Breed advice pleaese - Springer, Schnauzer or Bichon

(42 Posts)
angelinterceptor Tue 30-Apr-13 11:41:40

This might seem like a weird request - we are finally, after many years of waiting and putting it off, getting our first dog.

DH favours a springer spaniel - and they seem like a medium sized dog - or am I wrong do they get really big?

DC like smaller dogs like the schnauzer, bichon etc - I suspect because these are the dogs their friends have.

We will be getting a puppy, and it will be coming to work with me eventually, so need a chilled breed. Access to exercise and training not a problem.

want a good family pet, happy to chill, and also happy to do walks to forest, beach etc.
would be doing longer walks in evening - say 30-60mins

please please can anyone help

we would consider rescue - but there is not much around here - and I don't know if we would be approved.

VivaLeBeaver Tue 30-Apr-13 11:49:20

I'm no expert but I'm not sure I'd call springers a chilled breed. I know quite a few people with them and they all seem a bit bonkers, but happy if they get quite a lot of exercise. My best friends springer needs an hour plus in the morning or won't settle in the day.

My neighbours had a springer which they rehomed after a few weeks. They were out at work, did a short walk in the morning. Dog ate their sofas, curtains, carpet and a kitchen cabinet.

angelinterceptor Tue 30-Apr-13 11:52:17

OMG really? I don't know anyone with a springer - just seen them in the park etc.


topbannana Tue 30-Apr-13 11:55:13

A springer does seem slightly more work than you are planning on (though mine have all been working type, not really had much to do with show type)

VivaLeBeaver Tue 30-Apr-13 11:56:37

If you have time to take them for a good walk in the morning they may well be fine. Especially if you're about during the day, but I don't think they're a breed for you if you both work?

Springers are not chilled they are springy! Hence the name! But all spaniels tend to be very soft mouthed and child friendly. Schnouzers also friendly, bit more terrier like ( assume you mean miniature ones not full size!), don't need as much exercise as spaniels but will chase chickens. Know nothing about bichons.

VivaLeBeaver Tue 30-Apr-13 11:58:32

How about a podengo? I've just got one and he's lovely and would meet all your requirements. Mines a bit of an arse as he's an older, unsocialised dog. But a puppy would be fine.

angelinterceptor Tue 30-Apr-13 12:09:56

I have never heard of a podengo - will google that now.

Am in NI, and so less choice perhaps - think the springer will be too much of a handful, as we have fairly busy lives. Will narrow down to smaller breeds I think (sorry DH)

VivaLeBeaver Tue 30-Apr-13 12:14:33

I don't think you'd get a podengo in Northern Ireland. There's only a few breeders in the UK mainland.

One of my friends has a schanuzer and it does seem a lovely dog, that would have been my choice after a podengo and your requirements seem similar to ours.

I also had shi-tzus as a child and they were nice dogs. Either regular clipping or frequent grooming though.

I have a Springer, he is a working line springer.
He is up for anything, I take him to working trials every now and then
However he is also quite content to chill for a few hours after his morning walk
He is not a particularly demanding dog, but is ball obsessed and quite clumsy and is always ready for a walk or a game, he will keep going all day if required. Just be careful if you decide on a Springer as they can be very lively and do like a lot of exercise.

I also have a small fluffy breed grin (Shih Tzu Cross) puppy who thinks he is a springer who is happy to go on the same length walk as the other dogs, and is also happy pottering about the garden. He is quite clever though and will chew if he is bored.

I don't know much about Schnauzers, I do have a friend who has 2 and says she wont be getting another because of all the grooming and clipping they need to keep their coats and beards from getting manky.

So go fro a Spaniel if you don't mind bouncy chaos and endless games of fetch

a Schnauzer if you like grooming and er....beards

or a Bichon if you want something sociable, that likes company but needs a lot of grooming and can be territorial

Actually having just read a bit more about Bichons on the internet, they sound ideal for you, if you dont mind brushing the fluff every day!
<waits for Bichon owner to arrive on thread>

LadyTurmoil Tue 30-Apr-13 13:43:26

I wouldn't go for a hunting/gun dog type, like a Podenco or springer spaniel, personally. I think their energy levels are more than what you're looking for. Schnauzers are gorgeous but they do have more terrier-like tendencies, perhaps more feisty with other dogs etc.

My brother has a Bichon/poodle cross which he chose specifically as they are good natured, don't shed much and came out high on all the online questionnaire type things you can find for family dogs. She's very sweet, enjoys a good hour-hour and a half run about in the woods, but is also very easy if she gets shorter walks. They look like lap dogs but they have plenty of energy but not too much! Also small enough that you don't have to get a bigger car! They do need grooming every 6 wks so you'd have to factor that cost into ongoing expense of keeping a dog.

If you're looking for a puppy, don't forget to look at rescues as well. They often have puppies/young dogs from unwanted litters, or from family situations which mean dog has to be rehomed. It's not only older dogs/ones with issues that find their way to rescues sadly.

In truth, I think you'd be better with a 3-5 year old dog, a good rescue should be able to match you well, you may be able to foster/take it for a trial period. Puppies are really hard work (look at other threads here!) and if you are working, then rescues are more likely to match you with an older dog anyway. Good luck smile

MmeLindor Tue 30-Apr-13 13:49:41

We have a Bichon and she is the dog for you!

Actually, we have a Cross Bichon Maltese, which are called Maltese Terrier in English, but seem to be very similar in temperament to Bichon Frise - just straight haired instead of curly.

She is Maltese x Cavalier, and is happy with an hour or so walk a day, and is the chillest dog I have ever met.

I think I have a pic on my profile.

Definitely not a Springer - my parents had one and she was nutty. Adorable but nuts. We would take her out for a walk in the hills all day, come home and she'd be 'Walk? DID YOU SAY WALK?! YESSS, lets go for a WALK!!'

Floralnomad Tue 30-Apr-13 14:51:10

What about a cocker spaniel or a King Charles spaniel ? Nice family dogs and less springy than a springer .

One benefit of the Bichon is that they don't shed (so good if someone is allergic or you don't like hoovering all the time) and they don't get that 'wet dog' smell very easily! Not masses of grooming required if they're kept trimmed, and nice wee companion dogs that can do long walks or long sleeps depending on what's happening.

Oh! MmeLindor your dog is gorgeous! So adorably sweet <3

Moomoomee Tue 30-Apr-13 14:59:43

I had a Bichon. BEST. DOG. EVER. Bit mental though and can't really be left alone so ok if you stay at home. But they are lovely and friendly and hilarious, great with kids and the memories of my Bichon are some of the best of my life smile

yonithebrave Tue 30-Apr-13 15:06:15

I have a springer and he is C.R.A.Z.Y. Apparently they grow out of it when they are about 7.

He's very bouncy and needs a lot of walking, twice a week the lovely boy from over the road comes to give him his extra walk as well as the one he gets every day.

He is a lovely dog, but as a PP said very very clumsy and you can't keep him out of the water.

Very intelligent but not what you are looking for I don't think- luckily I'm at home all day, but if I left him on his own for more than a few ours he'd destroy the place.

angelinterceptor Tue 30-Apr-13 15:13:26

Bichon or bichon cross it is then - I would do rescue, but my DC are desperate for a puppy this time round (dreading it emotion).

thanks for advice - very helpful as always

MmeLindor Tue 30-Apr-13 15:14:07

I know. She is ridiculously cute, and knows it. I agree with MooMooMee though - Bichons are real companion dogs. I could leave her alone without her destroying the place but don't do it often or for long as she really prefers to be with people.

I am lucky that my parents live nearby, so they have her when we go out for the day.

We have a Springer and this is our first dog. He's 6 months. He gets an hours exercise in the morning off lead and 90 minutes in the afternoon. Bit of garden play and an extra walk if DH fancies it later.

He's gentle, friendly, loving and loyal. Been so easy to train, passed his mock Bronze KC good citizen award with ease last week. Excellent recall. Not interested in toys or balls and will happily doze at my feet all day.

He's left in the house in the kitchen with a radio wire dangling over his bed and the shoe rack next to him. He's never chewed this or anything else. He waits outside the dining room while we eat tea. Doesn't complain or try to follow if we leave the room, just settles down and dozes.

He's been a dream. Only downside is he's a touch accident prone!

OP, just to let you know that if you go for a Bichon, they are one of the most widely bred dogs in puppy farms. If you really must go for a pup, please, please, please be very careful when finding a breeder, and avoid the big internet sites like Epupz etc.

This excellent site discusses the genetic and health issues for the breed and gives you a starting point to find out about what diseases the breed is prone to, and what tests the breeder should have done. It also gives masses of other info on health and breeding issues, and includes links to info on the Puppy Contract.

tabulahrasa Tue 30-Apr-13 19:04:22

If it's coming to work with you eventually, what is happening with it before that?

Ripley13 Tue 30-Apr-13 19:24:29

Mini schnauzers are amazing wee dogs, I would say that though as I have two of them. They are intelligent, trainable, friendly and loyal,and good for people with allergies as they do not cast. Yes you need to groom them but this doesn't take long if you keep on top of it. Best of all, for me, is that they are brilliant with children and babies, which is the main reason I chose this breed. So far they have been no trouble with my sister's kids or my friend's kids and I am due my first child a week today by C section and have no worries that they'll be excellent with my son.

zonedout Tue 30-Apr-13 19:59:08

Please be aware though that there is a massive difference between miniature schnauzers and the medium sized (standard) schnauzer in terms of trainability, exercise needs and temperament. I have many years experience of both and I definitely don't think a standard schnauzer (or a giant for that matter) would suit your needs. Someone up thread mentioned about bichons and puppy farms. The same applies to miniature schnauzers. Please, if you do go for a mini, be very very careful with your breeder. Sadly the miniature has fallen prey to unscrupulous breeders and puppy farms which has, devastatingly, led to all manner of health and temperament problems with this beautiful breed. The standard remains a mostly healthy, robust dog as very few are bred a year but they are not for novice owners as can be extremely strong willed and challenging. But I love 'em grin

Ripley13 Tue 30-Apr-13 20:16:15

Yeah I agree, minis are far different to standards and giants. And always do your research to make sure you're buying from a reputable breeder. smile

mrslaughan Tue 30-Apr-13 20:35:50

The springers I know are lively family dogs - but 30-60min in the evening for most would not be enough exercise. The are really a working breed so need exercise and mental stimulation.

I have my neighbor who has a couple of schnauzers - they had always been on my list, and although I like her dogs, I would not consider one now as they bark a lot.

I don't know any bishon's.

The thing that struck me about you post - do you think you have enough time? Obedience is a constant thing- that you continue working on, but also socialization is really important for all breeds........

I would think you need to be able to commit an hour a day for walking, to have a happy and well socialized dog.

OrbisNonSufficit Tue 30-Apr-13 21:12:20

We have a mini schnauzer. He's lovely - VERY smart, loving, family focussed and doesn't shed (or smell doggy). He's very happy to nap on the couch all day, but he's also always up for a walk if someone offers. The main thing he needs is to be with us - minis don't cope with being left alone regularly for more than about 4 hours at a stretch. Also, some words of caution - if you're not confident training a dog then a mini might not be for you, they can be rather stubborn and will constantly test the boundaries. But if you can be firm without being harsh a mini will reward you with an enormous amount of personality and love.

I agree with the other posters, you need to be very careful about puppy farms - we found our breeder via the UK schnauzer breed club.

angelinterceptor Tue 30-Apr-13 21:58:04

Oh dear you are all worrying me now. I have no idea where to go with this.

The puppies I have seen for sale here seem to be people doing a bit of breeding with their own pets. Is that bad?

saintmerryweather Tue 30-Apr-13 22:06:24

Yes it can be bad, its highly likely that if people are breeding with family pets that they wont bother with health tests

OrbisNonSufficit Tue 30-Apr-13 22:12:55

Some people who breed their own pets in a casual backyard fashion might produce nice dogs, but they may not test for inherited diseases, they may inadvertently be inbreeding and they're certainly overcharging if they want even close to pedigree prices. 'Free to a good home' mutt pups? Go for it. 'Pedigree' (but can't produce parents pedigree certs and don't know about the breed's health problems)? Steer clear.

Ripley13 Wed 01-May-13 15:09:55

Both mine were bought from owners pets being bred. I have the pedigree certificates for each of them and other relevant certificates for their eye tests etc. I have also being trying to breed my two, but it's not happening. If successful I'll pay for all their health checks and have the pedigree certificate for the new owners. smile

angelinterceptor Mon 06-May-13 22:30:03

Update after a week of discussion and talking to several breeders and owners we have made out decision.

We have reserved a female mini schnauzer and pick her up next weekend. She is 12 weeks old and so cute.

Thanks everyone for advice- I am sure to be asking loads more in the next year!

Perihelion Tue 07-May-13 14:34:14

Ripley health tests should be done on your dogs before you breed them. Your dogs parents having been screened is not good enough.

kimbar303 Tue 21-May-13 22:26:03

I have a miniature schnauzer and think you have made the right choice smile enjoy!! We have a boy who is now 7 and would never have another breed! We have two boys 4 and 10 now. Lovely breed and family dog! smile

EleanorFarjeon Tue 21-May-13 22:29:39

We have a (big) mini schnauzer and he's the best dog in the world.

Enjoy your lovely pup!

BestIsWest Tue 21-May-13 22:36:09

How exciting! We have a mini Schnauzer too (pic on my profile). He's a lovely dog. The only thing he wants is to be with the family. If he can't be sitting next to you, or on your feet, he'll be sitting on something that belongs to you.

EleanorFarjeon Tue 21-May-13 22:43:46

That sounds like mine Best! And he looks exactly like mine too!

He's always on my feet, my lap or under my elbow!

angelinterceptor Wed 22-May-13 12:01:29

We have had wee pup now for just over a week, she is 14 weeks old - so not too small.
She is coming to work with me every day (its a small business, not really any customers, just deliveries and postman etc - who all have a wee chat and a stroke of her).
She trots about after me, or sits under my chair on my feet. I have been taking her outside for a pee, and then a lunchtime walk.

In the evenings, we take her on a longer walk - she is easily doing 45-60 mins - although most of that is spent sitting down looking at cars, people, trees etc.

thanks everyone for all advice so far - now I need to start organising insurance (that's a whole other thread).

SgtTJCalhoun Wed 22-May-13 12:11:36

I've a Minature schnauzer and he's perfect. Gentle, loyal, brilliant with ALL dc. He's one of those that even the tiny ones can approach and I know he will be fine. He's not particularly barky though others on here say they can be.

He gets 3 x 15 minute walks a day most days but goes out for a couple of hours or more at least four times a week.

He's fantastic and I want Minature schnauzers forever.

kitsmummy Wed 22-May-13 12:33:47

You do realise that puppies should be getting 5 mins walking per month of their life? So your puppy's walks should be no longer than 15-20 mins at the most. Once they're a year old their bones/joints are developed enough to cope with the longer walks

mistlethrush Wed 22-May-13 12:35:54

Don't get a schnautzer - I've met more unfriendly ones of those than practically any other breed....

mistlethrush Wed 22-May-13 12:36:44

Ah, too late I see - I hope you get one of the good ones - they are around (its just I've seen more of the others!)

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