WHAT, a dog?

dbg

New Member
Ok, all you dog lovers (and haters), I'm in a slight quandary. We (wife, 10 & 8 yr old daughters) have had two cats in the last year, both of which have come to sticky ends not being conversant with the green cross code. My daughters are desperate for a dog but I know I'm the eejut who'll have to take it out in all weathers. My wife runs a childminding business from home so a doberman is not a good idea nor any snappy breed.
I hate ratty little dogs but guess I could live with a medium - smallish chappie. I also acknowledge the girls would benefit? from having a canine mate. So assuming I bow to mounting pressure, what would be a good model to look for? or should I dig my heels in and say no way?
 

Peyote

New Member
I've always liked Greyhounds and Whippets, must be some reminant of Northern blood in me!

Other than that your run-of-the-mill family dog tends to be a Retriever or a Collie. But then what do I know, I'm a cat person!
 

Fnaar

Smutmaster General
Location
Thumberland
Get a Heinz 57 from your local dog sanctuary. We did, and although I knew I'd end up doing the walks, I love it, 4-5 miles every morning, and a short stroll in the evening...brilliant! Keep the dog separate from the kids your missis looks after if that's poss, or just make sure you train it not to jump up at them... there's a lot of picky/panicky parents out there....
 

Arch

Married to Night Train
Location
Salford, UK
A mongrel - it's got lots of variety in it - "Heinz 57 varieties" was an advertising slogan that demonstrated the range of their products.

I'd go for a mongrel/rescue dog if I was in the position to have a dog, although you'll need to be careful about its character - some rescue dogs have been through a lot of nasty stuff and need a quiet home, or no kids, or a lot of patient therapy. The dog shelter should be able to suggest a suitable one. Mongrels seem often to be nicer, brighter and more robust than pure breds.
 

Tetedelacourse

New Member
Location
Rosyth
We took a shelter dog too as we had no excuse not to, but she did have a tough start in life and still isn't particularly happy around kids and other dogs.

A wee spaniel is a good shout though.
 
We're considering a couple of rescue greyhounds once the cat pegs it, because I don't think we've currently got the time/dedication for the sort of breed which needs a lot of exercise.

A labrador or similar big retreiver is supposed to need 20 miles a day, every day.

A collie will need lots of exercise and also mental stimulation because they're a lot brighter than most dogs. If bored/under-stimulated, they might wreck the house.

Greyhounds however need little exercise as they're sprinters, no endurance, so they sleep a lot, they don't moult everywhere, they're good natured.
But get a rescue one (i.e. ex-racer) and you don't know what you're getting - it very likely won't be used to being a pet, living in a house, etc.
Get two and they're company for oneanother so less likely to be anxious if left alone.
 
A trip to a dogs home should convince you that you shouldn't buy a pedigree dog from a breeder - and why pay breeders' prices when there are so many "used" dogs needing a home?

If you have young children about, though, or aren't experienced with dogs, be careful what you choose. Often dogs are at the dogs home because their owners couldn't manage them, and gave them a hard time trying (should be the owners banged up there, really...). This can mean that a rescue dog needs a lot of time and patient training to be any kind of good pet.

Rescued or otherwise, I'll second the greyhound suggestion. They're quiet, not very hairy, and as gentle as you like. They don't need anything like the exercise that many working-bred dogs need, and won't get hyper if they don't get enough. It's true that some ex-racers aren't trained or used to life as a pet, but they'll settle down OK.

If you want to let it off the lead (and in my opinion a life led trailing round on a string is no kind of life - all dogs should be trained to come when called but so few are), you may need to have it wear a muzzle: a greyhound can easily catch and kill rabbits, squirrels, and most importantly cats.

I think, though, I'd say that if you and your mrs aren't 110% convinced you want a dog, don't do it. You will need to exercise it and feed it every day, rain or shine, and there are days you won't feel like it. You need to be really good friends with your dog to make that bearable, not resenting the poor thing's existence.
 
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