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What sort of dog?

(21 Posts)
Runawayandjointhecircus Thu 30-Apr-15 18:47:10

We have 3 children age 6,4 and 2. We also have one 4 year old Tom cat who is pretty bolshy. We have a garden which can be made secure. I'd love to get a dog but would probably wait a year or so til my 2 year old goes to pre school and I'd have more time to spend with a puppy. So my question is, is there any particular breed of dog which might suit our lively (!) family. I'd thought a whippet would be good but heard they are not a great combo with cats? I think I'd like to get a puppy as I think that would allow my cat to establish himself as "the boss" if that makes sense!

CMOTDibbler Thu 30-Apr-15 18:50:17

If you like whippets, then I'd recommend a rescue lurcher puppy. EGLR rehome countrywide and frequently have puppies.
Both my dogs came from there, and live happily with our three cats

Buttholelane Thu 30-Apr-15 19:27:59

Neuter your cat ffs.

I hope your Tom is an indoor cat (so he doesn't roam for miles and miles, beating up all the other cats and spreading an assortment of hideous diseases, impregnating God knows how many female cats) but I suspect he isn't as if he was he would be pissing everywhere angry

KatharineClifton Thu 30-Apr-15 19:31:59

Perhaps the OP is using 'Tom cat' to mean male cat?

Any breed will suit, it's nature and training that are important. Apart from breeds which aren't really suitable as pets such as huskies.

Buttholelane Thu 30-Apr-15 19:36:25

Perhaps, but only an entire male is known as a Tom as far as I am aware.
Hope your right because having an entire male cat outside is incredibly irresponsible.

Imo, Huskies can make wonderful pets.
You just need to be aware of and manage correctly their usually incredibly high prey drive, work incredibly hard on recall accepting that possibly, this is one dog who will never be 100% reliable loose and take care to ensure its well trained.
If you don't do that then yes they would be an absolute bloody nightmare but I honestly feel that any breed can make an excellent pet IF you take note of the typical breed traits and manage them correctly.

KatharineClifton Thu 30-Apr-15 19:39:27

I should of been more precise, some breeds need very different kinds of owners. I take my hat off to people like you who successfully manage huskies as pets. Most don't.

Buttholelane Thu 30-Apr-15 19:44:46

Oh I dont have a husky, I have a working bred border collie.
Another breed that is often thought of as 'not a pet'.

But I do know people with huskies and in the right hands they can be lovely, affectionate dogs.

KatharineClifton Thu 30-Apr-15 19:47:20

Ah, I have two of those. At this minute they are 'working' together to destroy their new beds. They are very much pets grin

Buttholelane Thu 30-Apr-15 20:04:48

Not according to a shocking number of people.
The amount of times I have heard 'that should be on a farm' 'that's not a pet' 'God I bet you have your hands full' etc etc
sad

villainousbroodmare Thu 30-Apr-15 20:13:33

So going back to the original query wink I think a lurcher is a great idea, a little less delicate than a whippet but along the same lines.
I reckon most dogs who are not confirmed cat-harassers can learn to get on with a cat, and a cat who won't panic will be well able to cope.
I think the personality of the dog is more important than the breed, and I'd suggest a somewhat older puppy so that it's easier for you to choose a cheerful calm dog.

Runawayandjointhecircus Thu 30-Apr-15 20:51:22

Eek yes he is 100% neutered! I am afraid I never knew Tom meant an entire male!! He is a cat protection rescue cat, he was neutered before we took him in.

KatharineClifton Thu 30-Apr-15 20:58:05

Good good smile

What is it you want from a dog, other than loving lively family and cat friendly?

Runawayandjointhecircus Thu 30-Apr-15 21:08:52

Well Im happy to do a good long walk each day, but wouldn't want to spend more than, say, an hour a day walking. I'd like a friendly dog but not super excitable. I like hillwalking so it'd be great to have a dog which (when old enough) could manage a good long walk though. Obviously a dog which enjoys being with children. Im absolutely not bothered about "aesthetics" - its all about personality. But I'm aware that a lot of those things depend on both the personality of the dog and the training/ upbringing rather than the breed! I guess I'm just looking for tips from more experiences dog owners on what to look for/ where to start.

villainousbroodmare Thu 30-Apr-15 21:24:46

Tom just means male. Virtually all First World male pet cats are neutered. Neutered toms. Don't worry. grin

I reckon if you look at half-grown pups as a minimum age, you should be well able to assess temperament. You won't need to be Caesar Millan to suss out who's a hyperactive maniac and who's a ball of seething nerves and discount those ones.

measles64 Thu 30-Apr-15 21:43:59

Labradors are very placid with kids, not a bad bone in their body.

Buttholelane Thu 30-Apr-15 21:46:03

Whoops, my bad.
I always thought a 'Tom' was entire.

If it's an adult your after then I don't think breed really comes into it.
Although different breeds do tend to share common traits dogs are wildly individual.

I would visit some rescues with a clear list of what you want and let them provide you with a group of dogs they think would be a good match and see if any appeal.
Some rescues offer a trial period rather than an outright adoption which would be brilliant.

Something I would bear in mind is that dogs in kennels behave hugely differently to dogs in a foster (home) environment.
Quite often that barking loon throwing itself at the mesh is lovely and calm in a settled home environment and a super quiet, shy little soul sat in the corner could transform into a right naughty little shit in a loving family environment.
Kennels are not a good place to accurately gauge temperament as they are very stressful places.
Try and visit foster dogs to get a really good idea of who they are.

For puppies, any puppy taught from day one not to chase or intimidate the cat in any way should be just fine with your cats though you can't guarantee how they might react to strange ones.
I would insist though that good behaviour is needed from both sides I.e don't let the cat whack or hurt the dog for fun/no reason because sooner or later the dog could retaliate.

No such thing as a child friendly breed, you want a nice confident puppy who gets lots of love and treats and play and nice things whenever children are around and you should end up with a child friendly dog.

If you want to do hillwalking and a good hours daily walk then your looking for pretty much any breed except a flat faced like a Pekingese, bulldog etc or a super short legged long backed like a basset or dachshund.

PacificDogwood Thu 30-Apr-15 21:49:25

Labradors needs huge amounts of walking - they often don't get it, but as a breed they need it.

I think your whippet idea is not a bad one - or a lurcher pup.
Responsible rescues will have a fair idea which of their dogs is cat-'safe' (as far as you can trust any dog with cats) or cat-'workable'.

I decided I actively did not want a pup, but did want a dog with a known history (no strays) as my main priority was the child-friendliness so went for a young adult - we're 4 days in to life with a 19 month old greyhound grin. No cats here though, and the guinea pigs are securely locked away….

PacificDogwood Thu 30-Apr-15 21:51:29

Oh yes, I'd second the fostered dog - you get so much more information about the personality than from a kennelled dog.

Buttholelane Thu 30-Apr-15 21:55:55

One negative thing I would say about whippets, a lot of them seem to have quite a violent style of play where they like to chase and body slam into other dogs.

Great care needs to be taken not to allow this, quite a few dogs will misinterpret this behaviour as aggression and react aggressively back or get very scared and upset.

Runawayandjointhecircus Thu 30-Apr-15 22:35:20

Thanks all smile lots of food for thought here. Where can I find out about foster dogs? Our local sspca place is all very much dogs in kennels...

KatharineClifton Thu 30-Apr-15 22:42:56

Black Retriever X Rescue on Facebook are all fostered dogs. If you google for smaller rescues in your area there are most likely a fair few.

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