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what breed would you recommend for first time dog owners?

(103 Posts)
gessami Sun 18-Oct-15 23:32:04

hello wise MNers

we are looking to get a puppy soon and have been doing lots of research. but i'd love to have your suggestions.

i have 3 DCs aged 10, 8 & 5. we live in london and have a small garden.

we have never had a dog before (only a hamster!)

our ideal breed would be:
- easy to train
- kid friendly
- lovely temperament
- good for people with allergies
- small-medium sized
- and cute!

we will happily take our dog for a walk daily but we would struggle with a dog that needs a huge amount of exercise.

also please tell me if there's something important I'm missing from the equation! is there something else I should consider when choosing a breed?

Wolfiefan Sun 18-Oct-15 23:34:32

Dog allergies or just allergy prone?
Do you work?

gessami Sun 18-Oct-15 23:38:35

hi wolfie. my two best friends have dog allergies. so I would prefer a breed that's hypoallergenic.

I'm not working right now but will be soon. there would usually be someone at home.

tabulahrasa Sun 18-Oct-15 23:42:12

No dogs are hypoallergenic, some people are ok with non shedding dogs, but some aren't as it's the dander they have issues with.

I wouldn't pick a breed of dog that suits visitors when it limits your choices as they may still have issues visiting.

What's your definition of cute?

gessami Sun 18-Oct-15 23:49:14

yes I've found the allergy thing very confusing. but as you say it's not the number one concern as it's guests rather than family members. (albeit very regular and loved guests).

the cute thing was a bit of a joke. but I guess I'm not that keen on an aggressive looking dog. i'm sure we'll think our dog is the cutest thing ever once it's ours.

clam Sun 18-Oct-15 23:58:58

OK, I'll start the ball rolling> cockapoo. Ticks all those boxes (alhough, as with most dogs, you won't get a cast-iron guarantee that they're hypoallergenic - because they're not; at best they're a much lower risk than others.

LyndaNotLinda Mon 19-Oct-15 00:00:34

Boston terrier. Very low shed, gentle, sweet-natured, easy to train, happy to lounge but loves running around if you have time. Ideal family pet

gessami Mon 19-Oct-15 00:02:16

thank you clam. cockapoo is the most popular recommendation we've had since we started looking!!

gessami Mon 19-Oct-15 00:05:42

lynda- definitely ticks the cute box! i don't think I've ever seen one in RL

squoosh Mon 19-Oct-15 00:05:52

Cairn terrier.

Intelligent, loyal, cute. Perfect family dog. Doesn't tend to love other dogs too much however.

WhoTheFuckIsSimon Mon 19-Oct-15 00:06:30


Floralnomad Mon 19-Oct-15 00:07:51

The cock in cockerpoo is a cocker spaniel which is a dog that may require more than a daily walk ,most Cockers that I know need a fair amount of exercise .

tabulahrasa Mon 19-Oct-15 00:09:25

Cockapoos, may or may not shed, there's no real way of telling until they're adults.

They may behave and look like a mix of both breeds, or end up more like a cocker spaniel or a poodle.

It can also be hard to find a breeder that does the necessary health tests and breeds carefully.

If a cockapoo appeals quite honestly, I'd get a poodle and just leave it's coat longer.

Salene Mon 19-Oct-15 00:31:20

Staffie, very versatile little dogs

ChairRider4 Mon 19-Oct-15 03:26:15

Rather than a cross where you don't know if will shed .What about a poodle ? Minute ones are bigger than a toy but not to big

rumred Mon 19-Oct-15 06:25:40

I second a staffy but be prepared for the haters. There's a lot about. And they need firm handling. But then, all dogs do, just some are more powerful than others, obviously.

Noitsnotteatimeyet Mon 19-Oct-15 06:37:57

If you're getting a puppy the most important thing to consider is the puppy's health - is it a breed which has very few inherent health issues, and has its parents had all relevant health tests (ask to see evidence and check what it should have with the kennel club). The problem with crosses is you don't know exactly what you're getting and very few breeders will have done all the tests - run a mile from any breeder who talks guff about 'hybrid vigour'

MothershipG Mon 19-Oct-15 06:45:43

Toy or mini poodle, my friend has just got one and he ticks all your boxes.

gessami Mon 19-Oct-15 07:37:49

thank you! I'm off to look these all up

LilCamper Mon 19-Oct-15 07:59:02

No breed of dog needs a firm hand.

rumred Mon 19-Oct-15 08:01:59

I disagree lilcamper. Firm doesn't mean unkind, just clear and consistent. I'm speaking from experience, and inexperience.

IamTheWhoreofBabylon Mon 19-Oct-15 08:04:49

Mini poodle
There is no guarantee the cross breeds will be non shedding or allergy friendly
Poodles are lovely if you don't give them a daft clip

LilCamper Mon 19-Oct-15 08:08:47

Nope, no breed needs a firm hand

Noofly Mon 19-Oct-15 09:45:00

We have a cocker spaniel poodle cross. I will not call him a Cockapoo because I think it's a bloody silly name. grin He does not shed and DH, who is allergic to every single dog he has ever met (as in he has to wash his hands after meeting any dog, otherwise he breaks out in a rash and his eyes will stream for hours) has never shown any signs of allergies. However, I have this theory that he has psyched himself up to not being allergic to Noodle because MIL is allergic to him!

He's a great dog. Lazy as can be in the morning- that's his bed head look in the photo from two minutes ago when I woke him up for a photo. He's now back to sleep and will probably bother to get up around 10:30. He gets three walks a day- short 10-15 minutes in the morning, 45-60 minutes after lunch and half an hour in the evening. If he gets less than this he does get restless and demanding.

We are part of a local poodle cross walking group and walk with them twice a week. They are all absolutely lovely dogs. Full of bounce and joy.

Noofly Mon 19-Oct-15 09:48:19

Forgot to add- if you look at poodle crosses, you need to consider the grooming! They are very prone to matts and need combed with a metal comb every day. A brush is no good and it can be quite a chore. We keep outs fairly short to help keep on top of it. He goes to the groomers every 7 weeks.

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