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Discussion Starter #1
I'm posting this in the training forum because it is fundamentally a question about how it will impact my pup's training/development.

So here is the scenario. We have a 6mo old GSP who is coming along extremely well. In the past month thing have really clicked and she is likely the best trained/behaved dog I've ever had at this age. In the past I've always had multiple dogs at any given time. A few months ago we made a concious decision to try raising a single pup this time. On one hand, it has made the basic training much easier (not going to hunt the GSP). On the other hand, it is nearly impossible to get her enough excersize to satisfy her unless she gets an hour or so of play with other dogs. Plus she absolutely pines for canine companionship.

To satisfy her natural desires and to socialize her we've been taking her to daycare a couple of days a week. Naturally she comes home tired and content. Days that she doesn't go to daycare she gets walked twice a day, off-leash at least once in a local state park. We go out of our way to seek out other dogs on these walks. We don't go to urban dog parks with her as we tried a couple of times and didn't have great experiences. But unless we do find a playful dog on our walks, there is no way we can get her enough excersize. We are runners and when she gets older and can run with us that will help.

OK, finally to the question. Since we've had this breed for years but always multiple dogs, it seems like an obvious solution is to go back to the formula that worked, just get another dog. Rather than another pup, we've been considering going the rescue route. I have NO experience training adult dogs. Have always started with pups and have always happy with the end result. So what I am worried about is bringing an older dog into the mix and that my pup might cue off of it and regress in her training/behavior. I know we used to train GSPs to hunt by simply taking pups out with older, trained dogs. So I assume if the learn good stuff, they will also learn bad stuff.

Can anyone share their own experience? Am I worried for no reason? Or should we tough it out for a few more months until the pup is more mature before adding another dog?
 

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What are your goals? If you want her more bonded to the other dog, go for it, but if you want her more bonded to you, I would wait another year or so.

For introducing a new dog, I would do it the same way you would if you have an adult dog, take the two of them out of the house for a walk, then walk them into the house. Depends a lot on the dog of course, I had one that was fine with whoever coming into the house, now with the two older dogs, I do bring the new dog into the house but don't put them together right away, instead I crate and rotate for a day or more then introduce the best match one at a time depending on the 'new' dog.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
What are your goals? If you want her more bonded to the other dog, go for it, but if you want her more bonded to you, I would wait another year or so....
The goal is simply to get her a sister of similar age without the pup's training going backwards and while maintaining harmony. Based on my prior experience with GSPs, I'm not concerned about the bonding issue.
 

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I think it really depends on the dogs. From what I understand of puppies (not much personal experience) your 6 month old is going to go through a "teenager" regression soon either way. How many bad habits she might pick up from an adult rescue somewhat depends on how trained/behaved the rescue you get is. Some rescues are already very well trained and some are train wrecks due to no previous training or neglect. Most rescues will fall somewhere in between those extremes.

Training an older rescue really isn't that difficult as long as they aren't shut down and you find their motivator. I got my boy when he was just over 2 and he's been very easy to train, he came housebroken and relatively well mannered. Mouthing, jumping, and a little loose leash walking (pulled but not horribly) training was all he REALLY needed. We've done a lot more because we both enjoy it.

If you take the time to find the RIGHT rescue and maybe wait until your current pup is closer to a year old you shouldn't have too many issues. But with a 6 month old pup and the range of unknown that can come with a rescue if you are worried about her current training I'd wait a bit.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the input. We've pretty much decided to wait until she's at least a year old. Too much work into the pup and too little upside to take a chance on the possible downside.
 
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