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Help please. What dog should we get?(52 Posts)
Hi Doghouse regulars,
I hope you won't mind helping us. We've been ready for a dog for a few years now, but haven't had the time to commit to a puppy. I've now stopped working and won't be going back til September - very part time in a SEN school and DDog can come with me. DS is also at home now of course too (he's 9) so it would be great to get him involved.
Sorry to sound like such a newbie but it's great to get real life perspectives. What dog would you recommend to us please? We'd like something small, and ideally hypoallergenic - I know there's a risk with all dogs but minimising the risk would be great. I've got a disability so can't commit to lots of walking, although we'd get a dog walker to give it one good walk a day on top of the mini walks we could do.
I've been thinking of a small poodle or a cockapoo- friends have cockapoos and they're absolutely lovely.
All help and ideas really appreciated.
Also- where does one go about finding a reputable breeder once we've chosen a breed?
We have recently got a Shih Tzu puppy. They are bred as companion dogs, so are very friendly and require little walking. They do need regular grooming however.
We found a breeder on the kennel club website
Go on the kennel club website and do the 'what puppy should I get?' quiz, it's really helpful.
I honestly think that if you aren't even yet at the 'what dog' decision then you aren't going to be in a position to actually have a dog before September.
It can take people months and months to find the right breeder, who actually has a litter with available dogs (unless you go down the puppy farm type breeder - obviously you don't want to do that!). For a well bred dog you might well need to wait for a litter anyway.
Sorry to put a downer on what is already a pretty crappy time.
Use time instead to research - breed, breeder, what checks they need to have etc?
For info - I have a mini poodle. He's our first ever dog and he's amazing. Poodles are great. I never find a single stray hair anywhere either.
The quiz idea is a great start. It’ll help you to consider grooming and exercise and other things that matter to you.
Also look into the negatives. Some breeds are more prone to trouble toilet training or suspicious of strangers or likely to have separation anxiety. (Though obviously each dog is individual!)
Reputable breeder. The breed club is a good start. But it won’t be quick. You will have to wait. And no. You won’t find a good poodle cross breeder. They just want cash.
A FB group I’m on had someone after a cockerpoo or similar cross. The breeders suggested had about a litter a month. They were using a stud dog of just over a year old.
I predict that there will be many homeless puppies in the next few weeks because people will have lost their job and can't afford them anymore. I'm a dog trainer and already know a 12 wk pup that was sent back to breeder for this reason.
Why not get in touch with local rescues, breeders and dog trainers to see if a suitable pup is available?
Yami that’s so sad. Lots of dogs in rescues as ever ATM.
Lhasa apso! Amazing breed and so cute
Firstly it good you are asking so many people know so little about a dogs needs but just go and get one.
Lhasa Apsos are generally very good with kids and good sleepers so dont need much walking.
Crosses, well its a mine field because its so profitable some people are breeding any two dogs to get puppies and you can end up with not only health issues but behaviour issues too.
Personally I would look at some of the Rarer breeds as there are some hidden gems, we have a Dandie Dinmont terrier she is our first Dandie and in 30 years of dog ownership she is the best of the 5 dogs we have had.
Why not pop along to a few different training places to meet a few different breeds.
If we had the room for another it would be one of these two.
Glen of Imal Terrier
Or a Bedlington
I wouldn't get a poodle or cockerpoo - both will need more walking than you might manage and are very active dogs. Plus you won't get one for months from a reputable breeder.
How about a retired greyhound? Happy with 2 x 20 minute walks and then spend much of the day sleeping. Short fur and don't really shed. I know that there are greyhound rescues currently desperate to place dogs - Birmingham Greyhound protection being one.
They are lovely, lovely soulful creatures.
Poodles and cockerpoos need a lot of exercise, they're quite intelligent so need lots of stimulation and training.
I would think a shih tzu would be a good choice, maybe bichon frise?
Personally I would not consider getting a puppy until the Coronavirus crisis has calmed down as socialising it would be a nightmare.
Sorry to be negative but my advice is don’t do it. Dogs are hard work and a big commitment for a long time. I have regretted our decision for a long time now but can’t do anything about it. Sorry, having a bad day (which started with a mop, bucket, bleach and jays fluid and an ill dog in a room which resembled a horror movie at 6am this morning). Be warned!
Good advice re waiting, I would also wait and see what happens with the virus situation.
Have you a friend who could lend you a dog? Its good to get an idea of how tied you can be, ours is small and travels well but you still cant take them to many places.
As Tumbledryer1 mentioned it can be difficult at times, we do have a valeting machine which got a bot of use at the puppy stage and old dog stage with the last one. But they bring so much pleasure to us we can put up with the downside.
Have a good think about dog care ( and cost ) for holidays illness family weddings etc, not trying to put you off its just there will be a few things you haven't considered.
You will also have the Crate dont crate decision, we crate as its better for travel etc.
Its good to look at the breeder too, ours is fantastic and even has her back for holidays, showed us how to groomer her.
Sorry op but if yopu cannot do plenty of walking, do not get a dog.
At times a dog walker may be ill, or let you down, you may not be able to afford it in the future...it is frankly irresponsible to get a pet whose main need is exercise...look at other pets ....a cat?
^ eye roll. Are disabled people not allowed dogs then? Even though I said we can do short walks and will get a dog walker?
@Luunaa. I'm also a little sad by the comments on here too. According to the above posts I shouldn't have a dog either, but we have two and they are fantastically happy and well loved - and well exercised - members of our family. I guess it's good to know the pitfalls... but it's not what you're asking. I'm surprised people are ignoring that you have a DS9 who will be a fantastic dog walker. My kids (same age-ish) take the dogs on walks twice a day and I do a longer walk once a day.
So I'm going to take your question at its face value and not assume you haven't thought through the pros and cons.
We have 2 Havanese dogs. They are AMAZING. 'Hypoallergenic' (or as far as any dog is), small-ish, playful, easy to train. Because they're small and easy to teach to heel, there's no fear of them pulling you or your DS over. They are good service dogs to visit the elderly (for example) and a lot of elderly people get them where I live. They are 'moderate' energy.
Downsides: They can be expensive, they are 'velcro' dogs so they really need to be with you most of the time, and sometimes resist housetraining unless you're really strict. They have long straight poodle-like coats which need a lot of maintenance unless you keep them short.
I adore mine and they are such clowns. One of the winners at some American dog show this year was a lovely Havanese.
Hope that helps and good luck!
Disabled people most definitely can have dogs: if you can throw and teach the dog to retrieve you can do all sorts of things with it that will wear it out mentally and physically.
Bichon frise might be suitable for you. The ones I know are not too keen on walkies, hypoallergenic, and they have lovely personalities.
A Shih tzu sounds like a good match, we had similar requirements and ours has fitted in very well. The breed club is a great place for info and contacts and the kennel club assured breeder list too.
One thing I would say is that socialisation is so so important to create a great dog. Exposure to traffic, old people, young people, people of a variety of ethnicities, people riding bikes, scooters, playing football, etc and of course crowds ie school run. Then there's traffic or being in a cafe (v important for a coffee drinker like me), other dogs and other animals not an exhaustive list at all but a small idea of what a pup should be exposed to before it is 16 weeks to help create a confident, happy dog. I would be worried in the current situation that i couldnt expose a pup to the variety of experiences, "Easy peasy puppy squeezy " (I think it's called) is a good book to look at for some great tips.
Can I suggest a greyhound rescue? Genuinely only need a 20 minute walk a day, calm, lazy things who will arrive already past the annoying puppy stage.
They are big, I grant you, but they take up so much less mental 'space' than a puppy tearing around, yapping etc.
Bedlingtons are wonderful dogs, although quite difficult to find. They remind me of little lambs.
Maybe look at Boston terriers too?
Just to add, Havaneses are part of the Bichon family - so very similar to a Bichon Frise. The joy comes from the fact that they come in an amazing range of coloured coats, not just white.
A Staffordshire Bull Terrior, best dogs ever and brilliant with children. My two are dream dogs and so loving. No other breed comes close.
thank you everyone for the good advice given here! lots to think about.