Which doggie?

(12 Posts)
controlaltdelete Thu 24-Jan-13 07:43:00

We are moving back to the UK and leaving our pokey apartment and moving to the country! We will have a big garden (about 2/3 to 1 acre). I will initially be a SAHM, hopefully moving to working 2-3 days a week. We have 2 kids under 7 years old. I don't like small dogs, nor massive ones either. I can walk it morning and evening, but not keen on 2 hour walks every day. I love dogs like German Shepherds, Border Collies and other medium size dogs, but not sure if these are suitable for us.

Can someone give me some ideas. I do not want to pick a dog that I like and regret it later as it does not suit our family.

kingsriver Thu 24-Jan-13 07:48:27

Hi there, my advice would be to visit the UK Kennel Club website. They have a setion called Discover Dogs which will give you all the information you need. Collies are fantastic dogs but need huge amounts of exercise and stimulation. They were bred to work so are not suited to idle days lying about. All such info is on the website.
I would strongly recommend your local rescue home as first port of call. Dogs Trust is brilliant! Hundreds of lovely dogs are put down unnecessarily every week. We have had pedigree dogs & mutts and in our experience the mutts are healthier & tons of fun! Good luck with your search!

toomanyballs Thu 24-Jan-13 10:33:16

unless my visit to Dogs Trust was a one off I wouldn't bother going to dogs trust, took one look at my 4yr old (also 8yr & 12yr old) and couldn't get us out of there fast enough :-( also tried other rescue charities and had similar experiences, I understand why but no one would actually say it, just gave wierd reasons why we couldn't have any dogs. So we choose a standard schnauzer, she is black not grey/salt & pepper about 18inches at the shoulder, doesn't moult ( needs clipping every 3ish months ) will run 5+k with us but also happy to go out for 20mins on the lead and not destroy the house.
DH & I both had dogs in childhood but she is our first as a family, everyone says what a good nature she has, even our friends who don't really like dogs like her.
She has been perfect for us and you don't see many about.

D0oinMeCleanin Thu 24-Jan-13 10:43:18

OP, plenty of rescues including Dogs Trust, will rehome to people with young children. Toomanyballs, maybe you called in at a busy time or they simply had no dogs who would be safe with a child so young at that time.

I really, really wish people would get some decent experience/do some research on rescue before they start slating rescues as a whole based on one single experinece of one single center sad

It's the dogs that end up paying for all this negative publicity with their lives. If you have children you'd be best off contacting a rescue who use foster homes, many of these homes will have young children themselves, so will be able to give you a very clear picture on how the dog will behave in a house with children.

I don't think a collie or GSD is a good choice as a first dog, they need lots of work, exercise and mental stimulation, which will not be easy to provide with young children in the picture, especially as you are planning on going back to work.

I'd be looking more along the lines of a Greyhound/lurcher/whippet/older Staffordshire Bull Terrier. Some thing easy and laid back before moving onto working breeds like Collies. If you chose a reputable rescue, they'll point you in the right direction.

I would recommend a staffie. We have one and they are fantastic with children, not too big and easy to please. We live rurally and she gets out in the garden to run and play a few times a day and gets a nice walk too but is happy if she doesn't get a long walk as long as she gets outside a few times a day. My dcs are 5, 4 and 2 months btw and i sah, but have regular hospital appointments that take up 2-4 days per week so effectively a similar situation to what you want. The only downside is trying to find toys that she can't chew to bits in 10 seconds, they have very strong jaws smile Getting a dog is well worth it but you have to choose wisely. A collie definitely is not for you and a gsd takes alot of time and effort.

toomanyballs Thu 24-Jan-13 11:17:42

With risk of getting off topic, it was over the course of a year that I tried to get a rescue dog. I left my details with countless charities, offered to foster. I have a large secure garden, live on the edge of salisbury plain, walk alot, didn't work, happy to jump through any hoop, offered them to come to my house and really meet us. The only stipulation was that we wanted a younger dog less than 18months old, medium sized.
Our dog was bought after months of consideration, lots of research ( the kennel club site is really good, also visiting dog shows ) talking to as many dog owners as I could find and finding the right breeder.
I know it is just my experience and I hope the op has a better one :-) because it was so frustrating.

D0oinMeCleanin Thu 24-Jan-13 11:21:09

Ah, well that might have been it, generally younger dogs are very excitable and rescues are sometimes wary of placing them in homes with very young children because of this. You can blame all the people who have rehomed or returned their dog because it knocked the toddler over/chewed her toys/nipped her toes for this.

Rescues who foster dogs in the home are often more relaxed with this because they will have a very clear picture on how likely the dog will be to jump on or play nip a young child.

toomanyballs Thu 24-Jan-13 11:55:27

all the staffies that I have met have been great, also know quite a few really lovely cocker spaniels. My friend has a golden retriever which is the best natured, calmest dog ( no wonder they are used as guide dogs ) though v hairy!
Have to laugh at the re homing charities as we just went out and bought a puppy and had to deal with all that anyway! It was what we expected. I am sure that is not what they want to happen. Having the dog has changed our house so much she is a joy, we are now expert in outdoor clothing, I love that she barks at the door like a killer but is so pleased to see anyone. Most of all I love that she is always so pleased to see me, I love the kids but they never look at me like that :-D

D0oinMeCleanin Thu 24-Jan-13 12:41:59

Of course they know it happens, it doesn't mean they should like or encourage it or put their dogs in less than perfect homes to avoid it. Plus a puppy who ends up in rescue the first time for knocking a toddler over has a much higher chance of finding a home than who came into rescue for knocking down a toddler, was rehomed and then bounced back to rescue for the same thing and it's very unsettling for the dogs to be passed from pillar to post, which in itself can cause troublesome behavior, further reducing the chances of the dog finding the right home.

All rescues have different policies on rehoming to families with children.

Wouldn't want to go into this in detail on a forum but I have had a couple of experiences with small rescues and Dogs Trust before going down the puppy route. Dogs Trust were highly professional and extremely helpful but, as I understand it (and we live less than 2 miles way so many many of our local community have adopted from there), you really need to badger them hard and be going there a lot, rather than filling in the adoption application one rainy afternoon and expecting them to call. They get to know you then and take you seriously, fair enough. And their aftercare is excellent.

The smaller rescues were less than professional, that's all I will say! One was clearly overwhelmed with dogs and glossed over a lot of issues a particular dog had in order for us to possibly take it (we didn't, even we could see from one visit a couple of things they said were not true) but I guess that's done from good intentions in a way.

The other promised us a dog then gave it to another couple. I say no more about this!!

I guess to build up a relationship with a rescue first or lurk on Mumsnet and find the good ones smile

LadyTurmoil Fri 25-Jan-13 16:15:31

Which bit of the country are you moving to? (then people can advise on local rescues they might know of)

MagratGarlik Fri 25-Jan-13 19:29:10

I am currently sat here with a Dogs Trust lurcher on one side of me and an RSPCA whippet on the other. My DC's are 4 and 7 are sat a few meters away watching telly.

Our whippet was 12 months old when we got him and ds2 was only 2 years old.

We did not have to badger the rescues in either case, but we did listen very carefully to them about which dogs they thought would be suitable.

We were also home checked and approved by several other reputable rescues for dog2, but went with our dogs trust lurcher as she got on well with whippy and was what we were looking for in a second dog.

It can take a long time of looking for a rescue dog if you have children, but looking for a reputable breeder will also take a long time too. Ime, when we got ddog 2 the rescues were more worried about ensuring the new dog was a good match for the existing dog than they were about the children.

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