being lobbied very hard to get dog, what is a good first family dog?

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woofwoof
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being lobbied very hard to get dog, what is a good first family dog?

Postby woofwoof » Fri Jan 01, 2021 11:25 am

I have resisted the cries to get a dog for many years but seeing as many of many reasons for not getting one are no longer valid
I think that I may give in. I didn't grow up with dogs and neither did my husband so we are coming to this a bit blind.

I have asked friends and the main breeds that seem to get suggested most often are king charles spaniels, cavapoos and cockerpoos. To be honest the answers are a bit self selected as these are the dogs that many of my friends have.

Are there any big benefits or disadvantages to any of these breeds? Or any others that you would suggest as a better first family dog?

We have two children 5 and 7 and live in a typical SW London terrace.


Thank you all for any help.
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coffeepod
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Re: being lobbied very hard to get dog, what is a good first family dog?

Postby coffeepod » Fri Jan 01, 2021 12:33 pm

a lot of our friends have cavapoos and cockerpoos and one has a cavapouchon which i think is a smaller cavapoo but not exactly sure?  They all seem pretty similar in size and are all very good natured. We have looked after a couple and I think cockerpoos are a bit livelier but that's a straw poll of one dog so it could have just been that one on particular. Can't comment on king charles spaniels. 
I am under the same pressure :-)
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WhiteKnight
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Re: being lobbied very hard to get dog, what is a good first family dog?

Postby WhiteKnight » Mon Jan 04, 2021 7:17 am

We got a Cockapoo in July and it was the best thing we did for our family.
Our kids are 8 and 6 and have taken to him instantly. My Husband and I didn’t have dogs as children either and it hasn’t been a problem.
It does help that I don’t work so have time to walk and look after him although there are dog daycare options too. Good luck!
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CorianderStreet
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Re: being lobbied very hard to get dog, what is a good first family dog?

Postby CorianderStreet » Mon Jan 04, 2021 7:46 am

There’s nothing about cockerpoos/cavapoos etc that intrinsically makes them ‘perfect’ family dogs. They’ve become fashionable - and they’re expensive- so at the moment they’re everywhere. A few years ago, it was labradoodles but you hardly ever see them around now.

You need to ask yourself what traits you’d ideally like your dog to have and then select a breed which most closely matches your list. If you wouldn’t want either a poodle, cocker spaniel or cavalier spaniel then the chances are mixing them together isn’t going to produce your ideal dog. You could get the best of both breeds - you could get the worst. If you want a non-shedding dog there are several breeds which are guaranteed to have a non-shedding coat - most cockerpoos don’t shed, but quite a few do and they all need regular trips to the groomers.

Also, think about whether you want to prop up the puppy farming trade. Ask yourself how there are suddenly thousands and thousands of cockerpoos/cavapoos around when they didn’t exist a few years ago. It’s because there are breeders churning them out on an industrial scale, selling hundreds of puppies a month. I’m sure you’d do your research and make sure your puppy came from a responsible breeder who cared about their dogs but buying a ‘designer’ puppy feeds the craze which means lots of unscrupulous people see a way to make a lot of money quickly.

A good starting point would be to try the kennel club’s breed questionnaire which can help you consider the type of dogs which would fit your lifestyle. Once you’ve chosen a breed, talk to breeders about their dogs, find other people who own them and ask them for the good and bad points and be prepared to wait. If a breeder is able to sell you a puppy right away that’s not a good sign..

And every dog, no matter what breed, needs training - no dog is born as the perfect family dog, although there used to be a saying ‘labradors are born half-trained, spaniels die half-trained’.
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YetOneMoreMum
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Re: being lobbied very hard to get dog, what is a good first family dog?

Postby YetOneMoreMum » Mon Jan 04, 2021 8:15 am

I really recommend a pure poodle. They are loving, loyal, intelligent (easy to train) and a bit mischievous (not terribly naughty tho!). They are hypoallergenic and come in three sizes - toy (tiny), miniature (size you usually see in mixes like cavapoos, etc, on local commons, and standard (large - as big or bigger than a lab). All sizes make great pets, and are fabulous with children. (The toy is a bit small for under-5 children as they are more frail). A great first dog (and breeders say far easier to train than when mixed with less intelligent breeds.) No matter which breed you choose (my first was a lab), once you get the fog you’ll never want to be without one - they are a joy to add to any home! Congrats on taking the plunge!
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YetOneMoreMum
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Re: being lobbied very hard to get dog, what is a good first family dog?

Postby YetOneMoreMum » Mon Jan 04, 2021 8:17 am

Dog, not fog!
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yogidoulamama
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Re: being lobbied very hard to get dog, what is a good first family dog?

Postby yogidoulamama » Mon Jan 04, 2021 9:15 am

we have gone for a whippet and couldn't be happier - quiet, loving dog, super fast, requires only one serious walk a day, asleep the rest, no barking or yapping, mid-size - it was a perfect solution for the family of five. We have been looking to get a dog for many years and couldn't agree on the breed and came across whippets and never looked back. Good luck with your search.
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DeeJackson72
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Re: being lobbied very hard to get dog, what is a good first family dog?

Postby DeeJackson72 » Mon Jan 04, 2021 10:03 am

I really, really have to agree with everything posted by CorianderStreet above?

We know at least two families who have, of course utterly inadvertently, bought from puppy farms with concomitant distress and heartbreak for the family and terrifyingly huge vet bills while propping up a truly disgusting industry. Our school gate last term was suddenly full of dozens of cute yapping bundles of lockdown fur, some of which had been collected at motorway service stations, obtained via mobile telephone numbers on Gumtree and various other well known - and easily researchable - scams?

Please talk to all your friends who already have dogs and ask tons of questions about the breeds that seem to appeal most to your children and to yourselves? Many people feel the popular mixed breeds such as cavapoos etc., provide healthier dogs but there is actually no strong evidence for this; fashion seems to be the rather more persuasive factor?

Personally I would always go for a single breed but that is because we love our elderly springer and silly young working cocker spaniels so very much! I am sure a few people reading will say that you should get a rescue, However, there is also a long waiting list for these atm and, given the ages of your kids, you would generally be far safer with a puppy which can be a cherished member of your family from the very start of its life? 

A dog will bring unmitigated joy to your family. You simply cannot imagine quite how much until this hugely anticipated family member arrives. However, please don't underestimate how much input there will be, whether or not you are WFH? The three months immediately after they arrive, when they need to be very gently, slowly and carefully socialised - both with other dogs and people in general - are absolutely crucial and one careless mistake can affect the dog's character and health for the rest of its life - as we know from bitter experience? Clearly most dogs - and crucially, owners - in our area are prudent, well-behaved and reliable but sadly, you always need to remain vigilant in all of our local parks and commons, particularly now they are currently so crowded? 

Again, Kennel Club, Battersea, PDSA all have good puppy/dog buying guides. We really like this one from the National Animal Welfare Trust and its section on 'Questions to ask the breeder before you go and visit' is spot on? Good luck! Be patient? Don't forget, you don't find the dog - the dog always finds you! Warm best - Dee

http://www.nawt.org.uk/advice/puppy-buyers-checklist-0


PS Do PM if you feel would be helpful?
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alias
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Re: being lobbied very hard to get dog, what is a good first family dog?

Postby alias » Mon Jan 04, 2021 5:49 pm

I am sure a few people reading will say that you should get a rescue, However, there is also a long waiting list for these atm and, given the ages of your kids, you would generally be far safer with a puppy which can be a cherished member of your family from the very start of its life?

Puppies are wonderful but please bear in mind that rescues can be puppies too.  The waiting list in Britain is often very long but overseas rescue agencies bring over dogs as young as 4 months which are often very well socialised with other dogs and make calm family pets (speaking from experience). There are loads of agencies that do excellent work bringing dogs over from the Continent and beyond, and a quick online search will point you in the right direction. Also, DogsBlog is a brilliant website that puts you in touch with foster carers in this country and abroad; you can search by breed and by age (though I prefer a good old mongrel myself). If you do want more background on a dog look for one that is first being fostered in Britain and therefore may have a detailed personality profile that tells you the kind of dog you are adopting. It's a lovely thing for a child to know they have 'saved' a dog. 
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MagnoliaMum
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Re: being lobbied very hard to get dog, what is a good first family dog?

Postby MagnoliaMum » Mon Jan 04, 2021 7:16 pm

I agree with most of what has been said above, but take issue with the suggestion that cockapoos and others of these hybrid dogs are popular purely because they are fashionable. Actually, they've been popular for at least the last 10 years or more and they would certainly not have remained so if they hadn't made wonderful pets. It also helps their desirability that the majority of them (poodle and bichon crosses) don't shed fur. To me that was the clincher that made me agree to a puppy - even short-haired dogs like Jack Russells and Labradors deposit huge amounts of hair every day on your carpets and furniture, which can make your house smell of dog. Our cockapoo needs trips to the groomer every few months (allow about £50 a time, not cheap!) but there is no dog hair for me to clean up. He is a people-pleaser dog, brilliant with my kids, medium size and continues to be a joy and to bond our family (he's 5 now).


I think you have to take care and do your research when choosing any type of dog, not just the hybrids, as unscrupulous dog breeders and puppy farmers exist for all breeds. Particular care needs to be taken over highly inbred dogs such as dachschunds, which can be liable to back problems and all the short-faced dogs like pugs and bulldogs, which can have difficulty breathing.

Start with deciding what size would best suit your family and home (small or medium definitely best as a first dog), how much time you can commit to exercising it, think about how you will wash it after muddy walks (our's just fits in a belfast sink) and where it will sleep (crates are great but take up a lot of space). Do the maths as to the cost (terrifying article in the Sunday Times yesterday!). Talk to friends with dogs as to how they chose their's and the pros and cons, borrow one if you can.

I certainly would look at rescue dogs; it has been sad to read in the papers of lots of people buying dogs in lockdown and then now finding they don't have time to look after them properly, so the waiting lists may not be that long at the moment. A friend got the most super family dog from Battersea Dogs Home recently; they do the sort of background personality assessment that Alias referred to, so you know what you are getting and they will make sure they match the dog to your family.

I know this may not seem particularly helpful but you should remember that dogs may have tendencies to certain traits because of their breed but they are actually all individuals with their own personalities, so nothing is ever black and white. You may be able to influence how your dog develops with how you train it but it will be its own character, whatever breed you go for. And I'm sure you will have a great experience - good luck!
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supergirl
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Re: being lobbied very hard to get dog, what is a good first family dog?

Postby supergirl » Tue Jan 05, 2021 8:17 am

We welcomed our new puppy at the end of lockdown #1. My husband had dogs when he grew up and I didnt. In fact, i m not a dog lover and never have been. But i m totally smitten now and she is a wonderful addition to the family.

It took us 3 years to get a dog from agreeing to get one to researching the breed and the breeder; and finally getting one - we ve been on the waiting list for that particular breeder for 9 months.

So my advices are:

- know who you are as a family, what you want and what are your expectations.
We are hickers and a huge love of the outdoor so we needed a dog that ultimately can go on long walks and very outdoorsy.
BUT i m not an iron man so I dont want a dog that needs 3hrs of exercise a day and 15kg of meat 😁

- think carefully yourself because as the parents ultimately the care will coming from you even if your children swear they would walk the dog. When it is dark cold ans it rains you ll be on your own 😉

- know your lifestyle. A puppy is really demanding both in terms of attention and in terms of training. I have mixed feelings about having a puppy 😂 especially on days when she s a challenge but I love her so sort of forgiving her a lot. But she s brilliant 😉.

- finally, research the breeder. For our particular breed (she 100% pure breed), there was only a couple of breeders i was interested in. I got on the wait list for a long time. It made a big difference. I know my puppy’s parents and grand parents. My puppy has had the best first 8 weeks a dog could ever have. She arrived half house trained (thanks to her mother) and she is calm, sociable, eager to learn and please. Plus her fur and health is 100%.

A good breeder and a good first 8 weeks will make a huge difference to your experience especially if like me you re a newby.
Avoid the temptation of the puppy farms and the short term gain. A dog is a 10-12 yrs commitment depending on the breed. And, i didnt want to believe it, a really good friend! I know very cheesy 😂

Enjoy the research. PM me if you have any questions
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supergirl
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Re: being lobbied very hard to get dog, what is a good first family dog?

Postby supergirl » Tue Jan 05, 2021 8:27 am

On the subject of rescue dogs, i wanted to add that we did consider it. But, as i m totally unexperienced and as I have 0 confidence on training a dog because I have never done it before, i felt i couldnt take on the responsibility.

Welcoming a pet is a responsibility in itself, welcoming a rescue that could have loved through cruelty and horrors takes even more responsibility in my views and I wasnt sure I could provide that.

But i know many people who have gone for a rescue and they are wonderful friends and member of their family. I didnt have the confidence.
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alias
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Re: being lobbied very hard to get dog, what is a good first family dog?

Postby alias » Wed Jan 06, 2021 6:49 pm

Welcoming a pet is a responsibility in itself, welcoming a rescue that could have loved through cruelty and horrors takes even more responsibility in my views and I wasnt sure I could provide that.

Good point.  But please bear in mind that rescues can be puppies too and 'rescue'  doesn't automatically mean traumatised or 'damaged'.  My rescue was a six-months, wise old man when he came to us: so calm and gentle and great with people and other dogs (our trainer paired us up with an unruly dog she was working with so ours could gently show him how to behave).  I do agree with you about the responsibility, though - it's risky to take on an unpredictable dog with an unknown past especially in an area with so many children.
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guido19
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Re: being lobbied very hard to get dog, what is a good first family dog?

Postby guido19 » Mon Jan 11, 2021 9:45 am

Dogs are wonderful companions. However, take your time. Research the breeds to understand how much exercise, groooming, familial compatibility and attention the dog will need. I have a working cocker, hardly requires grooming, is super intelligent and curious and gets four half hour walks a day - and would happily do more!

Whatever you do, absolutely do not use a puppy farmer to get your dog. Research the breeders in your chosen dog - use the KC to find breeders. Insist on seeing the pup with its mum in the kennels before you buy - you may have to pay a deposit and this should be refundable. Inspect the state of the kennels and surrounds; look for cleanliness and attention to the dogs' welfare. Also, check how many litters the dam has pupped - I think three should be three maximum; she's a **** not a factory.

As first time owners, I would not recommend a rescue. Rescues need an awful lot more care and understanding. For instance, dogs are very much creatures of habit and rehoming is major cause of distress and anxiety. For the sake of the animal, it really helps to know what you are doing to help with reconditioning to the new environment.

For what it is worth it took me over twelve months to find my dog. Breeders of working dogs tend to be very cautious who they sell to; and for good reason. So, take your time, choose wisely for the family, and you will find a great friend for you all.

Good luck
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guido19
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Re: being lobbied very hard to get dog, what is a good first family dog?

Postby guido19 » Mon Jan 11, 2021 9:45 am

Dogs are wonderful companions. However, take your time. Research the breeds to understand how much exercise, groooming, familial compatibility and attention the dog will need. I have a working cocker, hardly requires grooming, is super intelligent and curious and gets four half hour walks a day - and would happily do more!

Whatever you do, absolutely do not use a puppy farmer to get your dog. Research the breeders in your chosen dog - use the KC to find breeders. Insist on seeing the pup with its mum in the kennels before you buy - you may have to pay a deposit and this should be refundable. Inspect the state of the kennels and surrounds; look for cleanliness and attention to the dogs' welfare. Also, check how many litters the dam has pupped - I think three should be three maximum; she's a **** not a factory.

As first time owners, I would not recommend a rescue. Rescues need an awful lot more care and understanding. For instance, dogs are very much creatures of habit and rehoming is major cause of distress and anxiety. For the sake of the animal, it really helps to know what you are doing to help with reconditioning to the new environment.

For what it is worth it took me over twelve months to find my dog. Breeders of working dogs tend to be very cautious who they sell to; and for good reason. So, take your time, choose wisely for the family, and you will find a great friend for you all.

Good luck
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