Good family dog that is NOT a G Retriever

(100 Posts)
GandalfsHat Fri 08-Feb-13 16:52:43

I'm sure this has been done to death but:

We're looking for a family dog, one to 'grow up' with the boys, 2 DS's, 1.5 and 3.5 years of age.

DH and his family has always had Golden Retrievers, always, at one point had 3! It is the only dog he will consider as a family dog, he absolutely loves them.

I grew up with 'pavement specials', mongrels with the most fantastic personalities, great fun to be around, but I suppose you can't be sure of the temperament of a mixed-breed dog, not as much as you can be sure of the temperament of any dog until they reach adulthood, but hopefully you kwim.

So, please recommend me a breed that is a good family dog. I have considered and ruled out spaniels and beagles. I'm quite interested in a Weimereiner... love love love Ridgebacks but they might be a bit on the big side.

Have considered a rescue GR, but I don't always want to have just one breed of dog for the rest of my life...

Live in the country, have enclosed outdoor space, ok for dog to sleep indoors. Can take the dog on good walks but cannot spend hours walking each day.

Any advice/recommendation appreciated.

Brown Labrador. They are like living teddy bears, and love being cuddled.

TheSecondComing Sun 10-Feb-13 23:54:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

blondieminx Mon 11-Feb-13 00:15:56

I would love to get a Leonburger friend of a friend has one and he's such a lovely big softy!

Blondiecat would hate it though...

LadyTurmoil Mon 11-Feb-13 00:43:50

SecondComing (lucky you, btw!!) are you going to try and get Murt?

MrRected Mon 11-Feb-13 01:00:25

Whippet. Every day and twice on Sundays.

I adore my Whippet. Sir William is like my 4th child, is brilliant with kids, cats, fish, neighbours and is the most devoted, low maintenance dog I have ever had.

lougle Mon 11-Feb-13 07:17:08

Staffie. Staffie. Staffie. Ours is 1 now, and he kisses the children tonight at bed time, lays with them on the sofa as they watch TV, follows them around the house and cries if we're downstairs and they are upstairs, because he has torn loyalties!

He is bouncy though and if I did it again, I'd meet him in a rescue in 2 years time so I could fall in live with him and bring him home when he had calmed a little.

Having said that, each evening once the girls are in bed, he climbs on the sofa next to me, turns upside down and sleeps all evening, just snoring occasionally.

TheSecondComing Mon 11-Feb-13 09:22:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mrspink27 Mon 11-Feb-13 09:36:44

No to a beagle, a ridgeback, a weimeraner, a staff, springer or any "working/gun dog" spaniel unless you want to have a lot of exercise, def not a dalmatian.

lougle Mon 11-Feb-13 10:36:27

My staffie is a proper couch potato. But we do think he has some whippet in him, perhaps that's the reason? He would take or leave walks, tbh - all he wants is to curl up next to me and sleep, occasionally playing tug.

rtc8608 Mon 11-Feb-13 17:45:06

I have experience of a few of the breeds mentioned so far.

Have to agree about Staffies - I grew up with one and he had the loveliest nature with kids. I have memories of him refusing to move from the side of the sofa next to us when we were poorly! He wasn't good with other dogs though and was very strong so difficult for a child to take out walking, especially with the risk of him getting into a fight with another dog.

I also had a Ridgeback from being about age 13 - definitely would not recommend for a family with small children as he was very excitable and could easily knock a child over due to size! Lovely nature though and good for families with teenagers who can give them a lot of time and exercise. I know of two families with Beagles - both seem lovely dogs but you can't let them off the leads like any hound as if they get a scent, they're off!

We had a Bedlington terrier next who adored kids but again as a terrier could be a bit tenacious when it came to other dogs - obviously a lot easier to handle than a staffie though. He was very strong willed however and was a rescue dog so training him didn't prove too successful (would do things in his own time when it suited him).

We now have a labradoodle and a cockapoo - we wanted another breed that didn't shed after having the Bedlington (the labradoodle does, cockapoo doesn't so it's pot luck!) and the aim was to get the good qualities of both breeds in one. Both love kids, especially the cockapoo. We know someone else with 2 cockapoos who are a bit older than ours (she is still a pup) and he describes them as live teddy bears that love to be hugged and fussed by their kids.

Our labradoodle is the standard size so be aware that there are different sizes - he is waist height so not a small dog and sizing is still unpredictable as there is no breed standard for crossbreeds.

Both of them love other dogs, people and kids - they come back when let off the lead (most of the time!). I would have no hesitation in recommending either breed to a family with children.

ReneandGeorgetteMagritte Mon 11-Feb-13 22:40:53

Our old boy was a Saluki x GH and had the most amazing temperament with the children, so laid back, and just wanted to lounge in between walks.

When we lost him I thought we would get another greyhound, but we ended up coming home with a 4 month old chihuahua, who is also amazing with the children, very laid back, and just wants to lounge in between (much shorter) walks- bit of a big difference but you did want variation!

MumOfTheMoos Mon 11-Feb-13 22:50:00

We've got a lab staffie mix (she's my staffrador!) and she's fab, loves kids but I would go for a rescue staffie - staffies were bred to be good with kids and are known as the nanny dog.

ChiefOwl Wed 13-Feb-13 13:52:56

Mme lindor - I just clicked on your link and saw your dog. How gorgeous is she?! That s my sort of dog smile

Do you know the one from that gundog site that I would choose? That poor cocker that looks like she is 12 but is only 6. My heart is breaking for her sad

It hasn't been updated since July last year though, so I hope she is now asleep on someone's sofa.

thewhistler Wed 13-Feb-13 23:45:48

Go and look.

I swore never a jrt, don't like them as a breed ( yappy, snappy) but our pup was brought up in a farm with great danes so has a deep woof (lol) , and a riding school so adores children and being heaved around and poked by them. He thinks DH is his mother. He is extraordinarily patient and a bit stupid, most un terrier like.

He is obsessive about foxes but hates getting his toes dirty so is reasonably fastidious.

I was brought up.with gun dogs and love them. If I had the money and the industrial Hoover I would get a clumber, though I also love pointers and salukis.

Go and look.

Twattybollocks Fri 15-Feb-13 13:02:09

Staffie every time for a family dog. They will play with the kids for ever, are very cute, good couch potatoes, excellent waste disposal units for toddlers and are generally friendly (excessively) with visitors. They talk and smile too. Down sides are their farts are hideous, they aren't always great with other dogs and are not safe for a child to walk without close supervision as they are incredibly strong.

TheGrumpalo Sat 16-Feb-13 22:05:37

I have a Dogue de Bordeaux, I know they look huge (they are) and a wee bit scary but they're not at all! Ours is a real big softie.
I have two dds, aged 5 and 9 and the wee one tortures her because she adores her, she just takes it all and licks them. She is very content with one good walk a day and is very lazy most of the time. They are protective of family though, she barks at the postman and anyone who passes the window wearing a hoodie!

I must admit that it was dps idea to get a Bordeaux but I don't regret it. She is gorgeous, you just can't resist squishing their big wrinkly chops! grin

nooka Sun 17-Feb-13 00:18:42

I'd like Wrigley. He looks just totally gorgeous smile

We have a rescue all sorts, and he is the best dog really. We got him when he was a puppy and the rescue said they'd no idea how he'd grow up - suggestions as to his dad ranged from Rottie to Husky to Terrier!

In our opinion he is better by far than my brother's GR (nice but a bit dull), or my sisters mini schnauzer (very very yappy). My mum's new pup is another mini schnauzer and very cute, but personally I wish she'd gone for a bigger, older mixed breed rescue dog. If we were to get another dog that's what I'd look for.

NoThankYouToSideSalad Sun 17-Feb-13 15:10:16

Don't assume all Springers are mental! (looks adoringly at the gorgeous bundle of Spaniel loveliness curled up in his bed) We got our "working type" Springer from Many Tears Rescue when he was (approx.)18mos. He has a fantastic temperment - very gentle natured with people of all ages and very good with dogs. Although he loves to chase his ball continuously when out on his walks, he has an "off" switch and is happy to chill out at home - preferably across some human's feet. grin

To be honest, I think all breeds will have their nutters. We have had 3 border collies and all have had very different personalities. You might want to consider looking at Rescues who foster dogs. A fosterer should be able to give you a more reliable view of a dog's individual personality.

maggiepy Sun 17-Feb-13 15:45:46

Agree with NoTHankYou... We have had 2 springers. The first was 3 years old when our twins arrived and she was just fantastic with them and their friends. She was so gentle that she converted some children who were wary of dogs into dog lovers. Our second spaniel is still a pup and has proved to be just as good a family dog. Lively yes, but controllable (that part is as much up to you as with any breed) but always a fun, smiley. loyal dog. Good luck with whatever you choose, enjoy...

LadyTurmoil Sun 17-Feb-13 23:07:27

Obviously some breeds are considered more family dogs than others but I think you should just put dog's temperament above all other things, talk to several rescues, some hopefully local so that you can visit, get to know the staff so you will be on their minds, hopefully then you'll be at the top of the list if and when a suitable dog comes in. Also, perhaps you could volunteer at a centre, help with dog walking and maybe foster a dog, thereby making sure you really want a dog 24/7. You grew up with dogs but you have to think about whether it would fit with your children, how would you sort out days when you want to take kids for whole day out somewhere and can't take dogs, visit friends who may not want you to bring dog etc etc. good luck!

Donner Mon 18-Feb-13 19:24:36

We have a cocker spaniel poodle cross and i luff her.
I go walks every month with about 15 other cockapoos and i've never met a snappy, unfriendly one. She has a 45 minute walk every morning and a wee short on lead one at night and she is happy with that.
She doesn't shed or smell and i know there is an element of chance here but most cockapoos don't shed very much.
I have a 3 year old and a 5 year old and they torment the life out of her some days but she is great with them.
She is very cuddly though and needs company. She's left for about 4 hours on her own on a Thursday and Friday and she's fine with that but she wouldn't be up for lying in another room if i was on the couch.
I wanted to rescue a random dog but after reading into it with young kids its important to get a puppy young to make sure they're properly socialised. I looked at some rescues but young pups (under 10 weeks) were hard to find.
Good luck

horseylady Mon 18-Feb-13 19:41:35

Curly coated retriever!!!!

Fab fab fab dogs!!!

LadyTurmoil Mon 18-Feb-13 20:11:14

some absolutely gorgeous Labrador crosses here www.manytearsrescue.org/display_mtar_dog.php?id=6170

LadyTurmoil Mon 18-Feb-13 20:17:38

Also, Four Paws Animal Rescue has some staffie cross puppies www.fourpawsanimalrescue.org.uk/page2.html Could try looking at Hope Rescue as well. Google Dog Pages and find relevant pages for rescues in your area.

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