Would I be mad to get a Dalmatian?

(76 Posts)
sweetkitty Thu 13-Jun-13 12:30:12

Any Dalmatian owners out there who can advise? We are considering getting a dog, we all love Dalmatians but have done enough research to know they are bonkers as puppies, shed white hair everywhere and need daily long walks.

We have 4 DC aged 8-3, I'm a SAHM and DH runs marathons so can take a dog running with him. We have a large house and enclosed garden.

Other dogs in the running are Hungarian Vizlas and Ridgebacks.

mistlethrush Thu 13-Jun-13 12:32:34

You must be Dottie! grin

sweetkitty Thu 13-Jun-13 12:37:19

grin that's what DD3 wants to call it.

Will be getting a bitch

tabulahrasa Thu 13-Jun-13 12:39:08

Yes grin

The only ones I've known are not just bonkers as pups, but actually just not right in the head, I mean completely loopy, lol. One in particular broke her back trying to jump a wall for no particular reason and managed to have a stroke (which she survived) seemingly caused by just sheer over-excitement.

However...I know that is not what they're supposed to be like, so if when you're looking for a breeder, as well as looking at health tests, look at the temperament of their dogs as well and you should end up with just a normally bonkers one, lol.

To be fair all those breeds are pretty high energy - so if that's what you're after, I don't think a dalmatian is any more unfeasible than a vizla or a ridgeback.

HotPanda Thu 13-Jun-13 12:40:58

I have one.

He is actually very calm in the house, always has been from a pup but he does go out 2/3 times a day, plus lots of play in the garden.

The main things to bear in mind is that Dallys are wilful little creatures. You must be absolutely consistent at all times. Other than that, very trainable. Running would be great, but it will be several months before it could go out for any distance/speed.
I would only recommend to get one to those who can absolutely give time and energy to fully training one though.

Oh, don't forget the black hairs moult too, so no matter what you wear dog fur will show. grin

sweetkitty Thu 13-Jun-13 12:57:20

I keep thinking that we are mad to be even thinking about it grin

Any dog will need an awful lot of training, we are prepared for putting in the hard work at the start to get a good member of the family. I did know that it will be at least a year before it will accompany DH on his 15 mile runs or 20 miles he does a lot shock

Christ you've got more bottle than me there's one in my puppy improvers (aka delinquent hooligan) class and it managed to knock all 11st9 5ft7 of me off my feet twice. I was gobsmacked, it knocked a bundle of fluffs tooth out this week as well, its like its had too much redbull

tabulahrasa Thu 13-Jun-13 13:06:05

Longer than a year...the recommendation is over a year for running with them and 5 minutes per month of age until 18 months for large breed dogs, which ridgebacks are, I'm pretty sure Dalmatians are and I'm not sure about vizlas, are they medium? So at a year old, while they can go running they should only be out for an hour and only if you've built up their muscles and stamina gradually.

I have a Dally. Used to have two of them.

Ours is sweet and gentle and not mad at all.

That is only because we put a huge amount of time into exercise and training. They have to be on the correct food - just one unhealthy biscuit can make ours climb the walls like a kid on haribo.

It's not just the exercise. You have to change your life to fit around them. You will never, I repeat, never be able to leave food out again. Not even on the kitchen side all the way back against the wall. A fully grown Dally will get it and will eat it.
They are very clever when it comes to stealing food and no amount of training will stop it. I am a member of Dalmatian clubs and groups and I've never known anyone to have a Dalmatian that doesn't steal food.

The hair. That's it really. It will be everywhere. Forever. It's thin, needle like hair. I vaccum 2 - 3 times per day so its not too bad but you can still find it everywhere.

Aside from all that. I love them. They have the best personalities and are brilliant characters to have around.

They do get rehomed quite often though because even if you've done your reseach it can still be quite hard to imagine how tough the 1st year can be with them.

IAmNotAMindReader Thu 13-Jun-13 14:32:44

Do a bit of research into their history as well. They were used to run alongside coaches as transport guards. When the horses were changed mid journey the dogs were not. They have also been used as general retrievers, dogs of war, sentinels and shepherds. This may give you some idea of the breeds adult excercies requirements and intelligence and why they end up mad as a box of frogs if they don't get the stimulation they need.

None of those breeds are easy smile

My concern would be the exercise requirements with the kids in tow. I am just back in from a 90 minute brisk walk over the fields with my Springer, he had an hour this morning. Our DC are at high school so able to be left anyway.

Have you considered how you would do that during, say, school holidays or if your DH was away, or if one of your DC was poorly? Or if the weather is utterly shite and you have to drag the DC on a walk?

Our friends have a Vizsla, in fairness, she doesn't need as much exercise as people suggested but she's high maintenance, you need to be on top of her training all the time. They initially researched Dalmations but I think they can be prone to deafness and other health issues? They plumped for the Vizsla instead.

I would have a Vizsla tomorrow (having a good dog day today smile) but you need to have the time, energy and commitment for them.

Good luck though!

ps - having a dog has been far harder work than I thought it would be, physically and mentally, but I probably wouldn't have listened to that advice when desperate for a dog smile

typoqueen Thu 13-Jun-13 16:25:02

having had 3 dalmations in the past 2 female 1 male you are completely right they are loopy as puppies however they stay puppies they never actually grow up, and yep they shed white hairs all year long and everything gets covered, they like lots of exercise as they were bred as carridge dogs, they get bored very quickly if not properly exercised and can often be destructive, they are quick to learn but just as quick at forgetting you need to keep on top of their training, I find the females more excitable than the males the males are quite soppy and laid back females always rushing around and getting into everything...other than that they are lovely dogs lol

wriggletto Thu 13-Jun-13 18:35:22

One of the things I genuinely love about the Doghouse is the frequency of posts that go:

[BREED] are a bit mad as puppies - mine ate an entire Lego set and pooed miniature houses for three days, plus you can't walk them till they're eighteen months old, and then only on grass; they do wreck everything in sight with their enormous teeth and you can only train them using semaphore so you need to go to special classes, plus they shed eleven months of the year and have radioactive drool. Insurance is £100/month and they only eat Wafcol sensitive. But they're really, really lovely dogs with lovely temperaments, and we adore Mr Boggins - wouldn't have any other kind of dog now!

Affection, coupled with brutal honesty. The MN dog owner way...

k2togm1 Thu 13-Jun-13 19:03:26

I grew up with two, a breeding couple, so puppies around often too. I loved them so so much, they were so clever. Crazy? Oh yeah. But worth every broken ornament, pulled curtain, impossible-to-keep garden bed...

everlong Thu 13-Jun-13 20:31:59

I used to see one on my dog walks. The poor owner was at her wits end. Run her ragged. She moved away so don't see her now. It wore me out just looking at it.

What about an Italian Spinone or a lab?

sweetkitty Thu 13-Jun-13 21:11:33

This is what indeed though the brutal honest truth grin

I grew up with 2 large dogs do have a bit of an idea. DH has be we owned a dog, he just thinks they are stunning grin

Exercise wise during school hols would be half an hour down the park with the kids, ball chasing in the back garden then a big walk at night with either DH or me, weekends DH is up v early for a run.

DH is a bit like a Dalmatian he never sits down!

JustGiveMeFiveMinutes Thu 13-Jun-13 21:15:48

I used to walk my dog with a lady who had one. It was insane. The poor woman said she lived for the days when the dog went to doggy daycare.

everlong Thu 13-Jun-13 21:35:19

With the ages of your dc I would go for a more laid back breed.

The all round training of a placid normal puppy is exhausting. But throw a high maintenance breed in the mix and you could end up demented.

ihatethecold Thu 13-Jun-13 21:41:57

Go for a vizsla.
I have a 4month old pup.

He s amazing. Lovely temperament. Easy to train, very loving.

Happy to be left in his bed to sleep.

Just make sure you buy from a good breeder and you can see both the parents.

I thought it would be a lot harder than it has been. I have been very pleasantly surprised.smile

bergedorf Thu 13-Jun-13 22:56:16

My vet has a dalmation. He cycles for a couple of hours every day and she runs alongside. Then they get home and she wants to play ball in the garden. BOUNDLESS energy. They were bred to run alongside carriages after all..!!

sweetkitty Fri 14-Jun-13 07:35:29

So a vizsla would be a better idea, still high energy but a bit calmer.

HotPanda Fri 14-Jun-13 11:55:47

MiseryBusiness you need to meet mine! He is not a food stealer at all, in fact, until we switched to raw the big bag of kibble used to live on the floor behind the bin, open and would be untouched. I can also put a sandwich on a side table, leave the room and when I come back it will still be there.
I realise this is a fluke though - am not trying to say is down to our training, but it is possible to have a non thieving dally. Saying that, anything on the floor is fair game as we found out when he scoffed an entire box of sugar cubes that have been knocked over. Fun times.

Ours was in the crate from day 1, left overnight with a couple of get ups for wees. Has never been a chewer, and is left daily for 4-5 hours without incident. He is also trained not to go on the sofas or upstairs.
This I attribute solely to the early morning walks. We go in the woods, he runs off crashing through the undergrowth, I amble in a half asleep funk.

He is scared of water (the great Jessie) and the Hoover, and chases shadows of balls being thrown instead of actual balls, but has great recall and behaves nicely in cars. A patch of sunlight will be your best friend, as if mine is anything to go by, can lay in sunlight for up to 8 hours without so much as a peep. Just don't look at the carpet once he has got up!

In all honesty, I am finding our new Weimaraner pup MUCH harder work that the dally every was at that age.

BlueSkySunnyDay Fri 14-Jun-13 12:04:02

My friend has one and her major bugbears are the shedding which is apparently horrendous (amazing as the fur is so short) and the food issues. She has serious reservations about him sometimes.

You do need to go into this with your eyes open - I think a % of us went into dog ownership with promises of help with walking and care which long term tailed off. Do you want another child, one which wont ever grow up? If the answer is yes then go for it!!

sweetkitty Fri 14-Jun-13 12:12:44

I've wanted a dog forever I'm a dog person without the dog, I'm prepared to adapt our lifestyle, not that it needs much adapting, I see the dog as my hobby and part if the family. I want the DC to grow up with a dog as part of the family.

I am coming round to the Vizsla though same size, not as mental, can still go for runs with DH, not white hair (I used to have 3 cats am used to pet hair). Less inbred health issues.

Branleuse Fri 14-Jun-13 12:22:08

would a retriever be easier, maybe with black spots painted on with permanent marker

LadyTurmoil Fri 14-Jun-13 12:37:26

There are Dallies in rescues like this one www.heathlands.org.uk/image.php?imageid=1913

sweetkitty Fri 14-Jun-13 12:38:46

Branluese grin

mrslaughan Fri 14-Jun-13 12:42:27

It won't be able to run for 18months - 2 years, so how are you going to give it the exercise before your husband can run with it?

POne of my dogs best friends is a ridgeback - is only a year old and need 2 hours walking a day (off lead) - your kids my be happy with that in the sun, but what about in the rain sleet and snow. The owner knows that this is probably too much walking at this age, but it is about everyons sanity.

Why do you like Dalmatians - is it look? Because I think one of the most important things when choosing a breed is to start with a breed temperament that will work with your family dynamic, and exercise requirements. It can be the ugliest dog alive but if is a good fit for your family,your family will love it....conversly, it could be the most beautiful dog you have ever seen , be completely nuts, and you will end up hating it.

mrslaughan Fri 14-Jun-13 12:44:37

all the vislas I have meet have been lovely - high energy, but lovely

But seriously, still think about how you are going to give it the exercise it needs, before it can run, in winter, in school holidays.

everlong Fri 14-Jun-13 13:08:28

Pointer's are lovely as are Springer Spaniels ( show type )

sweetkitty Fri 14-Jun-13 13:14:01

Exercise wise, DS will be in nursery 2 1/2 days a week I will be at home. The other days DS can come with me in his buggy if needs be. Weekends DH is here and he works at home a day a week too.

School holidays could be a problem I agree but nothing that couldn't be worked out.

I'm so the opposite of people who go out on a whim and buy a dog I've researched all the breeds to death.

One of the reasons I want a dog is to force me out to get me walking grin

Yes agree, make a list of what you want from a dog in terms of character, temperament and traits, then look at breeds.

Vizsla's shed, they really do, our friends will testify to this! Lots of very short ginger hair....everywhere...all year round. But I love our friends, she's such a character (channelled well, with training - their rescue cross is a walk in the park in comparison)

All the breeds you mention will need time input for training too, given they are all intelligent too so factor that in smile

There's also a German Short-Haired Pointer or English Pointer too, both in the sort of type you are looking at.

mistlethrush Fri 14-Jun-13 15:23:28

We wrote ourselves a list of our requirements from a dog.... It needed to be happy to play ball, frisbee, football and hide and seek with DS. It needed to be able to walk for the whole day on occasions without flaking out - but normally needed to get by on two walks and play in the garden. It needed to be playful and cuddly in the house, but also fairly OK with just getting on with snoozing for significant periods whilst people were busy.

We ended up with a lurcher - its the snoozing ability of the greyhound combined with something with more playfulness and stamina, and it is ideal for our requirements.

JustGiveMeFiveMinutes Fri 14-Jun-13 17:01:59

I've been I'll over the past few days so ddog hasn't had her usual amount of exercise. She isn't happy but then again, she isn't going nuts like a Dalmation would.

LadyTurmoil Fri 14-Jun-13 17:49:26

One of the reasons I want a dog is to force me out to get me walking

ANY dog will get you out walking, even the smallest bichon/shih tzu types. My brother and girlfriend have 2 of these and they happily go out for 1 1/2 hours per day with shorter walk at night. Then they are happily tired and flake out at home, letting you get on with all the stuff you need to do.

I would really suggest you think again: a full-on dog who can run and run for 2 hours and still isn't tired sounds like a nightmare, to be honest! With 4 kids you must be busy with school runs, after school clubs, dentist/dr appts every now and again, taxi runs to friend's houses etc etc.

Dallies have a well-known reputation for being bonkers and will need consistent, daily training for the first year and a half/two years to get a good, well-trained dog, following up with consistent, ongoing training.

They DO look lovely but as mrslaughan said, it's temperament that's key, not just the way the dog looks.

everlong Fri 14-Jun-13 18:35:18

Good advice.

I think also people underestimate how hard it can be having a dog with young children. Especially a high maintenance breed.

sweetkitty Fri 14-Jun-13 20:49:06

That's why I asked would we be mad ? grin

I understand how crazy it would be with a puppy and the DC that's why up until now my head has ruled my heart and we don't have a dog.

If it were solely up to me we would have a smaller dog but DH wants a running partner. Actually if space and money were no issue I'd have a Newfoundland well if they didn't coat you in drool grin

PeanutPatty Fri 14-Jun-13 22:31:54

We have two small DC's. A crawling cruising baby and a 2.7yo. We also have a six year old Goldie who thinks she is still two.

The dog comes running with us or opens alongside the bikes. She will also be happy with one walk a day, two walks a day, all day walks or whatever you throw at her she will take.

In the dry weather it's lovely taking her out just me and the kids but when it's wet, windy, cold and generally unpleasant all round it's tough. The 2.7yo wants to jump in the puddles, lay in the puddles, I want to get out and back without getting totally drenched and walk the routes which are covered and drier and the toddler amd dog have different ideas! There have been days where the dog has taken off in one direction and the toddler in the other! Absolute chaos.

With children of school age I think it will be easier for you as you won't have to take the WHOLE family out dog walking every day which is pretty much what I have to do and that in itself is a whole morning or afternoon gone! No time to do anything else! If you and your husband can take it in turns to do the walking that will help.

Have you thought about the early days of puppyhood? Toilet training? Going to puppy classes?

Personally I think a Dally may be too high maintenance.

PeanutPatty Fri 14-Jun-13 22:33:22

I quite fancy a whippet or a poodle! Both would be great running partners.

LadyTurmoil Fri 14-Jun-13 22:33:58

What about a collie? Not a hyper Border collie but maybe a youngish one, a year or two old who could immediately go out running with your DH but would be a bit more laid back at home. There are hundreds of collies in rescues, many of whom use foster families and therefore can be assessed as suitable (or not) for your type of household with 4 young children.

I would imagine that they would have plenty of energy to run with your DH but wouldn't be as hyper as a Dalmatian.

Where are you in the UK?

MacaYoniandCheese Fri 14-Jun-13 22:41:30

I have a high-maintenance dog. I run with her while the kids are at school...rain, heat-wave, blizzard (we have weather extremes here)...we're out there. DH sometimes takes her but mostly he's too busy at work and weekends get crazy when all your kids are school-aged so that's something to keep in mind. I wouldn't do it with pre-schoolers unless they are in some sort of program in the mornings?

Smudging Fri 14-Jun-13 22:53:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HotPanda - That. is. amazing. A non food stealing Dally. I need to meet this dog. Tests need to be carried out. Are you sure he doesnt do it when your back is turned!!??? grin

To be fair for all the 'bad' things I said about Dally's ours is a lovely dog, as I said before, We have put a lot of effort in and ours has excellent manners, brilliant on and off lead, her recall is brilliant, she's very obedient, always calm and chilled in the house, amazing with the children.

Everyone always says how good she is. When we go on holiday friends and family always offer to look after her because she is so well behaved.

However, I would say training is constant for their whole lives.

Also, ours is exercised daily obviously. She runs for an hour or so with DH and I take her out 1 - 2 times for just a walk.

I was very poorly a few weeks ago and DH could'nt get out for a run etc as he was looking after me.

Unfortunately our Dally only got out for one small walk a day and she didn't climb the walls at all. She was still calm and lovely as usual.

I wouldn't expect her to be like that forever and it's only because we meet her requirements the rest of the time that she coped with a couple of days but she didn't turn into devil dog because she missed one or two walks - they're not that bad.

shoutymcshoutsmum Sat 15-Jun-13 15:42:55

We have a german short-haired pointer. I think he is amazing. I got him when DCs were 18 month old, 3 and 6. It was a really really hard first year. Now, just super. He's very needy but when I look over at him getting on to the sofa just to curl up with my kids, I wouldn't have anything else.

PeanutPatty Sat 15-Jun-13 16:11:32

I'd say a collie could potentially be high maintenance. So many end up rehomed as people don't realise the amount of mental and physical exercise daily that collies need.

mrslaughan Sat 15-Jun-13 16:57:39

I know I sound negative , but we have just got our first dog as adults . DS full time school and dd in nursery 5 morning.
I love the getting out walking - it has been fab , BUT the first week we got him I had stomach flu, and couldn't eat anything than the odd water cracker, still had to get the kids to school, then come home and walk dear dog for 45 mins, it was one of the coldest weeks and I was on my knees.... It nearly did me in. D dog is a very laid back low energy breed.
Also if your youngest is very young, think how you are going to manage the toddler/ puppy dynamic, it needs thought as well.

bottleofbeer Sat 15-Jun-13 17:32:03

Thank god my dog (he's not any of the breeds listed) is a lazy little sod who has to be practically dragged out of the house by his ears.

BlueSkySunnyDay Sat 15-Jun-13 22:04:01

I wouldn't recommend a Collie as the ideal dog for a young family - they are lovely but can be complete sh*ts if they are not given enough stimulation mentally and physically. Plus they will herd the children and can be a bit nippy.

sweetkitty Sun 16-Jun-13 09:12:33

Don't fancy a collie at all, DH is of the opinion if your going to get a dog get a dog you think is stunning confused

Still trying to work out the logistics, I think a Dalmatian may be too mad, torn between the Vizlsa (DH) and Ridgeback (me) I have a friend with 3 ridgies and they are gorgeous dogs, she says they can have the odd day off walking and not go mad.

BlueSkySunnyDay Sun 16-Jun-13 15:35:11

Yeah but they are like your children - even if they are pug ugly you end up loving them ;-)

Floralnomad Sun 16-Jun-13 16:06:16

What about a Spinone or a Weimaraner , if you want 'stunning' , they both fit the bill . Having said that a standard poodle would also be stunning and probably more suitable .

Do you agree with your husband sweetkitty regarding getting a stunning dog?

Ridgebacks are lovely looking dogs, they are very strong, stronger than a Vizsla. May be consider how this would work with your DC, having a large, strong 8 month old puppy bounding about, our friends German Shepherd can knock me flying! Also, if you ever wish the DC to walk the dog in future years and pulling on the lead etc. Jumping up etc etc. Our 8 month old Springer still strains at his lead when he sees other dogs and that's quite hard work when you see a lot of dogs in one walk, my arms ache!

A lady in our village has a Ridgeback, she's a very experienced owner and says, in all honesty, it's taken her nearly 5 years for her to turn him into the obedient, family orientated dog that he is now.

I honestly think you need to think about the character traits that you want in a dog, then work from there. There's lots of questionnaires on the internet if you Google.

But... good luck again smile

mistlethrush Mon 17-Jun-13 10:26:51

Here's stunning for you grin

sweetkitty Mon 17-Jun-13 12:20:43

I want a ridgeback grin

The vizsla is the compromise!

I could walk 2 GSD size dogs aged 9, although why my mother ever sent me out with them is beyond me now looking back. I'd be gone hours as well down the beach.

Ideal dog would be medium/large, short haired, gentle giant in the house happy to lounge about with us, happy chasing a ball in the garden, happy with a 30 min walk or a 2 hour run. Most important good with the DC.

Friend has just got a husky/lab cross, never heard of that combination before. Looks of a husky with the temperament of a lab?

mistlethrush Mon 17-Jun-13 12:34:56

I can't think a husky cross with anything is going to be happy with a 30 min run...

We had a similar sort of requirement from our dog - and the socialisation with DS was very high on the list - she will play with a ball in the garden on her own but is much happier if you play with her - and quite happily swapped from her normal 2 walks and some playing a day to being out and about all day in our week's holiday recently. She's a bit smaller than a ridgeback bitch which means I can pick her up (which I always think is quite helpful, just in case...).

sweetkitty Mon 17-Jun-13 12:35:02

Mistlethrush - they are lovely grin

mistlethrush Mon 17-Jun-13 12:36:39

SK - they come in all shapes and sizes... I'm sure there's one out there that would be perfect grin... Actually, I think its the rather nice thing about lurchers - there's lots of variation because of the different breeding (sighthound cross with working dog) so you get lots of 'a bit like' but really there is so much variation...

SK - No no no no no no no no no to the Husky cross smile. Nearly hit the ground with a thud at that last suggestion!! A Husky cross will not be happy with a 30 minute run, or probably a 3 hour run to be honest....... Do a quick Google, these dogs are bred to work ALL day.

To be brutally honest, neither the Dally, Vizsla or Ridgeback would benefit from a 30 minute run. They may tick all your other requirements perfectly but be fully prepared to walk for an hour in the morning and an hour in the afternoon, each day everyday for these breeds.

Our Springer puppy, now 8 months, gets an hour playing with other dogs in the morning. All off lead, then about 90 minutes in the afternoon, all off lead again. He is then up for another 90 minutes in the evening if DH fancies taking him out. And that's not including playing in the garden etc.

Of course, for a few days, he would be fine with less than that but I think you need to be up for that level of exercise, and if you get a more laid back Vizsla, Dally etc, then be very happy smile

A Lab however would suit those requirements perfectly smile

mistlethrush Mon 17-Jun-13 12:46:41

Gentle giant in the house - you're talking greyhound of course and they can also be stunning

Some Border Collies are stunning shock Like mine! He isn't a first dog for either of us.

DCs were 2 and 4 when we got him. First 12 few months were very hard work, now it's just quite hard work (he is 2 now). I am a SAHM at the moment. Times it's a PITA - when you want a full day out - someone will have to exercise them, they cannot usually be cooped up day while you go to the zoo. Holidays are ok - we go selfcatering in UK and take them with us. We've got a small terrier mutt too.

When you/DCs are ill - the dog still needs to go out. No fun with flu. Or in icy sleet and the DCs want to watch TV instead.

We have put a lot into training him, he is bloody fantastic now. Fab recall, lies down in the boot for car trips, walks nicely offlead, doesn't herd children or cars (but did try to herd cars for a while), doesn't nip anyone (did as a small puppy, when they all do).

sweetkitty Mon 17-Jun-13 13:13:00

Oh no I don't want a husky cross just a friend had gotten one yesterday.

I'm not saying that's all the dog would get a 30 min walk, just maybe once a week if that.

My online friend has 3 RRs beautiful dogs, she says they can miss a day now and again and not be insane unlike a Dally.

I'm more thinking of the DC and I doing half an hour during the day then DH or I am hour or more at night.

PeanutPatty Mon 17-Jun-13 23:53:28

Cocker Spaniel - show lines not working?

Piffle Tue 18-Jun-13 15:30:39

I am the mad lady with 3 RR's seducing SweetKitty on FB with lovely photos :-)

Exercise, while I was out of action with hip/back surgery my hubby walked all 3 for 45 mins in the field every weekday. Weekends kids and dogs did a one hour bike ride. Sometimes it didn't happen, dogs lived :-)
Now I am fixed - all dogs get 45 mins at the field daily, youngest gets biked every 2nd day and a big 1>2 hour lead walk on the other days. Sme weekends we go out to the coast kids and dogs, or biking round a national park or National Trust Estate.

I have 2 kids at home 10 and 6 the RR's are 4/3 and nearly 2.
The temperaments on mine are outstanding, school runs from 12 weeks, much socialisation and bought from careful breeders.
I owe the dogs my sanity I love them so much and I cannot imagine life without them :-)

I don't think anyone is disageeing that RR a fabulous dogs...

We probably come over as somewhat negative smile

I wish I had read these forums before getting our Springer, read and actually digested and taken notice, which I am not sure that I would have done, so keen was I to have a puppy/dog. I was sure I could deal with all the mess, nipping, general insanity a puppy brings etc.

I have dealt with it, but it has been far harder work that I ever deemed possible, I don't think I am alone in this feeling, a quick search of the last 20 threads would suggest not anyway, there have been at least 4 threads in the last week from owners with puppies who are at their wits end. I have also ensured I did all the things you mention, he's a lovely well trained, gentle little soul, but it takes work to get there and is ongoing, imho. Mine will go blind due to getting a thorn in his eye at 4 months, and has just has a tumour removed - I have lost count of the number of vet appointments I have had, these things you don't actually factor in or can appreciate, at least my kids are 12 and 13 so able to be left smile But all part of dog ownership.

None of the three 3 breeds mentioned are easy, again imho and I think folk are just posting to ensure the OP is 100% aware of the fact that life will be hard for the first year or so.

Good luck again OP.

mrslaughan Tue 18-Jun-13 19:31:06

That's great that you ridgebacks only need that amount of exercise.... Maybe because there are 3 of them to entertain each other? I would have thought that if you can get away with that, that's fab, but my dogs best friend in a ridgeback, he is about 15months and needs a minimum of 2 hours spread across the day, or he becomes destructive.
He is not allowed to run with his owner yet.

I think that you need to go into dog ownership with worst case scenario, as what you can provide.

But hey, it's just my opinion.....

And I would love to have a ridgeback, love love love one, but there is no way I can do that amount if walking every day, with my young family.

sweetkitty Tue 18-Jun-13 20:59:40

grin piffle yes it's all her fault, I had hardly heard of RRs before I befriended her on FB her dogs are utterly stunning and her advice invaluable.

It's now down to ridgeback of vizsla, I want a ridgeback, DH wants a vizsla, we both want a bitch.

bishboschone Tue 18-Jun-13 21:07:54

We have always had Dalmatians ( 5 in total) .... They have all been bonkers !! But totally adorable .. The one we have now was pretty much untrainable , we spent years going to puppy/ dog training and eventually had to buy a dog training collar as she literally just ran off all the time. She has calmed down alot as she has aged ...Mum has a very big house and garden and she gets lots if exercise but still batty. You will need to walk them a lot !!!! Also did you know they 'smile'? A lot of people think they are growling but its a happy thing . I think it's unique to Dalmatians.

Abra1d Tue 18-Jun-13 21:10:28

Our dalmation had two 25-minute walks a day from about the age of four. She was fine on this. Very slim, very calm and lived to 16. They can be happy without as much exercise.

Piffle Tue 18-Jun-13 21:13:51

A wire haired vizsla is my 2nd favourite breed :-)

Yes I have one who runs at 40mph after bunnies and birds and her walk would take 10 mins
We have a large garden where they have free access and I am home all day as is DH ( works from home) so they don't spend large chunks of time confined so are quite active even at home, playing etc

Like I said the 45-60 mins field romp is off lead quite full on.
Then they get the school run on lead (1 mile each end of the day) plus agility training in the garden too.
Plus biking for the less exuberant field walker and 3-4 long on flexi lead and some off lead walks 4 miles (2 hrs)

My dogs haven't been hard at all but I was so ready and they are my life. I show as well so we do a lot of travelling and days out plus we take UK holidays where the dogs come too.

kitty - are you guys RL friends? Was wondering if you could 'borrow' a RR for a day or two or spend time walking them with the family etc, something I found really useful when getting our puppy.

Sounds like you are happy and made your mind up, good luck.

Have a read of the 'Really Struggling.... Still' thread, which gives a good insight into the early days if you get chance, it's near the top of The Doghouse thread list.

sweetkitty Thu 20-Jun-13 10:15:40

Unfortunately piffle and I live too far apart for me to borrow one of her dogs for the day (and she would have a hard time getting her back grin)

We finally decided on a ridgeback bitch but of course there's difficulties the options are

- get a dog instead from a trusted breeder
- get a bitch from an unknown breeder, have questions over temperament and they have been raised in kennels, ready now
- wait until we can get a bitch from a recommended breeder (could be up 6 months + though)

Yes I know option 3 is the rational one grin

Oh... sorry... with you saying that her dogs were amazing etc I assumed you knew them in RL and had spent time with them to make that judgement, 'my bad' as my kids seem to say these days!

Just a thought, but why focus on a bitch? Focus on the dog from the litter whose temperament best suits your families needs? Most reputable breeders will 'grill' you anyway before they allow you one of their precious litter, as I am sure piffle will have advised, we had to meet ours and be interviewed then go on a waiting list etc etc. The breeder will then help you select the best one for your circumstances.

Not saying you shouldn't go for a bitch, just looking at it from a different angle iyswim?

Of your list, don't do the second option for the sake of waiting, I would have questions about how well socialised that litter would be for a family.

What medical conditions are RR susceptible to? What medical checks/socres will you need to ask the breeder about? Ours was hips scores for both parents in the main.

ps - did you read the puppy threads? Good insights there re the reality and training etc.

Matian Wed 26-Jun-13 21:22:06

I have a 19 month old Dalmatian boy who is actually very calm, doesn't steal food and only touches his bowl if he has been given permission to do so. He is the most amazing dog we've had and is an absolute joy to have around!

We spent a lot of time training him - classes and at home. he gets 2 walks/runs per day , 5 days a week and goes to daycare the other 2 days - he gets to play with his friends- snd he's shattered by the time he comes home! smile He's also running with his dad 2 days per week and comes with us on our bike rides. ;)
I think you need to be careful with very young kids and puppes, but this goes for any large bread. An active dog can accidentally knock the child over. Also kids need to be thought how to behave around dogs/ mine tollerates everything but not every dog will !
Bite inhibition training is also paramount.

I would't say Dalmatians crazy, they just need more excersise and in my view more mental stimulation than other dogs as they are highly intellegent! They need a firm owner especially when they are young as they like pushing the boundaries...
If you feed them cheap food filled with rubbish, don't give them enough excersise and let them do what they want they will of course act crazy! Just like a child!

When choosing a Dalmatian puppy you also need to make sure that you buy from a reputable breeder... To ensure that the little ones have great temperaments and you won't end up having to rehome it...

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