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Experienced owners looking for new breed- advice please!

(24 Posts)
topbannana Wed 09-Jan-13 21:45:46

On Monday our beloved BlackDog was PTS at the age of 12 and a bit- we are devastated, though given her age it was something we were expecting, despite its very abrupt passage sad
While we could never replace her we have always known that we would have another dog, and have had many conversations over the years about our theoretical "next dog." However our lives have changed radically over the last couple of years and the breeds we would normally go for are no longer appropriate for us. We have some vague ideas but what we are really thinking is not only a change of breed but also a change of group- a bit scary for us dyed in the wool dog folk grin
So any advice or recommendations would be greatly appreciated. This is us:
Family: DH, DS(8) and I. Both DH and I are experienced owners.

Other pets: 4 yr old (entire) working cocker dog, cat

House: Small cottage with yard, adjacent to open fields

Working: We both work but have always had dogs that could be left for reasonable periods. Our cocker can realistically be left for 5-6 hours if he has been walked and fed beforehand and I would want a breed that eventually could be left (though I know this will take time) In the interim, I work a 3 minute drive from home so popping back midway is no problem.

Our life: We are outdoor folk so want a dog that can keep up with us and is not going to hide under the bed at the first sign of rain. I have worked several breeds of dog at agility (none of them "traditional" agility types) and this is something I would probably like to continue with.

The dog: Smaller in size (no bigger than a springer really but may manage to persuade DH compromise a little) Not too fussed about clipping or grooming as long as it was not excessive. Cheerful and biddable but with a spark (I am thinking terrier smile) I particularly am used to dominant dogs and quite relish the challenge, certainly more than I would want a lap dog. Most likely a bitch but again we are not 100% set on that. Given our DS and our other pets, I think we are really looking at a pup rather than a rescue.

I should also point out that ideally we would look for this theoretical dog to come home at the beginning of the summer holidays, thereby giving us a decent length of time to work and bond. I am asking this now as I understand there is much research to be done and the wait for a suitable dog can take months.

toomuch2young Wed 09-Jan-13 22:05:53

I am so sorry about the loss of your old dog.

With regards to a different dog, hate to be cliched but can't you go with your guidelines you have and see what rescues have as suitable when the time is right? Does it have to be a decided breed?

I'm a massive terrier fan! Both mine are rescue terriers one a mainly JRT bitch who came with massive issues but is the most lovely dog with people and dogs she knows well. She excels at agility and will walk all day in any weather/ terrain but equally happy on the sofa! Other dog is a border terrier x ? Looks like a mini teddy bear and is the nicest dog in the world how on earth he was dumped at 9 weeks ill never know! He's fab in every way including agility and much more laid back than the jrt.

Id reccomend a young rescue terrier as being the ideal dog for you with your experience, keenness and commitment to exercising them.
How exciting grin

toomuch2young Wed 09-Jan-13 22:08:18

But if it has to be a set breed - I'd say a border terrier would suit you well, hardy and love walks but perhaps more reliable than many jrts with regar to your DS and other dog.

toboldlygo Wed 09-Jan-13 22:15:27

If I were to produce a small, non-coated dog for agility I would choose a Jack Russell terrier (more the long legged parsons type, not the Queen-Anne-legged version) every time. They are tenacious, smart, busy little dogs, will thrive in a busy family with a lot of exercise and the one I grew up with had no limit to his trainability. Seriously smart, loyal little dog.

If not for the coat it would be a mini or toy poodle (don't laugh, they dominate at agility!).

toomuch2young Wed 09-Jan-13 22:22:26

grin toboldlygo you just described my little jrt girl to a perfect t, she is the longer legged more parsons type - lives for agility and is just perfecto. not biased at all

topbannana Wed 09-Jan-13 22:22:27

toomuch a border is top of my list one of the contenders

boldly I have seen some cracking poodles at agility. However as previous owners of gundogs, rottweilers and a GSD, they are just one step too far for DH grin

We have not yet closed off the working spaniel (most likely a cocker) route, I just feel that two of them together could be counter-productive hmm

GeeinItLaldy Wed 09-Jan-13 22:27:45

How about a Spanish Water Dog? They're a great all rounder and would be a good match for a working cocker in terms of activity levels.

issey6cats Wed 09-Jan-13 22:32:15

border terriers are fabulous little dogs, another terrier that is full of character, busy, loves long walks and generally long lived are cairn terriers i had one for 15 years and 10 years after he went to rainbow bridge i still miss him he was unique

fanoftheinvisibleman Wed 09-Jan-13 22:41:29

I wouldn't refer to myself as exprienced by a long shot but I have a 5 month old Border Terrier and think he is the bees knees.

He is confident and outgoing but affectionate. He loves mud, water and generally approaches every situation with the attitude 'I'm here world what have you got for me!'

He was easy to house train by 12 weeks and just takes everything in his stride. He was bitey at first but so far hasn't destroyed anything despite toys belonging to ds everywhere. He is sharp as a button and knows what is his. The other day ds hsd put some lego men in a pot I had given pup and pup was trying to tip them out to take his pot back!

He is very gung ho but friendly. I have met lots of Border owners who say he is typical. He loves being out but is happy at home too.

fanoftheinvisibleman Wed 09-Jan-13 22:43:05

Oh and his best buddies at puppy class (or the only ones not scared by his clumsy over enthusiasm!) were two cockers!

LadyTurmoil Thu 10-Jan-13 00:36:22

You said you wanted a pup rather than a rescue but look on They have some beautiful dogs at the moment and lots of puppies as well. You obviously haven't got the complete breeding history as you would with a reputable breeder but you sound like you know what you're looking for... smile I some in the doghouse don't like Many Tears and I do wonder if they just help to perpetuate the cycle of overbreeding etc but... lovely dogs who need a home

topbannana Thu 10-Jan-13 14:51:27

Goodness, I just looked at that link ladyturmoil shock

LadyTurmoil Thu 10-Jan-13 16:01:56

Oh yes I know topbannana!! They have some gorgeous ones at the moment, where are you located as there may be some more local rescues. Have you looked at and

topbannana Thu 10-Jan-13 16:44:43

ladyturmoil we are in Dorset but are up for a journey for the right dog (as we would do from a breeder) I would not have usually considered a rescue as they so rarely have "puppy" puppies IYSWIM but ManyTears seems inundated with them. I am in two minds about whether they do allow puppy farms to continue by diligently hoovering up their leftovers though sad
I have casually showed DH a pic of a dalmation cross pup (Henrietta in case you fancy a nose!) just to test the water and he was pleasantly interested. There may be hope for a bigger dog yet grin

WifeofPie Thu 10-Jan-13 16:57:36

I'm thinking terrier too. I had a Parson JRT growing up that was mental very hardy and have to keep them busy though and they can often be unpleasant with other dogs. Soft-coated Wheaten Terriers are my favourite 'big' terrier.

LadyTurmoil Thu 10-Jan-13 18:08:11

topb Oh my oh my Henrietta! She is seriously gorgeous...Dalmatians are supposed to be a bit bonkers, aren't they, although you are experienced owners. You'd have to keep a good eye out or you might end up with Dalmatian/cocker puppies in the house!! If you're in Dorset, have you tried (Worthing and District, West Sussex) are they too far? There's Dorset Dog Rescue but someone who worked in rescue on here said they haven't got a very good reputation. Re Many Tears, you can just see how it works, breeding dogs outlived their usefulness, chuck 'em at MT and keep young dog/bitch from litter until THEY are exhausted. But I guess it will take proper, strong legislation and enforcement more than anything to actually stop it. Just out of interest, I once looked on gumtree or preloved (can't remember which) at Cavaliers - there were over 1,000 ads just for that breed! It's unbelievable. But good luck in your search and pictures when you get him/her. OOh, just remembered - might be useful

JumpingJackSprat Thu 10-Jan-13 18:17:53

your requirements are the exact match for the tibetan terriers i know. apart from the hair but thats easily kept trimmed. if you want to know more feel free to send a message.

LadyTurmoil Thu 10-Jan-13 18:39:15

mistlethrush Thu 10-Jan-13 18:43:39

I would have thought a small lurcher (whippet / beddie cross perhaps) would be perfect....

cathpip Thu 10-Jan-13 18:48:27

I have 2 working cockers a father and son combo, ages 5 and 1 and they work beautifully together. We also used to own working labs and they go very nicely with cockers, but may be a little big for what you are after, my other suggestion is a terrier, Border or a welsh, both firm faves of mine and my dads welsh gets on with my cockers like a house on fire.

LadyTurmoil Thu 10-Jan-13 20:32:12

Btw, sorry about your Blackdog, meant to say before x

topbannana Thu 10-Jan-13 20:33:04

jacksprat that is what I am after, suggestions to brandish at DH grin

mistlethrush in a past life I worked in greyhound/ lurcher rescue so do have a lot of experience with those type of dogs though they never really cropped up on the list for some reason

cathpip the GingerDog is an odd character, so much so that I personally have misgivings about having another. Don't get me wrong he is 100% trustworthy, good mannered, a good worker and the perfect house dog, he just has a particularly sly nature that I struggle to work well with. We have had springers in the past but have found the cocker to be more adaptable in the field so perhaps I should be more open minded grin As for the terriers they are both high up on the list. I would love a lab but the cost of food, insurance and PHP on a big dog is prohibitive when you actually add it up. BlackDog was in the end costing <glances over shoulder to see if DH is looking> £130 a month a fair bit hmm

Keep the suggestions coming grin

JumpingJackSprat Thu 10-Jan-13 21:02:03

i also think lurchers are a good suggestion i had a fab one but as theyre a crossbreed you are less sure of what youre going to get.

topbannana Tue 15-Jan-13 23:02:10

A quick update smile
Thanks to all who advised, sadly we chickened out and are down (provisionally) for a bitch puppy from a reasonably local working cocker breeder <outnumbered> grin

Truthfully speaking we (well DH and DS anyway) hope to get back shooting properly next season so a dog that is likely to be some use and can come with us is a more sensible idea.

When I am older I shall have terriers <wistful>

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