OT: What dog for a young family?

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  • OT: What dog for a young family?
  • iamsporticus

    The GF and kids have decided we 'need' a dog
    I am kind of into this as I had a dog when I was a kid and have lots of positive memories about it

    Our family life makes it do-able
    We each work part time and the longest a dog would be alone is 9 till 4 twice a week
    The rest of the time it would have company – but only if my cheeky daytime rides are snuffed out or shortened 🙁

    We have decided we want one and have enough time for one but what we cant agree on is what breed
    The kids are 7 and 10
    A labrador is the obvious choice but just seems a bit dull

    Id love a German Shepherd as would our eldest but Im not sure if thats a family pet or not

    Whatever we get would be exercised 5 days a week and prob go to doggie night school (woof woof LOL)

    Now a cycling website may not be the best place to ask for doggy advice but I figure if you guys can come up with the goods for the fuel system on a Tristar then why not ask for a bit of opinion

    Give it to me guys and girls

    What dog for a young family that isnt a Lab?
    Street dogs from the RSPCA definitely not ruled out but happy to consider pedigrees too

    My own criteria are not too small, good with kids and also nice if they are handy as guard dogs


    Premier Icon valleydaddy

    have you thought of a Spaniel?? Spring/cocker

    some say they are nuts but depends on training.

    My family have had labs for past 20 years and they're brilliant, why do you think there are so many about?

    Look as them as Spesh dogs – good but everyone has one.

    Have friends who have German Shepards and they are lovely too, daft as brushes and great with kids – again down to training. Just remember they're big dogs.

    Exercise 5 days a week??

    What about the other 2??


    Get a cat.

    Or if you absolutely must – spaniels seem quite nice

    edit- valleydaddy beat me to it


    Was going to say Greyhound till I read the guard-dog bit 😕


    Whippet. Great with kids. They sleep loads inside but outside will love (paw friendly) twenty mile rides!

    A little needy though, mine always wants to be on my lap!

    EDIT Just read guard dog bit too, hmm maybe not then.


    I was in exactly the same place as you dude – 2 kids 3 & 5 and wanted a dog. I was into the Bull breeds (Staffy etc) and thought that Labs were a bit boring. So we have a 12 wk Black Lab called Mojo.

    Not too small, good with Kids and a guard? Sounds like a Rottweiler would suit, but be aware that any large dog would be able to have tons of exercise until 1yr – 18mths old (dysplasia).

    I would have had a Rotty in a shot, but wanted experience in training and owning a dog before that challenge!


    try and find a bread of do that can pick up it's own shit


    I was under the impression that GSDs were inclined to attach themselves very loyally to one person? (May be completely wrong though, haven't read up on it).

    We've got a Lab and a Jack Russell. The Jack Russell is brilliant and I would definitely recommend him as a family pet. Small, clean, clever, very defensive of the house and family. Some people reckon they're snappy. We had ours from about 8 weeks old, when the kids were 1 and 7, and he only had to be taught once that he cannot growl at the kids. Cracking little dog, peanuts to run as well.

    A Lab for me every time, monty's snoring at the side of the bed right now is testament to an old friend.

    They are amazing animals and just get on with what's best in life………………. eating , drinking and getting out

    Premier Icon mrh86

    Springer spaniel 🙂

    Not boring, like exercise, not too small, great with kids and handy as a guard dog…

    I give you 'The Boxer'

    Kobe, Oz and Chyna.

    you should really have called this thread 'tell me what breed you have and convince me to get one' 😀


    Got a 12 year old lab, brilliant with the kids, impressive bark for strangers, like previous post I wanted a rotti but wife said no, so. now have a 9 month old staffie as well, magic dog, looks hard as nails but is a total softy, great with the kids, but a rubbish guard dog, just wants to lick people to death!! Hard to pick just one as they're both the bees knees, the staffie just nudges it I think, everyone knows labs are ace but everyone is totaly surprised how great staffies are once they get to know one that hasn't been raised by a thug to be nasty, blame the owners not the dog, sorry I'll get off my soap box now!


    We have 2 collies – my favourite dogs, but if I had small children, I'd be tempted to go for a Lab as they have such dependable tempraments. You also get the bonus of a cracking trail dog in about a year's time.

    If you do get a pup, read up about training and diet beforehand – it's amazing the people you meet who are playing catchup trying to figure out why their dog's not working properly. Plan out socialisation, house training etc. I'd recommend a crate from the start, and insist the kids don't disturb the dog when they're in the crate – gives the dog a chill out zone if he/she gets peopled out.


    2nd vote for a Boxer, we have our 1st baby due any day and everyone keeps telling us boxers are great family pets, so hoping ours will get on just fine with baby.


    I hear great things about Rhodesian Ridgebacks. As long as they are trained properly and socialised well, they are a great loyal dog that will love your family. and as a bonus if anyone broke into your house its fair to say they would deal with them


    Why not get a mongrel puppy from a rescue place? As has been pointed out on the thread already, it's the owner that makes the dog, not the breed.


    Dogs I had as a child were a springer (Welsh), a goldie and a boxer. Would recommend any of them without hesitation.

    Dogs that I gather would be pretty good with children but have no direct experience of would be English bull terrier, Staffy and some of the giant breeds (English mastiff etc) which would sort out your guarding requirements.

    Dogs I'd have reservations about with children: beagles, dachsunds, small terriers (Jack Russells, Westies) and some of the hunting breeds like GSPs.

    Premier Icon muggomagic

    rough collie – so calm and very smart, but need a lot of tlc due to it's coat
    tibetan mastiff – the original dog. big and friendly and no lanolin in the fur so great for allergy sufferers.
    labrador – there is a reason they are so popular
    Irish setter
    english pointer

    I could go on and on.


    Working cocker for me. Every lab I've ever known seems to end up fat and useless too early in it's life. A good riding mate has one and as soon as it was castrated it piled the weight on – and he lives in a VERY active family.
    In contrast you ralet see an overwieght spaniel. One of mine is now 15 and she's as slim now as she was 8 years ago (although a bit blind and a bit deaf 🙁 )

    Premier Icon Sandwich

    Dalmatian, good bark, good temperament and an excellent trail dog. Miles and miles of running in them even at 9 or 10 years old. You'll need to walk 2 hours a day though to stop boredom.


    Got an American breed Chockie lab and he is brilliant fun. Super friendly, loves life, and great with kids.

    Premier Icon iain1775

    another vote for a lab, they are far from boring. Common maybe but boring definately not
    Just keep the weight of them, I see so many overweight labs its saddening
    2nd – boxer
    avoid any of those annoying little yappy breeds


    Just keep the weight of them, I see so many overweight labs its saddening

    I know, i go trail running with my lab and i come across fellow lab owners who stop and say hello and they almost accuse me of keeping him too thin!! The fact that he doesn't have a belly dragging on the ground and can come trail running with me for 10km doesn't make him too thin!!!

    b r

    We had mongrels as kids, and my first dog was a mongrel. The wife chose this one, I had reservations myself; but he is one top dog.

    Very loyal, a bit crazy (but not a handful, and controllable with walks and food amount/type), has no problem on been left alone, very fit and will run for ever (good with the bikes as he's always 'checking-in') and very good with kids.

    Downsides, loves water (any variety…) and takes an age to dry.

    He lives outside when we are not around (we have a large 'cage' which has an insulated kennel inside it), and the neighbours take him for walks during the day.


    BR: said it before and I'll say it again….. lovely looking dog 🙂


    I've got three kids and two golden retreivers. They are very good with kids but can be a bit boisterous. max and Sam have had my wee girl on her ar5e on many an occasion. Need a bit of exercise but not too much. I don't that I'd want them as a guard dog but when the doorbell rings they have a deep bark which would be quite off-putting I think.

    Here's Max:

    and here's Sam:


    I'm a GSD fan – I've ended up with three (bought the first from a breeder, and the other two were rescues).

    GSD's can make great family dogs, one advantage of them is that they are relatively easy to train. There are so many needing homes though:

    German Shepherd Resce

    And my three:

    the two youngest out in the local hills (it was too much for the old boy)

    Premier Icon Woody

    Sounds like you really don't have much idea about dogs so please please get advice from a vet before you decide anything as there are lots of different considerations to take into account eg. do you have a garden, how big is the house, have you considered the cost, are you aware how much mess they make with hairs, muddy paws etc., what about the dog when you go away on holiday or for the weekend ?

    Rescue places such as Dogs Trust will also be able to give you good advice.

    Despite all I've said above, I wouldn't be without my mutts and once you choose one it is most definitely part of the family. Oh, and whatever you get will need exercised 7 days a week and once a day as a very minimum, even small breeds.

    My 2 'boring labs' at about 4 months, nearly 4 years old now and NOT fat. They are also about to come out with me on the bike so I'll try and post another pic to confirm you will not need to give up your cheeky daytime rides 😀

    Premier Icon miketually

    Greyhounds. Thick as mince, happy to sleep all day, great with kids, fast as ****.


    Spaniels are ace.

    We have a cocker at the moment and she is gorgeous. Excellent temperment with the kids, intelligent, trainable (but must be trtained).

    Not likely to fully fill the gaurd dog requirements, but she will bark like mad at any stranger that turns up at the house – until reassured by us that the visitor is ok.

    Always wanted a springer, but would be a bit too large and energetic for our current lifestyle. Boxers are great but they slobber everywhere. Uncle always had labs or retrievers – lab much more even tempered than a retriever. Setters are more loony than spaniels. GSDs great but you need to pick and train carefully. Wonderful dog if you get a good one.


    Oh yeah and the goldies will run on a bike ride no problem.


    Wow thanks everyone

    Dont panic this is not something we are rushing into

    Were lucky to have a garden for a hound and it will be exercised every morning
    Its just that on 2 days per week it will be alone from 9 till 4
    The rest of the time it will get a good walk before and probably after work as well

    Labs still look the 'safe' option but still thinking about GSD
    Will a lab/retriever really do 30km off road?? Seems a tall order

    Keep 'em coming!


    Had a retriever as a kid growing up, great dogs but they do need walking a couple of times a day (not just let out into the garden). Couple of times a week being left alone isn't ideal but shouldn't be much of a problem. I wouldn't have thought 30km off-road was viable though, not without sending it to an early grave. You also have to be careful teaching your kids about dogs to, any dog regardless of breed can turn nasty if it's teased and abused (even if innocently by a child).


    You don't fancy a Westie do you?
    If you're anywhere near South Manchester, I'll be accidentlaly losing* off of it's lead whilst out walking it, a four year old dog this evening.



    barca- shirley' not serious?

    Premier Icon iain1775

    I wouldnt risk mine (Lab) with 30k off road, not at a sustained pace or without plenty of water available (they dont know how to use a camelback!)
    Not even before she snapped her cruciate climbing Snowdon and got arthritus (cost us £2.2k and counting in operations and titanium plates in her leg)
    Still for all her clumsiness and costly health problems we wouldnt be without her
    Moral of the story – make sure you take out insurance (and get them microchipped)
    Cost wise – factor in £20-30 a month insurance, £30 a month food, worming tablets, flea treatments etc, minimum of £50-75 a year vets bills

    If you away even only 2 days a week for more than 4 hours at a time a rescue from the RSPCA is out – our local branch won't even let you have a rabbit if it is ever lilkely to be home alone for more than 4 hours!!
    So basically they will give animals to the unemployed who cant afford to care for them but not if you have even a part time job! – No wonder the branch is threatened with closure cause of lack of funds


    Get a Mongrel. No inbreeding problems there unless you must have a 'brand'* dog.

    I wouldnt have a Lab, sorry. I've experienced one turn (apperently they can have a temper- though you wouldnt think it). Plus do you really want a lively dog (with weight behind it) running around your house?

    If a branded-dog isnt high on the list I'd consider a Greyhound. The ones I've met have such beautiful temperaments.

    *I call them this as they are essential 'posh' choices arent they? I own A Westie but he does have certain breed-traits that I dont like.

    b r

    My cocker does 13 quick miles no problem, but only once a week – his paws suffer otherwise.

    Premier Icon iain1775

    any dog can 'turn' Hora, just like any human can 'turn' alot of it comes down to their upbringing and training and even then whilst domesticated it is still essentially descended from a wild pack animal so will always have that nature buried somewhere within
    And at least with a 'brand' over a rescue you know the history and can instill some training and control their behaviour from day one (not condoning getting a rescue dog but if there are small children around I would want that extra level of confidence)

    I wouldnt say they are any more lively than some other dogs either, and some of the other suggestions are much larger. True they can be a bit skittish at times, but again any dog can

    If you do end up getting a lab though – females are smaller and supposedly also less dependant


    Golden retrievers! Or Flat-coat Retrievers. Great with kids, I've got 3 and as long as you train dogs and kids all will be well. Just get over the first 2 years of mental madness…… Flat-coats also like bike trails!

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