Tell me about puppies

(49 Posts)
numberonehundred Sun 09-Dec-18 21:55:36

So, we lost our dog a few months ago. And he was a puppy 10 years ago. And being my first dog I did everything wrong and have forgotten the basics.
He whined so much he ended up sleeping in my bed for 10 years, and didn’t toilet train for ages as I used puppy pads for so long.
So I need advice.
We were looking for a Springer or pointer. And we’ve seen advertised some springer x pointers. Main reasons for these breeds - we know a few, we need child friendly, other dog friendly (for when we use home boarding), short hair and medium size dogs.
We’ve not contacted the owners yet, but I need advice re this.
Puppies are £400 and mum and dad are both living there and can be seen.
What questions should I be asking?
Before anyone asks about rescue dogs, we have 2 young children so none of our local rescues will consider us.
We’ve also decided on puppy as with tiny children I think I feel more comfortable knowing their background.
For info, old dog was a rescue and 6 months old when we got him. We were child free at the time and he was an amazing dog. But on this occasion we’ve decided on puppy.
So night times, would I need to get up in the night with puppy for toilet? How many times etc?
Is it best to crate train?
I have 3 weeks off over Xmas and only work 12 hours a week so home most of the time after this.
Where do puppies usually sleep?
I’ve heard Xmas is a bad time to get a puppy, but it’s the only time I’m going to have a few solid weeks at home.
What else do I need to know?

OP’s posts: |
Whoseranium Mon 10-Dec-18 00:44:18

The FB group Dog Training Advice and Support has an excellent collection of guides/articles which covers almost every aspect of raising a puppy: Congratulations on Your New Puppy.

What questions should I be asking?

This list is a pretty good one, the breeder should be happy to answer any and all questions you might have. The breeder should also have plenty of questions for you. It's worth reading this article. It's aimed at breeders but will give you an idea of the sorts of things breeders should be asking people who are interested in their pups. Expect to be grilled and be extremely wary of anyone who is happy for you to have a pup without asking you a single question as long as you have the money.

Health test wise you want a minimum of a current clear BVA eye test (i.e. done within the last 12 months) for both parents and a decent hip score for at least the pointer parent but preferably both. I'm presuming by 'pointer' you mean German Shorthaired Pointer as they're the most common but the health tests would be the same whatever type of point is involved. This is a good little guide to hip scores, although it's about labs most of the information is relevant whatever the breed. The only difference is the breed mean score will vary between breeds; for springers it's 12 and GSPs it's 9.

How much exercise and mental stimulation would you be able to give every day? Such a cross is going to be very high energy and will need plenty of both.

Girlintheframe Mon 10-Dec-18 05:46:17

Yes you need to get up in the night with pup. This is the quickest way to toilet train. Everyone does it differently but we had pup in a crate next to the bed and got up when we heard him stir. To begin with this was twice a night. We were lucky and he slept all night very quickly (2 weeks) but this will depend on the dog and the breed.

Our pup sleeps in a crate overnight. He did it from day 1 and settled very quickly. I wanted him crate trained so I knew he had somewhere I could leave him and he would be safe.

We had a springier many years ago and as much as we loved her she was very hard work. She required lots and lots of exercise and when she got a scent had virtually no recall. The kids loved her and she was great with them but with hindsight she was not the best breed to get with our busy household

Booboostwo Mon 10-Dec-18 06:19:33

This is too rushed. You need to take time to get to know the breed you want and find the right breeder. Decent breeders have waiting lists and won’t sell puppies at Christmas. Christmas is a bad time to get a puppy because everything is unsettled and the puppy will get over stimulated. You will then have to do all the toilet training over winter which is tough.

In general, a crate can be very useful but it takes a couple of weeks to crate train. Puppies can learn to sleep alone but you may need to spend a few weeks sleeping next to the puppy. Take out to toilet when puppy wakes up, after food drink, at least once an hour and some puppies manage five hours at night but like babies it depends on individuals.

Be prepared for your young DCs to dislike the puppy who will jump up at them, knock them over, nip them and chew their toys.

numberonehundred Mon 10-Dec-18 06:56:12

I’m just torn between waiting until next summer and perhaps have a week off work as that’s all I can get, or doing the new puppy over Xmas thing.
Puppies are 8 weeks old but being crosses/Mongrels they haven’t had hip/eye tests as far as I know.
Our old dog was a high energy cross with collie in him and he didn’t have hip/eye scores when we got him.
I’m so so torn.
Both breeds in these cross breeds seem great for us. We are experienced with high energy/stubborn dogs.
But can’t work out if this is a bad idea over Xmas.

OP’s posts: |
Girlintheframe Mon 10-Dec-18 07:02:58

I personally chose not to get our pup over winter purely because of toilet training. Standing outside umpteen times a day/night in the cold/wet/frost/snow was not something I wanted.
Christmas is also a very busy time of year with lots going on and tbh I don’t think we could have given pup our full attention we so many other things going on.

Wolfiefan Mon 10-Dec-18 07:14:52

Walk away. This is a backyard breeder putting together two dogs without health tests and without any good reason to except making some cash just before Christmas.
You need to wait.
Choose a breed. An actual breed if you don’t want a rescue. Research that breed. Contact the breed association for details of reputable breeders. Get on a list.

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Booboostwo Mon 10-Dec-18 07:24:46

As above. I don’t get why you would choose this breeder and pay him money for not having done health screening !

By the way I have both pedigree dogs Andy rescue dogs. I expect my pedigree dogs to come with health screening for everything affecting the breed for both parents, from good temperament parents, responsible breeders, etc., otherwise I get a rescue dog for free.

numberonehundred Mon 10-Dec-18 07:29:16

I did wonder re the mixed breed.
Apparently “sprointer” is a legitimate breed.
Usually 2 working dogs bred together to get another working dog.
The only other thing that put me off is that in 1 photo you can see half the back end of a totally different breed of dog in their house along with all of the others.
I 100% don’t want to support a back yard breeder so I’ll investigate some more.
Tricky as I’m not fussed about a full breed pedigree, and don’t want to pay £1000 for a designer pedigree dog.
I’m happy with a healthy, scruffy mongrel pup.
But then registered breeders who do all the health checks don’t seem to breed scruffy mongrels.

OP’s posts: |
FlashByReputation Mon 10-Dec-18 07:31:30

I would say summer if preferable (my puppy came home in a November) and as others said, hanging around in pouring rain is grim.

If you inclined to shortcut taking it might be tempting to just put down pads but this is a terrible idea long term. I would say you need to focus so much on the puppy, particularly in the early months. Learn their 'looking like I need a wee' face and respond EVERY TIME. Making sure they don't eat something mad or fall down the stairs etc. It's hard going.

Also spaniels need huge amounts of stimulation. You shouldn't over exercise a pup so you can't rely on walking to wear them out, you need to be doing an hour of play and multiple short bursts of training in the day to tire them out. I have a cocker spaniel who is a dream and always has been. Partly that's just her nature but I sometimes forget how much bloody hard work I put in in those crucial months.

Pointers are beautiful but very needy dogs. We considered one but decided against it for that reason. Also do not stop training. Your job is not done when they start weeing where you want them to! Every week for 18 months we went to classes (essential for socialisation, obedience, and support!) and we still go every few weeks now she's over two.

Also you need to commit to the walks and recall. Pointers and spaniels will need roughly an hour in the morning and a hour in the evening once fully grown, and usually a midday wee break / short walk. Also there are no days off so if you ever want a lie in get your family into the dog walking routine too! They need off lead walking to stay fit and happy so unless you plan to spend your evening in a field crying at the sight of your rapidly disappearing dog you need to spend A LOT of time recall trying with these breeds.

Crates are great when used properly (read up on dos and don'ts) ours loves hers and retreats to it if she gets fed up of friends grabby toddlers when visiting people.

Sleep with your dog in the same room at first until they are confident in your home. Ours sleeps in her own bed in our bedroom but my previous family dogs have slept in the kitchen.

Keep a routine, keep them active and stimulated, get them well socialised early on and accept that there are no days off! But they are worth it so just mentally prepare yourself and enjoy!

numberonehundred Mon 10-Dec-18 07:31:45

I am being super weary re breeds this time too as our old pup, amazing as he was was a breed notorious for not liking other dogs.
We then struggled getting dog sitters, being able to use home boarding, doggy daycare, letting him off lead, so we ended up hiring a private field which cost a fortune.
Dog friendly and kid friendly are my biggest requirements over designer/pedigree/recognised breed etc.

OP’s posts: |
Alfie190 Mon 10-Dec-18 07:37:41

I got one of my dogs in July and the other (different year) in October.

It was much easier training the July pup as yes you need to go out a few times in the night with them. We set alarm clocks and took it in turns.

FlashByReputation Mon 10-Dec-18 07:43:32

Also ours slept in her crate from day one. Now she occasionally slopes off into it but it's mostly used for the car and when staying over somewhere. And get a soft crate! We didn't get on with the metal ones at all! And if you do get a metal ones get something to drape over it to make a cosy little cave, the material ones have this already and our much prefered the soft crate (and they are lightweight which helps! ) We just used ours for sleeping and when we couldn't watch her for short periods of time which is a life saver in the early months.

Adorelabradors Mon 10-Dec-18 07:43:46

I have show labradors. They are a delight. They are good with children and just love anybody who comes into the house. They can be boisterous but temperament wise they are brilliant. They need lots of exercise. They were crate trained. I got them at 8 weeks from reputable breeders. They slept in crate from day one in another room. This was all night from midnight to 6 am on first night and slowly extended. Never an accident in the crate. Crate under the stairs. Oldest dog chose not to go back into it so he hasn’t had crate since 6 months. Very quick to toilet train but was very vigilant and let them out every time I saw a sign or if not every 20 minutes etc etc. Reason I chose to crate train was because the breeders recommended them. I would always crate train. In crate all night but apart from that only when necessary - new pups when nobody able to supervise and only for short period of time

MadeleineFenner Mon 10-Dec-18 07:46:44

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

numberonehundred Mon 10-Dec-18 07:53:12

We’ve got a big baby play pen so I was thinking crate at night and playpen downstairs when dog needs to be unsupervised for 10 mins or so.
Downstairs all hard floors so will just whip rugs up for a while?

OP’s posts: |
anniehm Mon 10-Dec-18 07:55:36

Get a puppy training book first of all and also a child level book for dc's. My tips:

1. Work out where puppy will sleep and remain in the house when you aren't home. Ideally a tiled or other washable surface and contained. Decide if you will crate your dog and check size you need for an adult dog. We left our ddog in his designated bedroom at 11pm on the first night and came down at 6am (he was fine, start as you mean to go on) provide water and a puppy pad/newspaper in the area.

2. Decide on training lessons, they vary a lot, first place we went to was a disaster. Do let dpuppy off their lead asap as they will come back to you easily at 10 weeks, early recall is essential.

Consistency is key, both adults must use the same commands and approach.

Despite doing everything perfectly some don't toilet train as well as others, we actually felt our ddog was late at getting this, but as everything else was quick I'm not bothered. I know not everyone has a utility room or tiled entrance hall but this has really worked as he retreats there if things get noisy and dnephew knows he mustn't disturb ddog there (my kids are now much older). By day 3 he put himself to bed about 9pm and slept until morning no accidents, they don't need to come upstairs. Still loves his bed.

FlashByReputation Mon 10-Dec-18 07:56:24

I would second labradors as child friendly. For family walks they stick fairly close when trained, spaniels are more wide ranging. Pointers are high maintenance emotionally and anecdotally but all three breeds should be good with children. Pointers tend to bond strongly with one of the family but labs and spaniels are generally everyone's best mate. Crosses are lovely but just be careful. My worst nightmare is a sprolly! All the insane intelligence and intensity of a collie with the unbridled enthusiasm of insanity of a spaniel! My partner wants to get one but I said only when he's retired and has nothing better to do!

numberonehundred Mon 10-Dec-18 07:57:50

Also male or female?
Previously had male.
Are females more/less friendly etc?

OP’s posts: |
Wolfiefan Mon 10-Dec-18 08:00:12

You have a choice. Pay for pedigree or rescue. Some rescues have puppies. Or they foster so you know what the dogs are really like.
Few cross breeds are really carefully selected and health tested parents. Guide dogs do this!
Cross breeds can be healthier than poorly bred pedigrees. But they can also inherit the health issues and worst traits of both breeds.

anniehm Mon 10-Dec-18 08:00:57

Ps we don't use a crate, small room is a good alternative for bigger dogs. We have a border collie very easy to train and adores dnephew (3), however not for people who don't have time to train and exercise their brains.

FlashByReputation Mon 10-Dec-18 08:03:02

Don't plan for accidents. Remove rugs yes as they may get nibbled during teething but don't bother with the mats, watch them like a hawk and let them out every twenty minutes. Ideally you don't want them to ever go indoors because they will probably skip / miss any mats anyway. Dogs won't soil their crate if they can help it anyway but don't bank on this. If they end up going in their crate they are more likely to do so again so avoid it getting to that point. Plus it's easier to mop a floor then wash their bedding.

FlashByReputation Mon 10-Dec-18 08:05:53

I would say girls are slightly easier to train, but it's only a slight difference. Also not stopping for constant leg cocking on lead walks in nice! But I wouldn't say there is a huge difference.

Wallywobbles Mon 10-Dec-18 08:30:37

I got 2 puppies when my kids were 3&4. It was a huge mistake as I just didn't have the time to do the training. I had an older dog who was impeccable and he did his best but I'd never do young kids and puppies again. My fault entirely. But I've had 10 years to regret it now.

Wallywobbles Mon 10-Dec-18 08:32:28

Oh and they're a cocker and a springer. And as PP have said the first year or so is the making of a dog. But you have to put time in daily.

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