Hi all - looking for advice on the best breed to go for please. Our circumstances are large house and garden (would need better fencing), 3 cats, 2 DDs (age 10 and 7), about to be made redundant so plenty of time for training and will be at home every day. The only other thing to perhaps mention is I'm asthmatic. I've seen some Labradoodle pups - small as bred from miniature Labradoodle bitch and pedigree miniature poodle dog. £750 each. DH wants Labrador Retriever as wants bigger dog BUT I'd be the one doing vast majority of training / walking so I think ultimately he'd go with my wishes. Can anyone advise on pros / cons for Labradoodles and Labradors and also whether £750 is overpriced (DH thinks so needless to say).
I'd love a rescue pup really but worried about the cats / kids angle and the fact that we will be novice dog owners....
Best of luck, tabulahrasa, with carrying an large, injured dog, children in tow, (especially if you are asmathic) over a mile to your car and then getting to the vets! I am assuming that OP will want to do country walks not just a trip round the local park or up the road once the dog is old enough to take more than short walks. Of course, all pups should have short walks only and large breeds need even more care to avoid problems later.
We live right by a massive common that is dog walking heaven but v good points on lengths of walk and emergency situations. Also suspect you are right about my folks being great dog sitters for smaller dogs but possibly struggling with bigger stronger dogs. V interested in suggestions for breeds I had absolutely counted out thinking they weren't compatible with cats - whippets, lurches, grey hounds, Jack Russells etc. So seems there are no absolutes and some are ok with small furry felines?
DH deffo coming round to adoption and smaller breeds and away from his Lab obsession. I think the cost and health issues you've all pointed out have given him food for thought. We both really like the idea of taking on a dog that really needs a loving home, and hopefully a hardy type with less chance of inherent health problems. DH's bottom line is nothing too tiny (so no chihuahua!) but understands I will be the main carer so being much mor open to suggestions after MN input.
I would agree that there are no absolutes with cats and dogs if precautions are put in place and you manage the introductions early.
We have a Border Terrier (1 this weekend) along with a hamster and he goes to my mums twice a week with her elderly cat. He is wary of the cat and despite being all waggy with her he always defers to her. She is the only living thing that can stop him scrounging titbits off my dad, she only has to look at him!
You know they are often described as a big dog in a little body! Really friendly game little things though need a reasonable walk.
I would say something like a cheeky little border terrier, a cavalier or a working cocker (disclaimer: I have working cockers and feel the need to recommend them to everyone ) A lab is probably too full on for your situation. DS is 9 and can just about walk our boys. The pup is all over the place but oddly DS does not get too caught up with him. He is fine with our adult unless he smells something and drags DS over to investigate, whereby DS is dragged bodily along behind. A definite consideration if your DD's are wanting to be involved.
...or Casia Doesn't look too long-haired which might help with the asthma, you might find you get a bit desensitised over time as well. I'm always terribly itchy/scratchy when I see my brother's dog but if I see them a couple of days in a row, I'm pretty much OK. But, of course, I don't know the level of your asthma.