center of attention. Also there are health problems that frequent the breed and should you be unfortunate in obtaining a dog that develops a health problem, that will also be something to think about. Leg breaks are not uncommon and can cost several thousand dollars to repair. Seizures/epilepsy are not uncommon. Teeth problems are not uncommon. Luxating patellas are not uncommon. Several members on this forum have dogs suffering from liver problems. Blindness from PRA or cataracts is not uncommon either. Granted, all breeds are prone to various health problems so I would not say this breed is any less healthy than most others, but these are things one should be aware of when researching the breed.

Good luck! Hope this helps.

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Posted 19 December 2005 - 01:28 PM

I / We are a couple in Alberta Canada with an 18 yr old daughter.  we are ready to bring a family pet back into our lives and are consider a few different breeds. I am alergic to cats and with dogs that have similar fine dander hair and excessive shedding.  My last dog was a terrier with coarse wiry hair which had no affect on me.  Other than the allergy factor, my other concerns about this breed are listed below.
How do they fare in Canadian weather (winters)?
How would one behave alone during the day when everyone works fulltime?
Can they be trusted off leach supervised?
Can I train them to stay OFF furniture?
I dont want a young puppy - is rescue my best option?
How are they generally with potty accidents in the house?
If I'm looking for a low maintenance breed, am I barking up the wrong tree?

Would appreciate any feedback
THank you

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I would simply answer "NO" to every one of your questions. Not the breed for you. Sorry.

#8 Guest_jonanne_*

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Posted 19 December 2005 - 03:35 PM

I have to agree with George- I was going to post earlier but didn't want to seem like a total downer.

#9 diavig

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Posted 19 December 2005 - 04:35 PM

I would simply answer "NO" to every one of your questions. Not the breed for you. Sorry.

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.... except that they fare fine in Canadian winters. There are many many of us in Canada and we have happy healthy IGs. The other questions might pose a problem though.

#10 flowerpot

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Posted 19 December 2005 - 06:53 PM

a low maintenance breed??? :laugh1: well, I guess they are easier to care for than some breeds as far as the grooming required for the fur. but otherwise I consider the IG a specialist breed - and not an especially low maintenance one.

this is what one needs to keep the breed well:

1)comfortable furniture that the dog can snuggle on. if the IG is not allowed on yours - then get him/her his own suite. make sure they are more comfortable than yours. if you can position the furniture close to windows overlooking the garden and squirrels and birds and chipmunks - this is well liked by IGs.

2)easy to clean Italian tiled floors (a bit rustic so you have some grip for the IG feet when they are dashing around).

3)heating vent so placed tthat the Ig can snuggle close to a vent in the winter but not burn its sensitive skin.

4)a spare wardrobe for the IG outfits.

5)duvets for the IG to snuggle in. yours will likely not be big enough.

6)a well fenced yard to keep coyotes & cougars out and IGs in (some IGs can climb chainlink, so 6ft planks set close together work better). also, it is necessary to shovel paths for the IGs if there is any snow and a shelter from wind is appreciated. as far as surfaces in the garden, IGs appreciate, some concrete or outdoor tiled areas, some grass areas and some sand areas. they also like outdoor lighting for the evening tiolet activities.

7)special martingale collars for training and walkies. literally bales and bales of stuffed toys that squeak. ideally all to look like chipmunks squirrles, etc.

8)you can go out to work during the day but need to hire servant then for IG petting and tioletting.

9) shares in pee pad companies

10)an oil well to generate enough money to keep the IG comfortable, provide good quality vet care (to include annual or seni-annual dentals)and premium food.


Flowerpot (a spoiled canadian IG who is very happy & a good pet)

#11 Guest_Iggy Mom_*

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Posted 19 December 2005 - 08:03 PM

I agree with George on this one. I don't think an IG is the best fit for you. Bless you for doing your homework!!! I'm sure the perfect dog is waiting for you :wub:

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Posted 19 December 2005 - 09:20 PM

a low maintenance breed??? :laugh1: well, I guess they are easier to care for than some breeds as far as the grooming required for the fur. but otherwise I consider the IG a specialist breed - and not an especially low maintenance one.

this is what one needs to keep the breed well:

1)comfortable furniture that the dog can snuggle on. if the IG is not allowed on yours - then get him/her his own suite. make sure they are more comfortable than yours. if you can position the furniture close to windows overlooking the garden and squirrels and birds and chipmunks - this is well liked by IGs.

2)easy to clean Italian tiled floors (a bit rustic so you have some grip for the IG feet when they are dashing around).

3)heating vent so placed tthat the Ig can snuggle close to a vent in the winter but not burn its sensitive skin.

4)a spare wardrobe for the IG outfits.

5)duvets for the IG to snuggle in. yours will likely not be big enough.

6)a well fenced yard to keep coyotes & cougars out and IGs in (some IGs can climb chainlink, so 6ft planks set close together work better). also, it is necessary to shovel paths for the IGs if there is any snow and a shelter from wind is appreciated. as far as surfaces in the garden, IGs appreciate, some concrete or outdoor tiled areas, some grass areas and some sand areas. they also like outdoor lighting for the evening tiolet activities.

7)special martingale collars for training and walkies. literally bales and bales of stuffed toys that squeak. ideally all to look like chipmunks squirrles, etc.

8)you can go out to work during the day but need to hire servant then for IG petting and tioletting.

9) shares in pee pad companies

10)an oil well to generate enough money to keep the IG comfortable, provide good quality vet care (to include annual or seni-annual dentals)and premium food.
Flowerpot (a spoiled canadian IG who is very happy & a good pet)

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That's the best, most accurate account of being owned by an iggie!! Thank you!

#13 Raindance

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Posted 19 December 2005 - 09:22 PM

a low maintenance breed??? :laugh1: well, I guess they are easier to care for than some breeds as far as the grooming required for the fur. but otherwise I consider the IG a specialist breed - and not an especially low maintenance one.

this is what one needs to keep the breed well:

1)comfortable furniture that the dog can snuggle on. if the IG is not allowed on yours - then get him/her his own suite. make sure they are more comfortable than yours. if you can position the furniture close to windows overlooking the garden and squirrels and birds and chipmunks - this is well liked by IGs.

2)easy to clean Italian tiled floors (a bit rustic so you have some grip for the IG feet when they are dashing around).

3)heating vent so placed tthat the Ig can snuggle close to a vent in the winter but not burn its sensitive skin.

4)a spare wardrobe for the IG outfits.

5)duvets for the IG to snuggle in. yours will likely not be big enough.

6)a well fenced yard to keep coyotes & cougars out and IGs in (some IGs can climb chainlink, so 6ft planks set close together work better). also, it is necessary to shovel paths for the IGs if there is any snow and a shelter from wind is appreciated. as far as surfaces in the garden, IGs appreciate, some concrete or outdoor tiled areas, some grass areas and some sand areas. they also like outdoor lighting for the evening tiolet activities.

7)special martingale collars for training and walkies. literally bales and bales of stuffed toys that squeak. ideally all to look like chipmunks squirrles, etc.

8)you can go out to work during the day but need to hire servant then for IG petting and tioletting.

9) shares in pee pad companies

10)an oil well to generate enough money to keep the IG comfortable, provide good quality vet care (to include annual or seni-annual dentals)and premium food.
Flowerpot (a spoiled canadian IG who is very happy & a good pet)

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:lmfao: :lmfao: :lmfao: :lmfao: :lmfao: :lmfao:

#14 Guest_rialto_*

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Posted 20 December 2005 - 08:52 AM

Flowerpot - That is the funniest and most accurate description of an iggy's demands that I have ever read. :lmfao:

Breeders and rescue reps should copy this list and hand it out to all potential families!! :laugh1: I'm sure the iggies would appreciate it. :)

#15 Pat Klinger

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Posted 20 December 2005 - 08:54 AM

I agree with George, this is not the breed for you.

#16 Guest_ChristinaP_*

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Posted 12 November 2006 - 09:46 PM

I to thought about this question long and hard, when I was thinking about the righ the dog for me.
I can only comment that my Enzo (adopted thought rescue at 10 months old) is the very best thing that has happened in my life in a long time.
He is demading, loving, needy and the best listener I have ever incontered.
I adopted, Lola (1 year old from rescue), my princess about a year after, so my Enzo would not spend his days alone.
I have found that two are better then one for my particular situation.

IGs need people, they cannot be expected spend the majority of thier time separted form their family.They will become distuctive and unreliabe(to put it lightly).
IGs are quirky and funny and they posses an affinity for thier people that make you feel like you won the lottery.

The downsides of living with and IG can be found through searches in this forum. I only find potty training a problem for me. Lola is just not reliable, she does her own thing!

I just wanted to add my two cents, I love my two babies! But they are a lot of work, as any pet, but more so because of the breed.

Good for you to do research before getting a new memeber of your family.
Look hard at what you want and listen to good advice. My advice is to try and meet any adult IGs in your area, see the breed interact with people and personalities.
Good luck in your search!

#17 vfolly

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Posted 12 November 2006 - 10:54 PM

I'm not sure she still visits here, the poster put this up 11 mos ago.

#18 Faeryhound

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Posted 12 March 2007 - 01:34 PM

I know this post is quite old but I'll reply anyway. I live in Alberta and can say that IG's fare well in our climate. They aren't too happy about the colder weather and I do recommend some sort of coat or jammies to make it easier to go outside to potty. ( I wouldn't want to go outside in a t-shirt and shorts when it's that cold, either so I can't blame them )

( How would one behave alone during the day when everyone works fulltime? )

I work full time and my dogs stay in a specially designed room downstairs. I stripped the carpet, sealed and painted the floor for easy cleaning. I put up exercise pens with paper, bedding and water and this is where they stay when I am not at home. I do NOT endorse nor recommend allowing the dogs to roam loose in the house when you're not there to supervise. If they are injured and you aren't due home for hours, that can only spell disaster.

( Can they be trusted off leach supervised? )

NO DOG can be trusted off leash unsupervised. I am going to take this question at face value and say that under no circumstances can you just let the IG outside to potty and leave them to their own devices if you do not have a fenced yard. I do not endorse, nor recommend taking them to off-leash parks and allowing them to run free. There are some exceptions, such as off leash areas that have sections for small dogs. Otherwise, I'd say no. There is no way to control who uses these parks and many people with larger dogs simply don't train them. There are exceptions to this, as well. Please no one get offended and I'm pretty sure we all know the sorts of trouble an IG can get into if they encounter a large, out of control dog who doesn't appreciate little dogs.

( Can I train them to stay OFF furniture? )

Forgive me, but why would you need to train them to stay off the furniture? I can't imagine being cuddle up on the couch watching a movie and not allowing Ari to snuggle with me. IG's are very people oriented and will not comprehend why you don't want to cuddle with them on the furniture. In short, I would say that you probably could train them to do anything but this isn't something that I think is fair to ask of a breed that is so bonded to people.

( I dont want a young puppy - is rescue my best option? )

Rescue is always a wonderful option when looking for an IG.

( How are they generally with potty accidents in the house? )

IG's are notoriously difficult to housetrain but not impossible. There are a lot of housetraining articles on Iggy Planet, with suggestions and methods that have worked well for others in the past, such as using a bell tied to the door and training them to ring it when they want to go out. If you can't handle the odd accident, I wouldn't recommend ANY of the smaller breeds.

( If I'm looking for a low maintenance breed, am I barking up the wrong tree? )

It depends upon your definition of "low maintenance". In comparison with some of the breeds I've come to know over the years, IG's are among the EASIEST to live with. Some may disagree but again, that is because we all define "low maintenance" and "easy to live with" differently. IG's ( as a rule ) are quiet, have no doggy odor, are super easy to train, extremely affectionate, happy, love to play with toys, love to learn. They also get their feelings hurt easily, cannot tolerate harsh punishments or corrections, do not fair well if they are yelled at or hit. They are NOT kennel dogs and do not do well in such environments. They are sensitive to extreme heat and cold, do not like to be left for long periods of time and do love to go everywhere with you, including into the bathroom.

I would recommend reading the sections FAQ, Housetraining 101 and as much of the info provided here for you if you're thinking of adding an IG to your life. There are also many IG breeders here with a wealth of knowledge and experience that they are kind enough to share with us. Continue to ask questions and learn as much as you can BEFORE making the final decision to bring an IG home. Unfortunately, based on your questions alone, I would not recommend an IG for you. I would have to speak to you in more detail to see if I interpreted your questions correctly to see if this is the case. If an IG isn't what you're looking for, I'm sure that I'd be able to assess if another breed might be what you're looking for.

All the best in your search!

#19 Guest_melissa_*

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Posted 13 March 2007 - 08:36 AM

:wub: :( I really don't think this is the right breed for you. I have two Iggys and I am a stay at home mommy. I do not have small children so I can spend all my time with the dogs who, of course, demand all of my time. When I am sitting down one of them is always in my lap. When I get up and leave a room they both follow. When I am laying down they are both right beside me under the covers. The Ig's are literally attached to the hip!!! But I wouldn't have it any other way. I love their devotion and unconditional love. This is really a breed that needs its mommy to be home all the time, I can't imagine being gone 8 hours a day and leaving them.

Sox, my male, is completely potty trained. But Piper, my female, is only about 75% potty trained. So being home to watch her helps her to not have accidents.

Also, these babies are very cold natured, as they are so skinny and hair is so short. In the winter they wear sweaters and coats and such and do not like to go outside. But thankfully here in OKlahoma City our winters our short. I would think it being so cold in Canada you would want a dog more suited to the cold weather.

You are very smart to research the breed first. I wish more people did that.

Melissa, Piper and Sox mommy :wub:

#20 pinknoseIG

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Posted 13 March 2007 - 08:50 AM

You are definately barking up the wrong tree, keep searching.



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