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Advice re breed and rescue vs pup needed!(28 Posts)
Really need some advice please. We’ve never had a dog before, always assumed we would get a rescue but someone I work with is quite adamant that a puppy would be best for us so bit unsure how to proceed.
We have 2 girls (9 and 11) and a 6 year old rescue cat. A friend of a friend has a JRT/Lakeland cross due to have puppies soon and we could have one. Apparently the mother and father are both great dogs with great temperaments but I’ve read that terriers are one of the worst breeds to have if you have cats. Does it make a difference if the dog lives with the cat from a puppy?
From my research it looks like the best breeds to live with both kids and cats are labs and golden retrievers, does that sound right and if so, presume a puppy would be the most likely route as the rescues don’t seem to have many of those breeds?
Feeling a bit disheartened as see loads of lovely doggies on rescue sites but it feels like there’s always something that means they’re not suitable for us.
We got our pup from a rescue so you can have the best of both worlds instead of funding backyard breeders.
Plenty of rescue dogs are cat tested. Rather than take the word of some know it all from work get in touch with some rescue centres!
It can be a disheartening process trying to find the right dog from a rescue but when it does happen it happens quick and is so worth the wait.
I love terriers and never have anything else, but JRTs can be a total nightmare, hyper, barky, and fighty. Not always, but often. Lakelands more laid back but still have terrier non stop bouncyness ! If you want one, get a dog rather than a bitch, and put massive effort into socialisation. Also this is not a breed to leave alone for any length of time.
Yes it does make a difference with cats if the dog lives with them from the start, but a very full on puppy might really upset your cat if they have lived without a dog their whole life.
An older dog is often a more known quantity, you can judge temperament more easily. Puppies are a lot of work, they are like having a baby !
In your place I would probably get a slightly older rescue dog, but I can see why you might like a pup - are you at home usually ?
Its easier to get the dog first and introduce a kitten, sorry! Your cats may just clear off, mine did. Terriers and cats is a no, as are whippets and greyhounds. Do you go out to work?
We have a lurcher and a cat. Cat was here first, lurcher put in his place and stayed there
@cowfacemonkey what breed was your pup? I’ve been looking for a while and the lab/GR don’t seem to come up much and when they do, are snapped up straightaway. Work colleague has 2 dogs and is quite ‘sensible ‘ so I do value her opinion but like I said, I always thought we would get a rescue.
Thanks SirVix, yes I am at home so do have the time but not the experience! My oldest girl has Down’s so I wanted a friend for her and I think a fighty, barky dog wouldn’t be right for her.
I have cats and terriers and have friends with greyhounds and cats. It can work
He's a lurcher so a sighthound cross (probably some sort of greyhound cross but not sure exactly). He is such a lovely, calm boy. They are pretty low maintenance as a "breed". Although do bare in mind all puppies start off as yappy, bitey, high needs little feckers and your daughter may not actually enjoy the experience of a young pup at all (my children were quite quickly turned off by puppyhood)
If you are at home, then a puppy is an option. Terriers are good fun and like children, but JRTs can be snappy. They are full on ! I like the madness of terriers, but I wouldn’t get a JRT as I have known so many fighty, stroppy ones, even though not all are like that.
You need a calmer breed I think ? Although Border terriers are good family dogs - usually good with children and not too stroppy, with the terrier cheerfulness.
I would avoid the more neurotic breeds- JRTs, Border Collies. Or the more oversensitive- whippets, dachshunds.
A crossbreed is probably better than a pure breed, and it is worth considering a rescue, as there might be just the doggie for you.
Lots of lovelies on here!
I’m sure someone mentioned failed guide dogs before - that may be an a good compromise if you are keen on labs?
Although rescue pointy dogs are the best!
I've known JRTxPatterdales from both ends of the spectrum. The bitch was great with DC, lived well with a cat and could be left without difficulty, but her brother was a snappy little shit (possibly because he had zero training and did exactly as he pleased, whereas the bitch had a more structured upbringing and was less indulged).
Sorry, that's no help at all... Other than to say that of you do go for one of the puppies, put the energy into training it. They can be fabulous, sparky, funny little dogs.
Failed guide dog is a great shout. We know someone who just got a 15 month old lab who had been through the training but failed her final assessment as her ears twitched when loud vehicles went by. They have to be completely bomb proof so I think even a slight reaction to anything is a fail.
She is impeccably trained and socialised, her recall is amazing, has such a lovely temperament.
That sort of dog would be great as still young but through all the puppy stuff. Sounds like it would be ideal for your daughter too.
Have you met the parent dogs?
If you have and you like their personalities I'd go for the puppy.
Temperament is largely inherited, a rescue puppy is something of an unknown quantity, you don't know how it might mature.
Also, goldens/labs are BIG and very bouncy and mouthy.
They are not the quiet, placid plodders a lot of people think they are.
Ah, yes I’ve read about failed guide dogs on here before and had forgotten! That’s a good idea thanks. @Fucksandflowers yes, the size of labs was one of the things that I am a little worried about. I dislike tiny dogs so thought a medium dog would be better and the mum of the pups has long legs so taller than a usual terrier type I think. I haven’t met the parents as they are in wales and we are in brum but my friend who isn’t a dog fan has met the mum (the owner is her friend) and she said it’s the nicest dog she has ever met! Seen pics and she is adorable and the owner and I have messaged a few times and she says both parents have lovely temperaments which is why I was tempted. I just feel it’s such a hard decision as we love our cat so much and wouldn’t want her to feel nervous in her own home plus it would be a nightmare if any dog we chose turned out to be fighty or bitey
If your friend has JRT/ Lakeland cross who is pregnant, what breed is the father ? Also when you say Lakeland, do you mean the actual Lakeland, or a Fell terrier also often referred to as a Lakeland ?
It’s a friend of a friend so we have just had a few messages. So she just said mum is a Lakeland terrier crossed with a jack russell. I asked about the dad and she said ‘he is a terrier too, same colouring as the mum but with slightly shorter legs but still got a lovely temperament’.
So the pups will be a mix of random terriers ? Could be brilliant, but could also be fiery and aggressive with other dogs,
Well obviously your friend with the pregnant dog is keen to find homes for the future puppies.
I Don't know anything about terriers but I wouldn't let the fact that a friend of a friend has a dog who is pregnant influence your decision. By all means research the breeds a bit more but I would have thought a more docile breed would be more suitable.
@Frazzled2207 tbf she has said all the right things to me in the messages. She’s not looking to make money, just wants to cover the cost of worming and microchipping and she has said her main concern is that the pups are well looked after and told me what a commitment it is, needs training etc.
I think what attracted me about it is mainly because both my friend and the owner have confirmed what lovely temperament the mum has, whereas I don’t think I would necessarily get info like that from a rescue. But yes, just looking into breeds, it wouldn’t have been the breed I would have chosen on paper if that makes sense. But because I’m a complete novice about dogs, I don’t really know if parental genes outweigh breed stereotypes?!
I would be really wary about rehoming one of those puppies, to be honest.
Jack Russells are not easy dogs and that's without whatever other random terriers are in the mix here. All JRT's I know need huge amount of exercise and stimulation - they're originally working dogs designed to do things like ratting and chase rabbits - they have incredibly high prey drives and are also pretty territorial over their homes and people.
That said, I've met some lovely ones but they're only that way because they've had huge amounts of work put into them by their owners. They're definitely not a breed for someone who's never had dogs before.
Parental lineage is important when choosing a dog and you know nothing about 50% of the parentage here, and very little about the remaining half. Where did your friend get her dog from? Is it well socialised? What were it's parents like? Are they from working or pet lines? What kind of health issues did they have?
It's likely your friend can't answer any of those questions which is why taking on one of these puppies as a novice owner is pretty risky.
JRTs can be snappy little beggars. I wouldn’t get a pup with youngish children and a cat tbh.
I would definitely veer more towards a rescue, just because you will have some idea of temperament before you bring them home. And if you’re a novice owner having a dog that is reasonably trained/housetrained is a godsend.
You can get in touch with your local rescues and register your interest and they should let you know if a suitable dog comes in. It does take patience, but it is very worth it in the end!
Parental temperament is partly socialisation and training. Breed traits can override all of that though, so the best socialised dog might still have a strong desire to chase and hunt, or protect things. Two nice natured parents might still produce a very high maintenance puppy.
If her dog is a Lakeland cross, that could mean anything, it may not mean the Kennel club Lakeland, who are stubborn but good tempered dogs on the whole- although their recall takes some work and may always be bad- it may mean a Fell terrier, and they can be absolute beasts. Great for a terrier savvy household, absolutely not a good first dog. Terriers generally need a lot of work put in, plenty of play with mental stimulation as they are intelligent dogs, but also enough calm that they don’t switch into hyper/ bonkers mode. Terriers are easily over stimulated, and finding that balance is hard and comes with experience. The same is true of collies, people assume they need tons of stimulation, but too much and they become hyper, anxious, and snappy. Too little and they are bored and can get destructive. It is a bit like having an excitable toddler, who needs to run around and play to let off steam, but who can tip into hyper and then tantrum if over stimulated at a party full of cakes... !
I should also add that recall on many breeds of terrier, as with dogs like beagles, can be terrible and might drive you up the wall. They have been bred to be intelligent and to think for themselves, so they will. I have lost count of the terriers I have met who are never let off the lead, which is very sad, but comes from the fact that they will charge off and only come back when they have had enough. They don’t all care about food much, so a treat for coming back does not outweigh the fun they are having. A greedy dog is a gift when doing recall training .
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