Characteristic
Dog suitable for non-experienced owners
Type
Answer / Characteristic
Don't mind?
Off

Yorkshire Terrier

A toy breed, the Yorkshire Terrier dog is best known for his full flowing tresses of a texture quite similar to human hair. The coat colouring is unusual too, being a steel blue and gold (rich tan). He has an air of importance about him, holding his head high. Adults stand at about 18-20cm and weigh no more than 3.2kg.

No, this will be my first dog and I am ready to learn!
I'd feel more comfortable keeping training to the basics
I'd like to go on active walks with my dog
For an hour a day
I'd like a little toy dog to carry around
Dog drool? As little as possible, please!
I've got time for grooming every other day
Yes, I require a hypoallergenic breed
Very vocal
Yes - Barks and alerts
No
No
Yorkshire Terrier

Origin

It is believed that Scottish weavers brought a small terrier with them during a period of immigration from Scotland to Yorkshire and Lancanshire during the 1850s. These 'Scotch Terriers,' sometimes also known as 'Halifax Terriers', interbred with local small terriers. It is believed that Yorkies have in their lineage the Manchester Terrier, the Maltese, the Skye, Dandie Dinmont and the Paisley Terriers. Shown as the Scotch Terrier in 1861, the dog later became known as the Yorkshire Terrier dog breed and was recognized as such by the British Kennel Club in 1886.

Personality

The Yorkshire Terrier is a small dog with a big attitude. This is a dog that will one minute happily snuggle on grandma's knee and enjoy a good cuddle, and the next minute leap through the air and tear after the neighbour's dog promising to show it who is boss. Yorkies are terriers after all, and will protect their territory valiantly.

Health

Yorkshire Terrier dogs tend to have a long lifespan. Nevertheless, they are predisposed to eye problems, kneecaps that may temporarily slip out of place, a specific thigh bone disease, bladder stones, a windpipe disorder and congenital liver disease.

Exercise

To keep your Yorkie healthy and fit, daily exercise is a must. Yorkshire Terriers love walking and will trot on for miles if allowed. A short walk will please a Yorkie so long as he gets a good sniff around and some mental stimulation. Do remember that Yorkshire Terriers aren't just lap dogs, though, and do like to run, fetch and play like any dog. A minimum of half an hour's exercise is needed by an adult daily.

Nutrition

Toy dogs have a fast metabolism, meaning they burn energy at a high rate, although their small stomachs mean that they must eat little and often. Small-breed foods are specifically designed with appropriate levels of key nutrients and smaller kibble sizes to suit smaller mouths. This also encourages chewing and improves digestion.

Grooming

As a pet, the coat of a Yorkshire Terrier dog needs to be brushed daily, using a brush and comb to ensure all tangles are removed. The topknot should be taken down, brushed out and redone. Leaving an elastic band in for days will destroy the coat. Hair under and around the tail should be checked for faeces. The teeth should also be brushed daily, as the small mouth leads to overcrowding and a tendency to teeth decay. Once mastered, the daily grooming should take no longer than 15 minutes.

Best Dog Breeds for Children

While many dogs are traditionally thought of as being good with children , all dogs and children need to be taught to get on with and respect each other, and be safe together. Even so, dogs and young children should never be left alone together and adults should supervise all interactions between them.

NPPE BS Machine name
yorkshire terrier
NPPE Base Search Text

Yorkshire Terriers are small dogs with big attitudes! To find out more about this affectionate yet valiant breed of toy dog, visit Purina online today.

West Highland White Terrier

The beautiful, shaggy coat, button nose and small, erect ears make this breed very attractive. Their bodies are compact and their heads have a fox-like appearance. The white coat, however, is their hallmark: a double coat, the outer coat being straight, hard hair and the under one being soft and plentiful. Adult Highland Westies measure 28cm and weigh 7-10kg.

No, this will be my first dog and I am ready to learn!
I'm happy with breeds that may need some training
I'd like to go on active walks with my dog
For an hour a day
A smaller dog would suit me best
Dog drool? I can tolerate some.
I've got time for grooming every other day
-
I love dogs that are chatty and vocal
Yes - Barks and alerts
No
No
West Highland White Terrier

Origin

The West Highland White Terrier was bred to hunt otters, foxes and vermin. From the rough-coated terrier stock in Scotland, white whelps were selected to form this breed. James 1, King of England in the 1620s, requested some 'little white earth dogges' out of Argyleshire in Scotland and these were possibly Westies! Col Malcolm of Poltalloch, Argyleshire, accidentally shot and killed his favourite terrier (a dark coloured one) and vowed from then on only to have white dogs – then called Poltalloch Terriers. The Duke of Argyll's estate at Dumbartonshire was called Roseneath and in the 19th century, these white Terriers were then known as Roseneath Terriers in honour of his patronage and interest.

Personality

The West Highland White Terrier is cheeky, confident and affectionate characters, totally loyal to their families. They are alert and courageous, making them good watch dogs and they can also be cunning and stubborn. However, they must be introduced to cats when they are young, as they will chase them once they get older. They can have a mischievous streak, so training is recommended!

Health

The most common health problem encountered are skin allergies. The breed can also be affected by an inherited bone disorder of the jaw.

Exercise

West Highland White Terriers need exercise. They are energetic little dogs who love to play with a ball. They enjoy digging and some do wander off, so make sure the garden is well fenced. As a guide, an adult needs about an hour's daily exercise, though these active dogs will happily take more!

Nutrition

Small dogs have a fast metabolism, meaning they burn energy at a high rate, although their small stomachs mean that they must eat little and often. Small-breed foods are specifically designed with appropriate levels of key nutrients and smaller kibble sizes to suit smaller mouths. This also encourages chewing and improves digestion.

Grooming

When a West Highland White Terrier gets dirty it is best to let the mud dry on them and brush it off when dry. The coat needs to be hand plucked two or three times a year by a professional groomer. A weekly groom is all that is needed to get rid of the loose hairs.

Best Dog Breeds for Children

While many dogs are traditionally thought of as being good with children , all dogs and children need to be taught to get on with and respect each other, and be safe together. Even so, dogs and young children should never be left alone together and adults should supervise all interactions between them.

NPPE BS Machine name
west highland white terrier
NPPE Base Search Text

Confident, cheeky and affectionate, Westies make wonderful companions to families. To find out more about this loyal breed, visit Purina online today.

Tibetan Terrier

An attractive, small/medium-sized dog, the Tibetan Terrier has a long, straight or wavy coat that comes in any colour except chocolate/liver. Square-shaped and sturdy, adult dogs stand at 36-41cm, and females are slightly smaller. The weight range is 8-14kg.

No, this will be my first dog and I am ready to learn!
I'd feel more comfortable keeping training to the basics
I'd like to go on active walks with my dog
For one to two hours a day
A smaller dog would suit me best
Dog drool? As little as possible, please!
I can fit in daily grooming sessions
-
Very vocal
Yes - Barks and alerts
No
Yes
Tibetan Terrier

Origin

He might be called a Tibetan Terrier, but this dog has never been used in the traditional Terrier breed role of going to ground after prey. Instead the Tibetan Terrier dog breed, or TT, was a herding dog, and, when necessary, guard. Kept in monasteries and a companion to the monks, he was known as The Holy Dog of Tibet and reached the attention of the west when, in 1922, a TT puppy was given to Dr Agnes Greig, a British doctor working in India, as thanks for saving a Tibetan woman's life.

Personality

A good-natured, happy and outgoing dog, the Tibetan Terrier is alert and game. He is naturally reserved with strangers but loyal and affectionate to his loved ones. A fun-loving companion, Tibetan Terriers are bouncy, larger-than-life characters and can make a super family dog.

Health

The Tibetan Terrier is generally a healthy breed. As with many breeds, they can sometimes suffer from hereditary eye disorders, and hip dysplasia (a condition that can lead to mobility problems). Eye testing and hip scoring of dogs prior to breeding is therefore important. Like many small breeds, they can also suffer from kneecaps that may temporarily slip out of place (luxating patellas).

Exercise

A lively dog, this Tibetan dog breed enjoys his exercise and needs about an hour a day, though he will happily accept more if it's offered. He takes well to training and enjoys spending quality time with his family, and so loves taking part in fun canine hobbies. As with any long-coated dog, do check him over after a walk, to remove any twigs or leaves that might have been swept up along the way!

Nutrition

Small dogs have a fast metabolism, meaning they burn energy at a high rate, although their small stomachs mean that they must eat little and often. Small-breed foods are specifically designed with appropriate levels of key nutrients and smaller kibble sizes to suit smaller mouths. This also encourages chewing and improves digestion.

Grooming

A non-shedding breed, the Tibetan Terrier needs his thick, long, doublecoat to be brushed and combed through at least every other day, to avoid mats from occurring. It should also be checked daily for debris from walks. The coat is often clipped to a shorter, more manageable length for pet owners, though will still need regular brushing or mats will form.

Best Dog Breeds for Children

While many dogs are traditionally thought of as being good with children , all dogs and children need to be taught to get on with and respect each other, and be safe together. Even so, dogs and young children should never be left alone together and adults should supervise all interactions between them.

NPPE BS Machine name
tibetan terrier
NPPE Base Search Text

Tibetan Terriers are good natured, happy and outgoing - a wonderful addition to any family. To find out more about this happy dog breed, visit Purina today.

Tibetan Spaniel

A small dog that is slightly longer than he is tall, the adult Tibetan Spaniel is around 25cm in height and weighs approximately 7-9kg. He has a silky, medium-length coat, which is smooth on the face, and feathered on the ears, backs of the legs and tail. Males have a thicker coat and 'mane' around the neck and shoulders. The coat comes in all colours and combinations.

No, this will be my first dog and I am ready to learn!
I'd feel more comfortable keeping training to the basics
I'm looking for a dog to take on gentle walks
For half an hour a day
A smaller dog would suit me best
Dog drool? I can tolerate some.
I've got time for grooming every other day
-
I love dogs that are chatty and vocal
Yes - Barks and alerts
Yes
No
Tibetan Spaniel

Origin

Bred by monks to be watchdogs in the monasteries of Tibet, the Tibetan Spaniel dog breed has never been a gundog spaniel breed, but perhaps takes its name after toy spaniels, as he was given as diplomatic gifts to royalty and nobility to whom he became a prized companion. For hundreds of years, the Tibetan Spaniel would climb monastery walls to keep a look-out, barking to alert the monks if someone approached. To this day, in the modern home, a 'Tibbie' often seeks a high vantage point in his self-appointed role as watchdog.

Personality

An active, alert little dog, the Tibetan Spaniel is reserved with strangers and utterly loyal to his loved ones. He has a happy disposition but quite an independent little soul. He doesn't like to be separated from his family for too long, however, and he can be vocal in his watchdog duties.

Health

The most common health problem affecting Tibetan Spaniels is an inherited eye disease and so eye testing prior to breeding is important.

Exercise

The Tibetan Spaniel needs about an hour's exercise each day. Do ensure that your garden is secure and check the boundaries regularly, as this breed is a renowned digger!

Nutrition

Small dogs have a fast metabolism, meaning they burn energy at a high rate, although their small stomachs mean that they must eat little and often. Small-breed foods are specifically designed with appropriate levels of key nutrients and smaller kibble sizes to suit smaller mouths. This also encourages chewing and improves digestion.

Grooming

The double coat consists of a fine, dense undercoat and a longer, silky topcoat. Brush and comb through the coat a couple of times a week, paying particular attention to the feathering, which is prone to tangling.

Best Dog Breeds for Children

While many dogs are traditionally thought of as being good with children , all dogs and children need to be taught to get on with and respect each other, and be safe together. Even so, dogs and young children should never be left alone together and adults should supervise all interactions between them.

NPPE BS Machine name
tibetan spaniel
NPPE Base Search Text

The Tibetan Terrier dog breed is a loving and loyal companion, and not just for their happy dispositions! To find out more about this breed, visit Purina today.

Welsh Springer Spaniel

Compact, symmetrical dogs, Welsh Springer Spaniels are medium-sized and built for endurance and hard work. They have a glossy, silky, flat coat with feathering on their extremities, and are a rich red and white colour. Adult males are 48cm in height and females 46cm. They weigh 16-20kg.

No, this will be my first dog and I am ready to learn!
I'm an experienced trainer and comfortable with any breed
I'd like to keep super fit together with vigorous walks
For more than two hours a day
A medium size dog works for me
Dog drool? I can tolerate some.
I've got time for grooming every other day
-
I love dogs that are chatty and vocal
No
No
Yes
Welsh Springer Spaniel

Origin

Red and white spaniels have existed in Wales since the 1700s. They were found mainly in Wales and the west of England before spreading to the east of England and Scotland where they were used as gundogs and for breeding. The versatile abilities and hunting instincts of the Welsh Springer Spaniel made them prime candidates for worldwide ownership and by the 19th and 20th centuries were exported abroad. Before acceptance into the British Kennel Club in 1902 the Springer Spaniel breed was known as Welsh Cockers.

Personality

Welshie's have all the soft-eyed faithfulness of the other spaniels and are totally devoted to their families. They are high-spirited, good-natured companions. They are people-orientated dogs but can be a bit reserved with strangers. They are family dogs and need company. Easily trained, a Welsh Springer Spaniel often makes a superb obedience dog and working gundog.

Health

The Welsh Springer Spaniel can suffer from hereditary eye diseases and so screening is advised. Hip testing is also recommended as hip dysplasia (a condition that can lead to mobility problems) can also occur.

Exercise

Welshies need plenty of exercise, over two hours daily for an adult. They love swimming and care must be taken to ensure their safety when water is about. They are ideal candidates for field trials.

Nutrition

Your dog's diet needs to have the right balance of all the main nutrient groups including a constant supply of fresh water. It's important to conduct regular body condition scores to ensure you keep your dog in ideal shape and remember to feed him at least twice daily and in accordance with the feeding guidelines of his particular food.

Grooming

This breed does not need a lot of grooming but the feathering will need regular combing, brushing and trimming – two or three times a week. The ears should be trimmed regularly to prevent infections.

Best Dog Breeds for Children

While many dogs are traditionally thought of as being good with children , all dogs and children need to be taught to get on with and respect each other, and be safe together. Even so, dogs and young children should never be left alone together and adults should supervise all interactions between them.

NPPE BS Machine name
welsh springer spaniel
NPPE Base Search Text

Welsh Springer Spaniels have existed in Wales since the 1700s and this faithful and outgoing breed makes a great pet for families. Find out more at Purina.

Field Spaniel

The noble-looking Field Spaniel is slightly longer than he is tall. He has a gentle expression and a medium/long, thick, glossy coat that has ample feathering (longer hair) on the chest, stomach and backs of the legs. The coat comes in black, liver or roan, with or without tan markings. A medium-sized dog, he is about 46cm tall when fully grown and weighs between 18-25kg.

No, this will be my first dog and I am ready to learn!
I'm happy with breeds that may need some training
I'd like to keep super fit together with vigorous walks
For more than two hours a day
A medium size dog works for me
Dog drool? I can tolerate some.
I've got time for grooming every other day
-
I love dogs that are chatty and vocal
No
No
Yes
Field Spaniel

Origin

The Field Spaniel dog breed dates back approximately 150 years, to when it was developed from breeding the Cocker Spaniel with the larger Sussex. There is speculation that the Field Spaniel was further refined by adding other regional spaniels, the Irish Water Spaniel, and perhaps even the Basset Hound. They have never enjoyed the wide fan base – as a show and working dog - of the Cocker or Springer, and have survived several dips in popularity over their history. Indeed, they are currently considered a rare, vulnerable breed in the UK.

Personality

The Field Spaniel is an active dog, ideally suited to an outdoors, country life. In the home, he is calmer and more laidback in temperament than some of the other spaniel breeds, and has an affectionate, sociable nature.

Health

The Field Spaniel is generally a hardy breed. As with many breeds, they can suffer from various hereditary eye disorders, and hip and elbow dysplasia (joint conditions that can be painful and lead to mobility problems). Eye testing and hip scoring of dogs prior to breeding is therefore important.

Exercise

This country-loving, active dog needs two hours plus of daily exercise. A versatile dog, he will enjoy most activities, provided he's with his family and is being kept occupied mentally and physically

Nutrition

Your dog's diet needs to have the right balance of all the main nutrient groups including a constant supply of fresh water. It's also important to conduct regular body condition scores to ensure you keep your dog in ideal shape and remember to feed him at least twice daily and in accordance with the feeding guidelines of his particular food.

Grooming

The medium/long coat is silky to the touch, but is also very practical, being dense and waterproof to protect against the elements and environment when the dog was out working. The coat should be groomed several times a week, paying particular attention to the feathering, which is prone to tangling. Check this dog after a walk and remove any debris from the coat.

Best Dog Breeds for Children

While many dogs are traditionally thought of as being good with children , all dogs and children need to be taught to get on with and respect each other, and be safe together. Even so, dogs and young children should never be left alone together and adults should supervise all interactions between them.

NPPE BS Machine name
field spaniel
NPPE Base Search Text

A rare breed in the UK, Field Spaniels are calm, relaxed and love the outdoors, making the suited to country living. Read about their care and history here.

English Springer Spaniel

The English Springer Spaniel is a compact, medium-sized sporting dog with long ears. This dog's expression is alert, kindly and trusting. The coat is straight and medium-length with feathering, and can be black and white, liver and white, or either of these with tan markings. The adult English Springer is about 51cm in height and weighs about 23-25kg.

No, this will be my first dog and I am ready to learn!
I'm an experienced trainer and comfortable with any breed
I'd like to keep super fit together with vigorous walks
For more than two hours a day
A medium size dog works for me
Dog drool? I can tolerate some.
I've got time for grooming every other day
-
I love dogs that are chatty and vocal
No
No
Yes
English Springer Spaniel

Origin

All Spaniels can trace their origins back to the spaniels of Spain. Up until the 1600s all spaniels were considered as being of the same group of dogs. The larger of these were the forefathers of today's English Springer Spaniel dog breed. In 1892 the Kennel Club of Great Britain recognised Cocker and Springer Spaniels as separate breeds even though they sometimes appeared in the same litter. This was soon stopped by the two breed clubs and a standard conformation was made of each breed. Their original purpose was for finding and springing game for the net, falcon or Greyhound also used by the hunters. Nowadays they are used to find, flush and retrieve game for the gun.

Personality

The typical Springer Spaniel is an extrovert by nature, friendly, eager to please and quick to learn. As a rule they make good companions and family dogs, being well behaved and quick to learn and respond. Some of the less well-bred dogs of this breed can be stubborn, timid, or aggressive, but this is the exception not the rule. The show strain of the English Springer Spaniel appear to be calmer and less active than the working strain.

Health

English Springer Spaniels are generally a hardy breed. However, as with many breeds, they can suffer from various hereditary eye disorders, and hip and elbow dysplasia (joint conditions that can be painful and lead to mobility problems). Eye testing and hip scoring of dogs prior to breeding is therefore important. A particular type of anaemia is also seen more frequently in the breed.

Exercise

These dogs love the outdoors and are energetic enough to go on all day. A lot of exercise and learning is required to keep this dog content – two-plus hours for is suitable for a fit adult, otherwise behaviour problems can result. They love to be kept involved in all family activities and as such are ideal for a growing family. They will settle happily after adequate exercise.

Nutrition

Your dog's diet needs to have the right balance of all the main nutrient groups including a constant supply of fresh water. It's important to conduct regular body condition scores to ensure you keep your dog in ideal shape and remember to feed him at least twice daily and in accordance with the feeding guidelines of his particular food.

Grooming

The body coat of the Springer Spaniel is flat or wavy and of medium length, and the ears, chest, legs, tail and under carriage have moderate feathering. As a result of this feathering some amount of grooming is required. Some trimming will be necessary around the head, feet and ears. Extra grooming is required especially after a day out in the undergrowth, as the coat can and will pick up all sorts of twigs and grass.

Best Dog Breeds for Children

While many dogs are traditionally thought of as being good with children , all dogs and children need to be taught to get on with and respect each other, and be safe together. Even so, dogs and young children should never be left alone together and adults should supervise all interactions between them.

NPPE BS Machine name
english springer spaniel
NPPE Base Search Text

English Springers are outgoing and energetic, and as they learn quickly and love to please, they make great family pets. Read more about the breed with Purina.

English Cocker Spaniel

English Cocker Spaniels are medium-sized, well-balanced dogs. Their coats are flat and silky with plenty of feathering on the front legs. Cocker Spaniels come in a multitude of different colours and combinations, including solid colours of black, red, orange and brown, combinations of black with white, liver with white, red and white, blue roan, orange roans, black roans, particolours and tricolours. Adult males measure 39-41cm and adult females 38-39cm. They weigh about 13-14.5kg.

No, this will be my first dog and I am ready to learn!
I'm happy with breeds that may need some training
I'd like to keep super fit together with vigorous walks
For more than two hours a day
A medium size dog works for me
Dog drool? I can tolerate some.
I've got time for grooming every other day
-
I love dogs that are chatty and vocal
No
No
Yes
English Cocker Spaniel

Origin

The English Cocker Spaniel dog breed is one of the oldest types of land spaniel. Their origins can be traced back to 14th century Spain. Prior to the 1600s all types of spaniels were categorised together; the larger ones being used to spring game and the smaller ones to flush out woodcock. Hence the names Springer and Cocker were derived. In 1892, the Kennel Club of Great Britain differentiated the two breeds separately. On the other side of the Atlantic, Americans were using the same breeding stock to develop a slightly different Cocker, now known as the American Cocker Spaniel.

Personality

These busy, friendly dogs thrive on human companionship, wanting nothing more than to please their owners. They are ideal pets where there are children about and they get on well with other household animals. Cocker Spaniels are a very happy breed, constantly wagging their tails and bringing 'presents' to one and all. They are easily trained, being eager to learn and to please.

Health

One of the most common problems encountered in the English Cocker Spaniel is recurrent ear infections, due to their large ear flaps. As with many breeds, they can suffer from various hereditary eye disorders, and hip dysplasia (a condition that can lead to mobility problems). Eye testing and hip scoring of dogs prior to breeding is therefore important.

Exercise

These dogs adapt effortlessly to the family situation but do remember they are gundogs and, as such, should be given a reasonable amount of exercise – at least an hour a day, preferably more. They love to swim so take care when water is in the vicinity to ensure their safety. Allow them time off the lead to play and run off their energy.

Nutrition

Your dog's diet needs to have the right balance of all the main nutrient groups including a constant supply of fresh water. It's also important to conduct regular body condition scores to ensure you keep your dog in ideal shape and remember to feed him at least twice daily and in accordance with the feeding guidelines of his particular food.

Grooming

Their coats must be brushed several times a week and their ears checked regularly, to ensure they are clean and healthy. They should be stripped out 3 or 4 times a year by a professional groomer. It is possible, however, to learn how to do this yourself.

Best Dog Breeds for Children

While many dogs are traditionally thought of as being good with children , all dogs and children need to be taught to get on with and respect each other, and be safe together. Even so, dogs and young children should never be left alone together and adults should supervise all interactions between them.

NPPE BS Machine name
english cocker spaniel

American Cocker Spaniel

The American Cocker Spaniel dog breed has its own distinct look from its English Cocker cousin, with a rounder skull and more profuse, glamorous coat. He weighs approximately 11kg when fully grown, and adult males measure 37-39cm in height, and females 34-37cm. The coat comes in a range of colours and combinations, with specific markings. See the breed standard for full details.

No, this will be my first dog and I am ready to learn!
I'm happy with breeds that may need some training
I'd like to keep super fit together with vigorous walks
For more than two hours a day
A medium size dog works for me
Dog drool? I can tolerate some.
I've got time for grooming every other day
-
I love dogs that are chatty and vocal
No
No
Yes
American Cocker Spaniel

Origin

The first Cocker Spaniel in America is said to have arrived with the Pilgrim Fathers on the Mayflower in 1620. Settlers in subsequent centuries brought more with them to help explore and exploit the country's wildernesses. American Cockers were developed from the English Cocker dog breed in the 19th century, to retrieve quail and woodcock. They still retain some of their hunting instincts, but most are now commonly found in the show ring or as companions.

Personality

Merry is a word often used to describe this breed. He should be equable, confident and cheerful. Early, thorough socialisation is recommended to ensure he doesn't grow up to be fearful of strangers or novelty. He may not be as large as many gundogs, but this intelligent dog likes being busy and enjoys playing games and spending time with his family. He usually dislikes being left alone for long periods of time.

Health

One of the most common problems encountered in the American Cocker Spaniel dog breed is recurrent ear infections, due to their large ear flaps. As with many breeds, they can suffer from kneecaps that may temporarily slip out of place (luxating patellas), various hereditary eye disorders, and hip dysplasia (a condition that can lead to mobility problems). Eye testing and hip scoring of dogs prior to breeding is therefore important.

Exercise

The American Cocker dog breed ideally needs around two hours a day to exercise his body and mind. He enjoys retrieve games and often likes swimming in safe water. Do check his coat and ears after a walk to remove any grass seeds, twigs or other debris that might have been picked up.

Nutrition

Small dogs have a fast metabolism, meaning they burn energy at a high rate, although their small stomachs mean that they must eat little and often. Small-breed foods are specifically designed with appropriate levels of key nutrients and smaller kibble sizes to suit smaller mouths. This also encourages chewing and improves digestion.

Grooming

The American Cocker dog breed's coat is glamorous – and high-maintenance. It is short and fine on the head, medium length on the body, but longer on the ears, chest, tummy and legs (known as feathering). The coat should be silky, flat or slightly wavy. Daily grooming is needed, together with regular trimming. Check ears, eyes, lip folds and feet daily.

Best Dog Breeds for Children

While many dogs are traditionally thought of as being good with children , all dogs and children need to be taught to get on with and respect each other, and be safe together. Even so, dogs and young children should never be left alone together and adults should supervise all interactions between them.

NPPE BS Machine name
american cocker spaniel
NPPE Base Search Text

As intelligent as their English cousins but with a silkier coat, American Cocker Spaniels love to hunt and play games. Read about this fantastic breed here.

Shih Tzu

The Shih Tzu is a long-coated, sturdy little dog that comes in a variety of colours (see the breed standard for details). They move in quite an arrogant manner with their tails carried over their backs. An adult Shih Tzu should be no more than 27cm in height and the ideal weight is 4.5-7.5kg.

No, this will be my first dog and I am ready to learn!
I'd feel more comfortable keeping training to the basics
I'm looking for a dog to take on gentle walks
For half an hour a day
A smaller dog would suit me best
Dog drool? As little as possible, please!
I can fit in daily grooming sessions
Yes, I require a hypoallergenic breed
I love dogs that are chatty and vocal
Yes - Barks and alerts
Yes
Yes
Shih Tzu

Origin

The Shih Tzu dog breed is believed to have originated in Tibet, where they lived in the temples and were occasionally given as a gift to the Emperors of China. Once they were in China the Shih Tzu dog was crossed with the Pekingese to become the breed we recognise today. They arrived in Britain after 1912, but they were not given recognition until 1949. It wasn't until the 1960s that they were recognised in America.

Personality

The Shih Tzu is an affectionate, playful and intelligent dog. As a breed they can be independent and wary of strangers. They enjoy learning and like to please, but they can be obstinate at times and can give the impression that some tasks are simply beneath them. With patience and consistency they can become relatively obedient.

Health

In common with many other breeds, the Shih Tzu dog can suffer from some hereditary eye problems and kneecaps that may temporarily slip out of place. They are also more prone to ear infections, spinal disc disease and breathing problems.

Exercise

Shih Tzus do require exercise but are quite happy to stay at home and play. They are perfectly content with short walks and would prefer three 20-minute strolls to an hour-long hike.

Nutrition

Small dogs have a fast metabolism, meaning they burn energy at a high rate, although their small stomachs mean that they must eat little and often. Small-breed foods are specifically designed with appropriate levels of key nutrients and smaller kibble sizes to suit smaller mouths. This also encourages chewing and improves digestion.

Grooming

The coat of the Shih Tzu is long, soft and dense, with a good amount of undercoat, and requires a lot of daily grooming to keep it looking in top condition. They also require frequent bathing, sometimes as much as once a week and they must be dried completely. As the hair grows upwards from the bridge of the nose, it is often tied up in a topknot, on top of the head. Their faces may need to be washed daily, as food etc can get stuck on the hair. If the coat becomes too much, it can be kept short, a groomer or the breeder is probably the best person to advise on how this is carried out.

Best Dog Breeds for Children

While many dogs are traditionally thought of as being good with children , all dogs and children need to be taught to get on with and respect each other, and be safe together. Even so, dogs and young children should never be left alone together and adults should supervise all interactions between them.

NPPE BS Machine name
shih tzu
NPPE Base Search Text

Affectionate, intelligent and playful, Shih Tzu's are little dogs with big personalities! To find out more about this spirited dog breed, visit Purina online today.

Subscribe to No, this will be my first dog and I am ready to learn!