I want a dog, can't decide on breed

(44 Posts)
Beaverfeaver Thu 03-Jan-13 14:14:50

Hav grown up around mongrels and Dalmatians from a very young age and since moving out miss the companionship and joy the dogs have bought me.

We already have a cat, but are outdoorsy people who often go for long walks and holidays are usually walking holidays and feel that there is a doggy out there missing out!

Anyway, DH has vetoed Dalmatians.
He specifically wants a large breed dog and like a Weimeranas and Hungarian Viszlas.

I have always had a soft spot for Great Danes and beagles, however have done lots of research into the breeds and don't think they would be right for us.

How did you decide on a breed?

Hellooooo2013 Thu 03-Jan-13 14:26:18

Sorry, can't help much with large breeds, but Springer spaniels or working cocker spaniels like lots of exercise and have a good nature.

When we were looking for a dog a couple of years ago I did lots of research on the internet. We have a rescue cavalier King Charles, she's lovely.

Beaverfeaver Thu 03-Jan-13 14:27:42

I recently walked a friends cocker spaniel and she was lovly.

Really love cavalier King Charles

Hellooooo2013 Thu 03-Jan-13 14:28:00

Forgot to say, friends have a Hungarian Vizla and she is lovely, nice temperament and they walk lots and she loves to be out with them.

Is the breed really that important to you? It's just that you said you felt there was a dog out there "missing out" and I immedately thought that it sounded like something someone considering a rescue dog would say.

What about going along to your local rescue centre and seeing what dog they think would fit in easily with your lifestyle?

If you do decide to go for a specific breed but would also like a rescue dog then DogsBlog might be worth a look. Dogs are listed by either sex, age or breed and they're advertised by rescue centres all over the country.

drivinmecrazy Thu 03-Jan-13 14:32:16

weimeraner, definitely. My Mum has one that has grown up along side my DDs. She's soooo intelligent, gentle and fun. she's now 8 and living in Spain but we still regularly talk to her on the phone, and she goes into excitment overload when my Mum tells her we're visiting. She knows us all by our names smile
My DH wont have a dog because we cant have a weimeraner (not enough room primarily) so would rather have no dog.
MIL has a beagle thats a PIA, was a nightmare to train and eats everything in sight, but the kids seems to love her.

mistlethrush Thu 03-Jan-13 14:35:01

We've just lost our heinz 57, but have a new lurcher who is delightful. I'm hoping that, in time, she'll be as wonderful as our last dog, although that's rather an ask. We thought very carefully about breeds, and worked out that a lurcher would probably suit our needs well by carefully working out what we wanted a dog to be like and using that to discount breeds!

WileywithSageStuffing Thu 03-Jan-13 14:52:47

I used to have a JRT and she would regularly out walk and out rabbit all of my friends big dogs. Even in her twilight years.

My friend has a wire haired vizla and it is the most placid and beautiful dog I have ever laid eyes on!

shoutymcshoutsmum Thu 03-Jan-13 15:32:51

Have you or your husband looked at German Short-haired Pointers? We have one and he is delightful.

Both the breeds you mention are intelligent, high energy and quite sensitive so would need a lot of daily exercise and not to be left for long periods of time, if that makes a difference to your thinking? Velcro Dogs!

Also, a Vizsla is more a medium sized breed than large, the wire haired is less high energy than the smooth coated. We did look into this breed.

Both stunning looking breeds though. Our friends have a smooth haired Vizsla and she is beautiful, lovely nature but follows my friend all over the house!

Friends have a GSP too, agree - a delightful dog.

shoutymcshoutsmum Thu 03-Jan-13 15:54:27

with needastrongone, our GSP needs to be with his family, he will not complain if he is on his own for a few hours but more than that kind of time, he doesn't like it and makes it known! He also needs two off-the-lead runs a day - walking to the shops or school or round the block does not cut it. These dogs need to run or they get destructive. Gorgeous, gorgeous though - affectionate and beautiful and loyal....

LST Thu 03-Jan-13 16:33:02

we have a collie. He loves the outdoors smile grin

FayeKorgasm Thu 03-Jan-13 16:37:35

I have a lovely choccy lab so naturally my vote is for a lab.

There is nothing quite like a kiss from a Labrador grin

letseatgrandma Thu 03-Jan-13 16:42:21

What are cavalier king charles like as pets? Being left/length and frequency of walks/shedding/good with children etc? I
They are gorgeous and about the size is like but I was wondering about the practicalities?

I like Bichon frises as well. And westies- oh, it's too hard to choose!!

GrimmaTheNome Thu 03-Jan-13 16:45:35

Don't some of the larger breeds have health problems and tend to live less long and counterintuitively should not be overwalked (esp when young)? I've seen more small/medium dogs (JRTs, spaniels, our dachshunds...) at the top of mountains than Great Danes etc...size isn't everything if you want a walker!

There are some choose your ideal breed websites. Just google it. They can give you ideas that you might not have thought of and some recommend heinz 57s. Vizslas are lovely but they need lots of exercise every day, not just weekends and holidays. We've recently adopted a lurcher who is just glorious. He's an unusual mix of rough collie and greyhound. We didn't know that at the time, just went for his character temperament knowing we wanted a lurcher or greyhound as they fit our lifestyle.

Hellooooo2013 Thu 03-Jan-13 18:59:26

letseatgrandma, my cavalier is absolutely lovely! She is devoted to me but loves the rest of the family too. She loves a good run in the woods but is equally happy with half an hour at the park. She has good recall, very obedient. She does bark if she hears other dogs barking. But loves playing with other dogs when she's off the lead. She doesn't like being separated from me but I leave her with a Kong if we go out and the radio on and she seems OK. But I wouldn't recommend a cavalier if you're going to leave it alone all day whilst you're at work.

Ours is a rescue dog and we're not sure why but she barks at small children, as if she's scared of them, I think one may have been a bit over the top with her at some point.

Percephone Thu 03-Jan-13 19:16:01

We decided first of all on how much exercise the dog would need and how much we could realistically give him. Also need for grooming was important as I don't think I would be good at combing a long haired dog every day and hovering up the hairs. Also one who could be looked after by family occasionally if we were away. So we got a small, friendly, short haired, lazy dog - a Boston terrier!

tabulahrasa Thu 03-Jan-13 19:28:55

I wanted a largish dog, short haired, intelligent enough to be easily trained but not cleverer than me and up for lots of walking, we ended up with a rottie - who should fit that description...

Except he's 6 months old and I still can't walk him, you need to bear in mind with large breed dogs that you need to be really strict with not overexercising when they're young and even then you might still end up with joint problems.

Floralnomad Thu 03-Jan-13 19:41:37

I think a patterdale terrier would fit your requirements in all but size but you have to remember that terriers think they're big dogs !

redpanda13 Thu 03-Jan-13 20:41:52

I really wanted a Spinone or a German Wirehaired Pointer. Like your DH I had my heart set on a larger breed. I was prepared to go smaller for a Basset Griffon Vendeen. We have a Lab/Collie X who still needs a lot of excercise in her twilight years.
Anyway my DD wanted a small dog she would feel was her own.We looked into small breeds that would fit into our family. Needed to be able to hold their own with larger bouncy dog and cats. Percephone - yes we just brought home a Boston Terrier puppy

Beaverfeaver Thu 03-Jan-13 21:13:01

Thanks for all the replies.

Oldbag - rehoming an older dog was our aim ether than puppy, but still want a good idea of breeds that will suit us rather than rescuing a dog tht won't suit our lifestyle.
However, I think DH secretly wants to raise his own puppy and having an existing cat, it would probably be wise to bring something on that is smaller than him to begin with.

Viszla although not a large breed, would probably be about the right size for us. The ones we have met have been lovley and friendly.

Labradors do tick many boxes, but neither me or DH are taken by the ones we have met. (Mums Dalmatians don't seem to like them either).

A friend who is a vet keeps trying to put me off Weimeranas as she says they will be even more hard work than Dalmatians, but thu are gorgeous dogs and will enjoy the walks.

Seems that Viszla keeps coming to top of the list and is near the top on the choose my perfect dog breed questionnaires.

Don't think the cat is going to like this...

Percephone Fri 04-Jan-13 01:37:21

Good choice redpanda, Bostons are fab! I want another one grin . Hope you find your perfect dog OP, it's really difficult to choose! Have you considered a boxer? (I have a soft spot for them too!)

YNK Fri 04-Jan-13 01:56:18

Lots of lovely Staffies/ Staffie x's need homes. They are really lovely loyal dogs. Great with kids and very easy to train!

charlearose Fri 04-Jan-13 13:20:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Lorialet Fri 04-Jan-13 13:21:55

I vote for the Vizsla. I have one and she's gorgeous ~ lovely temperament, both with people and other dogs and cats. She's one next week and she does need a fair bit of exercise (we walk about 6 miles a day now). I had wanted one for years before we got her so did loads of research on the breed and the more I read, the more I fell in love with them. Especially their "velcro" tendencies smile

dibsmum Sat 05-Jan-13 02:04:22

Please rescue a dog, the rescue centres are so full they're putting lovely healthy dogs to sleep sad especially staffies. they're amazing, loving dogs. Another breed that may suit you is a trailhound. Please Google trailhound welfare, they're big gentle dogs often overlooked.

Beaverfeaver Sat 05-Jan-13 02:13:19

Why do the rescue centres get so many staffies in?

People keep saying how wonderful they are and the RSPCA even has a campaign to big them up, but then why are thy the most rehomed breed by far?

dibsmum Sat 05-Jan-13 08:59:34

It's because staffies are over bred by grotty people who want them as status dogs and then can't be arsed to look after them. They also think they will be aggressive but they're so soft and docile and just want to be cuddled. People realise this and just abandon them so the rescues are full of them. I would definitely have another staff, ours is an angel and adores my baby.

Twattybollocks Sat 05-Jan-13 18:23:02

Rescues are over run with staffs because for a few reasons, firstly because they are massively overbred. Second because the press have painted them as child eating monsters and sadly many people still believe this. Thirdly, as puppies and young dogs they tend to be very bouncy, excitable and strong. Most do settle down into lovely dogs, but the odd few remain a bit barmy for life. Unfortunately by the time the dog calms down its usually been rehomed as the owners can't be bothered to deal with the problem.
Seriously, if ever you want a big dog personality in a neat little package then staffs are great. They have huge character, love to have fun, love to exercise and also love to be couch potatoes. They are short coated so don't shed too much, don't need loads of exercise, and are generally superb with kids as they aren't a timid breed and like to play games.

IAmNotAMindReader Sat 05-Jan-13 19:18:22

You could try a failed guide or assistance dog. They have a much higher training standard than most and only a 75% pass rate. You could end up with a wonderful highly trained pet. They also look for homes for retired dogs aged 9 and over.

puffinnuffin Sat 05-Jan-13 20:51:51

Letseatgrandma- Cavaliers are lovely dogs. I am fostering one at the moment and he is a dear little dog. He is wonderful with children, very friendly and laid back. He loves walks but doesn't seem to want to walk really far (he sometimes jumps in my toddlers push chair!), but can have the odd bonkers moment if a cat is about.
The only downside is that he is very hairy and sheds quite a bit of fur. He hates the rain and refuses to go out in it. Cavaliers can have terrible health problems, so pet insurance is a must. However they have such beautiful natures and full of character and love. You can get rescue Cavaliers too.

Abigail9580 Sat 05-Jan-13 21:11:42

Completely agree with puffinuffin-if you get a cavy you need insurance. They nearly always develop heart conditions. I'm a vet nurse and have seen all types of breeds etc and to honest it's how you train then not the breed which makes them into lovely dogs. Heinz 57 however tend to be less highly strung and generally have less health complications.
There are usually rescue centres for all pedigree breeds and the people that run them are really knowledgable and can answer any questions you have. But personally I would recommend any dog from a home breeder, who has just had pups because they love their dog not for the money. Xx

tabulahrasa Sat 05-Jan-13 21:37:07

TBH I wouldn't worry much about what breeds might suit you if you're looking at an older dog...if you're getting a puppy you're weighing up breed traits and picking a breed and hoping that the puppy has those traits. With an older dog, you know what it's like already, you don't need to guess how much exercise it's likely to need or whether it's easily trained, (or any number of other things that might mater to you) you can just see what that dog is like.

saintmerryweather Sat 05-Jan-13 23:27:18

do many people breed because they love their dog? id have thought thatscthe last thing you would do, considering the risks of whelping. if i were to buy a puppy i would look through dog papers (our dogs for eg, printed weekly) to find the names of the kennels who seemed to be doing the best at the shows then contact a few of them to find out when their next litters were planned, what the sire and dam are and check their stats on mate select and kc health checks. if i liked what i found i.would go on.the breeders waitlist. i most certainly wouldnt buy from a home breeder who bred their dog because they love it! Have you thought about a working cocker or a working lab op? Theyre quite different to their show counterparts

GrimmaTheNome Sun 06-Jan-13 16:57:42

> But personally I would recommend any dog from a home breeder, who has just had pups because they love their dog not for the money

that seems odd advice from a vet nurse. Would a home breeder have done the appropriate breed-specific health screening? Maybe if you personally know the breeder and both the sire and the dam it'd be OK but people too often fall foul of what they take to be a 'home' breeder who is really a backyard breeder or front for a puppy farm totally in it for the money, or just clueless and thinks it would be 'nice' to have pups.

Lafaminute Sun 06-Jan-13 17:55:25

We wanted a westhighland white, a fox terrier or a beagle. We went to the dog show in Earls Court and ended up with an adorable Golden Retriever. Talking to the breeders at the dog show and meeting the dogs gave us some much-needed perspective. She is now 12 years old and I can still remember the advice given on each breed. When our girl leaves us I'd be tempted to go back to the show again (if it still exists) as our priorities have changed and we don't think we'd ever want our GR replaced as such.

dibsmum Sun 06-Jan-13 19:17:06

Please adopt a rescue. The dog will be genuinely grateful to you forever.

Marne Sun 06-Jan-13 20:57:53

Another vote for a staffie or staff cross here, there seem to be a lot of staffxlurchers up for rehoming (here anyway). I have a staff, she's ment to be pure staff but i'm sure she has a bit of lurcher or even dalmation in her, she loves walking, is happy to walk miles but also happy to sleep all day (so very flexable), short hair so they dont get as smelly grin and they love a cuddle (mines glued to my daughter as i type).

Also love pointers, spaniels and dalmations.

saintmerryweather Sun 06-Jan-13 21:03:10

I think Lafaminute is talking about Discover Dogs, that would be a good place to go. Or Crufts is on in March, they have a discover dogs section where you can meet the dogs and owners / breeders and ask them about the breeds you're interested in

dibsmum Sun 06-Jan-13 21:33:13

a staffie lurcher cross would be my ideal dog, we currently have a staffie cross and a lurcher. they're both fab!

mistlethrush Mon 07-Jan-13 08:21:10

Dibsmum - plenty of bull lurchers around - some are big daft softies grin

dibsmum Mon 07-Jan-13 11:56:10

sounds fab! We're ok with the 2 dogs, a cat and a baby for now but I will definitely look out for one of those when we look for another dog.

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