Good family dog that is NOT a G Retriever

(100 Posts)
GandalfsHat Fri 08-Feb-13 16:52:43

I'm sure this has been done to death but:

We're looking for a family dog, one to 'grow up' with the boys, 2 DS's, 1.5 and 3.5 years of age.

DH and his family has always had Golden Retrievers, always, at one point had 3! It is the only dog he will consider as a family dog, he absolutely loves them.

I grew up with 'pavement specials', mongrels with the most fantastic personalities, great fun to be around, but I suppose you can't be sure of the temperament of a mixed-breed dog, not as much as you can be sure of the temperament of any dog until they reach adulthood, but hopefully you kwim.

So, please recommend me a breed that is a good family dog. I have considered and ruled out spaniels and beagles. I'm quite interested in a Weimereiner... love love love Ridgebacks but they might be a bit on the big side.

Have considered a rescue GR, but I don't always want to have just one breed of dog for the rest of my life...

Live in the country, have enclosed outdoor space, ok for dog to sleep indoors. Can take the dog on good walks but cannot spend hours walking each day.

Any advice/recommendation appreciated.

tabulahrasa Fri 08-Feb-13 17:51:01

Well staffies aren't pretty in a fluffy dog way, but they smile, what can be better than a smiling dog?

DeepRedBetty Fri 08-Feb-13 17:51:31

This is the rescue group I work with. Get all sorts of gundog and herding dog crosses in, and all ages.

Most of the Staffies I know are absolutely lovely, but energetic and boisterous, even the so called grown up ones. At least they have a short coat.

Second views on Wiemaraners, beautiful dogs but definitely happier as working dogs than as family pets.

All three Ridgebacks I know are distinctly bossy and not awfully good at coming back when called. Three different owners so possibly not an issue of not getting training right.

Cavaliers and Malteses are both far more 'real' dogs than their slightly handbag looks would lead you to believe. All five I've known have been obsessive rollers! (Eau de dead fox anyone?) But great fun and really goodnatured.

I'll admit straight away that I'm a bit evangelical on the subject of please always consider a rescue before going out to get a pup.

noddyholder Fri 08-Feb-13 17:52:14

tibetan terrier

Witco Fri 08-Feb-13 17:57:10

Springers from me too, wonderful temperament

MmeLindor Fri 08-Feb-13 17:57:52

DeepRed
thankfully Daphne has only rolled in cow pats twice, but she does love rolling. I didn't know that was a characteristic of her breed though. She adores visiting anyone with carpets.

Tab
that is true. I love that.

After reading MN for too long, I have come to the conclusion that my next dog would be a lurcher. A friend of ours had one and he was a fantastic dog. So gentle and couthy.

I love my Border Terrier, not too small, not to big, doesn't shed and a real softy. He's 2 and a bit and is good on recall/obedience. He's just a very practical straightforward modest dog. And he catches rats.

we have a majority schnauzer mongrel who is so heavenly that I think I will be having mini schnauzaers forever! calm, placid with a boisterous toddler and loud baby, bouncy enough to be fun but small enough door it not to knock anything over! downsides: a bit territorial (always in between me/the pushchair and any other dogs we meet) and an enormous hound-like woof.
I would also consider a cocker spaniel cross, like a cockapoo (as the Americans say) as I have only met lovely ones . both schnauzer crosses and anything with a bit of poodle will need haircuts rather than shedding, which is nice grin

I was going to say staffy too.

And no, they're not "pretty" dogs, but they're gorgeous, smiley, squareheaded bundles of joy.

Definitely an older one, though. Mine is 6 and hasn't lost her puppy bounce and squirm.

IAmNotAMindReader Fri 08-Feb-13 18:06:42

DeepRed Just had a look at your site and Maddie the upside down dog is adorable www.blackretrieverx.co.uk/Black_Retriever_X_Rescue/Maddie.html

Lotkinsgonecurly Fri 08-Feb-13 18:09:41

Labradoodles here amazing sensitive no malting soppy dods

TenthMuse Fri 08-Feb-13 18:13:07

Wheaten terriers are lovely - robust, calmer than most terriers and make great family pets. Agree with others about Weimaraners - they are stunning but can be boisterous and unpredictable.

TenthMuse Fri 08-Feb-13 18:16:34

Oh, and they're non-shedding too!

TeaOneSugar Fri 08-Feb-13 18:16:56

We've had springers, one from a puppy, one a rescue from 8 months, the one we had from a pup was still bonkers (and willful) at 15, the one we got at 8 months had been trained as a gun dog and was much more sensible.

The lesson we learned from that was the importance of training (the one we had from a pup went to classes but was difficult, we were younger then didn't have dc and didn't persist unfortunately)

We now have a show type Cocker puppy who goes to classes weekly and is learning that he isn't the boss.

We would only ever have Spaniels, we're spaniel people smile

DeepRedBetty Fri 08-Feb-13 18:20:30

MindReaderThey're all adorable aren't they? Wish I could swoop them all up and take them home! Great to see Merlin's gone - to a Stately Pile no less grin

MmeLindor at least it was only cow. Nasty but does wash off straight away. The ones I care for daily seek out and anoint themselves liberally with badger or fox poo.

The next worst roller is a Staffie btw...

DeepRedBetty Fri 08-Feb-13 18:22:51

Oh yes - Wheatens! Have cared for two - father and daughter. Both good natured reasonably low maintenance.

The long coat doesn't shed but does suck up filth and then ooze it into the carpet and upholstery. Otherwise can't think of a negative.

MmeLindor Fri 08-Feb-13 18:24:58

Mindreader
oooh, Maddie is adorable. Looks to me like a bit of Brittany Spaniel in there - my friend has a Brittany and she is a lovely dog.

snala Fri 08-Feb-13 18:30:55

We have a show cocker and a cocker x patterdale. They are fab. Brill with our 3 boys. Ages 5,3 and 10 weeks.

We are also spaniel people!!!grin

GetOrf Fri 08-Feb-13 18:30:55

I shouldn't read these threads. I would dearly love a dog but I am at work all the time.

I saw a french bulldog on the train today. Made me laugh, what a comical looking dog (and looked very sweet natured).

MmeLindor Fri 08-Feb-13 18:33:10

DeepRed
I have spent 10 mins with the kids looking at all the dogs on that website and now we all want a second dog.

LadyTurmoil Fri 08-Feb-13 18:41:04

There's another thread on 1st page of Doghouse "how do we find the right dog for us" which covers similar ground. Lab/Collie could be quite an energetic mix (need mental stimulation not just exercise) but obvs differs from dog to dog. Look for a rescue that fosters dogs because they will be able to assess how dog is with children/cats/other dogs and may be more willing to approve you as a family with young children. And what is it with men and Golden Retrievers?! confused They must see them as proof of their manhood ... or something! I would always go for a mixed breed but maybe something like Westie cross, King Charles spaniel, cocker spaniel (not working type) or an older Staffie. I would go for an older dog every time, puppies are incredibly hard work, especially as you have such small children - you must be very busy already! Google rescues in your area and get to know them so they'll look out for a suitable family dog for you... might take a while but much - rescues do often get younger/suitable family dogs

<not looking at DeepReds lovely link... no not at all>

biff23 Fri 08-Feb-13 18:44:59

Another show type cocker fan here. Playful but calm when needed too, like around my 8 month old nephew. Everyone comments on how chilled a little dog she is as they expect her to be crazy. Show cockers are so much more calm than working types and make wonderful family pets - I want another!

buttercrumble Fri 08-Feb-13 18:45:14

Cavalier king charles spaniel, beautiful family pets. Amazing temperament easy going and wonderful with kids....

LadyTurmoil Fri 08-Feb-13 18:47:23

BTW, my brother has Bichon/poodle cross and his girlfriend has shih tzu - both look like soppy, small girlie dogs but are perfectly capable or going on 2 hr walks, are really good natured (esp Bichon), don't shed but need clipping. Smaller dogs don't take up the whole sofa, back seat of a car, don't need huge size dog beds/crates which take up half the room and are robust enough to play with (sensible) children. Same for Cavaliers, seen loads out on walks, their tails always seem to be wagging and just the right size to cuddle on the sofa. You'll just have to tell your DH that he's macho enough not to need a big dog to prove it! Good luck smile

Bookwolf32 Fri 08-Feb-13 18:48:52

Definitely Greyhound - big softies, don't need loads of walking and most good with kids.

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