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Which dog breed would suit my family?

(32 Posts)
MayimBialik Mon 30-Dec-13 12:29:52

We are thinking about getting a dog. We have actually been thinking about it for years but the time has never been right for whatever reason (house not suitable/tiny baby to look after/never at home).

Within the next 6 months or so seems to be a good time to get one. We've never owned a dog before ourselves but are not naive to the amount of work it will entail as both grew up with dogs as family pets. In the past I have liked the idea of getting a rescue but we have a one year old son and I don't feel confident bringing an older dog who's history we are not completely sure of into the family. I would much prefer a puppy that we can train up ourselves.

So our situation is this - we live in a medium sized house with a decent sized garden, we have one small child, DH works full time, I work part time (3 days a week) as a teacher so get holidays. Retired parents live close by with their dog and they are able to let dog out/feed dog on 3 days I am at work. We would like a dog to take on walks but not one that is too energetic that needs hours and hours of exercise a day. I'm thinking one- two hours walking on a weekday, longer at weekends. We need a small to medium sized breed due to house size, good with children and other dogs and possibly cats, I like breeds with longer hair that doesn't tend to fall out but can be swayed on that, and can cope being left alone a couple of hours at a time without getting distressed.

So any recommendations on which breed would suit us? Grateful for your advice!

PootlePoseysMa Sat 04-Jan-14 21:48:04

Hello, I just wanted to mention that I am a fosterer for Many Tears Animal Rescue, I have 3 young children (twins aged 5 years and a 10 year old - all girls), I have 2 resident dogs, 2 rescue rabbits and 2 rescue guinea pigs. I only foster puppies because I have to know, to the best of my ability, that the pups I foster are safe with children. Many Tears do have a lot of puppies and they will place them in foster with young children so that the pup is fully socialised (with children/other dogs/other pups/small furry animals) as soon as possible. Most of the other Many Tears fosterers I have met are also parents/grandparents for this reason. In the last month I have fostered Gus (pedigree labrador pup), Orla (terrier cross pup) and Mertyle (JR pup) so please do type into google 'Many Tears Gus' or 'Many Tears Orla' or 'Many Tears Mertyle' and their write up should appear although they have all been adopted. Tomorrow I will foster another 2 rescue pups, I do not yet know their names, their breeds or their exact ages but I do know they will all be under 12 weeks old. Dawn, Carshalton Beeches, Surrey,

Dirtybadger Sat 04-Jan-14 01:28:20

re Beagles: I can see why people say that. That's why I included the warning about training. They are notoriously difficult to build a decent recall in because they tend to wander off after their nose.

ladydepp Fri 03-Jan-14 22:06:34

Cocker spaniel - show type. Our girl is still a puppy but an absolute delight. Lovely nature, fabulous with my dc's, very eager to please and reassuringly lazy smile.

You must find a good breeder though, make sure all health checks are done and you get to meet the mum....

Good luck.

(Our next dog will be a rescue but we wanted a puppy for young dc's)

sooperdooper Fri 03-Jan-14 22:05:14

Another vote for Greyhound/Lurcher, we have a rescue Greyhound and he's tall but they're just chilled out, quiet dogs you actually don't notice his height after a while (and some are much smaller than our boy anyway), we live in a standard 2 bed terrace and it's fine.

He's brilliant with kids, just basically loves the attention, and they don't need a huge amount of exercise at all, round the block in the morning, little bit further in the evening and then sleeps all day grin

Ours isn't but some are cat friendly, a rescue will be able to give you advice, same as most breeds tbh, it just depends what they've been used to smile

oskybosky4 Fri 03-Jan-14 21:57:10

sprocker, cross between springer and cocker spaniel. We have a 4 year old boy dog and he is fantastic with children, doesn't shed loads of hair, intelligent and friendly - not an aggressive breed. Loves a tennis ball. Energetic yes, but will play for hours in back garden if you keep throwing tennis balls

clam Fri 03-Jan-14 11:42:08

I've read on here before now that beagles aren't recommended for 'beginners.'

cafesociety Fri 03-Jan-14 11:20:07

Cavalier King Charles spaniel....neither of mine were 'delicate'. They have lovely gentle quiet biddable natures and love walks and playing. Also quiet at home and love to snooze and cuddle.

Twitterqueen Wed 01-Jan-14 17:54:54

definitely cocker spaniel - show, not working.

Fantastic with small children. I took mine to DD3's school at 12 wks after injections) to socialise her. Ever since, my lovely dog believes all children are there for one reason only - to pet her.

It's slightly embarrassing on walks when dog goes up to total strangers with stick in mouth begging to be praised - but that's how she started life.

Getting my dog was the best thing I ever did. Lots of reasons behind it which I won't go into here, but as a focus for my DDs and exercise for me and addition to family life - I repeat, best thing I ever did.

Dirtybadger Wed 01-Jan-14 17:46:44

I just thought- beagles! Medium sized, short haired (shed) but sturdy little things. Usually good family dogs and very lovable. Their main downside is how difficult they can be to train (like many scent hounds) but if you are willing to take a puppy to classes, accept it will probably never be an obedience champion and look into doing some scentwork (basic stuff is so easy) to stop the pup 'going self employed' then a potentially good candidate.
To be honest you are in the same situation with a whippet (my initial suggestion). Although in their case training to recall from furries/squirrels and such, rather than scent.
Beagles do need a decent amount of exercise and are prone to getting plump without it, but you sound as if you could supply enough. This combined with some brain games at homes (get some sniffing in there!) would keep a beagle snoozing, I think.

There are a fair amount of beagles in rescue although given your situation one from a decent breeder (unless you can find a puppy in rescue but that's unlikely) would probably be a better idea.

saintmerryweather Wed 01-Jan-14 16:40:55

Grady on the heathlands site is utterly gorgeous. Not suitable for OP but lovely all the same

teta Wed 01-Jan-14 14:52:28

A Cocker spaniel.Cavaliers can be lovely but are more delicate than Cockers.

MagratGarlik Wed 01-Jan-14 14:46:49

Sorry, tablet playing up!

I wanted to say, not all rescue dogs will have behaviour problems or other "ishoos". A good rescue will also steer you in the direction of a dog suitable for novice owners and with small children.

MagratGarlik Wed 01-Jan-14 14:42:01


glammanana Wed 01-Jan-14 13:57:35

We have always had a dog/dogs in the family and I do think that it helps teach little ones to care for animals and be responsible as they grow up,we have always had Basset's and whilst they are not the smallest dogs they are very loving and laid back,I would not go down the route of rehoming a rescue dog if you have not had experience of dogs and their possible problems although the comments from LadyTurmoil sound totally different and those lovely puppies have been reared from birth (totally different).have you thought maybe fostering for a short while to see if your family & a dog are compatable,some charities look for respite sometimes and that could give you a taste of what to expect.

happygardening Wed 01-Jan-14 13:34:43

I'm very biased (we've had lots of other breeds) but you can't go wrong with a miniature poodle. These constantly happy encouragably over optermistic non yapping loving of everyone/everything ridiculous clowns who want to please you are also guaranteed non shedding well maybe the odd hair falls off. They walk as far as you like or not, being 12" to the shoulder are easy to pick up and carry if necessary and don't eat you out of house and home They do need regular trips to the groomers but you don't have to cut them into a ridiculous style mine currently looks like a mop, crossed with a puli, crossed with a teddy bear.

GhostsInSnow Tue 31-Dec-13 16:07:22

I'm slightly biased as I have a snoring Scottie dog on my knee at present, but he is the 2nd Scott I've been fortunate enough to be owned by and they are lovely dogs.
Big dogs in little bodies, they don't moult, are good with kids and very loyal family dogs. They will walk as little or as far as you want to walk them. Our first Scott Jack wasn't a fan of cats, but this one, Murphy McManus is ok with them.

I also had the pleasure of owning a westie, he could be quite grumpy though, funny how the 2 breeds are so often confused yet are so different in character.

LadyTurmoil Tue 31-Dec-13 12:40:40

Please, please reconsider and think about getting a puppy through a rescue. They are usually fostered by families so have grown up in a family environment and have basic obedience (relevant to their age), housetrained or on their way to being, are well socialised. This can often be better than a litter from a breeder where they aren't always treated as family pets - I realise this is a generalisation but it does happen.

Are you near to Heathlands. They have some gorgeous pups at the moment lovely puppies

BitOfFunWithSanta Tue 31-Dec-13 01:02:06

Cavalier King Charles (they have a rescue site if you google) are amazing family pets. Good-natured, gentle, affectionate, love being walked but are happy to snooze if you can't manage it. Just get them health-checked.

PrincessFlirtyPants Tue 31-Dec-13 00:59:46

grin that was meant to say "and she is fantastic with children"

PrincessFlirtyPants Tue 31-Dec-13 00:59:17

I have a Shih Tzu and DH is fantastic with children. Only needs about 1hr exercise a day and has long hair, so minimal moulting.

I would highly recommend them as a breed.

guccigirly Tue 31-Dec-13 00:55:24

We have two young children over three years old and we got a rescue shitzu (not sure of spelling!) I have a medium sized house, didn't want a dog that moults hair all over the house and one that was child friendly and didn't need lots of exercise. Our dog was only 2 when we got her and she was monitored before we were given her to see what her temperament was like. She is adorable, but does bark quite a bit every time someone walks past the house.

Chihuahas are also lovely little dogs and don't take much exercising. Toy (tiny) and miniature (medium size) poodles are also lovely, I grew up with one for 15 years and they don't moult and are great with children.

Spaniels need a lot of exercise.

Good luck !

LadyTurmoil Tue 31-Dec-13 00:47:34

How about a cocker spaniel/terrier mix - 6 months old. They are a brother and sister - Dharma and Greg - very cute, born in the shelter, still with the mother, well socialised with other dogs of all sizes/ages, cats and people/children. They are in a small rescue abroad but can be easily adopted via Action Aid for Animals. Dharma and Greg

I know you said no rescue but these have been brought up from birth by a very dedicated group of rescuers who will give you an honest assessment. The charity provides backup for the whole life of the dog, you can join an FB group of UK adopters and get to know other people who've adopted through the charity. (Adoption costs are about £200). Just a thought smile

daisylulu Mon 30-Dec-13 18:53:20

Cocker spaniel (show type not working who require much more exercise). I have a 3 year old bitch and she is amazing. She's fantastic with my 2 year old DD, is actually quite lazy and is the most placid sweet little dog ever. I work 3 days per week and DH full time. She has a walk with a dog walker on one of my working days and my DM comes in the other 2 days. She is fine being left on her own though. She gets clipped by a mobile dog groomer every 6-10 weeks which costs £35. Absolutely amazing little dog. Love her to bits grin

unadulterateddad Mon 30-Dec-13 18:48:06

Another vote for Lurcher/Greyhound, fantastic pets and so even tempered. Plenty of rescue lurchers/greys out there looking for homes

MagratGarlik Mon 30-Dec-13 18:45:15

Greyhounds fold up very small, so don't need a big house. They also need very little exercise and are in general very gentle with children. A decent rescue would be able to steer you towards a child friendly one (both our dogs are rescues and we got the first when ds2 was only 2 years old, though ours are a whippet and a lurcher). Others on here have rescue greyhounds with young DC's.

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