Breed Choices Questions

Discussion in 'General Dog Chat' started by Maria2011, Mar 30, 2015.

  1. Maria2011

    Maria2011 New Member

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    Breed Choices

    Hello,

    We would like a puppy and were set on gettnig a flat coat but a visit to one breeder and a chat with another has left us wondering if our situation is right for a flat coat. We want to provide the best life we can for a dog but their need for company and mental stimulation might be a bit too much for us at this time.

    So, we are looking into different breeds and would like some advice. We're considering a Golden Retriever (my husband grew up with a golden), English Setter or Brittany but are now open to suggestions that people think would suit our situation.

    My husband and I have a two year old daughter who absolutely loves all animals and has always known dogs, there are a lot in the neighbourhood and her Grandparents have a Springador who she loves so without being relaxed about having a dog and a toddler we don't have concerns about her with a dog. I work 3 days a week and have options for dog care each with their advantages and disadvantages from a dog walker, dog day care, neighbour visits, coming home from work for lunch both of which would be for about an hour at a time.

    We are a very outdoors family and love camping holidays so feel that we would be able to give the dog lots of long walks on my days off and would ensure that the dog was walked a minimum of once a day by either my husband or I on the 3 days that I work as well as with the dog walker or neighbour during the day. The dog would have a minimum of two walks a day but would be with my daughter and I for 90% of 4 days I work (she has a couple of 30minute lessons we attend that the dog wouldn't be able to attend).

    As I said we were set on getting a flat coat but now reconsidering and would welcome any advice about breeds that you think could be happy and thrive in our situation or suggestions on changes we could make to ensure we had a happy, helathy dog.

    Thanks
    Maria
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  3. CaroleC

    CaroleC Member

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    Hi Maria, and welcome to Breedia.
    You seem to have thought carefully through how you could have a family dog and continue to work part time. You seem to be settled on one of the slightly lower energy gundog breeds, and can visualise that type of dog suiting your lifestyle. I think any of the breeds that you mention would be suitable in this case, though perhaps a Brittany might be harder to locate.
    The only thing missing from your post is how you would manage to settle in, and house train, a young puppy. The settling in period could perhaps be managed by timing the arrival of the puppy with a holiday from work, but you might need to be prepared for housetraining to take somewhat longer than it would take if you were at home full time.
    I look forward to seeing photo's when you have the new arrival. Goldens were my first love, and I'm rather partial to a Brittany!
  4. Maria2011

    Maria2011 New Member

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    Hi CaroleC and thank you.

    I'd like to think we have, we've been looking into this for quite a while. Yes we quite like gundogs but we are open to suggestions. We'd noticed that we would struggle to find a brittany but they seem a good breed for us.
    We have arranged alternate week leave from work until the puppy is able to go outside so between 4 and 6 weeks after getting her. Thank you for the advice about house training which I assume you mean training to go to the toilet outside and the dog's behaviour in the house for things like not stealing food, not climbing on work tops and the sofas etc?
    Thanks for the advice so far, have you had a Golden and a Brittany?
    Maria
  5. CaroleC

    CaroleC Member

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    Yes, I did mean the toilet training. I had three Goldens between 1958 - mid 70's, which I occasionally showed. I bred three litters. I found them a lovely breed to live with, so gentle and biddable, but I haven't kept up with the breed today. I went on to show Cavaliers and Lowchen, (Little Lion Dogs). I have never owned a Brittany. I was rather tempted by the breed, when I lost my last Lurcher, but ended up meeting Eddie the Beagle in rescue kennels!
  6. Jackie

    Jackie Member

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    You have`t said why your lifestyle would not suit a flat coat, to be honest not sure either the English Setter or Brittany would be any more suitable to you as a pet, they a are also high energy dogs, and from my knowledge of the ES they are probably one of the hardest gundog breeds to own, they are extremely (or can be) difficult to train they have a very willful streak to them, and those who I know that own them, will tell you the same, a fabulous breed but they need a firm confident owner that is capable of instilling discipline at a very early age, they are also notorious for poor recall, due to their instinct to find game , and range. the Britney will be harder to find, I don`t know a lot about this breed so you need to be guided by those who own them, the goldies make fabulous pets ....as a they all do,

    I think with you having a two year old, you may be better going for a smaller breed , as the larger ones may be to boisterous around her... you lifestyle seems to fit an active dog, but with a young child to deal with maybe look for a less active breed, that will take the exercise you can give but be content when you are not around.

    Remeber ALL gundogs will be high energy and some can be more excitable than others......... dont think because you look for a smaller gun dog they will be easier to live with,

    You may also find some breeders will be reluctant to let you have a pup due to the young age of your child, this is not uncommon, so you need to be sure you can deal with any problems that a pup/dog can throw your way/
  7. Maria2011

    Maria2011 New Member

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    Hello both of you,

    actually we think our lifestyle will suit a FCR but the breeders we've spoken to and visited don't agree with us. The society we've spoken to seem to htink we'd be ok too but the breeders have concerns about me working three days a week and using a dog walker or dog day care.

    I've asked what car regime they'd like for someone who does work three days a week but generally they say that the situation isn't ideal and that the only thing they'd really be happy with is a dog sitter, but again when I said that could be arranged they were then unsure whether the dog would bond with the dog sitter more than with us. So I suppose that is a long way of saying I've no real idea why our situation seems to not fit. Rather than pursuing and find a breeder that would sell to us we've decided that we've spoken to enough breeders for us to think that our FCR will have to wait until we're not working.

    We're looking into English Springer Spaniels so very welcome to hear people's thoughts on them or any other breed.

    Thanks
    Maria
  8. CaroleC

    CaroleC Member

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    English Springers do vary greatly depending on their breeding. I would say all Springers start life with high energy levels, but the show types tend to be heavier and more placid, and usually have much more coat. A Working Springer (bred from field trial stock) is usually smaller, sleeker, and is a VERY busy dog, bred to work for a full day, in all ground and weather conditions. I would say that one of these would definitely not fit with your lifestyle, due to their high energy levels - which do need to be channelled.

    I have friends who have bred / have both types, and this is just my personal view, some owners may say differently. On the plus side, there are lots of Springers about, so why not call or visit some breeders, and see what those dogs are like in their home surroundings?

    Another small thought: Have you considered adopting an adult dog? These are sometimes available through their respective Breed Rescue, are often used to living with children, and are frequently there due to no fault of their own, (Divorce, relocation etc.) There could be definite advantages in your case - The chances are that it would have been previously housetrained, and used to being left for short periods. You may well be able to judge the personality of the dog you are taking on. You could return it if you did hit a problem. These days the majority of breed rescues assess their dogs, and are honest about any problems they do find. You seem to favour a Gundog:- This particular group of dogs have a history of being bred to work by more than one handler, so a change of home may not be as traumatic for them as for some other breeds.
  9. Pork1epe1

    Pork1epe1 Member

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    I was brought up with a succession of Labs and when my sons were young also had a couple of Goldens. Both breeds are late to mature and until they do, tend to be very boisterous and can easily knock a small child over when playing. I have also had an ESS, again a wonderful dog with children, but as Carol has pointed out a dog who was always BUSY.

    Looking back over all the breeds I've owned over the past 50 plus years, if I had a 2 year old child and was looking for another dog, I'd be inclined to buy something smaller, and one that would be manageable by my child as they grow older.

    As I own one,(so am somewhat biased), a Miniature Schnauzer would be top of my list. Although small ... Gwylim weighs 9 kgs and is 12 inches tall ... they're very robust dogs,intelligent, easy to train, good with children and lots of fun to have around. Whilst not gun dogs many excel at agility and are always ready for exercise but will happily stay at home alone for reasonable amounts of time. Gwylim came from a local breeder who has a 7 year old daughter, and she can manage walking him on a lead quite easily. The downside of Miniature Schnauzers is that they tend to bark a lot and it takes time to teach them to be discriminating. They also need daily brushing and combing and three month trips to a professional groomer,

    Hope that helps.
  10. Maria2011

    Maria2011 New Member

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    Thank you!

    We wouldn't want a rescue with our daughter being so young, one day it'd be a possibility but not just now. We know some very lovely rescues but it's not fo us.

    We have seen a number of members of a family of English Springer Spaniels and have decided to take one of the litter born at the weekend from a very lovely breeder with over 30 years of experience. We've had a lovely walk with the aunt and uncle of the puppies today and we're really excited. Oh and they are from a show line not a working line, we've read a lot and spoken to a number of people about he difference between working and show ESS and think the show lines are for us.

    Thanks again for all your help and advice!
  11. CaroleC

    CaroleC Member

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    Wishing you all the best with your puppy when it comes. Don't forget to let us see some photo's of him / her.

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