Tell Me About... Dogs

In my opinion, the best dog breed for children is a Labrador. We have a three-year-old female black Labrador and she’s delightful. When we were deciding on breeds, we chose a Labrador because of their reputation as being fantastic with children (our other short-listed breed was a [name_u]Golden[/name_u] Retriever, but they shed a lot more than Labs). Ours is brilliant with children and will be great when we have a baby. My advice would be to buy a dog from a registered breeder and make sure (for Labradors) that they’ve had their eyes and hips tested (they can have problems, but won’t if their test scores are good) or, if you choose a different breed, the tests appropriate to that breed. Not all breeders do them, unfortunately. Make sure your breeder breeds for temperament. Our breeder was fanatical about breeding dogs with great temperaments. Our dog wouldn’t hurt a fly. This is very important! [name_m]Don[/name_m]'t ever buy a dog from a friend or from a newspaper. Sometimes pure-bred dogs will be advertised, but they haven’t been bred by professionals and you’ll be very likely to run into problems with health and temperament.

If you get a dog from the pound, they will likely have a good temperament (our local shelter only adopts out dogs who have had their temperaments tested), but may run into health problems down the line (or may not - you never know!).

I don’t know heaps about the other breeds you’ve mentioned, but I’d advise against getting a Border [name_f]Collie[/name_f] as they can be “nippy” towards children. [name_m]German[/name_m] Shepherds can be very timid, which can be a problem when interacting with people and other dogs (they can become aggressive in fear).

A puppy and two small children will be serious hard work! Our dog was full-on for the first six months of her life and, even now, she needs a lot of attention. If you get a bigger dog, make sure you have a big enough garden.

Also, get a female dog! They are better with children and less likely to be involved in dog fights.

We have a golden retriever and she is the most gentle soul… She is good with kids and doesn’t mind been patted, rode on or hugged and will happily play with them all day… She is also an indoor dog most of the time and is a real family dog and is at her most happiest when she is with us… But as others have said, Goldens do shed ALOT! I pretty much vacumn every second or third day! We got her from a breeder but as [name_f]Sarah[/name_f] mentioned, make sure you get their hip scores tested and go to a reputable breeder - visit a few and you’ll get an idea of the differences between them! When we were looking for a dog we actually went to our local dog park and spoke with some of the dog owners and played with their dogs to actually see what the breeds were like; plus most people are happy to share their advise/breeders :slight_smile: Goodluck!

[name_f]Ottilie[/name_f], I know what you mean. I’m a cat person because they are so much easier and cleaner than dogs. I want a new kitten so bad right now but [name_m]Will[/name_m] is adamantly against it (dog person :rolleyes:) Have you considered a smaller, fluffy dog like a Cocker or Cavalier [name_m]King[/name_m] [name_m]Charles[/name_m] Spaniel? They’re soft and cuddly and still “sporty” enough to hike and do outdoorsy things. We had a female Cocker Spaniel when I was growing up and she had so much personality and spunk, I loved her. I tend to like smaller fuzzy dogs because they’re more like cats.

The only breeds I will say to definitely NOT get is a Poodle (any size) or a Border [name_f]Collie[/name_f]. Poodles are very nippy and do not tolerate kids well, Border Collies are the ultimate working breed and need a job/lots of physical activity to be well behaved. They can have behavioral problems like chewing if they don’t get worn out properly.

Other breeds I dislike as a non dog, yet very experienced with dogs, person…

Dalmation - neurotic, can be nippy and weird
Pure Bred [name_m]German[/name_m] [name_m]Shepherd[/name_m] - can be very neurotic and fearful of strangers, have a lot of health problems
Husky/Malamute - overly excitable, working dogs that need constant exercise and will misbehave if not attended to, has a very strong “prey drive” and have tendencies to want to chase and kill smaller animals (I’ve lost 2 cats in the past to Huskies)

If you get a Pure breed, make sure the breeder is reputable and has a health guarantee. Pure breeds can have more emotional and physical issues than Mixes.

Agree with RGE about all the breeds she mentioned. Poodles are a bad idea (although they’re not on your list anyway). My [name_f]MIL[/name_f] tells an awful story of a friend whose baby was deliberately smothered by a Poodle. Also, my [name_f]MIL[/name_f] had a Poodle when her first child was born and he was so jealous he’d rip all the baby clothes off the clothesline (leaving everyone else’s clothes).

Oh yeah, it is true about Border Collies that they will get bored without things to do and my grandmothers has been known to chew up the legs of her antique side tables, but then again she des not live in the country and as Luke is a king border collie he is quite strong and my grandparents can’t and don’t walk him enough to satisfy him…

Though I’ve never heard of them being nippy with children. The only time in the fourteen years of my life Luke has ever growled at me is when I stepped on his tail by accident.

Animal Planet actually has an awesome dog selector quiz. It will pick a breed for you based on your answers to their survey. (they give a list of breeds and how it fits you by percentage)

Dog Breed Selector : Animal Planet

[name_m]Just[/name_m] posting a quick response, haven’t read the full thread. It seems like you want a big dog that can be well-trained and will love your kids, so my experience with that would be pitt bull, or my cousin had two [name_m]German[/name_m] shepherd/rottweiler mixes that were angels with the kids! Getting them well-trained is important

[name_f]Hannie[/name_f]; [name_m]Gordon[/name_m] Setters! Those are beautiful, I forgot about them. I will definitely look into vulnerable native breeds, thanks for the tip!

Casilda; If we got a Husky/Malamute they’d live outside. Everyone I know of who has these dogs keep them outside.

[name_u]Allie[/name_u]; Thanks so much for that. Border [name_f]Collie[/name_f]'s are super cute. I love hoe they almost look like cats, I know a very dainty one.

[name_f]Tigerlily[/name_f]; aww, that’s so cute! I looked up Portuguese Water Dogs, and they are sweet, although not really what I have in mind. I will definitely go to see and meet the dogs before we “purchase” the puppy, that’s what’s normal here from what I gather.

[name_f]Rachel[/name_f]; yes, I expect it’s hard work, but I know others who’ve done it, and it will be Husband’s responsibility so… I’m in charge of the cats, he can be in charge of the dog!

Cannebella; ooh, those are cuties! I love the Sprockers! What on earth is a labradoodle? Is it a mix between a lab and a poodle? Poodles scare me…

Lonestar; YES! [name_m]Gordon[/name_m] Setters, I couldn’t remember all the setters when I posted, I knew there was another one… they’re so pretty!

Scurbro; Poodles are terrifying! I know that might be silly, but they spook me. If I met one, I cross the road…

mrstoon; I love Airedales, but my father would cry every time he visited us. He chokes up every time he sees an Airedale, he had one as a child and was so attached to it and then it died. But they’re adorable. Those videos are cute too.

Taz; I know Husband will want a puppy, but it would probably be a good idea.

[name_f]Sarah[/name_f]; Great advice! Thanks so much. Labs are cute, they were my favourite when I was little. And I will definitely get a female dog, I’ve seen way too many male dogs humping stuff in my time…

[name_u]December[/name_u]; Good story! I don’t mind shedding, we have a cleaner four times a week anyway. haha!

RGE; I want new kittens too… they’re so cute with their little paws and earsies. I am considering a Cocker Spaniel as they’re good hunting dogs and are beautiful (and my favourite Disney movie is Lady and the Tramp…)! Cavalier [name_m]King[/name_m] [name_m]Charles[/name_m], they’re so cute! It’s like [name_f]Charlotte[/name_f] had in Sex and the City! All your other advice is great, it sounds like it’s the same with dogs as with horses; pure breeds are more jumpy and neurotic. By the way, Husband’s name is [name_m]Will[/name_m] too, haha!

[name_f]Sarah[/name_f]; no, I hate Poodles. I’ve heard stories like that too, and they look mean and weird. much wore than Rottweilers, even though they’re scary too…

[name_f]Cat[/name_f]; that quiz thinks I should have an Irish Setter or Siberian Husky, so I’m on the right track ;).

[name_f]Amelia[/name_f]; …Pittbulls are terrifying! Oh my, I don’t see how anyone would dare to have those… I know I couldn’t!

Thanks for all the advice, everyone! I’ve done some reading and I will investigate the following breeds further:
Australian [name_m]Shepherd[/name_m]
Golder Retriever
Siberian husky
Alaskan Malamute
[name_m]Gordon[/name_m] Setter
Irish Setter
Bernese Mountain Dog
Cocker Spaniel
Sprocker Spaniel
Cavalier [name_m]King[/name_m] [name_m]Charles[/name_m] Spaniel
[name_m]Springer[/name_m] Spaniel

After reading your replies maybe your husband would be interested in a [name_f]Brittany[/name_f]? They are excellent bird dogs and my uncle has much luck with them bird hunting. Duck and mainly pheasant. They are easy to train to have a soft mouth. They are pretty, I think, and sturdy, which your husband might like.

Brittany Page

the akc is the board that recognizes purebred dogs and tthe standard each breed should meet in the USA so they are reliable information.

I haven’t read all the responses but I have to put in a plug for Newfoundlands!! They are the sweetest, most docile, lovable and loving dogs in my experience. My oldest daughter was only around a year old when we had to have our Newfie put down but he loved and protected that baby. She would lay on him like a big giant pillow and he was so incredibly gentle and loving to her.

When we took her swimming in my parents pool he would pace the side like a lifeguard until she came out. He was truly a gentle giant and every Newfie I have encountered was like that.

A disclaimer though… They are huge (mine was about 140 lbs which was a bit on the small side for a male), they shed quite a bit though it tended to be in clumps or tumbleweeds as we called them :slight_smile: and they drool. My Newfie wasn’t too bad in the drool department but we still carried a towel w us so people who wanted to pet him (which was everyone who met him) didnt get a pant leg full of slobber.

We currently have a labradoodle who we rescued. He’s amazing with the kids too and he had a less than desirable past so that says a lot. I wanted another Newfie but the maintenance was a little overwhelming right now. I love our current dog but I do think next time I will have to go back to a Newfie. They have my heart.

Sorry for the diatribe, it’s been awhile since I’ve been able to gush about my Newfie :slight_smile:

Awe love that you started this thread. We aren’t allowed animals in our current apt but when we move (2-3 years) we’re considering getting a cat (for me) and a dog (for him).

Anyone have experience with Pit Bulls, [name_m]Boston[/name_m] Terriers? Or just any type of Terrier in general?

We care currently drawn to Pitty’s 'cause we’d adopt from the pound and (in our area at least) they are the most common to be abandoned.

My parents got a great [name_u]Dane[/name_u] just before I was born and he lived until I was 8. He was the best dog ever. He was super gentle, even when I was crawling all over him. He was also a great protector and super smart. I have great memories of that dog!

I have a Labrador retriever. I really do think he is a great dog. Very docile, affectionate and low maintenance. Great with kids of all ages. [name_m]Even[/name_m] has a sense of humor. With young kids, I’d suggest a lab, golden, malamute or any setter. Other good kid friendly dogs (from experience) are basenjis ( highly energetic, but don’t bark) cocker spaniels, [name_f]Nova[/name_f] [name_f]Scotia[/name_f] duck tolling retrivers, clumber spaniels, Bernese mountain dogs, or pointers. I know several great, well mannered huskies, but I know they can be stubborn and wild. I wouldn’t recommend any collies as they tend to herd children, and it frightened my brother as a kid. They nip a lot. Good luck.

I would suggest a samoyed, we have two and are the best to have around. Although they do bark alot, you will rarely find an agressive samoyed as they have a great temperament and are great with young children.
I also grew up with a cavalier king charles spaniel and although it was the cutest dog, he was super lazy and not the smartest. Probably wouldn’t be the most enjoyable dog for young children to play with.

I have had two boston terriers and a pitbull. [name_f]One[/name_f] boston I grew up with and he was my best friend I even asked for him when I was sick in the hospital. He was great with us kids we were about 6,2, and 1 when we got him. He killed a gopher when I was about 14 and it freaked me out but only because he wanted to bring it in the house. He lived to be about 15 yrs old and we put him down when he was just too old to be comfortable. The second boston I had I rescued and they said he was good with other dogs and he wasn’t. He was jealous of our other dogs who we had already had for years. So after trying for about a year where he made big improvements with the other dogs I decided it was best to give him to an close family friend who was home all day and who had no other pets. He was so much happier. He was still fine with my kids though.
Pitbulls take a lot of care and you really have to know the right way to take care of them and train them. You can never hit a pitbull and they are more likely to be DOG aggressive. [name_f]Do[/name_f] a lot of research and maybe even take a training class for specific to pitbulls. They can be amazing dogs. But you need to know what you are doing without a doubt to make sure your dog is safe and your family is. I gave our pitbull to another family who has experience with bullys because DH is in the military and we cant have her on base. I have a handful of friends that have pitbulls and IF raised responsibly they are great dogs. The dog in the little rascals was a pitbull.

What type of game is your hubby planning on hunting? GSP are the top choice for an all around hunter here, Brittanys are a close second (I would pick a [name_u]Brit[/name_u] for a family over a GSP, they are much softer in temperament). My personal choice is an English setter, I love the silly buggers

I have a [name_m]German[/name_m] [name_m]Shepherd[/name_m] or my parents do, but I still live at home so! [name_m]German[/name_m] Shepherds are working dogs so they’re often quite busy, love open space; but then again ours is X Border [name_f]Collie[/name_f]. She’s incredibly loving, playful and a tad naughty. She’s not very fond of babies, particularly my younger relatives and my parents don’t really encourage people taking babies outside, because she just gets over excited. Once babies begin walking our dog virtually adopts them, she becomes incredibly protective and loving, in fact if they cry she get frantic (because she believes you’ve upset the baby.) But like all dogs, she doesn’t like kids coming near her when she’s eating or touching things that are “hers.” I second what was mentioned early about Collies going a bit loop-dee loo, Dizzie (our dog) is slowly losing her marbles in old age, she just incredibly hyper especially in regards to fireworks, neighbours etc. I love her dearly; but I think getting older and not being worked enough has made her crazily bored.

@hootowl -> Thanks for your advice. Yeah we are definitely planning on training classes - and plan on reading a library’s worth of training books and the like before adopting. It’s actually a prefect compromise right now - as well can’t adopt pets in the building we live in and would only do so once we move. So it gives us - well mostly him - something to do while pinning for his dog. I’ve grown up with too many friends who didn’t know who to train dogs and where the dog just ended up on a chain outside to ever want that to be my dog. (The flip side my friend inherited the best trained dog ever -> swear to god she would run on the sidewalk when we rode our bikes in the street and check for cars before crossing.)

I just wanted to say that I just got a Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier. This breed has a lot of soft hair but they don’t shed. This breed has the nickname of Sweetie Wheaties. The tend to be from 30-50 pounds so they are a nice medium sized dog. The breeder I got my dog from raises the puppies with her kids. This is sometimes a huge plus so if you can find it go for it. [name_f]Every[/name_f] time we bring our pup out people who have one of the own always tell us what great dogs they are and my aunt who grooms dogs says that this will be her next breed because of how great they are. I don’t have children right now but we will probably start trying in the next year.

I think that with whatever dog you end up with the most important thing is to just train it right and well. Training is the key to having a dog who is loving and obedient. Training takes a long time but it will all be worth it in the end.

Here is some information on Wheatens…
"The soft coated wheaten terrier breed is an active one. Wheatens love to run, jump, play and act like a puppy. They will do this for their entire lives. If you prefer a dog that will site idly by while you sit around the house then the wheaten is not the dog for you. They do enjoy rest and will nap frequently, however, when awake, the wheaten loves to play and bounce around your home. They love company, family and exercise. If you prefer a more distant pet, the wheaten may not be the breed for you. However, if you love an energetic breed with high intelligence and loyalty then the SCWT is the breed for you.

Wheatens are extremely intelligent, which is of course a double edged sword when it comes to dogs. The wheaten can be taught almost anything, but they can be stubborn. They generally do not bark a lot and do not shed. If you have allergies and are looking for a great hypoallergenic dog, then wheatens may be your breed. They do however require grooming to keep their coat from getting knotted."