Mumsnet does not check the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you're worried about your pet's health, please speak to a vet or qualified professional.
This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
Best breed for a family dog?(96 Posts)
After having a cat, we moss having a family pet. We're thinking of buying a dog. After some research I think that a king Charles cocker spaniel caviler would be ideal. Apparently they're great with children, mine are 6 & 9. I like the idea that after a walk they'll sit on your lap to watch a film. Can you experienced dog lovers give me any advice please?
Have you ever had a dog before, OP?
Sounds like another cat would suit you perfectly to be honest!
It's King Charles Spaniel, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, or Cocker Spaniel, those are three different breeds.
The Cavalier is a fantastic family dog personality wise BUT, and there's a big BUT, their health is notoriously bad as a breed. They have a huge number of health problems including brain and heart.
The King Charles is a rarer breed and very flat faced, I wouldn't recommend this one due to the flat-faced-breathing issues.
Cocker Spaniels come in two types, Working and Show, they have different breed traits so it's worth having a good read up on those.
Right I need to research that breed some more! I've always had cats the last one died age 15. My husband does not want another cat, as they please themselves by disappearing for hours on end. He used to have a golden retriever (who never came home from the vets after an operation). He loved interacting with him and taking him on long walks. Whereas you don't really get a lot of interaction with a cat! Can anyone please reccomend a better breed that doesn't have a lot of genital defects?
Best breed for a family dog?
IMO - A rescue! One that is coming for a foster placement if possible so that they know their interaction with children.
How much exercise per day are you planning for the dog? How long will it be alone? Do you have contigency plans for evenings when you are not coming straight home from work? Or plans for weekends. Realistically - how much can you give a dog in terms of time and training and interaction.
Research the breeds you are interested in & then contact breed specific rescues as well as more national ones. You’ll find the right dog eventually. Took me 2/3 years of waiting for the right rescue to come along.
id look at local rescue sites. If youve never had a dog before, maybe look for an older calmer dog rather than jumping straight in with a puppy.
Friends have two cocker spaniels. The show one is laid back and relaxed. The working one is completely nuts and exhausting to be around despite being 6 years old. There would be no sitting on a lap with the working one!
Syringomyelia is really common in Cavalier King Charles Spaniel it causes painful fits.I personally would not want a child to witness that
a puppy from a rescue may have less health problems
i heard corgis are easy to train quirky but nice with children but you can never go wrong with a lab as long as it comes from a reputable breeder
We had a king Charles cavelier, she was perfect! Very playful and docile, I would have to agree from my personal experience OP, that they are a lovely breed and brilliant with kids.
OP I'd really recommend you join borrowmydoggy and trial looking after and walking other people's dogs. Owning a dog is a huge commitment that will go on even when the DCs have left home if you get a puppy. It's good to get an idea of different breeds as well.
A rescue puppy might be good but most rescues won't place with children. Try a Cavapoo, cavalier king charles spaniel crossed with poodle, good temperament, fewer health problems, and low shedding.
It depends what you want really OP - a high energy, active dog who would love walks & activities and training; a calm, affectionate dog who is relaxed around the house after some exercise; a companion lap dog who needs limited exercise but is good company; a dog who is good at guarding and so on?
Do you mind regular grooming? A long haired or curly haired breed needs lots of upkeep. Do you have lots of free time? A working type breed could get you into a hobby like agility or flyball, or canicross or mountain rescue. Do you spend a lot of time near water - sea or rivers or so on? A labrador or similar breed will love the water, others not so keen - greyhounds, bulldogs. Do you have a big car and house? A large breed will need lots of room.
And so on and so forth.
Thank you for all the good advice. It's all good as I've never had a dog before. I really want a good fit as it's a huge commitment to make. We live in a medium size house with a medium size garden. I am a stay at home mum. I have lots of time. I'm looking for a dog that just needs 3 x30 minute walks a day and cuddles on the sofa. I'm going to visit the rspca centre to see their dogs and have a talk with them. My husband is researching labradors. So we will see! Im not going to make a rushed decision.
Definitely worth visiting a few rescues, having a chat, they will all have slightly different policies when it comes to rehoming including kids and cat testing.
Labradors are great soppy things for families, not too far removed from the Golden Retriever your husband had previously. Like a Golden they will moult a lot so be prepared for HAIR if you go that route.
Avoid poodle cross "designer" breeds, far far too easy to fall into buying a puppy farmed dog or a dog bred purely for profit without the relevant health tests. That includes the Labradoodle.
Whippets make lovely family pets and sound like they would fit the bill for your requirements .
3 short walks a day is not much for medium and large dogs - perhaps look at smaller, even toy breeds? That can be quite robust. I love labradors, I think they can make great pets, but they do benefit from a lot of exercise as generally they love to be active, and they love to eat! Personally I think spaniels and spaniel crosses can be quite high energy, intense dogs that really thrive when they have a lot of exercise and focused training.
I'd look at whippets, shetland sheepdog maybe, a poodle? Or staffies? Such affectionate dogs.
We had a golden retriever and she was a dream dog - obedient, affectionate and loved to share an armchair with my son.
We also had a Staffordshire bull dog cross who was a wonderful family pet. She loved everyone and was fantastic with children.
Staffies make great pets.
Whippet. Happy with one longer or two short walks ( love a quick sprint when trained to recall). Then spend hours on the sofa.
Whippet. I'm hopefully getting my pup in 2 months time. Done lots of research and found that they're placid, low maintenance, very affectionate family dogs. Rumour has it they don't bark often and have little odour. After a couple of short walks each day they just want to cuddle up on the sofa which sounds ideal for me as a first time dog owner after having cats too. I'm a stay at home mum for the next couple of years with two young kids so looking forward to walks and training (need to make sure they have good recall incase they chase anything!) I'd definitely read up on Whippets because they sound perfect.
Golden retrievers are wonderful family dogs, but as previous posters have said they do need a lot of exercise and mental stimulation and they shed hair like crazy, even with plenty of brushes to groom them. They are so lovely though and really enjoy being part of the family.
We (and most of dds friends) all have cockapoos and they’re ideal family pets! so much fun and not at all hard work . They just love to be cuddled!
I personally wouldn’t go for a rescue with kids but that’s because all near me (and so many generally) don’t place in homes with children anyway
I’d prefer to know how my dogs been raised from day 1
I fine King Charles dogs too boring in terms of playfulness
A lot of Cavaliers have horrendous problems
With syringomyelia which causes them excruciating pain often ending in euthanasia....
this is due to the Kennel Club insisting over time that the breed standard has smaller and smaller heads resulting in their brains being too small for their skulls.
Many people get labradors thinking they will be the perfect family dog when the reality can be very different. Labs can be large, heavy, greedy dogs that need firm handling and training. They are very soppy and affectionate but also can stick to you like glue and be very persistent which can be hard to handle due to their size/weight.
Oh and I second the whippet type dog for you! Relaxed at home and doesn't require the massive amounts of exercise/training that dogs like labs and spaniels etc do!