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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all, new to the forum! I've written a huge essay but will tldr; for ease.

Me;

I'm hoping to get a dog in late spring 2022. I know it's early, i research a lot. Some of the below may look a bit blunt, it's because it is a literal essay, and i'm on my phone.

All 'breed talk' is generic, of course they are all individuals, and training/ socialisation is the most important thing. Just want to put the odds in my favour.

I have never owned a dog. I would like to go to a reputable breeder (i research obsessively & have set an extremely high bar concerning ethics) for a puppy or maybe ex show dog if the breeder has kids (terrified a dog will bite my nephews!). Otherwise I would also consider an ex racing greyhound. I would prefer to avoid normal rescues, this post is going to be long enough without the reasoning behind that, I think, if that's okay.

I'm in my mid 20s, no kids but imagine there could be one in 5 years or so. Two small nephews. Work full time, since corona I expect I will be working from home at least 2 days a week for the forseeable future. Hoping for 3.

Live in large house (hard floors throughout so inside space not so good for playing, will get mushers wax) with a medium garden. There will be a dogwalker when i am at work (2 during puppyhood). Live with SO but he isn't fussed dog wise. He had one as a kid & doesn't really get all my researching.

The dog;

I'm not too fussed by size, big is easier to treat/ pet while standing, less likely to be traumatised/ injured by other peoples untrained dogs. Needs to fit in normal car seat. Small costs less to feed and could maybe sit in lap, quicker to groom. Medium probably happy medium (hah), but they're all spaniels.

Need to be super affectionate/ friendly, including with kids. i'm a tiny bit nervous of dogs, if they aren't wagging their tail i don't touch them. If they're lying down or chewing anything i try not to look at them (unless wiggling with bellies up!). I've only had regular contact with 2 dogs and both were aggressive, one of them snarled if you caught eye contact from the other side of the room. Two small kids in the family (plus possible future one of my own), i need to be confident in that situation.

Low energy is best, i'm terrified of not being able to meet the dogs needs, but i would really really like to be able to have him off leash and play fetch/ find it etc. This is why greyhound is my backup, they're not for offleash fetch but short walks are generally fine. Would a grey fit in the back seat of a saloon? Will definitely get walked every day, cannot say how long... absolute minimum half hour.
Normally maybe... An hour? Two 20 minutes? Three?

Don't like the idea of much shedding, not because i'm houseproud, because i'm lazy about cleaning and would like to stay that way. Happy to do hair clipping & baths. No drool please, a bit of barking okay but not like, constant.

Not keen on terriers of any kind, and hounds don't generally fit my offleash plans. I will also not have a brachycephalic breed. Exceptions being greyhound & cavalier king charles spaniel. I don't really like the look of cavs but they do sound kind of right for me.

Breeds i've considered & wouldn't mind comments on, with the reasons i haven't settled on them; golden r (big shed, big energy), standard poodle (big energy, big grooming), havanese (might die if left alone, poos everywhere, too small for child?) And the grey.


Tldr; affectionate, good with kids, any size, low energy, good recall, will play fetch. Doesn't drool. Low bark low shed nice but not mandatory. No terriers/ hounds/ flat faces. Won't die if left alone.

Thanks for reading!! Let me know your thoughts :)
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I forgot to add, please don't suggest designer crosses, they're not really easy to generalise unless it's two of virtually the same breed (poochon; why?), and i don't consider these breeders ethical.
 

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As I was reading, a grey was coming to mind. I'd be very wary of Cavaliers, they have a lot of inheritable conditions.
 

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Hi @JoanneF and @GaryMr , thanks for your quick replies!

I thought Bichons looked like a good contender! I wonder if they are robust enough for children? How likely are they to toilet everywhere when left alone? I know toilet training is not so easy for them- is that just a small dog thing?

Yes i know greys suit my energy levels really well! I'm a bit worried about space aggression/ resource guarding, and don't think walks can be very fun for either of us when they have to stay on the lead :( however they are one breed i am certain i can cover their requirements! I think even if i find a good breed for me i will still visit a grey rescue to see how we get on... Just in case!

Yes the health issues of cavs seem to be a huge problem! Sad what we do to dogs when they get too popular :(
 

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I’ve never had a dog smaller than a lab, but my neighbors growing up had a Bichon and it was fine around children and never toileted in the house.

I think the reason so many small dogs have toilet training issues is small bladders and lazy owners.
 

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I don't think any breed is harder to toilet train than any other, and similarly most breeds are not any more prone to resource guarding, separation anxiety etc. - it's just that people sharing experiences online seems to make it appear so. The ”I have a xxxx with yyyy issues” gets so many ”me too” responses that it becomes a belief.

Have you thought of fostering? That would let you get a sense of how the dog would fit, but without the commitment. And a failed foster (when the dog is kept) is always good news.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Yes you're right, the internet makes problems look more common than they probably are!

I don't think I could be a foster candidate as i have no dog experience, but i'd certainly be interested! Perhaps I'll ask the hound rescue nearby :)
 

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My thoughts are that you should be slow to rule out a rescue dog. You will know a lot more about them than any breed of puppy. You should have a good idea about child friendliness, shedding, energy levels and of course adult size. My little Cairn would meet all your requirements except that she’s been slow to toilet train because I adopted her from a rural property but after years of practice she has finally got it. However the next Cairn might be more barky and unreliable off lead and you said that you don’t like terriers. That’s why I wonder about a medium size cross breed, eg Staffy or lab mix?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hi, thanks for your response! I am hesitant about going to a rescue, but there is no reason i can't put an application in and see what comes up when i start visiting breeders/ grey rescues.
 

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Would you consider volunteering at a local rescue? That would let you see what sort of dogs they have and you might just meet one that you love.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I did do a few days at a grey rescue near me last year, there were a few that i definitely would have taken home if i could! Maybe I can do that again next year when I start looking!
 
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