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I am looking for a smaller sized dog maybe 25lbs or less that likes the water and the outdoors, also must be reasonably cold hardy since I do live in northern minnesota. It will live in the house but I spend alot of time outdoors. I am looking for something small enough to fit in my kayak, but not toy size. Must be able to hike long distances and keep up with me and the bigger dogs. I have narrowed it down to a JRT, Beagle, or Schipperke. Each has its upsides and down sides of course but I would like to hear from others who own these breeds, especially the schipperke since I have not met many in person. Other breed suggestions are welcomed too. I guess so far I am leaning more towards the beagle since I could run rabbits with it too.
 

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how about a schnauzer? active, hard working, very loyal, easy to train and come in 3 sizes, the only down side IMO is the grooming, minis tend to be common with puppy mills due to size so beware where your pup comes from.

if you want something a bit more rare look into portuguese podengos, they're a hunting breed and can be used on rabbits, 3 sizes and 2 coat varieties.

http://www.podengos.com/
 

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A Pembroke Welsh Corgi !!!
Me I'm not a dog person at all but IMO they are a nice smaller breed, working dog, and are very family oriented.
 

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You should check out photos that moonwolf posts over on Singletree, his little Westies seem like they might be exactly what you have in mind.
 

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Have to chime in with my favorite; sheltie! My current boy is only seven months old, but he keeps up with the bigger guys and my girl before him loved water; haven't tried this guy yet, as he's so small and dark I worry.

Beagles are very nice too, dad raised a couple litters when I was growing up. They are some of the most stubborn hardheads I've ever known, but worth it. His male in particular gave us no end of trouble until he was just past two... and boy are they strong for their size!
 

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I could add to the list of breeds but have noted that you narrowed it down. So, I will comment only on the breeds that you are considering. Of the three, I would go with the Schipperke. I have never owned one but have been around a few and have been very impressed with their temperaments. They are patient yet energetic and very smart. I love the other two breeds as well but, IMO beagles are stubborn, can be snappy with kids and will wander if not leashed/fenced. They also tend to have a houndy smell and shed alot. JRT's are awesome but can be very, very stubborn and difficult to train. Again, when hiking you better have them on a leash or they will chase squirrels etc. The Schip is most likely to follow after you happily.

Also, they have not been overly popular so don't have many genetic issues to watch for. Downside - hard to find and somewhat expensive.
 

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Boykin Spaniel
very healthy, very trainable, no known incidence of spaniel rage, good for upland game or water dog, have seen a couple under 20# but the general range for breed is 20-55# (have heard of some bigger but never seen it). very few show lines so most are moderately to barely feathered like field type setter.
the one i was given was about 40# worked as a duck dog on large ponds in SC from a canoe. he was extremely well behaved (adored my daughterwho was 10 months when we got him) & trained easily. hunted fur & feather for me. i eventually gave him to a fella in NC that had a smaller line (didn't plan on breeding him, he liked the smaller 20-25# size), who worked him in field trials.
 

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You won't like this: Miniature Poodle. Good, stable temperment, originally used as a water retriever, let the coat grow long in the winter and clip it off in the summer, very smart, likes to please.
 

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I have had beagles all my life.they are wonderfull with children.my poodles listened better than the beagle and they loved water retrieving.we have the short legged jack russells they arent as high strung as the regular size.i highly reccomend JRTS.
 

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I agree on the poodle. They are hunter-retriever-water dogs. Grow out the coat in winter for protection and clip it in summer.
 

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How about an American Eskimo Dog? They can be in your size range and are very cold hardy. I've only known a few but they were very sweet dogs.
 

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bluebird2o2 said:
we have the short legged jack russells they arent as high strung as the regular size.i highly reccomend JRTS.
I too highly reccomend Russells, however I have bred/showned the longer legged variety for the past 19 years and find them to be not at all high strung. Most of that is a matter of breeding the correct temperment to begin with and then training it. My orginal dogs came from a working terrierman in the UK and high strung and terrier work do not go hand in hand at all. If the dog was wasting its time being a mindless idiot they would get a heck of a lot less done. He made his living working his dogs and they were like tools, they either worked well or they went away and did not participate in the gene pool.

If you get a Russell be aware that they (like all other breeds) have health issues to be concerned about and do the research on what those are and what tests should be happening prior to breeding. This will save you a lot of grief in the long run. Plus while in theory pups from well bred, health tested litters might cost more to begin with they are cheaper then the backyard bred or puppy mill pups who will have a boat load of genetic and enviromental related issues. Much easier and less costly to avoid the problems if you can then to try to fix them after the fact.
 
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