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if you HAD to choose a breed of dog to be a family pet (plus a request for valhalla)

(100 Posts)
thisisyesterday Wed 05-Oct-11 22:10:25

what would you choose?

I have been searching the archives like a good girl and found that everyone says "it's the dog not the breed", which is a very fair point.
however, i have to start somewhere grin

so if you were getting a dog and you wanted something that would be fairly calm, not too jumpy or excitable, good around children, smallish size and one that would be truly devoted to its owner..... what would you pick? or what would be your top 3?

I know I am asking you to generalise a lot but y'know, just humour me wink

VivaLeBeaver Wed 05-Oct-11 22:12:20

Whippet
Schnauzer
French bulldog
Cockerpoo

DooinMeCleanin Wed 05-Oct-11 22:14:38

In order of prefernce mine would be:

1) A TVRD (thoroughly vetted rescue dog)
2) A Staffordshire Bull Terrier aged 4+ (e.g past the mad puppy phase)
3) A retired Greyhound or another sighthound or sighthound mix.

peggyblackett Wed 05-Oct-11 22:16:47

1) Labrador
2) retired greyhound or lurcher
3) a mongrel - the sort that's a mix of everything smile

beararse Wed 05-Oct-11 22:17:33

Greyhounds are big but they're never too big grin - they're calm, easy, funny, soooo loving and lovable, quiet, gentle, lazy, comical, sofa-hogging, beautiful and often a bit fick grin. Plus they've often been fostered so have a known history and may have been child/cat/dog/recall tested. Ultimate family pet. Do it!

VivaLeBeaver Wed 05-Oct-11 22:20:05

I have a greyhound and I do love her but she is big. That's why I said whippet instead, similar temperament but smaller.

LemonDifficult Wed 05-Oct-11 22:20:24

Another top vote here for lurcher/retired greyhound. They can wrap up pretty small when they try.
Italian Spinone might be fun
Deer Hound (or sorry you wanted small, in which case, Border Terrier)

Merrylegs Wed 05-Oct-11 22:21:10

Whippet.

malinois Wed 05-Oct-11 22:23:10

See my name smile

DooinMeCleanin Wed 05-Oct-11 22:24:34

Whippets were once known as the snap dog because of their penchant and ability to snap, quickly and without warning.

Mine does it sometimes, but only ever as an air snap i.e she will snap the air just at your finger tips but never makes contact with you. She only does it if you accidentally disturb her from her sleep or try and get her off the bed when she has decided that is where she deigns to spend the night hmm

She is extremely lovely though - but this why the TVRD is the best choice. The rescue will know all about the dogs quirks.

Popbiscuit Wed 05-Oct-11 22:28:54

My neighbours have three whippets. They are angels and extremely docile and obedient but not cuddly/cute or affectionate.
Westies or Scottie?

DooinMeCleanin Wed 05-Oct-11 22:30:40

My Whippet is very cuddly. She likes nothing more than to be nursed in your arms like an odd shaped baby. My Dad's drapes herself around your shoulders like a giant, whippet shaped scarf.

BorisTheBold Wed 05-Oct-11 22:32:17

Whippet - mines are all very cuddly and overly affectionate.

thisisyesterday Wed 05-Oct-11 22:32:35

oooh thank you for all the replies, i just came back cos I forgot my request for Valhalla if she is still around?
Do you know of, or can you recommend any good rescue places in sussex/surrey?

stleger Wed 05-Oct-11 22:33:51

I have a whippety shetland mix. He does the air snap, but in the way of an air kiss. He is very cuddly, and loves toddlers.

beararse Wed 05-Oct-11 22:34:13

I think the requirement for it to be calm and not too excitable pretty much rules out Westies and Scotties! Not dogs I would generally choose for households with small children although obviously some individuals of both breeds will be great in those respects.

Carrotsandcelery Wed 05-Oct-11 22:35:04

Cocker spaniels, IME, seem to be friendly, dippy and utterly loveable but I have only had 2.

We currently have a collie cross rescue dog and he is loyal, peaceful in the house, playful in the garden, very affectionate and easy to train. He does have some quirks though - we have just got used to them grin

thisisyesterday Wed 05-Oct-11 22:35:23

huh, so whippet then you reckon? grin

i saw these and fell a bit in love

thisisyesterday Wed 05-Oct-11 22:35:52

I do realise those puppies aren't whippets btw, just re-read my post and it looked like I might lol

RatHammock Wed 05-Oct-11 22:36:40

I came on here to say whippet - looks like it's already been said! Lovely dogs; I'd have dozens of them if I could. Ours is so gentle with DD 14m. They will get on the furniture though and they're not much use as guard dogs!

DooinMeCleanin Wed 05-Oct-11 22:38:46

My sister has a Lurcher. He's ace. Very, very laid back. Great with DC too <- that is how he spends much of his, with or without his toddler companion.

Popbiscuit Wed 05-Oct-11 22:40:08

We have one of each, Beararse...and three small children. They are calm and non-excitable; really couldn't ask for better dogs. !

thisisyesterday Wed 05-Oct-11 22:41:04

so would a whippet be cuddly?

if i could have any dog i would get a beagle but read too many stories on here of them howling and eating EVERYTHING! lol

Vallhala Wed 05-Oct-11 22:41:05

What Dooin said. Staffs can be a bit mad, you don't always find calm ones at age 4 or so, but when you do they're a joy. Greys are notoriously laid back but I have known some to suffer seperation anxiety (as can any dog, even if you have him from a pup) so pick carefully with this in mind as you don't want to alienate your neighbours.

But, mainly, Dooin's number one choice. The calmest, most laid back and family friendly dog I've ever owned (bear in mind I've fostered lots too) was a HUGE great long haired German Shepherd. He came to me when I'd lost my little Collie Cross girl to cancer and was looking for a similar sized (ie Cocker sized) bitch. Didn't find one of those but met Shane the GSD. A match made in heaven and I KNOW that no matter how long I live and how many other dogs cross my threshold there will never be another who will be quite as perfect.

If you go to a reputable rescue they won't say "have a look and take your pick". They'll ask you everything but the colour of your knickers and then suggest one, two, maybe three dogs who they think will suit you and your family.

And if you do go through the rescue route, as I hope you will, remember please to only go to one which will question you at length, homecheck you, insist on meeting all the household and any other pets, neuter, vaccinate, assess their dogs thoroughly and take him back at any stage in his life if heaven forbid you couldn't keep him.

Remember please too that an ex stray is no more of a "risk" to your family than a rescue dog who has landed up there via a family home, provided that the rescue is reputable. Regardless of where he has come from they should thoroughly assess him. A good rescue won't just offer you a dog with "a history" behind him because they know he lived with DC and cats, they will have taken in all that the previous owner has said and then assessed him anyway, just as they would a former stray because, sadly, we know that owners will sometimes lie.

Lastly, ensure that you are adopting from a RESCUE and not a pound. Ask outright... "Do you have a contract with the council to take in strays?" because some pounds will go under the name of "rescue" or "dogs home" and try to make out that they ARE rescue. The problem with this is that they are only paid by the council to keep dogs for 7 days, after that they have to pay for the dogs keep themselves if he is to stay longer and as a profit making concern that isn't in their interests. Hence many pounds, if they don't kill the dog or send him to rescue, will be anxious to get him out, which is fine if they carry out good rescue practice and neuter/assess/homecheck etc... the problem is many don't and will just say, there he is, you can take him today, he seems fine to us, that'll be £100 please. AVOID these like the plague and let us rescuers help those dogs by taking them in and assessing and rehabilitating if need be, don't YOU take that risk, please.

An example of a pound which will rehome responsibly (though as a rescuer I don't like them because they put to sleep or reject many dogs) is Wood Green Animal Shelters. They are a pound and they take in the councils strays BUT they do all the necessary assessment and homechecks before offering dogs for adoption so they're one of the few pounds I would say are okay to approach.

thisisyesterday Wed 05-Oct-11 22:41:15

aww that pic is so cute!!!

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