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Living in a flat, which breed of dog would be most suitable?

(38 Posts)
PrimroseHall Sun 06-Sep-09 22:05:48

DS has problems interracting with other children and has been very lonely and sad lately. I'd like to get him a dog, preferably a big, friendly, energetic, cuddly one, but am prepared to compromise of course.

Our flat is on the 2nd floor, fairly roomy and we have a small balcony. There is a shared garden downstairs that I can use with the dog as long as the neighbours aren't in it, but the dog wouldn't be able to have the run of it as he'd have to be supervised incase another child wanted to come out.

I'm up for as much dog walking as is needed and the common is just down the road so he'd get a good run off the lead daily as well.

Our first choice would be a Boxer, closely followed by a Retriever, but would consider any dog if those 2 aren't suitable.

Any help appreciated smile

Goober Sun 06-Sep-09 22:07:51

A hot-dog?

PrimroseHall Sun 06-Sep-09 22:21:02

Like this one?

Goober Sun 06-Sep-09 22:27:06

No. More like this one.

Have you seen what I have on my profile pic?

Cies Sun 06-Sep-09 22:28:55

I was going to say a small one! smile

We live in a flat and have a rescued beagle cross griffon terrier. If you did your research this would NOT be the kind of dog you would think suitable for a flat, but she's perfect - doesn't bark at all, very quiet, no chewing etc. So I'd say that while breed is of course important, the dog's individual characteristics are too. I know plenty of dogs in flats whose owners complain of having to play catch with them the whole time or that the neighbours complain about barking. We (more through luck
than judgement) have had no such problems.

Just to state the obvious : having a dog in a flat means that you will HAVE to go out at least 5 times a day for it to pee/poo. And you can't just open the back door in the morning while you make a cup of tea and let it do its business - you have to get dressed and take it out round the block.

expatinscotland Sun 06-Sep-09 22:29:29

i wouldn't think a retriever would do well in a flat, but i could be wrong.

Goober Sun 06-Sep-09 22:30:02

She is beeeyoooteefull, but I couldn't imagine her without the freedom to run around in her own garden.

nicefleece Sun 06-Sep-09 22:34:20

Hows about voluntary walking at the local dogs home?

PrimroseHall Sun 06-Sep-09 22:39:08

Goober, if you own a boxer why not just say that you don't think it would be the right breed for my circumstances? Are you trying to say that no dog should be kept in a flat?

Thanks Cies and Expat. I know retrievers are fairly big, but I thought with the amount of exercise I'd be prepared to give it, it just might work.

Cies I (perversely) like the idea of getting up in the morning and going straight out with the dog.

Any other suggestions?

PrimroseHall Sun 06-Sep-09 22:40:59

NF, DS has autism so we probably wouldn't be good candidates for walking random dogs. I think he'd need to have it from a puppy and form a bond with it for it to help him. Thanks for suggestion though.

expatinscotland Sun 06-Sep-09 22:41:40

how about a maltese?

PrimroseHall Sun 06-Sep-09 22:46:56

Just looked up maltese expat. I like it but DP would probably say no because it's a bit cutesy. Ideally I'd like a short haired dog too, because I've got mild allergies.

Wellywearer Sun 06-Sep-09 22:51:24

Bichon/maltease - non shedding but still has a ''cuddly'' coat - love 2 be cuddled and just happy to sit near you ideal for asd temperament - in my opnion also not too big for a flat

PrimroseHall Sun 06-Sep-09 23:00:22

Are Maltese and Bichon the same breed then? Hmm, non shedding would be fab.

Going to bed now and will read the profile tomorrow. Any more suggestions, please post.

fortyplus Sun 06-Sep-09 23:12:57

My brother bought a Bichon because it is supposed to be hypoallergenic. However... he got homophobic abuse when he walked it in the local park! shock
Apparently it's a 'gay dog' hmm

bedlambeast Sun 06-Sep-09 23:15:25

Message withdrawn

midlandsmumof4 Sun 06-Sep-09 23:28:42

Well years ago we lived in a first floor flat & had an Old English Sheepdog. We had a small shared front garden and our own
tiny patch at the back which we never used. Sam was lovely. A big lolloply dulux dog who needed more grooming than excercise. He wa so loyal it was unbelievable. We eventually moved into a house with a garden from which he constantly escaped to wait in the playground till either my son came out of school or the Headmaster called me to fetch him back smile.

PrimroseHall Sun 06-Sep-09 23:29:11

Gay dog! grin. I showed DP this picture and he walked away in disgust. The normal look is ok though, IMO. It's not what I'd want in an ideal world, but it's still a dog and DS would love it. Would worry me that DS might take a bit of stick for it though - he's 7 and it's getting harder to protect him from the more wordly kids around here.

Hmm, you might be right about an older dog bedlam. If bonding would be easier with an adult dog then that would be better, as it's temperament would be known. Would mean we could get a mungrel as well, as wouldn't need to know parents history if the dog has already established itself as 'good with children'. I'll phone some rehoming centres tomorrow and see what they think.

PrimroseHall Sun 06-Sep-09 23:39:34

Aah, now that's my kind of dog mlm. I'd love to wrap my arms round it and bury my face in it's fur.

Did you have it before you lived in the flat?

Our garden is huge, that's why I was thinking that a bigger dog might be doable. It just wouldn't be allowed to go out there and dig around and sniff all day because of the neighbours we share with. Good enough for a few hours of playing while DS or I are with it, as well as the walks and long runs on the common though.

Won't get a bigger dog if would make it unhappy though.

Really going to bed now.

fortyplus Sun 06-Sep-09 23:41:45

Actually a greyhound is a good thought. They are extremely loving, soppy and LAZY so don't need too much exercise as long as they can have a run off the lead.

Hundreds of ex racing greyhounds need to be re-homed each year. Friends of ours had one dumped in their field covered in sores. He made a great family pet for years - though he had a habit of jumping on your lap which was a bit of a shock sometimes!

teafortwo Sun 06-Sep-09 23:55:28

Hi Primrose...

DH and I went through exactly this process not very long ago...

Look here.... ving

We decided just last week to go for a Cocker Spaniel and have just made contact with a wonderfully good breeder who will help us choose a puppy with the kind of character a dog needs to feel completely cool with apartment living and family life!

It is fun to know there is someone out there in the same boat as us! I will be following this thread closely to see what you decide to do....

GrimmaTheNome Mon 07-Sep-09 00:00:51

The other practical reason for choosing an adult rather than a pup is that it must be harder to housetrain in a flat.

As the owner of a dachshund, I'd go for the one you pictured, without the buns angrygrin - shorthaired, very cuddlesome, loves a long walk but can cope without. But might be too vocal for a flat. One further thing to consider is how you DS will take to other people's interactions with his dog. Certain breeds just attract people like magnets - dachsies, bassets, I'm sure there are others. Would this be a positive or a negative for your DS?

ceres Mon 07-Sep-09 12:29:11

if you want a bigger dog i agree with the poster who suggested a greyhound. they are quite sedate dogs and don't need all that much exercise compared to other breeds - they are actually quite lazy in between walks! i really wouldn't reccommend a boxer in a flat - lovely dogs but very energetic and bouncy, need lots of exercise and ideally free run of a garden in between walks.

we have a staffie - they are also a breed you might like to consider. lots of them in rescue centres unfortunately. they are generally good with children (known as the nanny dog)although they can be not so great with othwer dogs - though lots are absolutely fine. they do need quite a lot of exercise but are then happy to flop on the sofa for hours (equally happy in their own bed if you don't like dogs on sofas!) and they tend not to be barkers - probably a real consideration if you live in a flat.

i would suggest you have a look at some doggy websites - there are lots of websites where you can answer questions about your lifestyle and they suggest the best breeds for you. good luck!

Goober Mon 07-Sep-09 12:49:26


PrimroseHall Mon 07-Sep-09 14:18:04

Touchy? Maybe I am but I think your first 2 posts on here were uncalled for.

I took your suggestion of getting a hot-dog as playful rather than sarcastic, although I think it was rather insensitive considering I had explained that I'm looking for a companion for a lonely child in my OP.

Thank you for your third post. I've given up the idea of getting a boxer because of what you and Cere's have said about needing a garden between walks.

Teafortwo, thanks for posting. Cocker Spaniels are lovely, you must be so excited. Have you met your puppy yet or are you waiting for a litter?

Grimma, DS would cope very well with people approaching him to talk about the dog. He's a very sociable child and really wants friends but doesn't know how to join in with people. Having people come to him to chat and having a safe topic, such as a dog, would be a real bonus for him. You've made me think about whether certain dogs would attract undesirable people though. There are loads of Staffies round here for example, but their owners tend to be young lads using them as status symbols and they have a certain reputation. I wouldn't want to attract those lads when we're out with the dog.

Ceres, I really do like Staffies. The guy downstairs used to have one and it slept in a kennel on the balcony. I never heard it bark and it was good with the kids. How have you found other people react to your dog? Maybe I'm being silly worrying about them.

Greyhounds and Basset Hounds sound good to me. Any more suggestions, keep 'em coming.

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