Help me choose my next dog

(33 Posts)
doubleristretto Wed 26-Oct-16 17:36:44

I have always had rescue dogs, an ex-racing greyhound, an adult Labrador, a 12 month Lab cross, an 11 month chihuahua/jrt and an 11 month Beagle/jrt. For most of the time I've had 2 dogs which suited us all very well. I'm currently down to just the Beagle/jrt who is 18 months old and although he is great, he's not a cuddly animal. I'm looking into getting a lapdog, possibly treating myself to a puppy for the first time. I appreciate that they are hard work (obviously not really until I've actually done it!) but my children are now sixth form age and I don't work so I have the time to put in. I understand the issues of puppy farms and unscrupulous breeders, hence the many rescue animals. I'd want to find a nice, small scale breeder. I wouldn't be looking for a pedigree champion type or to breed her myself, just a friendly little pup.

Please could you offer any recommendations? I'm tempted with a chihuahua but our previous chi/jrt didn't ever grasp housetraining 100% which would be nice to avoid! We didn't really mind as she was gorgeous but it was a bit of a pain. My current dog absolutely loves all other dogs and has socialised with my neighbour's puppy so I am not concerned about him taking against a new friend, I actually think he could really do with a new pack buddy.

Thank you for any help flowers

BeBopTalulah Wed 26-Oct-16 20:13:15

The problem is, breeders by definition SHOULD be breeding "pedigree champion type" dogs, otherwise they shouldn't be doing it, frankly. The point is to preserve the best examples of the breed, and take it bloody seriously. A small-scale, 'less serious' breeder would make me more nervous to be honest. You have amazing experience with rescue dogs, why not just note some interest with all your nearest rescue centres that you are ready for a puppy? They could then bear you in mind when a litter comes in.

By all means buy a puppy, but just be sure that they've been bred for the right reasons, i.e they are physically and emotionally excellent examples of the breed and have had all the relevant screening tests and vetting. I'm hoping someone comes along who knows more about breed specifics than me and can recommend some!

swooosh Wed 26-Oct-16 20:15:40

Have you considered a full Beagle? There are many available in rescue centres and all the ones I know are very much (or think they are) lap dogs and cuddly.

Floralnomad Wed 26-Oct-16 20:18:53

I agree with the pp why not try a rescue pup . Many Tears usually have quite a few pups of the cuddly lap dog variety .

Ylvamoon Wed 26-Oct-16 21:39:27

First, if you want a puppy from a breeder, why not? There are people of course, who disagree - like op. But, if all dogs would be just from champions in the show ring, the inbreeding would be horrific. (As it was done in the past, hence the excessive health testing.)
What you should get from a breed dog is a guide about size, temperament and suitability to your requirements, from the breed standard.
I think once you have settled for a breed, you should have a good look around. Dog breeders come in all shapes and sizes, from the single dog family to someone with a few different breeds. Those who do it as a hobby, for the love or as an business. As a general rule, buying a puppy should be a bit like an job interview- be prepared to answer a few questions about yourself your lifestyle and family. If a breeder doesn't ask, walk away! (This works both ways- you should also ask questions about dam, sire or where the puppy is raised - home or kennel?).

My breed suggestion for you is a Chinese Crested (powderpuff). They are small and have a very sweet nature, but are energetic enough to keep up with your Beagle x. They will require training and socialization or they will run your house for you! -you said, you have time!
I had two, and they where the sweetest hot water bottles I have ever had! Obviously they come with next to no hair (hairless) or with lots of hair (powderpuff).

lapsedorienteerer Wed 26-Oct-16 21:44:08

Irish Terrier of coursesmile

Mrsladybirdface Wed 26-Oct-16 21:48:56

Agree with the above poster. I know lots of people who have let there dog have puppies and they have been reared in loving family homes and it has never been for the money. We got our puppy through word of mouth, which I think is a great way.

I'd go for a cocker...they love to keep your feet warm

MaitlandGirl Wed 26-Oct-16 21:50:31

It all depends how much coat care/grooming you want to do. I've got papillons (which need a quick daily brush and feet/legs trimming every 4/6weeks - 10 mins job) but that might be too much for you) and they're great little dogs. Full of character and really think they're normal sized dogs in toy bodies.

They're bred to sit there and look pretty but they're very smart and love to learn.

doubleristretto Wed 26-Oct-16 21:50:33

Thank you for your advice smile

BeBop, I appreciate your argument but remain unconvinced. Just like with my previous Labradors, there is a huge range between your "showgirl" and your hunting dog. The breed standard may well not make the best family pet and pushing toward one, unattainable ideal is not healthy for the breed. Just my point of view! Clearly breeding from unwell stock or inbreeding is a different matter entirely.

swoosh, I totally see what you are saying and that is half the reason we took our current dog. He is however not the same as the little one, I used to carry her sometimes which is just not on with a beagle sized dog! We all love him but the dog sized gap in our pack is not Beagle-sized, lovely as they are!

Floral, thank you for your help. I have been put off rescues when I've visited and asked about little dogs. I've very much been given the impression that I'm a silly, middle class woman and that I ought to be looking at taking on one of their numerous, larger dogs rather than holding on for a fluffy puppy. I feel that I've done enough for that not to be fair but they are understandably too busy to take that on board.

doubleristretto Wed 26-Oct-16 21:52:46

Oh wow, thank you! Four extra messages just appeared, I shall have a look .

TrionicLettuce Wed 26-Oct-16 22:48:28

There is so much more to breeding than just having a dog with a lovely temperament and deciding it would be nice for her to have puppies. Many people who just fancy having a litter from their family pet don't bother with health testing, they don't consider inbreeding coefficients (there's a great article about just how important that is here), they don't consider conformation and how it can affect the overall health and wellbeing of the dog, they don't research lines looking for anomalies of temperament or any sign of health issues for which no tests currently exist.

All these things are so important when breeding regardless of whether the puppies might be show dogs, sport dogs, working dogs or "just" family pets. Also remember there's often quite a bit of overlap between these types of dogs. A lot of puppies bred by show breeders go to pet homes and never set foot in the show ring, some working/sports breeders produce excellent pets for active families.

If you like the hound mentality and want something cuddly you wouldn't go far wrong with a whippet. If you can cope with a potentially very high prey drive then they're absolutely wonderful little dogs, so sweet and affectionate. Admittedly they can also be fairly mischievous but they're an absolute hoot to live with grin

doubleristretto Thu 27-Oct-16 00:11:44

Oh my goodness they're all so cute! It's such a shame that we can't all have a go with each and every type of dog! I will keep an eye on the rescues but as I said before I've rather been scared off for the moment. The whole breeder thing is obviously a mine field. I'm not going to pay over £1k for a puppy so I'm afraid that rather limits my options! I'm sure they're splendid and everyone is doing their very best but it does rather price a lot of people out of dog ownership doesn't it?

BagelGoesWalking Thu 27-Oct-16 11:13:50

Try rescues such as:

Silver Fox Dog Rescue
Zante Strays
Hope Rescue
Balkan Underdogs
Pound Dogs for Adoption
Four Paws Rescue
SPDC Cyprus

What about Peanut?

doubleristretto Thu 27-Oct-16 12:05:15

Oh my goodness, Bagel, Peanut and the Silver Fox dogs are adorable! I must stop and actually go out now but I will have a good look later. I had rather promised myself a bitch as we're a bit boy-heavy on the pet front!

FenellaMaxwell Thu 27-Oct-16 12:08:32

We are the opposite - went into Battersea dogs home looking for a medium adult dog, came out with a little fluffy puppy! You can definitely still get what you are looking for at a rescue - it's really worth looking into!

tabulahrasa Thu 27-Oct-16 12:26:35

"I'm not going to pay over £1k for a puppy so I'm afraid that rather limits my options! I'm sure they're splendid and everyone is doing their very best but it does rather price a lot of people out of dog ownership doesn't it?"

Not many breeds come in at that sort of price...if they're rare or have tiny litters, but most are less than that, some about half that.

Besides, while I understand going, how much???? If you actually think of the cost of dog ownership over their lifetime - if I'd struggle or be unable to save that much money up in the year I'd expect to be on a decent breeder's waiting list for, I'd be considering carefully whether I could afford to own one.

doubleristretto Thu 27-Oct-16 13:58:05

tabulah I was responding to the above post about supporting the best bloodlines. While you can absolutely get pure breed puppies bred locally for more like £5-600, the ones through the Kennel Club website tend to be more like £1,200. I was just saying that I wasn't going to spend that much, not that I didn't have sufficient funds to support a dog or two! My rescues tend to cost about £220 but most need immediate neutering which pretty much doubles the price, with a puppy you would want to leave it intact for approaching a year. Anyway, sorry but that irritated me!

I'm going to have a good look through the shelters again, Fenella, I'm glad you had such a happy outcome smile What sort of puppy did you get, if you don't mind my asking?

tabulahrasa Thu 27-Oct-16 14:13:15

"Anyway, sorry but that irritated me!"

I didn't mean you couldn't afford to own a dog, you have done, so you'll know how much they cost to run, lol

What I meant was, it's not afford though is it? Or at least if it really is can't afford it then you'd have to be doing hard thinking about whether you can actually afford a dog at all. (Generic general you, not you the individual)

what people usually mean when the say that and what I'm assuming you mean is you're not willing to pay that.

That's more what I meant - that it's not really about affording it or not.

doubleristretto Thu 27-Oct-16 14:53:58

Yivamoon I found these little beauties for you!

tabulah I understand, it's fine, I'm sorry if I'm a little tetchy, the TOTM approaches!

TrionicLettuce Thu 27-Oct-16 15:01:10

I was responding to the above post about supporting the best bloodlines.

It's not about "the best bloodlines", it's about breeders doing absolutely everything within their power to ensure they're producing healthy, sound dogs with excellent temperaments. You're more likely to find a breeder like that if you're looking at show/working/sports breeders than someone who is having a one off litter from their family pet just because they fancy it.

Going to a responsible breeder doesn't necessarily mean paying the highest prices either. Prices do vary from breed to breed and some are much more expensive than others but generally the really high prices are charged by some of the worst breeders.

tabulahrasa Thu 27-Oct-16 15:17:40

"I understand, it's fine, I'm sorry if I'm a little tetchy, the TOTM approaches!"

It's fine - I didn't mean, if you can't afford to buy a dog you can't afford to own one with a disapproving stare, but I can see how it could be read that way, lol.

But it's about whether people are willing to pay that.

The thing is, it's not about whether you're paying extra for nothing really - there are benefits to you to finding a decent breeder. What you're paying for isn't just a bit of paper and a slightly better looking dog.

A good breeder breeding show dogs (for example rather than working dogs, where a couple of things would be slightly different) can tell you about the health and temperament of generations of ancestors, not just the test scores of the parents, but everything.

They should have lessened the chances of health problems by picking their breeding bitch and stud carefully.

You should have a pretty good idea about temperament because not only are they inherited, but they are part of the breed standard, you should have a very very good idea about size as well because they're breeding for that too.

They'll have made sure their bitch is in great condition physically and have done absolutely everything they can to get the healthiest puppies.

That means you should be looking at a healthy puppy, where you know exactly what it's likely to turn out like.

And you've got the back up of help and support from the breeder if you ever need it.

None of that comes with just being KC registered of course, or even just showing, but it's what you'll get if you really take care and find a good breeder rather than just not terrible.

"generally the really high prices are charged by some of the worst breeders."

That's true as well.

FenellaMaxwell Thu 27-Oct-16 16:30:44

We aren't entirely sure. Some kind of combo of Shih tzu/poodle/maltese/Bichon grin

doubleristretto Thu 27-Oct-16 18:03:15

I'm sorry, I didn't mean to offend, my vocabulary is obviously not correct, what would one mean by bloodlines then? I do understand (conceptually at least!) breeding for genetics going many generations back. I also understand that an ethical breeder will be doing so for the animal's welfare, unlike the bad old days when the pursuit of certain traits led to some extreme and unhealthy mutations in some breeds.

I've had no luck looking, all day, at rescue centres. I think the problem is that I don't want to compromise this time around, no matter how worthy the animal sad. Does anyone know of a great breeder who produces really good natured pups? I know somebody who got an older puppy who had been returned to the breeder, I don't know if this happens often?

doubleristretto Thu 27-Oct-16 18:03:58

Fenella, your puppy is gorgeous!

TrionicLettuce Thu 27-Oct-16 18:10:10

If you've got a particular breed in mind then the best starting point is usually the breed club (either the national one or, if the breed is popular enough to have multiple clubs) the relevant regional one.

You can find lists of clubs by choosing the particular breed here on the KC site.

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