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Best breed in these circumstances?(36 Posts)
I’ve googled myself silly on this so I’m really hoping you lovely doggy experts can help me!
DH and I are considering getting a dog. His family had collies as a child but I’ve never had a dog in my life. I desperately want to make the right decision here as there’s no way I want to do wrong by any dog we get.
We live in a relatively small terraced house with a smallish but very usable garden (with artificial grass - is that ok for dogs?!) So definitely thinking a small breed is the way to go.
We have two DC aged 4 and 5 so need a child-friendly breed.
I’m currently a SAHM so exercise and walks won’t be an issue - I love getting outside so number and duration of walks is flexible.
(The only caveat to this is that this could change in the next year or two to me working two full days if I return to work once my youngest is settled in school. DH works locally so can pop home at lunchtime on those days, however DDog could end up being home alone for 2x 4hr stints should I return to work. Is that too long? Should we rethink getting a dog at all? I don’t actually have a job to go back to, it’s just something to consider as a possible change in circumstances in the future.)
Whatever breed we get I will absolutely be enrolling in a puppy class and doing all I can to train it properly. As I say, I’ve never owned a dog before and I really want to get this right so a breed that is relatively easy to train would be ideal.
So really, i’m hoping you lovely people might have suggestions for a good breed based on our circumstances? I’ll be honest and say I absolutely love Border Terriers and that would be my preference. Would a Border suit our circumstances?
Oh, an additional but not essential point - I’m a keen runner and run 3 or 4 times a week; anything from a short 5k up to 10+ miles. Usually through fields and woodland. A dog that would happily tag along with me on my runs would be a wonderful bonus!
Any help would be so very greatly appreciated!! And is there anything else I need to consider?
Hi @Windmyonlyfriend - I've never had a border terrier but I've heard they're pretty chilled and laid-back compared to most terriers. I was going to suggest a beagle (the downside being that you have to be really strict with recall training) or a cavalier King Charles spaniel - they're so gentle and sweet-natured, but they do have enough energy for runs etc.
I would have said a spaniel, lovely family dog, lots of energy for long runs. My SIL has spaniels and they adore her children. Play for hours.
Thanks so much for the replies!
We did think about a Beagle but I’ve read they can be quite hard to train and like you mention, dodgy with recall so that put me off a bit.
Two votes for spaniel though - that’s food for thought...
When it’s hot artificial grass gets extremely hot, you’ll need to make sure the dog has cool area it can go out to pee in. You’ll have to wash the grass as well to stop it getting smelly.
As you’ll have to leave the dog at home alone look at getting a rescue dog who you know can cope with being alone for 4 hours.
I would consider an older dog rather than a puppy, simply because it is a lot of work having a pup and with an older dog, they can be left for longer sooner and you have an idea of its personality.
I would recommend a spaniel or perhaps a King Charles cavalier (they’re quite cuddly if that’s important for the kids) but both breeds would need to taken to the groomers.
Hungarian vizlas are great running companions and are pretty chilled in the home too. They are bigger dogs (lab size) but they are a short hair breed so lower maintenance on that front.
Whatever breeds you consider, check out the health issues to which they are prone. Cavaliers are lovely affectionate little dog, but the breed is riddled with heart problems.
Cockers are great dogs, and the breed is split into show and working lines. The workers are high input, but provided you're willing to give one some brain work and training as well as just running, that could be a good match.
My son has the most amazing Working Cocker puppy. He has been really easy to train and very good with children and other dogs. They have artificial grass and it is no problem. The dog would be great with a runner..
A friend has a border terrier which has a habit of escaping and killing fowl on nearby farms ... as with all dogs, they're individuals.
Thanks so much everyone.
My heart is pulling me towards a puppy (who can resist that cuteness?!) but realistically I know my head is right when it says an older dog would be better for all the reasons NotwhereIshouldbe states.
I’ve looked in to the possibility of getting a grown rescue dog but everywhere I’ve looked seems extremely reluctant to rehome a rescue dog with children of my DC’s ages. Most I’ve seen say 14yrs+.
Is that common or have I just been looking in the wrong places?
Also, I’m a little wary of having a rescue with small children. My DC are very sensible around dogs and know to be calm and sensible but I don’t want to put them, or a dog, at risk. Although a puppy would be harder work in the short term, would it pay off in the long run as it would have grown up with my DC from the start?
I’m terms of the dog potentially being home alone, that’s just a possible future scenario. In the immediate future I’d be home full time.
I’d recommend something like a cavachon, they’re generally quite laid back and good for families. Terriers can be quite hyper (although our Lakeland x girl is quite chilled!). Maybe a poodle cross breed, I think most are non shedding so good if you’re not sure if DC have allergies.
Good luck and congratulations- owning a dog is such a privilege and they will bring so much happiness
Borders are fantastic - I have two, but they are not easy to train and some trainers recommend never letting them off the lead. However this comes with a caveat - I have one BT who will not answer her name and has zero recall (8 years) and one who will recall ok and wants to be with people (6 years) so they can be very different in personality. I spent hours at puppy classes and doing training with both.
They are amazing with children and I have friends who do lots of running with borders.
Good point about the heat of the artificial grass Hairyheadphones! It gets extremely hot in full sunshine, I hadn’t thought of that.
But good to know it’s not a problem for your son’s dog FLOrenze, there’s always at least part of the grass that’s cooler and shaded in our garden. I’d just have to keep the dog off the hot bits!
I do love the idea of running with a dog, interesting to hear a cocker could be good for that.
We’ve got a collie cross from a rescue, he’s amazing. Puppies are cute, but overrated in my opinion - it was great to have a ready made dog who was already housetrained and had some training. I think a pure breed collie is a no no from me though - they are extremely intelligent working dogs and need a lot of mental stimulation as well as exercise. I would visit a rescue centre and see if there’s one that suits you in terms of it’s needs and temperament rather than a particular breed, that’s what we did anyway. And I don’t think going back to work next year and leaving the dog is an issue if it’s just two days a week.
That’s really helpful Suziedoozy, thank you. I know all dogs will be different and whilst you can hope for certain characteristics by choosing a certain breed, it’s also largely luck what type of personality you end up with. But definitely interesting to hear that trainers agree that Borders can be tricky to train. (As backed up by a pp and the Border killing fowl! ) That makes me sad though as do I love their gorgeous little faces! Still, i’m well aware that’s not the most sensible reason to choose a breed!
I do love the idea of running with a dog, interesting to hear a cocker could be good for that.
Not sure about a cocker - I think they’re more interested in sniffing so just running along may not be that much fun for them. And I couldn’t do that with my collie cross, unless I’m doing laps on a big field and let him off the lead. When they run they run fast .
I would visit a rescue centre and see if there’s one that suits you in terms of it’s needs and temperament rather than a particular breed, that’s what we did anyway.
That’s really good advice. I probably should focus on what we need as a family rather than on a particular breed. Especially as a first time dog owner the idea of an at least already partially trained dog is very appealing. Plus I like the idea of rehoming a dog in need of a second chance. I just need to find one that’s ok rehoming with small children.
owning a dog is such a privilege and they will bring so much happiness
That’s what I’m so excited about - I suppose it doesn’t really matter to me what kind of dog I get, I just want one that will be happy with us and that will bring us happiness in return.
My DH finds his job very stressful, I just know a dog will do wonders for his MH.
You’ve all been incredibly helpful in focusing my mind on what I should be looking for, I was definitely getting in a bit of a dither. Thank you so much!
I have a working cocker/springer cross (a Sprocker). I regularly run with him and he is great - off lead when running he never strays too far from me and on lead can help pull me up hills
Also have DC and he’s great with children. Only downside is when family life is busy have to make sure he gets lots of input or he’ll be a bit naughty - just attention seeking things like stealing shoes etc
And I don’t think going back to work next year and leaving the dog is an issue if it’s just two days a week.
That’s really reassuring, thank you. It definitely wouldn’t be more than two days a week.
on lead can help pull me up hills
Now THAT is what I need!!
Im in the same situation as you, I'm gearing up towards a king Charles cocker spaniel caviler because of their good nature towards children.
I know someone who has a cavapoo after having cavaliers for many years. Some of his cavaliers suffered from heart problems so he thought that a crossbreed may eliminate that problem, his cavapoo is a lovely healthy dog (probably down to luck more than anything) If you do buy a puppy make sure the parents had had health checks to minimise the chances of it having beers specific problems.
We are getting a whippet pup next week. Apparently they are quiet, easy to train, good with children and other dogs.
We already have a Staffordshire bull terrier, he was easy to train, good with our DS, good with female dogs but not male. He whinges alot which apparently is a staffy thing but all round he's a brilliant dog and everyone loves him.
I think any dog can be the perfect dog if the time and effort is put into training them, exercise is key! If it's not walked you'll have a hyper, agitated dog in the house driving you insane.