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Up Topic Dog Boards / General / Considerations when getting a second dog?
- By poodlenoodle Date 18.04.17 16:49 GMT
Please talk to me about the things you would consider adding a second dog to your household (i know lots of you have many dogs so just adding another advice is great too).

In the (theoretical) scenario dog one would be 15months, new dog would be 8 week old puppy of same sex and breed.

Things I have already realised:

Existing dog is unlikely to fall in love at first sight and there will need to be several weeks of closely managed interactions.

Puppy will need to be trained and exercised away from first dog until the basics are down.

Existing dog's training will need to continue as usual.

Both dogs will need opportunities to be on their own with and without the humans.

Same sex (boys) should be okay but might mean neutering in future. I have no plans to ever add a bitch but accept future neutering as a possibility.

What else would you consider important to think about/plan for?
- By biffsmum [gb] Date 18.04.17 17:25 GMT Upvotes 3
For me the first dog would need to be at the stage where it would be a positive influence on any new addition. Far better to concentrate on producing a well adjusted, obedient adult (so at least 2 years old) before introducing another pup of the same sex. I've found that it also depends a lot on the individual household, whether they are a dog experienced family or not. Another thing to factor in is that the new puppy won't be able to have the same level of exercise as the existing adult, so being able to do 2 sets of walks is another issue to remember.
- By Jodi [gb] Date 18.04.17 17:57 GMT Upvotes 4
I got another dog when the first one was 15 months and really I do wish I had left it a bit longer.
One of the reasons I got the second one was to help give the first one more confidence which it did very well, but the two of them had a tendency to form a pack when out together and go off hunting. I worked hard on the training especially with the second dog, but that tendency was always there and I was careful about letting them both off the lead together.

With hindsight I would have left it until the first dog was at least two and probably older then that
- By Harley Date 18.04.17 19:21 GMT Upvotes 1
Apart from the obvious financial costs, insurance, food, vaccinations etc, you also have to consider the increase in kennel fees if you ever need to use them. Two of my dogs are happy to share but the third needs to have his own space so it costs me extra as I have to pay for two kennels. Have only every used them twice and both times it was for a family wedding but one of those took place over a Bank Holiday weekend and instead of just an overnight stay I had to pay for the three days of the BH which came just under £150 and I certainly wasn't expecting that when the wedding was first planned.

Then you need to think about space in the car if all the family is travelling together along with all the dogs. Mine travel in custom made crates that fill the space behind the rear seats so the boot area cannot be used for luggage, shopping etc. My crate is divided so the large dogs have their side each and the smaller dog (who mainly lives with my daughter now) has a crate fixed onto the back seat so this again reduces the available space.

Not all dogs in the same household get on together so I would never get another dog just because I thought an existing dog needed a companion (not saying that's your reasoning). Dog 1 and 2 get on brilliantly, Dog 3 ignores Dog 1 but finds Dog 2 far too bouncy and quick and these two have to be separated in the house and garden.

Just different things to think about :grin:
- By Nikita [gb] Date 18.04.17 19:47 GMT Upvotes 2
I agree with the age thing.  15 months is still very young IME, 2+ would be much better.  Several of my dogs have come to me at 13/14 months and have still been very much teenagers and in need of work and maturity.
- By ali-t [gb] Date 18.04.17 20:47 GMT
Dont believe people who say 2 dogs isnt any harder than 1 - it is. Walking can be a nightmare as you need to have eyes in the back of your head.  It is also much harder to deal with other people's disobedient/reactive/in season dogs when you have both hands full.  That said, there are double the cuddles, fun times and magic moments.
- By Blay [us] Date 19.04.17 09:38 GMT
Agree with ali-t that having two dogs IS harder work sometimes.  With regard to the walking, when we had two, I would sometimes have one on the lead and one off and keep alternating them during the walk (depending on where we were walking and how likely it was that we would meet a lot of hooligans!)  This worked really well and helped the dog on the lead to learn a bit of extra patience and restraint - good opportunity to teach calm on-lead walking even when distracted!

There is, inevitably, more mess/mud and hair (though I appreciate not so much hair with poodles!) and of course, more expense.  Then there is the separate walking (according to age) and lots of separate training to be done.

Having said all that the joy of having two is immense.  Extra cuddles, great company, loads of extra training opportunities and wonderful companionship for the dogs.

We have recently lost our older dog - beloved Flatcoat, only ten - and miss him dreadfully.  Having been inconsolable for the first few weeks after losing him I am pretty sure we will come round to adding a new canine member to the family - not least because our younger boy (3.5 years old) also appears to REALLY miss him and has never lived without another dog until now ...

I never regretted having two and happily took on the 'extra' work.  For us the advantages fair outweigh the disadvantages.

Good luck with your decision.
Blay  XX
- By poodlenoodle Date 19.04.17 13:24 GMT
Many thanks to all for your thoughts.

I am currently running through all the potential problems to help inform my decision but my heart has decided already, if that makes sense.

Training classes run on different days for the different levels/ages so that isn't an issue (in fact I am currently unable to get to dog club, whereas puppy and foundation classes are a different night which I can make).

I think the most important things I need to work on in the interim is sharpening up the existing dog's recall (he is still on a long line but now returns on first command about 90% of the time when there is another dog he wants to play with, 100% at all other times) and making sure his behaviour in the home is such I don't mind it being copied. The only issue I've had is barking at passersby going by the window, but he is getting very good at shutting up immediately if told "off" so both just need a bit more focus on my part.
- By Lexy [gb] Date 19.04.17 13:30 GMT
I suspect those whom say having 2 isn't much harder are those (like myself) that have many more...at the moment I have six, 5 adults(ranging from 4 to 14.5 years) & one 8 month puppy. :wink:
- By poodlenoodle Date 19.04.17 13:36 GMT
It's the same with kids lexy. A woman on the bus was telling me how she had had her second kid, with a 7 year age gap, and how incredibly hard it was. I have three with same gap between oldest and youngest, two have autism and one of those is very severe, the other has ADHD too! I just nodded and smiled sympathetically. :lol:
- By Nikita [gb] Date 19.04.17 14:20 GMT
IME, whether having two is so much harder than one depends entirely on the dogs involved.  I've added some dogs here who just slotted in, and I've added some who have made everything indescribably harder!

Possibly it might be easier if #2 is a puppy but again, it depends.  When I added my rottX pup to my dobe pup, it wasn't particularly difficult (although I did put a ton of work into them separately for the first two years), but when I added my collie pup to my group 4 years ago, she was incredibly hard work as an individual so really added to my workload.
- By JeanSW Date 19.04.17 17:03 GMT

> I suspect those whom say having 2 isn't much harder are those (like myself) that have many more...


Yup!   :grin:  :grin:  :grin:
- By malwhit [gb] Date 19.04.17 17:17 GMT
I have had four dogs which I found hard work even though they were all quite well behaved and got on together.

Now I have 3 and am enjoying it - much easier to walk them, and I can take out the younger one whilst the two older ones are having some peace.
I thought I would have problems introducing a two year old Mini Schnauzer but it went well - she is all bark and no bite, which the others soon ignored.
- By Brainless [gb] Date 19.04.17 20:55 GMT
I agree, at least two years age gap, preferably three.

Unless this is a very dog dominant breed known for being same sex aggressive there should be no need for neutering, especially with a larger age gap..
- By jameswhitehouse [gb] Date 20.04.17 13:35 GMT
Completely agree with you on this; really depends on the dogs. Have friends who are trainers who say they always advise against, but we integrated our two bitches with one another following a rushed rescue (mild mannered mature staffie and incoming american bulldog puppy). We previously had two bitches from the same litter that fought and bickered their entire lives.
- By Admin (Administrator) Date 21.04.17 06:58 GMT
Facebook reply:

Michelle Richman  says: Have you got time, money and commitment for another dog ?
Type of dog, size of dog, sex of dog, age of dog ..... so many things to think about BUT in my opinion if you gotta think to much then another dog aint right for you.
- By LucyDogs [gb] Date 21.04.17 10:04 GMT Upvotes 6

>BUT in my opinion if you gotta think to much then another dog aint right for you


Couldn't disagree more with this!! You should never just leap into buying another dog without a moment's thought! The more you think about it, the more likely to make the right decision. Poodlenoodle has shown herself over this past year or 18 months to be a fabulous owner which most of our breeders would be lucky to find, and I'm sure she will give the question a lot of careful thought and research and make the right decision for her.

I've had as many as 4 dogs of my own, though when I've been looking after friends' dogs I think I've got up to 7 or so. All the same easygoing breed so it's quite easy to integrate different groups, but still can be tricky with the different house rules!
- By Gundog Girl [gb] Date 21.04.17 11:10 GMT
Hi, I've always had multi dog households with different breeds and sexes. You have had lots of good advice here, and although I don't have an age cut off for introducing a new pup at two years, I wait until the newest dog is fully trained and then only think about introducing another dog/pup. I rely on my existing dogs to help me in training up a new pup and as puppies learn bad habits as easily as good ones the resident dogs need to be properly trained before I would consider adding another. So for example, if your current dog barks at people walking past the window, the pup will pick up on that and you may have two dogs barking with enthusiasm and being buoyed on by each other. Potentially lots more barking.
The first 6 months will be hard work as during that time with a new puppy you will have to walk both dogs separately, get house training sorted and basic training. After that it's not much more work than having one dog. More expensive, more time juggling (vet trips etc) but I love watching my dogs working together and keying off each other. Sometimes on a walk they just bump into each other and exchange a look and then run off seeing who can outrun the other, just playing.
Before you get another dog I would advise you borrow a friends dog and see how you cope with walking two dogs on a lead and keeping check on two dogs off lead (their noses don't always take them in the same direction). I have a flat coat and a gwp, both weigh 35Kg+ which I walk together on a lead (usually a double ended halti) so thats a combined 70Kg of dog and if they were not properly trained to walk to heel on a lead I would have no hope of controlling them together. 
Also some dogs just don't get on, so if you do get a pup be prepared that you may have to return it to the breeder or rehome if your current dog takes against it. That doesn't happen often but it can.
Hope that helps.
- By monkeyj [gb] Date 21.04.17 12:09 GMT

> Before you get another dog I would advise you borrow a friends dog and see how you cope with walking two dogs on a lead


I feel this is entirely a matter of getting used to, first time you walk two dogs on a lead it will most likely seem uncomfortable and hard work, few more times and it will become natural.

I walk two terriers at a time, each on 5m extension lead and each is allowed to roam the length of the lead however they want (and boy don't they do just that). It was long time ago but I remember first time taking a pair out, in 10min I was all sweaty and thought OMG this is crazy. Now it almost feels subconscious it is so easy to manage. :smile:
- By ali-t [gb] Date 21.04.17 12:37 GMT Upvotes 2

> I feel this is entirely a matter of getting used to, first time you walk two dogs on a lead it will most likely seem uncomfortable and hard work, few more times and it will become natural. <br /><br />I walk two terriers at a time, each on 5m extension lead and each is allowed to roam the length of the lead however they want (and boy don't they do just that). It was long time ago but I remember first time taking a pair out, in 10min I was all sweaty and thought OMG this is crazy. Now it almost feels subconscious it is so easy to manage. <img title="smile" class="fsm fsm_smile" alt=":smile:" src="/images/epx.png" />


I used to walk a staffy and rottie both on extending leads (obviously safely and not extended on pavements and roads) and it initially feels like double dutch skipping but becomes very easy and manageable after getting used to it.

totally disagree with the person who says about not thinking too much - is this not why dogs end up in rescue because people haven't planned and prepared.
- By poodlenoodle Date 21.04.17 13:44 GMT Upvotes 2
Thanks all for your continued thoughts.

Having discussed things with a trainer and the breeder a bit (more discussions to come of course!) I am leaning towards getting the puppy in question. But this thread has been extremely helpful in making me aware of the potential pitfalls and things I need to be aware of. There is a lady who lives near me who has two unrelated nine month old GSDs. They are walked and trained separately and due to their diligence none of the common two-the-same-age problems have occurred and they are two lovely, nicely trained and nicely developing dogs. I am aware 15months is on the young side for adding another dog, and wanted to get a proper picture of what I might be getting myself into!

I have often walked several dogs at once so that doesn't worry me. Additionally he only really pulls on the lead in excitement about seeing other dogs, and at the moment is in a dogmatic due to a back injury (of mine) so he really cannot pull - I have been giving him short training walks on just the collar and leash to sharpen up his heelwork too. I am in general sharpening up his training in preparation, and have got everyone in the house being more diligent about calling him off if he barks at the window.

The comment about needing to think means you shouldn't do it - I actually know exactly what the poster means, but those who have had to suffer my questions and comments all these months know that if I took that stance I'd probably still be in a nursery somewhere wondering if I should perhaps start primary school. :lol:
- By Nikita [gb] Date 22.04.17 10:26 GMT

> totally disagree with the person who says about not thinking too much - is this not why dogs end up in rescue because people haven't planned and prepared.


Spot on.  Nothing wrong with planning and thinking things through carefully, especially considering the fun you've had with him thus far around other dogs!
- By Jessica B Date 22.04.17 11:38 GMT
My first dog was only 9mths old when I got the second aged 3mths, however, the first was quite mature even at that age. There are lots of things to consider but in general, if you think it's too much hard work, just wait. If, however, you're up for the challenge, then I love having two only 6mths apart.

People will say different things but it all comes down to your lifestyle.
- By chaumsong Date 22.04.17 12:21 GMT Edited 22.04.17 12:24 GMT

> My first dog was only 9mths old when I got the second aged 3mths, however, the first was quite mature even at that age


It definitely depends on the individual dog doesn't it. My youngest was used at stud when he was 2 and I intended having a daughter of his back, however I knew he just wasn't mature enough yet to be a good role model so good friends have his daughter instead, she will be bred from next year hopefully and I'll have his grandchild instead, by that time he will be 5 and the rest 7, 9 and 15 - for me that's an ideal spread.

The rest of silkens are only 2 years apart but that really was just circumstances that forced my hand, at the time of getting them there were so few silkens in the UK that you had to grab whatever opportunity arose. I don't regret it at all, they're all fantastic dogs, the older two silkens were much more mature at 2 than the youngest.

To Poodlenoodle, it does sound like you've made your mind up, and I know you'll put in the hard work necessary to make it work. If I was in your position I wouldn't be getting another one just yet, your boy still sounds like he needs a lot of work and with your children too I'd be waiting a few years before adding another.

Of course you also have to consider the other end of the dogs life. It's really hard to lose one, to lose two or more close together is just awful. Also from an entertainment point of view I like to spread mine out so I have someone young enough to race and show at all times :-)
- By poodlenoodle Date 22.04.17 16:23 GMT
I think I am going to go ahead, yes. This is a repeat mating, and the puppy is my dog's full brother. There may never be another repeat, and will only be as a maximum one more litter from his mother, which of course may not happen either. Obviously every puppy is different but genetically a full sibling is extremely attractive to me, given my boy's health, temperament around the house and especially with my autistic children.

It's difficult to know as a first timer (at raising a puppy) how my existing boy will change as he matures. For example he has more patience with small children than my last dog EVER had, and is better off lead than he ever was too. I feel a bit guilty that he is misrepresented to everyone here - I don't often post my triumphs, only my worries, and being the proactive sort I post immediately I am concerned about something, before I even know if it's a pattern or not. Remember the scent marking? Bar once, in the first three minutes in a holiday lodge he was unfamiliar with (when he peed on the only familiar thing - our luggage!), he has NEVER done it again. And how other dogs acted aggressively towards him? Bar a few times (with dogs who are aggressive in general) that never happened again either. There are so many things I've sought advice about that turned out not to be needed as it was simply a one off blip and me being that sort went straight to finding a "just in case" solution. He isn't perfect but he's better behaved than all the young dogs I know except those owned by my trainers. By average pet standards he's awesome for a 13mo.

The age thing in terms of two aging/ailing/dying dogs is something I think about. But relatives recently lost a 7mo pup to an aortic arch malformation, my neighbour's 8yo GSD has lost the use of her hind limbs. A friend's dog was let out by a child retrieving a football, knocked down and killed on the road, age 3. Another friend just found out her 6yo bitch has very bad, already spread everywhere, cancer. We get no guarantees in life. But I thank you most sincerely for the advice, it means I can pre empt so many of the potential pitfalls and plan ways around the ones that cannot be completely avoided.
- By Lexy [gb] Date 22.04.17 16:24 GMT
I have to say I always recommend a minimum age gap of 2 years & more if possible.
Our eldest is 15 next month, his daughter has just turned 11, her daughters are 4.5 & the youngest(a daughter of one of the 4.5 year olds) is 9 months. Just under 5 months ago we unexpectedly lost our 12 year old, so you cant tell which will leave first but I wouldn't want to add to my 'pack' for about 3 years. When I had the 11 year old I was very keenly showing so there was only a 18 month gap between her & the one we lost but I slowed up quite a bit in the last 5 or so years....
- By saxonjus Date 24.04.17 14:57 GMT Upvotes 1
My question would be have you thought about the impact of a second dog on the entire household? I'm aware two of your children have Autism and they and you have gone through a lot bringing up your current dog.
I'd just say imagine your worst bad day with household problems,your not feeling great,children off on half term, older dog wanting to go out and puppy had another accident!
I forgot how hard it was raising/teaching/looking after a  young puppy. I always wanted two however after major surgery &my boy now 4 years I'm not sure I could cope with another puppy!
Lots of luck xxx
- By Silverfox [gb] Date 29.04.17 20:53 GMT
Hi I had a dog for a number of years but due to family commitments haven't had a dog since our dog died. Now both of us are retired we are getting a puppy as we have the time, would it be a bad idea to get two puppies so they can grow up together
- By Tommee Date 29.04.17 21:01 GMT
In a word yes have a read of
Stan Rawlinson's thoughts on littermate syndrome
- By monkeyj [gb] Date 30.04.17 02:00 GMT

> In a word yes have a read of Stan Rawlinson's thoughts on littermate syndrome


Personally I thought the article is rather sweeping. Perhaps some of what the author writes about is more likely to occur with certain breeds, but definitely not with all. And there are few rather unsubstantiated and at times frankly puzzling statements ("unfortunately the domestic dog doesn't have this switch, massive over-bonding can therefore occur." Eh?), and apparent contradictions (using the "alpha dog" theory as part of the argument in one place, and relying on its "myth" in another).

Overall what is sounds like is a "rule of thumb" advice directed at new/inexperienced owners. To that extent I agree, I would not let two puppies go to an inexperienced home together.

So far as experienced owners are concerned, at least in my breed (terriers) the only reason against raising two pups is that it is going to be a hard work. Of course you'll have to give them separate attention, but this applies to any multi-dog household regardless of the age differences between the dogs. With puppies it is simply that the level of attention they require is greater than that of the adult, so when you have two puppies your work is doubled. Of course the puppies will need to have their own space, but this again applies to any multi-dog household. Of course there is a risk of fighting, but this yet again applies to any multi dog household. While this risk is increased in same-age puppies imo it has nothing to do with puppies "totally relying on each other" and resulting "frustrations", but with the simple fact of having two teenagers living in the house. Of course you'll need to train the puppies separately, unless that is you are an Indian goddess with multiple limbs.

Many breeders do successfully keep and raise littermates, my friend for example has done this for at least four or five generations, and every time the puppies grew into absolutely healthy and stable temperament adults. I think of my friend as a particular example because her approach is very minimal and hands-off. Her puppies sleep in a kennel in adjoining runs, but at all other times they are together running in an out of the house and in the gardens. Her training is very minimal - walking on a show lead individually and together, standing on a table while being examined, allowing touching teeth/testicles etc. All of this she does in her gardens/house, she doesn't take her dogs for walks except initial socialisation in the village, and subsequent trips to the shows (their household is a busy one however with frequent visitors and lots of going on, and they have extensive gardens around). This way she successfully raised two females, two males, and male/female combinations.
- By Louise Badcock [gb] Date 30.04.17 07:52 GMT
I don't think your friend's approach would be ideal for pet dogs. It may work for show dogs, never to see the ouside world of ponds rivers tracks rabbits but mine would go mad stuck in the garden and house all day. I got a second dog when Finn was about 2. I do confess that she tended to copy Finn rather than be trained as such. I put much more work into Finn and am about to restart training the little one again who is coming up to 2 now.
i would not get 2 pups at the same time. How about an older dog and a puppy if you really want 2 at the same time.
Louise
- By Jodi [gb] Date 30.04.17 08:39 GMT
Silverfox, it really depends on why you are thinking about getting two pups together. Is it so you have one dog each to train, walk and care for or is it because you think that the dogs will be company for one another?
If the former, then if you can largely separate the puppies for quite a bit of the day, train them separately, walk them separately and allow play times together for limited periods until both dogs are well rounded adults, then this could work quite well. But I suspect as a newly retired couple you would quite like to spend time together rather then apart with each individual dog.
If you are thinking of getting two dogs as companions for one another, then don't bother. The dogs would probably enjoy having each other - for a while, as they get older they may well become more competitive with each other and there could be fallout from that.
Dogs thrive on human attention and enjoy living with humans. As you will be retired you will around most of the time and the dog will enjoy having you there to interact with, cuddle up to of an evening and be taken to new and interesting places, it won't need to have another dog as company, it will have you for that.
- By monkeyj [gb] Date 30.04.17 08:42 GMT

> I don't think your friend's approach would be ideal for pet dogs. It may work for show dogs, never to see the ouside world of ponds rivers tracks rabbits but mine would go mad stuck in the garden and house all day.


No they wouldn't - if your dogs have never seen a river, trust me they will not miss it :smile: Personally I walk my dogs all the time, 2-3 and more hours long walks, I love the ouside world of ponds rivers tracks rabbits etc and my dogs love it too. But I've been to my friend many times and her dogs are just as equally happy as mine are.

I do think it helps that her house is large, busy and is set among some 3 acres of land with trees and hedges and I'm sure a rabbit or two pass it from time to time :smile: It also helps I believe that she usually keeps no more than 3-4 dogs at a time, which means they always get plenty of attention (in this I follow her approach).

I contrast this situation with my other fellow breeder, she also has a large house but smaller parcel of land, but her land is divided into runs, and she keeps 6-8 dogs at a time. This lady also does not walk her dogs, and majority of the time they spend in the runs where they can see each other, but cannot see the house or what is going on in the yard. She also keeps her dogs individually in the runs, as she doesn't want to risk occasional fight or injury from rough playing etc. She too of course trains her dogs (again similar minimal show training), takes them out of the runs for a brush etc, but there is no escaping the thought that majority of the time dogs spend kind of alone and I think that might be boring.
Up Topic Dog Boards / General / Considerations when getting a second dog?

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