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Good family dog that is NOT a G Retriever

(100 Posts)
GandalfsHat Fri 08-Feb-13 16:52:43

I'm sure this has been done to death but:

We're looking for a family dog, one to 'grow up' with the boys, 2 DS's, 1.5 and 3.5 years of age.

DH and his family has always had Golden Retrievers, always, at one point had 3! It is the only dog he will consider as a family dog, he absolutely loves them.

I grew up with 'pavement specials', mongrels with the most fantastic personalities, great fun to be around, but I suppose you can't be sure of the temperament of a mixed-breed dog, not as much as you can be sure of the temperament of any dog until they reach adulthood, but hopefully you kwim.

So, please recommend me a breed that is a good family dog. I have considered and ruled out spaniels and beagles. I'm quite interested in a Weimereiner... love love love Ridgebacks but they might be a bit on the big side.

Have considered a rescue GR, but I don't always want to have just one breed of dog for the rest of my life...

Live in the country, have enclosed outdoor space, ok for dog to sleep indoors. Can take the dog on good walks but cannot spend hours walking each day.

Any advice/recommendation appreciated.

Fenton Fri 08-Feb-13 16:55:44

Weimereiers can be pretty big to IME, and a little bit 'bumpy' .

I've got a Lab/Border Collie cross and he is proving to be a super dog.

No, you can't have him..wink

LaurieFairyCake Fri 08-Feb-13 16:59:52

Why would you rule out Springer Spaniels confused

Ours allows babies to put wotsits in his mouth and take them out without eating them. He's as soft and floofy as a marshmallow. Mental though grin

Ullena Fri 08-Feb-13 17:04:59

If you don't want to spend hours exercising it, then get an older, more sedate dog, whose exercise needs and temperament are already known. I wouldn't want a puppy anyway with toddlers if it was me they would gang up : sounds like chaos waiting to happen!

broadsheetbabe Fri 08-Feb-13 17:07:45

I'd second that, LaurieFairyCake - we have always had springer spaniels, and they make great dogs for children to grow up with.

We currently have a springer crossed with a poodle and she's a darling! Great temperament, intelligent so easy to train and ideal for DS2 (5) and DGSs (3 and 2) to be around.

Good luck in your search.

TantrumsAndBalloons Fri 08-Feb-13 17:08:15

Rescue staffy. But an older one not a loopy puppy.

They are amazing family dogs and there are so many in rescue looking for a loving family home.

Booyhoo Fri 08-Feb-13 17:10:28

why dont you want a GR? confused

is it the shedding? i have the best Gr in the world. he is huge but he is a gentle giant and i couldn't ask for better. i just have to hoover everyday. grin

chubbymomie2012 Fri 08-Feb-13 17:11:30

Please don't get a Weimaraner. My Father has has a few as a working dog! Sniffer dogs. They are def not family dogs. They do not do well with children and I would never trust them with little toddlers.

chubbymomie2012 Fri 08-Feb-13 17:12:14

Our last dog was a beagle cross. He was a darling. Great with the babies and they grew up with him.

clam Fri 08-Feb-13 17:16:00

I have a poode/cocker cross. Nicest temperament dog ever. Knee height and a good size, without the hoovering you'd need with a GR. Not allergic to him, either, whereas I am to GRs and Labs.

needastrongone Fri 08-Feb-13 17:17:43

German short haired pointer? Vizsla (our friend has one which is soft as butter and doesn't need half the exercise they say they do)

We have a 16 week old springer who has been a dream and is soft as butter but already able to do tons of exercise!!!

GandalfsHat Fri 08-Feb-13 17:19:49

I like GR's but I don't always just want a GR, there are so many lovely breeds/dogs out there...

Amongst my immediate neighbours there are 3 households with the most beautiful springers, all had training, all walked twice (+ sometimes) per day, and they areall loopy and jumpy as hell, as Laurie so succinctly put it, mental as hell!

Staffies are lovely, my cousin had one growing up, she was a lovely, gentle dog.

Thanks Chubbie for the advice about Weims, they are sooooo beautiful though!

MmeLindor Fri 08-Feb-13 17:24:49

You know that we will all just recommend the breed of dog that we have, don't you? smile

We have a Maltese x Cavalier King Charles, but going by what you have said they might be too small and fluffy for you.This is our pooch

What about a Border Terrier if you'd prefer somehting slightly bigger?

We had a Springer Spaniel when we were growing up. Great dog but absolutely daft, and there was no way you could eat a Wotsit out of her mouth. She stole food whenever she could.

IAmNotAMindReader Fri 08-Feb-13 17:26:28

Irish setter?
If you just don't want one type it looks like you are setting yourself up to be a more than one dog household. grin
We are planning on getting another once we have the adolescent phase over with.

Fenton Fri 08-Feb-13 17:27:17

MmeLindor that pooch of yours is a beauty!

almostanotherday Fri 08-Feb-13 17:27:25


tabulahrasa Fri 08-Feb-13 17:36:24

I'd say staffy as well - and not because it's what I have (because it isn't what I have, but I would have if my DP wasn't awkward)

Branleuse Fri 08-Feb-13 17:38:49


WitchOfEndor Fri 08-Feb-13 17:41:20

Don't get a Weimaraner if you don't have lots of time to spend exercising it, they need a lot of exercise! If you think springers are high energy then you won't cope with a Weimaraner. And ridge backs are big, taller than GRs and very strong. A rescue dog would be good because the rescue will have established if it is suitable for rehoming with children.

I grew up (3yo) with a springer and she was lovely but bonkers, and Mum gave her a good two hours exercise a day. We now have a black lab and he is great with DS 2.5 but he is 8yo himself so doesn't want as much exercise (and will just sit and look at me if we throw the ball for too long). Both brilliant dogs in their own right ( and my male lab is smaller than my friends female ridgeback and he weighs nearly 5 stone!)

MmeLindor Fri 08-Feb-13 17:44:17

I know, Fenton. And so does she smile

I thought Weimarers were quite highly strung? Gorgeous dogs though.

We had to go with one that didn't shed cause DH is allergic, so were very limited in choice.

Saying this will get me hung, drawn and quartered on MN, but I don't like the look of Staffies. They may be lovely dogs, but they aren't pretty.

runawaysimba Fri 08-Feb-13 17:44:43

Also love staffies, but my sister has a Dalmatian who was a few years old when my eldest niece was born and the dog regards DN (now 5) as her baby - so sweet and protective. And patient with bolshy little nephew grin

fairimum Fri 08-Feb-13 17:47:32

cardigan corgi - honestly fab with kids, adaptable to exercise, very gentle adn fab characters smile

outtolunchagain Fri 08-Feb-13 17:48:12

We have a cocker spaniel ( show type not working) bit soppy but good fun , very friendly but not as high energy as a springer.

Other good family dogs in our circle include schnauzers and labradoodles.

BlueStringPudding Fri 08-Feb-13 17:49:31

Another vote for Irish Setter - DS was 1 when we got our puppy, and they have been great together. They can be quite bouncy, but absolutely great with kids.

CMOTDibbler Fri 08-Feb-13 17:50:14

How about a lurcher? Mine is fine with dogs of other types, doesn't need a lot of exercise, and is very happy with children

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