When is the right time to get another puppy?
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Thread: When is the right time to get another puppy?

  1. #1
    Member Super_Nova's Avatar
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    Nova is a year old. She is amazing and I really love working with her. She is without a doubt, the best dog I've ever owned. Great with my family, great with everyone, really. But I have awful puppy fever, worse puppy fever I've ever had. I really want a CherCar or Vrijheid puppy, I have been stalking their websites looking at their puppy plans. Is it too soon for another puppy? I'm not nearly done training/ competing with Nova, is it hard to train/ compete with two dogs?

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    Senior Member CptJack's Avatar
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    Re: When is the right time to get another puppy?

    I got Molly when Kylie was 2 - I also got Thud when Kylie was 6 months old, but Thud was accidental and I never competed with him or intended to. Honestly? Yeah. It's hard. It's much harder to try to train and compete with 2 dogs. It's harder to manage the money, the time, and the training with the two of them than it is with the 3 other dogs combined. Way, way harder than I anticipated. I figured there were more hours in the day than I trained, it would be fine and take pressure off Kylie! Not really how it worked out.

    Looking at it now, I really think my ideal would have been to have gotten Kylie into elite (we're mostly agility) in everything and then brought in a new puppy to train and bring up. As it stands, even at 2 years difference and the newer dog only competing for a few months, it's hard and both of their training has suffered. Because there are only so many hours in the day, I don't really have all the time in the world (especially during winter), the dogs still need downtime, bad weather happens, novice/green dogs and puppies take a TON of time and training.

    I don't regret it and I think you'll be okay, but hindsight being 20/20? I'd have waited until right about now (Kylie is 4.5) to bring in another sports prospect.
    Last edited by CptJack; 01-11-2017 at 03:46 PM.

    Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole. Roger Caras

  4. #3
    Member Super_Nova's Avatar
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    Re: When is the right time to get another puppy?

    Thank for your input. That's what my original plans were, to wait until Nova is 4/5 years old to get another. I suppose I'll stop torturing myself looking at puppies and *try* to wait a few more years.





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    Senior Member Jen2010's Avatar
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    Re: When is the right time to get another puppy?

    If you can wait, that's what I would recommend. My plan was to wait until Pepper was 4 before getting a second dog. Well that didn't happen - she'd just turned 2 when we got Kane. Pepper is such a hyper/energetic dog it was like having 2 puppies at the same time! Pepper is now 4 and has matured a lot in the last year. I wish I had waited until now to get a second dog, I think it just would have worked out better.

    It is so much more work just having two dogs, and that's without doing agility/extra training. Plus the closer the dogs are in age the more likely it is that you'll have two senior dogs at the same time (extra care/costs).
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    Senior Member CptJack's Avatar
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    Re: When is the right time to get another puppy?

    My plan, for the record, is actually to wait until Molly (the current youngest) is about *6*. That's a little longer than I'd like, and going forward I'll probably space for 4-5 years, but just... So much more than I expected.

    I will say that if you'd asked me this question *before* I got Molly competing, my answer would have been that I'd like another dog right about now. If Kylie had started competing, I wouldn't have gotten Molly when I did. There is something between that gap between 'little puppy' and foundations training and really mature adult (and in the case of competition, actively in the ring in a real way and working toward goals) that makes me really feel like I have this, it's done, time to start training a new dog, quick, someone give me a puppy.

    At least now I seem to have learned that, no, the puppy foundations and classes are actually just the start, there's a lot more training and in some ways much more intense training, that comes after.

    So, basically I wanted another puppy when Molly was 1. And 18 months. And 2. I did NOT want another dog when she was 2.5 and we were in the ring and I was staring at her green/baby dog nonsense. Especially while trying to work her into the private lesson rotation because KYLIE, the 'seasoned' and elite dog still has about a million things we need to work on.

    never mind the other sports I want to try taking bites out of my time.

    Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole. Roger Caras

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    Re: When is the right time to get another puppy?

    I generally have 2 dogs and there is generally 2 to 3 years difference in age.
    Mouse is little over 3 and currently with wifes health issues, all plans are on hold.
    If I won the lotto I'd have 20 of the big lugs but until then oh well.

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    Senior Member Desiree S's Avatar
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    Re: When is the right time to get another puppy?

    I also tried to adopt another pup when my Smokey was 11 months old. Almost had a heart attack, that says it all. She never displayed those acts of agression before! Snarlng, drooling and virtually wanting to eat the pup. I am stuck withONE dog forever unless she's much older. Mind you, she loves the other dogs she meets in the park!

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    Senior Member elrohwen's Avatar
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    Re: When is the right time to get another puppy?

    If you have plans and goals for your first dog, I would wait. Puppies take sooo much time, and your adult's training will definitely fall to the wayside when the puppy comes. And if your adult is still young and still learning, you could miss out. I would wait until she's more of a "trained" dog and your work is mostly maintenance mode before you get a puppy.

    I'll add that it's especially hard to train and compete with dogs who are at the same basic level. Like, taking your older dog into novice agility while the younger one is also ready to start novice. I'm in that position now (because my older one took 4 years to mature, not because I got them too close together) and it's stressful. I often have to pick and choose who is doing what, because I can't put both of them in the same events back to back and stay sane.
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  11. #9
    Senior Member elrohwen's Avatar
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    Re: When is the right time to get another puppy?

    Quote Originally Posted by CptJack View Post
    My plan, for the record, is actually to wait until Molly (the current youngest) is about *6*. That's a little longer than I'd like, and going forward I'll probably space for 4-5 years, but just... So much more than I expected.

    I will say that if you'd asked me this question *before* I got Molly competing, my answer would have been that I'd like another dog right about now. If Kylie had started competing, I wouldn't have gotten Molly when I did. There is something between that gap between 'little puppy' and foundations training and really mature adult (and in the case of competition, actively in the ring in a real way and working toward goals) that makes me really feel like I have this, it's done, time to start training a new dog, quick, someone give me a puppy.

    At least now I seem to have learned that, no, the puppy foundations and classes are actually just the start, there's a lot more training and in some ways much more intense training, that comes after.

    So, basically I wanted another puppy when Molly was 1. And 18 months. And 2. I did NOT want another dog when she was 2.5 and we were in the ring and I was staring at her green/baby dog nonsense. Especially while trying to work her into the private lesson rotation because KYLIE, the 'seasoned' and elite dog still has about a million things we need to work on.

    never mind the other sports I want to try taking bites out of my time.
    Totally agree with all of this too. There's a big jump between foundations and actually competing and I think that's where you desire for a second dog will slow down a bit. My older dog wasn't able to compete, so I got a puppy who could. But if he had been actively competing at 3 I probably wouldn't have brought her home.

    Personally, I also find it a lot more fun to focus on training one dog. Now I have to put one in a crate while they whine, work with one, switch them out and remember what I was working on with the second dog. With one dog we did a lot more spontaneous sessions and really had fun focusing. With two I feel like I'm a bit more all over the place and sometimes somebody has to take a back seat. My older dog is fine with that, but it doesn't sound like you would be fine with Nova taking a back seat.

    Also, sometimes two dogs are 3x as much work. Mine really rev each other up, so taking one to class is easy, but taking both to the same class is chaos. Or walking both. Or taking them both downtown to walk around.
    Watson - Ch. Truepenny Olympic Triumph RN CGC | Welsh Springer Spaniel | DOB 8.2.12
    Hazel - Truepenny Bright Side of Life | Welsh Springer Spaniel | DOB 4.2.15

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    Senior Member lauren17's Avatar
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    Re: When is the right time to get another puppy?

    My current three are 13.5, 3 (in a month), and then the newest one is 4 months. My plan was to wait until the one was 5 and the senior had passed before getting a puppy but that didn't happen. It's going better than expected though since the middle dog has been slow to mature and is still very much a puppy. It is nice that the two younger will play. I converted the garage into the dog room so when I'm busy and can't keep an eye on the pup I will put the two young ones out there to play. It's also been good for my 3 year old to learn some patience while I'm working with the pup. The biggest issues I'm finding with having two young ones at once is that the 3 year old still has some issues we are working on so a lot of time and money is being spent training two dogs now. And thinking into the future I will have two senior dogs at once which could be costly. The last 3 years with my current senior have been a lot of vet visits and he's had times that he requires a lot of one on one attention when he's been sick. And then also having a senior and a puppy at the same time is a ton of work too. For example this week the puppy had vet visit and shots on Monday then senior dog got a terrible cough Tuesday from his congestive heart failure so more meds and vet bills for that. So ideally I think spacing them out every 5 years would be easiest but I don't regret getting my newest pup either..

  13. #11
    Senior Member CptJack's Avatar
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    Re: When is the right time to get another puppy?

    Quote Originally Posted by elrohwen View Post
    I'll add that it's especially hard to train and compete with dogs who are at the same basic level. Like, taking your older dog into novice agility while the younger one is also ready to start novice
    Kylie is THISCLOSE to elite everything-but-chances. Where she is novice. Let me tell you, that gap while open runs is the ONLY thing saving me from insanity at trials. That's the only shot I have to get Molly, have her potty, play with her, get her connected and focused and ready to go - and the only gap I have where I can reward Kylie properly, instead of shoving food in her face and then cramming her into a crate and ergo making her feel punished by my abrupt disconnection.

    I originally said "after Kylie's out of Novice/into Open" but had that plan worked out I'd have lost my freaking mind. Run order changes only help so much and, yeah, they'll both eventually be in elite, but at least there's no complication in 'novice dogs are baby dogs'.

    And honestly that's another thing. In sports you quickly realize any dog under about 4? Is a baby dog. Daily living, 1-2 is an adult. Sports? 4. Maybe 3, sometimes, mostly 4-5.
    Last edited by CptJack; 01-12-2017 at 10:28 AM.

    Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole. Roger Caras

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    Senior Member Lillith's Avatar
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    Re: When is the right time to get another puppy?

    Quote Originally Posted by CptJack View Post
    Kylie is THISCLOSE to elite everything-but-chances. Where she is novice. Let me tell you, that gap while open runs is the ONLY thing saving me from insanity at trials. That's the only shot I have to get Molly, have her potty, play with her, get her connected and focused and ready to go - and the only gap I have where I can reward Kylie properly, instead of shoving food in her face and then cramming her into a crate and ergo making her feel punished by my abrupt disconnection.

    I originally said "after Kylie's out of Novice/into Open" but had that plan worked out I'd have lost my freaking mind. Run order changes only help so much and, yeah, they'll both eventually be in elite, but at least there's no complication in 'novice dogs are baby dogs'.

    And honestly that's another thing. In sports you quickly realize any dog under about 4? Is a baby dog. Daily living, 1-2 is an adult. Sports? 4. Maybe 3, sometimes, mostly 4-5.
    And here I thought I was going to be through the baby dog thing by 2. Dang! lol

  15. #13
    Senior Member CptJack's Avatar
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    Re: When is the right time to get another puppy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lillith View Post
    And here I thought I was going to be through the baby dog thing by 2. Dang! lol
    Not even kind of. Not when it comes to sports, anyway. Settle in and buckle up, you've got a while to go before you see maturity in the ring. More maturity, certainly, but you can really tell when things 'click' in their head and they get down to business and it takes a WHILE.

    Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole. Roger Caras

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    Senior Member Laurelin's Avatar
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    Re: When is the right time to get another puppy?

    I like spacing dogs out 3-5 years.

    Right now I have three seniors at the same time and it sucks. (8, almost 12 and almost 13)

    With sport dogs the same goes. Ideally around 4-5 years apart.
    Mia CGC - (8 year old papillon)
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    Senior Member Kathyy's Avatar
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    Re: When is the right time to get another puppy?

    Once Sassy and Max were both in masters it was easy at trials as performance and championship are in the same ring. Was nuts before that for sure. Once they were at the same level in training which doesn't take long I ran both in the same class for 1.5x the usual fee. Since class was mostly for me that was definitely a bonus. Same for training at home. I could work two dogs and get twice the practice.

    I wouldn't get a new dog until first dog is like a comfortable shoe. Not an old shoe, just one that you love working with and is reliable. It was a joy to run experienced Sassy when Max was a nervous beginner.

    It's when the dogs get old that it's important have time for each. I spent a lot of time and money nursing Sassy and it was much worse with Max. Very glad we didn't go through that at the same time. It's possible it could happen even if dogs are spaced quite far apart of course.

  18. #16
    Senior Member ForTheLoveOfDogs's Avatar
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    Re: When is the right time to get another puppy?

    Welcome to my life a little less than 2 years ago. Puppy fever was ridiculous even though I loved my perfect Aussie girl. She was about a year and a half old before my husband and I decided we wanted another dog. We hadn't even started competing in agility yet but had quite a bit of training under our belts. Then we got this puppy.. this puppy who was the total opposite of my Aussie and honestly kind of weird. We don't actually get along very well all of the time. So to keep in mind.. if you love love love your current dog.. don't get one that is completely different. :P Anyways actually competing in sports is exhausting and takes up a lot of time.. and oh my gosh the money.

    I am SO thankful that my husband actually wanted to do agility classes with her. I cannot imagine having had to train that dog when my training with my current dog is not anywhere near complete. Kai is 3 1/2 years now and while we are still having fun with agility, we are also diving into other sports. There is so much you can do with just one dog and do it well! I know lots of people compete with two just fine but I don't think I could do multi dogs going to the same event unless my current dog was the easiest thing in the world. Also would have to get the most awesome gear/crate setup. The only part that I really enjoy at all about having two dogs of similar age is that they are both willing to be crazy in play together.

    Ember doesn't really count for me in the age difference count since she is my husbands dog. I also expect her to live well into her teens because she has the worst attitude ever.. haha. Kai will be at least 4-5 before the next puppy comes and I will probably do the every 5 years puppy plan from there after seeing how difficult two young dogs can be.

  19. #17
    Member Super_Nova's Avatar
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    Thanks for the advice everyone. It sounds like I will be waiting a couple more years.

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