what dog should we get?

(44 Posts)
iamaduck Sun 02-Jun-13 12:08:18

Hi, we are a family with dh, 3 kids and I. Youngest dc is 7. All the kids want a dog and have wanted a dog since forever. I work 3-4 days a week and when working get home at about 5pm. Dh works 5 days a week and gets home at about 6pm, so the dog would need to be left alone for quite a lot of the time.

We don't mind the size, and we can put aside 15-20 minutes a day dog walking. We have a large detached house with a large garden. I am not a huge fan of dogs but I don't mind them. Husband likes dogs but it is mainly the children who want one - especially my ds who is 11.

It would be great if you could comment which dog would be good or recommend a site where there is a good accurate quiz thing.

Thanks grin

Oh I forgot to say we have a cat so it would have to be OK with her, and we would get it as a puppy. smile

tabulahrasa Sun 02-Jun-13 12:33:44

15- 20 minutes of walking is nowhere near enough for anything bar the tiniest of dogs and to be honest I'd walk even those much more than that.

Dogs really shouldn't be routinely left for longer than a few hours without at least being let out to do the toilet...tiny puppies should be left as little as possible.

An older dog who is used to being left all day and a dog walker or someone letting it out might work fine for the leaving it issue, but you still need to at least triple the amount of walking you were thinking of and factor in things like time for training and grooming.

melliebobs Sun 02-Jun-13 12:36:32

Don't want to speak out of turn but if ur dog is being left for the long 5 days a week and only walking for 15-20mins a day maybe I shouldn't be getting a dog

I have a small dog and it needs 20mins absolute minimum walking in the morning alone. Let alone at lunch and evening

melliebobs Sun 02-Jun-13 12:43:12

Sorry for the typos. I'm on my phone

D0oinMeCleanin Sun 02-Jun-13 12:48:42

15 - 20 mins is not enough even for the laziest breeds.

You cannot leave a puppy alone for that long. It will be a toilet training, house destroying nightmare.

It is unfair to leave an adult dog that long, without employing a dog walker.

Fish are nice. They don't need walking. Just don't get guppies <<eyes rapidly increasing guppy population>> Actually does anyone want any guppies?

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Sun 02-Jun-13 13:02:11

Not being funny but 15-20 minutes' walk a day and no company for hours at a time is going to turn the sweetest pup into a very unhappy dog. Not a recipe for success with 3 children.

toboldlygo Sun 02-Jun-13 13:02:38

Not nearly enough walking time even for a toy breed and a working day is too long to leave a dog alone. You absolutely cannot leave a puppy alone during that time.

Dog will still be your responsibility when DS has long flown the nest - and even when he's still at home will he still be walking the dog twice a day and cleaning up after it when he's developing other commitments and interests? The dog will be yours, not your DCs and the bulk of the work will necessarily be yours.

If by your own admission you're not a big fan of dogs could you cope with their wee, poo and vomit on the carpet, the hair on every surface including your clothes, the dog smell in the house and the dirt they bring in from outside? You can't ignore a dog living in the house, they smell, bark and make frequent demands on your attention.

francesdrake Sun 02-Jun-13 13:53:37

You know those crying baby dolls teenage girls get to show them the realities of having a baby? I think the RSPCA should develop a Puppy Trainer that makes puddles randomly, barks randomly, needs to be picked up and walked around twice a day for ninety minutes, poos in your car, can't be left alone for more than 4 hours etc, etc. Parents could hire one for a few weeks - or as long as it takes the DC to decide they'd rather not have a dog...

[calls Dragon's Den]

D0oinMeCleanin Sun 02-Jun-13 13:57:06

Oooh I could rent out Devil Dog for them to base their prototype on grin

I could just rent him as a kind of doggy contraception to unsuspecting families like OP, but I fear they'd lose it and end up sobbing in a heap in the corner after an hour and he'd not be walked on time, which would drive him even nuttier than normal.

No, you shouldn't be considering a dog if it's going to be left alone (worse - with a cat) for long periods of time every single day. It's really not fair on the dog, and just setting you up for problems ahead - house training, boredom, separation anxiety.

Why don't you sponsor a dog with the Dogs Trust? They send you regular updates as to how your dog is doing, and you're helping look after abandoned and badly treated animals.

Pandemoniaa Sun 02-Jun-13 16:16:08

I can't think of any dog that would be content with 15-20 minutes walking per day. And that includes my very elderly cocker spaniel in the months before he died!

Also, you cannot get a pup if you intend to be out of the house for long periods. Or at least unless you have someone who will be there to look after the pup. Note that when I say "look after", I don't mean "pop in". I'm just about to get a new pup. I have timed his arrival with a summer spent mainly in and around the house because pups need company. I have another dog already but he's not going to be a substitute for proper human attention.

Right now it doesn't sound as if your family is in a position to get a puppy. I should seriously reconsider the idea.

GristleNBone Sun 02-Jun-13 19:14:07

Great Dane?
Dogue de Bordeaux?

mrslaughan Sun 02-Jun-13 19:22:43

Great Dane?
Dogue de Bordeaux?

all of these need more walking that 15-20 a day, it would be fine for say 3-6months old, but after that they need more - and need a lot of input for training, or else you just have a giant problem on your hands.

mrslaughan Sun 02-Jun-13 19:22:54

what about a cat?

mrslaughan Sun 02-Jun-13 19:24:26

oh - just saw you have a cat.......

Turniptwirl Sun 02-Jun-13 19:45:27

You don't have time for a dog.

See if a local shelter is looking for dog walkers or helpers, not sure if they'll let kids do it though.

melliebobs Sun 02-Jun-13 20:48:56

I think gristle was bring sarcastic no?!

tabulahrasa Sun 02-Jun-13 20:50:34

Great Dane?
Dogue de Bordeaux?

Eh? I've got a 10 month old Rottweiler with elbow dysplasia...he still needs more than 15 -20 minutes a day.

mrslaughan Sun 02-Jun-13 22:22:08

Not sure - I think they are considered low energy breeds, and was thinking that people may think that you could get away with 15-20min a day

tabulahrasa Sun 02-Jun-13 22:48:50

Rotties aren't low energy, lol, not at all.

I can kind of see where you're coming from with the giant breeds, they do tend to be a bit lazier, though 20 minutes a day is nothing.

Rotties though aren't like that, they're a working breed - they like loads of exercise and preferably to be kept busy all day as well.

My friends had a very happy French bulldog when they both worked. He was too lazy to walk more than 20 mins a day too.

AncientsOfMuMu Mon 03-Jun-13 08:14:04

One of those toy dogs on wheels that toddlers push around should fit in well. grin

Copthallresident Mon 03-Jun-13 08:23:57

Love dogs but did not have one when I worked as it would not have been fair to the dog. They are animals that are unhappy without company, exercise and stimulation. Give your children a lesson in responsibility and thinking of another beings needs and explain to then that you do not have the time and commitment to give a dog a good home.

Besides which no responsible breeder would home a dog with you.

Loupee Mon 03-Jun-13 08:38:44

We have a 15 week old Staffy cross, and I'm a SAHM with a 10 month old. If I am planning on being out for more than 3/4 hours at a time I take him to a friends who does dog boarding/sitting, this arrangement was made before we got the puppy. He currently has one 20-30 minute walk a day, will expect this to increase to 2 30 minute walks by the time he is a year, if not before.
He is a lovely dog (DH is more the dog fan in this house) and great with the baby, doing well with his toilet training, but accidents still occur that need to be swiftly cleaned up before DS can get to them.
The days when I haven't been able to give the puppy as much attention as I would like, he is naughtier, chewing on anything, jumping on anything. If he has had a good walk and plenty of attention he is lovely company. Also puppy's teething is annoying, and something I hadn't even thought of until the rescue told us.
All in all I reckon there needs to be an adult home a lot more than you can offer a puppy. You will end up with a very badly behaved dog, that you will possibly resent getting.

plannedshock Mon 03-Jun-13 08:46:34

If you left a dog that long it would chew your house up in boredom (and rightly so) my dog is walked for an hour in the morn and hour in the evening and he's a large breed who's had major surgery in the past on his back legs, puppies/dogs are only fun or can be left after you have fully trained them, which IMO is a year even then if I had to leave mine I get someone to let him out. Think about everything before you get one if you're not a dog person eg: humping/in season bleeding, chewing, the cost, walking them in nov when it's freezing and peeing with rain!! Also I don't know any breed of dog that needs walking once for 15-20mins!! If you do get one-get a good insurance!

Fenton Mon 03-Jun-13 08:47:59

Looking at your current circumstances OP, I really think that this is the only dog for you.

1MitchellMum Mon 03-Jun-13 08:55:23

Agree that a dog isn't really for you. I wanted a dog when I was young - I eventually got one when I was 31! You definitely need to be committed to dogs if you have one or more - it's not just the walking and the poo clearing but the total change of lifestyle. With lots of dog thefts happening around the country I wouldn't be comfortable with children walking the dog alone, and as others have said, you need to commit to longer walks. Not all dogs bought as puppies are perfect - they chew, they make a mess, some even eat their own (and other animals') poo. They can get upset stomachs from time to time - and not always make it outside - though hard floors are easy to clean up rather than carpets. Why not volunteer with the Cinnamon Trust? They're usually looking for volunteers to help out with dog walking for elderly people ... it's not a daily commitment ... you could just volunteer weekends for example. Obviously the children couldn't do it alone, but could accompany you or DH?

cherhorowitz Mon 03-Jun-13 09:00:48

I wouldn't be thinking of getting a dog in your position, even a small one. Puppies need training or they'll destroy your house alone all day. Once they get to a year old 20-30 minutes will not be enough per day.

An older dog is an option but it would still need more exercise per day even with a large garden.

MagratGarlik Mon 03-Jun-13 09:02:40

Take the £800-£1000 you would pay for a puppy and give it to your local dog rescue. The pup you would have bought would no doubt end up there within a year, so rather than the breeder getting the money and the rescue ending up with yet another young dog to rehome, just give the rescue the money and buy the children a hamster or even better, fish.

Dogs are not commodities to be bought because the children would like one (and thrown away when you realize it shouldn't be left for 5 days a week and given only 15 minutes walk a day). If you only have 15 mins a day to walk it, when are you going to spend time training it etc etc etc?

Gingersstuff Mon 03-Jun-13 09:14:35

I speak from bitter experience when I say that no matter how loud and long your children clamour for a dog, the novelty will very quickly wear off when the dog still has to be walked in the freezing cold, wind and rain, and when it's peed on their shoes or chewed up their homework for the umpteenth time. I'm with all the other posters, in your circumstances you really have no time for a dog and it would be really very unfair to any dog to bring one into your home at present.
Why don't you try looking after someone else's dog for a week or so? And make the kids do all the work so that they know exactly what is involved? We have three now and we organise our work schedules so that one of us is at home pretty much all the time. The youngest is 10 months old and is only really now able to be left for maybe 4 hours max (and only after a really good long walk of around an hour). It's bloody hard work.

D0oinMeCleanin Mon 03-Jun-13 09:53:38

I have bitter experience of the other side of things. We don't often get very young dogs in the rescue I work with, with it being sighthounds it's mainly retired or failed racers, they normally come to us age 3 or over.

We've had two young dogs both ended up in rescue because they were bought as puppies by people who greatly underestimated their needs. They were both very damaged by the time they reached rescue, both destructive, hyperactive and under trained and both had a history of nipping the children they lived with.

Neither dog was inherently aggressive, or aggressive at all really. Once they were given the correct amount of exercise and attention and a basic level of training they were both lovely, solid, trustworthy dogs.

If you go ahead and get a dog OP, you're playing a very dangerous game. Under exercised, under stimulated dogs, especially younger dogs are far more likely to resort to aggression out of frustration, lack of training or simply a game gone too far because of too much pent up energy sad

Pandemoniaa Tue 04-Jun-13 11:49:28

Also, you really shouldn't get a dog if you have such an ambivalent attitude towards them. Because it won't be your children who do the everyday work with a pup. It'll be you. The novelty of a dog will quickly wear off and if the adults aren't 100% committed it simply isn't fair on the dog.

Gingersstuff Tue 04-Jun-13 14:27:40

YY to Pandemoniaa
And to be fair, I did the same to my mum when I was young...begged and begged and begged for a dog, got our first when I was nine...and guess who got all the donkey work to do??! And she bloody loved dogs (and still does, adores our three but is verrrry glad they're not hers)

iamaduck Sat 06-Jul-13 08:56:46

Thanks for the messages, the circumstances have changed because we moved house and I got a new job since I posted last, now I work 3 days a week and get home at 5, dd1 who is 13 gets home at 4:45 and dh gets home at 5:30. Ds has 'decided' that it will be his dog and would walk him all the time (not sure I believe him though he is a very dog person).

There are 3 dogs in both the other houses next door to us (a farm), and I'm sure we could arrange for the dog to be looked after by the owners. Our garden is ENORMOUS so it could run around there. I don't know whether this would change anything. Thanks for all your help thanks

Grunzlewheek Sat 06-Jul-13 09:04:52

Troll ?

TeaOneSugar Sat 06-Jul-13 09:21:25

That's some major change in circumstances in 4 days.

EauRouge Sat 06-Jul-13 11:03:44

You know what, OP, I have always wanted a dog. I've waited years for the right time; DH and I are both home all day, the DDs are out of nappies and I've done tons of research into breeds, rescues, training, life with a dog etc etc. I think the time is finally right for us, but I still feel like we're under-prepared and that it'll be a steep learning curve. How much research have you done? It's not as simple as "let's get a dog". Decisions like that are the reason why I've got so many rescue dogs to choose from!

There are a lot of experienced dog owners who post here and you'd do well to listen to them. Are you looking for advice or just someone who will agree with you?

Do not get a dog, you do not have the time that the dog needs, you will end up with a frustrated and destructive animal.

Get a cat or tank of fish.

EauRouge Sat 06-Jul-13 11:12:12

God no, don't get fish- they require research and effort too. Get a pet rock grin

coribells Sat 06-Jul-13 11:14:37

I don't rely get that you have to be around all day long if you have dogs . We had dogs growing up, a Pekingese , peekxpoodle and a chiuuha cross . They were often left all day, had a dog flap so they could go in our as they liked , barely ever walked ( though we had a big garden in Australia) they lived long and happy lives , no behaviour issues .

tabulahrasa Sat 06-Jul-13 11:18:31

Um, why would random new neighbours watch your dog?

CalamityKate Sat 06-Jul-13 11:30:16

One with four wheels and a handle.
Nothing with a pulse.

Sammy3 Sun 07-Jul-13 23:52:54

Actually we had one that would have been perfect for the OP. I don't think it was a pedigree, more a mongrel. I did check the Internet in case it was a crossbreed & it's this one. Sorry, but I have to agree with the others: a dog isn't the pet for you. Your son is close to the age where he'll have other (social) interests soon, leaving you literally holding the dog. There are some dogs that can stay alone for longer periods of time or (even better) stay outside without barking the whole time, but dogs really need a nice long walk or 2 each day.

Sammy3 Sun 07-Jul-13 23:56:44

P.S. we really did have Lucky the Wonderpup when I felt my DCs were too young for a dog & before our jobs allowed one of us to be home everyday. My kids loved it.

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