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Old 07-24-2014, 07:42 AM
50 posts, read 70,970 times
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My kids have been begging me for a dog for a few years now. I have finally decided to look into getting them one from Santa this year. My husband and I have researched breeds (We have only had pit bulls and mastiffs in the past when we dated) and have found we like the Boston Terriers (husbands childhood dog) and the English Bull Dogs. The things that are important to us are 1. Least shedding possible. 2. Not to hyper 3. good dogs for little ones as my youngest is just 1.
Any opinions or advice would be great Thanks
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Old 07-24-2014, 07:50 AM
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Bostons are certainly hyper. They're awesome but IMO require an experience owner to provide leadership and if not, can be a problem with multiple kids. One of my best "trained" clients was a Boston but his owner was Russian and trained him to act like a member of the Soviet army hahaha. He was such a serious little dog and hilarious.

Bulldogs are really not suited for children. They are accident prone, high maintenance, not easy to "train", can be crazy, can be very headstrong if you don't know how to communicate like a dog....and very expensive for medical care.

I'd say a Rat Terrier (not to be confused with a high energy terrier) or a traditional larger "family dog" like a Lab or Golden both who are high energy as puppies. A Rat Terrier is small and can be injured by rowdy or any bunch of kids.

They shed.

NO DOG should be around a one year old without extreme supervision.

(I'm a pet sitter and dog walker)

When I owned a pet shop I recommended guinea pigs for any kid under 10. (I didn't sell dogs or cats either) Each kid can get their own and they are social and "talk" and even follow you to the fridge for veggies. They are handlable and not as fragile as a, say, rabbit.

Just because they want one doesn't mean it's always the right choice. A PUPPY or even a dog is going to mean you're getting another one year old to take care of.

You need to pick a dog to match YOUR FAMILY ENERGY, not a dog by appearance, shed factors, or "cuteness".

A Standard Poodle may work for you they're larger and need grooming but dont' shed like a Lab etc. They are working dogs and not all that TOUGH like a Pit Bull or Lab or Golden so if your kids are not perfectly behaved go with the sturdy ones. But they'll be more work than a poodle but a poodle is SENSITIVE so you have to find one that is socialized with kids.

Which brings us to the good old mix breed rescue dog. Try and FOSTER before adopting and see how it goes. You'll be saving a life and not boxed in.

Last edited by runswithscissors; 07-24-2014 at 07:58 AM..
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Old 07-24-2014, 08:48 AM
Location: Sunnyside
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I have two Bostons so I'm biased when I say get a Boston. But! They are great little dogs. I know my older one is great around kids of all ages as we've had a lot of cousins, or second cousins, or something like that born recently in my family so he has experienced being around them as been the calmest dog. He's even given them kisses!
The other one is very calm pretty much all the time, except for when I come home. She's a nut.

For shedding, my one sheds a lot more than the other, but it's not crazy like it would be with something like a golden, probably on par with what you experienced with your pit bulls as they both have the same style of coat.

Pretty much all dogs know when something is a puppy, or a baby, or a toddler, etc. and adjusts accordingly.

No matter what the dog though, always have extreme supervision when a baby that young is around a dog.

Any poodle or poodle mix will be good for the no shedding thing.
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Old 07-24-2014, 09:44 AM
Location: North Idaho
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I would not choose either of those breeds for small children. Both breeds are fragile and won't withstand roughhousing or even accidental falling by children. Both shed.

Bostons are high energy. They are terriers and act like terriers, always busy and into everything.

For the money you would spend for a good Bulldog, you can buy a Leonberger from a top quality breeder. The Leonberger is my number one top pick for a kids dog. They are sturdy, cheerful, loving, and extremely protective coupled with extremely high quality judgement. They don't bite by mistake but they will defend if it is needed. They aren't going to bite the neighbor's kid for wrestling and screaming when the kids play, but they will keep a close eye to make sure the kids are safe.

Yes, you will have to brush, but the only dogs who do not shed and track in dirt are plush toy dogs. You want a dog, you are going to deal with hair and grooming.

An AKC registered American Staffordshire Terrier from a breeder who specializes in temperament is also a good choice for kids, but will cause you all sorts of other grief in your life. You'll run into insurance problems and if you are a tenant, you won't be able to find a place to rent. Your children's friends might not be allowed to visit your house.
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Old 07-24-2014, 12:31 PM
Location: Howard County, MD
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Bostons are indeed high energy, and Bulldogs come with a plethora of health issues.

Doberman maybe?
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Old 07-24-2014, 12:47 PM
Location: Paradise
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My advice is to google "dog breed selector quiz" and take as many of these as you can. They only take a minute or two. Keep a list of the top two or three dogs selected for your lifestyle, etc.

Then go and do some research on these breeds. Talk with folks who own these types of dogs and see what they can tell you.

You can also consider mixes of those breeds (to some extent) and see if you can find one at a shelter to adopt.

Keep in mind that it's not always a good idea to have Santa bring a new "furry family member" into a home. You might want to do that after Christmas.

Good luck.
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Old 07-25-2014, 10:30 AM
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You may be lucky to find a great dog in any breed. Its more about the individual dog than the breed. if you go for a puppy, choose the breeder carefully.
You may also consider French Bulldogs and poodles. There are other breeds known to be good with children, but some are heavy shedders or active (like Viszla)
Good Luck!

Last edited by oberon_1; 07-25-2014 at 11:26 AM..
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Old 07-25-2014, 01:04 PM
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I love my bulldogs, they're funny, sweet, little farty cushions BUT they are also stubborn, stubborn, and did I mention stubborn? They do have health issues and require daily maintenance. I would be wary about having them around a 1 year old because even though they don't really need much exercise, they are powerful dogs. They're like little tanks - they could easily knock the little one down.

Since you've had mastiffs, I'm sure you're already familiar with maintenance and training so that may not be a big deal but you should start a vet fund. Mine are getting older and the past year, I've probably spent more than 10k on the three of them.

I think it would be a much better idea to make it a family decision - the whole puppy on Christmas is so awesome in thought but I do think it's more of a fantasy thing than a good reality. Why not just give them things like a dog brush, a bowl, a collar and leash for Christmas and then have the experience of actually getting the dog together? That way your whole family can see if it's the right dog for you. Who knows, you may all like a scruffy little mutt instead
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Old 07-25-2014, 03:18 PM
Location: South Park, San Diego
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Originally Posted by Johnbiggs View Post
Bostons are indeed high energy, and Bulldogs come with a plethora of health issues.

Doberman maybe?

Buy a English Bulldog and say goodby to your children's college fund (kidding, kind of). Our neighbors who are great friends of ours and own local a vet hospital (he's a vet) absolutely love English Bulldogs, they've bought their house and a million dollar business because of them Haha. Our other neighbor had a couple and they cost them $1000's every year in care.

Very charming dogs that despite their tough looks are almost always fragile health wise; it's just inherent in the breed. Boston's are better but still tend to have a lot of eye issues.
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Old 07-25-2014, 03:36 PM
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I'm sure you've done your research but I just wanted to point out that neither of these breeds does well in the heat. I'm guessing your in Oklahoma and if so, I wanted to mention that. As others have pointed out they also can be expensive due to health issues. With young, active children, I'd consider a standard poodle if you want something that doesn't shed.

Generally, people recommend against getting a dog for Christmas. There's a lot going on Christmas day which can be overwhelming for a new dog not to mention the presence of seasonal foods and plants which can be deadly. I think that the idea of giving them the bowls and leashes on Christmas day and then picking out a dog together is a great one.

Good luck with whatever you decide.
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