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I need an education an you lot are the ones to do it!

(18 Posts)
CunningAtBothEnds Sun 19-May-13 08:22:22

Hi there

I need some advice please. DH and I are looking into the possibility of getting a dog. I was brought up with dogs (rough collies, leonburgers and the odd doberman, my grandad bred roughs and leos so had 17 roughs of his own and 6 leos, at home we just had one rough and a doby) and its something id like my DCs to also experience. We think we would like a beagle. We have two Ds' Ds1 is 3, DS2 is 5 months. We are about to move into our new home (first owned property) which will give us our first oppurtunity to own a dog.

If its relevant we also have a cat who is coming up 3, so we would intend to get a puppy, so that it grows up with the cat and learns to leave him alone. We are buying a house that has a converted loft, so the cat will have 2 floors upstairs that will be dog free if he wants a break.

The house also has a 140ft garden, and is located near a big green, ideal for briefer walks.

What id like to know is... Are my expectations of the breed correct?

I expect the dog to need a lot of exercise, to be exciteable but gentle, and need me to assert myself as dominant (how?!) and to need to be trained.

My DH is a shift worker so the dog would either get a 30 min walk with me And an hour with him/ all of us, or longer, as well as garden play. We very much want to be the type of family that pack up with the dog and take him / her for a long walk, BUT also want to be able to eventually leave him a few hours without him wrecking the house.

Any breed info / general info would be great, its a huge committment and although this is the breed we think we want I honestly wouldnt get that breed if we couldnt meet its needs.

Thanks smile

Lonecatwithkitten Sun 19-May-13 09:06:25

Have you been and meet plenty of beagles this would be my first suggestion to make sure the breed is what you think it is. If that confirms it do away with a kitchen bin they are notorious bin raiders.
Dominance theory has been disproven and we don't assert ourselves over our dogs. Identify the vets you are going to use go and see them they will have details of puppy training classes which will be reward based training. You need to prepare your DCs for the fact that any puppy will bite that is normal and how to handle it (I like standing still and quiet like a soldier for children).

fanoftheinvisibleman Sun 19-May-13 09:10:56

I wanted a beagle too and got lots of advice on here. I'll try and give you some of what I remember.

They are a scent hound so recall can be patchy at best, but often none existant. They are often escape artists and will scale a 6 ft fence (or dig under) ifthe fancy takes them.

They are bred as pack dog and can suffer badly from seperation anxiety. To be fair, they are a breed that hit rescues often to say you see so few out and about and most I have seen cite seperation anxiety.

Beg, borrow and steal is the approach to food, I believe they are often bin dippers!

All beagle owners on my thread pretty much told me that their dogs were loving and much loved, but never again!

I still feel wistful when I see one but we went for a Border Terrier in the end. He has all the spirit and energy we were after but is easy going with regards to the rest of life.

PareyMortas Sun 19-May-13 09:17:11

I would think very carefully before getting a Beagle. They are renowned for having very poor recall, I pass a few when walking my dogs and they are all kept on the lead. I have a Beagle cross (rescued) and her recall is good as she was starved by her previous owners so she'll do anything if she thinks there's a treat in store. She is proving to be much harder to train then my other two dogs and our excellent dog trainer says that this is common with Beagles. I often thank my lucky stars that she's a cross.

fanoftheinvisibleman Sun 19-May-13 09:21:57

And I couldn't have coped with a puppy and children as young as yours. ALL puppies bite. Mine is the sweetest nature now but drew blood plenty when tiny. I have not met a puppy yet who doesn't as it is how they play.

When my friend visited with her 18 month old both our nerves were shot. It had to be like a military operation. You coyldn't keep an eye on them, you had to be between them constantly. And I mean genuinely constantly, not just 'ooh, I've been at it all day'. Even the logistics of lunch, toilet and answering the phone become hard if you have a puppy who floors the baby every time you look away.

You will need to be prepared for misery before reward!

CunningAtBothEnds Sun 19-May-13 09:24:20

Thats really interesting thanks, its between a beagle a spaniel and a cairn terrier at the moment - very different dogs!

I think meeting a beagle may be a good idea, as we both have no personal experience of the breed.

In my heart of hearts I am thinking a beagle may well be too much hound for us? I think DH wanted a terrier as thats what he grew up with ditto that on a spaniel for me, so beagle was the mutual interest. In reality I always think of nippy yappy and rough to the touch for terriers and worry how it would annoy the cat, and DH thinks spaniels aren't active or playful as mine was not at that stage when DH met him.

From what you have said I think a beagle may well be too demanding for us, whilst I would want to train and take a dog out, I dont think id be able to supervise enough re food attitudes, and digging sounds a nightmare.

We are looking for an affectionate dog that will like attention, not huge in size but not a toy breed, good with kids / even temperament, not over active but also still capable of being energetic and playful? To me this sounds like a spaniel (cocker or springer) but to DH it sounds like a cairn...

We are not rushing the decision, we wouldn't be looking to get the dog until the end of the year really, ad are committed to the right dog for us, from a reputable breeder (the idea that we could accidentally buy from puppy farms terrifies me)

saintmerryweather Sun 19-May-13 09:27:59

springer spaniels are bundles of energy, not sure why your DH would think theyre not! they are bred to work so they need a lot of exercise but i reckon for looks, personality and ease of training i would probably plump for one of those out of your choices.
someone at my agility class has one and it would play with a ball all day long if it was allowed

saintmerryweather Sun 19-May-13 09:29:48

what about a miniature schnauzer or a poodle? poodles are highly intelligent, beautiful dogs (and not technically a toy breed either!)

PareyMortas Sun 19-May-13 09:37:38

Springer spaniel sounds perfect, lots of affectionate energy. The only cairn I know is very grumpy.

I agree about puppies and small children though, my dc's were old enough to fully understand what not to do with the puppies and I still found it very hard work. still do.

fanoftheinvisibleman Sun 19-May-13 09:42:13

Border Terriers aren't yappy. But they are quite active. He had an hour pootling round the park yesterday with dh whilst I was at a charity coffee afternoon. He clearly wasn't happy with that ant sat sighing an the windowsill until we all put our wellies on. 3 miles of galloping in and out of the river later he was done!

Ours is fine with my mums cat, she is the boss lady. It should be remembered they are hunters though.But mine is good as gold and yet my uncles spaniel won't leave my mums cat alone.

He isn't nippy but he does play rough and finds it hard to take no for an answer. He us great friends with 7 year ild ds but I imagine young kids could be harder as he is bouncy.

I think terriers and spaniels are like chalk and cheese to be honest. Ours is affectionate and loving but when out he is like that bloke off deadly 60...all energy and bravado. Lets put it this way....any cliffs on holiday next week and he is on his lead!

CunningAtBothEnds Sun 19-May-13 09:47:00

Thank you for your help, im hoping o convince DH to a spaniel but he also bandies round labrador / retriever - i think that would definitely be too big with little ones! I am also conscious that it will be me who has to manage dog / baby logistics... Hmm definite thought required!

D0oinMeCleanin Sun 19-May-13 09:56:53

Forget the dominance tosh, it's very outdated and was disproved many years ago. Your new dog will be well aware that he is a dog and you are a human and different rules may apply, if you let him on the sofa, he will think the sofa is lovely and cosy, but he won't believe he is part way there to becoming King of the universe grin

Are you getting a puppy?

Try reading:

and have a look at these sites:

and watch these on YouTube

blue2 Sun 19-May-13 10:07:10

We have a Border Terrier and a Working Cocker. We had the Border when DS was 4 - nearly 11 years ago, and the Cocker about 7 years ago.

I would say that the Border has turned out to be a very docile creature and used to being 'abused' by young children (!), but is very very sulky. Won't walk with anyone apart from me - doesn't 'do' gravel, long grass, or rain. He'll take himself off home if he doesn't like the walk.

The cocker is at my side all the time, would never stray, and I think would get on better with little children if she'd been subjected to them at a younger age. She was a dream to train (I do work her in the winter) - but, BUT was so full of beans for the first 2-3 years. She needed walking twice a day - you'll need a lot of stamina and a dog crate for when it all gets too much!

Suggest you do some homework, and maybe wait a year or two until you have enough time and energy to train the dog - whichever one you go for! I'd wait until DS 2 can walk - you don't need a puppy and a crawling baby at the same time.

FWIW, I only meet Beagle owners standing around calling their dogs back for hours!

CunningAtBothEnds Sun 19-May-13 10:18:28

Thanks to you all im thinking that waiting will definitely be on the cards, and will carry on doing extensive research (and lurking here)

Floralnomad Sun 19-May-13 10:38:01

I will just chip in my experience , I always fancied getting a beagle but was put off by a friend who got a beagle puppy ,he is lovely but has zero recall ,steals food ( anything and everything) and for some reason was incredibly difficult to house train ( although she does have a strange upside down house ) . We ended up with a Patterdale X as that was what Battersea had on the day we visited and he's perfect . In your case I think a terrier might be an issue with the cat ( ours would) and a springer may need more exercise than you can manage on a daily basis . I'd look at cocker spaniels ( not working) , miniature schnauzers ( loads of families seem to have them round here) and poodles ( cos they're lovely !)

saintmerryweather Sun 19-May-13 12:20:53

the working cockers (they are pets) i know slink.around with their tails between their legs and hate being told off. the cocker i know has a horrible temperament and has taken to biting the owners dh. i know its a sample of one person but i wouldmt have a cocker of either type

Gomez Sun 19-May-13 13:30:46

My working cocker is fabulous. Nearly 2 so just calming down. Grand to train in all ways but can still be led astray by the odd bunny to chase. Wasn't nippy as a pup, destroyed some shoes but not much else. Loves a cuddle but equally will lie happy in her bed. Youngest child was coming up five when we got her so older then yours.

Gets a good 45 to 60 mins of the lead each day with maybe (but not always) another 30 mins walk. She's fine with that. Will walk for hours if asked too. Can be left for 4hrs ish, and is fine.

One thing that is annoying is she barks like buggery at anyone coming to the door, sounds like she wants to kill them. Will subsequently roll onto back and present belly for rubbing when they are in the house but she sounds scary fierce until then.

CunningAtBothEnds Sun 19-May-13 13:38:39

Gomer that sound ideal, I want a doggy deterrent just incase needed wink I do love spaniels, I'd like a show cocker, but realistically nov next year will be the best time to start looking.. Eldest will be 5 smallest will be coming up 2, plenty of time to find a reputable breeder I suppose!

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