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Discussion Starter #1
I'm about to start a new position for work in several months which will have more demanding hours (a lot of 12 hr days) than my existing position. To put it into context, my dog currently is alone at home 8-9 hours a day with a mid-day dog walker, and he seems content. As far as I can tell, he just sleeps on my bed all day until I come home.

Between a dog walker and a doggy door to an outdoor kennel, I'm not concerned about him going to the bathroom when he needs to. However, I do worry that he will be bored during the day and I am considering the idea of adding a second adult dog so that they can keep each other company. That being said, I've only ever raised one dog at a time so I don't know what to expect. Can two dogs can indeed keep each other company and alleviate boredom or will I end up with two bored dogs on my hands and trying to split whatever precious time I have left after the work week with two needy dogs? What have your experiences been like with a multi-dog household? Thanks!
 

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Does your dog like the company of other dogs or is he perfectly content alone? I'd say consider another dog only if your dog seems to crave company. We a second dog for Toby when the cats weren't interested in playing with him. Honestly, he was happier as an only dog. He tolerated Cameron but he would have been just as happy without him.
 

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Do YOU want a second dog? There is never any guarantee that your dog and the new dog will be buddies, or even like each other. You should only get a second dog if it's something you yourself want, if it's only for your dog, I wouldn't do it. You've got a dog walker and all day access to an outdoor run, which is more than a lot of dogs whose owners work all day have, and he should be fine.
 

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If your dog seems perfectly content to be alone, I wouldn't consider it unless it was MY decision because I wanted another dog. I wouldn't get a second dog just to keep my first dog company. What you described was a dog who's seems perfectly content to be alone, lol, if he's sleeping on your bed all day. Mostly likely, a second dog would just sleep all day, too!
 

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Depends on the current dog.

Zeke, on those rare occasions when there wasn't a human home with him, seemed greatly comforted by the presence of Esther and Molly. (I know this because I work at home in a basement office and he cried a LOT less when the other two dogs were around.) But it wasn't like they would engage in stimulating conversation or play board games. They just hung out - mostly sleeping. Now we're down to one dog - Molly. She was the most neurotic and anxious of the three. Now that she's an only dog, I think she's actually thriving on the extra attention. It seems like she was competing with the other two, rather than enjoying their company. She's calmer, less anxious and whiny and less demanding. It's like the presence of other dogs was stressing her out. Honestly, I'm enjoying her more than I ever have.

And, as others have pointed out, there's no guarantee that two dogs will even tolerate each other, and there are few things more tragic than having multiple dogs who can never be left alone together. We will NOT get another dog as long as we have Molly because she is unpredictable around new dogs.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you everyone for your inputs and the suggestions! I would love nothing more than to have 2-3 dogs at once, but given the circumstances, especially since my dog seems pretty content on being by himself at this stage, I guess shouldn't be borrowing trouble. The two dogs could get along swimmingly and sleep all day together or they can cause a lot more problems than I would have time to address. Doesn't seem like the benefit is worth the risk in this scenario. One of these days...

How did you guys determine out whether or not your existing dog(s) could potentially tolerate a new addition to the family? Or was it more like raw determination to have additional dogs combined with willingness to handle whatever challenges that may result?
 

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When we adopted Molly, we took Esther along for the "interview." If it had't been love at first sight, we would have reluctantly walked away. I knew it would work when Esther rolled her most valued possession - a tennis ball - across the ground to Molly. I know it's not always possible, but I would never get a second dog without the opportunity to meet with my first one - preferably on neutral ground. If you visit shelters, and read the crazy reasons why people surrender their dogs, you'll see some that say, "Dog didn't get along with the new dog." (Our second human child didn't particularly get along with our first one, but we kept them both.)

Conventional wisdom says your chances of multi-dog comparability is increased if they are different genders, different sizes and/or different ages.
 

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Personally, I would only get the second dog when and if I truly had time for a second dog and wanted one for myself.

I have two. I adopted Eva at 2 years old when Chester was 6. Now they are 6 and 10. I fostered before Eva so I knew Chester's likes and dislikes but I still fostered Eva for about five months before it truly and completely clicked in my rational mind that she was not going anywhere.

They like each other . They play. They ignore each other. They seldom snuggle but it happens.

I do not ever leave them alone together when I leave the house. Not worth an injury, even just from rough playing, when neither gives a flying hoot about the other during the day.

When home and loose cause someone is there but not actively engaged with them? They both try for human attention and then go their separate ways to nap the day away. Lather, rinse, repeat so to speak.
 

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I have seen virtually every combination...

-dogs who love dogs and plays well, but would be aggressive when the other dog entered the home
-dogs who dislike dogs but loves the dogs in the home
-dogs who started out loving new dog in the home then fights happened
-dogs who started out with altercations with a new dog, then became best friends
and more...etc.

I know of very few dogs who NEED another dog. I do believe they exist. For example, the few dogs who come to mind (not mine) would panic (vocalize, try to escape, destruction, excessive panting or salivating, etc.) if their dog friend was removed. But this truly is a few cases among over 2000+ dogs. It is very rare.

I took in a dog while having a senior resident dog who I knew did not like other dogs, has fought dogs, punctured dogs, is a severe resource guarder, and while living in a tiny space to boot. I used a lot of management and now the two play and will even eat high value chews next to each other by choice (always supervised). I will never for the life of me leave them alone, despite the fact that things turned out better than I ever dreamed. However, my old dog would be happier as an only dog, no doubt about it. And I got the second dog because I wanted one.
 

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When we adopted Molly, we took Esther along for the "interview." If it had't been love at first sight, we would have reluctantly walked away. I knew it would work when Esther rolled her most valued possession - a tennis ball - across the ground to Molly. I know it's not always possible, but I would never get a second dog without the opportunity to meet with my first one - preferably on neutral ground. If you visit shelters, and read the crazy reasons why people surrender their dogs, you'll see some that say, "Dog didn't get along with the new dog." (Our second human child didn't particularly get along with our first one, but we kept them both.)

Conventional wisdom says your chances of multi-dog comparability is increased if they are different genders, different sizes and/or different ages.
This exactly. We took Toby along when we went to meet Cameron. If they hadn't gotten along we wouldn't have taken Cameron. We figured they'd do OK when Cameron jumped up and licked cookie crumbs out of Toby's mouth and Toby didn't react at all. They didn't end up best buds. They tolerated each other and would sometimes play when they were young, but mostly they just coexisted.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I'm so glad I sought out your inputs. This is very helpful. I honestly had not realized how much more management may need to go into a multi-dog household and I very much appreciate you guys sharing your experiences. I don't think my desire for a second dog at this point in time is enough for me to want to jeopardize the good thing I have going with my current dog. He may be bored when I'm gone during the day, but I'll just have to make up for it when I get home!
 
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