I have found myself facing a difficult decision. As a long term animal lover, student of companion animal services and employee at a pet supply store I am finding myself conflicted and feeling uneducated.
There seems to be a hole in my heart that only a dog can fill. I know it sounds silly but particularly with my work and school revolving around animal care and particularly dogs, I have been desperate for a dog of my own.
The major problem I am facing is the fact that I have two rabbits who I love dearly and I appear to have fallen in love with the Beagle breed...obviously bred rabbit hunters. I have asked for advice on Beagle forums and even spoken to two Beagle breeders and have received mixed opinions on whether it is work the risk. Surprisingly both breeders have said they have had rabbits or ferrets around their dogs and not had a problem. But always there is a risk.
I have been looking around at other breeds but always come back to the Beagle, but I am open to other suggestions or more suitable breeds.
As well as the rabbit issue I seem to be facing a moral dilemma. Of course I am against animal cruelty, puppy farms and backyard breeding, I always thought I would adopt from a shelter. However, I am concerned that the age and behavioural problems of most shelter dogs and the fact that an overwhelming amount seem to be staffys would be a poor decision when keeping my other pets safe. I would be more than up to the challenge if was not concerned for my rabbits safety.
So of course that leaves registered and responsible breeders. I have been in contact with a great Beagle breeder and if I decide on a Beagle, that is where I will get it from. But I was considering a beagle cross to be a slightly safer issue, for example Beagliers, as Cavaliers are such placid dogs. Then there is the whole cross breed issue that many seem to face!! I am unsure of the issues that cross breeds can create, I am to believe that all dogs are cross breeds and descendants of wolves etc but so many people seem to be very against them and obviously it is hard to find a good breeder that crosses because apparently it is irresponsible to do so.
So I suppose I need advice on a few things. What breed would be suitable and a safer option for my rabbits? Would a Beagle be an irresponsible choice? Where should I get the dog from? Are cross breeds really that bad?
Also does anyone know anything about A C -A Pups, a puppy shop in In naloo, WA? They have information on the breeders they source from and have been reviewed by media and Bur k e's Back yard as having great standards and good conditions. But I would love to know more before I support them to be sure they aren't the same as most pet shops.