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Getting a dog and would like some advice please

(12 Posts)
blinkedandmissedit Tue 30-Oct-12 22:05:23

I think I may have finally persuaded DH to get a dog grin
It won't be for a number of months yet due to events coming up in the next few months and needing to secure our garden etc etc, plus we want to have time to do lots of research. Plus as DH isn't 100% convinced, I want to make sure we're doing the right thing.

Anyway, a few of our friends have recently bought puppies, and by this I mean they have seen them advertised, gone there and come home with a puppy, all within about 24 hours. From the research I have done over the last few weeks, mainly on MN, I am seeing this isn't a good thing! In all honesty I thought that unscrupulous breeders and puppy farms all went out in the early 1990s and I am naively shocked.

So, we are now thinking rescue. I have had dogs before, he hasn't. I am more open to lots of breeds where as DH is a bit nervous of larger dogs really so I think that we would be looking for a small to medium sized dog, which is a shame as it means we can't rehome a greyhound. Although I don't want to approach this with a 'shopping list' of requirements, I want to make sure we have some idea of what breeds would be suitable for us so that we can be realistic as I know full well if left to my own devices I would leave the rescue centre with any dog that looked at me with sad eyes. I don't want to go along with a specific dog in mind as I know we would be matched by the needs of the dog, but want to have some idea what we are looking at.

So, where do we start? I've seen lots of advice saying to research breeds, but where is a good place to find out the necessary info? What else do we need to consider? Ive found lots of websites for rescue centres and read through all the info on there but wonder if there is anything else we should be doing?

lurcherlover Tue 30-Oct-12 22:10:24

Greyhounds are gorgeous (as are lurchers, but I am rather biased grin) - they're not scary at all so try and work on DH! They are couch potatoes really - a couple of walks a day and they are happy to laze around at home (preferably on your best sofa though). Lovely lovely doggies which make fab pets.

If you're going to rescue a dog (great decision!) be open-minded about breed - bearing in mind many rescues are of very uncertain parentage! A decent rescue will ask you lots of questions about your lifestyle and wants from a dog and then try to pair you up with one that might suit you.

blinkedandmissedit Tue 30-Oct-12 22:27:54

I am working on him with the greyhounds (and lurchers!). He's not scared of them I don't think but thinks they're too big for our house - we have a 3 bed semi so not tiny. I've always been drawn to not perfect looking, not sure what they are kind of dogs, rather than cutesy pedigree or designer cross types.

Wonder if I can work on the grehounds wink

WTFwasthat Tue 30-Oct-12 22:49:51

i have not read all posts but have to say that I got our rescue pup on Sunday, a 12 week old lab x from Many Tears. I am absolutely delighted that I have, not only, given a chance of a great life to an unwanted dog, but I have not lined the pocked of some unscupulous money grabbing back yard breeder who's puppies were the result of some poor breeding bitch in some concrete cell with no quality of life whatsoever. I would defo say go rescue!

Arseface Tue 30-Oct-12 22:56:07

Your local greyhound rescue will probably be happy for you and DH to take dogs for a walk and get to know them.
Full disclosure: we have two, a sedate 10-year-old duchess and a livelier boy of 4.
They are wonderful with kids (including our toddler and her friends) take up no room in the house as they're so chilled and curl up small, and are the easiest, sweetest and most rewarding dogs for busy families.
When we dogsit for my friend's - well behaved - JRT, it's the equivalent of having 5 greys in the house!

There are obv loads of other wonderful dogs who will I'm sure be a great addition to your family but please take your DH to meet some greyhounds and see what he thinks.

Whatever you decide congratulations! The only thing better than a dog is two dogs grin

Arseface Tue 30-Oct-12 22:58:41

Oops!
Congratulations! Well done you. Wishing you many happy doggy years.

Vix07 Tue 30-Oct-12 23:05:51

Bear in mind that if you do go the rescue route (Yay!) you will have the advantage of getting a slightly older dog (usually, I know you could still get a rescue pup) which means that not only do you avoid the housetraining period but also the dog will already have an established character so regardless of the breed/cross general characteristics you will already know whether your prospective dog is a big cuddle monster/loves kids/thinks he's actually human etc etc.
If it's possible to be 'dog-broody' I'm there - really excited for you!

Scuttlebutter Wed 31-Oct-12 00:15:37

Congratulations! Not only for getting a dog smile but for being a responsible dog owner and thinking carefully about responsible and ethical sourcing.

Firstly, greys do vary quite a bit in size - bitches are usually a little bit smaller than the boys. For instance, to give you a feel, we are currently a four greyhound household - they vary in weight between about 24kg and up to about 38kg. The biggest male has a 30" coat, the smallest female has a 26" coat and can even wear a whippet bandana. It's also worth bearing in mind that even the large greyhounds make very easy houseguests since all they require is a comfy sofa where they can snooze upside down with all four legs in the air and their tongue hanging out at a comedy angle. Something like a JRT might be tiny, but it would be "on the go" all day long and would need masses more stimulation/entertainment/mischief and mayhem. You would be very much more aware of its presence.

Lurchers vary even more as it depends a lot on the non greyhound parent - what might suit very well is a whippet/grey cross, or you could go all out for a whippet - adorable dogs, very similar to a greyhound in temperament but just smaller. Scruples Whippet Rescue is the best known and very reputable national rescue for them. For lurchers, many greyhound charities will have them or you could go to Lurcher Link - again very reputable, and with some really knowledgeable people.

If you'd like to mention where in the UK you are roughly we can point you at some lovely sighthound charities. smile Also, you'd be very welcome if you take a stroll over to the thread on Greyhounds, whippets and other pointies - lots of us sighthound folk over there who are very happy to answer any questions/brainwash you into Grab-a-grund. grin

NotMostPeople Wed 31-Oct-12 00:20:07

Both of my Lurchers are rescue dogs and I got them both as puppies. My greyhound/whippet is huge largish but was tiny when he came to us as 12 weeks. So he kind of got bigger without us noticing. If you have time you could hold out for a rescue puppy.

LadyTurmoil Wed 31-Oct-12 01:13:09

If you read some of the other threads you will see that you need patience and perseverance when applying to rescues. Many are run by volunteers so it can take time. I wouldn't get too hung up on breeds although it's good to do some research so you know breeds like collie or springer spaniel are high energy and greyhounds are pretty relaxed, as others have already said. You may also find that UK rescues are full of Staffie/Jack Russell types and not much else. That's why I love some of the "street" dogs that are being rescued by organisations like sos-animals.org.uk/ www.romaniaanimalaid.co.uk,www.streetdogrescue.com/. k-9angels.org/. Dog Watch UK and The Mayflower Sanctuary also work with rescues in Spain and Cyprus respectively and bring dogs over to the UK. You can find all of the above on Facebook as well. There are many more! I'd much rather have rescue mutt than a pedigree which cost so much and are liable to so many inherited diseases. I reckon if a dog has managed to survive on the streets of Romania then they're going to be pretty damn tough!

LadyTurmoil Wed 31-Oct-12 01:15:20

Btw, forgot to say that it's not that much more expensive to adopt from rescues in other countries, usually around £250. Wishing you good luck in your search!

blinkedandmissedit Wed 31-Oct-12 18:44:59

Wow, lots of very helpful replies, thanks. We're in Essex so have Romford stadium not a million miles away, with the greyhounds there they re-home. I'm going to have a look at all the links from here too. I think I ned to persuade DH to have a look at greyhounds, or maybe whippets and lurchers too (good idea).

Thanks again. I'm sure i'll be back with more questions!

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