Thinking of getting a dog / puppy

(56 Posts)
coolmum123 Tue 14-Jul-20 11:54:06

Hello all,
Hope everyone is well smile
I would like some advice / thoughts please. (Apologies in advance for long post)

We are at the beginning stages of thinking about getting a dog. I grew up with a German Shepherd and helped to walk, play and feed him but it was a very long time ago and he died of old age when I was about 15. So I consider myself to be a novice pet owner.
Kids are 22 and 16 but we do have visitors with children from aged 2 and over.
We are lucky that we do have a park round the corner and actually quite a few within a very short driving distance so variety isn't an issue for walks. Walks will be twice a day min 1 hour (split over twice a day) weekdays - longer walks at the weekend. I work from home part time currently but may have to go to the office in future and plan that the days I am out dog would go to a sitter
So basically I am looking for a dog that is suitable for new owners, easy to train, is welcoming and gentle of visitors and young children, likes a walk then chills at home, a calm temperament, not yappy or bitey, doesn't bark loads. Do you have any suggestions of breeds that would suit this so that I can research further and talk to breeders before committing? Are there other things we need to think about (apart from vet bills, food, training etc as these would all be considered anyway once we knew what breed we were looking at)
I spoke to a cockapoo breeder but after that conversation I'm not sure that a cockapoo has the right temperament for us.

Thanks in advance.

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dillydallydollydaydream7 Tue 14-Jul-20 12:01:03

We have a springer and he is our world! He's 8 this year and we've had him since a puppy. They're very energetic dogs so the walks will be fab - everyone will tell you they're a handful and yes, as puppies, they are, because they thrive on attention. However once ours hit a year old and was castrated, he became so calm and chilled - even now he sneaks off upstairs for a nap whenever he can. We also have a 14 month old who adores him and he her. She pulls his ears, his stumpy tail (his tail was docked before we got him - they're known for tails splitting if not done) and crawls all over him and he just lets her. (Before anyone gets on their high horse they're never left alone!) he loves visitors, and he's just wonderful.

That's just my opinion though, but they really are the most loving dog

GrumpyMiddleAgedWoman Tue 14-Jul-20 12:58:07

What sort of size? How much shedding can you tolerate?

The KC breed selector quiz is often suggested but whenever I do it, it completely fails to pull up the breed we have and love and which suits us brilliantly.

coolmum123 Tue 14-Jul-20 13:02:30

@GrumpyMiddleAgedWoman
Hi
We were thinking medium sized. Whilst we would prefer one that didn't shed loads. Having read around dogs shed, so just want to narrow down by temperament first and then consider the other options. I don't want to eliminate a breed which may suit us just because it sheds if that makes sense?
Thanks

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coolmum123 Tue 14-Jul-20 13:06:43

Sorry I should also add that we would consider a larger or smaller dog as long as its temperament suited our lifestyle.

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Ylvamoon Tue 14-Jul-20 13:34:18

I think a Whippet is great for you if you like pointy dogs. They are calm quiet in the house and have short bursts of energy for a quick run in the park.

frostedviolets Tue 14-Jul-20 17:31:26

So basically I am looking for a dog that is suitable for new owners, easy to train, is welcoming and gentle of visitors and young children, likes a walk then chills at home, a calm temperament, not yappy or bitey, doesn't bark loads
I always feel terribly uncomfortable at questions like this because a lot of it is down not to breed, but breeding and upbringing.

‘Suitable for new owners’ says to me a biddable breed that wants to work for and please it’s owner so some of the gundog and herding breeds or breeds bred to be companions, cavalier King Charles for example

‘Easy to train’ definately says to me certain gundogs and herding breeds as they are bred to work closely with people and want to please

‘Welcoming and gentle of visitors and young children is down to breeding, not breed, breeding and upbringing.
For example, I have a working line border collie.
The breed is typically high strung to varying degrees, nervousness is a known issue and they just aren’t generally a terribly good choice for very young children and hectic homes.
That is probably amplified for working lines as it’s that herding instinct that tends to make them potentially problematic pets.
However.
My dogs parents were stable, calm dogs.
Aloof/bit disinterested of strangers as is common with the breed but not in the slightest bit aggressive or nervous and the pups were handled regularly by the farmers children and friends.
My collie came into a home with a 4 year old and was here before my next two children were born.
She is a very kind, gentle dog but that isn’t because of her breed, it’s because of her breeding, as in her parents were calm, kind, gentle dogs and her upbringing.

‘Likes a walk then chills at home, calm temperament’ is again my dog!
Partly because her parents were like that; work hard herding the sheep then sleep rest of the time and partly because she was trained from puppyhood to ‘settle’ for long periods in the house and used to the idea that walks vary in length and don’t necessarily come every day

‘Not yappy or bitey’ so probably no small terrier types but biting is largely down to training

‘Doesn’t bark loads’, as above

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frostedviolets Tue 14-Jul-20 17:34:14

Whilst we would prefer one that didn't shed loads
No double coats then.
My collie is a double coat and sheds loads, though nothing compared to in laws jack Russell’s!
Their shedding is unreal!

Dreamersandwishers Tue 14-Jul-20 17:45:35

Oh Whippet is a lovely idea. Our neighbours have one - rehomed at about 4 years old I think. He is gorgeous. Settled in really fast and quite chilled with the other neighbourhood dogs, including my boisterous Labs.
Hard to find, but another lovely medium dog is a standard schnauzer (female!) . No shedding and full of character.
I love my labs but they need a lot of walking and the vacuum is out every day.

frostedviolets Tue 14-Jul-20 18:03:22

Be careful with whippets and other dogs.
They can have a very rough play style that can be really frightening for other dogs; lots of high speed body slamming, nipping, that sort of thing.

coolmum123 Tue 14-Jul-20 18:11:37

We aren't fixated on size if there is a larger dog that is the closest to what we are looking for then we will consider. I did forget to say in my orginal post that we would take to puppy school and training classes (is that what they are called?) too.

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frostedviolets Tue 14-Jul-20 18:52:46

I would think less about breed, I mean obviously consider different breeds and potential pitfalls like shedding or barking in dogs like beagles or herding behaviour in dogs like collies etc but rather than thinking I 100% want such and such breed, I’d visit a few breeders and litters of different breeds and closely examine the parents.

The parents are the best indicators of what your puppy will probably turn out like.

You can go for a breed commonly thought to be placid, sweet, friendly etc but if the parents are neurotic, bouncing off the wall or aggressive regardless of how you train it your puppy will likely grow up the same.

And be careful with training classes.
It’s a unregulated industry.
Avoid any that allow the puppies free play like the plague

GrumpyMiddleAgedWoman Tue 14-Jul-20 18:55:08

You could try something like Discover Dogs when that is next on. Lots of breeds and breed enthusiasts who should know the pros and cons.

coolmum123 Tue 14-Jul-20 19:57:56

Hi
Thanks for the advice, that was my plan, but I thought it might be best to narrow it down a bit. I understand what you are saying about temperament and that one breed will have different ones. Hadn't thought about it like that.
I am happy to do the legwork re talking and visiting breeders as I want to make sure we can make the dog happy, but looking at the list of breeds I do t think I'm physically able to research every single one. So I guess my next question is how do I create a shortlist?

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coolmum123 Tue 14-Jul-20 19:59:50

I think that is a good idea. Just looked it up, they have a show in October so I will book tickets for that. Thanks.

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frostedviolets Tue 14-Jul-20 21:02:57

Maybe start with one trait, like ‘medium size’ or a single group like ‘gundogs’ then select down?

Or maybe think about the traits that you want first and see what breeds they fit with?

For example, I prefer aloof dogs, I like a dog that is non aggressive but doesn’t want to be running off trying to be everyone’s friend.
I like a biddable dog, that wants to please it’s owner, I prefer long coats and prick ears, i don’t mind shedding, I don’t mind a high prey drive, I don’t like flattened faces/I want a dog that is physically able to be active and capable of doing long distances and I prefer a medium to large size.
So my collie is a pretty good fit for me.

What is important to you?

Happenchance Tue 14-Jul-20 21:48:38

@dillydallydollydaydream7 We also have a 14 month old who adores him and he her. She pulls his ears, his stumpy tail (his tail was docked before we got him - they're known for tails splitting if not done) and crawls all over him and he just lets her. (Before anyone gets on their high horse they're never left alone!) This is not OK because you are present. Just because your dog tolerates this kind of behaviour now does not mean that he always will, nor that he should, quite frankly.

Does your dog show any subtle signs of stress when your daughter handles him this way, such as lip licking, yawning or whale eye?

Your daughter is gaining weight so the likelihood that she will really hurt him when she crawls all over him is increasing with time. What will he do the first time that she really hurts him by crawling on him? Springers are prone to ear infections. What would happen if your daughter grabbed his ear when he had a painful ear infection? Both these questions are rhetorical because no one knows the answer until if/when it happens, but we do know that dogs are able to react much quicker than humans, so he could easily bite your daughter before you are able to intervene.

dillydallydollydaydream7 Wed 15-Jul-20 02:43:52

Happenchance

*@dillydallydollydaydream7* We also have a 14 month old who adores him and he her. She pulls his ears, his stumpy tail (his tail was docked before we got him - they're known for tails splitting if not done) and crawls all over him and he just lets her. (Before anyone gets on their high horse they're never left alone!) This is not OK because you are present. Just because your dog tolerates this kind of behaviour now does not mean that he always will, nor that he should, quite frankly.

Does your dog show any subtle signs of stress when your daughter handles him this way, such as lip licking, yawning or whale eye?

Your daughter is gaining weight so the likelihood that she will really hurt him when she crawls all over him is increasing with time. What will he do the first time that she really hurts him by crawling on him? Springers are prone to ear infections. What would happen if your daughter grabbed his ear when he had a painful ear infection? Both these questions are rhetorical because no one knows the answer until if/when it happens, but we do know that dogs are able to react much quicker than humans, so he could easily bite your daughter before you are able to intervene.


'Crawls all over him' is a figure of speech....

fairydustandpixies Wed 15-Jul-20 04:39:15

Definitely a staffie, they are the best! Friendly, great with children and rather lazy!

TheSeventeenth Wed 15-Jul-20 04:47:11

Working Golden Retriever. But they do shed a lot but is controllable. Ours is super gentle, very easy to train, loving is friendly to everyone and all other dogs. The working types are smaller than the show dogs and more biddable
.

However I would agree with a previous poster that a dogs temperament is massively now to its parents nature’s and then the environment it is brought into. Make sure you meet both parents and really well socialise your dog in the early days.

itstrue Wed 15-Jul-20 04:56:38

We have a mini poodle and she's great. We did do a lot of socialisation with her as a puppy but I'd class the poodle as a beginners dog.

She doesn't shed but grooming is expensive as I'm not able to do it myself.

She's a really happy dog. She goes on long tramps but is also happy hanging around the house. She picks up training quickly. Super friendly and in no way aggressive.

coolmum123 Wed 15-Jul-20 12:46:16

@Frostedviolets Thanks for the advice, I will follow it and go off and research initially categories as you have suggested gun dogs etc and see where I go from there. I think about my dog that I had growing up and think about his traits and try and match up although I don't want to get a German Shepherd as he is irreplaceable and I feel like that's what I would be doing if I got another one even tho we lost him years ago.. If that makes sense?

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coolmum123 Wed 15-Jul-20 12:47:26

TheSeventeenth

Working Golden Retriever. But they do shed a lot but is controllable. Ours is super gentle, very easy to train, loving is friendly to everyone and all other dogs. The working types are smaller than the show dogs and more biddable
.

However I would agree with a previous poster that a dogs temperament is massively now to its parents nature’s and then the environment it is brought into. Make sure you meet both parents and really well socialise your dog in the early days.

I thought they were dangerous or that you shouldn't have them around young children? or am I getting them mixed up with another breed?

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coolmum123 Wed 15-Jul-20 12:48:10

Sorry I quoted the wrong message

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coolmum123 Wed 15-Jul-20 12:48:57

fairydustandpixies

Definitely a staffie, they are the best! Friendly, great with children and rather lazy!

I thought they were dangerous or that you shouldn't have them around young children? or am I getting them mixed up with another breed?

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