Help with breed of dog for children

(56 Posts)
amatuermummy Sat 23-Mar-13 11:32:58

I feel a bit silly asking this as I have shown and trained dogs for years, however we all tend to stick to our own breed and I need some help picking a breed to own now that we have young children. I prefer big dogs but don't think it would be a good idea to pick a large breed with a baby learning to crawl/walk and a 2 year old running around. We would like to get a small/medium breed that is good with people - especially children. We've researched breeds, looked on breed websites and spoken to some breeders but it's hard to know if they're just trying to sell you a puppy. I just wondered if you wonderful dog owners of mumsnet could give me your experiences, good and bad, of small/medium breeds to help us make our minds up. We're in no rush or anything and will obviously take our time choosing.
The reason we will not be getting a rescue dog at this time is because, having worked in dog rescue for many years, I know that most will not home dogs with young children and, also, I do intend to show the dog as a hobby as I have done this for around 20 years (mostly handling other people's dogs for the past few years).
Thanks for your help.

RachaelH1983 Sun 31-Mar-13 11:46:38

I have a male labrador he + my daughter are best of friends and he is so paitent and gentle with her I would never have another breed around children other than labs or retrivers but I do believe children + dogs are a blank canvas and they are what u make them so I'm sure any dog will fit into the family if it is trained + treated right. I do find smaller dogs are snappy and yappy tho so would shy away from smaller dogs

MagratGarlik Sat 30-Mar-13 12:05:45

Whippet. Scruples Whippet rescue do rehome to homes with children, they use foster homes too, which helps assess the dogs accurately. The lady who runs scruples has also been a crufts judge for whippets too iirc.

KLou111 Fri 29-Mar-13 20:19:28

Our springer spaniel is just gorgeous with our 19 month old. She's only 6 months older than him and they adore each other. I honestly don't know how we would get through the day without her sometimes as she provides hours of entertainment for him. He climbs all over her and she never has a go at him, just hides if she's had enough!

Ilovemydogandmydoglovesme Fri 29-Mar-13 20:18:40

My boy is a working cocker. He is utterly lovely.

My name says it all. smile

stephrick Fri 29-Mar-13 20:09:32

must be from a puppy so you can imprint early, I have a yorkshire terrier, but snappy, also a cross jack and schnauzer, has always been good never snappy and friendly with dogs she meets, I think this might be the schnauzer in her, and she is 14.

ithaka Fri 29-Mar-13 19:59:58

I bought a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel specifically because I wanted a safe dog when I had teeny children/babies. There is no safer breed, I don't think.

He is 12 now and despite all the bad press about the breed, he has never had an ill day or needed the vet and is still hale and hearty - I think he will live for years, yet.

clam Fri 29-Mar-13 19:52:19

lotsofdogshere Re: poodle crosses/cockapoos, I'm sure many people would say this about their own breeds too, but my cockapoo has been fantastic since I broke my leg. He has spent long days on the end of my bed, and he picked up straight away that he had to give my leg a wide berth. He gets excited when I come home, but bounces from a distance, unlike with everyone else, where he likes to get up close. He's scared of my crutches probably because I dropped one on him and avoids them like the plague.
I love him to bits.

Still18atheart Fri 29-Mar-13 19:37:46

Agree with everyone saying cocker spaniels. My parents had one when I was born until I was and great with children

Also agree with people who say border terrier

puffinnuffin Fri 29-Mar-13 19:35:35

We have been fostering a King Charles Cavalier. He is the most well behaved, kind, friendly dog I have ever had! Excellent with children- sleepy alot of the time but can run really fast on walks and plays beautifully too.

Happiestinwellybobs Tue 26-Mar-13 12:33:04

My dog!! An enormous gorgeous black Labrador - although I'm sure he is part donkey (at 39kg!).

We brought DD home when she was 10 months - he adores her. They play happily together. He is endlessly patient, lets her climb on him, plays gentle tug of war with her, and doesn't mind too much when she tries to lick him grin

fledtoscotland Tue 26-Mar-13 12:24:21

I don't think it's so much the breed of dog but the way it's socialised. My Lhasa adores DC although grumbles when she's had enough and goes to her bed where DC aren't allowed to touch her. Of my three dogs my GSD is the best natured animal ever both with DC and elderly relatives. He seems to know when to be bouncy and when to be calm. GSDs are a reliable breed (police use them as they are trainable and have a reliable response to situations).

I would steer clear of an older rescue without a clear background

abbyfromoz Tue 26-Mar-13 10:05:10

Lotsofdogshere- i know i have raved about my working cocker but just wanted to agree with you about cockerpoos- they are lovely temperament like cockers and are gentle and smart- but even better their fur doesn't get everywhere- and having a small child around i do get anxious about dogs hair and hygiene. So in hindsight (although i wouldn't swap my lovely puppies) a cockerpoo is an excellent choice imo.grin

lotsofdogshere Tue 26-Mar-13 09:22:55

I had a cocker spaniel when my children were young, she was a fabulous dog, so gentle. We also had a german shepherd at the same time, again gentle with the babies/toddlers. I have fallen in love with poodle crosses, and currently have a labradoodle and a cockapoo. Labradoodles can be big dogs, and definitely need training and exercise, but mine (and the others I've cared for) have all been fantastic with children of any age. My doodle was also so kind and careful around my mum who had lost her sight and was a bit unsteady on her feet, my doodle was only a pup at this stage, but even at 12 months would just sit quietly by mum, no pestering or getting under the feet. The cockapoo is a joy, he loves everybody and is very gentle around children. My children's child minder had 3 staffies - they were fabulous dogs, and so good with the children.

gingeme Sun 24-Mar-13 13:00:39

Keep us posted ? smile

QueenoftheVerse Sun 24-Mar-13 10:46:58

we have a GSD and he's amazing with our two DS's. Gsd is only 7 months old and thinks of DS 1 (4)& 2 (3 months) as his litter mates. we ended up with him by accident as a friend couldn't look after him and he's been the most amazing addition to our family smile . if I were to choose a breed of dog it would either be a GSD or a Staffie. another friend has 2 staffies and I've never met a more patient breed with children. they'll put up with anything and love everyone to death grin

gingeme Sun 24-Mar-13 09:36:29

breed (stupid phone )

gingeme Sun 24-Mar-13 09:35:25

We have a jakwawa, Jack Russell chihouaoua (sp) and she is marvelous with my boys. We got her when my youngest Ds was 3 and she basicaly thought she was one of them right from the start. When they are playing in the garden she will pick up one of her toys and follow them all around the garden. So many people told us she will be snappy with the boys but in the two years Weve had her Weve never seen it. Also I am a childminder and look after a 7 month old and she really doesnt take much notice of him (unless he has a rusk smile ) I agree with the ladies who say as long as you train the pup properly it will grow up to BA a good Family pet no matter the bread. Would love a staff next grin

foofooyeah Sun 24-Mar-13 09:16:13

French bulldog: funny, loyal and good with children.

But after reading this hankering after a whippet

RVPisnomore Sun 24-Mar-13 09:11:05

Golden retriever for me. Our boy is coming up to 2 and our DS was just 3 when we got him. They are great together and the dog is gentle with him and now he's a little older has calmed down a lot, everyone cannot believe how chilled out he is. We chose the breed for this very reason.

We've just re-homed an 11 month old show cocker, and have a 3 year old and 7mth old. He has turned out to be the perfect family dog for us.

He's calm and gentle in the house with the children. He can deal with the chaos and slight unpredictability in walks (I had a border collie before that would start stalking you round the house if you didn't leave for a walk on time, which was rather wearing at times). Out on a walk he's a typical, slightly bonkers spaniel, who gets on with other dogs well.

It's still early days with us, and he needs training, but he's so sweet and tolerant (of the noise, we're not letting the 3 year old be rough with him), and robust enough that I don't have to worry if the 3 year old accidentally trips over him.

Booboostoo Sun 24-Mar-13 09:01:41

GSD - the most loyal, lovely, calm and intelligent dogs there are.

We got a Tibetan Terrier pup in the summer when DD was 14mo and it's worked out really well. The two are really close, the dog is exceptionally tolerant of DD but my overall choice for a family dog would always be a GSD (from a line bred for temperatment and from a breeder who is meticulous about health screening).

pugoff Sun 24-Mar-13 07:45:50

I'd second pugs. Love walks but not mental if they are shortish, people pleasers, love kids and are very unto humans in a way I don't see with other dogs. They are small but tough so happy enough to be moved, sat on etc and just want to be part of family life + sleep a lot.

so friendly and enjoy company. Tho it gets a little claustrophobic when they insist on coming to the loo with you

Twattybollocks Sun 24-Mar-13 07:17:32

Staffy Every time with young kids.

SunnyL Sat 23-Mar-13 23:09:23

Obviously there are breed specific characteristics to take into account but really dogs are shaped by their owners. My mother is a dog trainer and says you get the dog you deserve. So if you put in the work and do lots of training and socialisation you'll likely get a great dog no matter what the breed. Really it depends on your lifestyle and what time of character would suit you best.

However I agree with those above - you can't really go wrong with a whippet or lurcher. They are Solar powered couch potatoes which give you limited harassment once they've had their walk for the day.

Just don't go on gumtree if you don't want o to break your heart. The number of dogs looking for a new home because feckless people got them and now can't be arsed looking after them anymore.

CatPussInACrownOfThorns Sat 23-Mar-13 23:08:18

We got a cocker puppy when dd was 18mo and she was an absolute angel. She passed away last year and is very sadly missed. She was amazing with the Dcs, only thing I'd say is that they are very loyal to the point where mine didn't like to be more than 6ft away from me, which may be a little wearing.
Ddog now is her son. His dad is a collie x basset. (We call him a cock up!)
He's much less clingy than his mum and soft as lights. I think I love him more than I did his mother.
Personally the only terrier I would touch is a staff.
My next dog will be a miniature dachshund or a whippet. Long haired dogs are cuddly but create a lot of mess!

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now