Advice about Specific Breeds

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Beagle, Corgi, or Tibetan Terrier?

September 2001

We're thinking of adding a dog to our family (our daughter is almost four) and I'm looking for some first-hand feedback. I've lived with dogs, trained puppies, and know the pros and cons of puppies v grown dogs, purebreds v mixed, and getting your pet as a rescue dogs v from a breeder v from the shelters.

Having thought this through, we're leaning toward a puppy and considering a beagle (I grew up with beagles), a pembroke corgi, or a tibetan terrier. I've done a lot of research on breeds -- I have a sense of the general qualities of each of these three that make them possibly compatible with our family.

My questions are: a) If you have firsthand experience living with these types of dogs and small children can you please say what you found to be great or difficult about that? b) If you know of a reputable beagle, pembroke corgi, or tibetan terrier breeder you'd recommend, can you please give me their contact info? Brenda

Generally terriers are not the best dogs for children but there are exceptions to the general part. Beagles are generally good - although I believe they have a tendency to dig - now whether they can dig a hole under a fence big enough for both the dog and the child to escape on an adventure, I don't know. Our labrador dug holes and he and our basset hound would go out for a stroll. He would find a mud hole to roll in. The Corgi's I have seen seem to have been good with kids. If you will go to Bears and Baubles on Solano in Albany and talk to the owner she has had Corgi's. He most recent one is so nice and she knows a breeder. She may also now of rescue groups. I have always got my eye out for a Basset as ours is elderly and our lab passed away, but if I see a Corgi I'll post it. Cindy Cindy
My family and I rescued a Tibetan Terrier from the SPCA about 4 years ago. We now have a 14 month old daughter, and we worried about how this high-strung dog would behave around the baby. In the end, he has been wonderful, but not because he is patient: rather, he is very skilled at getting out of her way when she wants to love on him with high-pitched squeals and hair pulling. The baby will also try to cuddle with the dog, by laying down in front of him and getting very close. He will allow that for a few seconds and then get up and walk away. All in all, we trust him with the baby and he is very protective of her, as long as we let him get away when he wants to. I think the baby's experience with a medium-sized dog has been a good one. She is not fearful of animals (or of anything else much, it seems), and we know that we will have to teach her soon to be cautious. My only concern with a Tibetan is that this is a herding dog, and a watchdog, and ours has a tendency to bark and run around when excited. However, he becomes very calm when the house is full of people, even if some of them are small children running around. I should caution you that we had this dog professionally trained away from our home for about a month, since we could see immediately that his normal high-strung nature would need to be controlled at times for the safety of the family, visitors, and neighbors. But he is a wonderful pet, and is good with the baby, my older stepchildren, and visitors. Jane