Recommendations for first time owners!

(58 Posts)
KeepSmiling83 Mon 29-Apr-19 08:03:05


I have started a couple of threads lately as we are considering getting a dog. We are still thinking about it and wouldn't get one in the immediate future but we don't have any experience so are unsure which breeds to look at.

DH had dogs growing up (Yorkshire terriers) but I have never had a dog before. We have 2 children who are 4 and almost 8 years old and I work for a few hours each morning Monday-Friday (we would take a month off at first to help settle a puppy/dog and even then would have parents on standby to come in after that for as long as necessary).

I suppose we are looking for a dog that is good with people/children, is relatively easy to train, doesn't need excessive amounts of exercise and is small (not necessarily as small as a Yorkie though!) A breed that can tolerate being by itself for a few hours each morning (we would build up to that) is also important. Does such a dog exist? A dog that doesn't shed a lot or bark excessively would also be great. Are we asking for too much? Or are there any breeds that match those ideals?

OP’s posts: |
Sofagirl Mon 29-Apr-19 08:24:09

Get a shihtzu!!! They are adorable and snooze when you’re not around. I had one as my first dog and it was wonderful

florentina1 Mon 29-Apr-19 08:30:56

My son got a working cocker spaniel puppy in the new year. He has been a dream dog and I would certainly recommend the breed. Of course there was the usual puppy work in the beginning but the training and puppy classes have really paid off,

He and my DiL are first time dog owners and they and the children absolutely love him. He is so obedient and just big enough to be fun without being overwhelming. The children are 8 and 6, the youngest being quite unsure around dogs. She now takes the dog out with my Son and has become more confident around my own, less well behaved dog.

QOD Mon 29-Apr-19 08:35:13

Short haired chihuahua. She thinks she’s a real dog but doesn’t need hardly any length of walk and sleeps 16 plus hours a day bless her

Sofagirl Mon 29-Apr-19 08:45:22

Chihuahua have the most wonderful temperament - they’re very bright and responsive too

My friends had one and she was so adorable and affectionate and loves sleeping on your chest

OverFedStanley Mon 29-Apr-19 08:49:35

Working Cocker as a first dog faints on the floor. They are generally mad hate being left on their own and needs 30 hours of exercise a day and brain work on top of that.

I am a collie owner and would still be knackered owning a mad but lovely working cocker smile Do not get a working cocker

Runkle Mon 29-Apr-19 08:59:41

Agree with OverFed, they would require so much time and exercise both physically and mentally.
How about - border terrier, poodle, Tibetan terrier, cairn terrier, cavalier King Charles spaniel, Miniature Pinscher?


Floralnomad Mon 29-Apr-19 09:18:33

I would say border terrier or cairn terrier covers your requirements .

AvocadosBeforeMortgages Mon 29-Apr-19 09:23:07

Staffie - they come in a variety of sizes, are famously good with children (assuming, as with every other dog breed out there, good socialisation) and depending on the individual the other characteristics can apply too.

There are lots of staffies in rescue, so you get a good choice, and you can get one that has its personality already apparent, and if more than a couple of years old you'll be past the worst of the exercise requirements.

PS anyone want to place a bet on how long it is before someone suggests a greyhound? grin

KeepSmiling83 Mon 29-Apr-19 09:28:34

Thank you so much for all the quick replies!

We have considered a Cavalier and a poodle - what are they like being alone for a couple of hours? I have heard that poodles are highly strung but don't know if that's the case?

I also like Shih Tzus - but I've heard they aren't the brightest? What are they like with training? (Sorry if that's not true - just what someone told me!)

When I have been researching breeds it always says does not tolerate being alone. I know no dog should be left for hours but surely some cope better than other for a few hours and trying to decipher which ones those are is extremely difficult as they all say does not like being alone!

I am off to have a look at some of the other suggestions! Thanks again and keep the suggestions coming!

OP’s posts: |
sazzle27 Mon 29-Apr-19 09:34:59

I used to have a poodle - he was a soppy thing and was a-okay ok his own for a little bit - we would come home and sometimes he would come to say hello, sometimes we would find him snoozing 😂

QOD Mon 29-Apr-19 10:31:28

I absolutely LOVE staffies, my friends rescue one is exactly why we got a dog. However, no way would I get one as he needs at least an hours walk at least once a day. Not for me
Hence dinky chi

Sofagirl Mon 29-Apr-19 10:34:09

I have always had male shih tzus as the girls can be quite temperamental and moody

They are bright and inquisitive and match their action to yours

Eg if your active they join in and if you are relaxing they will snuggle

I would get one again in a heartbeat or even a little Pekingese!

nrpmum Mon 29-Apr-19 10:37:43

Completely agree with @AvocadosBeforeMortgages Staffs are excellent dogs. My two cope with 4 hours alone in the week, be prepared to be greeted with wiggle bum excitement when you walk through the door.

Oh, and best advice I can give is make sure you buy antlers for them to chew.

Sofagirl Mon 29-Apr-19 10:42:27

Meant to say I’ve never been able to train a shihtzu - they’re very independent minded and will not do tricks or retrieving like other dogs

They will however love you and stick to you like glue

KeepSmiling83 Mon 29-Apr-19 20:50:38

Thank you for all the suggestions! I have to say I feel like I'm going round in circles. I keep thinking I've found a good breed then I read something else and it makes me question it!

Anyone have any experience with Cavalier King Charles Spaniels? Or Bichon Frises? Or Maltese?

OP’s posts: |
Parsley1234 Mon 29-Apr-19 21:03:08

I would never get a cavalier because of their overbred health issues read up on it it’s criminal. After our last cavie had to be put down because of cancer at 4 we have had two Maltese whom I love and am completely biased.
The breed are bright don’t shed sociable super cute and energetic or will just sleep.
The breed haven’t been over bred 1/2 pups per litter so they keep a good price but you get a great little dog
Aloycious Stanley Flyte at the yard 😂

Parsley1234 Mon 29-Apr-19 21:06:59

In the snow

Wolfiefan Mon 29-Apr-19 21:11:44

It is true that breeds have certain traits. But also true that every breed is an individual. My dog couldn’t be left for months. Not because she’s a wolfhound but because she’s her!
An older rescue that’s been in foster would give you the very best idea of exact character.
Health issues are huge. Cavaliers and syringomyelia for example (spelling!)
Consider how much walking and grooming you want to do. Also consider the jobs the dogs were bred to do. So a companion breed won’t want to be left.

Ylvamoon Mon 29-Apr-19 22:22:40

Can I add to your dilemma ? OK, how about a Chinese Crested Powderpuff? They are lovely, easy going dogs and would tick all your boxes. Not the most popular or common breed, let's say just a tiny bit exotic.
(Just avoid the Chinese Crested Dog ... they are hairless shock !!)

PinkPupZ Tue 30-Apr-19 00:18:52

I have a bichon. She's a lovely dog. Extremely friendly but very hyperactive! She doesn't tolerate being left alone but we have never needed to. Companion breeds prefer being with people but I do know some in the bichon groups that leave theirs successfully for short periods.
Mine doesn't shed at all which is fab but we pay £40 every 6 weeks for grooming. Also they need very regular brushing.
She is quite happy and territorial but she is still less than a year old. It took till 9 months to get house training. She's quite stubborn!! But would recommend the breed they're delightful dogs.

AgathaF Tue 30-Apr-19 07:20:25

I grew up with poodles (toy and miniature) and have standards now. They are generally not highly strung unless the owners make them that way, the same as lots of other breeds, I guess. They are intelligent and need mental stimulation, are family focused and like being with their family, great with children and other animals. Ok to be left alone as long as this is built up to, although I wouldn't regularly leave one for very many hours. As with any dog, it's all in the training. Do it right in the early months and years and you will have a fabulous dog.

MachineBee Tue 30-Apr-19 07:28:52

I’m going to suggest a Greyhound or Whippet. They have lovely temperaments and are great with kids. They don’t need hours of exercise and hate going out in the rain.

I had a whippet/jack russell cross and she was such fun and very good when I had the DCs. She coped well with the crawling grabbing stage and became their best friend. Also she lived to 16. Mongrels tend to live longer than pedigrees and have less health problems.

KeepSmiling83 Tue 30-Apr-19 09:03:56

This is giving me lots to think about thank you.

So would people recommend cross breeds due to less health issues?

I am out the house for up to 4 hours in the morning so that is what I would be building up to (we are hoping to get a dog to tie in with the school holidays so I am at home for the first month or so). Some days my parents would go in half way through to take dog out so that would only mean 2 hours alone but that won't be every day. I am a teacher so also have all the school holidays off where I would be at home with the children. Would this be suitable?

OP’s posts: |
AgathaF Tue 30-Apr-19 10:38:40

I think most people would advise avoiding cross breeds, particularly the 'designer' ones, and not including the Heinz 57 type. That's for several reasons. Crossing 2 breeds with known health issues runs the risk of getting a dog that could potentially be affected with either or both health issues. Cross bred pups are likely to be puppy farmed or bred by inexperienced breeders or people just out to make fast money on the back of this fashion.

It would be better to chose a breed, then research it, then find a really good breeder who does extensive testing, including DNA where relevant, to ensure you get a puppy with the least likelihood of future problems.

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