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Getting a dog for the first time

(16 Posts)
alleypalley Sun 02-Aug-15 23:23:15

My dh and dd's have finally talked me into getting a family dog. I've recently spent a bit of time with a friends new puppy and after talking to her and doing a bit of research I think I'm pretty clued up as to how much work it would involve.

We live in a flat in central London. First floor flat above a pub, which we run, so we sort of work from home so dog wouldn't be at home all day on its own, only a couple of hours at a time. I want a small dog that doesn't shed too much, and easy going with children. I have been looking on line and think I like the look of a Tibetan Spaniel, or maybe a pocket Beagle.

So firstly I'm asking do these seem like suitable breeds, and then where do I go next. How do I find a reputable place to buy a puppy from?

tvlover1234 Sun 02-Aug-15 23:26:01

I can vouch for Yorkshire terriers. We've always had them and they're bloody brilliant. As I can only speak for myself they're incredibly loyal and all of ours ate absolutely in love with kids!

lilwelshyrs Sun 02-Aug-15 23:32:34

The kennel club website will have a list of breeders local to you. Or look for some who need rehoming smile Battersea dogs home might have puppies that will suit you smile

SmartAlecMetalGit Sun 02-Aug-15 23:48:04

Firstly forget "pocket" beagles, no reputable breeder would be purposefully breeding undersized dogs.

There are loads of quizzes online for finding the right breed for you, some are ok but some are a bit bonkers. The Kennel Club one is reasonably good, at least as a starting point. The [[ Perfect Pup website is good for looking up individual breeds once you have more of a short list. Dog shows are also a great place to check out breeds, especially championship shows which are the bigger ones. Once they've done in the ring people are generally more than happy to chat about their breed and let you meet their dogs. I love borzois but can't have one (too big and too hairy!) so I get my fix at shows, there's always someone happy for me to have a cuddle grin

Once you've picked a breed the best place to go is to the relevant breed club. They tend to have a code of ethics which members must abide by that is much more stringent than anything laid out by the KC. The KC Assured Breeder scheme is good in theory but in practise a lot of very good breeders aren't on it because they don't believe it's good enough. The breed club should be able to point you towards good breeders who have or who are planning litters. If you're set on a particular breed but are willing to consider an older dog most breed clubs have a rescue effort run by members.

Personally I think whippets make superb family dogs. Ok, they're medium sized but they fold up nice and small when they want to grin They're lovely, gentle and affectionate dogs. I've got three and although we don't have any kids they're brilliant with my 8 year old niece and any children who want to meet them when we're out and about. They're playful, mischievous, goofy and the cuddliest things ever. It's impossible to sit down in this house without ending up with a whippet sat on you or cuddled up against you. They do shed but their hairs are so tiny and fine they're barely noticeable. They're very easy to satisfy exercise wise, especially if you've got the opportunity to let them off lead somewhere. Very much sprinters, mine get about an hour a day (unless it's raining, they hate the rain) mostly off lead. They zoom around like lunatics then come home and conk out for the rest of the day. Best dogs ever in my opinion!

SmartAlecMetalGit Sun 02-Aug-15 23:48:47

<sigh> Link fail there hmm

Trying again; Perfect Pup website

pigsDOfly Sun 02-Aug-15 23:49:40

Would just say don't get a Beagle. They're generally lovely dogs but can be a bit of a handful and if you've never had a dog before a Beagle will leave you reeling.

Poodles are low shedders and very intelligent dogs without being hard work.

Do your research with regards to breeders. A good breeder will have a waiting list so you will likely have a wait for a the dog you want and the breeder will also want to know where the dog is going etc.

You will be able to see the puppies with their mother and possibly the dad as well.

Don't buy a puppy off the internet: gumtree or sites like that. And anyone who asks you to meet them anywhere other than in their own home is scamming you.

Have read on here that looking at specific breed clubs is a good way to start and going to breed shows.

pigsDOfly Sun 02-Aug-15 23:55:38

Yes, wasn't sure what a 'pocket' beagle was, I assumed it mean't an undersized one but I've never heard of it before.

Steer clear of anything described as pocket, teacup or any other word that might indicate that you'd end up with something undersized and runty.

berryblueberry Mon 03-Aug-15 00:39:17

Just to echo the idea that beagles are possibly not the best choice for a first dog... absolutely lovely dogs, and we love ours to bits, but she is still quite hard work (2 yo now). and they bark quite a lot too, it's just one of those things, and you might not want that in/above your pub!

There was a pub that had 2 short-haired dachsunds as pub dogs and they were the cutest things ever smile oh and a hat shop I went to once also had a shop dachsund! grin

BagelwithButter Mon 03-Aug-15 00:51:20

Just be sure you are happy with having a dog. Kids will lose interest fairly quickly, once the dog isn't new anymore and becomes part of the furniture.

Do you have the time to house train, train the dog, take for walks twice a day, even when dark, cold and rainy, after a hard day's work, when kids are ill, when you are ill?

Have you considered an older dog? One that's been assessed in a foster home, so used to the hustle and bustle of a family home (and a pub). Might not have the immediate attraction of a puppy, but puppies grow up very quickly and an older dog (properly assessed as said before) could be a better bet.

alleypalley Mon 03-Aug-15 19:49:56

Thanks for all the replies. I'll do a bit more research still. I didn't actually realise that miniature dogs were breeding undersized dogs, I thought they were a breed in their own right.

Another question if you don't mind. Normally my dh and I work opposite shifts so there is always one of us upstairs with the children. Occasionally though if something happens we may both be needed downstairs at the same time, for a few minutes, or maybe up to half an hour. Now obviously I wouldn't be leaving a dog with the children unsupervised, would it be ok to either shut a dog in the kitchen for a short while, or maybe in a dog cage? Or we do have a small yard outside, completely secure, it's in a well in the building, which we could clear out of all the junk and make it safe.

BagelwithButter Mon 03-Aug-15 20:28:34

You could definitely have a dog crate. They are useful anyway, providing a safe place/den, and children can be told then to bother the dog while in there. Particularly useful if you get a puppy, they need time outs when they get overtired (like toddlers!) and crate comes in handy

SmartAlecMetalGit Mon 03-Aug-15 20:35:41

Some "miniatures" are a legitimate breed (schnauzers, poodle, dachshunds, bull terriers, pinschers) but for any breed that doesn't traditionally have a miniature variety it's wise to steer clear of anyone breeding for particularly small sizes.

pigsDOfly Mon 03-Aug-15 20:50:32

My dog was crate trained when she was small, it's a good way of keeping them out of harms way when you have to leave them and it's good for night times as you know where they are and, as they won't want to poo near their sleeping area, it can help with house training. Of course there is the added advantage that you can put the crate in you bedroom, for example, when puppy first leaves his mum so he won't feel lonely like he might if he's being shut in a room on his own.

After about 6 months my dog decided she preferred having the run of the house, which suited me as I live alone. However, she still likes to take herself off to the smallest bedroom sometimes - she selected that room as hers when we moved into this house and I honestly think she thinks of it as her room - a lot of dogs enjoy having somewhere they can retire to when family life gets a bit overwhelming or like my dog just want to be on their own so will really like having a cosy little den.

Read up on crate training as it does take a short while to get a puppy used to it.

Of course you can shut the dog in the kitchen if you prefer, although a small puppy might be distressed by being shut away from the family.

alleypalley Mon 03-Aug-15 21:22:23

Thank you all for the tips. I'll take them all on board before we make a decision.

imabusybee Mon 03-Aug-15 21:37:39

Please please consider giving a rescue dog a home - there are some excellent rescue centres out there who will spend a great deal of time with you to make sure your new addition is right for you and your family

BagelwithButter Mon 03-Aug-15 22:22:35

How old are your DD's?

Have a look at Rasta

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