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Dog breed suggestions?

(17 Posts)
ZeldaUpNorth Thu 29-Nov-12 13:46:30

Hello, nothing is set in stone at the minute, more at the planning stage but we're thinking of getting a puppy. We have a smallish house and not too big a garden. 3 kids aged 9, 4 and 3. Oh and we have a cat.

I want a medium sized dog. I love labs (had one growing up) but they are too big, and dp doesnt want anything of the chihuahua size (i like shih-tzu's)
I'm thinking of a cocker spaniel? Anyone have one? What are their temperaments like? My nan has a yappy terrier which are also a no-no due to their barking. We want to take our time and do research on the perfect dog before making any decisions, we're away in March so will be after that before we even look into where to get it from etc.

Oh also, if we were to go to a dog shelter, how difficult is it to adopt one? I've heard they wont let you adopt cats if you live near a main road/have kids etc what is the criteria for a dog adoption.

ZeldaUpNorth Thu 29-Nov-12 13:51:45

Think i meant springer spaniel actually (see a lot more research needed grin) also considering a border collie?

BensonBunny Thu 29-Nov-12 14:00:49

We have a working type cocker spaniel. Very lovely, trainable and friendly. They are generally very bright dogs who need occupying and plenty of exercise.

Jenski Thu 29-Nov-12 14:09:36

We have a 17 week old lab/collie/pointer cross who we got at 8 weeks. He has an amazing temperament. He has never been crazy which I expected him to be. He is very clever and quick to learn. No idea how big he will be but I would say lab size but leaner. I have 3 dcs too who are 3,6 and 8, and 2 cats. He is amazing off lead, learning to walk better on lead!!!! We bought him from someone who had bred her collie/pointer for the first time, she was not making a profit and was not a 'breeder' as such. I think we got lucky really!

On here, you will be encouraged to rescue a whippet or staffie! There are rescues that have puppies, but most encourage older dogs to go with homes with children I think (but sure someone could help you with that). Springers that I have seen in the park are 'springy' and extremely bouncy and usually covered in mud, but seem like great dogs! I knew that I wanted a dog with a 'soft' mouth rather than a snap jaw, and not a yappy terrier!!!

ZeldaUpNorth Thu 29-Nov-12 14:15:38

I dont really like whippets/staffies/bulldogs/boxers etc. I prefer "friendly" looking dogs iyswim lol Wish i had a bigger house, would definitely have a labrador.

YouveCatToBeKittenMe Thu 29-Nov-12 14:19:23

I have both a springer spaniel and a border collie. They both have a lot of energy and both are good in the house. However the collie is not good with other dogs and is a bit of a stress head. The Spaniel is a bit mad and will keep going all day.
I don't think a collie is a good idea unless you have a lot of time to exercise and train it. Springers are similar but tend to be less stressy IME!

ZeldaUpNorth Thu 29-Nov-12 14:29:45

Just out of curiosity i'm looking at local dog rehoming places, and not many have puppies, most are older dogs (and i really want a puppy so i can form a bond with it as early as possible)
I'm a sahm and dd3 will be going to nursery part time from Sept so plenty of time for it. I wouldnt mind a mutt as long as its not crossed with one of the dogs i've mentioned i dont want lol.

TantrumsAndBalloons Thu 29-Nov-12 14:30:26

aah staffies are friendly looking, they have a staffy smile.

ZeldaUpNorth Thu 29-Nov-12 14:31:48

Jenski do you have a pic of your dog? Its sounds perfect for me smile

ZeldaUpNorth Thu 29-Nov-12 14:43:00

In fact aren't mutts healthier than pure breeds?

GoldenOrangeWhippoorwhill Thu 29-Nov-12 14:44:36

My friend has a cocker spaniel and he is adorable. Very bouncy and playful but not manic like a collie. He's quite a snuggler too which is nice and has the softest ears ever. I like my dogs larger but if I was looking for a smaller breed I'd be quite tempted by one.

Having said that her other dog is a staffie type, short, chunky, big smile and she is the friendliest, happiest dog I've ever met. Loves everyone and every thing and life is just the best adventure ever. She is the perfect dog to have with kids, will play ball endlessly but will also sit quietly watching them play with their toys.

Kendodd Thu 29-Nov-12 14:47:20

I'd get a mongrel, descended from generations of mongrels if I could. Pure breeds often have a lot of problems. Dogs like this are becoming very hard to find though. When we got our dog (11 years ago) we searched really hard for a mut but couldn't find one, even the shelters were packed out with pure breeds.

D0oinMeCleanin Thu 29-Nov-12 14:56:03

Pups are over rated but can be found in rescues. Loads of puppies are in rescue atm.

Scruples have Whippet puppies, Many Tears always have puppies, Impawtant Pups always have puppies, SOS North East has a couple of puppies, GRACE has two very young dogs atm (Rose a Sharpei x and a 1yr old Lurcher - although he needs an experienced owner who is willing to work on his guarding issues) I am sure there will be many more if you look around.

I'd think very hard about mixing a puppy with a three yo tbh. It is ime a recipe for disaster. Puppies mouth, nip, scratch, chew up treasured toys, toilet anywhere and everywhere, need constant supervision and training. Labs are mental as puppies and are prone to destroying your house.

The dog I am most bonded with is not the one I have had since 10w or even the aforementioned 1yr lurcher, but my terrier who came to us at around 2yrs old.

The best breeds with very young children do tend to be the bull breeds (staffies in particular) and pointies i.e whippets, greyhounds, lurchers.

I'd also advise not choosing a dog based on looks or stereotypes.

Contact a reputable rescue and let them guide to the dog that is right for your circumstances.

spiderlight Thu 29-Nov-12 14:58:48

Don't get a border collie if you're an inexperienced dog owner - they are incredibly intelligent working dogs and are prone to all sorts of behavioural problems if understimulated in a pet home.

I'd always go for a rescue dog rather than a puppy from a breeder. Have a look here - - might help you find small rescues in your area, and you'd be surprised at how often lovely puppies crop up in rescue. We got our springer from the RSPCA at 16 weeks and she's lovely. A good rescue will help you to find a dog with the right temperament for your family and will offer backup and support for life. Some aren't keen on homes with children under 5, but others are more flexible and will come out and assess you as a family rather than applying blanket rules.

spiderlight Thu 29-Nov-12 14:59:27

Link fail:

NothingIsAsBadAsItSeems Thu 29-Nov-12 15:25:22

Zelda - In fact aren't mutts healthier than pure breeds?

No, they aren't. They can end up with a combination of defects from each breed which can, in some cases, make them less healthy than a pedigree

Jenski Thu 29-Nov-12 19:33:40

Hi Zelda
Not sure how to upload an image!!!
But, the closest I have seen to his looks can be found if you google lab/collie cross or 'borador' (I think this is an Americanism!!!)

I started out looking for something like a pointer, I was quite keen on a German Shorthaired Pointer as I grew up with one (smaller than an English Pointer and ours was quite scatty!!!). I wasn't so keen on a pure bred lab, as often see them quite over-weight which put me off. So ours looks like a lean pointer/lab who can look collie at times!!! We travelled quite far to visit puppies at 5 weeks and returned to collect at 8 weeks. Found on a the site which cannot be named on this forum!

He is a great family dog, and although he did the nippy/chewy thing as all puppies do, it was short lived and dcs knew always to give him something of his own to chew to save their toys.

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