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Thinking about getting a dog(94 Posts)
Ok please be gentle with me! My children are currently almost 9 and 12. We have been thinking for a very very long time about getting a dog. It wouldn't be until next year as we need to get a side gate fitted as we dont currently have one. Also we want to be prepared and not rush into this massive commitment. Neither I or my husband have grown up with dogs but I love dogs and I've always wanted one as do my kids. My husband is a lot keener in the idea than he used to be. He works at home which is great so dog wouldn't be alone. I am so think my kids are a really good age. I know its huge, I know it will be hard. I also have no idea what breed to get. I dont want a happy or ridiculously energetic dog or who one sheds loads. Or one who smells really bad! I'm probably asking for the impossible arent I. Ideally I would prefer an older dog but have heard of friends getting rescue dogs and it going horribly wrong. Any advice welcome!
Should have proof read. Yappy not happy!
Ok, so you need to narrow down the breed a bit.
What size? If you want your children to be able to walk it, then small or medium and not too stocky. This probably rules out bull breeds.
Even labradors can be strong when they want to (and shed a lot)
All individual dogs are different but in general..
Terriers- can be yappy and potential have a chase instinct
Beagles- don’t go there
French bulldog, pug, cavaliers- potential for health problems.
Have a look at the following and let me know what you like/dislike about the breed:
Whippets- low shedding, low energy, healthy, easy to handle.
Spaniels, can be higher energy such as cocker or springer.
Cavaliers are beautiful, low energy dogs but you do need to get a health checked one and they do shed.
Shih Tzu or Lhas Apso - very popular as lower energy, good family dogs but d need grooming
Toy/miniature poodle- can have a normal haircut so don’t look silly, low shedding, small and easy to handle, clever.
Miniature or standard schnauzer- low shedding, clever, the miniature variety can be a bit yappy.
Also look at Westies, very popular
Or Shetland Sheepdogs (slightly higher energy but small in size)
Even the fox terrier family (low shedding) but do research terrier instincts.
I wouldn’t get a cavalier, waaay too many health issues. I’ve known around half a dozen through friends and family and all have suffered with heart/eye/joint problems. None lived past 8, one died at 2, all ended up on heart medication
OP, it's great that you're planning ahead and thinking things through.
What sort of dog? Whippet/lurcher types can be really lovely dogs, very gentle and not too full-on for a first dog. Springer and cocker spaniels are livelier, especially the working lines. Terriers can be great, but (like some lurchers) can be very prey-driven. And if the ones I know are anything to go by, Westies do nothing but bark...
Whatever breeds you look at, pay close attention to the health issues. I would never have a cavalier or a French bulldog or a dachshund, because the health issues in those breeds are so significant and severe.
Great you’re thinking ahead. Some rescues foster their dogs rather than put them in kennels prior to rehoming. They can be honest about the pros and cons of each and how it may fit in with your family.
Breed? Consider space you have, exercise and how much grooming you’re prepared to do! There are breed selector quizzes eg kennel club.
If you decide to go the puppy route then beware. So many puppy farmers. Start with the breed club.
It's great you're planning ahead.
From what you've said, maybe consider the following breeds:
Schnauzer (although they can be barky)
But it depends how much space you have and how much time you're willing to dedicate to a dog in terms of exercise.
I agree with Wolfie that a rescue which fosters its dogs in family homes is likelier to know the pros and cons of a particular dog. They should know how they are with children, cats, livestock, recall, whether they are house trained (they should be by the time they leave foster) and what they are like on the lead and with recall. There are single-breed rescues that foster so if you you know what sort of dog you're after, you can have a chat to them. Make sure that you feel comfortable with the rescue: some are much better than others.
If you opt for a puppy, you need to be alert to where it is from. You absolutely to do not want a puppy from a puppy farm, or any sort of commercial facility. The breeding dogs are often kept in poor conditions, and even if everywhere is clean and shiny, the bitches are almost certain to be bred too often and the puppies won't be getting enough human contact or getting used to an ordinary family home (they are more likely to have behavioural issues as a result). Sellers can go to extreme lengths to disguise the origins of puppy-farmed puppies, to the extent of having a house as a 'front' to give the impression of a normal family home.
If you get a puppy, there is a LOT to think about. Finding a breeder is a whole other thread.
Silver Fox Dog Rescue is a foster based rescue with small breed dogs
Keep looking at rescue sites locally. The right dog will come up
A lurcher would be perfect. They don't shed a lot, don't smell much, aren't happy, and there are loads in rescue. I foster for a lurcher rescue, and we always have lots of lovely dogs with us, and their fosterer gets to know them really well.
Small local rescues can be really helpful, one near us dint let you go off to meet them all and pick they home check and want to know everything relevant, ie is there an enclosed garden, other pets,young children even if they are regularly visiting not actually living there, working hours, how much time you have for walking, any experience with certain breeds etc and then you can go on a list until one that fits your profile comes in, I know it sounds very strict but they have fosterers and people assessing them in different scenarios to ensure they go to the right homes, no rescue wants dogs coming back, it makes them harder to rehome and can be stressful for the dog, I'd go through somewhere like this for a dog
Your children aren't young and are able to understand not to chase/grab at etc so that will open up more options for you, it's great your thinking about this thoroughly and giving yourself time to prepare for this.
I had a puppy and never again, it was harder than a baby! we also have a rescue dog and he has been much easier in a way it's like he's an easier dog as he's had rubbish homes previously where he wasn't loved or exercised properly, its like he's thankful for being loved like he deserves, whereas the one we had from a pup doesn't care, he knows he will get his tea/walk/cuddle etc so can be a right little shit sometimes 😂
Thank you so much this is so helpful. Yes I do feel quite anxious about the work a puppy would entail even though I am up for it I'm aware of how tough it can be. A few people have suggested lurchers but arent they quite large? Probably looking at a medium sized dog. I think my daughter would like a dog she can cuddle. She is very excited but understands why we arent rushing this.
Like the fostering idea with the home visits.
Regarding what I'm thinking about breeders - labs, lovely dogs but greedy, smelly and too big!
Westies, apparently not cuddly?
Small dogs, health problems
Spaniels, too energetic
Beagles, no way. Our neighbours got one. Howls all the time.
We have a big garden and a field plus plenty of indoor space so that's all good.
Cockapoos, whoodles? Not sure.
Also minimal grooming ideally! Although my daughter happy to do grooming but novelty may wear off!
We got a cockapoo last October. My kids were 10 and 14.
Really glad we did.
Lurchers sound lovely but I just think they are too big. I worry I am looking for the impossible perfect dog! Whoodles are a cross between a whippet and a poodle is that right? Heard they can be a good breed???
Thanks daffodil that's good to hear. What sort of temperament is she/he?
And where did you get your dog from? Was it a puppy?
Yes, he was 10 weeks old. He’s adorable, quite lively, but was dead easy to train. He’s only ever had one toilet accident in the house and he hasn’t destroyed anything...very obedient!
Wow!! Sounds perfect! What's his name? My kids already have a dog name!
I’d be outing myself there! We did have a really long list though!
Whoodles are not a breed. Neither are schnoodles. Or cocker poos. Or maltichons. Or any of the other made up mongrel breeds. I have nothing against mongrels and have/ had many of my own. But they are only bred by back yard breeders for the money. There are no ‘good’ breeders of cockerpoos etc because if they were good they wouldnt be breeding them.
Just had a look at the silverfoxrescue page. They all seem to say no children and to be homed with another dog.