Which breed?

(32 Posts)

We are about to move to a rural location and have pretty much decided to get a dog. I started a thread a while back and got some good advice about things to consider before deciding to get one. So now it's just a question of which breed...

So - I would ideally go for something between spaniel and labrador size. We will have a decent sized 4 bed house and a medium garden. Plenty of walks not a problem - I won't be working for a good while once we move, and after that only pretty part-time.

We have 2 dc aged 6 and 8 who love dogs and a cat who is very chilled and likes dogs too. Oh also - I'm a (slow! ) runner, so would like a dog which could run with me.

I particularly like gundogs (had a golden retriever as a child) but would certainly consider other types.

Anyone got any recommendations? Oh and... my parents had a black lab who was so boisterous they had to return him to the breedersad . They are convinced it was because he was a male (unlike our very docile retriever bitch). I'm sure it was mostly their fault for inadequate training, but are bitches generally easier?

Thanks in advance! smile

Angelto5 Sat 10-May-14 09:20:14

I would recommend a labradoodle. My mom has 2 & they r lovely. They are very loyal & clever.
smile

basildonbond Sat 10-May-14 09:46:09

Toller smile they're the smallest retrievers, perfect family dogs and v intelligent so easy to train

We have a boy and he's v calm so can't imagine a bitch would be easier than him

Basildon how big exactly is a toller? He looks lovely and I love retrievers and would especially love a small one.

basildonbond Sat 10-May-14 10:12:21

He's somewhere between a small springer and a smallish lab if that helps at all? He weighs 18kg and won't get much heavier and is knee height at his shoulder. He's big enough to be a 'proper' dog iykwim but small enough so that my house doesn't feel like it's full of dog grin

Hmm - I didn't know about Tollers. Are they easy to get hold of? I like your description of enough dog without your house feeling full of dog - that's exactly what I'm after!

Angelto5 Sat 10-May-14 10:50:08

It's also worth looking at the breeds that don't moult.
smile

littlewhitebag Sat 10-May-14 10:50:55

I've just looked at Tollers on Google images and they are so beautiful and very cute. I want one!

basildonbond Sat 10-May-14 12:09:14

The only downside is they're not that easy to get hold of - we had to go on a waiting list for our pup but he's been well worth it

They do shed when they moult twice a year but in between times it's nowhere near as bad as a lab

You can't guarantee that poodle crosses won't moult btw ...

Ooh yes, I've just googled them too - lovely! I also like spaniels - anyone had a cocker or a springer? What are the pros and cons of each? I must say I'm very tempted by a lab or a retriever. Dh doesn't want a lab because he says everyone has them!

Gooner123 Sat 10-May-14 20:01:04

Our dog trainer breeds tollers,she used them in classes & I have to say I was quite taken with them,very bright dogs,good size family pet,she's in norfolk btw.

Snugglepiggy Sat 10-May-14 21:39:51

We have two Soringer puppies -yes two!but our work and lifestyle means they are with us all day mixing with other dogs and getting lots of stimulation and walks now ,and will get loads more as they get older.Our 3 previous dogs were a rescue lab,rescue collie and rescue mongrel so this is a new breed for us and they are fantastic dogs so far.So intelligent,affectionate and can't imagine our family without them.We did consider another Labrador but I was less keen than DH as know some very big,bouncy ones and I'm so glad we got our Springers.I wouldn't have even considered them without the ability to exercise them as much as we do,but you sound to have a good set up too.I must admit Tollers look a lovely family friendly breed too.

twojues Sat 10-May-14 21:52:21

I'd second a toller. We had a golden retriever when I was growing up. When my kids were old enough we got a golden retriever too. Had 14 1/2 wonderful years with him. When he was 7 we got lab cross. He is now 10.

When we lost the retriever, the lab was really withdrawn so we decided to get another dog, but didn't want one as big as a retriever. Did a bit of googling and found tollers.

Ours is now 3 1/2. Very clever (sometimes too clever). Not as laid back as the retriever or lab, but very loveable.

There aren't many around as Basildon says. We show ours. Not intentional, but the breeder wanted to. He has been quite successful too. I can put you in touch with a couple of breeders if you want.

MargotLovedTom Sat 10-May-14 21:58:31

There are some quite small Golden Retriever bitches around. We have a male and he's huge but I've met bitches who are smaller than the average Lab, and not much bigger than a spaniel. You can't beat them for lovely temperament.

Ilovemydogandmydoglovesme Sat 10-May-14 22:16:31

I've got a working cocker. He looks like a small springer. He is a fabulous little dog. Was a dream to train, both obedience and to the gun. He's the smallest gun dog breed so we have him indoors with us and he's no bother. Lovely temperament. Can carry a goose all by himself, if you need that sort of thing. grin

Loyal, loving, sweet natured, puts up with the kids. He's such a little personality. Talks to everyone that visits. Really talks, like to woof and yowl along. I'd be utterly lost without him now. The only downside is being a spaniel he's close to the ground and he has a long coat which needs regular clipping, otherwise he's a little thorn filled mud ball.

He's got lots of energy and likes a nice long walk with me. Gun dog breeds tend to need a lot of exercise. They make the best pets though, working or otherwise.

Ilovemydogandmydoglovesme Sat 10-May-14 22:22:53

The only other thing I would say is get a dog that will fit in with your lifestyle. It's no good having a working breed that needs a lot of exercise and stimulation if you can't devote the time to it. You'll need to be out for an hour a day so make sure you've got time. Oh and please, please find a good training club and stay there. Like, forever. Training is an ongoing process and dogs are learning all the time and six weeks of training will not last six months, let alone the rest of the dogs life.

Yup - am definitely up for plenty of walking! I am under no illusion that anyone but me will do the bulk of the exercise and training as I will be the one at home during the day, and I am happy to do it!

Also, having seen the mess my (well-meaning) parents made of training their lab, I am very keen to do classes and get it right.
One of the things I'm most excited about is the prospect of telling dd. She is obsessed with dogs and pleads with us incessantly to get one. We've always said no because it wasn't practical while I was working. She will be beside herself with joy when we tell her!

Btw, thanks so much for the suggestions everyone. smile

Ilovemydogandmydoglovesme Sun 11-May-14 01:38:33

You're welcome. Just make sure you come back and tell us what you got, with pictures, and how it all goes. grin

basildonbond Sun 11-May-14 07:11:08

Good luck with your puppy hunt - a good place to start if you're interested in Tollers is the Toller club of Great Britain - they have a puppy coordinator who'll be able to let you know of any planned litters coming up

Bubble2bubble Sun 11-May-14 14:06:30

If you are looking for a retriever/ lab/ spaniel/ setter type and would consider a rescue then this is a great place to look

Will do, Ilovemydog - I'm sure I will be wanting to show everyone all the time! Ut won't be until September at the earliest though - we won't be moving until late summer, and that's if we sell our house in time <grrr - whole other thread> !

mrslaughan Sun 11-May-14 19:32:39

I think the thing to remember with working breeds like working springers, cockers and collies is it is not just about exercise, it's about mental stimulation, having a job...you will never wear one out physically ( as a general rule), but will be happiest and most content when they have had to use/work their brains.

Ilovemydogandmydoglovesme Sun 11-May-14 22:10:39

Yes I second that. My dog has a good walk every day but we also do lots of playing around and training at home. It's fun and he enjoys it and it gives him a bit of an extra mental workout.

quineandloons Mon 12-May-14 11:13:41

We've got a German wirehaired pointer, just to add another gundog breed into the mix, who is really quite little, very affectionate and sweet natured. DHs family have always had the shorthaired ones and they varied in size but were always very dainty and light on their feet. Ours is a rescue so she's got a few issues but they are intelligent, attractive dogs. Lots of stamina so perfect for long walks and running. The shorthairs got into the weave of fabrics but the wirehairs don't, thankfully, and she doesn't shed nearly as much area lab.

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