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First dog

(22 Posts)
angelinwellies Mon 12-Feb-18 09:53:44

Hi our beloved cat died on Friday. We have two children of 7&5 and feel this is the right time to choose a dog instead. We may later get a cat but right now I don’t think I can face another but need to fill this dreadful hole in our house.

I’d like a small to medium. I’d like something playful. I’d like something solid and strong. That’s not to say something like a shi tzu wouldn’t be appropriate as I have a lot of experience with them through family I’m just wondering about the grooming.

I’m guessing a terrier of some sort. Or a jack Russell? I’d like something to get muddy and have adventures with. It needs to be robust.

In my head I’m thinking 3 walks a day. I’m part time at home so I think this works. And I’d probably stick with petplan insurance.

If u have an experience or a breed to recommend I’d be interested. I’m in the researching phase.

I really need to keep busy as I’m so damn sad after our 12yr old cat. The house is full of ghosts. I’m not rushing. I don’t intend to have until after Easter holidays at very earliest. Maybe longer depending on any holidays as I don’t want to get them go away for two weeks!

Thoughts gratefully received.

OP’s posts: |
Snowydaysarehere Mon 12-Feb-18 09:58:32

Op I strongly suggest one of these! Fantastic with my dc and dcats (thinking ahead for you!) don't need much grooming, don't take up much space and don't needs loads of exercise tbh! Love a good run then wall to heel perfectly!

loopylou1984 Mon 12-Feb-18 10:04:47

Vote for lurchers here! Ours is so gentle with my two dc. And don't need masses of exercise, but enjoy a long walk when they get one (then crash and snooze for the rest of the afternoon!)

FairfaxAikman Mon 12-Feb-18 10:14:34

I currently have working type labs - best dogs ever.

Very easy to train, and as long as you don't mind shedding everywhere quite easy to groom (furminator once or twice a week, hose down if muddy).
Happy to curl up - providing they have had a good walk first.
Working types come at different "drive" levels so unless you work them avoid a high drive bloodline.

Failing that border terrier. Also don't rule out a dog like a Bichon - you don't have to have the cloud cut and they are great wee dog's who love getting into trouble!

bunnygeek Mon 12-Feb-18 10:50:29

Don't rule out a good old Staffy. They may have a bit of stigma attached but they can be absolutely amazing family dogs.

Lurchers are amazing, but can completely vary on activity levels depending on their mix as they can have a range of breeds made up into the Lurcher body, including containing a high energy intelligent breed like a Collie, or "bull lurchers" with Staffy or other bully breeds mixed in are becoming more common too. If you go that route, there are tons and TONS in rescue, rescues WILL rehome to young families as long as they have dogs suitable.

Jack Russells are small in stature but think they're big dogs. They are high energy and need good training to avoid being nippy. They're in the top 5 of dog breeds to end up in rescue. Personally I think they're better suited to older kids/adult households. There's always exceptions to that rule of course, but all the ones I've met have preferred to be "one person" dogs.

Hoppinggreen Mon 12-Feb-18 13:59:30

Terriers might not be the best option for a first time dog owner
I have a Golden Retriever and they are generally great family dogs but also very muddy and hairy. Also quite large and strong
Very playful though and once they’ve had a good walk they are pretty chilled- plus my dog is the most handsomest dog in the world !

AvocadosBeforeMortgages Mon 12-Feb-18 14:06:17

I've got a 20 month old rescue JRT x dachshund.

He's robust, full of energy and always ready for an adventure (or in the words of the vet who had to inject him, "not short of self confidence")

However, I wouldn't recommend him as either a first dog, or a dog for a household with children because
- Although I grew up with dogs I've been on a very steep learning curve with him - he's not the easiest dog to train, and I think he'll always be a work in progress.
- If he doesn't get walked to exhaustion daily his behaviour deteriorates rapidly and before you know where you are he's nipping your ankles. With young children, I would struggle to supply that much exercise unless I could pay for a 2 hour a day dog walker (£20/day locally)
- He's prone to reactivity towards certain triggers e.g. If he sees a motorbike he'll lunge, bark and snap. If your hand gets in the way, you'll get bitten because he just doesn't realise what he's doing. He's drawn blood once or twice, though he didn't mean to.
- If he doesn't like something you're doing, he will mouth you (not bite) which a child may not cope with

JRTs seem to be disproportionately found in rescue centres; to be honest I have a pretty good idea of why as, given an inch they'll take a mile and run rings around an inexperienced owner

angelinwellies Mon 12-Feb-18 14:46:56

Food for thought here. Thank u. I’ll come back in a bit as bound to have questions!

Thank u all so far xxxx

OP’s posts: |
WeAllHaveWings Mon 12-Feb-18 19:40:22

I'm a fan of gun dogs, so labs, vizla, poodles and also pointers.

We have a lab, retrievers are lovely dogs, I think the smallest retriever you can get is a Toller. I've never owned one so thoroughly look into their temperament, but I believe they are high energy so will love your 3 walks a day.

Easter is no time if you haven't even settled on a breed yet, if you go for a puppy expect to have to spend a lot of time at home settling in, toilet training, training and building up how long you can leave them for. The same for rescue, it can take months to find the right dog and again they will need training and a long settling in period before you can leave alone without them being distressed.

Dog ownership is a lot more work than cats, make sure you know what you are letting yourself in for. I found getting our lab puppy much harder the first year than ds as a newborn!

2pups Mon 12-Feb-18 19:46:33

We have a Frenchton (Boston x French Bulldog) lovely size and a real sweetie - very people orientated. Can walk miles and very little grooming £ (unlike her equally lovely doodle brother).

Nesssie Tue 13-Feb-18 12:16:39

I wouldn't suggest a terrier as a first time dog.
And in my experience, as much as I love larger dogs, they do cause their own problems - smaller dogs are easier to confine/less exercise (generally).
Cavaliers are quite a nice, sweet dog. Do some research into the genetic problems some lines can have, but in general they will do as much/as little exercise as you give them, have a very sweet nature and are a good size.
Or a nice medium size mongrel is always a healthy choice.
Cockapoos/cavapoos are a very common now - good size, no shedding, playful, intelligent.

Nesssie Tue 13-Feb-18 12:17:50

Also, as above, dogs are a lot more work than cats! You cant leave a dog over the weekend, like a cat.

missbattenburg Tue 13-Feb-18 12:57:19

You pick your poison when you pick a breed. They all have endearing qualities and all have things that could drive someone mad if they had to live with it.

I have a springer (another gun dog fan here) because they are generally friendly, enthusiastic dogs who mix well with other people and animals and are normally quite quiet. However, they work with their mouths and so will chew anything of mine he can get his paws on (shoes, purses, phones). I can live with having to tidy anything valuable away or risk losing it. Because he is a show strain springer he is a bit calmer than working springers and so whilst he can and does need a fair bit of exercise (two hours a day) he is also able to flop down and sleep for a few hours.

By contrast, we have a JRT who is energetic and sharp witted but who reacts and bark at everything (noises in the house, the postman, the rubbish guys etc.). I love her dearly but would never get another one because the barking goes straight through me and makes me jump Every Single Time. After 12 years of using treats etc to try and counter condition her to noises, I cannot say it has got any better.

For someone else the barking would be a minor point as she shuts up quickly and the chewing would be something they could not live with.

In my experience, JRTs are not especially tolerant of children or people messing with their space and they MUST have a lot of stimulation, such as interactive walks otherwise they get cabin fever. Despite adoring the one we have, I can also understand why so many end up in rehoming centres. They are BIG dogs squeezed into very small bodies.

All that said, dogs are individuals and so you get exceptions to all breeds. There are noisy springers out there and so very chilled out JRTS.

angelinwellies Wed 14-Feb-18 11:45:19

Yes. This has all helped. We are still considering a puppy, but no longer a JR cross or pure.

Thank u to every single one of u. Especially all those who remind me it’s not a cat. As there is freedom with a cat like overnight stays that can’t be done with dogs. And this is something that comes up as our in laws are 2hrs from us. They may accept a dog. But at least I know to ask now!

Much food for thought

OP’s posts: |
Fatjilly Fri 16-Feb-18 21:16:36

You need a schnauzer! Big and robust enough for rough and tumble yet small enough for sofa snuggles. Will happily run all day or snooze all day...whatever you’re doing they’ll join in. Loving, clever and healthy. Also non-moulting. Plus schnauzer puppies are the cutest!

Fatjilly Fri 16-Feb-18 21:18:56

My perfect boy smile

Aurea Fri 16-Feb-18 21:27:54

A labradoodle? Great with kids, , very loving, comes in three sizes, very little barking and low shedding. In fact, the perfect dog.

Merrz Sat 17-Feb-18 19:23:38

I think a Border Terrier sounds like your ideal breed. They're the least terrier like terriers. Very hardy/robust little dogs without being too dinky, love good walks and children.

0123fluffyunicorn Sat 17-Feb-18 19:44:09

Was just jumping on here to suggest a border terrier - fab little dogs and certainly robust

Booboostwo Sat 17-Feb-18 20:15:24

Poodles are an excellent choice for a first dog. They come in a variety of sizes and they generally have trainable and friendly temperaments.

beadyboo Tue 20-Feb-18 21:13:17

We have a JRT x who knows?!? We got her from a rescue centre where she’d been picked up as a stray. She is amazing and I love her more than I ever thought possible!! She can run for miles, but after a good walk in the morning she prefers to spend most of the day curled up in a chair!
She’s a horrible thief and has snapped when I’ve tried to remove something from her that she wants but I’m not sure whether that’s her breed or the fact that she lived on the streets.
I’m sorry for the loss of your beloved cat and wish you lots of fun times ahead when you do get a new pet.

Ellapaella Thu 22-Feb-18 13:36:09

A lab! Labs are such good family dogs. Easy to train because they will do anything for a treat, they are so eager to please and are such kind, friendly and gentle dogs, not an aggressive bone in their bodies. They love children and are a great addition to a family who enjoy the outdoors.
Only downside is that they are lively, need plenty of exercise and can be a bit smelly. But those are small prices to pay for such a lovable breed.

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