Choosing a family dog - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
Old 09-21-2010, 11:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
jp79's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 195
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

We're considering a dog for our family.

We have two kids - a four year old boy and an almost two year old girl. My son is very gentle with cats. My daughter just LOVES the neighbor dog (a lively poodle).

We live in a 2600 sq foot townhouse in a nice dog-friendly neighborhood. We have a very small yard, but there is a huge lot across the street that we have access to for running. We are not super-active, but we are getting more active as the kids get older. I know that dogs are a lot of work and that I need to dedicate time to exercising, etc.

I've considered a lab (too hyper?) and a golden retriever. I do not like the more aggressive dogs. I do not like poodles. I'm concerned about getting a small dog and it being too finicky (we live in Minnesota - winter is just around the corner). I'm also concerned about getting a big dog and not having enough room for it to run.

I am willing to take the dog to obedience training.

What kind of dog would you recommend for our family?

Thanks!


Jen
Loving partner to Gia rainbow1284.gif and mama to heartbeat.gif (9/06) and A heartbeat.gif (1/09)

jp79 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 09-21-2010, 11:37 PM
 
stardogs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Winston-Salem, NC
Posts: 324
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
A medium sized mixed breed could be a perfect fit - is there a particular reason you would prefer a purebred? You might look for a local all breed rescue who is foster based to best find a fit for your family - shelters are great but often don't have much background info on their animals and with small children that's very important!

For a laid back, but larger dog, a retired racing greyhound might fit well - they need a good walk every day, but are generally low maintenance. They cannot be let off leash in an unfenced area and generally aren't dog park dogs, but the rescue groups that place them can usually find a good fit other than that.

For a smaller dog, a beagle might be a good choice - they generally are happy little dogs, friendly to all, and sturdy for various activities. They do have quite a bark on them though.

ETA: if I were in your situation I'd seriously consider finding a young adult instead of a puppy - pups' personalities are ever changing and are like adding a toddler to the household while a young adult will allow you to see their personality more easily and may already have some good house skills.

Erin
Every hour of the light and dark is a miracle. Every cubic inch of space is a miracle. (Whitman)

Not a Mama Yet! If you're a NMY, too, come join our current thread in the Tribal area!

stardogs is offline  
Old 09-21-2010, 11:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
jp79's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 195
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I don't prefer a purebred, a big dog, or even a puppy. I'd love to get one from a shelter, or one that is looking to be re-homed. I just want to make a choice that is good for our family.

What type of medium-sized mixed breed are you thinking? Any particular breeds that I should stay away from with the small children?

Thanks again!

Jen
Loving partner to Gia rainbow1284.gif and mama to heartbeat.gif (9/06) and A heartbeat.gif (1/09)

jp79 is offline  
Old 09-22-2010, 12:54 AM
AAK
 
AAK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Eastern Washington
Posts: 3,092
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 18 Post(s)
When we were looking, petfinders.com had some great articles on how to choose a dog. They were very helpful.

Mom to three very active girls Anna (14), Kayla (12), Maya (8). 
AAK is online now  
Old 09-22-2010, 02:01 AM
 
greenmagick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: St. Louis, MO
Posts: 2,416
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
While shelter dogs are great and in need of homes, many have a lot of unknown baggage and issues that make them a bit difficult for families, especially owners without much dog experience.

If you want to go the rescue route, look for a good, reputable rescue where the dogs are fostered in homes. They should know the dogs much better this way and be able to address any issues or quirks they may have.

Otherwise, if you go with a breeder (obviously only for purebreds) you want to make sure they are reputable. They should be showing their dogs in conformation (and IMO preferably have performance titles as well), the dogs should be health tested with published results (NOT the same as vet checked or health guarantee). They should be fitting a puppy to you and not letting anyone just pick first come first serve (not that you dont get input, but a good breeder matches the best home to each pup).

Breeds, there are many to choose from. Not sure what you mean by "aggressive breeds". Standard Poodles and boxers are usually great family dogs. Labs and goldens can be too, but they are very overbred right now so be careful, lots of issues can pop up (in any dog of course, but in popular overbred breeds there is are more BYB types that mess up temperment).

Nicole - )0( unschooling mama to Lilahblahblah.gif (12/21/05) and Cianwild.gif (9/21/07) as well as 3 dog2.gif 2 cat.gif,  4 rats, chicken3.gif and ducks
 
 

greenmagick is offline  
Old 09-22-2010, 06:35 PM
 
Heavenly's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 4,743
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
I recommend a pug. That's what we are getting. They are a very calm dog, incredibly good with kids, not aggressive and don't need tons of exercise. My best friend has a 2.5 year old pug and I fell in love with him which is how we decided to get one.

Shawna, married to Michael, mommy to Elijah 1/18/01, Olivia 11/9/02, and Eliana 1/22/06
Heavenly is offline  
Old 09-22-2010, 07:03 PM
 
stardogs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Winston-Salem, NC
Posts: 324
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Pugs are a good suggestion, but be aware that they can be heat sensitive and somewhat exercise intolerant due to their short noses (similar for any brachycephalic -short nosed - breed).

Boxers can be great (my MIL has one and her youngest son has grown up with her since he was about 3yo), but they do use their feet a lot and can be quite energetic before 3 years of age.

For medium mixes, I'd likely look for a mix of any of the above mentioned breeds. I've met some pretty awesome Lab/Beagle mixes or Lab/Dachshund recently.

For breeds to stay away from, I'd probably steer clear of any herding breed (shepherds, aussies, border collies, cattle dogs, etc.) because they tend to be nippy/mouthy and key into fast movement unless taught otherwise.

I'd also steer clear of any tiny breeds (toy poodle, papillion, min pin, italian greyhound, pomeranian, etc.) because they won't be as able to tolerate the rougher handling that might occur accidentally with younger kids in the house.

Erin
Every hour of the light and dark is a miracle. Every cubic inch of space is a miracle. (Whitman)

Not a Mama Yet! If you're a NMY, too, come join our current thread in the Tribal area!

stardogs is offline  
Old 09-23-2010, 05:07 AM
 
jamesong55's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Dubois, IN
Posts: 252
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Id recommend a boxer we have 3 and 3 kiddos. And they are great with the kids
jamesong55 is offline  
Old 09-23-2010, 09:03 AM
 
SubliminalDarkness's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Outside of Augusta, GA
Posts: 1,409
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
It's really less about the size of the dog and more about the temperament, individual and breed specific. We have a very large dog, but he's a mastiff mix, and is not high energy. He likes to play, but he doesn't need a lot of space and spends most of the day just laying around.

I'd definitely find a good, local rescue group and talk with them. Keep an open mind and see what dog feels right for your family.
SubliminalDarkness is offline  
Old 09-23-2010, 11:43 AM
 
Raene's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: NY
Posts: 1,969
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
We got a Golden Retriever puppy 6 weeks ago and he's a doll. All purebred dogs are going to have some kind of genetic problems breed-wise. If you get a purebred, I highly recommend researching the specific problems related to the breed you want, and then finding a very good breeder who has had the parents genetically tested. You're going to pay more up front for these dogs (usually $800-$2500 depending on the breed) but then you won't be as likely to spend thousands down the road on hip surgery, knee surgery, etc. Good breeders are also likely to want to stay in touch with you to make sure you're treating the pup well, and they make you sign a contract that if you can't keep the dog, he/she will be returned to the breeder.

Just like bio parents looking for adoptive ones, good breeders really should care where their pups are going!

Partnered mama with DD (01/04) and DD (08/09) and 8 critters, including a !
Raene is offline  
Old 09-24-2010, 05:25 PM
 
oliversmum2000's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Earth - i think!
Posts: 3,717
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
i have a havanese, we have had him nearly 4 weeks and he is just the best puppy ever. he walks the children to school and curls up in our buggy and sleeps all the way home! He plays so gently with my 18 mo and even though he mouths her fingers on occasion he has never hurt her and tolerates her hugs brilliantly, plus my 4yo dd carrying him around and putting his dog bed in her playhouse and pretending he is her dog. we all love him lots.
oliversmum2000 is offline  
 
User Tag List

Thread Tools


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off