Starting to think we are never going to find the dog for us

(35 Posts)
lecce Wed 10-Jul-13 07:46:09

We are looking for a rescue dog, as young as possible and not too big. Those are our only criteria. However, because we have children it is turning out to be a near-impossible task.

I am looking at rescue centres up to 2 hours away from us, but it seems all we would be considered for is staffies or very old dogs. Pre-dc we adopted an old dog to live out his last years with us, but, at this stage in our lives, we want a dog who will be a bit of a playmate for the dc, and not one they will lose after only a couple of years.

I have been open-minded about staffies but it seems they have such a bad reputation that people may judge us for having one. Someone on here said they wouldn't let their dc come to a house where one lived, and people have talked about other dog owners pulling their dogs away. We are new in this area and don't want anything standing in the way of our dc forming new friendships. Moreover, almost everyone here has a dog but I haven't seen any staffies about, so I assume they are not a popular dog in our area.

I really want a dog but it seems that we could be waiting ages. I can't really justify spending £200 + on a pedigree pup and, anyway, we have always had rescue dogs and feel it's the right thing to do. We just want a mutt really!

Btw, I know I'm being a bit silly and they have to be cautious, but I'm just missing having a dog so much and I know we can provide a great home for one. We are experienced dog owners who would be committed to the dog. Does anyone have any advice for us?

I'm assuming you've tried breed-specific Rescues i.e. Labrador ones? You may have a long wait but they do rehome to homes with younger children if there is the right dog. These get taken up v v quickly though, as I'm sure you know.

Apologies if I'm telling you stuff you're already aware of!

We looked at Rescues when DS was little, but not the breed specific ones and had no success (there were plenty of kittens we could have had, however! grin). If we were doing it again I'd put our name down with Labrador Rescue etc and keep reminding them we were waiting - putting home checks in place straight away etc.

LEMisdisappointed Wed 10-Jul-13 08:20:49

If i see a staffie in the area that i live in i automatically assume its a rescue dog. I think that its so sad that these lovely family dogs are being left in rescue centres because they have a bad image. Are people really that bothered about what people think??? I used to have rotweillers, which are a classic chav badge i suppose and have a reputation as devil dogs. I had more of a problem with people stopping me in the street to stroke them than i did people avoiding me grin They were bloody magnificent looking dogs even if i do say so myself.

At least it would be a good twat filter too, if someone wouldn't let their child into your house because you have a staffie, but would be ok if you have a labrador - then at least you will know they are twats and can avoid them!!

How old are your children? If you honestly want playmate then i can't think of a better breed than a staffie.

Are you registered with the dogs trust? Battersea?

MagratGarlik Wed 10-Jul-13 09:06:55

We have two rescue dogs, neither of which are staffies. The first was a year old when he came to us, so still a teenager in dog terms.

You will find many younger dogs which are fine with dc's never make it onto the rescue websites, so don't rely on the sites too much. We spent a good deal of time visiting rescue centres and talking to staff about what were looking for in a dog. If you just leave your details with places like dogs trust they won't get back to you as they are so busy.

Our first dog never made it onto the rescue website and when looking for the second, we almost reserved one again that hadn't made it onto the website (but then changed our mind and went for a different dog). It takes time, but there will be a dog out there for you.

Lecce, I'm genuinely puzzled shock There are masses of rescues which will rehome to families with children.

If you post roughly where in the UK you are, I'd be happy to point you at some rescues.

Rescues with nationwide coverage that WILL rehome to families include Hope Rescue (all their dogs have a minimum 14 days in a foster assessment to make sure they are suitable),and they have a gorgeous Great Dane X in at the moment, Evesham Greyhound and Lurcher Rescue,( a nice lurcher would be perfect for you), masses of greyhound rescues including Greyhound Rescue West of England, Greyhound Gap, etc. or look on the Retired Greyhound Trust website to find the nearest branch to you. Lurcher Link, Scruples Whippet Rescue, and I was talking yesterday to a good friend who's involved in rehoming parti coloured poodles - PM me if you want more details.

Just to add, Evesham GLR have some absolutely gorgeous sets of puppies in at the moment - lurchers, but a big variety in sizes and ALL are child friendly. I've just had a quick peep at their website and they have some stunning dogs in, and they have a useful feature which tells you if each dog is child friendly.

Good luck!

Just to add, poodles are highly intelligent, very trainable and can be superfast, you could have a lot of fun with them.

GrimmaTheNome Wed 10-Jul-13 10:42:20

Lurchers and greyhounds look big, but they're mostly leg aren't they?

I've very rarely met a staffie when we're out with our dog that is anything other than pleasant and well-behaved, or otherwise that the owner keeps under good control. I'm sure they are just about all rescues.

The two most recommended rescue breeds you'll find in doghouse threads are greys and staffies. By definition the majority of MNers have kids. Go figure.

(BTW, if anyone reading this thread is offered a 'pedigree' pup in the region of £200, they are very likely indeed being sold a pup - £500 is more like the starting price for a properly bred pedigree pup and often more)

LadyTurmoil Wed 10-Jul-13 10:54:56

If you're around the London area, you may well find rescues with loads of Staffies, unfortunately. Smaller rescues are often more flexible than the big, national ones.

Also rescues which use a foster family system for their dogs will be able to recommend a dog which has been in an environment with children/adults/other dogs etc

You probably know all this (sorry!) if you've been looking, but if you say where you are roughly, I'm sure there'll be loads of recommendations for you.

CMOTDibbler Wed 10-Jul-13 11:03:19

My lovely lurcher came from Evesham Greyhound and Lurcher rescue, and having ds was no issue at all.
He's not that tall, and is all leg anyway, but super loving to children. He was 6 months when we got him which was perfect.

Mine never made it onto the website as we were in contact before, so they knew we were looking for a child and cat friendly dog. If you like them on FB you do see the new dogs come in and can register interest

lecce Wed 10-Jul-13 12:12:21

Thank you so much for all the replies - tbh, I was expecting a flaming for being irresponsible and entitled!

Our last dog was a lurcher and I loved him to pieces. At the risk of sounding shallow or something, I didn't find him a great family pet. I mean, he was absolutely perfect when we introduced dc into his life- didn't bat an eyelid, but was not playful in the slightest, even when younger. I think it a feature of these dogs that they are laid-back. Also, he was big. Yes, all leg, but still big. For example, we camp and he, bless him, took up the entire boot of our estate. I am not complaining about him - he was an amazing job, and I was/am heartbroken about his death, but he wasn't really the perfect family dog.

However, are whippets more active and a bit smaller?

lecce Wed 10-Jul-13 12:13:44

Oh, meant to add - I am in the East Midlands.

mistlethrush Wed 10-Jul-13 12:14:53

I've also got a lovely lurcher that's child friendly - lurchers come in all sizes depending on what the sighthound and working dog cross is that they have in them. I got her from a lurcher rescue that has dogs fostered across the country, and will transport dogs to new homes several hundred miles away if necessary.

mistlethrush Wed 10-Jul-13 12:18:18

NOT PLAYFUL?????

We' have had to put away the heavy indoor dog toys because our lurcher throws things around. She has the most wonderful games by herself or with you (by preference) throwing things up in the air and pouncing on them. She loves playing football with ds. She's great at chasing a ball (OK, we've not actually mastered the retrieve quite yet, but we're working on that, and she and ds still have great fun with the ball or stick and it gives DS more exercise too, running to where she has ended up with it...)

If you get the deerhound / greyhound crosses, that might be the case. But get some of the smaller versions - or go for something with some collie in or one like ours (who knows, but some bedlington probably) and you might find that you have a completely different natured dog.

VanitasVanitatum Wed 10-Jul-13 12:18:51

I have a lurcher too,smaller than your boy by the sound of it! She is very playful with my XP's kids, curls up very small, is completely undemanding as long as she has her daily walk, loves nothing more than sleeping on the sofa draped all over us, only ever barks if she finds a hedgehog, and is generally perfect. She came from the Dogs Trust.

LEMisdisappointed Wed 10-Jul-13 12:20:03

see, everything in your last post there screams out staffie to me. I dont think whippets make great family pets either, they are pretty delicate. You sound like you want a high energy dog that will be able to join in with a bit of play with the kids - I would find a staffie too mad, but you would be a perfect staffie owner.

lecce Wed 10-Jul-13 12:20:43

Oh - Arthur was a greyhound/deerhound! Wow - what an insight into him - thank you! Have had a look at some of the sites listed above and am getting excited now! God, they are beautiful dogs, aren't they?

VanitasVanitatum Wed 10-Jul-13 12:21:09

mistle my lurcher plays exactly like that too!

mistlethrush Wed 10-Jul-13 12:24:10

I love seeing her play like that - its just so full of happiness. She did it whilst we were on holiday at the beach - found the roots of some seaweed and was throwing them around just for herself and clearly getting lots of pleasure doing it.

CMOTDibbler Wed 10-Jul-13 12:25:42

My lurcher curls up on the back seat of the car with ds, and is super, super playful. Like Mistle, most indoor toys are banned as he flings them up in the air in order to catch them. Outside, he loves ds to drop kick rugby balls, use the tennis racket to fling balls, play fetch (he does actually retrieve properly) and practice his obedience. He's high energy when you ask him to be as in he runs 10k with me very happily, or trots alongside ds's pony for hours, but equally only needs two short runs a day

My best friend has two lurchers - they are both smaller than whippets, EXTREMELY playful (looks sadly at gnawed handbag), and are wriggly, hairy, adorable norty bundles of joy. Don't forget the term lurcher also includes whippet crosses so size wise you are looking at something of a range from about the size of a Cav up to giant wolfhound/deerhound X (swoons, imagines baronial hall full of hairy giant beasts).

There are lots of whippet lovers here on MN - try Celia Cross Greyhound Rescue - they often have crosses in, or Scruples Whippet Rescue or Hounds First Rescue. Something like a whirrier (whippet/terrierist) x might be perfect for you, or possibly too much of a good thing!

Have a look at Fozzie on the EGLR website - he is only 11 weeks old and is a Collie/greyhound cross, and looks fabulous, and ticks the Child friendly box. The collie bit will give him a bit of stamina and brains, and the grey will provide a calming influence, tone down the brains grin - i'd imagine he'd be perfect for an active family who'd want to give him plenty to do.

bamboobutton Wed 10-Jul-13 12:28:45

If you want a staffie get a staffie and sod what any potential daily wail frother neighbours may think!

We are going to get a staffie in a few years and bil has said his dd won't be allowed to play at ourshmm well, that's up to him as her parent but I'm buggered if i will be guilted into not getting the kind of dog i think will be perfect for our family.

mistlethrush Wed 10-Jul-13 12:31:57

Or get a bull lurcher... One with some bull terrier or staffie in the breeding but a bit of the laid-back nature (sometimes at least) of the sight hounds - and longer legs (and probably less of a diet issue)

GlobalWarning Wed 10-Jul-13 12:36:49

We have been after a whippet for ages and on scruples waiting list for even longer sad. Would love one, didn't want to buy a puppy and they rarely come up in adoption centres (not that we look.... ever much)

OP lots of rescue centres do rehome nationwide if you can be home inspected. We are sort of in the same boat, so good luck

LadyTurmoil Wed 10-Jul-13 13:13:21

Have you tried Dogwatch, also Second Chance, Hope Rescue and Four Paws are a bit further away but Scuttle is always recommending them...

MagratGarlik Wed 10-Jul-13 13:56:16

Just a selection of younger dogs on various rescue sites across the UK who are listed as suitable to live with children (some children of any age and some children aged 5+):

Lurcher puppies (0-3 months), could live with children aged 5+:
www.rspca.org.uk/allaboutanimals/rehoming/petsearch/details/-/Pet/TINA/ref/92660/rehome/
www.rspca.org.uk/allaboutanimals/rehoming/petsearch/details/-/Pet/NAOMI/ref/92661/rehome/

Bolt the two year old whippet, or Jackson the 7 month old whippet:
www.dogsblog.com/category/whippet/

Buddy the lurcher - looks lovely. Not too old. Could live with children of any age:
www.dogstrust.org.uk/rehoming/dog/1105109/buddy#.Ud1O7vmsim4

Bo, the Samoyed, "suitable to live with very young children":
www.dogstrust.org.uk/rehoming/dog/1105621/bo#.Ud1PRPmsim4

Freddie the four month old JRT. "Could live in a family environment":
www.rspca.org.uk/allaboutanimals/rehoming/petsearch/details/-/Pet/FREDDIE/ref/BSA2012970/rehome/

Bailey the labradoodle (about half way down) - 2 years old:
www.dogsblog.com/category/poodle-cross/

Four week old puppies, suitable with children over 5:
www.rspca.org.uk/allaboutanimals/rehoming/petsearch/details/-/Pet/ZARA'S%20PUPPIES/ref/BSA2012130/rehome/

A senior whippet, but suitable to live with children aged 4 and over:
www.dogstrust.org.uk/rehoming/dog/1105195/taz#.Ud1P6Pmsim4

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