Have 3 dcs and 4 cats, thinking about a dog - advice please

(16 Posts)
pollyblue Sat 23-Mar-13 09:12:47

anomaly i think three of our cats would stand their ground with a dog, I'm not sure about the youngest one, she can be a little nervy, although she is very affectionate with us.

So that's quite a few votes for an older rescue dog. I know DH would have very little patience for the house-training stage of having a puppy and i think he would find it quite stressful, but he felt a pup would just be better for the cats/dcs. It sounds very much like that's not the case - i'll show him your replies.

My youngest dcs start school in Sept, so we thought that would be a good time to actually get a dog (I'll be home most days). Is it worth us contacting vet/rescue centres etc now or should we leave it til nearer the time?

PlasticLentilWeaver Fri 22-Mar-13 21:32:57

OhMyNoReally I have a Vizsla. She is velcro in the house, thinks she's a lap dog, but she is a full on lunatic outside. She can clear a 6 foot fence (and does), she has no concerns about running off, needs 2hours plus exercise a day. We have to be highly vigilant about food, she just helps herself to anything and everything, and is very clever aboyt getting tostuff even when you think it is securely out of the way. She was a nightmare with my cat for the first 2.5 years, they are a hunting breed.

pollyblue greyhounds are lovely, but can also have cat chasing tendencies, as it is bred into them to chase small furry things, more so if they are ex-racers.

Wolfiefan Fri 22-Mar-13 21:32:16

What too much said. Puppies mouth (bite with needle teeth), won't be house trained, may well jump up, chew etc.
An older rescue may well not. Look at rescues that foster and want to match you to the right dog and offer support after homing.
(Growing up we had 4 cats, two dogs and 3 DCs! Happy times!)

TooMuchRain Fri 22-Mar-13 21:28:42

I'd also think about a rescue dog, I am sure the DCs would love a puppy intially but they are an absolute pain at the mouthy/jumping stage and mine took ages to fully house train which might be messy with little ones around

poorpaws - think my sleep deprivation's catching up with me as I read your post as a whippet crossed with an old cat, rather than a whippet cross and an old cat! I did a double take and was like 'how would that work...oh, wait...' grin. Time for me to head to bed...

Anomaly Fri 22-Mar-13 21:21:08

We've three kids and a cat and last year we got Shih tzus. They have been great with the kids and I really do rate them. What's your cat like with dogs? Our cat runs when the dogs chase but if the cat is hungry he doesn't run and then bats at the dogs if they get too close. So I think how a dog is with a cat depends a lot on the cat.

Owllady Fri 22-Mar-13 21:10:03

puppies tend to want to eat small creatures tbh, so I would tend to go for a slightly older rescue dog too fwiw

I also think if you go to a rescue they will give you good advice and match you properly with a dog and you will have them as a follow up and if you are inexperienced dog owners this sounds like a very good resource to me

poorpaws Fri 22-Mar-13 21:01:45

Ive got a whippet cross with an old cat and they absolutely adore each other. They choose to sleep together (though have separate baskets)and the cat grooms the whippets head constantly, its so very sweet. Cant beat a hound and loads of them are cat friendly. Mine was a rescue and she is absolutely delightful (I haven't got children but she's so good natured I'm sure she'd love them).

pollyblue Fri 22-Mar-13 20:09:22

Thanks tab - it's been so long since i had a dog (hence asking for advice here) i'd forgotten that puppies think everyone wants to play with them smile I know my cats would hate that.

One of our friends has a border collie who is scared of cats - when she brings him here he gives them a very wide berth, and the cats aren't bothered by him at all. So maybe they would take more readily to a fully grown dog who is used to cats and won't bother them, rather than a pup who would expect them to be playmates.

tabulahrasa Fri 22-Mar-13 18:50:58

Puppies are a bit of a nightmare with cats tbh...they want to play with them and pester them all the time, well mine was like that anyway and also terrible with small children he seems to think they're also puppies and that jumping, biting and chasing is what you do to them.

My puppy is lovely and I wouldn't swap him now, but if I had a do-over, I'd go for a rescue that's already ok with cats and children.

pollyblue Fri 22-Mar-13 18:10:05

Thankyou very much for your replies!

DH thinks the dcs and cats would get on better with a puppy - would find it less intimidating for example. That's a consideration because until quite recently oldest dd was quite nervy with dogs (was knocked off her feet my a friends Lab when she was 2) but she is much better now and likes the idea of having a dog. But i don't think DH appreciates how much work a puppy can be.

I love greyhounds and had suggested that as a possibility to DH, but he's so far dismissied the idea of a rescue dog. But must admit i hadn't considered that they wouldn't be good with the cats (d'oh!) Interested to hear a whippet might be a good choice.

Our garden is smallish, but we live a stones throw from a common so exercise not a problem.

Again thanks for input - i was half expecting most posters to say definitely get a puppy if there are other animals/dcs in the house - i'm pleased to think a rescue dog could be a possibility.

OhMyNoReally Fri 22-Mar-13 16:47:02

I was advised to get a Hungarian vizsla also known as the Velcro dog by our vet, he didn't think there were any breeders in our area but said they are amazing family dogs and good with cats if introduced as puppies.

We will look into vizslas more when we decide to get a dog but I definately think it would be the dog for us. I would ask your vet for advice, he should know about breeds and good breeders in your area. smile

Floralnomad Fri 22-Mar-13 16:40:49

In your position I'd go for a slightly older rescue dog that has been cat tested / children tested ( as much as you can ) . That way at least you only have to worry about how the cats react to the dog IYSWIM as opposed to worrying about the dogs reaction as well . I would have thought that a cat friendly greyhound / whippet type would be ideal .

We have a 9 month old DS and 3 cats and have just picked up our rescue dog last night. She's around a year old (give or take three months or so!) and is a crossbreed. She's fine with the cats and DS (although will always be supervised with him obviously) and is really lovely.

Actually, if we hadn't got her, I was looking at a rescue greyhound (some are fine with cats) as I know they have a reputation for being good with kids and GRWE has some lovely ones.

I think it's a bit of both - certain breeds are more likely to exhibit certain behaviours, but environmental factors and personality also play a role. Do you know if you would rather a puppy or an older resuce? With an older dog you'd have a better idea of personality. It might be worth having a look at some local rescues to see if any of the dogs there might fit with your family. Puppies are hard work and usually mouth / jump up, which might be frightening for young children. On the other hand, you'll have more input into their personality.

Also consider how much exercise you'll be able to give the dog, how much time you can put into training (your DCs are old enough to get involved with this, under supervision). Think about grooming, how much you can afford to spend on food (bigger dog = bigger food bill!). All of these things will have an impact.

Generally, terriers are worse with cats as they have that chase / bite instinct, which could cause you problems (though I've met many terriers that get on fine with cats.). Greyhounds are probably a no-no for the same reason.

Soft-jawed dogs, like retrievers might be a better bet. A lot will depend on your children - even the most docile dog will snap if he's poked / prodded / pinched enough!

pollyblue Thu 21-Mar-13 21:11:45

Dcs are 6 and 4 yo twins, i'm sahm/part time student, dh works most days from home. We've been thinking for a while about getting a dog, can anyone suggest a breed or breed that might be happy in our household? Are some breeds naturally better with small children and other pets, or does it really just come down to the individual dogs personality?

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