What would be the best breed for us?

(18 Posts)
embarrassedabout Fri 04-Oct-19 13:12:13

We've done quite a bit of research and have found a mixed breed that we think is ideal for our family, however I'm interested to see if anyone would suggest something different.

The dog would need to be:

Good for first time owners
Not a loud/yappy breed
Be good with kids 8+
It would get (a minimum of) two 30 min walks a day during the week and much longer at the weekends

What breed would you suggest?

OP’s posts: |
Blueskyandsmiles Fri 04-Oct-19 13:23:56

We've got a Shih tzu she's fantastic, so i have to vote for them. Possible downsides are, she is unlikely to want walk for hours, go on hikes etc but we get to do this so rarely as a family we are happy she is satisfied with short walks.

Grooming, hair grows so needs cutting unless you want it long, i find brushing her quite fun so I'm not bothered by this.

She is a lovely quiet, confident, relaxed and relaxing pup, talking to other shih tzu owners I think she is quite typical of the breed.

missbattenburg Fri 04-Oct-19 13:33:18

I don't know whether I would suggest a specific breed but I would call out a few 'watch outs' on your requirements:


No dog is hypoallergenic. People can be allergic to fur or dander and it's more often dander which is shed skin cells. All dogs shed skin cells but some fur types shed less and/or the cells get caught more easily in the fur so are released into the air less. It is important you know which you are allergic to. Moreover, some people can be allergic to one type of dog dander but not another so it's worth spending time with a breed first to check it won't trigger the allergy.

Finally on allergies, if you cross a cocker with a poddle (for e.g.) there is no guarantee you will get the dander/coat of a poodle. You have equal chances of getting the cocker type instead. You would need several generations of cross parents before you got any real stability there - e.g. cockerpoos bred to cockerpoos over several gens. A good breeder would know that.

Good for first time owners

You want something with a very stable temperament and that means buying it from someone who knows what they are doing (or a rescue from a reputable charity). Accidental or amatuer matings are a gamble for all sorts of reasons, but temperament is one of them. If you are buying a puppy, spend as much time researching the breeder as the breed. Be prepared to wait for the right one. It's worth it.

Be good with kids 8+

For puppies, this can be greatly influenced by how good the kids are with the dog. If yours don't know dogs very well then it's worth getting them around safe dogs now so they can learn etc. Plus keeping them engaged in the puppy's training - e.g. classes etc. It will help them relate to the dog as a dog, rather than a novelty, iyswim.

It would get (a minimum of) two 30 min walks a day during the week and much longer at the weekends

That's actually on the lower side of exercise for dogs. I only mention it because I think sometimes people think that level of exercise of normal and therefore must be moderate for the purposes of any breed description. You will want something with low exercise reqs. Lots of the companion breeds can fit into that category (dogs bred just to be companions vs bred for a job), so pugs, Cavaliers King Charles, Pekingese etc.

None of that answers your question directly, but hopefully is useful info?

missbattenburg Fri 04-Oct-19 13:35:21

shih tzu = also a companion breed so a fair recommendation, I think.

Companions breeds tend to have longer socialisation windows, giving them longer in which to learn that other dogs, people, animals are friendly and not to be feared.

GrumpyMiddleAgedWoman Fri 04-Oct-19 14:15:17

Re stable temperament, the evidence is that puppies from puppy farms are more prone to behavioural issues than ones from decent breeders. TBH I think you would be better off with a puppy from a one-off litter raised in someone's kitchen (where you can meet the dam and perhaps the sire - find out everything you can about parental temperament) than one from a factory-type facility with several litters on the go at once where the dogs are physically well looked after, but the puppies get the minimum of human contact and stimulation.

Re walks, I have a young dog from the working lines of a very active breed (they're sometimes considered hyper). She gets between 1 hr and 1 hr 30 on weekdays, with usually more at weekends, and she is very settled with that. The trick is to work the dog's brain - she gets a dose of training 5 or 6 or sometimes even 7 days a week, usually 20-40 mins (and sometimes 2 hours of club training).

When looking for a dog, think very hard about the overall health of the breed. Some breeds are notoriously unhealthy. Also if you get a pedigree, consider the coefficient of inbreeding of the litter (COI). If you have the dam's and sire's Kennel Club names, you can plug this into the KC's online calculator. Ideally, you want to COI of less than 5%. On average, high COIs have been shown to increase ill-health and reduce lifespan. That is not to say that a low COI is a guarantee of anything, but it improves your odds.

Be aware that terriers tend to bark on any excuse. I've lived with a few, and I live near a few, and they can kick off about bugger all. They can be utterly great dogs, and I have a soft spot for them, but they BARK.

embarrassedabout Fri 04-Oct-19 14:18:05

Aww she looks (and sounds) lovely.

@missbattenburg Thanks for all that info, really helpful smile
As far as I'm aware no one is allergic to dogs and we know quite a few dogs, however DS is allergic to some smaller animals, so I just want to be on the safe side. Same with the walking thing, he/she would normally get two one hour walks a day during the week, however I just say two thirty min walks to be on the safe side. Also, I would rather adopt a rescue but if we for whatever reason couldn't have a rescue then we'd get a pup (bit anxious about getting a puppy because I've read and heard so many things about puppy farms/irresponsible breeding etc). And we would absolutely do training classes (with the DC too).

OP’s posts: |
TeacupRex Fri 04-Oct-19 16:39:52

I would suggest a well-bred miniature poodle! Poodles are the original allergy-friendly breed. Keep in mind that no dog is truly hypoallergenic - if it has skin, it will produce dander which is what most people react to - but they shed very little and is seen as the best breed for allergy sufferers. Poodle crossbreeds (cockapoos, labradoodles, cavapoos etc) are a gamble, as with genetics it's not always guaranteed that you'll get that very low-shedding coat of the poodle when you cross it will a breed that sheds a lot. Keep in mind that any breed that barely sheds will require regular grooming at home and trips to a professional groomer every 1-3 months.

It's really important that you choose a breeder that is well acquainted with the miniature poodle, and breeds for good health and temperament. Unfortunately there are a lot of backyard breeders and puppy mills that are producing very sickly, poor temperamented poodles - and that's where a lot of people have developed a 'poodle aversion' from, the belief that all poodles will be snappy, nervous, neurotic and highly-strung. A miniature poodle that is correctly bred to breed standard should not have any of those traits. In fact, a well bred poodle is an absolute delight to be around, they are very intelligent, trainable, easy to housebreak so perfect for first timers. They should be polite and friendly with kids, other pets and strangers and don't need an awful lot of exercise.

Please give poodles a chance! They are cracking little dogs smile


MissShapesMissStakes Fri 04-Oct-19 22:36:52

Second all that @TeacupRex says above.
We have a mini poodle. First timers. He’s great. And I am allergic to most dogs. Not him. He’s not snappy or precious (unless it’s raining). Great with my kids and very clever and affectionate.

Ruby2065 Sat 05-Oct-19 07:31:04

Mini schnauzer here. I'm allergic to cats so very apprehensive about getting a dog. She's 3 now and I've not had any problems, hardly sheds at all. Very affectionate/calm and loves spending time with us but equally can be left alone when we are at work. Not yappy and great with the kids. A singe to
house train Can only recommend !

embarrassedabout Tue 08-Oct-19 14:07:41

@GrumpyMiddleAgedWoman I must've posted at the same time as you as I didn't even see your reply. Thanks for all that information. So much research to do. We were actually wanting to get a Cavachon (Cavalier/Bichon Frise) but I've read a few comments about Cavaliers being prone to a few health issues. I agree a one off litter from a family home is probably what we're looking for.

OP’s posts: |
embarrassedabout Tue 08-Oct-19 14:08:11

I'll definitely look at Poodles and Mini Schnauzers then smile

OP’s posts: |
embarrassedabout Tue 08-Oct-19 14:10:07

I'm hoping after a few visits at rescues we'll find the perfect new family member and they can advise us on who they have that'll be a good fit for us and us for them but I think if it's been a while or if we're not suitable I want to know we have a plan b ie puppy

OP’s posts: |
Wolfiefan Tue 08-Oct-19 14:11:41

@embarrassedabout a one off litter from a home? Awful idea. You want someone who actually knows about what they are doing. Someone who understands genetics and breeding. Not someone who throws together their unneutered and unhealthtested dogs to try and make some money.
Rescue or pick an actual breed and go via the breed club to find a breeder who’s reputable. (And no. KC reg isn’t the same thing!)

Flippetydip Tue 08-Oct-19 14:26:10

We were very set on the idea of a small/medium sized dog and ended up with a greyhound. The more research I did, the more I came to the conclusion that this was what would actually fit into our family existence, particularly as we wanted a rescue.

Can I suggest you have a look at greyhounds? They are generally low-maintenance as far as dogs go (well, this has been our experience).

1. They are exceptionally lazy, so would actually for the most part be more than happy with two 30-minute walks a day but are happy to go for longer.
2. They shed far less than most dogs of that size as they only have one layer of coat (and I second the PP who said you are definitely NOT guaranteed a non-shedder if you get a poodle cross - we have neighbours who have a labradoodle who is a. a headcase and has been an utter bastard to train and b. sheds and smells like a retriever)
3. They generally walk beautifully on-lead as they are trained like that from the get go in racing kennels.
4. They are generally (again, no promises as all dogs are different) very good with children.
5. They are calmness personified (dogified?) - we've just had ours registered with PAT.
6. There are literally hundreds that need homes. Once they've finished racing they get sent to rescue (or worse the Middle East or China where they are raced to death) and they make amazing pets.
7. Re. the allergy thing - I'm extremely allergic to cats, guinea pigs and horses and not at all to dogs. I would however, suggest that you get all family members to spend some time with dogs before going down that route as otherwise there will be a huge amount of heartache when you have to rehome due to allergies. If you want a non-allergenic dog - get a poodle - but I believe that they need a LOT of stimulation and exercise - they are incredibly bright dogs.

Please don't greyhounds them before you've looked a bit into them.

Flippetydip Tue 08-Oct-19 14:26:47

Oh I forgot to say - they actually seem to take up a lot less room than a small dog as they are mostly lying down and not pathering around under your feet.

Maneandfeathers Tue 08-Oct-19 14:40:44

Whippet every single time!

embarrassedabout Tue 08-Oct-19 16:52:19

@Flippetydip Our very close family friends have a greyhound (rescue) he's such a lovely sweet little (...well, big) thing. Very chilled out and really quiet too plus I know no one is allergic to him.

We'd need a fairly small dog though as I doubt landlords would allow anything large unfortunately, otherwise I definitely would consider a rescue greyhound.

OP’s posts: |
GrumpyMiddleAgedWoman Tue 08-Oct-19 17:34:03

I met a mini schnauzer yesterday, out walking. The owner said he'd been a doddle to house-train, and he was a very jolly friendly little dog.

@Wolfiefan, I'd argue that one reason so many dogs come from puppy farms (either proper hell-holes or rather more legit operations which are hygeinic but rubbish for socialisation of litters and punt their breeding stock the second it's past its sell-by) is because not enough people breed the occasional litter. And breeders of the odd litter are not all the same: the bloke who bred our younger dog had gone for temperament, working ability and long-term health - and had been careful to avoid mixing closely-related lines. I've friends who breed the odd litter, always using health-tested studs. You have consider each litter on its own merits. I rejected a couple from 'reputable breeders' because the COI was through the roof. Equally I know reputable breeders who produce amazing dogs with low COIs.

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