Advice please on new puppy?

(10 Posts)
Puppydecisions Wed 14-Sep-16 20:47:59

Name changed as friends know my username and puppy is a surprise for the DC, don't want someone to mention it to them. Unlikely I know, but...

A few questions.

Could you please tell me pros and cons for either sex?

The bigger the dog, the more exercise it needs?

How to integrate with cats?

Thanks in anticipation.

TrionicLettuce Wed 14-Sep-16 22:34:56

Getting a puppy as a complete surprise for your DCs might not be as easy as you think. Reputable breeders (and rescues, if that's the route you're going down) generally want to meet the whole family before they decide if they're happy for you to have a puppy.

Generally there aren't really any definitive differences between the sexes, temperament and personality are far more down to the individual in question than whether they're a dog or a bitch.

Size has no bearing on exercise needs. Some tiny breeds need tons of exercise, some large breeds don't. Do you have a particular breed in mind?

Are your cats dog savvy? How they're likely to react to dogs may have some bearing on what sort of dog you get. For example if they're skittish and likely to bolt from the dog then I probably wouldn't recommend going for a breed likely to have a high prey drive unless you're happy to do some pretty intensive management. Initially I'd make sure the cats always have places they can get to where the puppy can't so they can get some respite whenever they want. Also don't let the puppy get into the habit of chasing the cats, even if it seems harmless when its only tiny. It's not a behaviour you want them practising. You can use a lightweight house line at first to keep them under control when the cats are in the same room.

Puppydecisions Thu 15-Sep-16 10:08:28

Thanks for your reply. Trionic.

There's a lot to digest there. The cats will be allowed upstairs and th edog won't. Also they'll have access to the laundry (sleep and food) and sun room, where the dog won't be aloowed.

I'm looking at either a labradoodle or goldendoodle.

Thanks for the answer re sex, I think I was initially keen on a bitch, but that now seems unnecessary.

Cherryskypie Thu 15-Sep-16 10:10:23

What's wrong with a golden retriever, a labrador or a poodle? They're all lovely dogs.

Branleuse Thu 15-Sep-16 10:22:55

labradoodles need tonnes of exercise. Theyre really high energy. I dont know about goldens

phillipp Thu 15-Sep-16 10:47:39

The whole dog surprise thing can be great or it can be awful.

I did it, but we personally knew the breeder, so they knew our kids. Lots of breeders would want to meet the kids first.

Also it can go down like a lead balloon. I am in a lot of dog Facebook groups and 2 families have rehomed puppies within weeks, due to the kids reactions. While the kids did want a dog, the reality of having a nippy, attention hungry baby turn up with no chance to prepare has ended in disaster.

As pp said its about yeh dogs temperament not, sex really.

And size doesn't mean anything when it comes to exercise needs.

The breeds you are considering may need a lot of exercise.

Again with cats, it's a personality thing. Not a breed thing.

Blackfellpony Thu 15-Sep-16 12:34:23

Generally I find dogs easier than bitches and more laid back however my bitch is much more loyal and affectionate. Either way I don't think it matters much.

Cats aren't too difficult to intergrate depending on your cat. Give the cat it's own space and teach the dog to respect the cat. Always have the puppy on lead at first and do not allow chasing (learnt this one from experience!)

Excersise requirements do vary and have no relation to size. Most of the giant breeds actually walk less!

I would be wary of the 'breeds' mentioned. With a cross characteristics are varied, just because it says doodle does not mean it's hypoallergenic or does not shed and often they are bred by backyard breeders as decent breeders typically breed pedigree not crossbreeds.
Ive met some lovely doodles but some equally horrid ones!
They will need a lot of excersise as all of the breeds mentioned are working breeds.

Standard poodles are fab in their own right, as are retrievers and labs.

TrionicLettuce Thu 15-Sep-16 13:06:29

It can be very difficult, particularly with certain breeds/crosses, to find decent breeders who are going about things properly. Normally if you were looking for a specific breed you'd start by contacting the breed club who would be able to put you in touch with good breeders with litters planned. Whilst clubs do exist for some of the more popular crosses they seem to be far less discerning about their members, often having puppy farmers (albeit ones with a very nice facade) on their lists of recommended breeders.

What is you like about the two crosses you've mentioned?

If you're after a large, energetic, low shedding dog (bearing in mind that less shedding = more grooming) then I'd suggest looking at standard poodles. They're fantastic dogs; intelligent, trainable, genuinely low shedding and generally really good fun. They don't need any more grooming than a poodle cross, in fact they need less than some depending on the coat the cross inherits.

It's quite difficult to find breeders of crosses who are doing anything more than straight crosses of the two parent breeds which means there can be quite a lot of variation in the resulting puppies. If there's a particular type you're after then you really need to look for breeders who are specifically breeding for that type rather than just sticking a poodle and a lab together then hoping for the best.

Standard poodles, labs and goldens all need to be health tested for a number of different conditions prior to being bred and this still applies if they're being used to produce crosses. You can see lists of the relevant tests on these pages:

Standard Poodle

Golden Retriever

Labrador Retriever

Although some of the conditions that can be tested for aren't shared between the breeds that doesn't mean it's acceptable to skip those tests. It's very common for breeders of poodle crosses to not bother with the vWD test because the disease isn't present in the other breed they're using however it's possible for dogs who are only carriers for vWD to be affected (albeit mildly) by the disease.

In cases where a dog's parents have both been DNA tested clear for any condition it's then not necessary to perform that particular test because that dog can't be anything other than clear. In such a situation I'd expect the breeder to have copies of the relevant paperwork for the parent dogs for you to see.

This guide is obviously geared towards people looking for a pedigree puppy but a lot of it is still relevant anyway. Their list of questions to ask a breeder is also good and most of it is relevant regardless of whether you're looking for a pedigree or a cross.

G00FY Thu 15-Sep-16 15:08:25

I have a labradoodle!
I have grown up with dogs (all shapes & sizes!) I was keen to get a 'non-moulting' dog. And guess what? He moults! It makes no difference now tbf, but please don't think a poodle cross will not moult! I think it's something like a 20% chance of non-moulting.
The other thing I wasn't prepared for is how big he is! As I've grown up with bigger & smaller breeds, it's not an issue for me. But some of my non-dog-loving visitors are amazed by his size-think larger Labrador.
He is also the loveliest, calmest & most loyal dog! He was meant to be a 'guard' dog & alert me to visitors, but he doesn't bark, ever!
I got a cat after I got him, they now snuggle up together. I'm not sure how a cat would feel by bringing a dog home.
Good luck in your search!

G00FY Thu 15-Sep-16 15:11:18

Oh another thing, if you go for a breeder I would suggest puppies that are home reared & make sure you see their mother.
Any reputable breeder will welcome any questions you may have & also not pressure you into getting one of their puppies! My mum breeds cocker spaniels.

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