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We'd like a dog. Where do we start?

(129 Posts)
Goingtobeawesome Wed 13-Jul-16 19:52:38

It won't be for a good few months if not a year but I'd love to get advice and to make sure I get everything right.

He or she would be our first dog together though I lived with two as a teenager.

We have two cats and two Guinea pigs already. Plus some fish and a snailgrin.

They would be my dog ad I'd be home all day. Was dog or job!

We'd like a Labrador retriever.

We've considered the local rescue place as we have for our late Guinea pigs and current cat from them but DH is concerned about not knowing the full history so would the dog be safe with the children. They are 11-15.

Any advice? Thank you.

StacyB1 Wed 13-Jul-16 20:02:34

Hey! We have a cocker spaniel (not from a rescue) and she's great with my toddler. We didn't get her from a rescue as we had the same concerns. However I've since done some volunteering with a rescue and they normally state whether dogs are suitable with kids, they get quite a bit of background when they take them in and if they had concerns then they'd state them in the dogs bio. As your kids are quite old that will help too.

LizzieMacQueen Wed 13-Jul-16 20:05:46

There's a difference between working and show varieties so you might want to read up on that.

We also have a cocker spaniel, lovely animals but I'm not sure I'd want a guinea pig sharing the same space as a dog, any dog.

Have a look at the Kennel Club website for some useful breed information.

Studious Wed 13-Jul-16 20:12:47

Please don't write off rescues, they have lots of dogs that they know the full history of, the owner might have died or be taken ill. Lots have puppies too. Look in to some of the smaller independent ones, please, so many dogs waiting for a chance.

pippinandtog Wed 13-Jul-16 20:41:28

I agree with Studious, please consider a rescue dog.
Our beautiful collie cross came from Dogs Trust: you could search their website for labradors.
Many dogs are in rescue through no fault of their own, eg owners' changed circumstances, and rescue staff can give you a history, and advice regarding suitability for rehoming with children, about which they are extremely cautious, to ensure the best fit for both sides.

Goingtobeawesome Wed 13-Jul-16 20:47:28

I'd be happy with a rescue dog. It's DH that has the concerns but as a poster said, our kids are big now and there would be house rules.

The local rescue only has staffies at the moment except for one other that isn't a lab retriever but I'd have him though can't as they say adult only home.

We looked at the dogs trust and liked a couple but didn't do anything as we're not ready yet. I want to be fully prepared rather than go tomorrow and have a dog before August.

pippinandtog Wed 13-Jul-16 20:56:40

Dogs Trust have branches throughout the country, and the right dog would be worth travelling for.
You are sensible to wait until the time is right for you.
It's a big plus that you're home during the day.
How exciting: you have a lot to look forward to!

Studious Wed 13-Jul-16 21:06:54

This just came up on my news feed, there are lots of good independent rescues like this who properly asess and support afterwards.

WhoAteTheCookieDough Wed 13-Jul-16 21:17:41

If you look on the Kennel Club website & choose the getting a dog option on top left, there is then an shortcut on right for 'find a rescue dog', you can then choose the breed you are looking for & it lists the rescue/re-homing contacts for that breed. A lot of so called rescue dogs are not recues at all but re-homings due to owners circumstances. The co-ordinators make sure they properly assess all the dogs that they receive so they know the dogs personality, & that they are placed with the correct families.

dogloverxoxo Wed 13-Jul-16 21:20:19

Staffordshires make the best Pets ever please don't believe the Daily Fail ect! If I can't change your mind on that pls pls look at rescues 😢Xx

Wolfiefan Wed 13-Jul-16 21:20:41

To reassure your DH how about going to a rescue like black retriever x? They foster dogs rather than putting them in kennels. This means they can be honest about what sort of home would suit the dog and how it is with cats and kids.

WhoAteTheCookieDough Wed 13-Jul-16 21:50:31

Definitely correct Wolfiefan. I had to take the heart breaking decision to rehome my ddog after two lots of back surgery left me unable to give my ddog the life she deserved. I went through the breed specific rescue as I couldn't bear for her to go to kennels. They were brilliant! None go into kennels. The lady who collected her fostered my ddog in her own home with her four dogs, until they knew her & kept me updated & spent hours on the phone to me discussing the circumstances & me in tears, assuring me my ddog was being looked after as I would. I was also kept up to date with photos, so could see she was settled & happy. Luckily for me when my ddog was rehomed, the new family was happy to keep me updated. I was devastated at having to give up ddog, but when I see her enjoying herself on the beach with other dogs, I know she is having a fantastic life.
There are many other young puppies & dogs that come through their doors. So if you're looking for a specific breed please contact the relative rescue group. They also give you life time support for your rescue dog.

Wolfiefan Wed 13-Jul-16 22:19:12

Cookie I'm so sorry you had to rehome your dog but glad that she is happy. Hoping you are recovering/recovered. Back surgery is brutal.

WhoAteTheCookieDough Wed 13-Jul-16 23:48:10

Thank you Wolfiefan.

Going - apologies if I have detracted from your OP. Was also trying to reassure yout DH that not all rescue dogs come with no history, or have had problems in the past. Some are just re-homings through circumstance.

ErrolTheDragon Wed 13-Jul-16 23:58:23

An adult dog can be more of a known quantity than a pup.

Goingtobeawesome Thu 14-Jul-16 06:51:29

Thank you all. It's all very helpful and nice that no one says it's a stupid idea given we've never had a dog 🐶.

WATCD - no worries. It's real life experiences we need.

Lots to do and think about!

Wyldfyre Thu 14-Jul-16 09:01:41

If you are looking for a lab, try a breed specific rescue (IE Labradors in need, or a gundog rescue if there's one near you).

As a PP has said there is a difference between working and show types (though not quite as marked as in spaniels, but definitely there).

Two things - use as high a quality food as you can afford. Cheap stuff can cause intolerances and behaviour problems. Also be very careful not to over feed a lab. I have a working type so she is very athletic looking - people think she is a cross breed because so many labs are overweight that people think that is the norm.

Goingtobeawesome Thu 14-Jul-16 12:19:47

Thank you.

I'm confused by working and show. I just wanted a pet blush.

hennipenni Thu 14-Jul-16 13:48:06

If you do go with a Labrador please, please make sure you take out good insurance cover, We have a working lab who came from a rescue- it turns out she has hip dysplacia in both hips, in one elbow and has "loose" wrists. Because of this she has to be kept very, very lean and has to attend hydrotherapy and has and will amass huge vets bills. Fortunately we have a comprehensive insurance policy that will cover the bills for her life time.

Goingtobeawesome Thu 14-Jul-16 13:49:31

We'd definitely get insurance. We always have for our cats and I assume dogs can be more pricy.

MidLifeCrisis007 Thu 14-Jul-16 14:44:19

This guy might tick your boxes!

Wyldfyre Thu 14-Jul-16 15:01:19

Awesome "working" and "show" are just genetics really. Workers tend to have a more athletic shape and are a bit more wired/driven (a lot more in he case of spaniels), though I find the drive makes them easier to train. Both are suitable for pets.
The biggest clue as to which you have will be the pedigree. Lots of names preceded by FTCh or FTW is working line.

Mine is a working line lab. She has more of a tuck (a dip behind the chest) than shows tend to have, and longer legs.

GinIsIn Thu 14-Jul-16 15:05:36

You can't tell what the temperament of a dog you pay for as opposed to rescue will end up being like either.....

hennipenni Thu 14-Jul-16 15:16:53

Our working type lab with our show cocker spaniel

Wyldfyre Thu 14-Jul-16 15:21:59

Lovely looking lab Henni. Always nice to see one that isn't a total barrel.

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