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What dog?

(35 Posts)
underneaththeash Wed 01-Jan-20 22:25:44

So, I’ve finally given in to the rest of the family’s requests to get a dog. I’m not enormously keen on dogs - but I can see the benefits, especially for DS1 who is a little overweight, not happy at school and adores dogs..

I like to do things properly, so with a puppy, I think we need to be around (ie not away for holidays/weekends away for the first few months and not busy at work.) So I’m happy to wait for the right breed.

Requirements are:
Needs to get in with my cat
Short-haired
Not too small - DH is 6’5 and DS(13) is 6’ so will look daft with a small dog
Trainable - I don’t like dogs that jump up or lick or bark a lot.
Good with children although my youngest is 8yo, I’m not keen to have one that will be phased by visiting babies.
I’m also not keen on very needy dogs, I like my space.

I’m happy to go on long walks and don’t mind spending time training. Cost not important.

OP’s posts: |
Rollonspringtime2020 Wed 01-Jan-20 22:28:25

We have 2 Lurchers. Totally underestimated as a family ddog.
We have 2 dcats, other ddogs and lots of dc.

Scarsthelot Wed 01-Jan-20 22:38:32

I have working cockers that match that description. Though I have one clipped all over, the other is a puppy but will be clipped. Great with kids, as adults quite independent, but do like having people around, very trainable, like a good walk with lots to sniff at.

However, any puppy you get will be needy and they are puppies for a long time. That's all breeds. Have a look at the puppy support threads, so see how needy some can be and how difficult some people have it. Obviously, that thread tends to be people struggling, no needs support if it's all ok. But it will give you an idea.

sydenhamhiller Wed 01-Jan-20 23:00:46

Irish terrier!

We had 2 cats, 1 hamster and 3 children (ages 5-13) when I finally gave in to 5 years of campaigning for a dog.

He is now 2, and even though I jokingly moan about him, he has been the absolutely best thing we could have done. Really unites the family, and going on a family dog walk is one of the few family activities my now 14 and 16 year old oldest two will join in.

Pros:
Good size
Not a ‘big barker’ breed
Need to be hand stripped or trimmed, so very little dog hair
Not dribblers
Clever
Great fun
Loves kids (we got him because of friend with 4 sons has an Irish and I loved how the dog thinks he is one of the boys). Since then another mutual friend has got an Irish.
Loves being out in any weather, but as long as we want, but calm at home

Cons:
Relatively heedless/ strong willed like all terriers. We put a lot of time in training/ snacks/ classes/ private classes, and he is good as gold in the house, sits/ stays/ down/ wait/ take it (for dinner)/ gives ‘high five’... and then as soon as he sees a squirrel - he’s off. He does come back as soon as the squirrel is up a tree, unlike my friend’s beagle 😉

As a previous poster said, the puppy stage lasts a loooong time. I was in between jobs at the time, and to be honest I found it really trying. And tying! I have said to my family, I would have another dog, but not another puppy.

Someone had told me that a 8-9 month old puppies are like having teenagers, and can be a real low! Our dog calmed down a lot at 13 months ish, and at 2 and a bit now, he’s so much calmer, it’s remarkable.

Snufflesdog Thu 02-Jan-20 08:55:38

If you don’t really want a dog
And you want your space
And don’t want tiny
And don’t want a dog that does dog things like jump bark and lick
And you don’t want needy

You shouldn’t get a dog,
But definitely do not get a puppy.

Snufflesdog Thu 02-Jan-20 08:57:03

I realise that may have sounded rude. It wasn’t intended as such
But it sounds like you’re not keen.
And puppies are relentless with all the things you don’t want, for months as months

Medievalist Thu 02-Jan-20 09:26:40

Totally agree with you Snuffles. The op doesn't seem to like dogs but is giving in to family pressure. Once the novelty has worn off it will be the op who has to look after the dog.

Puppies are hugely demanding. We got one in August (10 weeks old, about to be dumped in a rescue centre because the owner couldn't cope and he 'cried so much'). We got our other two dogs around 6 months old (a more typical age for owners to give up on a dog) and it is 12 years since we last had a puppy. I had totally forgotten how exhausting it is!!! Much harder than a baby because you can put a nappy on a baby and they also can't move! DH and I alternated sleeping downstairs with the puppy so we could rush him into the garden every couple of hours for a wee. It's worth the effort though to speed up housetraining.

He was/is into absolutely everything and required constant attention (though one of our other dogs was brilliant and allowed herself to be climbed over and nipped, and initiated games. If you don't have another dog then you have to be the source of entertainment!

There has always been someone at home with the puppy and now, at 6 months, he's so well-adjusted and happy.

I imagine having a puppy would be a nightmare for anyone not that into dogs.

LochJessMonster Thu 02-Jan-20 11:52:50

Trainable - I don’t like dogs that jump up or lick or bark a lot.
Good with children although my youngest is 8yo, I’m not keen to have one that will be phased by visiting babies.
I’m also not keen on very needy dogs, I like my space.

You shouldn't get a dog.

Dogs are hard even for the most dog loving and enthusiastic person. You need to assume your son will not help, and it will all be left to do.

underneaththeash Thu 02-Jan-20 13:00:58

I don’t particularly want a dog. However, there are 4 other people in my house that do. We have a large house and garden and I would give it all the attention it needs, I often go out on dog walks with friends and their dogs, but they all seem to have cockapoos, which aren’t really my thing.

DH grew up with greyhounds, so the lurcher sounds a possibility.

Thank you for the advice.

OP’s posts: |
SharkasticBitch Thu 02-Jan-20 13:15:06

Honestly, OP, you've described a cat not a dog.

All the things you don't want are all the things dogs do naturally. Whilst all of us try to alter our dog's natural behaviour a little so they fit into our worlds, there is only so far you can succeed at this.

Even the magical lurchers and greys:
- might not be ok with the cat. Some live with cats, others will chase and hurt them. It's a gamble because chasing small furries is in their nature.
- crave human affection and attention so may be needy
- are programmed to respond to fast movement so may struggle around children that run around a lot
- are sensitive so may not like being around babies

All of that makes them sound like bad pets but they are not. And there will be loads of examples of sighthounds that are much easier to live with than that. It's just that every single breed/type comes with lists like that and, as a dog owner, you need to understand what your particular breed might be like and be prepared to deal with it or live with it.

GrumpyMiddleAgedWoman Thu 02-Jan-20 13:21:01

As for barking, licking and jumping up, almost all dogs can be trained out of these behaviours.

TBH I don't like untrained dogs that get in my face and won't settle. I want a dog to be unphased by babies and children. I'm not a fan of tiny dogs. I'm with OP there.

The only thing is whether you're prepared to commit to a year or so of pretty constant and consistent input: recall, sit, house training, basic manners, walking to heel. If yes, you should get a well-socialised and well-behaved dog at the end of it.

Snufflesdog Thu 02-Jan-20 13:37:50

Op to clarify I too want the things you want
But I accept they’re not 100% realistic
And not at all realistic if you have a puppy - these things take a long time to train
I really wanted a dog and have had dogs before and had done lots of research. I was still surprised at how much work it takes. I can’t imagine if I hadn’t been 100% on board. And our puppy house trained within a week and sleeps through the night so I have it much easier than others!

I’d be worried you may feel resentful if much of the work falls to you - which you may need to consider as a possibility, particularly if you’re the only one who is concerned about training the dog not to jump / lick / enjoy its own space.

Perhaps a trained rescue lurcher would be a great idea for you though
Good luck x

adaline Thu 02-Jan-20 15:59:47

If you don't like those behaviours then absolutely do not get a puppy.

They lick, bite, jump, nip and act like total loons for a good year or more.

To be honest from your OP it doesn't sound like you would suit dog ownership. They're very tying and require a good couple of hours of input each day. Mine needs a good walk or two, letting out to the toilet, feeding, training and cuddling for a good two plus hours. He doesn't like being alone and likes to be touching you at all times!

Dogs in general are pretty intense pets and need vast amounts of input. If you're not prepared to cope with barking, licking, hair everywhere and lots of work, don't get a dog.

No breed is immune to problems.

Wolfiefan Thu 02-Jan-20 16:07:30

If you don’t really want a dog then absolutely don’t get a puppy. I have one. She’s nearly 11 weeks. Still the odd pee in the house, waking me in the night, biting EVERYTHING, can’t take my eyes off her for a second, can’t trust her not to chase the cats. Because she’s a puppy.

sydenhamhiller Thu 02-Jan-20 16:14:24

OP, you sound like me, I think. Also family of 5, and a cat person who does not like dogs that are constantly ‘needy’ (thinks of aunt’s springer spaniels).

I think I would have had people saying I should not get a dog either. I knew what I was letting myself in for, but ‘sacrificed’ (melodramatic but can’t think of another word) as I knew how happy it would make the other 4.

It was hard work. As I said up thread, I did not enjoy it. But I did not really enjoy the baby stage of my 3 kids either, and I am massive fan of teens - so I knew it would pass. And it did. And nothing worthwhile comes easy, and he has been a really worthwhile addition.

And there are all kinds of doggy day care to help make life easier. H did not start until he was 1, and I went back part time...

Boristhecats Thu 02-Jan-20 16:34:58

First thing you will have to do. Is to take it outside every half an hour for months. Even at night. Every half an hour.

They will wee and poo on your carpet. They will eat everything. They will never leave you alone. It is endless. Every child who has ever said they will help has ended up not helping. Mine did. And was doing it all on my own.

Add in evenings for classes. You have to train them everyday and I mean everyday to get them properly trained.

And then when that is all done you could end up with a dog that has separation anxiety. Who is reactive to dogs ( mine was and I was walking him at 5am and 10pm at night ) and I had him from a puppy and I did everything I was supposed to do. You can have one that hates cars so you can’t take them anywhere.

This is not something you walk into if you don’t like dogs. I’m sorry but I agree with the others. Your doing the wrong thing.

GrumpyMiddleAgedWoman Thu 02-Jan-20 21:07:01

First thing you will have to do. Is to take it outside every half an hour for months. Even at night. Every half an hour.
Nope. I have brought up several dogs from puppyhood and never had to do this. I have taken them outside regularly during the day, had a dog-door, and gone from there. Mostly housebroken, day and night, from about 16 weeks.

You have to train them everyday and I mean everyday to get them properly trained.
I'll agree with that, though. (Maybe Sundays off.) Training is fun, though (when it isn't frustrating) and it can just be part of a normal walk.

If you have a dog, you have to make the time to walk them every day, you have to give them attention and love and care. But if having dogs wasn't fun, people wouldn't have them.

underneaththeash Fri 03-Jan-20 08:44:30

@sydenhamhiller - sounds like me.

I'm a very good lookerafterer, so I'll be fine from that perspective.

I understand that puppies are really difficult and I think that's one of the reasons I'm a bit reticent!

We ended up going a local dog walking NT area yesterday and I accosted several people with dogs that looked about the right size (DD and I thought the lurcher's were a bit too large).

I think we're going to end up with a miniature labradoodle and we also have a breeders name to put our name down with.

We need to wait until September 2020 anyway as we're away too much over the next few months.....

OP’s posts: |
Cinders29 Fri 03-Jan-20 08:59:44

Labrador! Always!

Great with kids and they love to be trained. Go for a working one. There's a myth that working labs are bonkers and need endless exercise and mental stimulation, and whilst my lab loves his walks and mind games etc he is also the laziest pup ( 10 months ) in the world. He basically conducts his life from the sofa.

We worked very hard in the beginning. I walked around with a bum bag full of treats and a clicker for the first 2 months, using every opportunity to teach him how we'd like him to behave for example; he jumped up, we turned our back and when all 4 paws were on the ground we clicked and treated and fussed. Same with going to the toilet etc.
The first 2 weeks I slept on the sofa next to his crate, letting him out at 11 , 3 and 6. He soon settled and went all night within a few weeks. Do not use puppy pads! Just make the crate just big enough to turn around - they won't soil on their beds.
The other really important thing is to get from a reputable breeder. It took us a really long time to find the right one. Look at parents temperaments and ensure the puppies are used to every day noises etc that will make your job so much easier when they come home.

At 10 months our pup is now left to sleep downstairs on his own - no crate ( we only use when we go out ) he has 50 minutes of walking a day, due to age. He's hardly ever chewed he doesn't jump up - he would be perfect but he is still a bugger for nicking food - we're working on that but labs are notoriously greedy - def con !

He's the best thing we ever did. My son has special needs and I also have a toddler and they both adore him. It is very hard work in the beginning , worse than having kids at times but if you're willing to put in the work early on - it will pay off and you'll probably find some of the things you think you don't want, you accept because you love them so much ( for me i didn't want him on my bed as I didn't want hair / dog smell upstairs - he's currently lay next to me in bed 🙈😂 )

Good luck xxx

FLOrenze Fri 03-Jan-20 09:06:14

My son has a working Cocker . It has the most amazing tempering and very trainable. My dogs hates every dog except this one.

GrumpyMiddleAgedWoman Fri 03-Jan-20 09:23:45

Lurchers vary loads in size, OP. A deerhound X Collie will be a big dog. A Belington whippet, not so much.

GrumpyMiddleAgedWoman Fri 03-Jan-20 09:23:55

*bedlington

adaline Fri 03-Jan-20 09:28:29

I think we're going to end up with a miniature labradoodle and we also have a breeders name to put our name down with.

Please be aware that these are crosses and there is no guarantee that you'll get a nice small dog. I've met numerous owners of "mini" crosses like that who've ended up with 35kg dogs who need huge amounts of exercise!

If you like small dogs, why not just get a poodle? Why the need to outcross it with a Labrador?

Daffodil101 Fri 03-Jan-20 09:51:51

There’s a lot of negativity on this thread. I realise some of it is justified, but I’m going to balance it out.

I was just like you. Large house and garden, live on the edge of countryside, used to borrow the neighbours’ dog for walks. I actually love dogs but never had space in our lives to commit to one.

Last autumn I realised time was ticking on. Kids getting older, so are we. If we didn’t take the plunge soon, kids would have left home when we got around to it. I wanted them to have a dog.

We brought home our cockapoo puppy at 10 weeks. He was super cute but I found the disruption hard. Great big crate blocking cupboards, huge pen in the kitchen. Smells..

It took me a long time to like the dog. I was back at work part time after three weeks. He’s now five months old and it’s still very hard. The hardest bit is the early morning waking. I hadn’t considered that. One of my children was a very early riser, and now she’s a teenager, my occasional lie ins are hard earned. The dog wakes up the minute he hears somebody move upstairs, so that can be 6am or even earlier if somebody needs the loo. He barks and whines, so you do have to get up.

On a positive side, he will sleep through the night from 11.30. He stays happily in a crate if we need to leave him in the day. We have a dog walker on the two days I work. He can be left for 3-4 hours if needed. We recently had to leave him for 5 hours because we went into the city for a Christmas meal, and he was absolutely fine.

He needs feeding at lunchtime, so you have to factor that in. We’ve got another month of that.

He hasn’t destroyed anything in the house. He tried to at first but we all decided on a noise we would make to warn him off. He sometimes brings a shoe but he doesn’t chew it. He has never nipped. He doesn’t lick much but he does jump up when he’s pleased to see you. That drives me mad!

He was housetrained within three weeks. He had one poo and three wees on the kitchen floor in all that time. We used to take him out every hour, now he can go much longer. We never slept downstairs with him. He cried for four nights but settled on the fifth night. We certainly didn’t toilet him during the night between midnight and 6am in the early days.

He has had only two accidents in his crate, once he was sick because we accidentally fed him twice. The second time he had an upset tummy.

He is trained to sit, lie down, give me your paw. He will walk to Heel on command. He comes back to a whistle. He will dig the lawn if you let him. We don’t let him.

We went to puppy school for six weeks, taught us a lot. He’s had attachment issues and wouldn’t let us leave the room, but he now enjoys some alone time in his playpen with things to occupy him.

We are yet to hit the teens!

Finding somebody to look after him while we go on holiday has been ok. We don’t have family or friends willing to have a puppy but they are likely to occasionally have him when he’s older.

My family love him. I think he’s a pain in the bum but on balance I’m glad we got him. Like you, I’m a fan of older children. I didn’t enjoy my children as babies, I need my own space and I felt suffocated by them. The puppy is like that but he’s improved a lot since we got him (October half term).

I hope that’s a balanced view.

Rollonspringtime2020 Fri 03-Jan-20 11:02:16

Ime Lurchers fold up very small...
Dcats didn't even get a sniff of their new beds!!

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