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Help with choosing breed of dog/how to get a dog(15 Posts)
Hi, hoping the knowledgeable people on this board can help us. We’d love to get a dog but have no idea how to go about this or which dog would be suitable. Here is some info...any help greatly appreciated:
Me, dh, 2 Kids (13&11)
Garden medium size
Kids would like a dog to love and cuddle up with
We would like a small dog
I am at home a lot of the time so could walk every day
We have done a small amount of dog sitting for my sister but are not otherwise experienced. Both kids love other people’s dogs
Dh would prefer a dog that didn’t shed a massive amount, a bit is fine. Think he has visions of going to work in a dark suit covered in dog hair!
Can’t think of any more info!
Go to a rescue centre. They'll be more than happy to help you find a good fit for your family. Breed is no guarantee of temperament.
I am so so nervous about going for a rescue. My sister’s dog is a rescue dog, we sometimes look after her, she has had £10k of vets bills in 3yrs. My sis and bil have had major stress with this and honestly nearly got divorced over it. The poor dog is currently facing an operation which is a further £3k and could cause deafness. Do you think this is uncommon?
If you don't want a rescue, go to the kennel club website and look for their information on how to choose a dog and a breeder, what questions to ask them. While the KC has its flaws, it does have some good advice which should help you avoid puppy farms, dodgy imports and backyard breeders - and there's probably breed- specific information on health checks. Some of the info there may be relevant if you're looking at rescues too re health etc.
Breed is no guarantee of temperament - you need to meet the pup/dog more than once and always be willing to walk away if you're not sure it's the right one for your family.
Whatever dog you get, I would strongly recommend getting the highest level of insurance. That way, medical bills will not cause that level of stress.
That said, I think that amount of cost for a dog that is fully grown when you meet it is uncommon. More common, I would imagine, is taking the risk on a puppy. It's much harder to 'guess' whether a baby will grow up healthy than look at a fully grown adult and asess their health. With some breeds you are almost guaranteed a lifetime of managing health issues.
Don't get a dog unless you are absolutely committed to all the stuff that goes with dog ownership for 15 years or more.
I understand your worry about going to a dog shelter. You could try a specific breed rescue. Most of them place dogs into foster homes, so they can be assessed before being placed for adoption.
As Errol says, breed is no guarantee of temperament. If your main concern is that the dog doesn't shed, please reconsider getting a dog. The rescue charities that work with poodle crosses are inundated with young dogs bought because of the myths about hyperallergic/nonshedding/good with children/easy to train etc. Not so.
Do some research on the websites for poodle cross rescue (Doodle Trust is a good one)
best of luck.
Duck Tolling Retrievers are lovely. They have the retriever’s nature but are much smaller.
Google a breed you like and search for breeders. Contact the breeders and ask for a visit. Any decent breeder will want to see you and will ask you a lot of questions. Find a breeder before you look for a puppy.
Do lots of research. Both on breeds then on breeders. Join some Facebook groups when you decide what breed you want. The poodle crosses are very popular for a reason. Be prepared to go on a waiting list for the right breeder and the right dog. I walked away from some gorgeous puppies because something about the whole set up just wasn't right. Do not take the children to the first meet!
We have a cockerpoo. He is so well bred and doesn't have the mad half hour that many do each day. He doesn't have a bad bone in his body. He doesn't shed but he does need regular grooming that we pay for. £30 a time. And he does bring in mud or rain from outside! He also went through the puppy stage and caused some distraction!
If you want a small non shedding dog look at poodles ( not poodle crosses) and schnauzers.
My area is full of rescue dogs (including mine) - the majority of them seem to be very well behaved, loving dogs. Be sure you can afford one and are prepared for at least 2 good walks a day (all year round, bad weather included), proper training, decent pet insurance, good flea treatment (from vet - not online - my staffie is classed as a "large dog" in the weight range for spot-on flea treatment and it costs me £10 a month), finding a dog boarder if you need to go away without the dog or dogwalker/daycare if no-one is going to be home all day any time. If you still want a dog having considered these things, how about just going to some rescues to see what is available and you might find you are drawn to a particular type of dog (they let you walk them to try them out in most rescues) - this way you might get an idea of what you want - you can still then get one via a breeder if that is what you prefer.
I have a whippet. He’s small(ish), barely sheds and adores children. They can be pretty bonkers as puppies though and really shouldn’t be off lead unless in a fenced in area or on the beach.
I've got a mini poodle. No shredding but needs regular grooming. She's a lovely funny little dog that keeps up with our family and she's really cuddly!
On the vets bills with your second post, yes I know someone who is facing over a £10k bill this year in an otherwise previously healthy dog that they have had for years so yes it does happen. They have insurance which I think is a must, especially from puppies. For rescues get them insured (if they have a history of illnesses you will find they are typically excluded as preexisting conditions on insurance but sometimes the good rescue centres will cover treatment for them but not new illnesses which is why you get insurance).
I have claimed over £4500 in the first two years of my puppies life through various accidents, illnesses and operations.
Insurance is the way to go and don't just get the cheapest cover. Ignore all the 'they don't pay out so just put the premium money in a pot' advice as that won't cover even simple things (£2000 for severe D&V requiring admissions, treatment and tests) unless you have built up years and years of savings.
Re shedding, if it's just that you don't want visible fluff on a dark suit then many dark short haired dogs would be fine. I have a standard Black and Tan shorthaired dachshund who'd fit your criteria. However, dachshunds(moreso the minis) are too popular at the moment, so they're a breed where its absolutely vital to make sure the breeder is reputable. When we were looking for ours, DH contacted lots of breeders, and asked them about each other ... dog breeding can be rather a (literally!) incestuous world, they know other genuine breeders.
If any of this sounds like a lot of effort - reading up, phoning, visiting breeders (who may be at the other end of the country), or similar with rescues - if you're not prepared to put that much effort into acquiring the dog then you probably shouldn't be getting a dog.
Coton de tulear
Small, family friendly, need grooming but you won’t have the shedding issues. Try this quiz.