Can you please advise on suitable breeds for a family?

(77 Posts)

I would like a smallish, non-smelly dog for a family home. If it could sort of be my oldest DC's dog that would be nice but I don't know how easily a dog can be told who it belongs to!

I am home a LOT during the day so it wouldn't be left.
We have 2 cats.
Any suggestions? <dog virgin>

LynetteScavo England Sun 08-Dec-13 18:42:52

I'm a labrador person, and if I can't have a labrador, I won't have a dog.

Which is why we don't have a dog.

But I know one of these and he's adorable.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bedlington_Terrier

Lynette, the Bedlington Terrier looks so adorable!
How would we get one?
I know that sounds a bit impulsive and I'm not actually planning on getting one right now but it would be interesting to know how to acquire this or any kind of dog. I know you don't go to pet shops. Is it a bit like adopting a DC...

Ok, you need to ask yourself some questions first..

How old are your DC? Children love the idea of a dog but soon grow bored of the reality, the dog will be the adults responsibility and you need to understand that.
How much exercise are you prepared to commit to? In all weathers? Snow. Rain. Wind. With DC if they are too young to leave. Do you mind a muddy dog in the house?
Training, will you commit to a structured, ongoing training program?
Puppy or rescue? Be aware that puppies are bloody hard work at times, they nip, wee, poo, chew, jump up. They need a lot of input. A rescue may have issues that need working on, or may not.
Can you afford the insurance, food, toys, crate etc? Medical bills etc.
Grooming, do you want a dog that needs a lot or a little etc?
What arrangements will you make when you have to leave your dog or for holidays etc?

There's lots to consider when getting a dog!

LynetteScavo England Sun 08-Dec-13 19:10:24

My friend went to a specialist breeder recommened to her by a relative.

My freinds dog really does have the most amazing personality even though he's a bit funny looking he looks like a sheep when he's had a haircut.

Some look more sheep like than others

thank you needastrongone -

don't worry, we have considered many of those points. I'm aware I have sounded a bit flippant,
DC: 16,15 and 13. I'm prepared to commit to taking dog out every day regardless of weather, but not for really really long walks.
Yes I DO mind a muddy dog in the house. I am hoping that while it's really muddy it stays in the kitchen. Can come into rest of house after a clean.
Probably not upstairs though.
We do not want a Rescue, despite recognising that this is a very good thing to do. DH had a bad experience with a rescue many years ago. I would commit to a training programme but would that mean the dog would end up being more devoted to me than anyone else? (I wouldn't mind, because as I say, I'm home most of the time, but on the other hand we would like it to be DD's dog).
Not so sure about how much grooming we can commit to. How much is a lot, and how much is a little?
Presumably when we go on holiday dog could go to kennels (cats already go to cattery) but we only go away once a year.
Financially, yes it's a lot with vets and so on. We are prepared to afford it though...

We've got Yorkipoos (pics on profile).

Yorkie sized so small, don't shed, and lovely personalities - cheeky, friendly, intelligent and love cuddles.

I would definitely advise looking at your list of needs and finging dog breeds that match rather than finding a dog you like the look of. For instance, you say you don't want to do long walks. Bedlingtons are lovely but like most terriers will need a long walk. There are websites where you can put in what you can give grooming and exercise wise etc and it will suggest breeds to consider.

Thanks fanoftheinvisibleman - I've looked on the kennel club and it says this about Bedlingtons:

Breed Group Terrier
Vulnerable Native Breed No
Size Medium How much exercise? Up to 1 hour per day
Length of coat Medium
How much grooming? More than once a week
Supposedly sheds? * No
Town or Country Either
Type of home Small or Large House
Minimum Garden Size Small/Medium

So, it says up to one hour a day exercise, That doesn't sound like much to me? When I say I don't want to do long walks, I mean I don't want to go rambling through forests and fields for hours on end. I suppose it's quite subjective. DH would do very very long walks at weekends however. Also it says "supposedly sheds, No" which I am assuming means it's better than some breeds with regards to allergies. We don't really have any serious allergies, but i have one DC with mild eczema in winter months.

But you are quite right, I mustn't just find a dog I like the look of!

Empress your Yorkipoos are gorgeous! Looks like you have a lot of fun with them! I have however realised that it's a medium size dog we are after, rather than small smile

I'd be a little sceptical of 'up to an hour' to be honest. I've yet to meet a working type terrier breed that would suit 'up to' an hour.

I have a Border Terrier and out of interest I have just looked on KC site at BT's and it says the same thing of up to an hour.Mine can get by on around 1 and 1/2 hours of which is a combination of 2 or 3 miles brisk walking or a lot of energetic playing with an other dog. He can also be out for 6 hours and will still bring a ball when he gets back. A pair on my street go for regular long walks and she told me that they cover 17 - 20 miles with ease.

I know you haven't said you are getting a bedlington, please don't think I am having a go. But I would take those estimates with a huge pinch of salt. When I say mine gets by on an hour and a half, if is a get by, and he'd be a pain in the arse if it was regular (illustrated on friday when he had just over an hour and was on pins all night!). Two to three hours would be his preferred.

longtallsally2 Sun 08-Dec-13 21:26:38

A cocker or a cockerpoo is a lovely family dog. They need a bit more grooming, but a bit less exercise I think than a terrier.

I so have my heart set on one, once our kids are a bit bigger. DS2 gets up at 6 every day, so he will be on morning shift, and I will do the afternoons . . . .

longtallsally2 Sun 08-Dec-13 21:27:59

Empress, your yorkipoos are gorgeous!!

basildonbond Sun 08-Dec-13 21:34:35

Hmm .. I've just checked my dog's supposed exercise requirements on the kennel club site and it also says 'up to one hour' - there's no way an adult Toller would be happy with that little exercise so def take with a very large pinch of salt ...

well I did think "up to an hour" sounded a little odd - basically, that means anything under an hour, doesnt it! Which can't be right.

Maybe they missed the 4 times a day off the end grin <eyes tiny terrierist who was out for 2 and 1/2 hours today who is currently trying to eat his way through dh's slippers whilst he wears to get at a toy>

Scratch that...he has shot off down the room chasing his own tail now!

regardless of what actual breed we are discussing, would you say the best place to find a breeder is actually the KC website?

The easiest way to find a well respected breeder would be to find the breeds you are most interested in and then approach the relevant breed club for personal recommendations.

Don't let me put you off terriers, I am a huge fan. I don't think I could have anything else but it is important to know what you are taking on. You know the phone ad 'Be more dog'? They are more dog...heartstoppingly so at times. They need a cats 9 lives as they do before they think half the time and and are brave beyond their size. They will reward you if you are up for all that, but you do nwed to be up for it with all it entails. For me that has meant walking miles and laying on my belly in the mud to fish the daft mutt out of the river shock

Good luck whatever you go for though and enjoy the search. The best way to get a good match is to be brutally honest with yourself and ask lots of questions of other owners.

whereisshe Sun 08-Dec-13 22:00:49

I found the breed club more helpful than the KC website when we got our mini Schnauzer (great family dogs btw, but small not medium).

tabulahrasa Sun 08-Dec-13 22:00:58

KC website or champdogs for websites or get in touch with the breed club. But anywhere you find a breeder you need to have researched what the wanted health tests are for that breed yourself so that you know what to ask and be prepared to pass on a breeder if you're not happy about something.

LadyTurmoil Mon 09-Dec-13 01:08:17

Just another thing to add to all the wise advice you've already been given - you can also find puppies in rescue centres. They are usually fostered with families so you will be given a very good assessment of what each puppy is like. They will have been well socialised within a family situation, have been exposed to lots of different things which will help give the puppy a great start to life.

However hard you look, it may be hard to distinguish a decent breeder from a not-so-good one, even if they're KC registered, it doesn't really mean anything. It can just mean that they register some litters, and not the other litters in between, but the poor mother may have been bred a lot... just be wary.

I didn't mean to come over as patronising at all smile, just that we have a 13 month old Springer, he is absolutely part of our family now, but it's also been incredibly hard work at times, and I wanted you to be very much aware of this.

How about a show cocker, NOT a working cocker? Small, super temperament, gentle, fun, I don't think they shed overly much (all in context with dogs!). They don't need as much exercise as their working relations but have many of the attributes, but you must get health checked pups, as cockers are very much in vogue at the moment (Kate and William have a black one!!!), and I think the show type are slightly more prone to health issues.

Both of our breeders I found on Champdogs, not Preloved, Pet4homes etc. 'Breeders' get a very bad press, but I seem to have struck lucky with both of ours. Or maybe I did the right amount of research. I did email a few others on that site though, if you get an email back saying you are suitable, then discount, no genuine breeder would agree to selling a pup via an email. I was telephone interviewed then invited to be vetted for both (the latest being particularly stringent as the demand for his pups outstripped supply, so to speak, vastly, his pups are black cockers, like Will and Kate's, and most had been pre booked anyway to working homes).

I discounted any advert that said '£100 deposit secures' etc.

Expect to see all relevant health related paperwork and pedigree paperwork and expect that, should anything unforeseen happen, the pup goes back to the breeder. Expect lifetime support and advice. Our Springer goes back to the breeder for our holidays for a fiver a day, but that's unusual I think.

The breeder should also be breeding to gain another pup really and have the health/continuation/wellbeing of his/her particular breed as their main priority. Few breeders should breed more than one type of dog.

Pups should be raised in the home and well socialised to all household noises and people. Our second breeder has working dogs, who do live outside, but mum and pups were inside and the room was spotless. I met all the dogs (all 7 I think, and was loved to death smile, the kennels were also spotlessly clean)

Try to see both mum and dad and mum with her litter if you can.

Just get a good vibe from your breeder, but expect a grilling too.

Lonecatwithkitten Mon 09-Dec-13 07:49:50

Can I steer you away from poodle or poodle combination dogs if you don't want the dog upstairs. They are really great family dogs, but they really need people and for the vast majority of them sleeping downstairs is not close enough to their people.
I would suggest looking at breeds like Norfolk Terriers and Border Terriers you will have to wait for a pup from a reputable breeder, but they are low shedding, tend not to indulge too much in mud and are fairly independent characters.
I have a poodle cross and grew up with those breeds of terrier. I didn't like their independent nature and wanted a dog who needed me more.

needastrongone get away with you, you haven't been patronising at all - where did that come from? I really appreciate your input!And a show cocker sounds good....
thank you everyone else for input. Perhaps I should reconsider a Rescue then, LadyTurmoil...

I will clarify about not wanting the dog upstairs....

I don't want it in my room or any other rooms upstairs other than DD's (age 16) bedroom. [but is that even hygienic/advisable]??
We want it to be "her" dog, although really it's mine because I'm here in the day (and obviously I won't be leaving home for uni in 2 years time)! so I will be doing most of the exercising, handling and so on. But we would like dog to have a special bond with DD. - and with me & DH of course. (But other DCs aren't bothered but DD has always wanted a dog and we are only in the right "place" now to actually have one).
Therefore, Lonecat, possible a poodle combo is ok?

Floralnomad Mon 09-Dec-13 11:10:49

There is no guarantee about the non shedding with a poodle x , why not just get a poodle ,they're lovely intelligent dogs and unless you choose to have a ridiculous haircut look perfectly normal .

LadyTurmoil Mon 09-Dec-13 12:10:11

Another thought - you could register your interest in adopting with several local rescues and see what comes along. Their websites are often not very up to date, but sometimes they have FB pages which are better. Often the more popular dogs are rehomed before they've even appeared on a website.

Also, you could talk to those rescues about fostering perhaps? It offers help to the rescue and gives you a "taste" of what it's really like to have a puppy/dog. If you fall in love, you can always adopt...

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