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Please recommend a dog to us!

(125 Posts)
NeverGotMyPuppy Sun 30-Jun-19 16:24:01

DH and I are thinking we may be soon ready to take the plunge and get a dog. I have wanted a dog for about 25 years (no exaggeration) and I want to get this right.

About us:
I work 3 days a week, DH often WFH. I am a private school teacher so I get a lot of holidays. We would get doggy day care or a dog walker as appropriate.
We have a baby and would like a second within the next 15 months or so. We only plan on 2 children
We have a cat.
We have a three storey large house with a reasonable sized garden. There are parks and woodland very close by.
We are an active family.

My only real concern is shedding - I'm afraid I don't like labs because of the sheer amount of hair. I'm asthmatic- not badly but I could do without having to hoover 20 times a day.

So hit me with suggestions please!

OP’s posts: |
missbattenburg Sun 30-Jun-19 16:48:02

So, two options:

1. Getting a puppy with a baby and one planned sounds like a nightmare - to me, anyway. Plus, not many day care options for puppies yet leaving them alone for full days in the first few months is tricky (to say the least).
2. Getting an adult dog means you need a rescue that will rehome to people with young children (not many) and to choose the breed you are looking at a breed-specific rescue who are often a bit more difficult to get dogs from as they tend to have more people lined up, ime.

Were you thinking puppy or adult?

What does active mean? To some it could mean one 60min walk a day, to others it's rock climbing every weekend... Plus, realistically, how much exercise can you give a dog every day, in all weathers, when the kids are sick etc.

What about personality? What kind of dog are you after? Friendly, nosey, aloof, chilled out, naughty, joker?

What about grooming. I get you don't want shedding but how much time per week do you want to spend grooming?

Training? Do you want to do a little bit just at first then settle into a comfortable life or work on training activities for the rest of the dog's life?

Cost? How much per month do you hope the dog will cost you? £50, £100, £200, more...

Pipandmum Sun 30-Jun-19 16:52:24

I love dogs but held off until my children were of school age. The children need to know how to treat and behave with a dog as much as the dog needs to be trained.
There’s lots of non or low shedding dogs out there (Schnauzer, poodle, wheaten terrier etc). But if you’re looking to buy a puppy it can cost several hundred pounds from a reputable breeder.

bodgeitandscarper Sun 30-Jun-19 17:06:15

A baby with another on the way at some point, I'd say don't do it. Once both children are at school you will have more time to devote to a dog. Its It's easy to underestimate how much more work an additional child can be without adding a dog that has too be fed, walked, wormed, de flead, vaccinated, trained, etc... Add to that the fact that with a dog you can't just up and off for the day and you might soon feel you've taken on more than you bargained for. As for breeds, I'd pick a rescue with a suitable temperament. Some lurchers and whippets make excellent family dogs.

Fucksandflowers Sun 30-Jun-19 17:28:14

Until you said shedding I would have said border collie.
But even the short coated versions of them shed quite a bit...

What about a vizla?
Or a wire haired pointer?

RefreshifyMe Sun 30-Jun-19 17:31:05

Fucksandflowers why would you recommend those breeds? I'd have thought they'd be hard work with two very young children.

sqeakywheel Sun 30-Jun-19 17:34:58

I was surprised at how much attention my dog needs. We waited until our dcs were junior age and I was at home all day. I have a springer spaniel. He needs a lot of attention and exercise. I really don't recommend this breed if you are going to be out at work all day. He is very destructive when lonely or bored. He needs stimulation, exercise and attention. He chews the skirting board if I go to the toilet with the door shut. He also sheds so much fur I'm amazed he's not bald.
I think you should wait until your child and future children are older and maybe one of you works part time.

DerelictWreck Sun 30-Jun-19 17:40:47

I'd go with a standard poodle. No shedding, great temperament and smart as anything. But I would wait a couple of years. Baby's and toddlers are hard on dogs - all the poking, grabbing and stepping on feet. Wait till you can be sure of them together and you've got the time to give to a new dog

GrumpyMiddleAgedWoman Sun 30-Jun-19 17:41:22

A puppy with a toddler and a baby will be bloody hard work. And finding the time to train the puppy past toddler and baby will be harder still. You have to be able to find about an hour a day, pretty much free of your DC, to walk and train your dog. Do-able if your DH is around every evening and weekend, but still hard work.

I'm not trying to put you off, as dogs are brilliant, and some people juggle the puppy and baby scenario very well, but you do need to think what you're getting into.

Fucksandflowers Sun 30-Jun-19 17:45:55

why would you recommend those breeds? I'd have thought they'd be hard work with two very young children

The OP said they were an active family, mentioned woodlands, parks etc so I assumed they were looking for a fairly active breed?

Plus they said no to labradors (active working breed) but only on the basis of shedding.

So I thought again, OP is wanting a fairly large active dog.

I think any dog breed is going to be hard work with young children to be honest.

Vizlas and wirehaired pointers are a similar sort of size to labs, as far as I know they are low shed, active breeds so that's why I suggested them.

NeverGotMyPuppy Sun 30-Jun-19 18:03:21

Thanks everyone, this is really helpful.

I will be PT when I return to work but I can see me giving up completely when/if number 2 arrives. The question is for how long. Should we only get one if i can say i wont work for its lifetime? I think this was part of my thinking about getting one sooner rather than later.

By active I mean long walks rather than rock climbing. Temperament- something playful, relatively easy to train (my DH likes beagles, I have vetoed them in the basis i don't fancy shouting a name for 7 hours on end....)

OP’s posts: |
Fucksandflowers Sun 30-Jun-19 18:09:13

Mmm, all dogs, except flat faced monstrosities, should relish long walks and pretty much all dogs are playful so I'm still not entirely sure what you are looking for really.

'Relatively easy to train' says to me some sort of gundog or herding dog as they are generally extremely easy to please/biddable
Probably not a hound (which would veto beagles).

MapleDragon Sun 30-Jun-19 18:13:34

I think your bonkers for wanting a puppy with two babies. I'd wait until both babies are here and your family is settled. You could go on bed rest or have a horrendous second birth and the dog would add a huge amount amount of pressure. There's a reason that most rescues won't place with families with very small kids - they are most likely to give them up. What if DC2 has special needs? There are just too many what ifs.

I'd recommend a border terrier for when you're ready. Relatively easy to train but not needy. Still robust enough for kids but won't send them absolutely flying by accident. Something like a lab/visla etc will take down a toddler without any malice but it's still not nice. Would be happy to walk for as long as you like. I'd save a big boisterous breed for when the kids are school age.

NeverGotMyPuppy Sun 30-Jun-19 18:21:03

Mapledragon all very valid points, thank you.i actually mentioned border terriers to DH today.

@fucksandflowers sorry for being vague! I suppose we are after a dog that wants to be part of the family, whatever we are doing- going for a walk, watching a film... DH likes working cockers but I fear they may not have an off switch...

I know that its sensible to wait. But I cam just see it never happening or not happening until we retire and that makes me sad.

OP’s posts: |
ImperfectTents Sun 30-Jun-19 18:26:17

Miniature poodle. They are lovely clever dogs, don't shed and easily trained

Poochnewbie Sun 30-Jun-19 18:27:59

I got a puppy in December with a ds who just turned two. In hindsight, I’d have waited another year or so. However - it hasn’t been the horror people told me it would be.
We got a working cocker. She’s absolutely crazy. She darts about the house and is always into something she absolutely shouldn’t be BUT we adore her. She has been easy to toilet train, basic training is going well (except lead training and jumping up) she’s super sociable with other dogs and children and now she’s 8months old, she’s learning manners around both. She will rough play with me and my older dd but plays differently with my little ds. She often lies with him during his nap and they love each other.
I’m a teacher 2 days a week. Grandparents look after her when I’m at work as they have ds and I have her the rest of the week. She currently has a minimum of 1 hour walk each day. It hasn’t been too bad doing walks with the kids. I drive to an apt spot and ds goes in a carrier or on his bike and ds walks or rides her bike. Or we go into the fields by our house and the kids play. It gets us out way more than we would otherwise.
If kids are poorly or weather is bad, we time walks around dh’s work so kids don’t have to come and do lots of games indoors.

As a teeny pup, she crate trained super easily and slept all night from about day 3. She’s happy in her crate when we go out. I left her fairly early on to go to toddler groups etc and it’s been fine. She’s been on holiday with us twice - once camping and once in a hotel. I don’t feel like we’ve had to make too many changes to our lifestyle. She fits nicely.
The only problem we had was the nipping and biting of the children when she was tiny but this has stopped now. She does tend to go for the kids toys though.

As for shedding- she does she’d but not as much as a lab. A quick run over with the Hoover each day keeps on top of it. The muddy footprints however.....

I think if you really prepare yourself, you’ll be fine (and think about who’ll be responsible when you have a newborn or when you’re pregnant). I’d totally recommend a cocker!

UrsulaPandress Sun 30-Jun-19 18:28:58

Don’t get one.

They break your fucking heart.

UrsulaPandress Sun 30-Jun-19 18:32:08


I’m in a really bad place at the moment.

thundermum Sun 30-Jun-19 18:32:08

I’ve got a cavalier King Charles and am a massive advocate for the breed. He’s relatively low maintenance.... he’ll chill out when he’s not being give attention versus other breeds that will go and find mischief. He’s amazing with kids, really gentle. We know a few other cavs now and they’re all really similar.

He does shed, but it comes out in massive clumps as opposed to all those fine hairs like labs, which makes it easier to pick up. His hairs aren’t all around our house, we just get tumble weeds of them in all the corners and under the furniture. I suppose you could go cavapoo which may avoid that but I can’t offer much advise on the breed.

thundermum Sun 30-Jun-19 18:33:35

My mum has a working cocker and he’s finally found an off switch at 13 years old. It’s taken him that long.

My cav has about an hour of loopy playtime after dinner and then curls up on a lap for the rest of the evening.

Hazza000 Sun 30-Jun-19 18:37:41

I think a cavalier King Charles. We had two as our three children grew up they were super loving and gentle. Loved a walk or a chill out at their happiest when they are with you. I would just say if you like a dog to show a modicum of independence this won't be your breed they stick to you like Velcro but they are lovely and loving little dogs. Good luck.

BiteyShark Sun 30-Jun-19 18:38:01

* I know that its sensible to wait. But I cam just see it never happening or not happening until we retire and that makes me sad.*

I think it comes down to how much you want and will be committed to the dog. I actually work full time and had the same dilemma on do we wait until we retire. We actually went with getting a cocker spaniel but it's been bloody hard work and we pay a huge amount of money for him to be looked after at daycare when I am not working at home.

I would recommend you look at the threads on here as they tend to be very honest about how hard it can be when children are very young (it's not uncommon for people to come on here wanting to rehome puppies because they can't juggle both).

NeverGotMyPuppy Sun 30-Jun-19 18:39:09

Oh gosh - I knew people would come along and tell me it would all be ok and then hurt my head again.

I so appreciate everybody's comments. This is such a knowledgeable forum.

@UrsulaPandress I'm sorry to hear that. They really do.

OP’s posts: |
NeverGotMyPuppy Sun 30-Jun-19 18:41:19

@BiteyShark I've read those threads too. I've waited this long and we would never ever so it on a whim. Once we have a dog- life-altering events aside, that's it, its ours and part of our family no matter how hard it is.

OP’s posts: |
KittyMcKitty Sun 30-Jun-19 18:42:52

We have a border terrier she is fantastic - very sweet natured. Does need decent walking but sounds like that’s not a problem. She’s absolutely fine with our cat - cat allowed upstairs (dog not) and she watches her in awe!! She does chase other cats though. She really is the perfect dog 🐶

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