Would I be mad to get a Dalmatian?

(76 Posts)
sweetkitty Thu 13-Jun-13 12:30:12

Any Dalmatian owners out there who can advise? We are considering getting a dog, we all love Dalmatians but have done enough research to know they are bonkers as puppies, shed white hair everywhere and need daily long walks.

We have 4 DC aged 8-3, I'm a SAHM and DH runs marathons so can take a dog running with him. We have a large house and enclosed garden.

Other dogs in the running are Hungarian Vizlas and Ridgebacks.

Branleuse Fri 14-Jun-13 12:22:08

would a retriever be easier, maybe with black spots painted on with permanent marker

LadyTurmoil Fri 14-Jun-13 12:37:26

There are Dallies in rescues like this one www.heathlands.org.uk/image.php?imageid=1913

sweetkitty Fri 14-Jun-13 12:38:46

Branluese grin

mrslaughan Fri 14-Jun-13 12:42:27

It won't be able to run for 18months - 2 years, so how are you going to give it the exercise before your husband can run with it?

POne of my dogs best friends is a ridgeback - is only a year old and need 2 hours walking a day (off lead) - your kids my be happy with that in the sun, but what about in the rain sleet and snow. The owner knows that this is probably too much walking at this age, but it is about everyons sanity.

Why do you like Dalmatians - is it look? Because I think one of the most important things when choosing a breed is to start with a breed temperament that will work with your family dynamic, and exercise requirements. It can be the ugliest dog alive but if is a good fit for your family,your family will love it....conversly, it could be the most beautiful dog you have ever seen , be completely nuts, and you will end up hating it.

mrslaughan Fri 14-Jun-13 12:44:37

all the vislas I have meet have been lovely - high energy, but lovely

But seriously, still think about how you are going to give it the exercise it needs, before it can run, in winter, in school holidays.

everlong Fri 14-Jun-13 13:08:28

Pointer's are lovely as are Springer Spaniels ( show type )

sweetkitty Fri 14-Jun-13 13:14:01

Exercise wise, DS will be in nursery 2 1/2 days a week I will be at home. The other days DS can come with me in his buggy if needs be. Weekends DH is here and he works at home a day a week too.

School holidays could be a problem I agree but nothing that couldn't be worked out.

I'm so the opposite of people who go out on a whim and buy a dog I've researched all the breeds to death.

One of the reasons I want a dog is to force me out to get me walking grin

Yes agree, make a list of what you want from a dog in terms of character, temperament and traits, then look at breeds.

Vizsla's shed, they really do, our friends will testify to this! Lots of very short ginger hair....everywhere...all year round. But I love our friends, she's such a character (channelled well, with training - their rescue cross is a walk in the park in comparison)

All the breeds you mention will need time input for training too, given they are all intelligent too so factor that in smile

There's also a German Short-Haired Pointer or English Pointer too, both in the sort of type you are looking at.

mistlethrush Fri 14-Jun-13 15:23:28

We wrote ourselves a list of our requirements from a dog.... It needed to be happy to play ball, frisbee, football and hide and seek with DS. It needed to be able to walk for the whole day on occasions without flaking out - but normally needed to get by on two walks and play in the garden. It needed to be playful and cuddly in the house, but also fairly OK with just getting on with snoozing for significant periods whilst people were busy.

We ended up with a lurcher - its the snoozing ability of the greyhound combined with something with more playfulness and stamina, and it is ideal for our requirements.

JustGiveMeFiveMinutes Fri 14-Jun-13 17:01:59

I've been I'll over the past few days so ddog hasn't had her usual amount of exercise. She isn't happy but then again, she isn't going nuts like a Dalmation would.

LadyTurmoil Fri 14-Jun-13 17:49:26

One of the reasons I want a dog is to force me out to get me walking

ANY dog will get you out walking, even the smallest bichon/shih tzu types. My brother and girlfriend have 2 of these and they happily go out for 1 1/2 hours per day with shorter walk at night. Then they are happily tired and flake out at home, letting you get on with all the stuff you need to do.

I would really suggest you think again: a full-on dog who can run and run for 2 hours and still isn't tired sounds like a nightmare, to be honest! With 4 kids you must be busy with school runs, after school clubs, dentist/dr appts every now and again, taxi runs to friend's houses etc etc.

Dallies have a well-known reputation for being bonkers and will need consistent, daily training for the first year and a half/two years to get a good, well-trained dog, following up with consistent, ongoing training.

They DO look lovely but as mrslaughan said, it's temperament that's key, not just the way the dog looks.

everlong Fri 14-Jun-13 18:35:18

Good advice.

I think also people underestimate how hard it can be having a dog with young children. Especially a high maintenance breed.

sweetkitty Fri 14-Jun-13 20:49:06

That's why I asked would we be mad ? grin

I understand how crazy it would be with a puppy and the DC that's why up until now my head has ruled my heart and we don't have a dog.

If it were solely up to me we would have a smaller dog but DH wants a running partner. Actually if space and money were no issue I'd have a Newfoundland well if they didn't coat you in drool grin

PeanutPatty Fri 14-Jun-13 22:31:54

We have two small DC's. A crawling cruising baby and a 2.7yo. We also have a six year old Goldie who thinks she is still two.

The dog comes running with us or opens alongside the bikes. She will also be happy with one walk a day, two walks a day, all day walks or whatever you throw at her she will take.

In the dry weather it's lovely taking her out just me and the kids but when it's wet, windy, cold and generally unpleasant all round it's tough. The 2.7yo wants to jump in the puddles, lay in the puddles, I want to get out and back without getting totally drenched and walk the routes which are covered and drier and the toddler amd dog have different ideas! There have been days where the dog has taken off in one direction and the toddler in the other! Absolute chaos.

With children of school age I think it will be easier for you as you won't have to take the WHOLE family out dog walking every day which is pretty much what I have to do and that in itself is a whole morning or afternoon gone! No time to do anything else! If you and your husband can take it in turns to do the walking that will help.

Have you thought about the early days of puppyhood? Toilet training? Going to puppy classes?

Personally I think a Dally may be too high maintenance.

PeanutPatty Fri 14-Jun-13 22:33:22

I quite fancy a whippet or a poodle! Both would be great running partners.

LadyTurmoil Fri 14-Jun-13 22:33:58

What about a collie? Not a hyper Border collie but maybe a youngish one, a year or two old who could immediately go out running with your DH but would be a bit more laid back at home. There are hundreds of collies in rescues, many of whom use foster families and therefore can be assessed as suitable (or not) for your type of household with 4 young children.

I would imagine that they would have plenty of energy to run with your DH but wouldn't be as hyper as a Dalmatian.

Where are you in the UK?

MacaYoniandCheese Fri 14-Jun-13 22:41:30

I have a high-maintenance dog. I run with her while the kids are at school...rain, heat-wave, blizzard (we have weather extremes here)...we're out there. DH sometimes takes her but mostly he's too busy at work and weekends get crazy when all your kids are school-aged so that's something to keep in mind. I wouldn't do it with pre-schoolers unless they are in some sort of program in the mornings?

Smudging Fri 14-Jun-13 22:53:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HotPanda - That. is. amazing. A non food stealing Dally. I need to meet this dog. Tests need to be carried out. Are you sure he doesnt do it when your back is turned!!??? grin

To be fair for all the 'bad' things I said about Dally's ours is a lovely dog, as I said before, We have put a lot of effort in and ours has excellent manners, brilliant on and off lead, her recall is brilliant, she's very obedient, always calm and chilled in the house, amazing with the children.

Everyone always says how good she is. When we go on holiday friends and family always offer to look after her because she is so well behaved.

However, I would say training is constant for their whole lives.

Also, ours is exercised daily obviously. She runs for an hour or so with DH and I take her out 1 - 2 times for just a walk.

I was very poorly a few weeks ago and DH could'nt get out for a run etc as he was looking after me.

Unfortunately our Dally only got out for one small walk a day and she didn't climb the walls at all. She was still calm and lovely as usual.

I wouldn't expect her to be like that forever and it's only because we meet her requirements the rest of the time that she coped with a couple of days but she didn't turn into devil dog because she missed one or two walks - they're not that bad.

shoutymcshoutsmum Sat 15-Jun-13 15:42:55

We have a german short-haired pointer. I think he is amazing. I got him when DCs were 18 month old, 3 and 6. It was a really really hard first year. Now, just super. He's very needy but when I look over at him getting on to the sofa just to curl up with my kids, I wouldn't have anything else.

PeanutPatty Sat 15-Jun-13 16:11:32

I'd say a collie could potentially be high maintenance. So many end up rehomed as people don't realise the amount of mental and physical exercise daily that collies need.

mrslaughan Sat 15-Jun-13 16:57:39

I know I sound negative , but we have just got our first dog as adults . DS full time school and dd in nursery 5 morning.
I love the getting out walking - it has been fab , BUT the first week we got him I had stomach flu, and couldn't eat anything than the odd water cracker, still had to get the kids to school, then come home and walk dear dog for 45 mins, it was one of the coldest weeks and I was on my knees.... It nearly did me in. D dog is a very laid back low energy breed.
Also if your youngest is very young, think how you are going to manage the toddler/ puppy dynamic, it needs thought as well.

bottleofbeer Sat 15-Jun-13 17:32:03

Thank god my dog (he's not any of the breeds listed) is a lazy little sod who has to be practically dragged out of the house by his ears.

BlueSkySunnyDay Sat 15-Jun-13 22:04:01

I wouldn't recommend a Collie as the ideal dog for a young family - they are lovely but can be complete sh*ts if they are not given enough stimulation mentally and physically. Plus they will herd the children and can be a bit nippy.

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