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Rough collie or dalmatian - views please!

(160 Posts)
Cloudtree Fri 21-Jun-19 16:14:10

Right we might be taking the plunge and getting a puppy. This is the first time we've had a dog although DH always had dogs growing up.

I have two DSs 14 and 12. Two cats who have been with us for 8 years since they were kittens. 5 free ranging chickens...(I'm aware this could be an issue)

House is large and we have 5 acres of garden/woodland. I am a little concerned since it effectively isn't fenced off at the bottom of the wood. It has a post and wire fence only in that area, but it only backs onto unused woodland belonging to an absent neighbour.

I must admit I like my house to look nice and am a bit worried about it getting trashed. I am home a lot though since I work from home so hopefully that minimises the chance of a puppy going bonkers/getting bored and ruining the place.

Any thoughts on which might be a better fit for us. I like rough collies. DS2 favours a border collie although we have explained that they are generally happier when they are working. DH wants a husky which is obviously out of the question given the other animals. DS1 doesn't really mind.

I have spotted a beautiful dalmatian puppy and a litter of rough collies..

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YoureAllABunchOfBastards Fri 21-Jun-19 16:17:35

Can I suggest a Smooth Collie? They are fabulous.

Cloudtree Fri 21-Jun-19 16:22:59

Beautiful. Are they quite rare though? I've just done a quick google and there don't seem to be many puppies available

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Thesuzle Fri 21-Jun-19 16:27:07

Unless the collie can work, it will go slowly nuts, don’t do it to the dog or yourself It’s very distressing to watch a dog get so bored it just stares at shadows and tries to catch them
Don’t know anything about dalmations really but weren’t they bred to trot along all day. ?

Breakaplate Fri 21-Jun-19 16:30:44

Both extremely hard work dogs which need lots of mental and physical stimulation. Not ideal first dogs. Have a look at the Kennel club website, it has loads of information on breed traits.

Bubblysqueak Fri 21-Jun-19 16:32:04

All of the dogs on your list are incredibly high energy, clever working dogs and need a lot of stimulation, probably not best for first time dog owners.

Bubblysqueak Fri 21-Jun-19 16:34:19

Have you thought about a Labrador? Easier to train (usually very food orientated). Mine is fab with our guinea pigs (they are free range and like to cuddle with ddog).

Cloudtree Fri 21-Jun-19 16:34:49

Mmm, interesting. One of the reasons for going for a rough collie was because of everything online that says they're really good first time dogs. Is that not right then?

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Walkamileinmyshoesbeforeujudge Fri 21-Jun-19 16:35:35

Why not visit a rescue and see what takes your fancy? Your dc are old enough for a rescue ddog imo.

spot102 Fri 21-Jun-19 16:43:22

Bit of a generalisation but I'd say Dalmatian are not so hyper but not so easy to train. I'm a Dal fan mine have so far been quite chilled in the house so long as they have been adequately exercised. Collies reportedly need a lot of stimulation and not my cup of tea, but might well be yours. Both very intelligent breeds, though. Before I got my current Dal I would have said they completely lacked the obedience gene, but current one somewhat more obliging! Both to be fair are what I would call proper dogs, nice size, right shape.
Would definitely get fence fixed though. My dad used to tell a story of a collie that joined his walking group as far as the pub, then joined the next group back! Just took himself off for a walk. I can't imagine many dogs not taking advantage of a bit of no fence to make a break for freedom though.

Cloudtree Fri 21-Jun-19 16:48:28

unfortunately its not really a bit of fence, its about quarter of a mile of fence through dense woodland.. We do have a bit of garden that is securely fenced but it would be a shame to restrict a dog when we have such a lovely area available.

I'll get some fencing quotes though.

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SospanFrangipan Fri 21-Jun-19 16:49:04

Have you considered a Spaniel? We have two, sprocker & a cocker. They're great boys, very obiendient, loving, fun, great with our DS who is 2. We had chickens & ducks when the sprocker arrived and he was brilliant with them, never once bothered them. In fact, they were more intrigued by him!

SupermassiveBlackHo Fri 21-Jun-19 16:50:57

Rough Collie all day long over a dal.

Can I ask where you have found litters?

YoureAllABunchOfBastards Fri 21-Jun-19 16:52:12

Smoothies are quite rare - best bet is to get in touch with the breed club. They really are sweethearts though - easy to train and happy to walk all day or sleep all day.

HippyTrails Fri 21-Jun-19 16:52:59

Dalmations need a lot of exercise - they are bred to trot along next to horse & carriages all day

Rough collies take a lot of grooming.

Neither seem easy choices for a first time dog owner

YoureAllABunchOfBastards Fri 21-Jun-19 16:54:45

There is a world of difference between border collies and rough/smooth collies. My boy is happy in the week with two twenty minute walks a day, although he prefers more.

I don't know about intelligent. When it rained last week I caught him trying to catch a snail which was on the other side of the window

Fucksandflowers Fri 21-Jun-19 16:56:11

Between rough collie and Dalmatian I would 100% say rough collie.
Much healthier and imo much nicer, calmer, more biddable temperaments.

Huskies are known for their sky high pretty drive, even the breed rescues and clubs advise caution keeping them with cats. So I would say no to that.

I have a border collie.
I think they are great.
I have a working bred which I think are the best ones.
The agility/fly ball/trial lines I've known have been quite horrific - neurotic, no off switch, hyperactive..

Fucksandflowers Fri 21-Jun-19 16:57:20

* prey drive obviously, not pretty drive...

As a pp suggested, smooth collies also are nice.
Basically the same as rough minus the coat

Wolfiefan Fri 21-Jun-19 16:57:27

If you’ve found litters online then walk away. Decent breeders don’t find owners like that. Go through the breed club.
Dalmatians are often bonkers. High energy dogs.
Be aware that you won’t be working from home with a pup! You have to watch them like a hawk to toilet train and avoid the house being chewed.
Also consider grooming. How much are you prepared to do?

Fucksandflowers Fri 21-Jun-19 17:02:11

Oh also, pp said about rough collie being high maintaince, needing work etc.

They are a totally different dog to border collies.
Not that border collies need anything close to the mental stimulation and exercise people think they do, they are very prone to suffering from stress from overstimulation actually.

But anyway, Rough collies are generally very calm and laid back.

They used to be working sheepdogs but the kennel club has successfully removed pretty much all work ability and turned them into pretty pets..

MsMarvellous Fri 21-Jun-19 17:04:48

Well as my Dalmatian puppy arrives home with me tomorrow it's safe to say what I choose.

I have spent some time with our breeder and other people with the dogs and have been universally told by actual owners that their horrific reputation isn't really deserved. They are smart and energetic so they need attention, training and exercise. I would say that's true of a lot of breeds.

Fucksandflowers Fri 21-Jun-19 17:12:24

actual owners that their horrific reputation isn't really deserved

For me personally it isn't just about temperament, although the small number of Dalmatian have met have indeed had not so nice temperaments.

For me an equal concern is their poor health.
Deafness is a massive problem as is the lack of ability to cope with purines.

What really gives me the rage is that the purine issue was actually resolved, but the breed club and kennel club have kept very quiet indeed about LUA Dalmatian and they are very hard to find in the U.K.

APurpleSquirrel Fri 21-Jun-19 17:13:41

You could also consider a Shetland Sheepdog - a smaller version of a Rough Collie. We've had 3 on the past & yes they're intelligent & need exercise but also love sleeping! & the bonus is you can actually pick them up & carry them if need be.

Cloudtree Fri 21-Jun-19 17:23:21

We would be aiming to get a puppy shortly and the DSs have 8 weeks off over the summer so there will be someone home to play constantly for the first few weeks

The rough collie litter is through the kennel club website so should be fine. I think we would probably be ok with the level of exercise since I can do a morning walk and a midday walk and DH goes for a run every evening. We spend most weekends outside in the garden too.

I'm favouring rough/smooth collie over dalmatian I think from this thread.

DS2 has just found a photo of a rough collie puppy cuddling a guinea pig so tbh I think the decision might be out of my hands..

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Cloudtree Fri 21-Jun-19 17:24:08

How big is a shetland sheepdog squirrel?

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