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Advice regarding getting a dog

(27 Posts)
BearAusten Fri 25-Jan-19 11:54:26

This is going to be a long post. You have been warned. At the moment we are considering getting a dog (this 'consideration' will take probably months, if not a year). I have looked at the Kennel Club suggestions in regards to breeds, but it didn't answer all my doubts and questions. (We are looking for an established breed. I would be concerned about getting a rescue due unknown history.) Here goes..

1. We are looking for a small/medium breed (I remember our childhood dog was a heavy springer and the issues of getting him into the car when he was elderly and ill). Gentle, healthy and relatively easy to train would be ideal.

The only problem is they can be a little bit on the stubborn side.
Any other suggestions?

2. I have read on Doghouse to avoid the fashionable crossbreeds. Are cockerpoos always a mistake? How do you know about breeders - no governing body of breeders for Crossbreeds?

3. The only exception to the above in terms of rescue dogs are greyhounds. There are quite a few around where we live. Are there any expected issues with such dogs... How do you travel in a car with such a big dog?

4. Is crating for puppies this best option? (Safe place)

Sorry for so many questions. I am also going to use this thread to help remember some things which I have worried about.

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CMOTDibbler Fri 25-Jan-19 12:18:03

Get a greyhound - they really don't weigh that much, jump up in the car easily, and travel happily in the boot or on the backseat. I have rescue lurchers (and foster lurcher puppies) and they are utterly wonderful

BearAusten Fri 25-Jan-19 12:23:13

Thank you for responding. With the greyhound you have encountered or had, were they former racing? Would that not have caused them issues not being in a family setting early on?

Ruled out Bedlington - poor recall.

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DogInATent Fri 25-Jan-19 14:56:36

Staffy. I may be biased, but you know you want one really... :D

AutumnColours9 Fri 25-Jan-19 15:10:28

Border terrier

BearAusten Fri 25-Jan-19 16:49:58

I was reading somewhere that Bichon require 'daily pack walks' and firm rules to help them prevent 'small dog syndrome'. What are 'daily pack walks'?

Does anybody have any experience of Beagles and Wire haired Dachshunds? Do the latter always have a lot of health issues?

My husband wouldn't go for a Staffy.

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BearAusten Fri 25-Jan-19 16:52:48

Perhaps not a Beagle having just read the other thread. Don't care about listening to instructions.

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tinstar Fri 25-Jan-19 16:53:51

I would be concerned about getting a rescue due unknown history.

But you don't know the temperament of a puppy that you buy. Sometimes rescue centres can tell you a dog's background. Also some rescue dogs are placed in foster care with families so the rescue centre knows exactly what their temperament is.

peeblet Fri 25-Jan-19 16:54:43

I know several border terrier and all are gentle, healthy, quiet mannered but playful and v well behaved. not of course through the first puppy year as all dogs are insane through that.

BearAusten Fri 25-Jan-19 17:08:13

It wouldn't be just the temperament of the dog which would concern me Tinstar. It is me worrying about future health issues. That is the real reason I am unsure about larger dogs. We had a Springer when I was a child. He got stung by a Man of War and I remember he had a lot of health issues afterwards, thus trips to the vets. Carrying him, lifting him was a real problem. Moreover, I have looked at General rescue (Dog Trust etc.) websites and the majority of the types probably wouldn't fit us as a family.

I have looked at Greyhound charities and this breed does interest me. However, on the one hand they suggest they are calm breed but on the other (one charity) they seem to suggest potential behavourial issues through not having a stable home early on.

OP’s posts: |
BearAusten Fri 25-Jan-19 17:10:38

Peeblet my experience is the same. However, I gained the impression that as they were a terrier, they might not be the best to train, especially for an effectively first timer.

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BearAusten Fri 25-Jan-19 17:12:49

How do you find out if a breeder is Kennel Club registered? They seem to only show breeders with potentially available puppies.

OP’s posts: |
Myranium Fri 25-Jan-19 17:16:07

The biggest health issue with dachshunds is Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD) which they are very prone to as a result of being bred for extremely long backs and short legs. The average incidence across all the varieties is about 25% and though standard wires do have the lowest rates, about 10%, that's still much higher than "normal" breeds. You can reduce the risk of a dachshund being affected by finding a breeder who screens for it prior to breeding and aims to produce dogs with shorter backs/longer legs, along with managing the dog themselves to reduce the chances further. This site is well worth a look if you're considering a dachshund.

I'd suggest having a look at whippets. They're a nice size, very gentle and loving, need very little grooming, relatively undemanding exercise wise and are surprisingly trainable. Their only real downside is they can be very highly prey driven though generally this just means being sensible about when and where they're let off lead.

AutumnColours9 Fri 25-Jan-19 17:21:06

I think that's nonsense 're the pack walks for bichon. Not true for mine and the many more I know. Never heard if it before. They are very easy going.

BearAusten Fri 25-Jan-19 17:21:16

Thank you Myranium. Will have a look at a Whippet. They seem like a good alternative to the Greyhound.

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Myranium Fri 25-Jan-19 17:23:20

How do you find out if a breeder is Kennel Club registered?

It's the dogs themselves that are KC registered, not the breeder, and registration alone is not a good indicator of whether a breeder is decent or not.

There is the Assured Breeder Scheme which breeders can join voluntarily and is supposed to be a guarantee of a more responsible breeder however it's a lot better on paper than it is in practice.

Detoxpup Fri 25-Jan-19 17:25:26

Some greyhounds may not have the best recall

Triglesoffy Fri 25-Jan-19 17:26:48

I went to the vets today to see if they had a list of reputable local breeders and she referred me to the Kennel Club.

Wolfiefan Fri 25-Jan-19 17:29:14

Exciting times ahead. If you want an established breed (I would avoid designer crosses too) could you make it to Discover Dogs at Crufts?
When you do decide on a breed you need to go through the breed club. Be prepared to be told no by a particular breeder. Be prepared to be grilled! Be prepared to wait.
KC reg just means it’s a registered pedigree. Not that it isn’t a puppy farmed dog. Unfortunately the majority of pups sold in the U.K. are from disreputable sources.
Also find out what health tests the bitch and dog should have had before breeding and see the results. Worth knowing what breeds are prone to what issues.
Rescues do get puppies. And rescues that foster adult dogs can give you a realistic idea of what you’re taking on. A puppy may well come with its own baggage. Mine did.
Crating? Puppies chew. Everything. The house. You. Clothes. It’s a safe space but you can’t just shut them in for hours to start.
There’s a brilliant FB group dog training advice and support. Positive dog trainers who offer free advice and files on toilet training and bringing a puppy home etc.
A really good trainer. To train the people not the dog! Is a must.
And good on you for doing the research. So many people have a quick google and buy the first cute thing they see. Good luck.

AlpacaLypse Fri 25-Jan-19 17:53:09

The Assured Breeder scheme is not fit for purpose. There doesn't seem to be any serious policing, so any person who wishes to breed dogs for profit can apply to join the register and be pretty confident that no one will ever come round and inspect them, their premises or their dogs randomly.

Whippets are lovely dogs, not too heavy to lift when in later years they may need help in and out of the car.

Incidentally, these days a lot of owners of larger, older and less mobile dogs use a ramp so that their dog can walk up and down into the boot, so don't let that aspect put you off any particular breed.

Amongst the many many dogs I walk regularly there are a pair of greyhounds. One is not less than 12 and still happily bounds into the back of the car without help. The other is a youngish ex racer, although his owner lets him off lead when she's sure it's safe, she has requested that we don't let him go, as he was trained to run flat out after furry things and there are lots of hares and deer around here. And I've experienced him sighting and accelerating towards a cat, it was a pretty powerful lunge and nearly had me over!

Be particularly careful if you're considering any of the currently fashionable breeds. Mini dachshunds, pugs, cavaliers immediately spring to mind. Unscrupulous breeders will always try to fulfil the demand for whatever breed is currently selling for £1500+ by over-breeding their bitches and using any stud or bitch that looks okay without getting health checks.

Some of the more established cross-breeds breeders are possibly better at self regulating themselves than breeders of official KC listed
breeds. I have a friend who has been involved in cockerpoos for 25 + years, she and some others keep a scrupulous stud book to avoid in-breeding, and for several generations now the litters have been both parents cockerpoos and are coming out true - there are no longer throwbacks of dogs that look far more spaniel or far more poodle than anything else, and the desired coat seems to be settled. However she is just as aware as the rest of us that anyone can say something is a cockerpoo. One that we walk has a lovely temperament but is a physical mess - awful confirmation and arthritis already evident at just 2 years old. And far far too big. Owner has said she now realises she bought him from a puppy farm and wishes she'd realised just how far these people will go to make it look like it's a respectable home-bred litter. We think although one parent probably was a poodle the other was something much much bigger than a cocker spaniel.

The actual breed societies are probably the best people to work through - and the specific breed rescues even more so. There are groups which work to rescue and rehome various breeds, I know of one for border collies, obviously the greyhounds, there's a bunch called Spaniel Assist, and I work directly with Black Retriever x rescue which is involved with lots of purebred gun dogs as well as their accidental litters. Having helped pick up the pieces, they will know a lot about who the bad breeders are so you can avoid them.

QuitMoaning Fri 25-Jan-19 17:56:36

What about a miniature pinscher? My aunt has her second now and thinks they are wonderful. Like a Doberman that has been on a hot wash and is the size of a cat.

Quite intelligent so easy to train.

Wolfiefan Fri 25-Jan-19 18:18:40

Black retriever x are ace. And also give ongoing support once you’ve adopted.
Unfortunately there is no universally agreed scheme to avoid getting an unhealthy pup or buying from unscrupulous people. It really is a case of buyer beware.

MagicalTwinky Fri 25-Jan-19 18:20:17

We have 2 ex-racing greyhounds and wouldn't have anything else, but I will say if you're looking for something with good recall they wouldn't be my first pick due to their strong prey drive cue extremely selective hearing, especially when something small and fluffy catches their attention!

They both fit in the boot of our car and happily hop in and out, although I suspect in years to come the older one may struggle a bit. We haven't really had any behavioural issues, although our first one struggled with separation anxiety until we got our second.

BearAusten Fri 25-Jan-19 18:22:00

Thank you everyone. AlpacaLypse I just took it for granted that the Kennel Club Breeders would be a safe especially as they had to have a vet visit from what I can gather. That is terrible with a dog having arthritis at 2 years old.

I haven't been South of York for 15 years or so. Going to Discover Dogs at Crufts would have been good though Wolfie.

In terms of crating, I presumed it was a safe place for a dog to go to if it felt stressed. Also I thought it would be safer to crate a puppy at night, when we were asleep, rather than roaming free in case it hurt itself.

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Wolfiefan Fri 25-Jan-19 18:56:27

Puppies generally want to be with you. It took three weeks of sleeping next to her crate for my pup to be ok in it at night. And longer to be able to leave her in the day. They’re all different.
Shame about Crufts. It’s great to meet examples of different breeds and ask lots of questions.

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