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Hello, I just joined this forum and am hoping for a little bit of advice from some experienced dog owners.

My wife and I adopted our first dog about a month ago. He is a 1 year old Lab Mix (not sure what he is mixed with but suspect it is German Shepherd.) He has been a GREAT dog. VERY VERY smart and is catching on to everything very well. We got very lucky in getting such a great boy from our local shelter.

Right now I do most of the training and walking with our dog. My wife is wanting another dog that she can work with and train and have a dog to walk with us. She is also wanting a much smaller dog that she could hold and cuddle with a lot. Should we have any concerns about adding another dog to the family after just getting our first dog a month ago?

I have a few concerns of this affecting the smoothness of the training we have been experiencing with our current dog. We got very lucky with our first dog and I am afraid we will not get that lucky twice in a row.

The shelter we have in our town is a very nice facility and a good core of workers and volunteers that make sure the dogs get as much exercise as they are able to. Every dog gets two walks a day and they are all fed science diet dog food. This is the shelter we got our dog from a month ago. Last weekend we went to a shelter in another town. We had never been to this shelter before and the facilities made me want to leave as soon as we got there. They have pins inside and outside. The dogs NEVER get a walk and are fed whatever random food the shelter happens to get donated from wal-mart or farm and home and they are only fed once a day. There were probably close to a hundred dogs in this place and most pins had 2 dogs in them. It was a very sad place to be in.

However, while we were there we met a cute little girl that we feel may be a good fit for us if we decide to get another dog. They said that animal control picked her up off the streets so they do not know much about her. They said she was a terrier mix. However, she had a curly tail that sat up on her back. So we are thinking it is probably more likely a chihuahua mix. She has only been there for 3 days. However, the shelter did not even have a room or play area where we could really spend time with the little girl. They do not do day visits so we can get to know her better either. I am also concerned about health issues as I dont really trust the people running the shelter she is in now.

All of this only makes are decision tougher and I am not really sure where to go to from here. I am planning on contacting our local shelter and see if there is a way to transfer some of the dogs or at least the dog we are looking at to our local shelter. I dont know if this is possible or not. I wish I could get all of the dogs out of that hell hole. but I guess being in there is still better than being on the streets.

We really want to get that little girl out of there even if we have to pay the adoption fee and take her to a better shelter. It would be better than leaving her where she is.

Any input on any of this would be greatly appreciated. Like I said I am not sure what to do next and could use some advice from people that have been there before.

Thanks for help in advance!
 

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I only have one dog, but I foster as well and it is important to introduce a potential pet to all members of the family, including other pets, before you adopt. My dog is also a rescued chihuahua-terrier mix found on the streets, and she is a sweetheart but has some fear aggression. She plays great with other small dogs but she growls and is scared of big dogs, especially on leash. The good thing is she's small and young so she can't do much harm and she's improving. If your lab has good social skills and if the small dog you want to adopt is young, than I think it would work out. Also, find out if the small dog is spayed. If she isn't, then she could be in heat or be in heat soon and it's not okay to have a male dog and a dog in heat in the same house.

Other than that, I think as long as you're financially able it would be really awesome of you to adopt another dog. Any dog from a shelter has higher chances of having health issues. From my knowledge the most likely ailments are kennel cough and worms, which are both easily treatable.
 

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Sounds like you got a great dog!

I would suggest waiting six months or so. Let the new dog settle in, maybe take some classes with him, and get him bonded and settled. Some dogs are good then you find out they have issues, and it doesn't hurt to take some basic classes with him and learn some training then go ahead with a second dog.

There will always be dogs in need of rescue and rehoming, not to worry. Do you know if your dog likes little dogs? That might be something to consider too.
 

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When we went to the shelter we did have our dog with us (in the truck) and were able to take the dog we were looking at out to meet our current dog. They had no problems with each other at all. at one point while we were there my wife opened the truck door to get a treat for her and the little girl jumped up in the truck and looked at us like "ok I'm ready to go home now" They are both about the same age. They do not know for sure the age of the little girl but they said judging by her teeth probably a year or less.

I do not think she is fixed yet but the shelter takes them to the vet and gets them fixed and updated on all shots. They had her for only 3 days and they have to be in the shelters position for 7 before they become the shelters property. so we will have to wait until at least Wednesday.

Since they do not allow home visits or anything we are open to the idea that if we bring her home and they do not get along that we can take her to the better shelter that is in our town.

So far our current dog has done great with small dogs at the dog park. He does not get to rough with them and enjoys playing with them if there are not bigger dogs to run with. We have been doing a LOT of training with him. When we first got him he jumped on people a lot and kind of knew what sit was. He has come a LONG way in 1 month.
 

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Sounds like you got a great dog!

I would suggest waiting six months or so. Let the new dog settle in, maybe take some classes with him, and get him bonded and settled. Some dogs are good then you find out they have issues, and it doesn't hurt to take some basic classes with him and learn some training then go ahead with a second dog.

There will always be dogs in need of rescue and rehoming, not to worry. Do you know if your dog likes little dogs? That might be something to consider too.
These are my feelings exactly :]
 

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The advice above is excellent. Then again, I would go for it, just to get her out of there! It is going to add to the work, two are harder to train than one. There is a chance your labs true side hasn't fully been shown yet. Though you sound competent to handle the issues that may arise.

If you can afford to, and the better shelter agrees, pull her and try a Foster type situation. Hope it works well!

I hate to see dogs in bad places. I have many rescues, not necessarily from shelters, but bad homes. I try to gewgaws the dogs, train them in detection, and get them into working homes. Some don't work, and they either stay or go to appropriate pet homes, because I can't keep them all! I have a few choice breeds, because I have a knack for getting them going g. Other trainers will turn them down for various reasons, but I spend ALOT of time, and they usually turn out well.
So do what you can to make life better for every dog you can :)
 

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What kind of benefit will we gain by waiting another 5 months?
Many dogs have noticable changes in personality, energy level, manners and likes/dislikes once they settle in after coming from a shelter situation. One month is a fairly short time for the dog to settle in, relax, and show his "true colors", I usually tell people that 3 months is a good time frame for guesstimating when the dog is "himself"

Having done some training classes and bonding with your current dog will make that relationship strong enough to handle the chaos that comes from a second dog. The second dog (any shetler dog) will need lots of attention/time/training for the first couple months and the training of the first dog has to take a backseat unless you have nearly endless time. If the first dog has a strong bond with you and a solid basic training level, that isn't any problem but if the first dog is still newish and doesn't have a good training background, you are likely to run into behavior problems and a lot of stress trying to work with two dogs at one time.

I would suggest you contact several rescue groups that use foster homes. Offer to pay the cost of pull fees, vetting and foster care for the other dog for 2 months. Buy a crate and some food. All this will likely cost ~$300. If a rescue has a foster home available, you'd be helping them save her regardless of who adopts her later and you can express your interest in adopting her after those two months if all goes well. Maybe make an agreement that if you are the one that adopts her in 2 months that they waive the adoption fee for you (having paid the upfront costs). If you chose not to adopt her, she will at least have a significantly better chance of getting adopted having had that good start. Most rescues are very tight on both cash AND foster homes, but if you take care of 1/2 that equation, it makes it easier to find a foster (generally)

Edit to add:
No matter how well trained and calm your current dog is, you do need to expect a second dog to affect the first's training and behavior. The better he is to start with, the less the affect but it will be there. His routine will change, his amount of attention from you will change, he'll have a new playmate to pester or be pestered by, etc. My dog Chester is very solid in his temperament and not much really phases him, but he still had an adjustment period with the current foster dog and a little sliding of his training: he was more boisterous in asking for attention, began to jump on people more again after getting much better about that, getting a little more vocal because the new dog was more vocal (he's still a very quiet dog) and such. Nothing major and nothing horribly negative, just things that add some need for reinforcement training that can be hard to find time for while dealing with the second (very needy of training etc) dog.

Either way, I highly suggest a basic obedience class with your dog now and then one with any dog you get later.
 

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I probably am not the person to answer this question, because I don't go to shelters because I know I will come home with another one. If you had a young puppy that wasn't potty trained, still teething, etc I would say to get past that first, but since you have a dog that doesn't need much work, besides the training you put into it, I say go for it. I would also be more likely to take the dog out of the not so good shelter just because its not so good...Good Luck!!
 
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