Dog suggestions

Actually, given the list of requirements, this seems like the perfect answer.

Why do people give poodles such stupid haircuts?

I don’t know about the poodle idea; they have some pretty neurotic tendencies.

It’s not really in the same size category you listed but what about a Maltese? They’re a small breed that, as far as I know, make a fine family pet especially if you get one as a puppy. Just avoid the stupid haircuts.

Originally for hunting efficiency.

Also, I second the suggestion of the Maltese. We have a Maltese/Bichon mix (that was purportedly a pure-bred Bichon) and he’s a great little dog. Very pleasant, friendly, active, affectionate, and yet is quite happy just settling down and napping next to you.

Sure, he’s nowhere near as big as his Newfoundland predecessor, but what a wonderful temperament. The Newf had one, too, but wasn’t nearly as portable.

I like Collies. They tend to be more neurotically loyal, but they’re smaller and easier to deal with than goldens, which can get pretty dang big.

I’m also a small dog guy by demeanor, i guess… they all love me for some reason. But, imo, pugs suck. They’re … stupid, unhealthy, and cute for only about 1/2 their life. Then they become snaggle toothed, snoring, unhealthy gargoyles with a pea sized brain.

Pics please!

Shiba Inu! They’re adorable and I realllllly want one.

The Shiba is alert, confident, courageous, and bold. Loving, kind, trainable and brave. They are clean and most try to avoid puddles and are relatively easy to housebreak. They bark little and bond closely with their handler. Playful and delightful, a well-adjusted Shiba is good with kids, other dogs and cats. Active, lively, agile and fast. Socialize this breed well as a puppy, as they can be reserved with strangers. If the Shiba is not completely convinced that its handler can handle the pack leader position and regards himself as stronger minded they will become a bit stubborn as they will believe they need to make up their own rules. Proper human to canine communication is essential. A natural hunting dog, the Shiba should not be trusted alone with small pets such as rabbits, guinea pigs, rodents and small birds. Be careful when taking them off leash as they like to chase, especially if they do not regard their owners as a strong pack leader. Adapts well to traveling. Make sure you are this dog’s firm, confident, consistent leader, providing daily pack walks to avoid behavior issues.

Height: Dogs 14-16 inches (36-41 cm.) Bitches 13-15 inches (33-38 cm.)
Weight: Dogs 18-25 pounds (8-11 kg.) Bitches 15-20 pounds (6.8-9 kg.)

http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/shiba.htm

How about a Mabari? Sure, they’re a bit bigger than you had in mind, but they’re just as smart as you and me and make excellent watch dogs.

My Mabari tried to bring home a small boy as a pet once, though, until I convinced him that it was a bad idea.

We had a Golden for 15 years, and if I ever get another, it will be another Golden. Best Dog Evar.

We currently have a little Bichon, and my main problem with him is that it barks like crazy. I’ve tried every training thing I can think of, and it still drives me crazy with how crazy he goes when he sees someone pass the front door, someone knock on the door, someone come into the room unexpectedly, etc. And it is a SHARP LOUD bark. I hate it.

He also seems to be (and I know this goes together) a bit needy/neurotic. When my wife leaves the house, he sits and stares at the door, and he goes crazy when she comes back.

I long for another Golden. ;)

When I was growing up we had a border collie. He looked exactly like the male dog in Babe, he was not the smartest dog ever, but he was fiercely loyal and a lot of fun. He’d do stupid things like chase use down the hill when we went tobogganing and run in front of the toboggan, eat GI joes, and try to escape every time the door opened. But he was gentle to us and other children and was an amazing guard dog. One night some kids tried to break into our house. He jumped through a window screen and chased them off then planted himself in front of our house. When the police showed up he wouldn’t let the police officer out of his car. The guy would try to open his door and our dog literally rammed it shut then just growled at him. My mom had to go out with a blanket to cover him up and bring him in. He was a fantastic dog.

If shedding/allergies are at all an issue (collies have two coats of hair and shed constantly) poodles are pretty awesome dogs. We’ve had our miniature poodle for just over a year now and she’s the best dog I’ve had. She’s smart, playful, amazing with kids, and after a puppy class at Petco very obedient. We get her the puppy clip instead of a traditional poodle cut and everyone who sees her thinks she’s adorable.

Not the Standard kind, the little ones do.

Also, Shiba Inus are really a huge step away from how a Golden would be.

Yeah, I wouldn’t recommend a Shiba Inu for the OP. They are high energy and will be challenging for authority all the time.

They are wonderful dogs, but they fall under dogs that need dedicated dog owners.

After Babe came out, there was a run on Border collies in town. Unless they’re really well trained, they can actually be really snappy with kids. We had at least 2 in town that bit kids.

They’re one of those dogs that almost have to work.

Very true. And they are NOT a dog that you can neglect to exercise regularly. They need to run. Every day.

My aunt has had two: one was uncharacteristically low key. The second has been more typical, and she is a bossy, high strung, fast dog. She’s incredibly well trained, but I could easily see her being kinda nippy if she weren’t. The only thing that wears her out is flyball, which is a commitment in and of itself. She’s a fantastic dog, but not what Phil is looking for.

This thread makes me want to get a dog myself, actually. Only problem is the SO likes Siberian Huskies, which aren’t really dogs for a townhouse.

Plus, we have tons of other things to spend money on at the moment, what with our new house and all.

I don’t think any of that sounds particularily stupid, more like a bit hyper and undisciplined. From what I understand border collies are often rated as perhaps the most intelligent of al dog breeds. Here in Sweden border many collie breeders are reluctant to sell the collies to people that do not have at least a semi professional herd of grazers, for the reasons Athryn and Marged indicated.

Yeah, Inus and Huskies are not good dogs for kids, as they are difficult to train and have authority issues.

Fun thing about this thread, my GF got a dog from the shelter, and they had no clue what breed she was. They said she was a mutt.

But, thanks to this thread… we know what she is!!! A Kelpie!! I would definitely recommend a kelpie. Great with kids, about 25-45 pounds, they love to run and play, they don’t bark too much, they are pretty smart (being a herding dog) and they are as cute as all get-out.

Exactly. Collies are usually in the top of most intelligent dogs lists. But, they also need that mental stimulation. If you don’t give them work to do, it turns to boredom and destructiveness very quickly.

Siberian Huskies are beautiful. A lot of the more wealthy people in the town surrounding my college have a few of them each. They walk them, and they just look prestigious.

As far as I know, huskies don’t really have authority issues. They are hard to train though, and require a ton of exercise. But another vote against Inus, based on the OP’s criteria. All the negatives of the breed posted in this thread are dead on. I have Akita Inus, which are similar to Shiba Inus, except they’re more mellow & much much larger. My Akitas are awesome, but they required a ton of effort when they were younger. Even now they occasionally challenge our authority, and my wife & I have to be very careful to maintain dominance. They’re pretty low maintenance now, though. Just one 30 minute walk every day.

Also, collies are also a bad choice for the OP. Really really high energy dogs that require a ton of stimulation & exercise.

However, the OP might consider a Greyhound. they’re bigger than his suggested size, but they’re really laid back, low energy, and friendly. They’re not too hard to train, and you can usually find retired race-track dogs that are already trained with the basics. Also, their coats are short, so the hair problem isn’t anywhere near as bad as a goldie. In addition, all the greyhounds I’ve met are good with kids, but I don’t know if I’ve just gotten lucky in the ones I’ve met.

Plus greyhounds are cute as all get-out. Their noses are practically prehensile, and they’re very loving creatures.