which breeds are right for me and my family

Breed specific discussion of your favorite breed.

Moderators:emmabeth, BoardHost

Post Reply
which breeds are right for me and my family

Post by puppylove800 » Fri Aug 21, 2015 10:08 am


I am new to the post and this is my first post. please stay with me on this as I know there is a lot written but I thought the more I tell you the more you might be able to give me some breed recommendations.

hello my name is Janice I am in my middle 50's and live in Staffordshire, England with my tow daughters Keri 20 and jess 18.

we live in a small three bedroom house with a large fenced garden. we all decided as a family that we would love to welcome a dog into our lives as we are all dog lovers but are finding it hard to choose?

I am retired and am at home all day as I am free all day , Jess is starting her second college course this year and is studying animal management. and Keri is studying journalism and English at UNI . so they are both out all day but off at weekends.

I don't have a car and go on public transport once a week, we have no experience of dogs at all none of us have ever trained a dog before or had hands on experience. the closest I came was growing up with a corgi but my mom brought paddy before I was born and he died when I was ten. other than that nothing. I would like a dog that you would consider a good choice for a first time owner with no experience. I have thought of volunteering for rescues to get hand on experience but the nearest one to me is over 50miles away and as I don't have a car it would be hard to get up there. so I wont be able to get hands on experience until I have my own dog. I plan on going to traing class's and not just as a puppy and also using this forum for help when needed. my girls want to come to training class's as well and want to be fully involved as much as me.

regarding what type of dog I am looking for

size- I am not too fussed on size anywhere from a westie to a Labrador size as im not fond on owning a giant breed neither do I like very tiny dogs. although I prefer large breeds like Collies and labs.

exercise- we can only provide 2x 45min walks a day and Keri will walk the dog in the morning as she insisted. mentally he would be busy most of the day as I am free all day to play and train with him

Grooming- I am not bothered about coat types or coulors or grooming needs as Jess will become a dog groomer by next June as it is part of her course so she will be in charge of grooming.

trainability- I have read that certain breeds like bloodhounds and rotties and German shepherds are more difficult to train or handle than a Labrador or golden retriever so would prefer a breed that is easier to train. I am a very patient person so I think that will help with training. I just don't want a dog who is to much to handle for a Novice.

barking- I don't want a dog who yaps or barks constantly I know that you can train a dog to not bark but I read that some breeds are more likely to bark than others so I don't want a dog who barks at everything or for no reason.

drooling- I don't want a dog who drools like a saint Bernard but I have seen labs drool and am fine with that just not to the extreme.

I am also not a fan of short faced breeds like bulldogs or shih Tzu's.

I want a dog who is easy going, friendly, loving , loyal , very playful , easy to train especially with us being novice I did read on Vetstreet that the Golden retriever is the best breed for fist time owners as there not a challenging breed to train like a rottie etc.. as we don't want a challenging breed. I also want a breed who is easy to find as some breeds is England there numbers are going down so want a breed that is easy to find. I am not to bothered about protectiveness as Keri knows martial arts so don't need a guard dog as I already have Keri. :wink:

with me not having a car I have thought of how I would get it to the vet if it was a large breed and the vet I would go to has said that they do a pick up and deliver service for those with no transport. I have asked the bus company and train service and they said as long as the dog is not a great Dane then I am allowed a dog a big as a Golden retriever on board of both.

I also am not interested in a rescue at the moment and we do prefer to get a puppy as our first dog and I am not interested in scent or sight hounds or bull breeds or Any dog in the toy group just my personal opinion.

I think the main thing is I want a dog who will not be challenging to own like a rottie and who is a good family dog?

I would love to hear your thoughts and breed suggestions. :D

Joined:Fri Aug 05, 2011 9:35 pm
Location:North Carolina

Re: which breeds are right for me and my family

Post by Erica » Fri Aug 21, 2015 11:04 am

Thanks for the long post :) It helps us figure out better suggestions if we have lots of info! Really, the "best first breed" depends on the person. Some people have "difficult" dogs like rotties as their first dogs and end up with great companions. It's all up to how much effort the person puts into training their dog. :)

Off the top of my head...

Lab: some might want a bit more exercise, but could do well with two 45 min walks + playing in the garden. They can be easy to train, but might be so friendly that they want to say hello to everyone and be everyone's friend. If you're planning on off-leash walks, they might be prone to ignoring recall in favor of socializing. On the other hand, they could be so fetch-motivated that everything else in the world goes away if you have a fetch toy in your hand. They're pretty easy to find, but that means it's sometimes difficult to find a good breeder. Pretty smart, really food motivated, but they are known for chewing EVERYTHING as puppies. Can also be rather rambunctious to the point of accidentally injuring people around them.

Standard Poodle: I'm a little biased here. I love my poodle :D For exercise, we do about 45 min in the morning and half an hour in the evening (though this will be more in the winter, as we're somewhere where summer is HOT - 26C minimum during the day). We do fetch for about 15 minutes around noon and early afternoon, and some fun trick training through the day. He is smart and loves learning, and any "I can outsmart you" moments are clownish silly things, not "Haha I opened the door and I am FREE" things. Grooming-wise, if you keep much fluff on them you do need to brush them daily or every other day at the least, or they will get tangled. Delta doesn't bark much, is friendly with everything, and was easy to teach to come when called. They love their people and can be prone to separation anxiety, so be sure to teach them being alone is fun. (I recommend Dunbar's "Before You Get Your Puppy" and "After You Get Your Puppy" for any dog you end up getting - very solid, easy advice and the pdfs are free online :) ) He's not at all drooly; after throwing a ball once for a lab, the ball is slobbery, but after 15 minutes with Delta it might be slightly damp. Poodles do need a lot of interaction and will flourish in training throughout their life; if you don't want to be constantly teaching new things to your dog, a poodle may not be a good match.

Miniature Poodles are pretty similar, but may be more manageable if you want a smaller dog.

Golden Retriever: I have less experience with goldens than labs and poodles. They're well known for being friendly and pretty trainable. They'll need brushing every few days, but you shouldn't shave them as you can a poodle to change how much brushing you have to do. They're popular like the other two, so as always use caution when you choose a breeder.

You may want to look into Corgis, Bernese Mountain Dogs, Samoyed, and Cocker Spaniels too to see if they match your desires for a dog. I don't have much experience with them but from what I do know they might be a match.

Other people may have more ideas for you :)
Delta, standard poodle, born 6/30/14


Re: which breeds are right for me and my family

Post by puppylove800 » Fri Aug 21, 2015 11:21 am

Hi Erica

thanks for the breed recommendations.

for the right breed we would all put a lot of effort in, its just that when I was at crufts this year I met Victoria and asked her and she said to come on this forum as there are lots of people who can help but she said what I had read was right in a way that German Shepherds/Rotties are more challenging than a Lab/Goldie and a guide dog trainer I spoke to said that labs are used more as there more easier to handle for the blind owner.

I have thought of the corgi and did not think they were right for me. the poodle is very interesting as I think a lot of people over look them so shall look them up and do some research but am very much looking forward to hearing what other people say as well.

I have always been interested in why a Lab or Goldie is more easier to handle than a Rottie.

Joined:Tue Jul 26, 2011 1:20 pm
Location:Dorset, UK

Re: which breeds are right for me and my family

Post by JudyN » Fri Aug 21, 2015 12:10 pm

Partly out of interest, can I ask what you don't like about scent & sighthounds and bull breeds? Bull breed looks aren't for everyone, but if you say what it is about scent & sighthounds you don't like it might help us get a feel for what traits you do like.

I'm totally biased in favour of sighthounds personally and think everyone should have one :wink:

Finding the right breeder is everything. A puppy of a 'challenging' breed from a breeder has selected carefully for temperament & health is likely to be easier than an 'easy' breed puppy which has, for instance, been bred for looks rather than suitability as a pet.
Jasper, lurcher, born December 2009


Re: which breeds are right for me and my family

Post by puppylove800 » Fri Aug 21, 2015 12:49 pm

Hi JudyN

thanks for the reply :)

scent hounds- the problem is I only like the Basset and the Bloodhound in that group but was put off for a few reasons 1) I was told at crufts that both breeds are not for a Newbie and that they are difficult to train 2) they also seem to drool a lot 3) I was also told that they do better in Homes were there is more than one dog as they howl when left alone no matter what.

sight hounds- the same as above the only breed that I liked the look of was the Lurcher put my daughters were not fond and I want all of us to agree on the same breed otherwise it would not be fair on the dog if I got a lurcher but my daughters were not happy as I would feel awful for the lurcher.

we have looked into more detail on the lab, poodle, Goldie and they are on the list for now. the bernese and cocker did not appeal to us.

anymore breed recommendations would be really helpful, and thank you for your help so far :)


Re: which breeds are right for me and my family

Post by master2 » Fri Aug 21, 2015 1:04 pm

Hi and welcome to the forum :D

you will get very good advice on here Nettle is very wise and has always given great advice.

I agree with Erica and JudyN that it is more to do with what type of trainer/owner you will be and how much effort you put in weather a "difficult" dog is right for you. and sometimes you can love a breed so much and they might not be right for you.

I have always loved German Shepherds and always said I would get one when ready but after fostering a few was left shocked that they were not what I had read in the books and were way to hard for me to handle and just not for me, and yet the Doberman I am fostering at the moment is so much easier that the shepherd. I found labs like a bull in a china shop as they say a whirlwind of energy some people like this.

I would second the poodle they are amazing dogs and a lot of people just see a diva dog because of TV and Films but they are amazing and very few know they were bred to be water dogs :?: I think or something like that. I prefer them when they have not been show clipped I like poodles when they have all the fur still on there bodies.

Goldie's have always seemed calmer than labs in general to me.

User avatar
Joined:Sun Apr 13, 2008 1:40 pm

Re: which breeds are right for me and my family

Post by Nettle » Fri Aug 21, 2015 1:19 pm

Hi and welcome :) How lovely that you are giving so much thought to your new dog.

I am going to buck the tend and suggest a crossbreed but a particular type of cross breed. It's called a springador and is a cross between a springer spaniel and a labrador. You would need to get one from a working gundog home as these are the people that breed them. They will be advertised in shooting magazines.

Reasons - smaller than a lab, not as energetic as a cocker, each have lovely natures - honestly I've never seen a bad one. Intelligent but not too clever, easy-care coat but will still need a bit of a brush, one of the easier types to train (no dog is all that easy) not too noisy, don't dribble (I can't cope with dribble either) usually healthy. You may have to wait for one as they aren't available in big numbers.
Last edited by Nettle on Fri Aug 21, 2015 3:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
A dog is never bad or naughty - it is simply being a dog



Re: which breeds are right for me and my family

Post by puppylove800 » Fri Aug 21, 2015 1:52 pm

Hi Everyone

thanks master2 for your advice.

Nettle- I looked up your recommendation and my daughter are not keen :roll: (teenagers :lol: ) I prefer to show them a pic on Google first before researching the breed. Victoria was right that this is a fantastic forum and all those months struggling on our own and in about 1hr or so we are down to tow breeds.

we are down to the standard Poodle and the Golden retriever? I have heard what Erica write about the Poodle I would really like to hear from anyone who has any experience with the Goldie. I know I can just read up on them but I would like to hear from experience rather than a book.

Erica- I would be very greatful if you could tell me what it is like day to day living with a standard poodle. Google is not very reliable as three websites said that poodles are a dog on speed :shock: just hyper all the time, while another said they are active but once given physical and mental outlets for there energy will happily curl up and watch TV with you.

Many thanks to everyone :)

Joined:Fri Aug 05, 2011 9:35 pm
Location:North Carolina

Re: which breeds are right for me and my family

Post by Erica » Fri Aug 21, 2015 5:51 pm

I'll go through a day with Delta :) In general, if he's had his mental and physical entertainment, he's pretty laid-back in the house. He knows when it's calm time, or knows to entertain himself with a bullystick or cow hoof chew. He'll also tolerate a day or two of reduced activity if I'm sick or the weather is awful. The only time he acts like a dog on speed is when we're playing fetch (he goes ALL OUT for fetch) or if he gets "zoomies" in the yard.

I usually walk him in the morning before I feed him; this way we avoid the heat. So, a walk for 45ish minutes (sometimes more, sometimes less), rest for an hour (shouldn't exercise near feeding to avoid bloat), then he eats. Sometimes during the rest period I have to work, sometimes we just hang out while I eat breakfast and wake up. ;) On a workday, after eating he goes in my room with a food puzzle toy of some sort (about 8 pieces of kibble in a kong genius or squirrely dude) and I go walk dogs. I come back after an hour or two, take him out for some fetch and hang out while I have lunch, then he goes back to my room for a few hours (~4) while I nanny. When I get back, I take him on a 1 mile walk. Rest for a bit, dinner for him and me, rest for 30 min, then we do trick training for 30 minutes or so. After that it's one more round of fetch and bedtime, usually.

As Delta gets older, we'll probably extend morning walks to be longer and start jogging, too.

On days where I don't have to work as much, we train or play a bit more. He is very good in the house; the only reason I don't leave him out is his greeting manners need work and we often have kids (5-6 years old) over at the house unexpectedly. He's a bit too friendly and likes to lick faces, so until he's calmed down a bit and stops jumping up I keep him sequestered when I can't supervise and train. We also are usually in a training class of some sort, either trick training or agility for now (and who knows what we'll pick up in the future). I enjoy it a lot and Delta thinks training classes are super fun.

While I'm sure you could find a poodle breeder whose dogs are non-stop energy, that kind of dog is probably more likely from a sport dog breeder. Delta is from show lines, though a knowledgeable pet breeder would be a good place to look too. :) His breeder has produced many great dogs - from award-winning therapy dogs to title-winning show dogs. It is very worth it to look hard for a good breeder, who breeds dogs that match what you're looking for.

As with any breed, there are health concerns - hips and elbows should be graded (though I don't know what the test is in the UK); eyes should be checked; Addison's Disease is well-known in poodles ; bloat is a possibility; skin should be tested for sebaceous adenitis. Ear infections are common and most poodle owners occasionally pluck the ear hair to prevent this. It sounds painful but Delta doesn't mind it too much; if your daughter is trained to groom dogs, then she'll probably be taught how to do this too.

My cousins had a golden and they really loved him. They're not very dedicated dog people, just casual owners, and they didn't seem to have too much trouble with him. He was very sweet. He died rather young from cancer, though.
Delta, standard poodle, born 6/30/14

Joined:Wed Nov 24, 2010 11:11 am

Re: which breeds are right for me and my family

Post by elisa » Sun Aug 23, 2015 2:18 pm

I've some suggestions as I think a medium dog could be better or at least more handy as a first dog. Also better in fitting in a bus or train (my 13 kg dog is great as in case of emergency I can still take her in my lap, but she is still what I would call "dog size"). They also eat less - this can mean a lot of savings...
So how about a Kooikerhondje or a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever or a Small Munsterlander or a Spanish Water Dog or a Lagatto Romagnolo. These are all sort of retriever/poodle -type dogs in my opinion. Possibly not too popular in your area but I've seen these breeds out and about and most seem very nice.

I find golden retrievers tend to be quite heavy dogs nowadays, but of course it depends on where you get one. I saw one in this training class and he was super friendly and nice but just didn't have much stamina and it is really sad for a dog with a happy gun dog attitude. But I admit I just like sporty dogs as I like dog sports like agility. :)

Great that you are thinking this through! I suggest reading loads of positive reinforcement books so you have a plan on how to train through all the puppy "problems".
The best friend of Ansa the sprollie since autumn 2010.
Train with your brain. :)

Post Reply