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Help choosing a breed - advice appreciated

(39 Posts)
GetYourMoneyBackAtTheDoor Sun 19-May-13 10:20:19

We have always had dogs and I posted a while a go about Ridgebacks. We saw lots and visited breeders and experts, and are still keen. However, I am wary about making a busy life (2 young DCs and a part time job + study) even more difficult than it needs to be by getting such a challenging breed. We are about to move to a rural home with access directly onto countryside (there is literally a gate from our back garden into the fields behind!)

If I tell you what we want, and what we've considered, I'd love to hear some opinions from those with experience of these breeds.

Short haired (will be out and about lots in rural countryside. Life is far too busy to be hosing/washing/drying/brushing everyday!) Shedding less of an issue.
Large at least 25kgs, pref. 30kgs+
non-aggressive Obviously more down to environmental factors but must not have a genetic predisposition towards aggression/extreme suspicion to strangers/other dogs/animals
tolerant with children both family members and visiting
Good off lead see what I've written for non-aggressive
not too demanding at home Happy to chill out at home without needing to be gazing into my eyes/pawing my hand/nudging my hot cup of tea in my hand/sitting on my head <glares pointedly at border collie>
be nice to my cat

Quite a list! Some of it is of course negotiable (except I definitely don't want a hairy dog). Under consideration:

Ridgeback - Have done so much research, I love them but I am very nervous about how easy they'd be to manage on walks/if the gate was left open (vision of sheep being taken down)
Labrador - DH desperately wants one, I have worked with them for years and while I appreciate their great qualities, they don't excite me in any way.
Border collie - I'd have another (short haired!), DH not keen
Great Swiss Mountain dog confused Know nothing about them but considering starting to find out more, having read up a bit. At the moment I like the look of them and the sound of them. Are they not very good with dogs?
* Dalmatian* Are they less nutty with adequate exercise than the one's I get mugged by see out and about?

Any other suggestions?

We are about the most cautious people you could imagine, so won't be rushing into anything but are enjoying pondering new breeds. Exercise and company isn't an issue (dog can come to work with me), child friendliness is the biggest factor. We've always had gundogs/Bcs and are thinking perhaps something a bit different. I can see us ending up with what we've always had though! The dog will be kept busy with classes, walks and doing a job of some sort (agilty/obedience both of which I've done lost of, or rather fancy the cart pulling for the swissy!)

Sadly DH will not consider a sight hound, though DS1 and I have been campaigning for ages for a Grey. We've never had a puppy before, always rescue, but definitely want to buy a puppy this time.

Sorry, long!

GetYourMoneyBackAtTheDoor Sun 19-May-13 10:28:53

forgot to say, I'd like a Viszla too, though DH less keen as we used to look after one who was quite neurotic (though we adored her)

GetYourMoneyBackAtTheDoor Sun 19-May-13 11:29:21


cornflowercrabtree Sun 19-May-13 11:44:34

Retired greys shouldn't be let offlead, many die or are seriously injured because they can't be trusted, even if you spend ages training them. You could go for a grey puppy that had never raced.

What about a lurcher? To be honest I think medium rather large dogs are more suited for the countryside, especially with hip dysplasia in the large breeds. Working springers are the type of thing I'm thinking about. There's probably lots of rarer breeds out there that are great, but I'd be worried about inbreeding. If I was in you position I'd be happy with a standard mongrel!

cornflowercrabtree Sun 19-May-13 11:45:10

Rescue puppy?

GetYourMoneyBackAtTheDoor Sun 19-May-13 11:49:32

Thanks, yes I'd like a sight hound but DH wouldn't, sadly.

I agree about size really too, I'd consider a smaller dog (such as another collie). I want a dog which is also a deterrent when home alone or walking in isolated places (easily spooked!), but not an excessive barker such as a JRT. Has an ESS before, a bit busy and manic on walks for my liking (God bless him)!

GetYourMoneyBackAtTheDoor Sun 19-May-13 11:52:36

I'd like to know what I'm getting. This is the first time we will have bought a puppy from a breeder, always rescued before (first dog we've acquired since having children), and the choice of puppies in rescue can be small and of dubious breeding. Too much of a risk for us this time I'm afraid (youngest DC is just 2). Would rather be sure we know what we are getting and are happy with our choice.

Floralnomad Sun 19-May-13 11:56:26

What about an Italian Spinone , absolutely gorgeous .

ILikeToClean Sun 19-May-13 11:59:43

Labradoodle, we have a standard F1 (so mum was a lab, dad a poodle) so looks like a lab with slightly shaggy /curly coat. He's 16 weeks old and has been pretty easy to house train, very friendly to everyone, good with children. Obviously he's a typical puppy ATM so still training him not to jump up and try to befriend every single person/dog he meets on a walk, but they are food orientated so easy to train and think once he is older will be a super dog, he is actually quite chilled for a pup at home and content to laze about and he doesn't shed, just get bits of tumbleweed fur every now and again but I Hoover daily anyway! But we are never covered in hair! He adapts to every situation and learns quickly. A lot of people say that doodles are nutty but that's about picking a pup with the right temperament whatever breed you choose!

GetYourMoneyBackAtTheDoor Sun 19-May-13 12:02:56

oooh, I like spinones! Why didn't I think of that! Another one to look into. We considered English Pointers too but decided not to for various reasons.

Thanks but Labradoodles not really my thing, lovely as they are. Enjoy yours though!

GetYourMoneyBackAtTheDoor Sun 19-May-13 12:05:55

Are I.S. hand stripped? Or left long? More hair than I thought (just Googled). They are nice and temperament wise, would fit the bill (from my limited knowledge of them)

francesdrake Sun 19-May-13 13:26:17

A basset hound fits all those requirements - short-haired, friendly, chilled, large, great with cats and children - apart from the obedience/agility classes!

GetYourMoneyBackAtTheDoor Sun 19-May-13 14:38:47

grin yes apart from that! Thanks but they don't appeal at all either, funny biglittle dogs. Sorry all BH owners, I'm sure they are lovely. I've never known one personally.

I prefer more agile, dog-shaped dogs.

GetYourMoneyBackAtTheDoor Sun 19-May-13 14:41:09

Oh God, I've just offended a whole Bassett hound owning community haven't I?

I have come back to the Ridgeback, just can't sell anything else to myself. The breeder we liked is next planning a litter at the end of this year (all being well) so I don't have to decide right now anyway.

No one know anything about Swissys, as they seem to be called?!

ILikeToClean Sun 19-May-13 15:07:04

Sounds like you really do know what you want so go with your instincts!

RedwingWinter Sun 19-May-13 16:44:53

A labrador sounds perfect for you. They may not be exciting, but they are great family dogs! There's a lot to be said for easy and affable when kids are around. You could always get a lab now, and plan to get a ridgeback sometime in the future when the kids are a bit older and you'd have more time for training/walking etc.

WitchOfEndor Sun 19-May-13 16:48:08

What about a German Pointer?

GetYourMoneyBackAtTheDoor Sun 19-May-13 17:05:06

La la la <blocks ears to reasonable, sensible voice>

Yes, gsps are a consideration, they look fun. I've known 2, they were great and a bit sharper than the English ones perhaps?

GetYourMoneyBackAtTheDoor Sun 19-May-13 17:06:39

I'm going to start a thread about Swiss mountain dogs.

<defiant> grin

Slavetothechild Sun 19-May-13 18:01:14

Yep spinones Are hand sripeed .fantastc brred very good family dogs smile it is easy to learn to hand strip

basildonbond Sun 19-May-13 18:13:30

golden retriever? lovely temperament and tick all your boxes really (I know they're not very short-haired but not what I'd call long-haired either and they don't need much grooming)

topbannana Sun 19-May-13 18:45:21

If you are up for a challenge, how about a Rottweiler?
Perhaps not the first breed to spring to mind but my old girl would have ticked all your boxes. Not the easiest at the outset as will need lots of groundwork doing to ensure a pleasant older dog, HOWEVER....
They are suspicious but not naturally aggressive though have a strong guarding instinct.
I cannot have another as our situation is not suitable for a breed of that size and in all honesty they are far more dog than we actually need. I would have another in a heartbeat though and for experienced people like you sound I cannot recommend them highly enough. Research and a good breeder is the key smile

topbannana Sun 19-May-13 18:47:29

Part of my post went missing hmm
Meant to say that they will live happily with children, cats and so on. My bitch lived very happily with dogs but was a little more antsy towards other bitches. If you have researched ridge backs you have some idea of the sort of issues that may come up.

CharlieMumma Sun 19-May-13 19:28:59

Aw I was gonna say basset hound to - all the things u are after apart from height!

shoutymcshoutsmum Sun 19-May-13 21:17:14

I have an eighteen month old GSP which is cuddled up next to me on the sofa. He fits all the requirements on your list but you can't have him ;)

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