Advice - considering a terrier-sized dog....(20 Posts)
I know this is being done on a thread lower down but I need a bit of specific advice please.
DH and I have always loved dogs and had them as children. DC are 4 and 6 and also love dogs. It's always been a bit of a "back burner" subject for when a. the guinea pig dies (still a pre-requisite really) and b. the DC are older. However, this last 2 weeks we've looked after a Border Terrier for friends on holiday and have LOVED having her. She also seems to be the perfect sized dog for us.
However, I have heard that you can't let terriers off the lead ever as they are prone to run away. We've kept her on the lead this week which has made limited difference as she is ancient and can't walk that far anyway.
I would like a rescue. DH is slightly nervous of a rescue with small kids as you don't know what you're getting.
So - questions -rescue v puppy, terrier-sized dog that is easily trainable and not escapologist. Thank you!
My advice is get a rescue who has been living with a foster carer/has been thoroughly assessed. That way you really know what you are taking on (even more than with a puppy)
Best of luck
Just popping in before the "rescue whippet / stuffy" brigade turn up, to stick my paw in and cast a vote for the sheltie. Wikki link
They're about knee high, so similar height to a border terrier, but from a herding not ratting ancestry so have really good recall and are trustworthy with live stock. Ours ignores our rabbits and guinea pigs, helps to round up the hens at night, and gives the cats a wide berth. I would trust her recall completely off lead and chasing small curries just isn't in her nature. She will play with DS and a ball for hours and has a sweet, gentle disposition. We had terriers as kids and, whilst hilarious characters, I wouldn't have trusted any of them off lead anywhere there may've been wild rabbits, squirrels, cats, etc. All were occasionally snappy and yappy. I think the sheltie calm, gentle, happy demeanour is much easier to live with
even if they do moult like a bugger twice a year !
I wouldn't want a staffy I have to say, not sure why, they just don't float my boat. Sheltie is something to consider, definitely would like something with recall......
catz - how does one go about finding a rescue who's lived with a foster carer?
My BT, Scrabble, is presently sprawled on my lap as I type.
Pretty bombproof recall, and she has around 1-2hrs off-lead somewhere most days. However, this took the best part of a year to accomplish, and training in various scenarios. The one thing I don't think I could get her back from are squirrels! But there is no approaching other dogs, people, bikes, sheep etc.
In contrast, my Staffy never required the same level of recall training. I'd say you can get an excellent recall in a terrier, but it's probably going to take more work in comparison to some other breeds.
Border Terrier Welfare is the main rescue.
What about a shih tzu or a toy poodle? We have a cross between the two and he's a clever, happy and friendly dog who loves people and dogs and cats and basically anything tbh.
Call the rescue and chat to them (you might have to contact a few), visit the dog and see where they are eg foster or kennels.
Dogs trust seem pretty good at assessing dogs I think
Like Godstopper said, recall is up to you to train - I have a terrier with decent recall (which would be better if I'd worked on it harder when she was younger, and done more on it since...) She was a brilliant dog when the DC were young - very tolerant and easy going with them.
If you do get a terrier, ask about the parents, what they do, what they were bred for. Ours is a farm-bred terrier, from parents kept as ratters, and needing an active life. This is fine for where we live, but she needed a lot of exercise when young (more than SIL's pet-bred labrador). Working-strain Jack Russells are not for everybody: they have a high prey drive, are very active and intelligent and can be a right pita.
We had DD2 from a breeder who took back an adult dog after a family break-up and needed to re-home her. She was 2 years old and a dream to own from day 1. DD1 was bought from a breeder as an 8 week old pup, as we felt that with a house full of pets, and a young child, a pup would be a better idea and a "blank canvas' so to speak. Not sure I'd recommend that route tbh as she was bloody hard work for the first year, (but a joy for the next 14 years!). They do have rescue organisations which occasionally have dogs needing new homes, but they are a relatively uncommon breed which is reflected in the low numbers that turn up in non-breed specific rescues.
I'd second the pp who mentioned the miniature poodle. Our neighbours have one that we look after occasionally and she too has a lovely calm nature and is also very smart with good recall. They seem to have more risk of genetic illnesses so you'd need to do your homework, and they need clipping every 6-8 weeks which is either a faff to do yourself or you'd need to pay someone to do it for you (my friend pays around £25 a time I believe). Lots to think about, but exciting times!
We have two rescue jack russells neither have ever tried to run away or escape from the garden. They are intensely loving and loyal,if you want a very affectionate dog who will play with you all day then cuddle up to you all night look no further. They have short fuss free coats that require no grooming,and the hair does not even bother my eldest ds who has asthma. That being said they are fiercely territorial and are fairly yappy and without a doubt not suitable to be housed with any other pets.
Thanks everyone. Yes, a lot to think about. We will research this carefully - I do not want to be jumping into this on a knee-jerk reaction because we're all sad saying goodbye to our houseguest
In all fairness to the gpig I think we need to wait for his demise first otherwise he won't get a look in with DD particularly who is dog-mad.
I've had three terriers all of which were rescues. Two were great off lead with super recall, one hasn't got recall. All were / are great with children and had spent time in foster to be assessed.
Forgot to say DH has his heart set on a spaniel but I'm concerned about the amount of exercise they need. We both work (albeit I work from home) and wouldn't have time for hours of dog walking a day. I do run but I've heard it's not brilliant to run dogs at a constant pace for a long time - is that right?
Our Jack Russell was around two years old when we rescued him and he had no sense whatsoever that he was supposed to come when called. He'd been living wild in Wales when the RSPCA picked him up.
The first time I let him off the lead he just bolted, out of the park, across roads - it was awful.
So we put the work in. We went to fenced off places to train him. Bought a very log lead, took treats (although he couldn't really be bothered with those) and it took months and was very hard but we now have a lovely little feller who comes back when called and is a very happy part of the family.
Funnily enough my DH really wanted a spaniel too, but I was a bit concerned about the amount of exercise a gun dog breed would need. As you say, some vets will advise that jogging isn't great for dogs and definitely not a good idea for young, developing puppy bones. We had a couple of spaniels when I was a teenager; ex-sniffer dogs as DDad was a policeman who couldn't bear to part with his old work buddies when they retired at around 6 or 7. They were a working cocker and a welsh springer. Both were gorgeous, friendly, loving dogs, but both were a bit mental and needed a really good run before you could get any sense out of them at all. Both were very smart and were trained to recall, do tricks, fetch balls, etc and both were bombproof with the family cat. I think a show type cocker or a cavalier would be easier to live with. We decided on the sheltie as they mature and calm down earlier than spaniels, don't get the spaniel ear problems, and overall need slightly less exercise.
Border terriers aren't exactly lazy...so I wouldn't worry too much that a spaniel would need more exercise.
Running - you can't run with a puppy, but once it's an adult if you build it up gradually and try to avoid Tarmac is absolutely fine.
I'm on my third cavalier. She's five now, we got her as a rescue at just under a year old. She's wet and snuggled to a fleece in the photo because DD has just taken her out puddle splashing in the close we live.
She's a good house pet. Loves a long walk to a pub on a breezy summer day but will just nip in the garden (or hold on) on a wet one.
She's fantastic with the children. My youngest is now four and happily strolls along with her wagging her tail enthusiastically. Shes very fickle, as with all cavaliers i've met, and is totally devoted with her puppy eyes to who ever is paying her attention at that moment (great for the DC and friends when they visit).
Her recall isn't brill but when its quiet at the park she enjoys a good run. She's scared of other dogs and comes running back if people approach so not a nuicance dog when off lead.
She is a bit of a lap dog and loves to lie on the sofa along side someone, i found the same with my previous two.
They tend to shed a bit so regular brushing to collect the excess hair or excepting a need to vacuum a bit more often go part and parcel.
Health wise heart defects can be an issue.
Running with your dog:
Advice and ideas there.
I don't do it, because our big dog is very boisterous with other dogs, and because I like to run on my own, but it does like a lot of fun.
Like other posters have said you can get a good recall with a terrier but I do think it takes longer and is more work than with some other types of dog.
My chihuahua cross Jack Russell terrier it took about 9 months of training but he now has a good recall as long as he do'snt see a squirrel which he takes great delight in chasing and will try to kill them (he actually succeeded on one occasion), if he manages to see one before I do his recall totally goes out the window.
Have you thought about miniature poodle or small poodle cross my friend has a cavapoo and she's calm great with kids and has excellent recall.
Exp has an utterly delightful BT. My dog longing went in to overdrive after spending time with her (so I bought a cocker spaniel ooops). The bt was such a gorgeous calm, loving and manageable little dog and fantastic with children as he has a 7 year old and they had had the dog about 4 years.
If I was sensible I would have got a bt puppy but I adore my cocker
I really recommend bt and her recall was fine - we only put her on leads in cow fields etc
She didn't chew or jump up either though exp was an experienced dog owner and quite strict
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