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(40 Posts)
Ardha Sun 03-Jan-16 13:44:55

We have been thinking about getting a dog, OH would love a Staffie like he used to have but thinks that would be too big & strong for me to handle, and I agree, I was a little scared of his old dog.

I grew up with Shelties but haven't had my own dog as an adult.

Terriers seem to be the right size but I wondered what other peopl's experience was.

Our children are 10 & 12 so not small although the youngest is a little timid around larger dogs or dogs that jump up.

Please offer advice or experience.


Floralnomad Sun 03-Jan-16 13:57:51

What sort of terrier ,they come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes . I have a Patterdale X ( prob JRT) , he's very full on ,will play all day ,follows you about the house ,is a nightmare with anything small and furry including cats and I would say would only be suitable for a real terrier lover .

Ardha Sun 03-Jan-16 14:01:29

OH found some patterdale x with Welsh terrier pups.

We looked at one Patterdale in rescue centre but he wasnt a 'typcial' Patterdale according to them, and rather small for OH.

We don't have any other pets but there are lots of squirrels around here.

BabyGanoush Sun 03-Jan-16 14:02:02

Terriers are only small in size

They are big personalities! Barking, jumping, playing and being active and mad grin

If you are looking for a calmer sort of dog, maybe a whippet or whippet cross? Though they can be thieves grin.

Ardha Sun 03-Jan-16 14:07:23

Not sure I want calmer.
I tried to play with SIL's little poodle and it got scared & barked at me.

I figure if we have one froma puppy DD will be more used to it by the time it grows up.

BabyGanoush Sun 03-Jan-16 14:13:12

My advice would be to look at character of breeds rather than size.

And you can teach dogs to not jump up.

All the terriers I know, bar one, are very barky and a bit nippy (my dog has been bitten by terriers a few times). They are all proper characters though and much loved by their owners.

But me, I could never have a small dog, ...too much work grin

Booboostwo Sun 03-Jan-16 15:19:17

Puppies can be difficult for DCs that are worried about dogs because they jump up, play bite, scratch and are unrelentless. It might be worth helping your DD get used to some older, calmer dogs before getting a puppy.

Terriers are very lively, energetic dogs that need sympathetic training and may have problems with running off and hunting. They are not ideal first time dogs.

Where did your OH find these cross breed pups? If you want a pure breed dog research your breeder well before committing or look at a breed specific rescue. If you want to rehome try a reputable rescue. I would not buy a cross breed puppy off a breeder, you are just encouraging irresponsible breeding.

tabulahrasa Sun 03-Jan-16 15:46:21

How is a patterdale an ok size and a staffie not? The breed standards have them about an inch bigger...

Ardha Sun 03-Jan-16 16:27:08

Tabulahrasa there is a significant difference in weight between the two breeds.

Wolfiefan Sun 03-Jan-16 16:30:37

Terriers are a very diverse bunch. Some can walk for miles and some just want to potter about. Some are very vocal and some are friendlier than others. I would research different breeds and don't buy a designer cross breed mongrel off some puppy farmer breeder over the Internet.

Floralnomad Sun 03-Jan-16 16:35:08

My terrier is not at all nippy ,does bark a lot though . What I will say is that an awful lot of patterdales are not that sociable with other dogs ,they are not necessarily aggressive but they are a bit aloof . They are also notoriously good escape artists so you need to train any children to keep doors and gates closed .

Lasttangoin2016 Sun 03-Jan-16 16:39:31

We had an Airedale. He was a wonderful chap. Would have another

BabyGanoush Sun 03-Jan-16 16:42:08

Hope we are not putting you off having a dog though!

We got our (first ever) dog two years ago, DC 9 and 12, and it has been the best thing ever.

It takes up time, and effort, but a good family dog gives so much to a family! She makes us smile, laugh even, on a daily basis. It is touching how she totally trusts us and has grown in confidence. Love how she comes to rest her nose in my hand to "say thanks" after a good walk or a meal.

Getting a dog was the best thing ever for us, hope it will be the same for you smile

tabulahrasa Sun 03-Jan-16 16:42:57

"Tabulahrasa there is a significant difference in weight between the two breeds."

3kg between them at the upper end for both.

TheoriginalLEM Sun 03-Jan-16 16:49:16

Terriers aka terrierists!! I have two and i love them to the moon and back but my next dog won't be a terrier grin They are crazy, strong willed and feisty. little bastards

well socialised and trained and you'll have a wonderful family pet.

Hurr1cane Sun 03-Jan-16 16:51:42

DP has Cairne terriers. They're very nice with people, don't bite or nip. They need a lot of walking though and are very very ignorant. They don't come bounding up to you as soon as you call them if they don't feel like it, in fact, they don't do anything at all if they don't feel like it. A bit like cats

LumelaMme Sun 03-Jan-16 16:55:02

Our first dog was a terrier (we had both grown up with dogs, though). JRTx, from a family of farm ratters, so we got a lot of dog per ounce. She has always been great with the DC, enjoys an armed truce with the cat, is okay with other dogs (doesn't give a stuff unless they bother her, in which case she tells them to get lost) - but does love to bark at passers by.

I would not buy a cross breed puppy off a breeder, you are just encouraging irresponsible breeding.
Not necessarily... most of the crosses I know were bred specifically to work, and to my mind, breeding a healthy, practical cross-bred dog is lot more responsible than breeding pure-breds loaded with health problems or highly likely to develop them. I really don't see how a gamekeeper breeding a labxGSP litter with several working homes lined up is less responsible than a pedigree breeder chunking out a litter of French bulldogs for the pet trade.

IsItIorAreTheOthersCrazy Sun 03-Jan-16 16:56:48

I have to agree with PP, patter dales are not the dog for a beginner! Ours is quite old now but she can still jump high fences, escape from anywhere if she wants to and is randomly aggressive to other dogs - she is a constant work in progress. I have to say she is very well trained now and brilliant with children, she just needed a lot of strong boundaries and both me and DH not giving her and inch while young!

In my life I've also had an English bull terrier, jack Russell, a fox hound and Yorkies. Fox hound was by far the best for a family dog - manageable size and strength, easily trained and just generally gentle.

I wouldn't recommend a terrier tbh. I have 2 now but they take a lot of work and exercise to keep them happy. Something more calm would probably be better for a family

TheWhoreOfBabyliss Sun 03-Jan-16 16:58:33

Good post Lumela

Twowrongsdontmakearight Sun 03-Jan-16 17:09:40

We have a Border Terrier. We went on a website I think called Best Dog. It selects the best dog for you from ranked criteria. Our top requirement was child friendly without needing masses of exercise - and Border Terriers came top.

He's very friendly and tolerant of people and DC but has been known to snap at other dogs.

Key thing with any pup is to socialise ASAP and attend training classes. Plus not leave them alone for long periods. We only got ours because I was a SAHM so was around.

BabyGanoush Sun 03-Jan-16 17:47:58

Agree with Lumela about crossbreeds too

Booboostwo Sun 03-Jan-16 18:57:40

Lumella I didn't say pick a breeder at random, I said go to a responsible breeder. A responsible breeder will have done all the health screening for the breed, will have a very good knowledge of the lines she's breeding from and a clear idea of what her breeding programme is trying to achieve.

Are there breeders out there who encourage breed characteristics that are detrimental to the health of the dogs? Sure. Are they responsible breeders? No.

Cross-breed breeders tend to breed the new, fashionable designer cross-breeds, anything with 'poo' in it is fair game. They charge ignorant buyers loads of money for mongrels and the whole thing is an idiotic fad.

Why wouldn't your game keeper use pure working dog breeding lines? Mixing breeds is a much bigger genetic gamble than breeding pure. if your gamekeeper wants to introduce a new characteristic that does not exist in pure lab lines for example but can be found in GSP lines that's a lifetime's breeding job and noto Ne random litter pairing away.

LumelaMme Sun 03-Jan-16 21:05:21

Booboo, the necessity for health screening in so many breeds tells us one things: that these breeds have a tiny gene pool, which is why the recessive genetic nasties occur in so many of the dogs, who are then bred to each other, producing affected pups. And tiny gene pools are not a good thing. That's the main reason I prefer to own cross-bred dogs: they tend to have longer, healthier lives, on the average, than do pure-bred dogs, on the average.

Consequently, I have nothing against people who breed 'types' (like non-Kennel Club JRTs) or who elect to cross-breed sensibly. I am not anti-pure-bred (I spent a wonderful half-hour recently watching a collie puppy having her first training session with a young shepherd), but I'm not a fan of closed registries either, nor of the breeding of dogs with such exaggerated features that they suffer as a consequence (it looks as if we agree on that last point, anyway).

OP, sorry for the thread hijack. blush

Booboostwo Sun 03-Jan-16 21:13:41

Sorry but you are quite wrong. Some traits have been bred in for the wrong reasons and then, fairly successfully, bred out, as is the case with hip dysphasia. Like hip dysphasia many conditions are present across breeds, e.g. the new test for degenerative myelopathy seems to suggest it is so wide spread in so many breeds it is not clear how we can avoid it in new generations.

The claim that cross breeds have longer and healthier lives requires quite a bit of backing. How did you arrive at this conclusion?

tabulahrasa Sun 03-Jan-16 21:30:11

"the necessity for health screening in so many breeds tells us one things: that these breeds have a tiny gene pool, which is why the recessive genetic nasties occur in so many of the dogs, who are then bred to each other, producing affected pups."

Um, except quite a few of the most common crosses share inherited diseases in both breeds meaning that a cross from untested parents is just as likely to have one as a pedigree from untested parents.

Terriers crossed for working purposes do tend to be relatively free from inherited issues, but then so do's more to do with a combination of working stock needing to be fit for purpose and that the original breeds used for both tend to be healthier to start with.

But in all honesty, I'd not reccomend a working line cross bred terrier as a pet for most people, never mind someone who hasn't owned a dog themselves before, they're pretty full on and could end up being the worst traits of two full on breeds.

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