So I have a, sort of, announcement to make. Now, before I say anything I want to make it clear that this isn’t a definite, it is a maybe. It is something we are looking into, and we are excited about, but which may not happen.
With that being said…we are considering bringing a puppy home 🙂
Now as you doubtless know I am a huge advocate of adopting and rescuing dogs, but if we get a third, I will probably go the breeder route. There are a few reasons for this:
1) I want a dog that is a specific size. I want a smaller dog, either a small breed or a small-medium dog that hopefully weighs no more than 10kg
2) I want to talk to someone who is very knowledgeable about the breed. I want to pick a dog that will fit into our family as easily as possible.
3) I want to meet the parents, check out the health testing, temperament, size, energy level etc. I want things to be as predictable as possible.
4) I think my pups would react better to a puppy / young dog. Adult dogs tend to be more forgiving to puppies, and Zoey adores them. Kasper may be grumpy the first few days, as he was with Zoey, but I think we could manage.
5) The nearby rescues very rarely have puppies in, and they are usually much larger bully mixes. They also don’t tend to have any smaller breeds in other than JRT, which are too high energy for us.
So, what do we want from a possible third dog?
I want a small dog, but one that isn’t too tiny and delicate. Sturdy-small. One that could play with our other pups. I want a generally friendly, mellow-ish but active breed. Not too active though; a dog that is happy with perhaps an hour of walking a day, but could go much further. A dog that enjoys walks, training and play. A breed with no major health concerns.
And, surprisingly important, I want a dog that is small enough that he could go on public transport easily and come with us on daytrips.
Zoey probably is small enough to come with us on transport, but she is a Staffy. There is a lot of prejudice in this area, and Zoey is an excitable dog. If she got too giddy saying hello to someone, they could take it the wrong way. I have to protect Zoey a lot because of her breed.
Kasper isn’t a good dog for buses or trains as lots of strangers overwhelm him, especially if they are noisy, ‘rude’ or try fuss him. He is much better than he used to be, and is fine greeting strangers on walks or in taxis, but buses / trains are too much. Both Zoey and Kasper are good in cars.
So I have searched and searched for breeds that may match our needs. I have unearthed fourteen of my dog books (the ones I could find easily!), searched the web, done dog breed selector quizzes and posted on forums. These are the breeds we have chosen as our finalists, finishing with the one we are most interested in:
- Lowchen – This dog seems to be our ideal height / weight and is very cute! They don’t shed much but do need a lot of grooming. They are not off-the-walls active, but do enjoy running, playing and walks. Can be hard to find (good) breeders, and I think the breed is expensive to purchase.
- Whippet – Me and my partner have loved Whippets for a long time, and we have a lot of experience with Whippets / Greyhounds / Lurchers. They tend to be loving, sweet and calm. I think they could fit in easily with Kasper and Zoey, although I worry they are delicate. They are on the bigger end (a Whippet would probably be as tall / taller than Kasper!) but their temperament is worth it 🙂
- Bedlington Terrier – Bedlington Terrier is another breed that is our ideal weight / height range. They are also very cute, both in their personality and appearance. They are quite active, yet supposed to be fairly mellow for a terrier. Unfortunately finding a breeder is very difficult!
2. / 1. Border Terrier – I had a friend with a Border when I was younger. The dog was from an unscrupulous breeder, and the puppies were left alone in a barn until sold. After purchase the dog wasn’t socialised or trained, so it grew into a little devil!! However as a breed I think they could be very much what we are looking for, so they are currently joint first…their height and weight is perfect, they are supposedly mellow for a Terrier and although they enjoy activity they are not overly energetic. And they are cute!!
- Miniature Poodle – I never thought I would say this, as a child (and a huge dog lover) I hated Poodles and thought of them as a “sissy” breed. Now I love them. They are not, as many believe, pathetic dogs that are yappy and look stupid. Their origins are as working dogs; they are highly intelligent, love walks, many enjoy getting covered in mud and they’re quite sturdy. Supposedly easy to potty train and, of course, low shedding = bonus 😀
What do you think? I appreciate any feedback on breed ideas.
Today we went to the agricultural show, and I got chance to meet several of the breeds on the above list. I chased after the owners of Whippets, Toy & Miniature Poodles, Border Terriers and even a Bedlington; the owners didn’t mind at all and were happy to tell me about their dogs. I was especially smitten with a 4 month old Border Terrier puppy!!
I am, by no means, turning my back and ruling out a rescue dog / puppy. In our ongoing search for the ‘right’ dog we will be visiting both rescues in our area extensively, but I will be very picky! Not only because I have plans for this puppy, and size and temperament are important, but also because I want to find a dog that will slot into our family and cause the least upset with Kasper and Zoey.
At the moment I am researching, researching, researching. Kasper was a rushed decision as I knew nothing about dogs at the time, and Zoey was kinda thrust into our arms. I don’t regret bringing either of them home, but I want to do it ‘properly’ this time…it’s more important to take our time because we already have two dogs.
I am looking online for breed information and contacting breeders. Hopefully I will find a breeder who doesn’t mind me interrogating them (hahaha!), will get to meet their dogs and, if they seem responsible, can talk about waiting lists, applications and price!
Breeders that breed a variety of dogs (especially of very different breeds) or pump out “designer” cross-breeds are being immediately discounted.
Like I said, this may not happen at all. And, even if it does, we probably won’t bring a puppy home until next spring / summer. I wish we could have added a puppy to the family this summer…I like summer as puppy-time because socialisation is much easier 😀 Anyway, I wanted to let you know as it is exciting 🙂
So…are we barking mad (I couldn’t resist) for considering bringing a third dog home? Especially because we only have a small garden? Does anybody else have either two large dogs, or 2+ dogs that live in an apartment / house with a small garden? Does it work??
Thanks for any help, advice, information or words of encouragement 🙂