Where does one 'get' a dog?

(27 Posts)
DearTeddyRobinson Sat 17-Apr-21 08:53:14

For various reasons (mostly pressure from my kidsgrin) I'm starting to think seriously about getting a dog. A couple of friends have got puppies which are obviously adorable but I was thinking it might be easier to get an older dog - basically I don't want to potty train again.
So I have looked at various rescue places and they all say no kids, or must be a very experienced owner etc.
My kids are 5 & 8, and very kind to animals. They love DMIL's dog and cat and say hello to all the dogs we meet out and about. Having said that I have no illusions that it won't be me doing the bulk of the donkey doggy work.
So are my only alternatives either to to on a waiting list for a breeder, or wait till my kids are teens? There are loads of dogs advertised on Pets4U or whatever it is but I'm worried about puppy farms etc plus there have been some horror stories on MN.
Where do people get dogs? I know that sounds like I want to order one from Amazon, I do want to do my research but how do I weed out the problematic sellers? And if all those people who mistakenly thought a lockdown puppy was a good idea are now sending them all back to rescues, how come there aren't any available?

OP’s posts: |
IamnotH Sat 17-Apr-21 09:00:41

You have two real (safe) options - adopt from a reputable trust/centre or buy from a reputable breeder.

The former will come with restrictions- a lot of these dogs have had bad experiences and it would be dangerous/unfair to the dog and your children to bring them into an environment that doesn't suit their needs. You are correct that 12 appears to be the magic number for children.

The latter is expensive and time consuming- having a puppy is ten times harder than a baby!

There is also the possibility to could rehome from someone you know. We took on our neighbours' dog when he died, but we had known the dog a long time, he was used to children etc. Please do not buy a dog from the internet- primarily because it's unsafe but also often a scam.

BigWolfLittleWolf Sat 17-Apr-21 09:08:09

Years on here have taught me one thing.
Never ask about getting dog on Mumsnet.
There is no such thing as a good breeder on here.
Only a retired greyhound from a rescue centre.

BigWolfLittleWolf Sat 17-Apr-21 09:10:14

But, in my personal opinion and experience I would say, make sure you see the mum, make sure you like her temperament, make sure the surroundings are clean and the puppies look bright, lively and healthy.
If you are going for a purebred try and get one from health tested parents.

Wolfiefan Sat 17-Apr-21 09:11:45

If you want to rescue you may have to wait a few years. Some rescues will rehome to people with kids aged 5 though. Worth looking into.
Puppies? Never shop online. Contact the breed club. Avoid cute crosses as they are highly unlikely to come from anyone who doesn’t simply want to make the maximum amount of money. And remember puppies are demanding, biting creatures who take a lot of work!
And be careful if the main drive to get a dog is the kids. You will be doing the walking, training etc. And dogs can live a very long time. Do you have the time and money to spare?

GappyValley Sat 17-Apr-21 09:14:14

Do you know what breed you want?
Or what sort of general characteristics (size, energy levels, intelligence level) you want?

VerityWibbleWobble Sat 17-Apr-21 09:16:52

Don't give in to pressure from anyone to get a dog.

You're children are young so all the responsibility will fall to you and it's a lot of work and expensive AND it's a lifelong commitment.

Just because your children are kind to animals is not a reason to get a dog. You say you don't want to potty train again? Well dogs are generally like kids their whole lives.

MiddleClassProblem Sat 17-Apr-21 09:18:25

I used to work for a big well known rescue. We used to mainly rehome puppies to families with children your age. Puppies didn’t go on the website because they would have homes immediately. The same will be for easy to rehome adult dogs. Some go in and out very quickly.

Sign up to the rescues regardless of what you think is available.

Also, any dog that is already house trained may still have accidents particularly in a new environment.

ParoxetineQueen Sat 17-Apr-21 09:24:52

Build up a relationship with some smaller rescues that foster dogs out. My girl was in foster with a lady who had dogs, children and a cat of her own, so was able to assess her behaviour.
You may have to wait a while for the right dog to come along but that will help the rescue realise that you are serious and committed. The Cinnamon Trust are always looking for volunteers to walk dogs for people who are old or sick, that would give you some experience of older dogs to draw on.
Good breeders will be equally as fussy who their dogs are going to as well

CormoranStrike Sat 17-Apr-21 09:34:14

DearTeddyRobinson

For various reasons (mostly pressure from my kidsgrin) I'm starting to think seriously about getting a dog. A couple of friends have got puppies which are obviously adorable but I was thinking it might be easier to get an older dog - basically I don't want to potty train again.
So I have looked at various rescue places and they all say no kids, or must be a very experienced owner etc.
My kids are 5 & 8, and very kind to animals. They love DMIL's dog and cat and say hello to all the dogs we meet out and about. Having said that I have no illusions that it won't be me doing the bulk of the donkey doggy work.
So are my only alternatives either to to on a waiting list for a breeder, or wait till my kids are teens? There are loads of dogs advertised on Pets4U or whatever it is but I'm worried about puppy farms etc plus there have been some horror stories on MN.
Where do people get dogs? I know that sounds like I want to order one from Amazon, I do want to do my research but how do I weed out the problematic sellers? And if all those people who mistakenly thought a lockdown puppy was a good idea are now sending them all back to rescues, how come there aren't any available?

When we got our first cocker spaniel he was six months old.

He came from a reputable breeder, and I have phoned the kennel club and been told she was the head of the breed club in our region, so a god person to speak to about the breed in general.

I had phoned for advice, which was great, but she then told me she had a six month old left from her last litter.

He had been bred to be a show dog, but had undescended testicles, so none of the showers wanted him.

He was a wee delight for and had already learned all his basic rules.

Unsure33 Sat 17-Apr-21 09:46:49

Their are rescues that will rehome to families and I agree look at ones that foster their dogs with families so you get a good report on them . I think that would be your best route .

Unsure33 Sat 17-Apr-21 09:50:52

A new leash for life rescue have a Facebook page .

Their dogs are all in foster . They have had some lovely dogs recently .

DearTeddyRobinson Sat 17-Apr-21 10:07:20

Thank you all, lots to look into. I agree that it will be me doing all the main dog related work. I love dogs so that's something I'm happy to do. Maybe some voluntary walking would be a good start.

OP’s posts: |
Gothichouse40 Sat 17-Apr-21 10:12:06

Find out what is involved in having a dog. I know someone who got a puppy for their child. The novelty wore off very quickly.

murbblurb Sat 17-Apr-21 10:16:50

Once or twice a day walks regardless of weather for the next ten years.
Carrying bags of warm shit around.
Vet bills
Restrictions on where you can go and how long you can be out of the house.

Sure?

Moondust001 Sat 17-Apr-21 10:36:49

Being kind to animals isn't a noteworthy skill for dog ownership. Anyone can be kind. Getting up when you don't want to to take the dog for a walk in the dark in the midst of a snowstorm in December - that's a skill they will need. Picking up the poo - that's a skill they will need. Grooming the dog and brushing its teeth - that's a skill they will need. If they aren't willing to step up - and by that not just promising to do it, but actually doing it - then pressure from the kids isn't a great reason to do it.

Whether a puppy or an adult, no dog comes without a need for training and for adjustment. Most rehomed dogs are being rehomed for a reason - and come with whatever baggage that entails. Even one that has been really well looked after and trained will have its own foibles and quirks. Loving, trained, instantly obedient dogs with no issues are in short supply anywhere - in rehoming centres they are in very short supply. That doesn't mean that those dogs couldn't become that - but it's at a price, and only with investment.

That said, I don't agree with the oft repeated mantra about Pets4U etc. It is a website that advertises stuff. Goggle is a website that advertises stuff too. How you do due diligence about what is advertised is up to you. There is lots of advice on the internet about what to look for. I'd never recommend simply getting a dog, whether a pup or not, without a satisfactory vet check, checking its provenance (definitely seeing both parents if a pup, but I'd check where it came from and parentage anyway), spending time with the dog (especially if an older dog - maybe some walks with the current owners)... basically, checking everything feasible. This is a living creature, so there are never any guarantees, but if you do your due diligence then you will manage the risks as far as is possible.

All that applies whether you get from a rescue or a breeder or a private advert. Do as much as you can, then the rest is down to the work you put in.

underneaththeash Sat 17-Apr-21 11:57:32

I wouldn’t touch a rescue with a barge pole - they’re most likely to have had a difficult start in life and are more likely to have behavioural problems. You want a puppy which you can mould yourself.
I researched different breeds/cross breeds. I’m not sure why people are against crosses, you can often breed out some of the undesirable traits in a breed by introducing new genes. Such has breathing problems in the flat faced breeds, or eye problems in labs.

We decided on a breed, contacted a few breeders, chose one and ten waited for our turn - which was about 18 months.

I also don’t agree with the Pp who said that having a puppy is 10 x as a baby. They do chew (ours likes pulling the insoles out of shoes and shredding them! We only had one bad night.

FuckingFabulous Sat 17-Apr-21 11:59:30

If one does not feel totally desperate to have a dog oneself, I am of the opinion that one ought not to get a dog.

Why?

Because they're messy, smelly, hard work, expensive, hairy, slobbery creatures and unless you're a dog lover to the core, you may find it hard to overlook all of that and be content

Suzi888 Sat 17-Apr-21 11:59:47

Yes sign up to rescues and go along to the centres with your children (if possible).

MiddleClassProblem Sat 17-Apr-21 12:21:35

@underneaththeash just to give you a bit more info, not all dogs in rescues have behavioural issues or have been poorly treated. Plenty are from loving homes where the owner has to give them up for financial reasons or more commonly health reasons or quite a few from owner deaths.

Plus there are puppies either abandoned litters or born onsite to a pregnant mum.

I don’t think it’s fair to spread that all rescues will be difficult dogs. Particularly as some rescues have selective intake so won’t take dogs they can’t rehome due to behaviour. It’s fine to say be cautious but a good rescue is doing all that for you.

Iootraw1 Sat 17-Apr-21 23:19:41

Hmm, toilet training lasts a few weeks, after that training lasts years. There is no easy option with a dog. Rescue dogs often come with their nuances ; many having had problematic backgrounds. Walking for hours everyday in rain and shine hard if you are going to have to insist to younger children that they have to come along if too young to leave at home alone. I know they will be at school term today e but there’s still weekends and holidays to think about with this. I love dog ownership I really do but I couldn’t have managed years back when my kids were as young as yours. We used to have a lot of family days out back then and would have been unfair leaving dog alone at home.

phodopus Sat 17-Apr-21 23:52:55

Breeders will sometimes have older dogs available as mentioned above so once you've identified a breed you think would fit in with your family, you could contact the breed club to ask about it.

Unfortunately while there are always dogs in rescues, there are not always "straightforward" dogs suitable for a family with younger children. Look beyond the major charities to smaller rescues as they can sometimes be more flexible, plus they're more often solely foster based so they have a better idea of how a dog is in a home environment.

But I would agree with others that since you correctly said you will be doing almost all the work, it's not a good idea to embark on a potentially 15 year commitment unless you personally really want it. Even if your children don't actually get bored of the dog as such, the enthusiasm they have now won't last forever, certainly not 15 years so it should not be the main reason for getting the dog. smile+

Bythemillpond Sun 18-Apr-21 00:09:41

I do think rescues do have dogs that are good with children but they are few and far between. I think it is a case of doing the rounds of several shelters as often as you can and registering your interest with many places in case one becomes available

I think you are right about getting a dog rather than a puppy. Ddog was a huge handful as a pup and getting her toilet trained

FranklinTennessee Sun 18-Apr-21 00:20:35

And if all those people who mistakenly thought a lockdown puppy was a good idea are now sending them all back to rescues, how come there aren't any available?

They’re not giving them away to rescues. They’re re selling them on places like pets4homes with excuses like ‘we can’t give them the attention they deserve’ or ‘now furlough has ended for us, we’ve got to go back to work so therefore need to rehome our pup’. Fucking idiots.

Happenchance Sun 18-Apr-21 00:22:26

They love DMIL's dog and cat and say hello to all the dogs we meet out and about. One thing to consider when deciding if your kids are ready for a dog is if they understand when to leave dogs alone. Do they know that they need to leave them alone when they’re eating, sleeping or using their body language to say that they want to be left alone, e.g., by yawning, lip licking, head turning, moving away from them etc.?

Your kids may need to learn to ignore other dogs when you’re walking your dog. It’s important that you teach your dog that they can’t greet every dog that they see, which will be hard to do if your kids are keen to greet every dog that they see.

Maybe some voluntary walking would be a good start. I think the Cinnamon Trust let people take their children with them on dog walks, if the dog is used to children.

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