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Yeah this is another "I want to get a second dog" thread.....but there are some specifics I'm wondering about so I decided not to hijack. I'm thinking a dog, not a puppy, of about the same age and compatible size to Caeda.

Reasons I want a second dog: (please tell me if any of these are bad reasons, or ill considered ones)
- I love dogs! I would love to add another personality to our home (yes, I know there are potential problems in it, the dog would be carefully chosen).
- I would go for a rescue dog, prevent it from being put down or ending up spending life in a shelter, it feels good, though I know that there are potential issues there as part of the package.
- The joy of training another dog and learning about it and all of the fun (and frustration) that goes with that.
- Company for Caeda during the day....this isn't to take the heat off of me to walk and play with her, but I know she would enjoy the companionship when we aren't home.
-Added socialization with another dog for Caeda (and hopefully beneficial to the potential dog). Caeda is pretty hyper when she sees another dog. I'm guessing living with one will at least make her take the presence of another dog a little more for granted rather than a "great event". Not a great reason for wanting a dog, but I see it more as an added bonus.

Logistics questions:
-I've been wanting to get involved (when we are more settled) with Caeda in some sports, either herding or Schutzhund. Having a second dog to think about, would it be necessary to take them both to this kind of stuff or do an activity with the other dog. How much does this impact time for those of you who have multiple dogs and do activities with them?
- Do dogs learn good and bad habits from each other? Any scary or good things to consider here?
-With Caeda being a fairly boisterous player is it important that their sizes match well or is a meet and greet with a different sized dog still worthwhile for the personality factor?
-My fear of "crate and rotate". Caeda is used to having free roam now (well earned!), if I have to crate the other dog during the day what are potential problems there? How long or what signs are there to say dogs are ready to roam together without supervision (or is that ever ok?).
- Jealousy/territory. Caeda has shown no territorial issues with other dogs, though she has shown some signs of jealousy, not thrilled with us giving other dogs attention. No aggression, she just bullies her way in to get attention too. Is this a potential problem, or something that could be "fixed" if dealt with properly.
- Is this the best time to get a second dog considering we just moved into a new place. I'm concerned that Caeda might be a tiny bit stressed from all of the changes over the last couple of months (she hasn't shown major signs, but has had odd moments). Would a new dog make this worse, or is it the best time to teach her to share this new home of hers?

I'm not sure if its a good idea yet or not, I recently lost out on an opportunity for an incredible dog, for free....same size and age, and apparent energy level, some agility training, fantastic on leash, just not great off leash and occasionally chased cats (things I could train over time). Also a beautiful dog! Now I'm sort of kicking myself, so if another such opportunity comes up, I want to have a decision of YES or NO ready in my head. "he who hesitates is lost"....don't want to hesitate or second guess. I've never had more than one dog, so I'm really scared of this step, but excited too. My DH is very much on the fence.

Sorry for the long one, and for belabouring the "I want another dog" thing....I'm just hoping some input might be useful to others as well if I've asked questions they haven't.
 

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I wish I were able to give all the answers ... but can only tell you about my experience with multiple dogs.

I have so many because I love dogs. :)

Being I am retired ... activities are able to be divided evenly. Working ... I imagine time would be a larger priority as far as having multiple activities for each dog to do. When I was working ... I only had one dog at a time generally ... with the exception of some rescues in between that I re-homed. That took up the majority of my time off.

IME ... dogs do learn from each other. I see it all of the time. They pick up on each others habits ... and if one does something ... the other ones follow suit! ... good or bad! Lol! :)

I would definitely do a meet and greet before making any decisions on a new dog. I would want to be sure they are compatible or you will be doing the "Crate and Rotate" for the rest of their lives. I have had not much of a choice in that department. Abbylynn is so reactive that she has to be left to roam the house or she will inflict injury on herself. Blu Boy has had the roam of the house with his Brother Leeo for 6 years ... I cannot expect him to revert. So they are left alone together. :/ There have been no issues. But then Eddee is a different dog and a different story. He must be crated. I just put them all in the same room so they can be with each other. Once again ... there have been no issues ... other than Blu Boy screaming for me to let Eddee out of jail! Lol! :)

Jealousy and territory ... I taught them all to "share" and "take turns" ... right from the start. They still get a bit jealous in the attention department ... I just try and show support by including them in activities together and make it a team ... with everyone getting praises equally. Now ... it is much easier with just two ... three is a bit different! Lol! :)

For timing after the big move ... that is an adjustment for sure. I am no expert on advice in that department. Just think about it ... poor Blu Boy lost his Brother Leeo and I have rescued two dogs since March. I did not give him much of an adjustment period ... but it does not seem to have harmed him in the least. He is still the same old Blu Boy! Abbylnn was so new herself ... she probably thinks it is normal for them all to come and go. In fact ... she would be the perfect Foster Mom! She is absolutely amazing with other dogs. :)

Whatever you choose to do ... whenever you feel the time is right ... I wish you the best and hope you find another amazing companion to add to your household! :D
 

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are you in a position to foster? As in, does your city have an organized shelter or rescue group that you could work with and have the support of?

I found that a lot of my questions about having a second dog- from the fun aspects to the practical - were answered by fostering. It is a "trial" run so to speak with the benefit of helping another dog find a home too.

Having a second dog to think about, would it be necessary to take them both to this kind of stuff or do an activity with the other dog. How much does this impact time for those of you who have multiple dogs and do activities with them?
Of course it impacts to some degree. It isn't that much different than having two kids and trying to get one to soccer practice and another to swimming. And I always have to consider each dog's personality if I am going somewhere with other dogs (friends and such) and make arrangements to board or have someone stop by the house if its a situation where one dog can't go.

Do dogs learn good and bad habits from each other? Any scary or good things to consider here?
yes, they do copy each other to some degree. A well trained dog may regress a bit or get more rowdy around a lively, untrained dog. A well trained dog can also be a good example- teaching walking manners, good play manners and such.

- Jealousy/territory. Caeda has shown no territorial issues with other dogs, though she has shown some signs of jealousy, not thrilled with us giving other dogs attention. No aggression, she just bullies her way in to get attention too. Is this a potential problem, or something that could be "fixed" if dealt with properly.
Yes, it is a potential issue. It likely can be worked with and she would likely get used to having to wait her turn for attention. But she could also potentially get more jealous acting and bully the other dog.

Is this the best time to get a second dog considering we just moved into a new place. I'm concerned that Caeda might be a tiny bit stressed from all of the changes over the last couple of months (she hasn't shown major signs, but has had odd moments). Would a new dog make this worse, or is it the best time to teach her to share this new home of hers?
Personally, I would let her get settled and take the time to reinforce her training in the new environment. But unless she's overly stressed, I doubt it would be a huge issue (meaning, the new house is the least of the extra effort or potential problems in adding a dog)
 

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-Added socialization with another dog for Caeda (and hopefully beneficial to the potential dog). Caeda is pretty hyper when she sees another dog. I'm guessing living with one will at least make her take the presence of another dog a little more for granted rather than a "great event". Not a great reason for wanting a dog, but I see it more as an added bonus.
This is most likely not going to change. Another dog in your house is like your kid having a brother or sister. It won't make them any less excited to see their "friends" outside.

Logistics questions:
-I've been wanting to get involved (when we are more settled) with Caeda in some sports, either herding or Schutzhund. Having a second dog to think about, would it be necessary to take them both to this kind of stuff or do an activity with the other dog. How much does this impact time for those of you who have multiple dogs and do activities with them?
It really depends on what activites you're doing. Colby and Ace absolutely love playing frisbee, but we learned the hard way (5 staples in Colby's side) that Ace wants to HERD her while she's running around, so now we have play separately for the most port. Both our dogs go to obedience class. They're both in level 3 and instead of going twice a week, I alternate which dog I take each week. I also just posted a thread about walking them separately, which (depending on how long you walk) can really cut in to your day.

- Do dogs learn good and bad habits from each other? Any scary or good things to consider here?
IME, my dogs haven't taught eachother many "good" things, lol. Colby was never much of a barker, in terms of barking at people or dogs out the front window. Since we got Ace who is very boisterous when he sees people and dogs, not only does she bark and snarl at people/dogs outside, she sometimes lunges at the window -_- We're working on it, but I didn't even consider this when we considered getting a second dog. We're also trying to teach Ace not to jump up which is his first reaction to meeting anyone new (UGH!) and Colb has started jumping up again, too.

-With Caeda being a fairly boisterous player is it important that their sizes match well or is a meet and greet with a different sized dog still worthwhile for the personality factor?
A meet & greet is a good idea no matter what.

-My fear of "crate and rotate". Caeda is used to having free roam now (well earned!), if I have to crate the other dog during the day what are potential problems there? How long or what signs are there to say dogs are ready to roam together without supervision (or is that ever ok?).
Our dogs are both fairly young and are both crated when we're away. It just acts as another level of peace-of-mind while no one can supervise.

- Jealousy/territory. Caeda has shown no territorial issues with other dogs, though she has shown some signs of jealousy, not thrilled with us giving other dogs attention. No aggression, she just bullies her way in to get attention too. Is this a potential problem, or something that could be "fixed" if dealt with properly.
Colby never liked when we gave attention to other dogs either. She would come right in and stand in the way. She does not do that with Ace. Ace is our attention/jealousy dog. I never thought the "puppy" would be the jealous one, but he absolutely is. From my understanding, it can be corrected. You basically have to have each dog sit in front of you and tell one to "wait" while you give the other praise, then praise the one that was waiting and then do it again with opposite dogs. IME it's REALLY hard to do it by yourself and it hasn't really translated to meetings with "strangers" outside.

- Is this the best time to get a second dog considering we just moved into a new place. I'm concerned that Caeda might be a tiny bit stressed from all of the changes over the last couple of months (she hasn't shown major signs, but has had odd moments). Would a new dog make this worse, or is it the best time to teach her to share this new home of hers?
I've never been very good at giving my pets an "adjustment" period. I'd say if Caeda was really upset by the move you might want to wait, but if she seems to be doing fine, I'd say it's fine to bring another dog in.
 

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Zoey was our second dog and we got her in February this year, so here is my limited experience as a 2 dog household.



- I love dogs! I would love to add another personality to our home (yes, I know there are potential problems in it, the dog would be carefully chosen).
I will say that it is fun having the 2 different personalities. I feel like my dogs are so opposite in many things and watching and learning that is very interesting. It also brings up that each dog will excel at and enjoy different things. Example: Luke is more laid back and fabulous off leash...he loves going for leisurly walks/hikes/dog park and just being able to sniff and wag. Zoey is much more intense and energetic and she benefits from the structure, like training classes and fetch, she needs to have a goal or purpose.

- The joy of training another dog and learning about it and all of the fun (and frustration) that goes with that.
Kind of goes along with what I said above. It have been a learning experience for me having to learn to approach some things differently with Zoey.

- Company for Caeda during the day....this isn't to take the heat off of me to walk and play with her, but I know she would enjoy the companionship when we aren't home.
When we aren't home Luke has free roam of the whole house and Zoey is crated in the living room. The majority of the time when we get home, Luke is upstairs sleeping on our bed, not even hanging near Zoey, so I don't really know how much companionship they get from each other when we aren't home.

-Added socialization with another dog for Caeda (and hopefully beneficial to the potential dog). Caeda is pretty hyper when she sees another dog. I'm guessing living with one will at least make her take the presence of another dog a little more for granted rather than a "great event". Not a great reason for wanting a dog, but I see it more as an added bonus.
Zoey is still extrememly excited at every new dog she sees/meets and Luke is still cautiously optomistic. I personally don't think how many dogs you have in your family makes their reactions to new dogs differently. I think that gets acheived by more interactions with new dogs.

Logistics questions:
-I've been wanting to get involved (when we are more settled) with Caeda in some sports, either herding or Schutzhund. Having a second dog to think about, would it be necessary to take them both to this kind of stuff or do an activity with the other dog. How much does this impact time for those of you who have multiple dogs and do activities with them?
Time and money. I am having to choose between which dog to do classes with because I can't afford to have both dogs in classes at the same time. Right now I am focusing on Zoey because A) she's younger and B) she seems to get more out of the classes and enjoy them more. I am hoping to start agility with her soon. But that does take time and money away from being able to do extra things with Luke.

- Do dogs learn good and bad habits from each other? Any scary or good things to consider here?
I feel like Zoey is learning good off-leash behaviors from Luke. She sticks close to him and he sticks close to me. He also tends to watch over her and keep her close, if she gets to far away he will run over to her and sort of "herd" her back to me lol. Bad behaviors, Luke is starting to need more reminders about jumping (which has never been a bad habit for him) and I think that's because he wants to get the attention so he does whatever he can to be more "in your face" than her.

-With Caeda being a fairly boisterous player is it important that their sizes match well or is a meet and greet with a different sized dog still worthwhile for the personality factor?
I think it depends on the dog and in my limited experience I would say personality and play styles are more important than size. Luke likes to play pretty rough and is a mouthy player. Zoey has a very similar play style. She is a good 30 lbs lighter than him, but can knock him off his feet and is always coming back for more.

-My fear of "crate and rotate". Caeda is used to having free roam now (well earned!), if I have to crate the other dog during the day what are potential problems there? How long or what signs are there to say dogs are ready to roam together without supervision (or is that ever ok?).
For us it will be a long time before dogs are allowed to roam free together when we are not there, for a couple reasons. 1) Zoey just isn't ready, even if she were to be free by herself. 2) Zoey pesters Luke sometimes and so far its hasn't become a problem but I don't want to chance it happening when I'm not there to intervene. 3) Luke gets a break from her puppiness. During the day when we are home they get along fine in the house. The only problem we have ever had is Luke got snarky and protective over a Kong that did not get picked up when we got home. Now all of the Kongs and other high value treats/bone are picked up unless supervised.

- Jealousy/territory. Caeda has shown no territorial issues with other dogs, though she has shown some signs of jealousy, not thrilled with us giving other dogs attention. No aggression, she just bullies her way in to get attention too. Is this a potential problem, or something that could be "fixed" if dealt with properly.
Luke does get jealous if Zoey is getting attention and he is not. But he just tries to push his way in, no agression. We just work on sharing and sitting politely for attention.

- Is this the best time to get a second dog considering we just moved into a new place. I'm concerned that Caeda might be a tiny bit stressed from all of the changes over the last couple of months (she hasn't shown major signs, but has had odd moments). Would a new dog make this worse, or is it the best time to teach her to share this new home of hers?
Depends on Caeda I think and how she is adjusting. And how you are adjusting!

I'm not sure if its a good idea yet or not, I recently lost out on an opportunity for an incredible dog, for free....same size and age, and apparent energy level, some agility training, fantastic on leash, just not great off leash and occasionally chased cats (things I could train over time). Also a beautiful dog! Now I'm sort of kicking myself, so if another such opportunity comes up, I want to have a decision of YES or NO ready in my head. "he who hesitates is lost"....don't want to hesitate or second guess. I've never had more than one dog, so I'm really scared of this step, but excited too. My DH is very much on the fence.
Zoey was my first second dog and I was very hesitant about it. It's all I could think about for months and I would see dogs come up on petfinder and think oh that one and then think too long and it would be gone. I think to an extent when you know in your gut that it is the right decision for your family and lifestyle you will know. Honestly, I regreted our decision to get Zoey for a good 2 weeks. It was just one of those "OMG what have we done" type things. But she's great and we love her so much! One of my biggest things was Luke needing a companion. Luke would have been fine without her. Does she add to our life in positive ways...definitely and I am so glad we got her. Luke loves her and is very protective of her, but he didn't need her. I benefit more from having her than he does, which I think is how it probably should be.
 

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With the exception of a few years when I was growing up a looong time ago I have always had at least 2 dogs. With the exception of a pair of females they have all seemed to enjoy each other's company. The one situation where the two dogs tolerated each other is one where I would not have normaly taken on the second dog but it was a take her or she will be put down situation with a puppy so I made it work. As long as the dogs were of similar energy level it has worked out well. I try to find personalities that will compliment one another. I also try to keep dogs of similar ages so that as one ages and wants to sleep more they aren't pounced upon by a young pup.

Keep in mind when leaving 2 dogs alone loose in the house when you are away that they may play. I have been fortunate enough not to have any furniture chewers. I leave them with their toy box and nylabones. I had 2 that played too boisterously and had to put them in separate rooms when I went out simply because there wouldn't have been a hourse to return to otherwise. lol

They do seem to pick up things from each other both good and bad but that is par for the course. Behavoir has to be shaped anyway.

I had one dog who went to work with me while the other stayed home. I didn't have any problems as long as both received adequate exercise and atention.

I do sometimes get both dogs pushing for attention but they usualy settle when they figure out that 2 hands can pet 2 dogs at the same time and that they only get petted when being well behaved. I do feed them separately and have to be careful when feeding treats that one doesn't take the other's treat.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Wow, thanks everybody for the input. Fantastic food for thought!

I think my only really big worry is if I would have enough energy to deal with both in the event I got Caeda into a sport....since (unless the second dog was really mellow) I'd probably get both into something. My DH would help of course, but he isn't quite as enthusiastic and motivated to get involved in the dog sports.

My DH made a good point about having two dogs and what it might do to the potential of getting into sports he said "it seems like we can either have one really incredible dog that does really well in a sport, or two good dogs that are most likely just awesome dogs at home". He is fine with both, I'm not sure which I would want (I always want to have my cake and eat it too....but I end up usually biting off more than I can take so I really should decide on which of his possibilities I prefer.

Shell, you have a fantastic idea, which I had thought of before and hadn't thought about this time. We do have an SPCA, and I think I will go talk to them, absolute worst case scenario I have to say "sorry I can't do this". Rather than truly committing to be the "forever home" for a dog. I could also foster for a while, and when a home is found then I could get heavier into things with Caeda.

Thanks all, such awesome input!
 
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