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First Time Owner

Discussion in 'General Dog Forum' started by GazzaB23, May 3, 2020.

  1. GazzaB23

    GazzaB23 New Member Registered

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    Hi Everyone,

    We are looking for a puppy as first time owners. We have a good sized home with 2 older children, the youngest being 10. We have not considered this until we had the home to cater and older children.

    There is usually someone home at least 4 days of the 7 day week with my parents and daycare being options for the other days. We are an active family so regular walks and activity isn't an issue and time can be committed for training. We have no other pets but neighbours to either side have dogs and cats so would need to socialise early.

    We are looking for a loyal and affectionate breed that is good in a family home, currently we have narrowed down to a Cavapoo and Staffordshire Bull Terrier which are obviously very different but cannot make the final choice so looking for some guidance if that is possible?

    Many Thanks!
     
  2. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    Both would be good with children but I'd caution against a cavapoo.

    Finding a good cavapoo breeder could be quite difficult. Cavaliers in particular can suffer from some really nasty congenital conditions (heart problems, syringomyelia) that good breeders try to eliminate through responsible breeding like carrying out health tests and careful selection of parents.

    Good breeders do tests on their breeding dogs (proper tests, not just checks to say the dog is capable of siring/carrying a litter) to breed out these conditions. Unfortunately with the popularity of these crosses there are many puppy farmers who are more interested in exploiting buyers than the long term health of the puppies they are selling; and pet owners who think it would be lovely to have mini versions of their own pets but lack the understanding of responsible breeding.

    It used to be believed that crossbreeds had the best of both breeds and health problems were 'bred out' but in fact you could well get a puppy who has inherited health defects from both parents. So crossing, for example, a cavalier with a poodle, you could get a puppy who has heart problems from the cavalier side and hip dysplasia from the poodle side. Both sides could have eye problems these could cause long term pain and distress to the dog and the owner to incur on going expensive vet bills.

    Marilyn Munro allegedly once suggested to Albert Einstein that if they had babies they would be amazing with her beauty and his brains. Einstein allegedly replied how awful it would be if it were the other way round. You get the picture! There are some responsible breeders of crossbreeds and that is a good thing. But they are very few and you may have to search extensively to find one.

    Staffies, on the other hand, are common in rescue even as pups and are very family focused dogs.
     
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  3. JudyN

    JudyN Moderator Moderator Registered

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    I do like Staffies. They have a reputation, but this is all down to the owners. Almost without exception, the Staffies I know have been confident, steady, happy dogs who love people. They're not necessarily keen on playing with other dogs but if well socialised, will still be happy to greet other dogs politely and then get on with doing their own thing.

    And as Joanne has said, there are loads in rescues. If you choose the rescue carefully, they will be happy to match you up with a dog who will fit into a family of first-time owners (and give you back-up if needed).
     
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  4. Rinkydinkydo

    Rinkydinkydo Well-Known Member Registered

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    Staffies for me out of the two,they get a bad rap through no fault of their own.
    I will say though Staffie is a loose term these days. People say they've got a staff,when you see the dog it's twice as big as it should be.
     
  5. Buddy1

    Buddy1 Active Member Registered

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    They are quite different breeds you have chosen, so I wondered what it is about each breed that drew you to them? That might help with your decision.

    Personally, just going with ‘first-time dog owners’ and ‘family dog’ (and therefore I would also want to include ‘dog friendly’), I would be drawn to the Cavalier (minus the poodle). Yes, there are health problems associated with the breed and you would need to ensure the pup’s parents have all the necessary health checks, but that is the same when purchasing any puppy from a breeder.
     
  6. merlina

    merlina Well-Known Member Registered

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    I think a cavalier is a high risk choice- I love them and have a sister who has owned two- it''s caused her heartbreak and she has a Tibetan terrier now. The worst health problem they suffer (I do mean suffer) from is one you cannot screen for, being a malformation of the skull. Google it if you stand to. Cavapoos have also been found with it. Please consider carefully. If you have children especially, a much loved pet becoming sick will be a nightmare. Of course in behaviour any dog of any breed will become how it is treated. You sound so very responsible I'm sure that won't be a problem with a staffie or anything else. Good luck.
     
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  7. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    I thought you could screen the parents (MRI) for chiari malformation and Syringomyelia? Or was it something else you meant @merlina?
     
  8. merlina

    merlina Well-Known Member Registered

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    Syringomyelia Breeding Protocol For Cavalier King Charles Spaniels

    I don't think screening is a simple matter for this dread condition though MRI plus other tests are brilliant at telling you your dog has it.:(The problem is the suspect genes are so widespread in the breed that to attempt total eradication would leave the gene pool depleted- and unsafe in every other way. So cav breeders may be faced with a choice that leaves their breed in trouble whatever they do. Obviously it's up to the individual breeder and buyer- while breeding puppies in this way is still legal. I can only say neither I nor my family members would take the risk of buying one.
     
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  9. Buddy1

    Buddy1 Active Member Registered

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    While there are no guarantees, I believe there are some breeds that are more suited to family environments / life styles than others. If I was looking for a family dog, the breed’s temperament / traits would be equally important as its health (some may be more high risk choices for health, others more high risk choices for temperament).
    As the owner of a breed which is linked to a serious health condition, health was something we had to think about very carefully. We ended up with a short list of 4 breeds. In the end, the breed’s temperament and suitability to our family won out. I appreciate that this is a decision not everyone would have taken.
     
  10. GazzaB23

    GazzaB23 New Member Registered

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    Hi, the thing that drew me to both quite simply was down to reading up on each breed and which were low in terms of shedding, particularly the Cavapoo was because of this and the gentle nature it takes from the Cavalier. The Staffie is considered because of it's fun nature and loyalty, not to mention members of my family had one until a few years ago which was such a well behaved dog and very loving towards children. I also didn't want anything too small or too big so looked at medium size.

    Appreciate everyone's input to this, I'm just determined to make the correct choice and not rushing any decisions
     
  11. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    If low shedding is important, you could go for a poodle - they can be left in a shaggy clip that makes them look more like the popular crosses. They are awesome dogs, really underrated in my opinion.
     
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