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Best breed for OAP?(46 Posts)
My mother (70) has recently had to have her golden retriever put to sleep.She is devistated she is a widow so the dog and cat are very important company for her.
She is considering getting a new dog but as she is now older is unsure what breed. She is a lifetime Labrador and retriever owner so likes the big soppy dogs but feels a large dog is too much at her age.
So what are good smaller breeds?
Must be good with cats and small children
She doesn’t Like terriers or small snappy dogs
Spaniels are probably too lively although she does like cocker spaniels
Does a breed like a smaller labrador exist?
She is watching rescue centres but most of the dogs have issues and as it must be safe with children she is reluctant to take any risks. She has always trained her dogs to perfection from puppy’s so a badly behaved older dog will be a massive no for her.
Any good suggestions? I think as a family we can’t see past the lab/ retriever types.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are not popular on here, but get a good one (from a good breeder) and they are wonderful dogs for older people. Placid, kind, happy to go for a walk but also happy to snooze all day, loving and just a delight to have around.
Is she wanting a smaller dog for ease? As greyhounds make great pets for older folk!
Our NDN has a westie who is very placid, sedate etc
Nova Scotia Duck Toller Retrievers are about the same size as a Cocker Spaniel but they are very much in the Retriever family.
I have Shi tzus. They're like cats! Don't need a lot of exercise (I'm disabled, so that works for me!) They will go out for a long walk though if someone wants to take them. They have lovely personalities, don't bark much, even when they do, it's not a horrid yappy noise. They're funny, great company, don't moult (bonus! Although I have to get them a haircut every ten weeks or so). I think they're perfect. I used to have labradors and love their easy going nature. But I can't give them the exercise they need. My two are rescued too. Good luck with whatever she decides.
Your lovely dm needs one of these imo...
Another vote for a greyhound, MIL has one, he's lazy, affectionate, low maintenance and very gentle. Doesn't need much exercise either.
One of my favourite things about Mumsnet is when someone posts they want a low maintenance, lazy as fuck dog the greyhound owners all come on and pimp them ))
Love the greyhound pics
Just to add, some ex-racers aren’t good with cats, but some are fine. Training can be tricky as they aren’t the cleverest, but their gentleness more than makes up for it imo
My lovely girls are Lurchers, so a bit smaller. Their beds were purchased for dcats - who haven't even set a paw in one as yet!!
Another option as opposed to a rescue centre is a specific breed rescue. We used to have a German pointer that came from fheir foster care. He was 5, had been trained as w gun dog but had to have a pin in his leg so no good for hunting. He had him for 10 years, was past puppy stage, trained and w wonderful dog.
Greyhound, whippet, minature poodle (shaved style haircut is not necessary). Has she looked at specific lab/retriever rescues that may have a well-behaved older dog?
Wonderful as greyhounds are, they don't exactly fit the OP's criterion of wanting a smaller breed!
I'd second the King Charles Cavalier - very trainable and bred to be companions rather than to work. As a breed they are riddled with disastrous health problems though, so you have to do a lot of homework and be prepared to wait for a puppy from a top breeder.
Greyhounds can be tricky off the lead but such gentle dogs. You don't hear of them getting into fights with other dogs and as others have said a Cavalier (it was our first dog) providing you carefully choose the breeder is a great choice. Ours lived until 10 nearly 15 years ago and the health problems were rife so he had a good innings!
Go and see what the local rescues have, why wouldn’t you try that first?
Lots of older people have to relinquish their dogs when they become unwell or have to go in to a home.
So tired of the crap about all rescues having issues and not being good with children. It’s not true.
My old lady dog is going to be a Pomeranian, I just like the look of their little foxy faces.
My Cavalier lived to 14, as did my mums, they are great dogs if you get one that has been properly bred. A breed rescue is also an idea, my mum now has a King Charles Spaniel (not Cav) that couldn't cope with the pressure of showing and he is a perfect OAP dog .
What about a Bichon or Maltichon.
Check out Dogs Trust.
A greyhound isn’t ideal if she wants to keep active though - they don’t call them the 20MPH couch potato for nothing!
Cavalier only if she can find a healthy bloodline (and if she does, can she buy me a lottery ticket?).
“She has always trained her dogs to perfection from puppy’s so a badly behaved older dog will be a massive no for her.”
I find older dogs easier to train tbh, not proper serious behavioural issues obviously, but just nice enough dog with no commands are a doddle because you’re starting at a better point than with a puppy in that they know you want them to do stuff and because you’re not waiting on them maturing.
Obviously as already mentioned, tollers are smaller retrievers.
But it might be worth having a think about what traits it is she does like and what’s her thinking behind large being an issue.
It’d be easier to suggest breeds the more info you give.
Shitzu or Lhasa would be ideal, so soppy and loving and will walk any distance you want.
She is concerned about getting a large dog as the risk of being pulled over and not being strong enough to control it may increase as she gets older. Any dog can get spooked and run. Also if the dog was ill or injured she would want to be able to help it herself if needed.
She likes soft mouthed gentle quiet dogs that can give a proper hug ones that can be trusted if prodded by a toddler.
She wants to keep active so at least a decent walk each day is needed from the dog, she has a good sized garden and the dog must be good company for her.
The dog must also be able to be left for max 4 hours so she can go out. Obviously she knows about training etc she is a very experienced lab/ retriever owner.
She is keen to avoid breeds with health issues as she has just lost a 6 year old to a horrible cancer and is devistated and really can’t deal with grief again soon. (Her DH ( my Dad) also died of cancer so it’s a bit of an issue at the moment)
Must be good with cats. The cat is the house boss!
We discussed whippets, her concern was they run very fast, is that an issue? I’m sure most humans can’t keep up with them? Are they ok with cats? I assume they come back after a good run? I need more info on them when they are walked.
Dautchounds? Do they bark a lot? Again more info needed
Cavaliers the concern is they really do have health issues, see above.
Rescue dogs, she is looking in this area but most say not suitable with cats and for older children at present. The cat is a rescue cat btw my DM has always been a very responsible dog owner and is not prepared to take any risks around her grandchildren with an unknown dog. Please don’t judge people for being picky about an animal which will live in the home with them. She is hoping a lab or similar trained and family friendly that has lost an owner comes up but it’s not likely.
She has always trained from puppy so she is unsure about managing an older dog that needs training.
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