A dog that isn't a nuisance/danger around small animals

ArklePig

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Hello!

It looks like we are all go to complete on our house in February. With that in mind, we are beginning to put the plans in motion for our first dog. We would ideally like a rescue dog, but we have no idea what sort of dog to be looking for- I see all these adorable dogs up for rehoming and have no idea if they're the right 'sort' for us if you see what I mean.

The most important thing of course is our 3 guinea pigs. Obviously would never leave dog and piggies together unattended but we don't want our pigs constantly barked at/being eyed up as a tasty snack or equally the dog to be driven mad by their smell. When our friends visit we notice it's the terrier types that tend to be demented by the pigs, which makes sense I guess.

So that's our must have requirement, our nice to haves are;

Will do Big Walks with OH, affectionate, good with other dogs, be trainable to not be a nuisance around horses/on the yard on a lead. Can cope with being left alone for short periods of time- I would never go out to work etc. and leave the dog at home. OH works from home, and looks set to continue but we would like our dog to be able to cope with the odd day at doggy daycare/dog minders. Although we both grew up with dogs this will be our first dog together and we really just want a nice all rounder/best friend.

We have no preference on size although ideally nothing too tiny. My favourite dogs are Irish Water Spaniels (rarely seen one of those in a rescue) /Labs and OHs are Labs and Newfoundlands (although they die too young for my liking). In saying that, I've never met a breed I thoroughly disliked but that's just an idea of what we are drawn to.

Anyway, apologies for my rambling but I'd love to hear what kind of dogs people recommend that might fit in and be happy with us?
 

ArklePig

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I love IWS but I think it's nostalgia as my grandad always kept them. My uncle has bred in the past too but his bitch has had two litters and he's not breeding another so I've missed the boat on that! Just not sure if they're for us or not? I feel like i need to be firmish in what I want or else I'll get something with 2 and a half legs who hates people cause I feel sorry for it 😂
 

sportsmansB

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I have collies who would tick all your boxes. Two a penny in rescues unfortunately. I have had collies for a while now, because they are super smart and have plenty of energy, but are also kind and affectionate and just lovely animals. Mine are fine to be left alone when I have to go out to work (which is only a day a week or so) as long as they have had a good hours walk before hand, They just snooze all day. Collies can be anxious but if they have a routine and people they trust, they are the most amazing dogs, I don't think I'll ever have any other. I have lots of outside cats and the dogs don't bother with them- I'm sure the older one would not bother with the piggies, and the pup would be interested but they are so desperate to please me that if they are told no they just take that as gospel. Don't know if mine are so keen to please me because they came from rescues or if it is just their nature.
 

Birker2020

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Well done on wanting a rescue. I don't envy the difficulty you will probably encounter, I've heard so many people say the vetting process is really stringent. Of course it depends on why the dog is a rescue and its history before arriving at your doorstep as to whether it would fit in with your circumstances. I can recommend a beagle.

Our beagle aged 8 was a rescue from Beagle Welfare, she was 2 when we had her and was rehomed twice before returning to the charity. She's a lovely dog, her breed would tick most if not all your boxes. I can honestly say we've never had any trouble with her.

She's our second beagle together and my partners 4th.
Have a look at these adorables https://www.beaglewelfare.org.uk/rehoming/

I know beagles probably sound the worse dog to have with small furries but any dog can be good with proper and correct training. Our dog is told to stop barking and she stops, if she looks like she wants to chase next doors cat she's told no and doesn't.
 
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windand rain

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Lab or golden retriever for size and longevity although my Newfoundland bitch lived until she was almost 16 the dog died at 7. They are all great with kids and small furries although that isn't a given in any rescue or older rehome. If you can find a nice well health tested youngish newfoundland and have the room for one they would be my first choice but they are very hairy and can drool. Another thing mine didn't do to excess
Are beagles that trainable and good with furries though I have not met many that had reliable recall and have met many that never go off lead just curious as I quite fancy one as a smaller house dog
 

BallyJ

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I'd also recommend avoiding Terriers ours is 'good' around small furries but I wouldn't trust her 100% as if they move quickly she does twitch!

Our lab on the other hand is lovely and would tick your boxes! We have spent alot of time training her!!
 

ArklePig

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Oooh she is lovely Joanna!

Beagles are tempting as well they're just the quintessential dog aren't they. Pleased to see labs coming out a bit of a winner so far, and I had also considered a collie so that's reaffirming that I'm on the right track.

Terriers and small furries gives me heebie jeebies so they're definitely out for the next couple of years.

I think this thread is telling me exactly what I wanted to hear. I love when that happens :p
 

smolmaus

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I know Almost Home in Moira also rehome piggies and buns from their rescue so they might be more able to test dogs with small furries than other rescues.

We had a lovely GSHP come in the other week who would tick your other boxes but we can't really test for small animals unless the foster home happens to have them unfortunately.
 

Birker2020

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Are beagles that trainable and good with furries though I have not met many that had reliable recall and have met many that never go off lead just curious as I quite fancy one as a smaller house dog
Like Pearlasinger said its to do with training. Yes as hounds they probably don't sound a good match but our beagle is good with next doors cat, and our previous one didn't look twice at our hens, mind you she was a bit daft and her and a youngish fox used to play over the fields together, my partner watched this on more than one occasion!
 

sportsmansB

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I'd forgotten you are local @ArklePig
I got my newer collie from Paws & People in Banbridge. I felt they had a more realistic rehoming policy than some - my garden is not fully enclosed but it is huge, and I have another dog who hasn't been allowed to run away- they took my word for it that I wouldn't leave the pup outside on his own to wander, and indeed I don't. Others would turn me down due to no enclosed garden. They did come and home check.
 

ArklePig

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Thank you @sportsmansB equally I forgot you are local too! The garden is enclosed ish we just need to put a gate between it and the driveway which we're arranging as our first job. Luckily the house is a refurbishment so we've no other real work to do so we should be able to get doggy sooner rather than later.

I will start following them and keep an eye out for what pops up!
 

misst

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Well we have almost always had terriers. They seem to understand the difference between pets belonging to our families and other peoples pets.

We have had cats with terriers - the cats ruled the roost. We have chickens - they will peck and corner the terriers if they think the eggs are being stolen! My son has a terrier with a hamster. Our dogs are super interested in the hamster but don't bark at it if it is staying with us. A firm LEAVE will make them back away from the cage.

Mine can and have killed squirrels in the garden and tried to get them on the common. They will bark at next doors cats from the safety of a window or whlist on a lead. They sometimes run towards them out the front but the cats hiss and spit and the dogs turn away. If the cats come into our garden they are chased and barked at.
I think it is training and territory related.

One of our current terriers is a rehome. He was under a year and an ex Spanish stray (don't ask!). He is reliable with chickens and the hamster and if we got more small furries I am confident he would be fine. The other terrier we have had since a puppy and she is reliable with small furries but yappy in general. That is my fault not hers :)

All that said I would never leave them unsupervised and uncaged together because dogs are dogs at the end of the day.
 

P3LH

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Smooth collie. The vulnerable British breed not the short haired border collie. Nice size, nice coat, nice temperament - calm, placid, bright and sociable.

If you were looking at the smaller end of the scale - Pembroke corgi, dog not bitch. Bright, sociable, trainable and generally neutral about other dogs, other animals, and everything that isn’t food.

Both breeds take as much or as little exercise as you can throw at them once adults.
 

ArklePig

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@P3LH I had never even entertained a corgi but what's not to love. Curious as to why you say a dog not a bitch? I have a very mild preference for a bitch but I admit that is based on absolutely nothing. Do you mean just with this breed or do you prefer dogs in general across the breeds?
 

CanteringCarrot

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I also vote for a Lab. I've always had a cat in the house when I've had a Lab with no problems. The Lab tends to want to be friendly toward other animals and is curious, not in a hunting or stalking sort of way. They are quite trainable too and I can imagine training one to live with smaller animals (aside from cats). Mine is always up for a walk, but once in a great while when we can't walk (really bad storm or I have some sort of lameness) she's ok then too.

Mine is on the smaller side, and I like her size. It's just right. I think they're good all around dogs. Mine comes to the yard once in awhile, and she's easy to manage there too. Just have to make sure she's not finding things to eat the second I turn my back. Not interested in poo, but someone spilled some hay cobs on the floor and she went nuts, as if she struck gold 🤦‍♀️ so they can be a bit food (or what looks like food) driven, but this also comes in handy for training purposes 😅 and my last Lab had less interest in food/foodlike items. We've always had bitches, so no experience with a dog.
 

P3LH

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@P3LH I had never even entertained a corgi but what's not to love. Curious as to why you say a dog not a bitch? I have a very mild preference for a bitch but I admit that is based on absolutely nothing. Do you mean just with this breed or do you prefer dogs in general across the breeds?
From experience in this breed the dogs are generally more easy going, the bitches (although not all, but it appears a majority) are very opinionated and this often translates into ‘well why would I?’ Whereas the dogs are a bit more ‘what next?’

I currently have two, alongside an elderly rough collie and I did have a smooth (although he was a coated throwback) until last summer too. They are very hardy and sensible dogs. I know big dog in small package is used to describe many breeds - but this one is where it truly applies.

Equally for a bigger dog, smooth collies all the way. Like fine racehorses!
 

sportsmansB

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Thank you @sportsmansB equally I forgot you are local too! The garden is enclosed ish we just need to put a gate between it and the driveway which we're arranging as our first job. Luckily the house is a refurbishment so we've no other real work to do so we should be able to get doggy sooner rather than later.

I will start following them and keep an eye out for what pops up!
How exciting! Yes do follow them, they are only a small rescue and trying their best. My Murphy dog is an absolute pet, and unlike some of the bigger busier rescues the whole process of getting him was quick and smooth. I always err towards bitches but this guy was already neutered at 6 months (some say thats too early, I don't know but it was already done anyway) and he doesn't act like a boy dog, no leg lifting etc. He is a shorter haired border collie. The other one is a Smooth collie (completely different coat, but they look very similar in other ways) and like someone mentioned above she is calmer and could take or leave a walk if necessary, whereas he needs to be tired out more (though he is still a pup). They come to the yard with me and while he has a strong herding instinct, he got told off quickly when he first tried with a horse and hasn't tried again. He does try and herd cats and children but in a nice way and again a sharp 'no' and he's devastated to have disappointed you.
They can go all day for long walks and messing around in the garden, but then sleep all night and at any opportunity in between the running.
So easy to train - both came from rescues and were not house trained, and learned within a week.
 

lozzles

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I think it depends a lot on the individual dog. We had a pair of golden retrievers who seemed to see our guinea pigs as small dogs and were very sweet with them. Equally our more working bred golden retriever would have needed heavy supervision with an open top run as had much more prey drive but we didn't have guinea pigs when we had her so its hard to say if she'd have been different if used to small furries at home.
 
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