What breed is good for first time dog owners?

(21 Posts)
allaboutmum Fri 01-Feb-13 15:54:24

We have an irish setter and she is a fabulous family dog. I also like that she is the prettiest dog in the village but maybe I'm biased. She plays with my four year old like he is another puppy and mothers my baby, I often find her curled up on the floor letting the baby pull her ears and poke her nose. She also takes the baby her dog chews and food which I am not so keen on but it gives you an idea of what a family friendly pet she is. I can't imagine a labrador sharing its food with anyone. I haven't read all of this thread so haven't got to the bottom of how much you are at home. Setters definitely need people around (like most dogs) and a good walk each day but they have a wonderful nature and are great fun to be around.

mistlethrush Thu 31-Jan-13 11:38:35

I've just rescued a lurcher - she has the characteristics of the greyhound in that she'll happily doze for quite a significant number of hours in the house (sometimes upside down) but is crossed with something a bit tougher and with a bit more energy so that she's more up for playing (with DS in particular). Whilst she can't go flat out for more than a short period of time without a quick rest, she's very happy to lope along for long-distances without tiring. We originally thought we might not be able to let her off because we think she is a failed worker - but, very happily, have discovered that she's got a pretty good recall and doesn't disappear off hunting except at the witching hour of dusk.

Bomper Thu 31-Jan-13 11:29:51

Thank you D0oinmecleanin, I have looked up G.R.A.C.E. on Facebook and messaged them.

Callisto Thu 31-Jan-13 10:09:24

If you go through a reputable rescue then all of those points are covered, Morebeta. Most rescues won't home to a family where everyone is out all day.

I do agree though, that you need to put any potetial dog's welfare before your urge to have a dog.

Maybe your perfect first dog is the one that best fits the criteria that MoreBeta outlines above?

We are first time dog owners, about 7 weeks into having our Springer puppy. For our particular circumstances, he fits the bill nicely although you wouldn't maybe consider this breed to be good for first time dog owners. He's been a dream so far, but maybe because we have the time and energy to put into him, it might be different if we didn't, I don't know.

Personally, a Greyhound wouldn't suit us (although I love their gentle nature and beautiful faces) as we are a busy active family who wanted a dog that is up for a lot of exercise. Plus, we fancy doing a fair bit of training too.

Maybe do one of those online questionnaires to see what breed suits but if you dog is a rescue, then you might need to be flexible anyway!

Good luck.

D0oinMeCleanin Thu 31-Jan-13 09:55:35

G.R.A.C.E often have cat friendlies, some of the kennels they take from have cats on site, they'll also take in lurchers from pounds and the public who may have lived with cats and are able to cat test and asses cat trainability on all hounds.

We currently have Sasha (cat friendly) and Fudge (possibly already cat friendly but definitely trainable) and Shadow (cat friendly), although Shadow is reserved pending a home check.

These dogs may or may not be still available in September or we might have more.

Fudge will be doing some cat training as soon as his everything-is-last-minute foster carer has wrote an essay that is due in less than a week that she has not even looked at yet hmm She's very unorganised if you ask me grin

MoreBeta Thu 31-Jan-13 09:02:49

I would say that the first thing you need to do is take a very hard and honest look at your family circumstances. Where do you live, how much time do you have to excercise the dog, how big is your house, do you have a big garden, would the dog live in the house, would it be in a kennel outside?

All these things really determine the types of breeds you might think about.

Be brutally honest wth yourself and work from there.

Callisto Thu 31-Jan-13 08:55:10

I'm on my second retired greyhound and I have cats and chickens. They learn quickly, are desperate to please, very affectionate and the least likely dogs to bite or be aggressive. They walk beautifully on the lead, have reasonable recall (though if they spot a rabbit/hare/deer they are gone and you can't stop them) and I have seen them doing agility and flyball.

However, they are accomplished theives and have legs like glass and can suffer from bad teeth (brushing them helps or having them descaled regularly).

I think they are a perfect first dog, but please make sure you get back up and train with someone who understands them - greyhounds are not like other dogs. They also can't have normal dog anaesthetic so you need to make sure your vet can cater for them. You will find loads of info at the RTG and I highly recommend South West Sighthounds if you are in this area.

Bomper Thu 31-Jan-13 08:35:30

Thank you so much for your replies. I am definitely leaning towards a greyhound now. My sister told me that although they are gentle they are not particularly friendly and don't get excited when they see you etc, which seems to totally contradict what I have read about them!!! Think I am going to ignore her and check out the dogs for myself!!

Retired greyhound would be great. As Magrat says, around 20% are cat friendly/trainable. Take a look at Evesham Greyhound and Lurcher Rescue, or Greyhound Rescue West of England, both have recently (as in this week) had both cat and child friendly greys/lurchers in. Lurchers are v similar though depending on the cross will be a bit more lively.

We've got four greys - absolutely adorable. Off lead is possible with care and being mindful of where you are and training def helps. I am currently doing clicker training with one of ours and she loves it. Within six weeks, she was literally jumping through hoops. DH regularly goes running with a couple of them. They are gentle, affectionate, slightly goofy, very healthy, long lived and easy to look after. Most ex racers already are excellent on the lead, are used to being handled and travel beautifully. You can also have endless hours of fun looking up their pedigree and racing history online and seeing which other MNetters dogs yours are related to! One of ours is half brother to another MNetter's dog - their sire had around 5000 offspring, so was a busy boy!

EdgarAllanPond Wed 30-Jan-13 21:16:40

retired greyhound -if known to be ok with cats - good choice

other rescue dogs - just choose something not too big if you are a beginner, again that has been cat-tested

be clear with the rescue about what you want from a dog and they should match you up.

Ginshizz Wed 30-Jan-13 21:10:32

Our DD(og)1 is a Labrador ... He is marvellous with our grumpy old rescue cat and DD (8mo so we obviously don't leave them alone together). We got him as a puppy so our cat was already an established member of the family. Initially he was smaller than her but he is now 10 times her weight and she is still the boss!

His temperament is brilliant and perfect for first time dog owners but he does need a lot of exercise so I guess it depends how much time you have to devote to dog walking. DH works outside so DD(og) goes with him most days. When he doesn't go to work with DH, he needs a good 2hrs of walking and playing.

Friends of mine have retired greyhounds and they are are lovely ... and a little less time intensive.

Good luck!

smile

Ahhhcrap Wed 30-Jan-13 20:55:33

A lurches or greyhound, lovely temperament dog and great with other animals and kids grin

blinkedandmissedit Wed 30-Jan-13 20:53:23

We recently got our puppy. Like you our youngest is 8 . This is our first dog. We looked at lots of rescues, and although we were a bit worried about the process, we were determined not to buy a dog from elsewhere. We were looking for a 2 year old ish but our puppy jumped out at us from the rescue website.

We have no definite of what breed she is, but the rescue and foster carers were so thorough to make sure we were a good match for her personality. I would say contact rescues, especially ones that use foster homes so they know how if dog will be.

We've had ours a month and we're so thrilled with her!

pepsiesmammy Wed 30-Jan-13 20:08:31

After reading --> www.vetclick.com/news/puppy-bought-online-dies-from-killer-virus-six-days-later-p2677.php I would definately agree that a rescue dog is good for all potential dog owners.

Greyhounds are gentle giants.

Puppy Love Campaigns have a helpful website www.puppylovecampaigns.org/

MagratGarlik Wed 30-Jan-13 18:59:41

Approximately 20% of greyhounds are cat-trainable. Some are retired early, if they don't have enough 'prey-drive'.

Getting a rescue can be a more reliable way of ensuring cat friendliness as the dog's character has already developed.

I'd recommend a rescue sight-hound of some description, but then, I'm biased.

Bomper Wed 30-Jan-13 18:55:06

Yes - there is soooo much to think about. Don't want to rush into things but everything I have heard about greyhounds seems to be positive. Again, not sure re the cat though. Although my mum's neighbour has two retired greyhounds who live with a house rabbit!!

kilmuir Wed 30-Jan-13 18:50:51

My mum is on rescue greyhound number 4. adorable

ILikeToClean Wed 30-Jan-13 18:50:42

I too am hoping to get a dog soon so have stalked the Doghouse for ages gleaning information. From what most posters say on here, greyhounds are brilliant for first time owners, fairly easy, don't need lots of walking, really happy to snuggle up, but I am not sure about the cat aspect! I think most might like to chase a cat so that might cause a problem! Obviously can't generalise and I am sure lots of other posters who actually have experience of greyhounds will come back to you to confirm/deny this, but this is just what I have gleaned. Same with terrier types. It also depends on what your cat is like - fearful or will stand their ground and are used to dogs. Are you looking at rescue or a puppy? Obviously a rescue dog will have history so you can get one which is good with cats and children etc, but a puppy I guess you can train and bring up with a cat. We have a cat and we are getting a puppy rather than rescue, as we want a fairly biggish dog so will be small and not too intimidating to start with, and will hopefully get on with the cat. Good luck - everyone on here is a mine of information so I am sure you will get lots of great advice! There is certainly lots to think about!

popsgran Wed 30-Jan-13 18:48:03

providing the dog hs been cat tested it should be fine.That said dont let them have access to each other when you are not there to supervise.greyhounds are lazy,easy couch potatoes.dont expect that you can let them off the lead.do expect to be vigilant re house training.they have lived in a kennel where toileting doesnt matter.A good choice would be a greyhound that needs a new home because the owner has problems rather than one straight from the track.Try dogs trust .blue cross,greyhound gap, lurcher link.evesham greyhound rescue.many tears rescue.there is a dog for you.good luck.

Bomper Wed 30-Jan-13 18:38:16

We are hoping to get a dog in September. We have never owned a dog before so I was wondering if there were any breeds that were particularly easy for newbies!! We have older children (the youngest being 8) and a cat!!! Any advice would be gratefully appreciated. By the way, we are considering adopting a retired greyhound. Is that crazy?!

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