I am new to the forum and have come here for advice, all of which I will read, consider and be greatful for! I have had dogs all my life (mostly large breeds), usually I keep 2, and they are always rescues. However, this time is different. This time I am getting a puppy for my daughter who is almost 6. They will be going to puppy school together and she will be learning to care for it, walk it and train it. I will be fully assisting with all of this but am expecting they will at times be unsupervised at home (not home alone ever but I mean I do not always watch her in every room of the house!), so am looking to get a specific breed that would be best suited. SO... I am considering a Cocker Spaniel perhaps, or something of the like? My daughter is gentle but assertive, great with the other pets and very keen to learn the correct way to love her own dog.
I am a bit scared because I am terribly against the puppy mill issue and refuse to see a dollar go towards supporting it. I have never bought from a breeder, only rescued dogs as I mentioned before, so how do I go about this to do the right thing? Where do I find reputable breeders and how do I check that this pup is from a good place?
Facts about us.. We have 2 indoor cats that are fine with dogs. We have one dog that is a desexed wolfhound x, an 11 year old male that is the kindest, most gentle and perfect old dog in the whole world. We had another dog (a female cattle dog x) that lived with us until she passed of cancer last july aged 12. She and Mannie were the best of mates and never once had a disagreement. She was very much my daughters dog and they spent all their time together. It has taken me this long to consider another dog. My heart was in a million pieces when she died.
We also have chickens that are in a secure pen but free range only when I am home. I am home every morning til school time, back every afternoon, and if I'm not I actually organise a pet sitter as I never leave them alone overnight. That said I do spend at least 2 full days home every week. Whenever I am home my dogs are inside, unless they indicate they would rather be out. Dog gets leisurely walked at least 3 times a week (as fast and far as a 5 yr old can go!), we have a smallish yard but a dog off leash park just up the road. Only my daughter and I live here, but we often have friends over to visit.
My ideal dog fits in with the crew, won't bite and will rarely bark, just like my boy I have now. Must be a female as I find that male and female combo has been better for me so far. After researching I am considering Cocker Spaniel but am open to suggestion. I love all of my animals very much and keep them until they die from old age, often in my arms, so I take bringing a new family member into my life very seriously, as I know just what "For life" entails. So please, feel free to give me any advice, tips, ideas, ANYTHING, that you think will help me make an educated decision.
Thanks dog lovers x