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Low/non shedding dogs and small children

(15 Posts)
IsItMyArseOrMyElbow Mon 13-May-13 11:14:27

My 4 (nearly 5) year old is pestering for a puppy, the idea is growing on me but, after years of cat ownership, I don't fancy the idea of constant vacuuming again.

The breeds that appeal to me are cockerpoos or labradoodles so far, just want some advice on how well they get on with small children, he will be trained alongside the dog and they obviously would not be left alone unsupervised until much older.

tabulahrasa Mon 13-May-13 11:44:49

Crosses aren't always non or low shedding and you can't really tell whether they will be or not until their adult coats come in.

You'd be better looking at either pedigrees with low/non shedding coats or dogs with a fine short coat with no undercoat.

EdgarAllanPond Mon 13-May-13 12:00:41

you have to have a think about more than not liking hoovering, size of dog is important (some labradoodles are huge)

why a cross-breed rather than pedigree?

have you considered a rescue? (in which case it may be better to make general stipulations, we want a smallish low shedding dog for e.g. than specifying any particular breeding, although there are breed specific rescues too)

how much exercise can you give the dog?

LadyTurmoil Mon 13-May-13 12:00:57

You have got to be absolutely sure that YOU want a dog. It's like having a small but mobile baby again. Do you want to be picking up poo, wiping up pee, having a sharp-toothed puppy nipping your 5 year old? Do you want to be waking up at night to take pup out for middle-of-the-night toilet breaks? Yes, they grow out of that stage but it's a huge commitment of time, training etc. The pester power of kids is renowned but, believe me, I've seen how short term their interest in a new dog is and it is you who will be doing the feeding, walking, toileting, vet visits for perhaps 15 years hence.

As regards low-shedding, there are many threads on here about it, but there is no guarantee of a crossbreed like the ones you mentioned being low or no-shedding. I would go for a poodle. They will have to be clipped every 6-8 weeks (so you have to factor in that ongoing expense). They are intelligent fun dogs. I personally don't understand why Labradors and Labrador crosses are so popular considering that they're very bouncy, constantly on the lookout for food and can shed very heavily.

Scuttlebutter Mon 13-May-13 12:19:49

Honestly, if you don't like hoovering, don't get a dog. It really is that simple.

It's not just the coat. They track in mud, roll in fox poo, bleed, vomit, have accidents. We have greyhounds - they have the shortest possible coats, yet still generate giant tumbleweeds of fur, especially at this time of the year when losing winter coats. They bring in mud from the garden, leave foot prints, shake themselves, and constantly amaze me with the inventiveness of their ability to turn a freshly cleaned house into what looks like a particularly messy orgy involving a rugby team, Mr Trebus and the contents of Steptoe's yard.

If you're not happy thinking of dog hair as a condiment, or think that every outfit is better accessorised with dog hair, then don't have a dog.

If you take on a pup now, you will likely still have it when your DC have long since disappeared on a gap year - it should be your choice, not your DC's.

Lonecatwithkitten Mon 13-May-13 13:45:26

In addition to what everyone else has said I believe the dog you get is directly proportional to the amount of effort you put in. People often remark on how well behaved my dog is I always point out that is related to the fact that I have continued to train him be it on walks or in agility class every day for the last three years and I see training as a lifelong commitment.

moosemama Mon 13-May-13 17:59:28

I think you've come to the right place to ask the question, as if you consider everything people raise here and find you still want a dog you are doing the right thing.

If however you are any doubts at all, don't do it. As others have said, the dog is likely to still be with you when your ds goes off to Uni and it's you, not him that will have all the responsibility and duty of care.

IsItMyArseOrMyElbow Wed 15-May-13 11:11:58

Thanks for all the comments, definitely given me food for thought. Think I might leave it for 6 months and see if I'm still keen on the idea. Maybe start him with a hamster and see how long the novelty lasts!

oldandcrabby Wed 15-May-13 13:02:28

I have a Bedlington Terrier, who does not shed but his coat needs clipping or scissoring every 6 weeks or so. I do it myself and now scissor as clipping can aggravate the skin. He needs a hair cut every 6 weeksor so. I do it myself but limit it to an hour at a time, so more than one session needed. He and I get bored after an hour. My crossbreed Bedlington/whippet, sheds a bit but just needs brushing, my cat, a blue tortie, sheds the most. Dogs bring in mud, can have accidents and need commitment along with the joy they bring. I can't walk them at the moment, trapped sciatic nerve, so I am employing a dog walker and am psyching myself up to pick up the poo in the garden, which will be painful. Have you thought about checking whether you and your five year old can walk dogs for Cinnamon Trust, Papas, local rescue to see how you both relate to dogs? My favourite vet's advice, 'never have a dog you can't carry in an emergency'.

LadyTurmoil Wed 15-May-13 13:43:37

And... if after all that, you decide to get a dog, think about getting an older dog not a puppy. Yes, puppies are super cute and all kids want one but they are so much work!

A good rescue should be able to match you up with a slightly older dog - not all are in rescue because they have "issues", many rescues have dogs fostered with families with children/cats etc, so both they and you will have a good idea how that dog interacts.

Also, they do limit your days out with kids, yes, it's a lovely opportunity to go on long walks etc. but when you want a full day out to a theme park/museum/with friends, or weekend, or summer holiday, you have to plan around the dog or have extra expense to put dog in doggy daycare, with friends or relatives or kennels. It's a really big commitment.

Itsnotahoover Wed 15-May-13 13:48:22

Crossing with a poodle is definitely no indication of whether a dog will moult as I'm sat here watching tumbleweed-like balls of dog hair from my doodle blow across the floor as it depends which parent they inherit their coat from. Mine has a loosely curly top coat, but the border collie undercoat and sheds like a very hairy thing most of the time! Fortunately, I didn't buy her for her alleged non-shedding properties!

MadeOfStarDust Wed 15-May-13 13:56:25

We have a Westie and he doesn't shed at home at all but we pay £30 a quarter to have him properly groomed (hair/fur/nails/teeth check/ear clean and check). Funny to see him actually strut his stuff after he's been groomed!!

HoneyDragon Wed 15-May-13 14:36:06

My lab puppy is the least sheddiest Lab I've had, which be lab standards means I only need to vac once a day. But she makes up for the lack of moulting by vomiting up eyeballs.

Hamsters don't vomit eyeballs grin

alimac87 Wed 15-May-13 16:54:50

We have a (rather big) miniature poodle who does not shed - my daughter has allergies and so far, 2 years on, she's never reacted to him. There are definitely muddy pawprints but not hairy mess. He gets clipped about every 2-3 months. We got him when my youngest was 9 and he is a lovely fun bouncy affectionate dog. They are a great breed, shame they have a slightly poncey image.

digerd Wed 15-May-13 18:16:53

I met a Cavishon - Cavalier/Bishon frise. He had a lovely coat but has to be sheared regularly. He actually looked bigger than either breed? But was friendly and his coat felt lovely, but had recently been trimmed.
His owner said he did not shed at all.

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