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LolaLayla

Advice on choosing breed of dog please

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Hi

I am thinking of getting a dog in the spring. At present we have a couple of hens and a rabbit (and older children!)

I suffer from allergies particularly to horses, dogs and hayfever. I know that some dogs are supposed to be hypoallergenic but wonder if anyone has any experience of those breeds. Apart from that I would like a small dog that can be left for half a day max (not regularly), that is easy to house train and does not require huge walks. (We have a large enclosed garden). I have given this a lot of thought and have looked on the internet for advice. I have a friend with a Lhasa and one with a Tibetan terrier and both recommend those breeds,

I just wondered if anyone has any advice to give me on this.

Thank you.

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I have a small lightweight Staffordshire terrier...not the Mike Tyson looking ones...an old fashioned one. She is amazingly gentle, excellent with the hens...a couple of pecks sorted her out! She is amazing with my daughters, in fact, my daughter, who was 6 when we got her, trained her with hand signals........Staffords are not the killer dogs the Press make them ou t to be. They are one of only two breeds that have suitability with children as a KC breed standard....

 

I personally wouldn't have a Lhasa or Tibetan, as I find small dogs snappy with children..but this is my personal preference...being bitten by a Jack Russell as a child ( on the face!) put me off small dogs...I was laying on the floor reading Smash Hits..and it launched itself at me....... :(

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Greyhound, greyhound, greyhound!!!!!!!! They're very 'hypo allergenic' as they're so short coated (lots of people who have asthma can have a pet greyhound, even if they are allergic to other dogs), very docile, great with children and fine to be left for several hours as they're such couch potatoes. Have a retired racer, they make the most wonderful pets, the only thing that doesn't fit with your description is that they're not really what you'd call small, but some of the girls are not very big at all. It's well worth going to a retired greyhound trust kennel to meet some of the inmates, you won't regret it! I know I'm a tad biased, but they really are lovely dogs and there are just thousands looking for homes!

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To be blunt with all apologies all dogs- large or small, pedigree or cross, need your attention and time, exercise, socialisation and training. Apart from your allergies there is no difference whatever breed you choose. I have a Whippet X who needs to be out all day and a MastiffX on foster who sleeps 20 hours out of 24.

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To be blunt with all apologies all dogs- large or small, pedigree or cross, need your attention and time, exercise, socialisation and training. Apart from your allergies there is no difference whatever breed you choose. I have a Whippet X who needs to be out all day and a MastiffX on foster who sleeps 20 hours out of 24.

 

I was warned whn I rehomed my Stafford, that she would be a bundle of energy, and need constant walks attention etc....she has one good walk, and sleeps all day....won't walk in rain, snow, mist, fog......

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Got to be labradors all the way for me, they tick almost every box, except not good guard dogs.Fantastic temperment, good with kids, animals. But got to agree what ever the breed they need lots of time and it depends how you bring them up. Me and my mom have brothers, I'm quite strict with mine and he knows his place. What he can/can't do. My moms rules the house but knows how to behave when he comes to my house. You get out what you put in :wink:

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Thank you for all your advice. I am aware that it is important to spent time with your pet and to train it properly. I am not rushing into things and that is why I am trying to get as much help as possible in making this important decision. (It took me a year to finally decide to get my two 'girls' who are great!). The internet is full of advice from trainers but a lot of it is to encourage you to buy their books etc. and therefore making me think some dogs are harder to house train than others...or is it the owner to blame? My main concern is allergy as I have had problems with spaniels and retrievers. I think labs may sadly fall into this category. Although large I had also considered a greyhound but as we have a rabbit I thought is may not work out well. I had not considered a staffy though.

Any further thoughts gratefully received.

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Small furries can be a problem with any dog and (like many dogs) some greyhounds would be best in homes where there are no cats or small pets, but equally, many are fine living with cats/rabbits etc. The kennels where my greyhound came from (Google perry barr rgt) will happily "cat test" greyhounds (don't worry, the cats are not harmed in the process!!!!) to see if they are suitable to live with other pets and you'd be amazed at how many pass that test and go on to live with small furries quite happily. The lady who runs the kennels is allergic to many breeds of dogs, due to asthma, but has no reaction at all to greyhounds! You're right to give it lots of thought though, it's a huge commitment and you need to be very sure before "adopting"! Good luck!

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I have a 'goldendoodle' a poodle crossed with a golden retriever. She doesn't moult so is supposed to be good for people with allergies, although I think its the dander (skin flake type stuff) that's supposed to be the culprit for allergies.

 

My friend has allergies and she has a bichon frieze which is a much smaller dog. She's fine with him and with my dog.

 

The only thing with both these dogs is that you have to factor in the grooming costs unless you're willing to do it yourself. Cookie has to be cut every six weeks or so as her fur mats really, really quickly. She's a fantastic dog though. Very calm and quiet.

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Thanks for posting this thread. We are thinking of getting a dog once we have the garden fully fenced in and it is interesting to see what people think about different breeds.

 

My friend over the road is trying to persuade me to go for a greyhound and her rescue one is really sweet so that is tempting. I regularly dog sit a lab and a retriever and I do love them both dearly.

 

My main issue is that I don't think that I am going to get anything done because they only have to look at me and I am putty in their paws and will go out for several walks a day whilst my "to do " list gets longer and longer!

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Greyhound, greyhound, greyhound!!!!!!!! They're very 'hypo allergenic' as they're so short coated (lots of people who have asthma can have a pet greyhound, even if they are allergic to other dogs), very docile, great with children and fine to be left for several hours as they're such couch potatoes. Have a retired racer, they make the most wonderful pets, the only thing that doesn't fit with your description is that they're not really what you'd call small, but some of the girls are not very big at all. It's well worth going to a retired greyhound trust kennel to meet some of the inmates, you won't regret it! I know I'm a tad biased, but they really are lovely dogs and there are just thousands looking for homes!

 

 

I agree with Bramble, a retired greyhound would be perfect, they are so placid and don't need as much excercise as you think (they really are couch potatoes). BUT, I would advise against getting one that has been used for coursing as they have usually been blooded and tend to want to kill other small animals (e.g. chickens, rabbits and jack russel terriers playing in the park :shock: )

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I did think of fostering a greyhound but I am not sure if they would place one with me as I have no experience, but it would certainly let me see if I was allergic to it. I understand that with the 'doodles' it depends on how much poodle is in each dog as to whether it may be suitable (but they are adorable!). I know of someone with a bichon and it is still not totally house trained at a year old!! It is great to hear everyones points of view.

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You might be best to get a greyhound who had a less than successful racing career (all RGT kennels will be able to trace their racing history via greyhound data.com) - some are just completely useless and don't want to chase anything!!! I think most kennels would allow you to take a dog home for a trial weekend to see how you all get on? It is great to know that you are researching etc before you get a dog and not waiting til afterwards as so many seem to do?

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I had a Bichon Frise for 17 years, he was a super little dog, never snappy with the children who were only little when we got him. He didn't moult so was pretty good for me as I am/was allergic to cats and some dogs that shed, I did sneeze a bit when grooming him but other than that I didn't suffer any allergies around him. He required grooming everyday to keep the knots at bay and bathing every other week (bathing and drying can take a few hours). His coat needed cutting every 6 weeks which is quite expensive unless you are able to do it yourself.

 

We got Pepee from a breeder attached to SBFBA.

http://www.sbfba.com/

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i am socialising a cocker spaniel/poodle X who doesn't shed and is supposed to be hypoallergenic. she has a lovely placid nature, doesn't require huge lengthy walks, is a nice small size - so 'house' friendly - and very trainable.

 

Like you, we'd never had a dog before and weren't sure whether we were the right folk to own a dog so we decided our first step would be socialising for Hearing Dogs for Deaf People. I would recommend it whole heartedly for anyone who wants to dip a toe in the water!

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I sould have said...my YD, Bean, has eczema, from birth, and we had a dog and a cat, and through a ong process of elimination, we found out that cats make her bad, and not dogs ( well not so far...) which is a shame, as she's a cat person..and the walk to school takes a long time, as she has to stop and talk to all the cts we meet.....

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I have had (and still have 5 of them) 12 dogs over the past 22y..we've always had a mix of terriers, terrier x, Vizslas and now also have a tiny Lurcher (Bedlington x Whippet) - I also work for a vet and rehome dogs in my spare time. A few things - all 'Doodles' are not non-casting, I rehome a lot of them as being hypoallergenic which sadly aren't. Don't listen to sweeping generalisations about 'all terriers' or 'all small dogs' - there are good and bad in every breed and x. My terriers all work with children of all ages and one with severly autistic kids, I get tired of people assuming all Russells are bad dogs - or 'ankle biters'. In 18y of working in vet practice my 3 worst bites have been by Golden Retrievers!

 

Research, just as you are doing, go and meet digs that you like the sound of, meet adult dogs of that breed and see how your allergy is. It's often not the actual hair people react to, sometimes it's the sander or even dog saliva.

 

There aren't breeds generally easier to housetrain, although toy breeds can be more of a challenge, you get out of a dog what you put in, a dog shown love, guidance and consistency will do well. All dogs benefit from time away from their own garden, dogs need firm but fair handling but without doubt some breeds need more stimulation than others. Look closely at what the breeds were bred to do - however diluted, these dogs will carry some degree of breed trait in them. Often choosing a show strain of a breed versus a working strain will dilute their 'need' to follow their breed characteristics - show dogs in the main have been bred more for looks/conformation than being true to their working roots - this is certainly true in many gundogs and terriers.

 

Do you want a guarding breed? Do you want to have to groom a coat (Doodles generally are in need of regular grooming), how far do you want to walk daily, do you want a dog who may be vocal...so many questions!!

 

Bedlington Terriers are non casting, there are other breeds too but I know allergic people who still react to them.

 

If it's a purebred dog you are after the kennel club can send you lots of information/breeders lists etc.

 

Border Terriers are cracking little dogs, they cast little and if brought up with your other pets should be fine.

 

I find lots of people suitable dogs and if I can help you in anyway, please don't hesitate to ask. If more people would research as you are doing I'd spend a lot less time rehoming peoples' mistakes.

 

Each dog within each breed is an individual, not every Labrador I know is trustworthy, not every Bull breed or Rottie is bad, generalisations of entire breeds is my absolute pet hate. Pre ban, some of the softest dogs I met were Pitbulls!

 

PM me for breeders etc in your area if that helps once you decide on a breed.

 

All the very best xx

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I agrre, I've also been bitten ( not badly) by a lab and a boxer- the latter jumped all over my 5 year old, the dog was unattended in the park, and jumped all over Bean..I pulled it off her, and it whipped it's head around and bit my arm..luckily I was wearing a Duffle coat. The one thing that annoys me about my village is the big group of dog walkers ho allow their dogs to run riot off the lead, whilst they stand around gossiping,,,I am regularly jumped on on the way to work..and once got into an argument with Lady XXXXXX who lives at the posh end of my village, for using my school bag to beat off her little spaniel that was jumping all over my daughter and me....

 

I hope you get a dog that suits you, as I love having a dog, and when we are between dogs, as it were, the house feels cold and empty :(

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Thanks for all the posts. It is really interesting to hear everyones opinions. I think the main thing I have gleaned is that each dog is an individual and you cannot assume that they will all fit their breed description to the letter. I think I will try to borrow my friends tibetan and the lhasa if possible to check for any allergy problems. I have seen a lovely bedlington terrier in town but read that they need lots of exercise (again maybe some individuals do not). I have also seen a little Maltese whose owners were singing his praise. I have taken to looking out for suitable dogs and talking to the owners....people will soon start to avoid me!! I also plan to chat to the vet about this subject when I next pop in with the rabbit. I am also going to order the book that was recommended to help me decide.

Thanks again for all your help.

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Thanks for all the posts. It is really interesting to hear everyones opinions. I think the main thing I have gleaned is that each dog is an individual and you cannot assume that they will all fit their breed description to the letter. I think I will try to borrow my friends tibetan and the lhasa if possible to check for any allergy problems. I have seen a lovely bedlington terrier in town but read that they need lots of exercise (again maybe some individuals do not). I have also seen a little Maltese whose owners were singing his praise. I have taken to looking out for suitable dogs and talking to the owners....people will soon start to avoid me!! I also plan to chat to the vet about this subject when I next pop in with the rabbit. I am also going to order the book that was recommended to help me decide.

Thanks again for all your help.

 

Tibetans are lovely little dogs as are many Lhasas, although with the latter some do have a tendency to be a little yappy (sorry, generalisations!!). Be careful with pure Bedlingtons as many suffer from copper toxicosis - i'd suggest looking at tested show stock and not working Bedlingtons. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bedlington_Terrier#Copper_Toxicosis.3B_Copper_Storage_Disease

 

All dogs need a level of exercise, however many breeds and individuals within breeds will accept what they are given as long as they are given daily exercise and games etc within the garden.

 

Maltese are lovely little dogs although are very expensive to buy as pups...they are currently selling for £800+ i've had clients pay well over £1k for Maltese pups depending on the breeder.

 

You are doing totally the right thing by 'borrowing' dogs and trying them for size, coat etc - spot on! :clap:

 

This is my little Beddy x Whippet

DSC01071.jpg

With his pal..another Beddy x Whippet

DSC01092.jpg

 

Jake is about 20" at the shoulder, very slightly built and weighs about 13kg. He has very fine linty hair which doesnt cast and is very, very soft natured. He can however run very, very fast, he has been 'clocked' doing 38mph whilst lure coursing...so good recall is a necessity!

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Kalico, he is gorgeous. He looks just like a dog in my park so at least I know what the mix is now. :D Ash, the other dog, is as you say very fast and is usually the only dog that can outrun mine. :lol:

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I have 2 labradoodles. As a breed they have suffered from being advertised as non shedding and therefore non allergenic. Some grow up to be just that but the majority shed a lot. We got our 2nd dog from the labradoodle trust and they have many dogs given over to them because their coat sheds and the owners were told that they wouldn't.

 

Unfortunately you can't tell which labradoodles will have non shedding coats as puppies. There was a heartbreaking case where a family bought a labradoodle puppy in the belief that it would be OK for their asthmatic daughter. All was fine until the dog got it's adult coat (which I think is coming up to a year old) and it had to be rehomed, much to their distress.

 

All I am trying to say really is that if you were tempted don't believe the hype about labradoodle coats. They are truly lovely dogs and if you have no allergies they are brilliant.

 

Good idea to borrow a dog to see how you react as I have heard that it can sometimes be the dog's skin rather than coat that sets people off.

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You are spot on about the Labradoodle coats, they reckon from a litter of 10 pups, 1 or 2 are only totally non-shedding. You can often make an educated case at which pups will not shed when you see them at 8w or so - but this is just a guess. I hear breeders of F4 & F5 Doodles saying they have 'cracked it' and now have entire litters of non- shedders, but in my experience this is rarely the case - trouble is by then people have shelled out the £500+ and have fallen in love the the dog. Labradoodles generally are lovely dogs, I do however rehome a fair number because people can't handle the amount of exercise some require, same goes for Cockapoos, cracking little dogs but as pups and youngsters they can be very destructive...they also get bored easily and need a fair bit of exercise.

 

A breeding have a lot of time for are Cavaliers, in 18y of working with animals I've never met a bad one. They are gentle little dogs who don't have massive appetites for exercise. The only downside is that as a breed they do have their health problems - eyes, hearts etc - if you go down the route of a Cav, make sure you go to a reputable breeder. Puppy farms/puppy pet stores sell a lot of this breed as they sell easily but gave been bred in horrific conditions.

 

When you decide on a breed, make sure you see the mother with the pups, preferably the father too. The pup should be bright and easily handled, nice clean eyes, ears and bottom. Check in the middle of the pup's stomach for any hernias - these are umbilical hernias and are fixable but something to look out for. Get the pup to the vet within 24hrs and have an agreement with the breeder that they will take the pup back should there be any health problem.

 

A KC registered pup should come with 6w free health insurance. It's advisable to have insurance as vets fees can be vet high. When you look at insurance be wary of cheaper policies that don't cover for life and that put ceiling limits of individual conditions.

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Kalico, he is gorgeous. He looks just like a dog in my park so at least I know what the mix is now. :D Ash, the other dog, is as you say very fast and is usually the only dog that can outrun mine. :lol:

 

 

He is the softest dog we have ever owned, he mothers everything from furries to birds, he also goes out to see people who have had strokes, he is amazingly perceptive and gentle with them.

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