OT: What dog for a young family?

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  • OT: What dog for a young family?
  • Premier Icon ourmaninthenorth
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    Get this weekend's Guardian guide to pets. Has some summaries of the most popular dogs (all of those mentioned above.

    I grew up with dogs (several black labs, one golden retriever puppy and one jack russell – the latter killed the retriever), though would never have one as an adult, as I don't have the time to exercise one, nor the inclination to incur the hassle.

    It does, however, sound like a Rottweiler is what you're after.

    Milkie
    Member

    Most breeds of dogs are fine, as long as you put in the training! It's all about the training and don't quit the training when you think you've got it nailed.

    Dog training is mainly for the owners, its teaching you how to communicate with your dog. Our dog is amazing in the right hands, give her to some numpty and she won't do a thing, just look at you as if you're crazy!

    Kids will love Working Cockers, they may love it a little too much, cuddly size. I have 2 Springers, great fun, but a lot of training is needed, age 4 and still training.

    stumpy01
    Member

    If I was going to get a pedigree, I'd go for a Boxer.
    We grew up with one & she was great…..only issue being I think they have weak digestive systems….ours had to have 2 operations as a result (too young at the time to remember the ins & outs).
    Oh, and when ours passed wind it was like an accident in a stink bomb factory…..even she used to leave the room!

    Otherwise, I'd go for a mutt – generally hardier than pedigrees I think?

    Premier Icon Woody
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    Back now – still building up distance with them following the bike. They were knackered enough after a few miles to rest and let me get a couple of pics 😆
    [img]http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4034/4453540417_6482753a21_m.jpg[/img][img]http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2730/4454319552_c5a4ec47c3_m.jpg[/img]

    algarvebairn
    Member

    Woody, are they off the same litter? Mine are and they were a b*gger to train. eventually resorted to taking them out separately for training.

    Premier Icon Woody
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    Brother and sister. I picked the biggest bitch (story of my life 😥 ) and second smallest dog and they match pretty well.

    They were 'interesting' to train and it distressed them so much to be separated that I had to persevere with them together. Took much longer than a one-to-one but now, one usually obeys and the other follows. Strangely, either can be the obedient one at any given time.

    algarvebairn
    Member

    Yeah, I've got that issue as well. Max is well behaved and chilled in the house and Sam is a bit nore highly strung. Out of doors Max is away chasing squirrels and rabbits most of the time and Sam normally pads along beside me.

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

    Or lurcher. Lurchers are crosses of Greyhounds or Whippets (or other sighthounds with other types of dogs like collies. Mines 3/8 grehound, 1/4 whippet, 1/8 bearded collie, 1/8 border collie and 1/8 Bedlington Terrier. Not too clever like collies, but easy too train and fast as ****. Useless as a gaurd dog but if you get a big one thats got deerhound blood in it it will scare burglers just by standing up! Sightounds are very placid dogs as long as given a good sprint about twice a day. No inherited problems and much cheaper than some inbred pedigree dog.

    Premier Icon iain1775
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    My lab – Poppie
    6 years old


    has over £2k of titanium in her leg (snapped cruciate ligament few years ago, we took her up Snowdon not long after not realising what she had done she made it up and down but was lame for a days after hence us realising there was a serious problem)
    She is the softest thing in the world, will let you do anything to her and just sit there and take it, before getting her own back on you with a huge face lick and a stinky fart when your not looking

    (and she might be pedigree but no inbreeding here – both parents where working gun/field dogs)

    she might be pedigree but no inbreeding here

    er, I think you have missed the point of breeds

    I personally would look in the paper and find a crossbreed with a couple of the breeds that would suit my lifestyle, the best of both worlds. You also get reduction in any breed specific health problems. I have a lab/mini-poodle, who gets pretty tired after only about 4 miles poor love! I usually stick to rollerblading or just walking with her. Probably a collie/lab would be perfect for mtbiking. Keep an eye on their paws even the tough ones hurt their paws (my dog has some boots :lol:). As I think someone said don't give them much exercise until they are fully developed. Best of Luck with your dog!

    Lactic
    Member

    iain 1775: In a bizarre coincidence my dog, called poppy, also limps after strenuous exercise. How did the vets pick up your poppies injury?
    As for the OP: Get a labradoodle, aside from the limp she's a great family dog. She's still a puppy here, need to upload some more up to date photos.

    Premier Icon iain1775
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    er, I think you have missed the point of breeds

    no I appreciate exactly what you are suggesting, that labs being a relatively new breed (1600's) as opposed to sighthounds (6000 years) are more likely to inherit problems, this is probably true

    Sightounds are very placid dogs No inherited problems and much cheaper than some inbred pedigree dog.

    But I meant it in the sense of a breeder that breeds for profit mating two closely related dogs – mother/son, father/daughter or sibling/sibling in order to produce dogs of similar characteristics / temperment etc

    "the mating of individuals more closely related than the average of the population from which they come."
    Malcolm B. Willis BSc (Dunelm, 1956) PhD (Edin. 1960)

    Mine came from two completely unrelated working dogs (unrelated in as far as can be traced back 5 generations) and it was the first (and last) time the bitch had been bred.

    You see alot of labs that look washed out with sunken eyes – the result of over bred stock from a limited gene pool

    bigbloke
    Member

    I say BOXER.

    I have 2 kids 6 and 8 which adore our 2 boxers and play endlessly together.

    Boxers are fun , athletic , full of personality, really love interacting with the family especially my son who they seem to regard as there best buddy. They are also very loyal,quite robust and daft as brushes all their life up until old age.

    Get one you will never regret it.

    Premier Icon iain1775
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    Lactic
    When she first did it (she jumped down from a wall stile and landed funny) she hobbled around for a bit but appeared to run it off and didnt seem to be in any pain
    She was fine for a while but seemed very stiff and used to hold her leg up after she had been lying down or sleeping
    SHe always seemed to just shrug it off so we didnt think it was anything serious. After going away for the weekend she became quite lame and the stiffness and limping became more pronounced and lasted longer, she also seemed in pain this time
    We took her to the vets who kept her in, and x rayed her, they did some keyhole investigations and operated to pin her ligament together with titanium plates
    Total cost was over £2k but fortunately we have insurance who paid out the lot no questions (petplan, our premium hasnt really increased much over 6 years despite having made a significant claim nearly every year – she is quite accident prone!)
    As a result partly of the operation but mainly because it went untreated for so long she now has arthritus in that leg so occasionally (mainly during cold spells or heavy exercise) she will still limp but again generally walks it off after 5 mins. It doesnt seem to affect her too much fortunately and we have some tablets but we try not to give her them too often

    Lactic
    Member

    Cheers iain. Our poppy had a similar injury pattern and has the same intermittent lameness. Has seen a couple of vets so far with no definitive diagnosis but with normal xrays a ligamentois injury seems most likely. Hopefully she is going to be scanned soon at Bristol vet school.

    algarvebairn
    Member

    My sister and neice both have labradoodles and they are mental. I don't think they'd be especially suitable for kids? My sister has two of the most placid rought collies your ever likely to come across and the 'doodle has taken on none of their personality, and she seems pretty difficult to train. Lactic, your dog does look pretty cool though.

    Lactic
    Member

    algarvebairn:-Mental dogs and kids are often a good mix. Loads of energy, love attention and never get bored or tired. Our two have grown up together and, if anything, poppy is over protective, growling at strangers if they come near my daughter.

    goon
    Member

    Useless as a guard dog but if you get a big one thats got deerhound blood in it it will scare burglers just by standing up!

    Cue Ted:

    He keeps airborne invaders at bay:

    There isn't a frizbee in the land that can get past him:

    Seaweed rarely sneaks up on us at the beach:

    He's got a very impressive bark, but he's a total chicken. He scares the crap out of the pizza man though, but only ever stands wagging his tail while I pay. (He's delivering food after all, Ted's second favourite hobby.) Despite ted's benevolence the man repeatedly asks me to 'keep the dog away'. I'm making an assumption that the delivery man is a muslim, and the Quran teaches that dogs are 'unclean', except the saluki. Ted has saluki blood in his breeding and I have considered telling the chap that he could conceivably stroke a part of Ted's ear, or perhaps his tail, and not have to perform purification, but it's far more complicated than I want to make a pizza transaction! 😆

    bjj.andy.w
    Member

    Rhodesian Ridgeback

    Developed in Zimbabwe (Rhodesia) and South Africa back in the 16th century, this breed is also known as the African Lion Hound. These silent pack hunters were bred by European settlers to track down a lion, or other game, then corner it and or lure it into shooting range. So these dogs were originally bred for their courage, agility, endurance and instincts.

    Though not all ridgebacks are born with ridges, the breed is named after a ridge of backward growing hair that runs along their back. This is characteristic of the Hottentot hunting dog. This semi-wild African breed was interbred with imported mastiffs, bloodhounds, pointers and greyhounds. Great danes and bulldogs may also have been in the mix. The native Hottentot dogs may have originated from, or be related to, the Thai ridgeback. All of these breeds produced a powerful hunting dog, that could withstand hot days, freezing nights, require little water and would guard the property at night. The breed is now very common in South Africa.

    As a sight and scent hound, ridgebacks have a very high prey drive. These independent dogs are always alert for movement and willing to track and chase potential prey. Even when you are yelling for them to return. And boy, can they run fast. Something to keep in mind for owners who live near busy roads. Some have been know to run part way up a tree after a squirrel.

    Lure coursing is a good activity for your ridgeback. This is where several dogs chase a string pulled lure across a field.

    Ridgebacks are intelligent and will find ways to amuse themselves if not kept busy. So not a good breed to leave alone in the house or yard for an extended period. Avid gardeners may also want to think twice about having a ridgeback. Despite their independence, they prefer to be close to their owners around the house.

    Ridgebacks learn very fast and are good problem solvers. However, they have short attention spans when it comes to activities like training. Tracking is sport, while obedience is too much like work.

    Positive reinforcement is your only chance at success when it comes to training a ridgeback. These clever dogs have a long memory when it comes to harsh treatment. Not all owners can cope with their stubborn streak. Ample amounts of exercise cures most problems as a tired ridgeback is a good ridgeback.

    Ideally, these strong and active dogs need a huge yard (with a very tall fence) or an acreage to run around and explore. They also need daily walks and runs. However, they are mostly docile inside the house and mature into very calm dogs. Please note: they love comfort and will take over beds and couches unless trained otherwise.

    According to the book 'Your Family Dog' by Maxwell Riddle, actor Errol Flynn helped popularize the breed in the United States. They were recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1955, but are still fairly uncommon.

    Pups may be born with dermoid sinus, a cyst that needs early surgical removal. Hip dysplasia and elbow problems can develop, though incidences are lower than many other breeds. Thyroid disorders and cataracts are also known issues. Due to their hanging ears, it's not uncommon for ridgebacks to develop ear infections.
    With minimal fat reserves, ridgebacks are also very sensitive to medications, anesthesia and chemicals such as flea powder.

    Many can and will eat anything, in a bowl, on the floor and even on a counter. They are also clever enough to get into kitchen cupboards.

    Due to their love of food, and endless appetites, you must watch their weight. A percentage have allergies to food and or environmental.

    They are known for their loyalty, often targeting one member of the household. They are also very willing to please. Unless there's a bunny to chase. Otherwise, they are a great companion.

    Ridgebacks are generally good watch dogs, though not active barkers unless bored. So if your well adjusted ridgeback does bark, it's a good idea to check out the disturbance. Their biting power, even as pups, is comparable to a Doberman Pinscher, and their teeth are quite sharp. Mostly reserved with strangers.

    Their undomesticated heritage can surface in quirky habits like greeting you with a butt sniff. And despite protests, they don't always clue in that butt sniffing humans is inappropriate behavior.

    Color: Either buff, to gold or red wheaten with a black face, ears and nails. OR liver colored. Both colors may have white on their chest or toes.
    Their short, dense, sleek coat requires minimal grooming. They are generally very clean dogs with little or no odor. Chest and toes may have some white fur.

    Skull is flat and broad. Eyes are quite wide apart and match the color of their wheaten fur. Muzzle is black, wheaten or liver colored. Breed standards state…When the ears are brought forward in an alert position, the skin is furrowed with expressive wrinkles on the backskull between the ears and above and between the eyes…

    Pups weigh around a pound at birth.

    Need socializing as pups to accept other dogs and cats. Naturally gregarious with other family dogs.

    Shoulder Height: From 24 to 27 inches (61 to 68.6 centimeters).
    Weight ranges from 65 to 90 pounds (29.5 to 41 kilograms), though some have now been bred over 100 pounds (45.5 kg).

    Feet are webbed for walking on African sand.

    Females are slightly smaller.

    Life span: up to 12 years, though some have lived to 16.

    algarvebairn
    Member

    Lactic. Actually you might be right there. My two goldies are a bit mental and the kids love them. Theyve had Erin on her ar5e a couple of times but she doesn't seem to give a stuff. Funny, your dog looks just like my neice's Daisy and your little girl looks just like hers as well.

    Premier Icon Woody
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    Goon

    Excellent pics (and great dog), especially the airbourne frisbee one. What camera set-up did you use ?

    goon
    Member

    Thanks Woody. Those were shot on a D50 and D3000, with Sigma lenses. I find for shooting dogs in action you need to have a shutter speed of 1/800 or faster.

    kinda666
    Member

    bigbloke – Member
    I say BOXER.

    I have 2 kids 6 and 8 which adore our 2 boxers and play endlessly together.

    Boxers are fun , athletic , full of personality, really love interacting with the family especially my son who they seem to regard as there best buddy. They are also very loyal,quite robust and daft as brushes all their life up until old age.

    Get one you will never regret it.

    Lost our boxer on 22nd Oct and he was everybodys best mate in our house, he was more human than half the people i know, and was everything you quote and more! Always happy to see you, daft but extremely intelligent, and will defend its family to the hilt!
    Boxers generally love most dogs that are smaller than themselves but are wary of larger breeds!

    devs
    Member


    Lurcher or a Ridgeback. The Ridgeback obviously a bit better as a guard dog. Watching this pair run together takes my breath away. The lurcher is faster but not by as much as you would think. Both are so sloppy with kids it's unreal.

    Premier Icon 0range5
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    Only other point I'd make is that not all dogs are as the breed is supposed to be, so spend some time with a prospective puppy before handing over the cash. You'll usually get a sense of temprement & whether that particular dog is good natured or not. Personally I'd say go for a flat coat retriever, they're the nicest looking dogs & I've never met a bad natured one. The books say they're bouncy & always need to be the centre of attention, but all the ones I've seen have been more placid than our dog which is a lab/golden cross. She doesn't really follow the description – she's a bit of a mixture of stubborn & nervous. Not nervous in a nasty sense, just that she'll see how far she can push it until you tell her off & then cower as if someone's hit her! You might wonder why we didn't get a flat coat? Well, we saved up for one, and then the car died. The repair wiped out the savings & then we got offered this one for free.

    Premier Icon Woody
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    Those were shot on a D50 and D3000, with Sigma lenses.

    Wish I could justify getting either one of those but the pics make it worth every penny :mrgreen:

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