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Help deciding best breed for my family please?

Discussion in 'General Dog Forum' started by AgirlHasNoName, Oct 7, 2018.

  1. AgirlHasNoName

    AgirlHasNoName New Member Registered

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    Hi, new here looking for some advice.
    Have been considering a dog for the past year and a half now.
    Have had dogs most of my life and varying breeds, but only raised a mixed breed with my eldest daughter, both the same age and had no problems then, but eleven years later I’m much more cautious and trying to consider all angles.
    My youngest is coming up three and my eldest is eleven. Both are gentle and mostly listen but both energetic and loud.
    We live in a three bed flat (not huge and not studio small) with small shared garden, but two mins from open fields in a very dog friendly area.
    Deep down I want a lab as I was raised with one and the cross mentioned was half one I just love them. However the size and energy in a smaller house with kids probably isn’t the best idea?
    So I’ve been looking into smaller breeds which I have no experince with as all mine have been med-large. Considering a Boston terrier but health issues are worrying me and can’t find out how their genetic health effects match up compared to other breeds. Had considered a beagle but I’ve owned huskies before and I don’t want something with a very high prey drive again. Heard mixed things about Maltese and poms with children and same with King Charles spaniel.
    I’m at home with kids and outdoorsey.
    Noise level is another concern although my neighbours make quite a racket too.
    Anyone have suggestions or breeds I’ve maybe overlooked or you can recommend?
    Have been doing so much research and still can’t decide which dog would fit well into my home.
    Thanks
     
  2. arealhuman

    arealhuman Well-Known Member Registered

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    Are you set on a particular breed? There are plenty of rescue centres that have specific breeds and mixed breeds, and they almost always come with some form of backup or support. You could also select a dog that suits your circumstances and a rescue centre will help with that, having had some experience of the dogs in their care. Just a thought ;)
     
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  3. AgirlHasNoName

    AgirlHasNoName New Member Registered

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    Hi thanks for your reply. I have no real preference (in an ideal world would be a lab but as said not sure my life and home suits one), as long as the breed isn’t too strong or giant (so I can walk while watching kids).
    I’ve had four adopted shelter dogs, three where wonderful dogs, one had awful issues. The problem is with my youngest still a toddler, my local centres won’t adopt dogs to me anymore- they all say not suitable for young children. Know I could wait till she’s older, but my eldest daughter and puppy had wonderful experiences growing up together and to this day she is very respectful of animals. I want the same for my LO, to raise her with a young dog.
     
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  4. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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    I've heard good things about King Charles Cavaliers, as relatively 'easy' family dogs. They can have health issues, so you'd have to choose your breeder carefully.
     
  5. Jack-Russell-Lover

    Jack-Russell-Lover Well-Known Member Registered

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    I also would suggest a Cavalier.
    How active are you? Not that I'm biased or anything :rolleyes: but have you considered a Jack Russell? A small, generally healthy breed, and from my experience really good with kids, especially if used to them from a young age. Obviously they would bark if someone came to the door but that's to be expected with most if not all dogs! And a high energy breed that would be comfortable in a busy household like yours.
     
  6. Caro Perry

    Caro Perry Well-Known Member Registered

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    Cavs are lovely but there are huge health problems in the breed and it's hard to find one that is likely to be free of the genetic disease risk. Boston terriers suffer from the flat face problems. My friend has two, one is fine but the other is going to have to have extensive surgery so she can breath. She gasps for air at the slightest exertion which is heart breaking.
     
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  7. AgirlHasNoName

    AgirlHasNoName New Member Registered

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    Thanks for replies!
    Fairly active, being indoors drives me a little insane so am out quite a lot walking with kids, perhaps a little less in winter.
    Jack Russell’s are lovely but havent come up in any of my searches for suitable family dogs and have heard they can be rather nippy even as adults?
    And I’ve heard same about cavaliers, although online when comparing to such as a lab, they are recorded to have half the genetic issues that may occur in other popular breeds which is a little confusing.
    Yes that was what is putting me off about Boston’s and pugs, a lot of them don’t seem to have a very good quality of life sadly.
     
  8. Kara 1

    Kara 1 Active Member Registered

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    Ive had jack russells for the past 30 yrs and have never had a nippy jack russell. ..
    Rescue Remedies home to people with small children and they have allsorts of breeds come in ...They match you with dogs that suit your application and you always have rescue back up ..they have 2 lovely poodle cross pups in at the moment
     
  9. Jack-Russell-Lover

    Jack-Russell-Lover Well-Known Member Registered

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    That's good, you could get a very active breed then.
    The Jack Russell's I've had have all been lovely and not at all nippy. My current Jack is lovely with kids, and has never even growled at anyone!
    It's just about training, as long as you train them well and bring them up right, they are not the nippy, yappy dogs people think they are.
     
  10. Mad Murphy

    Mad Murphy Well-Known Member Registered

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    My (late) brother had two boston terriers and they are both very happy active and healthy dogs now 9 and 7 the thing there is to go to a very good breeder.

    Have you thought of a border terrier? They are also active and smaller dogs but less 'full on ' than many terriers.
     
  11. merlina

    merlina Well-Known Member Registered

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    Please be wary of Cavs- they really are in a genetic bind at the moment and not only do they suffer from health problems, the problems themselves are the stuff of nightmare (skull not big enough to accept size of brain!). Border terrier or border x sounds good advice. (Met a Borkie while on holiday, Border Yorkie mix which could've had a modelling career! Sweet too.) If you are the first floor remember bigger breeds, labs etc, will be stressed by stair climbing while still developing.
     
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  12. AgirlHasNoName

    AgirlHasNoName New Member Registered

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    Thanks everyone :)
    I hadn’t really looked into border terriers too much, so that’s definetly a good thought as are Jack Russell’s and it’s good to hear that people have had good experiences with them as everyone I’ve spoken to about them have said exactly that- nippy and yappy, but they are gorgeous wee things.
    The border mix sounds lovely.
    Have never heard of rescue remedies, I’m in west Scotland so not sure they exist here.
    That’s really sad about Cavs, I haven’t come across much about things like that online. Do you think this would still be applicable even with a registered/reputable breeder? Will have to look into that a lot more as that would be horrendous.
    I’m on the first floor so no stairs required.
     
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  13. merlina

    merlina Well-Known Member Registered

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    "Syringomyelia (SM) is an extremely serious condition in which fluid-filled cavities develop within the spinal cord near the brain. It is also known as "neck scratcher'sdisease", because one of its common signs is scratching in the air near the neck. "Syringomyelia" is Latin for "cavity within the spinal cord".
    Syringomyelia (SM) and the Cavalier King"

    My sister is a huge cav fan- has had two and will never have another. As far as I know breeders would not be able to guarantee any puppy is free from this as it's not a simple genetic test.
     
  14. Jack-Russell-Lover

    Jack-Russell-Lover Well-Known Member Registered

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    Yes, Cavaliers can be risky, I absolutely love them but couldn't take the risk to be honest.
    Syringomyelia sounds just awful! I learnt about it on a TV programme that was on a while ago about pure breeds, forgot what it was called.
     
  15. Kara 1

    Kara 1 Active Member Registered

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    Rescue Remedies home all over. .based in surrey ...they have rehomed to scotland before;)
     
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  16. Robyn Wilson

    Robyn Wilson New Member Registered

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    Have you considered a shi tzu? Fairly gentle dogs. Beigon friezes are nice dogs too but quite yappy. Personally I wouldn’t go for a jack Russel because I have been attacked twice by those.
     
  17. Shalista

    Shalista Active Member Registered

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    If your looking for a terrier LIKE a jack russel but not as intense i highly recommend rat terriers. similar look and temperament but much more willing to just chill on a couch (which is not to say they're lacking in energy, just that its LESS than a jack russel). only downside is that rat terriers are jack russels crossed with (among other things) whippet, so their legs are fairly long and fragile. if the little one is prone to grabbing and twisting rattys might not be the breed for you.....
     
  18. AgirlHasNoName

    AgirlHasNoName New Member Registered

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    Have gone right off the cav idea now :( that’s absoloutley awful what happens to them and you where all right, when I looked deeper into it I realised how unhealthy they are and I couldn’t have the heart break of that nor do I want to fund breeders creating cute dogs that are ill all their lives. So sad. Thank you for the advice because I was honestly steering towards one.
    I’ll look more into shi tzus and I’ll have a look at the rescue place, although unless they bring the dogs up to Scotland it still isn’t going to be ideal- thanks.
    I’ve never even heard of rat terriers! My little one isn’t really the rough type of toddler but can be a little clumsy and obviously you never know with kids, so ideally I was hoping for something small but sturdy just incase.
    There doesn’t seem to be a vast number of mixed breeds around anymore, am I missing something here?
    Sorry if by this point you are all also pulling your hair out-such a tough desison!
     
  19. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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    Have you considered Staffies? They are usually fantastic with children. They can be iffy with other dogs but this very mnuch depends on the individual - most Staffies I've met are great with other dogs too.
     
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  20. Mad Murphy

    Mad Murphy Well-Known Member Registered

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    @Shalista the rat terrier is more or less unknown in the UK so I doubt if the op would have ever seen one.
    Of course being in Scotland there are a few breeds that spring to mind a shetland sheep dog (sheltie) or a cairn terrier (tough and active little dogs) or a west highland white also very active tough dogs (although all the ones Ive met are a bit yappy)
     

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