Think in about getting a dog

(37 Posts)
Shimmyshimmy Sun 09-Mar-14 09:43:49

We're at that stage - wondering whether we can fit a dog into our lives, what kind of dog would suit...which breed? I grew up with Labradors, dcs are keen on that breed too. But I'm wondering why would we get a pedigree rather than a rescue dog - is it, to make a rather crude comparison - like getting a pair of designer jeans? Dcs would like a puppy, I'd like a dog, so I can be more sure of the temperament....in reality they'd be happy either way, they just want a dog.

HuskyWoman Sun 09-Mar-14 14:51:38

I've had rescues and now have a puppy.

The rescue never got over what had come before. Behaviorists, classes etc etc did little for him.

Puppy vs rescue isn't cute vs worthy. Rescues can be hard work. I'm finding the demands of a young husky puppy to be nothing compared to my last rescue.

Rescues are so rewarding, but don't let anyone romanticise it. I'll probably trust this dogs temperament more as I've trained him from day one, know the breeder and family home he came from, I know his history.

I think maybe you need to ask yourselves a few questions, or perhaps you have already but would be good to know, so folk can advise.

Do you all work, part time/full time? What arrangements for leaving the dog while you are out. Be aware that puppies can't be left for very long at all intially, a couple of hours maximum, and not at all for a week or two ideally.

How old are the DC, can they help with walks? Are they able to be left if you walk the dog yourself? What about walking the dog in the snow, wind, rain etc, are they ok with this? Do you have any anfter school clubs to consider, I was here there and everywhere when the DC were at primary, which is a factor if you have to leave the dog again, but the DC might be older?

Any dog, rescue or puppy will require a lot of input intially.

Can you afford a dog? Food, insurance, training classes, medical bills?

How much exercise do you want to provide? We have spaniels and I walk for two hours a day, plus training with them. That's fine for us, but you might want less or even more than this.

If you buy from a breeder, buy for a reputable breeder and do your research thoroughly.

How much time to grooming? Even dogs that don't need grooming will need clipping etc.

Loads to consider, but I wouldn't be without our dogs, they have enhanced our lives incredibly.

Lastly - dogs mean mud and mess and more mud and mess!!

PossumBottom Sun 09-Mar-14 15:55:27

I know on all these threads everyone says it- but a greyhound is a 'rescue' dog alternative that is the middle ground- v v unlikely to have ever been mistreated (many of the rescues have a good relationship with the breeders/trainers). They usually come v well socialised and lead trained, clean, gentle, laidback and my two LOVE children. One of them is even cat friendly.

Owllady Sun 09-Mar-14 16:02:39

I have always had rescue dogs tbh. But you can get puppies from rescue places too (I have had two)
I have always had collies and I just cannot justify buying a puppy one when so many end up in rescue, often through no fault of their.
I am not sure what the situation is wrt labs, but as they are a working dog, I imagine there may be similar issues. Have you looked into specific lab rescues?

Follyfoot Sun 09-Mar-14 16:06:25

There are plenty of excellent Labrador rescue organisations out there. We have had two Labs from rescue, PIL have one from the same rescue. Care was taken to match us to particular dogs, there was support available afterwards, and the rescue have always made clear that they would take a dog back if things werent right. Might this approach be an option for you?

Shimmyshimmy Sun 09-Mar-14 16:17:01

I'm a SAHM, dcs are now 10 years old and are fairly responsible, gentle and loving kids. Additional cost won't be a problem and we have a big garden.

I like to run, so it would be good to have a dog that would enjoy running too.

Biggest issue would be the change of lifestyle, but there are ways around that and there would be plenty of positives to this too...and if we committed to a dog, that's the thing dh and I have to accept and embrace. Dh has never had a dog.

We've known a few people with greyhounds and they seem very needy, very insecure, fragile and scared and needed a lot of tlc not just in the initial stages, it put me off slightly.

How do you find out about a reputable breeder, it it through word of mouth, inspection, belonging to a certified organisation?

PossumBottom Sun 09-Mar-14 16:24:40

Well, my 2 greyhounds aren't like that at all. I think scared, fragile and insecure would be the last words I'd use for them!

Owllady Sun 09-Mar-14 16:26:32

My friends rescue greyhound would not go for a run though....It's incredibly lazy grin

Shimmyshimmy Sun 09-Mar-14 16:33:16

Do you think fostering with a view to keeping the dog might be a good idea? Might help dh decide....he's quite nervous around dogs and has never experienced the pure joy you get from having them around.

Okay cool smile

I found our breeders from Champdogs.co.uk, where only litters from certified pedigree dogs and KC registered breeders can sell from (there's a whole debate about how strictly the KC regulations are but that's another days debate too). You can expect to be grilled via telephone and be interviewed too before a reputable breeder will allow you a puppy. Don't buy from Gumtree or Preloved etc. Pups will be clean, healthy, playful, curious. Mum will be with pups. Pups should be brought up inside and socialised to all household noises and a variety of people. The dam and sire will have been health checked for breed specific conditions and hip scored. Lifetime advice and a guarantee to take back the puppy at anytime. I am still in touch with both of my breeders, one has the dogs if we go away, and the other I spoke with just last night, checking progress for our 15 week old cocker.

That site also has a lot of information about the various breeds too, which is useful.

If you google finding a reputable breeder, there's lots of info on there.

I have a springer and a cocker. I love both to pieces but there's just something about the cocker that I adore. He's gentle, playful, loving, keen to please and learn, funny. Well, both are really, the springer is a little more reserved.

How about a show cocker (ours is the working variety), they need slightly less exercise than the workers but will happily go running etc. Loving affectionate dogs. Both of mine a pretty calm, others will come on and say spaniels are mad as hatters smile

No puppy will be able to run with you for at least a year as their joints will be too soft, and Labs are known to have hip issues (I think) to I wouldn't personally risk running with one.

Sorry, this is a ramble, I am multi tasking.

Nor did my DH, he is abroad at the minute and asked to Facetime the dogs, not the DC smile

Puppies are FULL on you know, be prepared to have another child in the house, just the stages don't last as long.

PossumBottom Sun 09-Mar-14 16:37:58

I think mine could last 20mins at running pace and then need a doggie equivalent of a brew

youbethemummylion Sun 09-Mar-14 16:42:11

I would always get rescue overa bought puppy but we have a rescue cat, dog and even rescue gerbils!

Floralnomad Sun 09-Mar-14 16:48:46

My DH never really wanted the dog ,then he wanted a Westie and we got a rescue puppy from Battersea that is a Patterdale x , but he loves him now .That said he has just come in from cleaning the car and was talking to some people who had a 5 month old Italian greyhound and that is what he wants now ! Have a look on the Many Tears rescue site ,they have lots of pups and young dogs that are in foster homes all over the country .

Shimmyshimmy Sun 09-Mar-14 17:03:35

My lab did have hip issues, he seemed in a lot of pain, the vet gave him some sort of experimental drug and he was never troubled by it again. I do recall pups being full on.

The dog being able to run with me wouldn't be a deal breaker, not that I can run that fast anyway, just thought they might enjoy it.

I suspect dh would love having a dog, he'd love having someone to say hello when he gets up at obscene hours to work...it's just he has never had that, he had a cat and I can't do cats, there just isn't enough giving back with a cat.

CMOTDibbler Sun 09-Mar-14 17:25:25

We have a lurcher who came from rescue as a 6 month puppy - its fairly common for sighthounds to come into rescue as older puppies when they have shown no inclination to chase furry things.

He is very affectionate, will play for hours if given a chance, will run with me (we did 16km on Thursday), but equally is totally happy with two 10 min ball throws a day and will sleep in between.

LadyTurmoil Sun 09-Mar-14 23:51:03

If you're a runner, you'll have to factor in a year's wait until you can expect a puppy to be old enough to do that. If your DH is unsure of dogs, he will probably hate the bitey, jumping, pooing/peeing stage of puppyhood. It also means a lot of training invested in housetraining, obedience training etc.

I know masses of people love Labs but they do get big and strong pretty quickly, meaning your children can't really hold the lead, take it for walks if they are still small themselves. The dog will be too strong for them.

I would second the point that rescues often have pups, sometimes even born at the rescue because the mum has come in, and they will often grow up in a foster home, where they can be well socialised and not be fazed by a household environment when they get to your home. Many rescues also have most dogs in foster situations, where they be thoroughly assessed for behaviour, compatibility with children etc.

Whereabouts in the Uk are you?

youbethemummylion Mon 10-Mar-14 07:54:27

Also just cos a dog can run doesnt mean it can run with you. My dog is a good runner however if I take her running with me she spends the while time getting under my feet and tripping me over/forcing me to do emergency stop/jump over her!

My DH loved the puppy stage, despite being the least keen in the family to have a dog. So it can go both ways. Our family will always have a dog in it now.

Shimmyshimmy Mon 10-Mar-14 09:11:53

We're just north of London. Dh will not be doing any of the day to day care, he's just too busy with work and that is one of his conditions but I have all the time in the world, so that's not a concern.
Kids have loads of friends with Labs and they seem fine to walk them on a lead. Mind you they have been googling like mad and have fallen for various breeds.
Have to now stop and stand back, the desire to have a dog is at fever pitch in this house! I want dh to make the decision without pressure because whether he sees it now or not, it's an emotional commitment, which will totally turn our lives around, not unlike another baby.

Knowing dh, I think he will totally fall for the dog - he's a big softee but I want his personal commitment because when/if the dog eats through his computer lead (this is currently happening with one of his colleague's dogs) I'm not going to be the one to blame!

Shimmyshimmy Mon 10-Mar-14 09:16:11

The running thing doesn't matter - apart from I need to go for a run or I'll go crazy wink, so will eventually need to be able to leave the dog for up to an hour if it doesn't want or can't come with me! I appreciate the leaving the dog thing is something that you need to work up to.

Some rescues eg - black retriever cross - let you foster with a view to being offered first refusal of the dog. When we get a rescue I think I will probably try this route because our family situation is complicated.

We bought a puppy (working line retriever). Found the breeder via KC then checked her out. We have a severely autistic son & I felt it fairer on the dog to grow up surrounded by the noise of severe autism (the breeder even played the litter ds1's sounds & shrieks so he arrived ready prepared.)

Next dog may well be a rescue - but ds1 is calmer now. I feel better able to take on a dog from a rescue now as I know what are absolute no-no's for us.

diddl Mon 10-Mar-14 09:20:15

We got a dog from a rescue centre.

I wanted a dog as I couldn't be bothered with toilet training a puppy.

We have been incredibly lucky.

He has been easy to train & is incredibly calm/well behaved.

He actually has a reputation locally for being a lovely dog!<proud>

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