What sort of dog?(112 Posts)
We're looking to get a dog. We have 3 children (9, 7, 6), a cat (around 6 years old, who lived with a dog in the past but hasn't for around 3 years) and 4 chickens (securely penned).
Our requirements are that it can live happily with the above and will be good with other dogs when on walks.
We live in a fairly rural village, fields & streams within 3 minutes' walk and a 5 minute walk from our village centre. About 10 minutes by car from our local woods.
I have a Rottweiler and recommend them to anyone who will listen.
He is lazy and won't go out when it's raining or snowing but he loves a good bask and a good long walk in the woods.
He is loving, gives the best cuddles and is loyal. He was toilet trained in a day at 6 weeks and has never caused any trouble. Well... They like to chew as puppies and he made his way through five sofas, three mobile phones and countless shoes.
Given where you live and that your children aren't toddlers, you could go for a bigger gun dog perhaps? Very trainable and energetic. Spaniel have more energy than Labradors and retrievers in my experience. Setters, pointers, weimaraners and viszlas are beautiful but very high energy and love to hunt so can disappear and perhaps need more time put into training as can be easier to teach bad habits as well as good ones. All will love you lots and get very muddy. Some, like golden retrievers seem to moult more as have longer hair.
Also, don't rule out boxers as my sister is a country girl and has two wonderful boxers. Everyone says boxers are stupid and silly, but hers are beautifully mannered and we trained. Far nicer to be around than my weimaraner when she is being neurotic.
Your criteria applies to pretty much any breed!
Good with children, cats, chickens and dogs is 100% the result of frequent, positive interaction with the above and training.
You could get a breed well known for tolerance and being good with the above like a retriever or a staffy but with inadequate training and negative experiences you could well end up with a dog that is terrible with kids and other animals.
Likewise, you could get a breed traditionally not recommended for kids or small animals like a border collie or a jack Russell and with proper training and good socialisation it will likely grow up to be great with your kids, pets and other dogs.
You really can't choose a breed based on it being good with kids, other dogs and pets. It's too much of an individual and environmental trait.
We have a 7 month old German Shorthaired Pointer. He is gorgeous, has a lovely temperament, is fab with the kids (7 & 9) and great with other dogs. He adores our 12 year old cat, though I wouldn't quite say the feeling is mutual. He will need lots of exercise when he's fully grown, but we are well up for that, and actually can'twsit until he's allowed to go on longer walks. But he's pretty chilled out around the house, especially considering he's still a baby really. He likes to have a nap with his snout tucked under my armpit .
Buttonhole you are absolutely right, off course. I grew up with GSDs, the collie stray that we took in, the doberman x GSD that we rehomed when my aunt decided that she couldn't cope with a puppy being a puppy , then half-starved collie x ?saluki that my mum and dad acquired after walking down to the village for a pint of milk. All fantastic dogs. Then there is the westie who now lives as a complete lap dog at my parents'. Lastly, my beloved Patch, the most adorable staffy x.
What other traits are important to you?
Size? What about shedding? Long/short/wire coat?
Are you wanting to maybe do a sport like gun dog training, herding trials, tracking, canix etc?
How important is intelligence?
Are you wanting something extremely handler focussed and biddable or more independent
That should help you narrow it down to some breeds
Size: not too fussed but not a tiny. Medium-large preferable.
Coat: Not overly keen on a wire coat, but I don't hate it.
Shedding isn't a concern -I've had GSDs
I'd quite like to do obedience/agility,but I can't see myself doing herding, etc.
I'd like a pleasant mix of intelligence and
willingness willingly please the owner! I think I'd like a dog who:
Will enjoy a country walk in the forest/paddle in the stream/romp through the mud track, but would also be happy with a walk around a field and a game of catch the ball.
I'd also like a dog that's happy to play with the family but also willing to settle down and relax.
My parents' first GSD was a marvel. All of the above, absolutely faithful and loyal. Came to retrieve me when I got stuck under some brambles,etc.
Please get a rescue staff. Preferably a black one. These can spend years in kennels
Or a black greyhound. Also near impossible to rehome.
Every single GSD i have had has been a fantastic dog and would be my first choice of breed every time.
I also have a rescue who is crossed between a gsd and a border collie and is like a gsd in size and temperament but 100x more crazy! I think I would go for another rescue next time rather than buying a pup
Based on the above, I would say most working breeds would suit if your going for a purebred but there's likely to be lots of adult rescues too who could fulfil that.
I think gsd's, border collies and gun dogs would all be a good match as they tend to be very biddable and handler focussed, medium to large in size, would suit in terms of exercise.
As long as you teach a good 'settle' from puppyhood it should be happy to chill as an adult.
That's most important for the collies as they are prone to get overstimulated and stressed and unable to calm as a result.
monkeyfacegrace, I hear you and I loved Patch with to bottom of my heart, but I am still gutted at the way things went with him and I see him in every staffy smile I see .
Because they've been mentioned, I have a Rottweiler and I rarely reccomend them because mine isn't like cassie's...lazy is absolutely not a word I ever use to describe him, lol.
But seeing as it's not a first dog and you mentioned agility.
They're not eager to please as such* (a bit stubborn and independent) but, hugely food motivated and love anything that's self rewarding with an adrenaline rush like agility. They're clever too, mine can pick up a new command in a day.
* though I will add that like GSDs if you build up a good bond with them they are eager to please that person.
No huge shedding, in fact no real coat issues, minimal grooming and pretty Teflon coated, lol.
They're incredibly affectionate and playful, but that's where I get to what can be downsides, they're clumsy, have faulty brakes and are absolutely convinced that they are in fact tiny lap dogs.
Mine (as many do) also has a pretty high prey drive, he's fine with my cats, strange cats who run... I wouldn't trust him with and I honestly don't know whether chickens even if socialised with them from a young age might be a bit much temptation for him.
They don't take kindly to harsh training methods (not that I'm saying you'd use them) but they will also take advantage if you're not great at setting boundaries.
Basically they're all the intelligence and drive of GSDs with the silliness and enthusiasm of boxers...great fun, but you will spend a lot of time working on impulse control.
He sounds great My parents' GSDs were all utterly convinced that they were just the right size for my Dad's lap.
They once had two brothers from a litter. We never could decide which was more clever: One would learn something new every day. He learned to open a gate latch with his nose, how to retrieve a precious ball from the garden pond, etc. The other just watched. Then we realised that he was just standing by, letting the 'clever' one do all the work The 'clever' one would get the ball from the pond and pass it to the 'thick' one.
Black Retriever X have a fabulous GSD X at the moment..... and a lot of other lovely dogs of a type which might suit your requirements
A Gordon setter would suit you. Very loyal biddable and loving to family. They love interacting and will play endlessly.
I think you should seek out individual personality rather than breed iykwim.
Good rescues know their dogs well and will do everything they can to match you with a dog that meets your criteria.
I am finding breed characteristics fascinating and there clearly is no point in getting a pug if you want a dog to run marathons with you , but there are such individual variations.
I am a new owner to a (black) greyhound 'too playful' for racing who thinks he's a retriever….
My one bit of advice is to take time in your search - don't fall for the first cute face you come across.
One of my lurchers is currently cuddled up with one of our cats. I wouldn't leave him with the chickens unpenned (he wouldn't deliberatly harm them I think, but would run round and annoy them), but the two of them never try and get into the pen.
They do all the things you describe - love walks in the woods, play ball, cuddle children, and are generally incredibly loving.
Both of mine came from EGLR, and as their dogs are all fostered they know their personality really well. The puppies Moosemama linked to were born in foster just like my dpuppy
"He sounds great My parents' GSDs were all utterly convinced that they were just the right size for my Dad's lap."
He is...just a bit more enthusiastic about life than most people want out of a pet.
He broke my DP's tooth last year playing fetch, their heads collided and DP came up with half a front tooth.
One of the many reasons that although I love him, I very rarely reccomend them, lol.
I once came in and bent down to greet Patch. At the same time as I bent down, his Staffy skull came up. I collapsed to the ground, seeing stars, then got licked all over!
I did look at Lupin, moose. I am really taken by Trigger, though
I couldn't find Trigger when I looked on the page. I adore GSDs too. My first ever dog was a GSD we found collapsed under a bush in the park. She had the remains of a rope around her neck, was close to death, emaciated, covered in sores and had given up. We searched all over our area and the neighbouring two counties, left details with every vet surgery, shelter, police station and dog warden we could find, but no-one claimed her - although several came to see if she might have been their lost dog, which was heartbreaking when she wasn't, but a huge relief to me, because I couldn't bear to lose her by then.
We were later told that someone had reported her tied to a tree in the woods behind the park and seeing a young girl/teenager with her, apparently leaving her there, but that when the dog warden went to check she'd gone.
I nursed her back to health and she was the most amazing dog, not an ounce of nastiness in her, patient, friendly, yet protective when/if I needed her to be. Vet reckoned she was 7ish when we found her and we lost her just over 17 years later, so around 14/15 years old.
I wasn't allowed pets at home, so actually left home and moved in with my then boyfriend (now dh's) family so I could keep her.
These are photos of photos, so not great quality, it was before we had digital cameras and mobile phones etc - but this is my girl.
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