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Please help me choose a dog!!

(22 Posts)
Britchic Mon 10-Mar-14 22:02:52

Please help! We have been trying to work out which dog to get for about a year now! Every idea we come up with turns out to be a bad one after a few minutes on google!

A bit of background... I always had dogs growing up, but as a family we have never had one due to working full time / living overseas. We're now (almost) finally in the position to get a dog and can't wait!

We have two boys (aged 8&6), a good sized house and garden, I work from home and love walking/running so can give the dog a good couple of walks a day. I also have time to commit to training. We'd really like a medium sized / big dog with shortish hair.

Dogs we like:

Labradors... but my parents current one is a nightmare in terms of running away, and I know of a couple of others who have this problem, which concerns me.

Pointers/vizslas... gorgeous dogs, but looks like they're not good for first time owners and possibly need more attention than I can give them.

Flat coat... I thought this was 'the one' until I read how crazy they can be.

Irish terrier... I love these, my husband isn't so keen, but I think just because he prefers 'sleeker' dogs.

Border collie... again, I'm a bit concerned about energy levels/craziness!

Finally I have always been keen on going to a rescue home and picking up a mutt, but have been warned off by stories of rescue dogs becoming vicious, and I don't to risk this with my kids (despite the gorgeous mutt I had as a child).

I'd really appreciate any thoughts/ideas you can give me.

Thanks so much (and sorry it's so long!)

VivaLeBeaver Mon 10-Mar-14 22:12:16

Irish terriers look gorgeous. They'd be my favourite on your list.

A Weimaraner?

bridgetsmum Mon 10-Mar-14 22:18:56

We have a border collie and she is the perfect dog.
Is great with our 3 kids, super clever and learns commands etc really quickly.
Very affectionate and a great guard dog, I would totally recommend one.

She loves her exercise but isn't over energetic, a good walk and play ball with her for a bit and she's happy out

Cezzieb Mon 10-Mar-14 22:28:15

We've got a vizsla and it was our first dog (both grew up with dogs though). She's an absolute star. We've had no problems, she's a bit nuts (excitable) when meeting someone for the first time. I've got a 5 week old and Copper hasn't been phased at all, just a bit annoyed that all the visitors aren't visiting to see her alone. Training wise she was a dream, housetrained in a week, sleep in bed by herself pretty much the same. Does basic command, sit, stay, and recall is brilliant. That's pretty much the training we wanted though, I'm sure she could do so much more (agility, gun dog training etc). She also loves to swim and will chase a ball forever!!! She's not great on a lead but that's our fault and she's getting better (with the pram).

I would say that the breeder we got her from was amazing and that a lot,of her temperament and training was inbred (I don't mean that in a negative way btw).

As you can probably tell I love my girl and the breed and don't think you could get a better family dog

FunInTheSunD Mon 10-Mar-14 22:43:21

hi Britchic, I also have a border collie, well sprollie really as she's crossed with a springer spaniel, and to me she really is the most perfect dog. She is energetic outside but calm indoors. My children were 9 and 11 when we got her from a rescue, she was 2. I would suggest looking at some rescue places as they sell pups too.
Good luck

LadyTurmoil Tue 11-Mar-14 10:52:19

How about something like Copper - on Desperate Greekies website

LadyTurmoil Tue 11-Mar-14 10:57:30

Weetabix also looks like he might be suitable for you. Not smooth haired but sounds great!

Bubble2bubble Tue 11-Mar-14 14:22:51

Black Retriever X Rescue have some gorgeous labs and lab crosses at the moment. They are all in foster so your dog has been thoroughly assessed before coming to you.

Shimmyshimmy Tue 11-Mar-14 14:31:35

Sounds very similar to our requirements, will read with interest.

Goldencity1 Tue 11-Mar-14 14:41:02

I love my Goldies! I know Golden Retrievers have long fur, but it brushes up easily and unlike the short spiky hairs of short haired dogs which work their way into fabric, retriever fur is soft and just sticks to the outside ok i am in denial about the amount of fur all over the house!
They are friendly and calm, once past the puppy stage like all breeds, and make great family dogs. Like all dogs, you have to train them, but it's not rocket science, if it was I couldn't do it! It just takes time....
Golden Retriever will tell you all you need to know!

Bowlersarm Tue 11-Mar-14 14:43:21

Labradors. Mine have never run away. They always stay really close when off lead.

adriennemole Tue 11-Mar-14 16:51:42

I love all the breeds you have mentioned and would definitely look in to a rescue but if you wanted to know more about Flattie's we have a 6 month old girl and so far she has been brilliant. She can be a bit bonkers when playing in the garden or out in the fields with her dog friends (as all puppies can be!) but on the whole this breed is pretty quiet in the house. She doesn't bark and is just happy to sleep or lay and chew her toys. they do need plenty of mental stimulation and appropriate excercise though.

adriennemole Tue 11-Mar-14 17:03:19

I also agree that if you do go with a breeder really check out the temperaments of the parents as this can can sometimes make a difference to the sort of pup you are taking home. Our girl is from both show and field trial lines so hoped that meant we stood some chance with training! Plus both parents was very calm and friendly on meeting.

daisydotandgertie Tue 11-Mar-14 18:11:30


Probably everyone knows I'm a fan, but it ticks all of your boxes.

None of mine have ever run away or even tried to. It isn't a breed characteristic by any stretch of the imagination. In fact out of the gazillion labrador owners I know, not one of them has ever had a dog bugger off.

Most of the dogs you suggest are in the gundog group - and out of all of them, the Lab is the easiest to train. My old trainer used to say that in the time it takes to train one flat coat, you can train two goldens or four Labradors. And irritatingly she was never bloody wrong.

I happen to know of a few really good labrador litters planned at the moment - if you're interested. Ones with fabulous temperaments, all health tests done and with really good, lifetime responsible breeders involved.

basildonbond Tue 11-Mar-14 19:42:53

Toller! smile

Ours is absolutely gorgeous, such a happy dog and very calm and easy to train (it feels a bit like we're cheating sometimes at training as he just 'gets' things so quickly)

They don't shed apart from when they moult twice a year - ours loves weaving through my legs - if he were a lab my trousers would be covered with hair ...

They're a perfect size, not too big but still definitely a 'proper' dog

The only downside is that they're still quite rare in this country so you generally have to wait for a while

Catypillar Tue 11-Mar-14 20:59:43

Your situation sounds similar to ours and we got a springer spaniel from a rescue in November. The rescue had her in a foster home for six weeks, with other dogs and a small child, so they were able to observe her in detail with children. I wouldn't get a dog whose history was not known or that had just been in kennels since being given to the rescue with no observation. Ours was taken by the rescue as the previous owner was breeding from her too much (5 litters in 5 years) and not giving her enough exercise- so no history of aggression, etc. She is great with our 6 year old son, lies over his knees when he's sitting on the couch, loves running about with him in the park- we do have a rule that he can't touch her if she's on her bed or under DH's desk so she has somewhere to go if she wants peace and quiet. Would recommend a spaniel- like lots of walks, really nice friendly dogs but not as hyper as a vizla/pointer.

unadulterateddad Tue 11-Mar-14 21:19:04

How about a Lurcher/Greyhound, they've got fabulous temperament and there are plenty of them around in rescues. Short haired, thin and up for any amount of exercise you want to do.

unadulterateddad Tue 11-Mar-14 21:20:27

these people are fantastic and make sure you get the right dog - all fostered so they know the personality.

Marne Tue 11-Mar-14 21:27:39

I have a lab x (possibly flat coat retriever and a hint of collie), we got him as a pup from rescue, he never leaves my side, he has been hard work (has chewed a few things up and has had issues with food) but he hasn't got a bad bone in his body. We also have a Staffie and she is fab, much better with the dd's than the lab x, she doesn't leave their side, follows them around and cuddles up to them on the sofa, when the dd's have friends around they always seem to go straight to our staffie and back away from our lax (maybe because he is huge and black). The lab x needs a lot of walks (I can walk him 4 miles a day and he's still full of energy, the staffie is happy with a short walk each day and spends most of the day sleeping (mainly on one of the dd's laps).

I would highly recommend getting a dog from rescue (or even a pup from rescue), I don't think I would ever go and buy a puppy again after we adopted our last dog, I also think mixed breeds are the best.

Branleuse Tue 11-Mar-14 21:37:15

rescue staffie, rescue staffie, rescue staffie.

best doggies in the world

Noodles123 Tue 11-Mar-14 21:45:02

I have a Portuguese Aater Dog and he's perfect (if I do say so myself) - check out pictures of them in the retriever/puppy trim rather than the showing hairdo. I also like tollers, they were my second choice, and staffies always have such character.

Britchic Wed 12-Mar-14 16:01:35

Wow so many replies! Thank you so much all of you, though I'm not sure I'm any the wiser.... your dogs all sound wonderful and I want all of them!

Perhaps I will go the rescue dog route, I hadn't actually realised that you could get simple crosses, eg a lab x, from a rescue place, just because the rescue dog I had as a child was a real Heinz 57!

Really appreciate your help.

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