Thinking about getting a dog - fox terriers? And other questions(10 Posts)
Have been thinking for a while about getting a dog.
Have looked at breeds and am thinking about a fox terrier - does anyone have one? I have two children - aged 5 and 8.
We have a medium sized house and not much garden but have lots of parks and we are out and about outdoors a lot.
At the moment it is likely the dog would be left three days a week, but am not happy about this and am trying to look at other options.
Any more advice for me?
Training - don't get a dog if you don't want to take it to proper obedience training, not just the "stand in a room and let the dogs play" as per pet shop "training" sessions.
I'd second that. Also terriers can take a little longer to train, and can be defiant, according to a friend of mine who's trained dogs for 20 years. That's not to say that they can't be trained, though. I've got a Patterdale - it's taken me 3 months to train her, but it's well worth it
We are getting a Border Terrier in the School holidays, I am going to Google pics of Fox Terrier now, hadn't heard of one before!
go to www.petplanet.co.uk - has excellent breed profiles - including compatibility with kids, other animals, amount of exercise, trainability, level of stress if left alone and other stuff. terriers tend to do ok (ie score reaonsly well on most people's tick list) but they've been bred to dig. and it's very hard to stop them.
the dogs that consistently come up well as family pets are labradors and cocker spaniels - the most popular dogs in the uk for very good reasons.
I would also recommend this book to give you an idea of what you're committing to (probably lots of other books too, but I do like this one. not leaste because it reminds me of 1970 car-maintenance manuals
the kennel club website is good on how to find a dog - on no account get one from a pet shop.
ps if you are going to leave it alone for 3 days a week you need to know that you can;t do that with a puppy; and realistically you can't do it with a new-to-you rescue dog either. so you definitely need a medium-term plan to avoid leaving it.
some adult dogs will tolerate it - but you really need to chose the right breed and even then you would need to be prepared to pay for a dog walker if it's going to be a long day. if you don;t think really hard about this now - ie before you get the dog, you really really could find yourself in the situation where you want to get rid of it. it won;t be a happy dog and unhappy dogs don;t make good pets.
I would back up hatwoman's comments about leaving puppies - I don't know if you've had one before but IMO they are very, very hard work - possibly more so than babies, although for less time. I say this as a confirmed dog and other animal lover, and I wouldn't let it put me off, but if you haven't had a puppy before I might try and spend time with one just to get a bit of a feel for it, and I definitely wouldn't expect to be able to leave it much at all to start with.
Personally I would be uncomfortable taking on a rescue dog with two small children in the house, just in case, ISWIM.
A puppy is not suitable unless there is somebody at home the majority of the day to look after it. If you are looking for a 100% friendly and reliable dog suitable for a home with kids, again, I recommend a retired greyhound. If you don't like them for some reason, staffies are also very sweet with children (hence the "nanny dog" name!) and there are also lots of them desperately needing homes.
If you can't manage a pup and don't trust a rescue dog, heres a suggestion:
We got a 10 month old dog from a breeder(found via breed website); they sometimes have young dogs which they thought would make the grade for show or breeding but develop some technical fault (ours has balding ears!) and therefore need a pet home. This has worked well for us- the dog was house trained and socialised, and was known to be good with children and (unlike a rescue dog) had definitely been well-cared for and not traumatised.
Any good rescuer will also assess a dog for behavioral issues and find a family to suit his needs, they don't just hand out vicious dogs.
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