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Choosing a dog

(35 Posts)
LizBmumof3 Sun 22-May-16 07:17:05

Hi I have 3 young children 6,6 and 4. I see a lot of breeds but have not had a dog with kids so want to choose the right one in our very noisy household.
I am very up for a crossbreed but not sure where tofu d one other than rescues
The kids want a smaller dog as they don't like larger dogs eg labs being in their face. Asi am the main dog walker a smaller dog would be easier for me to Hold as I am quite small.
Our top choice is probably border terrier. I've never owned a terrier and although I've met loads of borders was concerned about how they'd be in our lovely household.
My son is v keen on a cocker pop but I'm u sure that we'd get the right cross from it and also again interaction with kids.
I have also looked at whippet X lurchers
Any opinions and advice great fully received

EasyToEatTiger Mon 23-May-16 12:11:00

There is lots of information out there to help you decide. There are things you need to take into account, like how much exercise, how much training, how much grooming, how much feeding, life expectancy, £££££ etc. Big dogs don't necessarily take up huge amounts of space. Tiny dogs can really sprawl. Border collies are fantastic dogs but are very sound-sensitive. They are easily trained, but just as readily learn all the things you don't want them to know. Terriers come in all sorts of guises. If a rehoming centre is hesitant to rehome a dog with young children, it is likely that the animal hasn't had experience of children so is an unknown quantity. Most re-homing places are really very careful about where the animals go, as they don't want them back. It may be worth finding out about local training classes and asking if you and the children can sit in on a class. If you choose a particular breed, do as much research as you can muster. Your vet may be helpful as well.

KindDogsTail Thu 26-May-16 13:45:50

There has recently been a BBC programme about choosing the right dog,
with Louise Glazebrook, see a link below.

I would say that a terrier would not always be best with children.
Not collies either.

Your children are young and this should all be done with great care both for their sakes and for the dogs. You would need to take your dog to classes and spend a lot of time training it.

Why not get help in choosing from an experienced dog trainer in your area?

ImBrian Sat 28-May-16 08:09:34

What about a mini schnauzer? My sister has a border terrier and while she's lovely and great with her 15 & 10 year olds and my younger children (closely supervised). She is quite dog aggressive though but I don't think that's a breed trait.

user1476027851 Sun 09-Oct-16 16:50:36

I am having roughly the same problem, although a grandmother. My granddaughters are nearly four, and one week old. I have health problems so cannot have an energetic dog.

Any advice on a smallish dog, low energy, but very child friendly?

Dreamfrog Sun 09-Oct-16 18:18:46

I'd avoid anything with terrier in the title. They can be quick tempered and very energetic. I love my terrier but we most definitely know we have her !

wizzler Sun 09-Oct-16 20:51:37

Have you thought about visiting a rescue and talking to them? A lot depends on the temperament of the individual dog, and they would help you to make sure that any dog was suitable for your situation.

Having said that, we have had our poodle since the DC were 5 and 7, and he has been perfect. Not too big, and really good natured. He is very barky though... but that might be just him and not necessarily a breed characteristic!

Mybeardeddragonjustdied2016 Sun 09-Oct-16 20:55:28

We have a lurcher. Great with kids and manageable for them to walk too!! Not too big or too small!! Def recommend one!!

OdinsLoveChild Sun 09-Oct-16 21:01:19

I have working cockers and they're brilliant with active children. They're easy to train but do like to be busy. I have 1 that walks no matter what the weather is but the other one hates the rain and cold and would rather sit infront of the fire than go outside.

They don't have a vicious bone in their bodies and are definitely family dogs.

Terriers can be difficult to train and can often disappear on walks when they catch the scent of rats/rabbits etc They can be snappy too.

user1476027851 Mon 10-Oct-16 12:20:34

Thanks for the info, but I really need a smallish dog with low energy. There has been a message issued by British vets, asking us not to buy pugs, boxers etc. I'm starting to think a King Charles Cavalier is the ONLY answer!

MiddleClassProblem Mon 10-Oct-16 12:24:17

Try this too

dovesong Mon 10-Oct-16 12:27:27

Cockapoos tend to have really lovely temperaments. They're great family dogs.

Wolfiefan Mon 10-Oct-16 12:27:31

King Charles Cavaliers are known for massive health issues too.
I wouldn't want a terrier either. My mum has a Border. Very high energy as a pup and not great with other dogs.
Try visiting Crufts or discover dogs to find out about breeds. Also try quizzes online. Consider cost and time to walk and groom etc.

CMOTDibbler Mon 10-Oct-16 12:51:43

A whippety lurcher would be perfect. Very sociable, but not on the go all the time.
My two (one greyhoundy one whippety) came from EGLR who are happy to rehome to families if the dog will be happy, and they often have puppies

Lordofmyflies Mon 10-Oct-16 17:20:04

What about a Boston Terrier? they are actually utility dogs and don't have many terrier traits. They don't shed, don't smell and are excellent with children-in fact they are often used as therapy dogs in the USA. Ours adores the kids and is a real snuggler.

user1476027851 Mon 10-Oct-16 20:13:19

At the end of last month vets were asking prospective buyers not to buy "squashed nose" dogs, because of health problems

I've tried every questionnaire I could find and they always have something which doesn't agree with my needs. Surely - small dog, kid-friendly, low energy isn't that uncommon????

PikachuSayBoo Mon 10-Oct-16 20:18:02

King Charles cavaliers have the worst health problems and I say that as someone with a KCC cross. You must make sure the parents are extensively health tested if you get one.

PikachuSayBoo Mon 10-Oct-16 20:20:09

Mine is a cavachon btw. Small, friendly, low energy, good with kids. Grooming is the only downside but I clip her myself and keep her short.

Wolfiefan Mon 10-Oct-16 20:21:24

Pikachu I may be completely wrong (probably am) but I thought they couldn't guarantee health testing would make a difference. Hence they can't breed out the issues. sad

Restorativepowersoftea Mon 10-Oct-16 20:25:43

We had a Shetland sheepdog with a great temperament- sweet and gentle with children. He lived until he was 16 and was an all-round lovely family doggy smile

Ylvamoon Mon 10-Oct-16 20:39:48


You can do DNA tests for certain conditions.

The results can be:

affected- dog will most likely develop the condition. Don't breed this dog.
Carrier- dog has the one copy of the gene, won't develop the condition. Can pass the gene on to offspring. This dog should only be mated with a dog that is clear of the faulty gene.
Clear - dog hasn't a copy of the gene.

On this note, cross breed or pedigree, if you have 2 dogs with the same faulty gene, 50% of the puppies are in danger of developing the condition during their lifetime.
This is the reason why it is so important to pay the higher price for health tested dogs. (But be aware, some traits like colour or types of coat also come from faulty genes, and your dog may still have health problems... it's a mine field!)

BagelGoesWalking Mon 10-Oct-16 23:02:16

Greyhound (very low energy but not small)

mycatstares Mon 10-Oct-16 23:07:47

I second mini schnauzer. My nan has one and its brilliant with dd(4). Very loving dogs and a easy to control size too.

PikachuSayBoo Mon 10-Oct-16 23:17:47


You can't dna test for mitral valve disease or syringomiela (sp). Though I think if the parents aren't affected by mitral valve disease it's less likely that puppies will. But 50% of Cavs will have MVD by 5yo.

But other eye problems can be dna tested for. Also hip dysplasia which affects 1 in 4, so parents hop scores. They can be prone to patella problems.

Curly coat syndrome can be dna tested for as can episodic falling syndrome.

Scuttlebutter Mon 10-Oct-16 23:39:19

I would consider attending Discover Dogs which is on in a couple of weeks. Most breeds are represented there - you and your DC can go along, meet lots of dogs, ask questions about individual breeds. For many breeds there will be information about breeders and for breed rescue. It's designed to be a family friendly, informative event exactly for people in your situation.

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