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Which dog breed would suit my family?

(32 Posts)
MayimBialik Mon 30-Dec-13 12:29:52

We are thinking about getting a dog. We have actually been thinking about it for years but the time has never been right for whatever reason (house not suitable/tiny baby to look after/never at home).

Within the next 6 months or so seems to be a good time to get one. We've never owned a dog before ourselves but are not naive to the amount of work it will entail as both grew up with dogs as family pets. In the past I have liked the idea of getting a rescue but we have a one year old son and I don't feel confident bringing an older dog who's history we are not completely sure of into the family. I would much prefer a puppy that we can train up ourselves.

So our situation is this - we live in a medium sized house with a decent sized garden, we have one small child, DH works full time, I work part time (3 days a week) as a teacher so get holidays. Retired parents live close by with their dog and they are able to let dog out/feed dog on 3 days I am at work. We would like a dog to take on walks but not one that is too energetic that needs hours and hours of exercise a day. I'm thinking one- two hours walking on a weekday, longer at weekends. We need a small to medium sized breed due to house size, good with children and other dogs and possibly cats, I like breeds with longer hair that doesn't tend to fall out but can be swayed on that, and can cope being left alone a couple of hours at a time without getting distressed.

So any recommendations on which breed would suit us? Grateful for your advice!

AndIFeedEmGunpowder Mon 30-Dec-13 12:34:25

Cavalier King Charles?

DameDeepRedBetty Mon 30-Dec-13 12:34:31

Just to say, puppies can come through Rescue too, before you commit to paying a breeder...

clam Mon 30-Dec-13 13:50:41

Cockapoo. Check out my profile!
Ticks all your boxes.

wilsk002 Mon 30-Dec-13 14:21:45

Have a look round and see what appeals, if you go for a pedigree meet the breed first, Dog shows are great for meeting loads of breeds and to get to know about them. If your looking for rescue, most good breed clubs have a rescue/rehome team. They will generally be able to tell you more about the history of the dog than somewhere like RSPCA as well. If you do buy a puppy, wherever you buy from make sure you meet the mum with the pups, a good breeder will expect you to grill them with questions about the dogs/puppys and expect to be grilled back, they will want to know they're puppy is going to the right home. Ask about health tests, even for a mixed breed after all they carry the gentics of both breeds and potentially the health issues to. Good luck on your puppy hunt smile

meerkate Mon 30-Dec-13 15:09:05

Whippet? We have a very similar set-up to yours and did loads of research over a period of months, and finally went for a whippet (now 12 weeks old - have had him about ten days) on grounds of gentle nature, and enjoyment of long hours on the couch inbetween short sharp bursts of exercise! So far we have been delighted with him. A year ago I would have slightly recoiled at the thought of being a Skinny Dog owner! Now I love them smile

Dirtybadger Mon 30-Dec-13 16:56:37

A whippet is a good call from above. Or a small lurcher type. There are a decent number of whippet and lurcher rescues about, too.

An unbiased suggestion, too, as it's not 'my breed'.

MagratGarlik Mon 30-Dec-13 18:45:15

Greyhounds fold up very small, so don't need a big house. They also need very little exercise and are in general very gentle with children. A decent rescue would be able to steer you towards a child friendly one (both our dogs are rescues and we got the first when ds2 was only 2 years old, though ours are a whippet and a lurcher). Others on here have rescue greyhounds with young DC's.

unadulterateddad Mon 30-Dec-13 18:48:06

Another vote for Lurcher/Greyhound, fantastic pets and so even tempered. Plenty of rescue lurchers/greys out there looking for homes

daisylulu Mon 30-Dec-13 18:53:20

Cocker spaniel (show type not working who require much more exercise). I have a 3 year old bitch and she is amazing. She's fantastic with my 2 year old DD, is actually quite lazy and is the most placid sweet little dog ever. I work 3 days per week and DH full time. She has a walk with a dog walker on one of my working days and my DM comes in the other 2 days. She is fine being left on her own though. She gets clipped by a mobile dog groomer every 6-10 weeks which costs £35. Absolutely amazing little dog. Love her to bits grin

LadyTurmoil Tue 31-Dec-13 00:47:34

How about a cocker spaniel/terrier mix - 6 months old. They are a brother and sister - Dharma and Greg - very cute, born in the shelter, still with the mother, well socialised with other dogs of all sizes/ages, cats and people/children. They are in a small rescue abroad but can be easily adopted via Action Aid for Animals. Dharma and Greg

I know you said no rescue but these have been brought up from birth by a very dedicated group of rescuers who will give you an honest assessment. The charity provides backup for the whole life of the dog, you can join an FB group of UK adopters and get to know other people who've adopted through the charity. (Adoption costs are about £200). Just a thought smile

guccigirly Tue 31-Dec-13 00:55:24

We have two young children over three years old and we got a rescue shitzu (not sure of spelling!) I have a medium sized house, didn't want a dog that moults hair all over the house and one that was child friendly and didn't need lots of exercise. Our dog was only 2 when we got her and she was monitored before we were given her to see what her temperament was like. She is adorable, but does bark quite a bit every time someone walks past the house.

Chihuahas are also lovely little dogs and don't take much exercising. Toy (tiny) and miniature (medium size) poodles are also lovely, I grew up with one for 15 years and they don't moult and are great with children.

Spaniels need a lot of exercise.

Good luck !

PrincessFlirtyPants Tue 31-Dec-13 00:59:17

I have a Shih Tzu and DH is fantastic with children. Only needs about 1hr exercise a day and has long hair, so minimal moulting.

I would highly recommend them as a breed.

PrincessFlirtyPants Tue 31-Dec-13 00:59:46

grin that was meant to say "and she is fantastic with children"

BitOfFunWithSanta Tue 31-Dec-13 01:02:06

Cavalier King Charles (they have a rescue site if you google) are amazing family pets. Good-natured, gentle, affectionate, love being walked but are happy to snooze if you can't manage it. Just get them health-checked.

LadyTurmoil Tue 31-Dec-13 12:40:40

Please, please reconsider and think about getting a puppy through a rescue. They are usually fostered by families so have grown up in a family environment and have basic obedience (relevant to their age), housetrained or on their way to being, are well socialised. This can often be better than a litter from a breeder where they aren't always treated as family pets - I realise this is a generalisation but it does happen.

Are you near to Heathlands. They have some gorgeous pups at the moment lovely puppies

GhostsInSnow Tue 31-Dec-13 16:07:22

I'm slightly biased as I have a snoring Scottie dog on my knee at present, but he is the 2nd Scott I've been fortunate enough to be owned by and they are lovely dogs.
Big dogs in little bodies, they don't moult, are good with kids and very loyal family dogs. They will walk as little or as far as you want to walk them. Our first Scott Jack wasn't a fan of cats, but this one, Murphy McManus is ok with them.

I also had the pleasure of owning a westie, he could be quite grumpy though, funny how the 2 breeds are so often confused yet are so different in character.

happygardening Wed 01-Jan-14 13:34:43

I'm very biased (we've had lots of other breeds) but you can't go wrong with a miniature poodle. These constantly happy encouragably over optermistic non yapping loving of everyone/everything ridiculous clowns who want to please you are also guaranteed non shedding well maybe the odd hair falls off. They walk as far as you like or not, being 12" to the shoulder are easy to pick up and carry if necessary and don't eat you out of house and home They do need regular trips to the groomers but you don't have to cut them into a ridiculous style mine currently looks like a mop, crossed with a puli, crossed with a teddy bear.

glammanana Wed 01-Jan-14 13:57:35

We have always had a dog/dogs in the family and I do think that it helps teach little ones to care for animals and be responsible as they grow up,we have always had Basset's and whilst they are not the smallest dogs they are very loving and laid back,I would not go down the route of rehoming a rescue dog if you have not had experience of dogs and their possible problems although the comments from LadyTurmoil sound totally different and those lovely puppies have been reared from birth (totally different).have you thought maybe fostering for a short while to see if your family & a dog are compatable,some charities look for respite sometimes and that could give you a taste of what to expect.

MagratGarlik Wed 01-Jan-14 14:42:01


MagratGarlik Wed 01-Jan-14 14:46:49

Sorry, tablet playing up!

I wanted to say, not all rescue dogs will have behaviour problems or other "ishoos". A good rescue will also steer you in the direction of a dog suitable for novice owners and with small children.

teta Wed 01-Jan-14 14:52:28

A Cocker spaniel.Cavaliers can be lovely but are more delicate than Cockers.

saintmerryweather Wed 01-Jan-14 16:40:55

Grady on the heathlands site is utterly gorgeous. Not suitable for OP but lovely all the same

Dirtybadger Wed 01-Jan-14 17:46:44

I just thought- beagles! Medium sized, short haired (shed) but sturdy little things. Usually good family dogs and very lovable. Their main downside is how difficult they can be to train (like many scent hounds) but if you are willing to take a puppy to classes, accept it will probably never be an obedience champion and look into doing some scentwork (basic stuff is so easy) to stop the pup 'going self employed' then a potentially good candidate.
To be honest you are in the same situation with a whippet (my initial suggestion). Although in their case training to recall from furries/squirrels and such, rather than scent.
Beagles do need a decent amount of exercise and are prone to getting plump without it, but you sound as if you could supply enough. This combined with some brain games at homes (get some sniffing in there!) would keep a beagle snoozing, I think.

There are a fair amount of beagles in rescue although given your situation one from a decent breeder (unless you can find a puppy in rescue but that's unlikely) would probably be a better idea.

Twitterqueen Wed 01-Jan-14 17:54:54

definitely cocker spaniel - show, not working.

Fantastic with small children. I took mine to DD3's school at 12 wks after injections) to socialise her. Ever since, my lovely dog believes all children are there for one reason only - to pet her.

It's slightly embarrassing on walks when dog goes up to total strangers with stick in mouth begging to be praised - but that's how she started life.

Getting my dog was the best thing I ever did. Lots of reasons behind it which I won't go into here, but as a focus for my DDs and exercise for me and addition to family life - I repeat, best thing I ever did.

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