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Help us find our new dog!(10 Posts)
Apologies in advance, as I'm sure this has been done to death here, but I'd be very appreciative of any advice you could offer.
We have recently bought our first home, and are looking to welcome a dog. Both DP and I have grown up around dogs, of all sizes and breeds, and would love one of our own.
Our house has a secure, although very small back garden. However, we live very close to a park where the dog would be walked (at least) twice a day.
We both work full-time, although only a 4 day week. Our employer offers both flexi-time and working from home. Therefore, one of us would be at home 4 out of 5 weekdays (at the very least) and we're off at weekends. In the event that there is one day per week that neither of us are at home, MiL is very happy to keep an eye on dog. She has a Jack Russell cross, and also occasionally looks after BiL's dog (another Jack Russell cross).
No children, but we would like to start a family in the next couple of years.
We want to get a rescue. We would need a dog who can live with other dogs, and who could live with (any future!) children. Beyond that, we have no pull towards a specific age or breed. We just want to offer a loving home to the right dog. We aren't in any rush, and are happy to wait for the right dog to come along.
Is there anything else you feel we should be considering that I've missed out? Any breeds you feel would be best suited (or not, as the case may be)? And any resources that you've found to be indispensable?
Thank you for reading
The call-outs I would make are:
- think about what you WANT to do, not just what you are prepared to do re walking, training, grooming. I think it's easy to think you are prepared to do more than you are when it's all theoretical but when reality hits and the winters are long and cold and muddy and dark, it all becomes a chore. If you genuinly don't like walking in the cold then don't pick a high energy dog that enjoys it. If you genuinly don't enjoy brushing a dog every other day then don't pick a fluffy one etc. On your point re parks, not all dogs can cope with busy parks for all sorts of reasons and most will get bored of the same location twice a day - it offers little in the way of mental exercise and so doesn't really tire them out. Consider where else you will walk, and how you will get there etc.
- along with the above, think about the realism of doing all that with a new baby. This board, and many like it, are filled with people who struggle to give what the dog needs once they are looking after a baby 24*7. The dog then suffers, his behaviour deteriotes and suddenly he is looking for a new home or languishing in the current one. Choosing a dog now that needs 2 long walks a day is going to be difficult to maintain once the baby is here. For e.g., in winter, it may mean bundling the dog and baby up in the car during the day, or walking the dog in the dark early morning and evening.
- think about holidays, days out, visiting family etc. Now imagine doing all that with a baby and a dog
- all dogs are individuals so whilst breed can guide you, be open and honest with the rescue and let them help you find the right, specific, individual dog for you. Do not be swayed by looks - you will learn to love however your dog looks because you love the dog.
You didn’t give much information but what about a collie?
There’s no dog/child friendly breed mind, it’s completeky dependant on the individual dog.
Just get yourself along to your local shelters, see what they say when you describe your situation, and have a look at the dogs they have in. We did that... went along to the local RSPCA shelter (other re-homing organisations exist) on a Saturday for a look, ended up picking up our dog before the end of the following week.
If you go with an open mind, and no preconceived wish list of breed/sex you'll eventually find a dog who's personality you connect with.
Right. Neutral, sensible advice given I need to wave the Staffy flag before Team Greyhound/Whippet arrive. Get a Staffy, they'd be perfect for your situation! But look for a younger one, once they get older they can get set in their ways and unless they've been brought up with other dogs may not get along nicely.
Thanks so much for all your replies so far!
Some really good points MissBattenburg, especially regarding the park. We're not long moved into the area, so will have to take a few reconnaissance walks over the next while to investigate further!
Re: getting a Collie - we had a collie x when I was a child. He was the first dog I grew up with, so I have a lot of love for them ❤️
I think the general consensus is to get to our local rescues, which was what we had been thinking. We've been keeping an eye online and the dogs becoming available to rehome, but I think actually getting out and meeting the little beauties is the way forward.
Oh, and I do love the idea of a greyhound lounging on my sofa, but my friend has a Staffy and he is the biggest dote I've ever met!
Collies need a lot of exercise and a lot of mental stimulation. Perhaps not the best choice if you're thinking of adding a baby to the mix in a couple of years.
I knew it wouldn’t be long.
Such a common misconception Agatha
They really don’t need hours of exercise and stimulation.
If anything, care needs to be taken not to overstimulate them with too much.
The OP said at least two walks a day in the parks.
Sufficient for a collie..
They don’t need crazy amounts of exercise and stimulation so a baby isn’t necessarily that problematic time wise.
Some collies find the noise and erratic behaviour of children stressful but as long as care is taken not to allow herding behaviour towards people and the dog is well socialised they are no more dangerous than any other dog with children and most likely will be fine.
I have a collie who is great with children (I have 3) and I have two neighbours with collies and children.
All 3 collies are working bred ones, they are all good with kids, all calm in the house.
Whether one would likely be a good fit needs more information like I said above but based on the information of being experienced dog owners, offering at least two walks in the park/countryside/fields per day they are worth considering I think.
** to add, the way I have phrased it makes it sounds like I have 3 collies, no.
I have three children and 1 collie.
And 2 neighbours with a collie each + kids.
Thanks for all of the advice so far, it is very much appreciated.
As I said in my OP, we aren't being led by age or breed. We want to find the right dog for our lives. I do have to agree with Doggy re: collies however - I don't remember my childhood collie being a particularly active dog; certainly not anymore active than any other dog we've had. But every dog is different, so I think all of your advice re: contacting local rescues and speaking to them is a great way to start.
I did have a question re: doggy daycare or a dog walker. As there may be one day a week where we aren't at home, is there a particular benefit to utilising either of those services on that day, rather than MiL looking after the dog? I'm thinking in terms of socialisation for the dog, etc.
Have a weekend visiting local reputable rescues and have a chat with them. You can fill in prospective paper work too. It could be that a complete Heinz 57 suits you. The perfect pup may not end up on websites either as not all rescues have time to keep that up to date.