First time owner

(20 Posts)
paw1977 Wed 02-Jan-19 17:32:31


We are thinking of getting a dog this year or possibly next .

At the moment I'm doing research into which breeds would be best for our family .

My husband works full time, kids are at school, I work two days a week. To cover those days I would send the dog to doggy day care . My husband and i around during the school holidays so I would ideally get a dog in the summer .

I would like a medium sized dog , friendly around kids , and easyish to train . Does anyone have a cockerpoos ? Iv never been around one just read quite a bit on the internet .

Also I would prefer to go with a breeder . Where do I find a good breeder ? I want to avoid puppy farms . Also what questions do I need to ask when enquiring about puppy's .

Then there's the equipment and costs , what things do I need to take into account . These are the things I have already thought about, but what else.

Doggy Day Care
Flea/worming treatments
Insurance - Any recommendations?
crate and toys
Grooming costs
Puppy classes

Anything else I need to take into account

OP’s posts: |
AvocadosBeforeMortgages Wed 02-Jan-19 17:54:59

Cockerpoos are, unfortunately, almost exclusively bred by puppy farmers and irresponsible backyard breeders. They are not the calm dogs some would have you believe - cockers are nuts and poodles can be very active too so they do need lots of exercise. Cockapoos are also disliked by groomers as they so often come in matted. They're also not exactly devoid of behaviour problems either - one local well respected behaviourist posted that the most common breed/type she'd seen in 2018 was the cockapoo, especially apricot cockapoos. Partly a matter of numbers, but I believe there are some resource guarding issues emerging in some lines.

In terms of costs, you will also need to add in
- harnesses, several as the dog grows
- grooming kit, as well as professional grooming and clipping - they need regular home grooming too
- treats, in addition to the basic food
- dog coats
- biodegradable poo bags (we use Beco)
- a way to secure dog in the car - either a special seatbelt or crate in boot (it's a legal requirement to secure your dog)
- replacements for some of the above as they are chewed to smithereens or outgrown
- a healthy misc pot - for instance, wellies have a nasty habit of splitting when used frequently, better coat for you, headtorch, miscellany for the dog like food bowls and treat pouch, extra fuel and parking if you'll drive your dog to walkies, dog-related days out (eg I have been known to take DDog to a local dog show, and to the beach)

cojmum Wed 02-Jan-19 17:58:32

A Lurcher?

Our vets does a 'puppy plan' that includes all vaccinations, flea and worm treatment and nail clipping so that could be worth looking into.

We found it easier getting a puppy in summer as the back door was always open so he could go into the garden whenever he wanted and I would regularly take him out for a play and the toilet and just have a coffee outside. This made it so much easier to toilet train.

Good Luck with your search

paw1977 Wed 02-Jan-19 18:48:54

Thank you for replying, I have lots to think about.

OP’s posts: |
Wolfiefan Wed 02-Jan-19 18:59:27

Yep. Avoid poodle crosses.
You need to consider how much walking and grooming you’re prepared to do.
No puppies are good round kids. They mouthe aka bite. Training takes work. It won’t be a case of 6 puppy classes and all done. You need to reinforce training all the while and it takes months. Bright dogs also need a lot of stimulation or they amuse themselves. grin
Would you be able to get to Discover Dogs if you’re considering a pedigree?
Really good breeders won’t have dogs available very often. They won’t keep lots of bitches. And bitches shouldn’t have lots of litters over their lifetime. The breeders may have waiting lists. You can’t necessarily bet on getting a dog in a certain month.
If you want a rescue you would need to wait until you’re matched.
For insurance you want lifetime cover. Also check who your vet will claim direct from or you have to pay and try and recover costs. An ear issue cost over £800 last year for our dog.
Also would you neuter/spay? Not all daycare will take them if they’re not and you can’t neuter pups.

SirVixofVixHall Wed 02-Jan-19 19:11:53

Puppies should not be left alone for very long, so as you only have the Summer holidays (day care is really not good for puppies, while you are still bonding and training, unless it is only occasionally) i would think of getting an older dog from rescue. As you are happy to have a crossbreed then rescue would also be the obvious place for a puppy, if you had more time to devote to it).
Rule out Jack Russel terriers, Border collies, dashunds and highly strung dogs generally. How old are your children, and any that visit regularly ?
Be prepared that puppies are lovely but a HUGE amount of work.
If you want a good tempered dog, which likes children, and isn’t too prone to health issues, then a medium sized crossbreed or mongrel is the best bet, ruling out crosses with the breeds above. I would spend some time looking round rescues and telling them what you are looking for.
My current dog came from a breeder as i wanted a specific uncommon breed, but the dog I had as a teenager was from a rescue, she was seven months old when we got her, a mix of hound, terrier and collie, so her recall was always terrible but she was extremely good tempered and gentle, and lived to 17.

lorisparkle Wed 02-Jan-19 19:12:27

I wish I had done a lot more reading about what to do with a puppy before getting one - it is as much work as a new born baby and the things you do in the first few weeks are crucial. I was recommended the Facebook group ‘dog training advice and support’ and it has great files on many aspects of dog ownership.


paw1977 Wed 02-Jan-19 19:27:16

Thanks I'm taking all these notes down, I would love a rescue , my only concern would be that I have children that will be 7 and 8 and younger children visiting , so I really do need to know the background to any dogs that come to our family.

This is why I'm doing lots of research now, I'm only going to go ahead with this when the time is right for my family and me, as it's me that will be taking responsibility and ultimately it will be my dog.

I know that will be doing a lot of work with the puppy and training won't stop. The dog would never be left alone , as when it's a puppy my mum can look after it whilst I'm at work, for two day and when older enough (neututred and vaccinated ) can go to doggy daycare.We have already discussed it and she's more than happy to help, if we go away etc. Also the doggy day care to a service which they come twice a day to visit the puppy and clean up any accidents etc, but I think i would prefer my mum to help in the early days.

I'm going to be around 5 days and will make sure that no holidays/events are planned for foreseeable future as I realise this is big commitment . I just need to get my head around which breeds, I would like a medium sized breed, I live in Newcastle , and lucky enough to have access to some good walks and beaches.

OP’s posts: |
DogInATent Wed 02-Jan-19 19:33:55

Include a Boot & Coat budget, for whoever will be doing the routine, twice daily walks in all weathers. You need decent mid-range examples of both, covering all weathers. Think about where you'll be walking - wellies for woods and fields, decent walking shoes/boots for parks and paths. I can wear out a vibram sole in six months of park and path walking.

Have you thought about how the daily walks would fit into your schedule? - in summer and in winter, in term time and during the holidays.

Have you considered a rescue? - they're not for everyone, but there's some fantastic dogs (of all ages) available that desperately need good homes.

reallyanotherone Wed 02-Jan-19 19:38:37

I’m sure there are “breed matcher” quizzes on the internet somewhere. Won’t be anywhere near accurate, but input your lifestyle and it may give you some ideas to look into further, and some suggestions you may not have thought of.

But yes. No poos, doodles, morkies, shorkie, bishi or anything designer cross or hybrid name. Almost certainly will be puppy farmed or byb.

You can narrow it down reasonably by group. Do you want something that is on the go all day but will need fairly intensive training and exercise to keep it entertained? Spaniel, poodle etc. Something that will sleep all day except for 2x 30 mins sprint round the park- lurchers, greyhounds, whippets. In between? Labs and retrievers.

For general family dogs greyhounds etc are lovely but won’t stand for long walks. I personally like smaller terrier types- yorkies, westies, border and the like. Great companion dogs, long or short walks, and feisty little personalities. Dogs like papillons are also more dog than you think- danger is babying them, you have to treat them like dogs.

Wolfiefan Wed 02-Jan-19 19:38:46

You really sound like you’re planning it all so carefully. Brilliant!!
Some rescues don’t use kennels but rather fosterers. That means they can be honest about the dogs they have available and what they are really like with kids. Thinking of ELGR and Black Retriever x for example.
Many rescues also offer support after adoption. There’s also FB group dog training advice and support which is fab. Also worth seeking out ADPT trainers and reading before getting a dog.
Worth thinking about what dogs are bred for. I have a sighthound so I’m aware of her ability to chase! Terriers were bred for very different jobs. Think about what you can and can’t live with. I couldn’t cope with constant trips to a groomer or a barking dog.

Wolfiefan Wed 02-Jan-19 19:39:59

Oh and research health issues in the breed if you go for a pedigree. There will be health tests parents should have before breeding and may be tests pups should have before they go to their new home.

Greyhound22 Wed 02-Jan-19 19:46:52

Yes please don't have a designer cross especially with a 'poo' or 'doodle' in it for all the reasons given before.

I am biased and more experienced with sighthounds but whippets are lovely family pets as are lurchers. We have a greyhound. He's wonderful with my son, is very low maintenance- in his heyday (he's old now) he would do a decent walk but equally as happy with a plod around the block. Sleeps a lot and is very loving and loyal. Can be left up to 6 hours and has never damaged a thing in the house. They are not much good at being dogs though. Most won't fetch a ball etc.

How close to Crufts are you? It's on in March and there is a breeds section with basically every breed there you've ever imagined to meet and have a chat with experienced owners.

reallyanotherone Wed 02-Jan-19 19:51:02

If you can find breed shows too they’re always worth a trip. I came across a bulldog show in a leisure centre once (we’d gone swimming). Popped in for a look and every single show-er was up for a good long chat about their dogs, would get them out their cage so the kids could pet them. Nearly didn’t make it back out! Couldn’t walk past without being dragged over to meet the dogs..

paw1977 Wed 02-Jan-19 19:52:24

@DogInATent the walking schedule I have already thought about :

First toilet can be in the garden , walk the kids do school (5 min walk) back home to take the dog out for a long walk .

Second long walk can be when my husband gets home around 5.30 and then a final short walk before bed .

When old enough for doggy day care the dog will be picked up from my house at 7.30 and returned home by 5 , when I get home .

The same will apply for school holiday and whatever season . I only started driving last year so me and the kids walked everywhere so we are used to being out in all weathers, and I have decent boots and decent waterproof coat .

OP’s posts: |
gimmeadoughnut123 Wed 02-Jan-19 19:53:52

Re breeds - based on what you have said you want in a dog, I would recommend a Staffordshire Bull Terrier. Sadly it's their turn for bad press. In the past it is been the Doberman, The GSD, and the Rottweiler. But Kennel Club actually recommend them as family dogs due to their good nature with children. My boy is one of the only dogs that many family members will allow near their children.

There are lots in rescues and normally young ones too - our boy was a pup in a rescue. Medium sized, very trainable (I'm actually now a dog trainer, thanks to how passionate he made me about it), exercise requirements aren't too bad, very good tempered and easy maintenance dogs re grooming (the odd bath and a quick brush!).

Research different needs of different breeds, would be my biggest piece of advice. I know so many people that have got border collies and aren't prepared to walk them enough, or provide them with enough mental enrichment. It breaks my heart.
Small terrier types are (contrary to popular belief) very smart dogs, and will require mental stimulation (food puzzles are great). Lots of people don't realise this and baby them, which is why they can end up a bit snappy.

paw1977 Wed 02-Jan-19 20:01:02

Thank you everyone for replying , I have so much to think about and a lot of research , will stay away from the cross breeds .

Ultimately my goal is to have happy healthy dog ,I will also look at rescue's. Knowing that a dog is big responsibility and the need to do research is vital so probably won't end up for a dog for couple of years or until I finally am prepared and full knowledgeable on the breed that fits best for us .


OP’s posts: |
Wolfiefan Wed 02-Jan-19 20:48:21

Good luck OP. Great to hear of someone who wants to do the planning and preparation and not just buy the first cute puppy they find online.
I wish you all the best. Good luck.

Doggydoggydoggy Wed 02-Jan-19 20:58:50

What do you actually want from a dog?
You state medium size, good with kids and easyish to train.
But that’s not terribly helpful as there are hundreds of medium size dog breeds, no one would actively look for a dog bad with kids!
We all want a friendly one and easy train is somewhat dependant on your prowess rather than the dog?

So, what are you actually looking for?

Amount of shedding?
Prey drive level?
How much, if any natural guarding ability?
Activity level?
Are you wanting a lovebug type that is desperate to be everyone’s best friend or a more aloof one person dog that is polite but reserved?
Etc etc etc.

Then you can shortlist breeds that suit smile

cowfacemonkey Wed 02-Jan-19 21:24:15

Don’t dismiss rescue’s just yet our pup was 13 weeks when he came to us from a rescue. It took ALOT of scouring rescue websites and making enquiries but was worth the effort!
There is a huge number of cockapoo type crosses round here and quite a few have “ishoo’s”
Definitely be realistic about initial costs and ongoing monthly (about £350 per month for us including food/dog walker/flea&working treatment/treats/insurance)
Agree with the poster who said about budgeting for a good dog walking wardrobe for yourself have spent £150 on a decent coat and £80 on gloves this year as last year was miserably cold.

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