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What dog breed would be best?(31 Posts)
I've been researching a number of dog breeds and going round in circles so I'd love some advice from dog-owners please.
Background: I've always wanted a dog and for various reasons it's never happened. Now seriously thinking about it but have various factors to consider.
I have three cats. I've always been interested in whippets/greyhounds but from everything I've read there just seems to be too much of a risk that a sight hound could kill the cats.
We live in the city, in a terraced house, small garden (parks nearby). I work full time, DP 4 days per week. I could work from home one day per week and DP frequently pops in and out of the house each day as part of his work and often works part of each day at home for a few hours. Adult DD currently at home but not sure what her longer term plans are so can't really rely on her to do much for any dog (if she moves away or goes to uni).
We can afford dog daycare/dog walker - the latter would be preferable rather than having to drop any dog off elsewhere each day.
Given we don't have huge house or garden I'd like a small-ish breed.
So what we'd want is:
Dog that's good with cats
Dog that can be left alone for up to 4 hours maybe two to three day per week
Dog that's relatively easy to train
Dog that doesn't require more than 1.5 to
2 hours of exercise per day
Dog that's good for a novice dog owner (DP has had dogs before but I haven't)
Dog that isn't yappy
Any advice would be very welcome (including as to whether I'm deluded and whether any such dog breed exists). I would consider a rescue but had assumed a puppy would be better in respect of cats getting used to it when small, rather than a fully grown dog rocking up one day.
Please tell me about your dog breeds!
A dog that grows up with cats will generally respect them. I have two high prey drive dogs, and the ancient, creaky cat saunters where he likes and sleeps where he likes. A friend of mine used to have whippets and cats and that worked out fine.
As a novice owner, you'd probably be best off with a dog that isn't too 'drivey': that is, you'll probably have an easier time of it if you avoid working lines. Working bred dogs are fairly easy to train, but they need to have their minds occupied with some focused activity for a while most days (my working-bred young dog gets 15-45 mins of training and brain work most days).
Most dogs will be happy with the amount of exercise you're offering (my younger dog gets about 1.5 hrs most days, including training time). And most dogs can be left for the sort of time you're suggesting (I've lived with maybe ten dogs over the course of my life, and they could all be left like that) though some dogs hate being left and howl the place down. It's a case IME of conditioning them to being left from early in their lives.
As for yappy, terriers (despite their many virtues) are justifiably notorious for barking their bloody heads off at the drop of a hat.
TBH a whippet could suit you very well.
Thanks so much for your reply. I've always gravitated towards whippets/greyhounds but then read a thread here earlier (having been searching about the breeds) where someone's beloved cat was ripped apart by previous placid, well-trained whippet who'd never shown an iota of interest before. I'd just never forgive myself if any of the cats got killed.
If one approaches whippet rescues, is there any guarantee that a 'cat-friendly' sight hound would be ok? I'm just very nervous about the cats.
I don’t know if it’s normal because I’ve never used a doggy daycare, but I know someone who runs one and they pick up the dogs... if that makes a difference.
You do get rescue dogs who have been used to cats, I would look there first. It's easier to leave an older dog 4 hours especially of they are used to it rather than a puppy.
All dogs are individual so it's hard to recommend a breed, I wouldn't go for a small dog because you think you need a small one due to the size of your house, they're often more full of energy and need more input than bigger dogs which on the whole less yappy and happier to chill out.
Why do you want a dog if you have 3 cats and work full time ?
A puppy is not like a cat and cannot be left for 4 hours when very young in the early days .
A puppy is extremely hard work and needs a lot of attention and socialising .
I am talking from experience as I have had rotties for 25 years and a pup takes over your life for the first couple of months .
I agree with debunking the small house small dog theory.
They dont need much space to sleep in, and youd have to have a house thensize of an olympic swimming pool to keep any ddog properly exercised in.
If the ddog has a good daily run and intellectual stimulation daily they are mostly happy to sleep for a 4 hour spell .
All anyone here can do is give anecdotal evidence of their own experience with their breed of dog.
There are wide variations within breeds and its breeders you will need to speak to with your particular specification as to the suitability of the temperaments of the pups from a given litter , which could be bred for working, or temperament as family pets.
Get out and visit breeders and breed club meets to talk with breeders specifically for your needs.
Do you want high energy or chilled laid back dog?
Yes, you do need a long spell off work to tend to a pup properly. You cannot leave a pup alone for a 4 hour stretch.
When that pup rips your home apart with distress how sympathetic will you be? Your precious shoes, walls, furnishings?
Yes Op will have to have a crate for the pup to go in when she is at work and also in the evening when they are in bed.
As for considering a rescue?
All rescue centres do a full check on new owners and their homes and if they have any other pets.
So a house with 3 cats and where a person works full time would not be accepted .
Sorry to say it but if our local dog walkers are anything to go by you need a dog that doesn't mind being put in a cage in a van and being driven round to 5 other houses to pick up other dogs before being taken on a tightly controlled walk.
Yes Op will have to have a crate for the pup to go in when she is at work and also in the evening when they are in bed
I wouldn't agree at all that OP will have to. . Had many pups no crates involved. Since people have been having puppies there have been no crates, until very recently, when it seems to be all the rage.
Many dogs find those vans and cages very stressful. Loads of stressy over-excited continual yapping and barking.
Although, i do see many having lovely romps with other dogs that they seem to get on with when out on their runs.
I've never crate trained a dog, or lived with a dog that was crated. Had two growing up, lived with sundry others, have had three of my own. I can see that crating is helpful in some situations, but it isn't essential. I tried our most recent with a pen and she bloody hated it, so we just puppy-proofed as per normal. I think she chewed the doormat, and that was about it.
I second the comments about time off when settling in and housetraining a puppy. You can't just leave them for hours at a stretch to start with.
Thanks for comments so far. Plan would be either to find doggy day care on my route to work (so walk dog, drop off dog, collect dog on way home), which, judging by dog-sitters available, seems feasible. Or, assuming one can have a chilled out rescue dog, to have a walker come in every lunch time when we're not working from home. Obviously never having had a dog before, it's a learning curve.
Noted re: settling in a puppy - I appreciate that someone would need to be around - that could tie in with DD being home full time (as and when she's back from travelling) - otherwise may have to further consider the rescue route.
Ideally I'd like a more laid back dog, than a high-energy one. I'd like a breed that's easier to train - one suggestion that keeps coming up as a breed that's good with cats and city living is a Basset Hound - but then the further reading I've done says how stubborn they are and difficult to house train.
One breed I keep coming back to are Shelties (Shetland Sheepdogs) - any views on this breed?
I have never and would never crate a dog. I have had many dogs and several pups and crates are not needed. I have no idea why people think that they are 'essential' now - they are not.
Both mr and my friend are novice dog owners and have shitzu crosses. Only need 20 min walk but are happy to walk for a lot longer. Both have been very easy to train with basic commands, love company and other dogs. Never crate trained mine but gets shut in the kitchen at night to sleep or for longer than an hour when I'm out during the day
Retired greyhound. Apparently all they want to do is sleep.
Hi FreckledLeopard, we rescued our whippet when she was 4 months old from the dog pound and knew nothing about her history. She was always interested in looking at cats who were out and about when she was having her walk. When she was 8 we rescued a cat. I was initially concerned for all the reasons you stated about whippets and cats and a lot of cat rescuers wouldn't take a chance either with her. Eventually, we found a lovely local cat rescue who gave us great advise before, during and for about a month after the cat came to live with us.
I can honestly say the cat is the boss - he eats out of her dinner bowl while she sits beside him looking sad, lies on her bed while she lies on the floor and sits looking stunned if he tries to box her which, over time, the cat has become less aggressive about. I'm going to whisper it (she's a bit dim!).
The cat is indoors and we have a long narrow kitchen. When dog is put out back and is on her way in the cat will normally be hanging around to see where she's gone. We are always sure to run him after one of our first experiences when we got the cat - the dog ran into the kitchen, the cat thought he was being chased and the dog naturally ran after him. Thankfully it wasn't to eat him, she just thought he was playing.
4 years on, they tolerate each other really well - they aren't friends and I'd never leave them alone (rows are always started by the cat if you leave the room for a second or two). She is, however, the most placid dog and matches all the original requirements you had. She really is the most placid, lazy article of a dog I've ever met and she's brilliant. She remains, however, very interested in any other cats she sees on her walks and doesn't seem to realise that we have one of them at home! I would definitely consider another whippet if I was to get another dog.
Shelties?!! No way! A good friend is a breeder, they're bloody nuts.
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I do love greyhounds and whippets, but with three crazy cats (and they really are mad), I just don't think I could risk it. The cats chase each other all the time, run around like lunatics and our house isn't configured in any way where they could be kept separate or supervised.
I shall keep thinking. To be fair, it may be that we're just not in the right place for a dog and that perhaps it would be more suitable at another point in our lives. The cats cause enough work! I do love dogs though....
I’d just wait until the cats have gone and then get greyhounds . Also agree with all the posters who have said cages are not an essential item .
Cavapoo. Our cavapoos LOVE our cat. Firstly the cat is in charge! I often come home to all three on our bed! Cavapoos are insanely easy to train, gentle and playfully with kids. No 1 choice for me!!