Cowart's Common Room
What Dog?

.... apologies for the title sounding like a new quiz show. But here's the thing - I wanna puppy. (I can here the groans from Milla's corner of Gloucestershire). We're been talking about geetting one for ages, but given that I knew I was going to have to go back to work, we put it on hold. But now that I am working at home for the time being, we've started talking about it again. But being the indecisive family that we are, we can't decide what would suit us best. We don't have a large house - it's a cottage with low ceilings and lots of smallish rooms, so something like a lab would look enormous. We also don't have a very big garden, although we're right on the village green and there are lots of great places to walk. (But would I need a dog run in the garden? A friend said I would).

I haven't had a dog since I was a child, and then obviously I didn't have the full repsonsibility of looking afer it, and R has never had one. I really like springers, but someone told me they can be a bit high energy and wild wih children. So then I thought about a cocker, but someone else told me they can be snappy. I'm sure each breed has it pros and cons, and I'm quite happy with a mongrel, but just wondered if you guys had any good suggestions? My children are 9 and almost 5.

I'm kind of off JTR's, no offence Jane ...

Posted at 25th Apr 2008 - 10:26AM   Posted by Suffolkmum   What Dog? Comments: 50

Blossomcottage's Avatar No no no no she throws herself to the ground as an owner over the last 20 years of 6 Springers do not get one, I love them to bits but Springer by name and springer by nature but Not!! a first dog.
I think you sound like a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel person
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they are kind small pretty and fun, the vet I worked for a one called Polly I loved her, very game but very kind.
Love blossom

Posted by: Blossomcottage on 25th Apr 2008 at 10:32AM

Westerwitch's Avatar King Charles Spaniels are meant to be the ideal dog. Greyhounds are also brilliant - they don't need that much exercise are quiet and loyal.

Rubs hands he he he he he can't WAIT to see what Milla says.

Posted by: Westerwitch on 25th Apr 2008 at 10:32AM

Westerwitch's Avatar There you go . . Blossom and I posted the same idea at the same time . . .spooky and sorted . . .

Posted by: Westerwitch on 25th Apr 2008 at 10:33AM

Ivy's Avatar How about a Border Terrier not as wild as a Parson Russell but full of energy and quite well behaved. Also Norfolk Terriers are fun, forgiving and supposed to be great (I mean small of course) family dogs. Couldn't tell I had Terriers all my life could you?

Posted by: Ivy on 25th Apr 2008 at 10:52AM

Ivy's Avatar Blossom can I ask you something?
Do Springer Spaniels have to be smelly I mean more smelly than other dogs? A very good friend of mine has two dogs one Labrador and one Springer the latter smells and has always smelt like -well I am lost for words- Just plain disgusting. Whereas the Labrador isn't particularly smelly. She rescued the dog from a so called breeder in Ireland some years ago and he had severe health problems as a puppy but has grown to be a beautiful dog but the smell is horrendous.

Posted by: Ivy on 25th Apr 2008 at 11:06AM

Tattie Weasle's Avatar WHIPPETS!!!!!!!! Smaller than greyhounds, loyal , brill with kids, great characters, I own two and want loads....Dear Charlie says over his dead body as they are thieves...
This is what the officials say: Whippets are generally quiet and gentle dogs in the house, content to spend much of the day sleeping on the couch. They are not generally aggressive with other animals, and although especially attached to their owners, they are friendly to visitors. They are not prone to snapping, so they are good with young children. They may or may not bark when strangers arrive, and are not suited to be guard dogs due to their trusting and unsuspicious nature. Outside, however, particularly when they are racing or lure coursing, they demonstrate their superb athletic skills and will pursue their "quarry" (even when it is an artificial lure) with the heart of a lion.
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Posted by: Tattie Weasle on 25th Apr 2008 at 11:07AM

Toady's Avatar Get a rescue!!

Climbs down off her hobby horse.

Posted by: Toady on 25th Apr 2008 at 11:08AM

Bayou's Avatar Me too, I would not go for a Springer as a first dog or a Cocker when young children are involved. But a friend has got a Welsh Terrier and I did not know this specific terrier before, but am now totally fond of them. Ideal for the family, by far not as much hair maintenance than a Cavalier King Charles and soooo friendly and easy.
We did get our actual dog from the rescue home and I have no regrets of having him but it is certainly much easier to have a puppy which can be trained from the beginning. Because at the end, in most cases you don't know what you get and what the dog has experienced in the past.
Looking forward to hear about the final choice and good luck!

Posted by: Bayou on 25th Apr 2008 at 11:17AM

Westerwitch's Avatar Toady . . .sigh . . . you've got footprints all over the hobby horse - go and get a damp cloth.

Posted by: Westerwitch on 25th Apr 2008 at 11:25AM

Blossomcottage's Avatar Hi Ivy,
Springer should not smell more than the Lab! but they can and do suffer from low grade skin infections, which may not have outward signs but give them the smell of mouse, they also get ear infections which can smell dreadful and to people who are not used to dogs with long ears might go unoticed. ANAL GLADS at the side of the rectum are a real terror in spaniels and need to be expressed by a vet they smell vile very rank. Teeth and mouths are the other place Springer suffer they have little folds in their low lips which had bacteria. Wow what a list however I would sort any or all of them the following way
1. Skin Tea Tree bath once a month and as they get older they should be trimmed.
2. Ears checked by the vet and kept clean with ear cleaner
3, ANAL GLADS VET!!! diffiuclt to do and I would NOT RECOMMEND doing it but should be checked as they get infected.
4. Mouth a weak solution 1/10 of Milton will keep their mouths clean.

Hope this helps.


Posted by: Blossomcottage on 25th Apr 2008 at 11:29AM

Ivy's Avatar Glad it is not normal. What is Milton and can I use it or my PJRT too who sometimes suffers from black plaque (usually better after chewing bones but the inner side of the front teeth never get cleaned by the bone chewing)

Posted by: Ivy on 25th Apr 2008 at 11:34AM

Blossomcottage's Avatar Milton is a the stuff used to clean babies bottles, anything smiliar will do

Posted by: Blossomcottage on 25th Apr 2008 at 11:35AM

Faith's Avatar Oooh SM how exciting! to be able to choose a puppy ahhh!

I'm sure a certain type of dog will appeal to you.... secretly, what you want?

I've only got a Yorkshire Terrier as Em had always yearned for one.

I don't like Cavalier King Charles's - my friend's got one, and had one before him - both smelly with googly eyes.

Posted by: Faith on 25th Apr 2008 at 11:52AM

Withy Brook's Avatar Agree absolutely about Springers. Cockers are lovely too but nearly as bad! Adore King Charles, but they can be very barky and get spooked. Rescue dog - not perhaps for a first timer - you don't know what hang-ups they have and they may need a lot of tlc and training. Otherwise it is a hobby-horse of mine too. All terriers can be terrors (Rolling Eyes). Borders are adored by their owners but not by me. They tend to get smelly mouths/breath and can be manic. Greyhounds sound large but somehow they fit in anywhere and do not need much excersize. Whippets are lovely but tend to shake/shiver all the time in my experience. Yorkie? Are they OK with children? I have always wanted one, but it must be treated like a dog, not a decoration or toy!
And another thing - I go for bitches. They are not trying to be the pack leader all the time, so are easier to train. Also, a dog kills bits of shrubs lifting its leg while a bitch makes patches on the lawn! Think I will write a book on the subject! Sorry about the length of the burble.

Posted by: Withy Brook on 25th Apr 2008 at 12:06PM

Toady's Avatar Sorry Withy I'm going to disagree. Rescue centres are only interested in matching a dog with a client and not making any money. They ask you loads of questions especially about any children in the family and have loads of advice ref types of dog. They home check and even do a follow up phone call. The best thing is that if you or the dog are in any way unhappy you can take it back.
Going to sit in the naughty corner now.

Posted by: Toady on 25th Apr 2008 at 12:14PM


How lovely for you to be thinking of getting a dog-think it will be wonderful for the children to grow up with one.

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For me, no dog will beat a Labrador-terrific with children. Mine thinks my eldest is his brother!

Any dog that will let 2 boys bury him up to the neck in snow has got to be good tempered!
He hardly barks and we have never, ever heard him growl or show any impatience despite repeated tormenting by kids!

Yep-Labs every time for me. We will def have one next time. Not wishing Simba away but hubby won't let us have two!

Have fun choosing the right one for your lovely family.


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Posted by: Country Craft Angel on 25th Apr 2008 at 12:29PM

SallysChateau's Avatar First a springer then a rescue dog (cross between a doberman and a beauceron) simply the most lovable, loyal and devoted friends, both gave years and years of pleasure. I would agree with Toady, give a loving home if possible to a rescue centre dog. Crying or Very sad You've started me off now. A home is not complete without a dog. Crying or Very sadCrying or Very sadCrying or Very sad

Posted by: SallysChateau on 25th Apr 2008 at 12:37PM

I so agree about the Springers. We had our wonderful Molly for 15 years, she taught the children to walk, was the most loyal and trustworthy dog in the world, but boy did she need some exercise. I would walk at least 5 miles with her, during which time she must've covered at least 10x that, and she would still be bounding around , but at least we had the space for her. In any more confined surroundings she would've been unbearable!
Whatever you choose, make sure you are fully versed with the temperament of both the parents, because a good temperament is the most important thing. Am personally wary of rescue dogs with small children, but that's just my opinion.
Let us know what you eventually choose.
Can't wait to see Milla's response to thisLaughing

Posted by: @themill on 25th Apr 2008 at 12:47PM

LittleBrownDog's Avatar [img=Linked Image, center][/img]

(Not that I'm biased, or anything you understand...)

Cockers are lovely, but get a working cocker rather than a show cocker, although they can be quite lively and full on, they are so lovely and loveable, and in my experience good with children. You don't want a dog with no personality. They're just the right size, too - neither too big nor too small (Think about picking up those girt big labrador poos when out!) Agree with Withy about bitches tending to be more biddable, but this is not always the case. Go and see a couple of litters, talk to the breeder - possibly avoid parent dogs who are total working dogs, ie live outside in a kennel & are used to running with a pack rather than being family pets.

Ask Kitty what she thinks - she has a lovely looking cocker and I think she may be thinking about breeding from her. And it might include a trip up to Northumberland...

Posted by: LittleBrownDog on 25th Apr 2008 at 12:56PM

LittleBrownDog's Avatar Poo - why didn't that come out?Uploaded Image

Posted by: LittleBrownDog on 25th Apr 2008 at 01:06PM

Milla's Avatar Good God, here I am responding to a post not only bearing this title but where the phrase "anal glands" has been used and no-one has batted an eyelid. Mercifully I am sitting down and practising lots of deep breathing.

The trouble is, SM, that you will only see how truly ghastly dogs are when you have handed over the cash, invested heavily in crates and "toys" and all that other gubbins and are well and truly trapped. At which point all the warnings finally seep in: the stinking breath, the lunging to snarf on horse poo - wrenching your arm out of its increasingly elderly shoulder socket so to do, slobber, splayed fanny bits right in front of your face when you're trying to concentrate on The Apprentice, suspicious discolouring of fur around the nether regions, rampant greed, the shaking of greasy chops all over your Nice Kitchen Floor, lick drying on your face, the eating of shoes and irons and remote controls and mobile phone chargers and pencils, the turds clinging to, what, the anal glands??

However, (put away your pins and wax dolls all!) I do love old Lolls, she's pretty low maintenance and it's the innocence that gets you. Once your children start losing it, you have to import some more quick, and there's not much sweeter than a trusting head cocked to one side. The house seems empty without her. What Am I Saying! DON'T DO IT!! DO NOT BUY A DOG!!!

But if you insist, Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers are the dearest little dogs in the world. Ours puts up with being treated as a teddy bear by fins - he calls her Li'l Tadddd ("little ted" said in a wild attempt at a Gloucestershire accent) and would have her in a jumper and a pram if he could and she'd take it. Her nature is the sweetest thing on earth, she is piled on by all the children at school who just adore her and never nips or growls, her exuberant sociability knows no bounds and that's important with children.

I have friends with a sprocker (mix of cocker and springer, as if the world needed such a thing Rolling Eyes) which is great, as is a cocker in the village, very friendly and sweet, and another has a westie which is rather dear, little and self-important looking and only the tiniest bit ridiculous.

But they are all different. The original wheaten in the village is most substandard compared to Lolls: shifty, bad-tempered, almost prison fare I would say. There is one lovely and one vile Border Terrier. Irish terriers are cute. Nice colour (first things first)

Sorry, Toady and Sally, we had no joy whatsoever with rescues. I tried 3 or 4 centres but we were brick walled at every attempt partly by bizarre lack of interest from the staff or by the fact that we had children under 10 then, and were first time owners - it might well be hard to find one SM - apart from maybe ex-racing greyhounds??

Be wary of how much bum you want on show at any one time, it's not a pretty sight. Ditto swaggering balls in a male dog. Shudder. Lolly also has suffered severe gender issues since being spayed and tries to mount as all whenever she can thrusting away which leads to Stern Words from us. Collies are family loyal but the ones round here are surly beasts with little joy in them, and need a horrendous amount of attention.

Beagles apparently pugger off.

terriers can get the itch to scarper if in pursuit of a rabbit - luckily Lolls isn't rabbit-mad, too busy being dog-mad. And she's not yet developed a taste for blood, but note that "yet"

I do love her, honest, I love it when she squeaks as she yawns, her bored bashing of the water bowl, her stiff four legged jumps on the spot, her zest, and her paws are big and squadgy - I don't go for a clattery claw myself. but she is also a vile filth bucket.
Get one of those dogs on wheels, go on, you know it makes sense.

Posted by: Milla on 25th Apr 2008 at 01:20PM

Milla's Avatar eeek, another essay! Sorry!

Posted by: Milla on 25th Apr 2008 at 01:20PM

Preseli Mags's Avatar Oooh how exciting! Lots of good advice above, so I thought I'd add what we did. Like you we live in a cottage, so couldn't have a big dog.

We went to a rescue centre and found a one-year-old Labrador x Staffordshire bull terrier (in other words - a small lab with a big grin). He was used to children, already house-trained, castrated and micro-chipped and was being re-homed as his owners were moving (divorce type thing).

Incidentally my sister once had to re-home her Springer under similar circumstances. She went to a family in a cottage and got on famously!

Milla's right about Beagles. They pugger off. We had two Beagles. Note the past tense! Our best dogs have always been Lab crosses. The pedigrees we had both had illness problems and died young(ish)

I can't wait to see what you get!

Posted by: Preseli Mags on 25th Apr 2008 at 01:26PM

Milla's Avatar sounds like we were unlucky with rescues then. Worth pursuing, SM, the timing may be right. I was keen on a puppy, having children, but with hindsight a 2 year old dog might have been more the thing! A couple here have a 2 year old rescue, a white german shepherd which is the dearest thing, very playful and gentle. It's easy to forget that some of the reasons for rehoming are genuine (on behalf of the owners, I mean, that the dog has not been mal-treated etc), with the dog not in distress (important as an unknown quantity going to a home with children)

Posted by: Milla on 25th Apr 2008 at 01:31PM

Kat's Avatar Get a basset hound. They are charming, full of energy, but happy to plunk down at your feet and snore if you're not up to playing. Those eyes will have you smitten in two seconds and they are so good with people. The ears require maintenance, but every animal requires some kind of care. The best dog I ever had was a basset and I'll have another one before too much longer.

Posted by: Kat on 25th Apr 2008 at 01:40PM

Fennie's Avatar We've had two labs, two newfies and a deranged old English Sheepdog cross. The Newfies were lovely though they are so big they just knock everything over but they are very gentle and don't bark (much). Big problem is their feet which are the size of floor mops and just as absorbent of mud - which of course they leave on the carpets.

I would go for a whippet or greyhound but my favourite now I think would be a lurcher. I have known three and all have been soft, calm, friendly, placid and clean.

Posted by: Fennie on 25th Apr 2008 at 01:42PM

KittyB's Avatar Working cocker!!! From our experience Gertie is a little star, yes she was jumpy and silly as a pup and did wee on the floor a lot at first, but now she is 18 months ish she is fabulous. Biddable, kind, affectionate... she has never bitten or snapped - you can take her food away from her while she's eating or a bone out of her mouth. She was easy to train although we had to keep going over and over it, can walk off the lead and will come back when called. Just perfect.
King Charles Spaniels (like my beloved childhood pet, Timmy) are very docile too, great with kids, but lazy as anything once the puppy stage is over, and not as much personality as a Cocker.
And yes, I am breeding from Gertie probably at the end of the summer, depending on when she comes into season. The Daddy is just like Little Brown Dog so there should be a mix of solid chocolate and black puppies. I can do you a deal!
Don't get a terrier with little ones, we hada Patterdale when H was 3 and it terrified him, I couldn't even have them in the same room together and sadly we had to rehome it (but it went to a working-country-shooting type home so is better off now).
A whippet or a lurcher would be brilliant too, very gentle.

Posted by: KittyB on 25th Apr 2008 at 02:01PM

KittyB's Avatar And as for Springers - I had a Springer-Bearded Colllie cross, and she ate through the kitchen wall while sitting on the kitchen table. It was like The Shining when I walked into the living room that afternoon... 'Heeeere's Poppy!!!!' with a leering face with mad eyes poking through a rent in the plasterboard wall. Admittedly a puppy and a 9-5 don't go, as you've said. And it was a cr*ppy cheapo new-build so the walls were like paper, however, she ate Everything In Sight, and Gertie-Cocker has never chewed a single thing. I'm just admiring her halo now.

Posted by: KittyB on 25th Apr 2008 at 02:06PM

LittleBrownDog's Avatar Oh, my - this is getting long. But I can't resist chucking in another two penneth in response to Milla's (mainly very sensible and honest suggestions - although am a bit annoyed with Milla for breaking rank and Letting On about your life/shoes/iron/garden ever being the same once you have Done the Deed and got a dog - people are not supposed to realise how hard it is indeed until it's too late. And don't forget about the puppy stage - poos and wees all over the house, shredded table legs, mangled slippers and the rest...)

Having said that, do not get a collie - v high maintenance dogs in my view, too intelligent for their own good and will surely run rings around a first-time dog owner (she said in knowledgeable second-time-dog ownerly way). Also, Do Not Get a Beagle. They are the cutest looking puppies, but will surely drive you mad. Steal food from table constantly and always running off. Ditto Red Setters (or any type of setter, I'd say). And terriers get stuck down badger holes and you have to dig them out in my experience.

There. I'll shut up now.

(Except to say one last Cocker, Cocker, Cocker, Cocker. )Very Happy

Posted by: LittleBrownDog on 25th Apr 2008 at 02:09PM

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Posted by: LittleBrownDog on 25th Apr 2008 at 02:15PM

Well as someone who has just had eight puppies taking over the ENTIRE HOUSE for the last couple of months I feel well qualified to answer this. The sounds of a puppy home; HHoooowwwllllll (sound of puppy at 2am letting you know she's lonely). Euck (sound of son as he steps in small puddle of wee. ? (my surprise at being told puppy poo pile is getting larger and it's my turn to clear it up). Am going to blog one day about my foray into becoming a labradoodle breeder. Get a long haired Jack Russel, they're little, pally and cute.Uploaded Image

Posted by: DevonLife on 25th Apr 2008 at 02:24PM

Snailbeachshepherdess's Avatar Springer - wonderful - no smell
Labs ..we are on Marks 6 and 7 mother and daughter ditto above - so brilliant with kids, cats, chickens, bother at all
JRT lovely but completely did my head in

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Posted by: Snailbeachshepherdess on 25th Apr 2008 at 02:28PM

Pondside's Avatar I've had a Basset Hound (loveable, stubborn, drools copiously and this breed is known to be a tad vindictive)
Also had a huskey - (gorgeous, needs way more exercise than anyone without a sleigh and 10,000 miles of tundra could manage, and sheds enough to keep Kat in knitting material for years)
A mut (all of the above, plus much more)
Two Cairn Terriers - loyal, happy, don't shed, small enough to wash easily, will enjoy as much or as little exercise as you have time for that day. Can't say enough about this little dog with a big dog mentality!

Posted by: Pondside on 25th Apr 2008 at 02:39PM

SallysChateau's Avatar Gawd mine wasn't even a rescue centre dog come to think of it, he had been dumped outside the local supermarket and was just about to be carted off and put to sleep, I loved that darn dog though but boy he had NO class whatsoverWink

Posted by: SallysChateau on 25th Apr 2008 at 03:35PM

Suffolkmum's Avatar You are all wonderful - what fantastic advice - thank you all so much.

Milla you make me roar. Loved that bit about the dog almost being prison fare. Sally I love the thought of your 'tramp'.

The trouble is now, I want them all.... all the various spaniels, terriers, labs (would be like having a small pony in our house though), basset hounds, grehounds, whippets - I think I'll start a kennel. No-one's mentioned English setters apart from Kitty mentioning all kinds of setters - I do love them - but again I guess they can be hard work. I'll let you know.

Posted by: Suffolkmum on 25th Apr 2008 at 03:47PM

Milla's Avatar All this posh talk!
My mum met a woman who had a dog like Lolly (scruffy). "Is that a Wheaten?" she asked.
The other woman laughed (how rude!) and said that she had bought the dog in Slovakia for 50p.
E was sick as a parrot.
Before any Cooers get upset about this, the dog did go through all the immigration stuff, honest, and was very fluffy and cared for and is currently planning its university options.

oh, and don't touch setters! Mental. The one at the shop eats carpets and is CRAZY.
Cairns are SWEET - all bustly and busy (bit like the Westies but greyish). Depends on your take on fur.
Lolls doesn't moult particularly.

Goodness, put the word "dog" in a posting title and all the Cooers come out to play. Even me Embarassed

Posted by: Milla on 25th Apr 2008 at 04:15PM

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THERE'S ALWAYS ME OF COURSE LaughingLaughingLaughing
ok only kidding, now we are on the subject of SMELL I can smell for England, Scotland, Wales Ireland and anywhere else you might like to go!

Posted by: Blossomcottage on 25th Apr 2008 at 04:22PM

Cait's Avatar Lurcher
Dobermann bitch (smaller than a dog)

I love border collies, they are the most intelligent dog but they need a one-to-one relationship and may not be suitable for your needs.

Posted by: Cait on 25th Apr 2008 at 05:43PM

Dare i bother after all this good advice? course i do i've got terriers labsx lurcher greyhounds and now a deerhound.These big lanky hounds don't smell like other dogs [i won't let the lab inside] and they arnt clumsy or slobbery, the greyhounds are brilliant but not as good as the lurcher and derhound who'll both play all day or sleep depending on your mood and they'll bark at men and look intimidating, get a rescue one, they'll really appreciate it and love you to bits.xx

Posted by: Bodran on 25th Apr 2008 at 06:07PM

Kat's Avatar What is a lurcher?Question

Posted by: Kat on 25th Apr 2008 at 06:16PM

Woolyworks's Avatar Mostly, we've had mutts and they've been rescue dogs right down the line. Have had some failures, but as posted earlier, you can take one back and try again. Our very best dogs have been of the Heinze 57 variety and we'll do that every time. They seem to be healthier and more even tempered than the pure blooded dogs we've had.

The girls' piano teacher has two Cairn Terriers and they're terrific--smart, loving, great personalities, high energy, but manageable. Really fun dogs.

My experience with Kat's basset has endeared that breed to me. Sunny is a really good boy--chummy, happy, easy going and easy to keep. He's never been spoiled and I'd take another in an instant.

Good luck! I'm having puppy envy right now, wishing we could be choosing one for ourselves as well.

Posted by: Woolyworks on 25th Apr 2008 at 06:29PM

Unpeuloufoque's Avatar Go for alab great with kids, ours are stupid but adorable adn terribel chasers of tractors or anythign actaully.. Shall I gift wrap them or would you like to collec them your self?

Posted by: Unpeuloufoque on 25th Apr 2008 at 06:49PM

Woolyworks's Avatar Uploaded Image

Perhaps a Great Pyr would be good? This is the kind of dog we'll get when we're ready. Good for watching over livestock, low key, kind, gentle, etc., not mention ENORMOUS!

Posted by: Woolyworks on 25th Apr 2008 at 06:55PM

Patsy's Avatar Fab advice from all above. Can I just echo don't get a working/hunting breed eg springer/cocker/setter/ collie unless you are a gamekeeper/ marathon runner/ live near a beach! Bred for centuries to do a job they can be hard work unless you are experienced and very firm in their training.
Ask at your local vets, they will know good local breeders/ places to avoid. And you will be seeing a lot of them in the future!
ALWAYS insist on seeing the mother. Her temperament is critical and will be reflected in the puppy.
Why not try borrowing a friend's dog for the weekend (they may be pathetically grateful if they are trying to get away for a break!) to see if you are ready for the committment?
Good luck and have fun..

Posted by: Patsy on 25th Apr 2008 at 07:41PM

Unpeuloufoque's Avatar Remembered after Jack prompting me ( sad to lose my memory at so young an age!!) we had a poodle when we were kids and he was fantastic. He was about size of a springer spaniel, curly hair( don't shed) and used to have his hair cut every summer when he looked like a black sheep, the rst of the time he looked more like this. They are very good with kids, not as silly as the minature poodles , good company . No one seems to have mentioned them. Bred as hunting dogs by the French I think they are often over looked and as long as you dont give them those odd haircuts they look very shaggy and cool a bit like surfer dudess and no one ever knwos what breed they are!!Uploaded Image

ps this is a minature one the large ones dont have those manic eyes I promise!!!

Posted by: Unpeuloufoque on 25th Apr 2008 at 10:00PM

Cocker spaniel - can be smelly, but great fun. Lurcher - great but largish. Lab - yawn. Everyone I know's got one of them. Retriever - can be very stupid (N's was) and smelly (N's was - hit you like a wall when his mother opened the door). Dalmation - very chic, very Paris. British Bulldog - GOD no! Bull Terrier - NO, NO, NO!! Ugliest dog in the universe and eats young children for breakfast. Scottish Terrier - very amusing, as is a West Highland Terrier. Both good with children. Scottish Terrier has the longest entry in my dog encyclopaedia under 'personality': 'lively, ardent, proud, independent, intelligent, dignified. It pins its affections almost exclusively on members of the family with which it lives, remaining indifferent to strangers. It has been described as 'a dog that can go anywhere and do anything [the mind boggles! - Ed]Shocked It is very sensitive to criticism and praise and therefore should be trained gently.' Just the ticket. There is, however, a footnote: 'For the sake of its helath, it should be taken for long walks frequently. It needs stripping at least twice a year and frequent brushing for its good looks to be fully appreciated.' Sounds just like me.
Ps: I'm a cat lover! Know sod all about dogs! (in constant battle with my family - G even has a T-shirt emblazoned with 'I want a dog!'. I just know who will be walking the thing twice a day through hail and wind and rain....).
PPs, my final word would be: get a mongrel!

Posted by: Her On The Hill on 25th Apr 2008 at 11:25PM

'Helath'?? My God, what's that? Confused Health, dear, health...

Posted by: Her On The Hill on 25th Apr 2008 at 11:27PM

Unpeuloufoque's Avatar Her on the Hill DO NOT GIVE IN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Years I was pestered by Jacko to get a dog years I refused as knew pushcahir dog toddler etc all tied up togehter makes hellish walking..but when kids were older I gave in and now w have two...shoudl have held my ground!!

Posted by: Unpeuloufoque on 26th Apr 2008 at 09:07AM

A lurchers anything crossed with a greyhound and they all look a bit different i like the bewiskered ones which usually have deerhound or wolfhound in them, guess they should be called mongrels really, apparently it stems back into history when us poor serfs couldnt keep a hunting dog!

Posted by: Bodran on 26th Apr 2008 at 09:52AM

Lily's Avatar We've had several different breeds over the years, ranging from thick (borzoi) to neurotic (springer). The best dog we ever had was a lab/collie cross from a rescue kennels. She was loyal, intelligent and dependable with our children- junior school age at the time. Currently have a whippet who is a fantastic companion but wouldn't trust him entirely with my baby grandson.

Posted by: Lily on 26th Apr 2008 at 12:15PM

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