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Thoughts requested - pros and cons of second dog?

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ISPIFFD posted 5/27/2014 09:30 AM

In a nutshell, I made it through the land-shark/wild-n-crazed puppy phase with Cobber last year and this past polar-vortex winter. Now that he's turned into a wonderful dog who's so much fun to be with, I find myself wondering about getting a 2nd dog.

I've had 2 dogs before -- they didn't dislike each other but they didn't much care for each other either, never played together. I see photos on fb all the time of pets that actually like each other, play together, cuddle together.

I have 4 indoor cats already and not one of them likes any of the others. In fact, I wish I hadn't adopted the 4th one because even after years of being together in different houses, my first 3 cats still pick on the 4th one.

Anyway, because of all this, I remain on the fence. A 2nd dog could be wonderful, fun for me, fun for my current dog (he LOVES to play with other dogs, and I wish we had more neighborhood dog friends for him to hang with). I have the space inside and outside. I have the finances to provide good care.

However, it could also end up being a crate-and-rotate nightmare replete with resource guarding, fights, extra housebreaking issues, etc.

I simply don't know. I don't want to end up feeling the same way I do about my cats -- that I should have stopped at 3 (or 2 or 1) because they don't really get along.

For those of you with more than one dog, what convinced you to do it? Would love to hear pros and cons from everyone.

Oh, and in case anyone read my recent house-swapping post, the home I'm moving back into (my former marital home) has even more space. And I would wait until that move happens before getting this theoretical 2nd dog. I'm just thinking ahead here and wondering

FaithFool posted 5/27/2014 09:33 AM

Why not try fostering? That way you can test drive it.

tired girl posted 5/27/2014 09:59 AM

We have 5 dogs, and three of the dogs play endlessly with each other. The other two are older and they like to sleep with each other, so it works out well. We have always had more than one dog and usually they get along well, I think the getting one of the opposite sex is important, and being careful of the temperament is also important. Don't get one that is more dominant than your current dog. Maybe get one that is just a little younger than current dog, and also likes to play. Check out a rescue, they will usually let you return if it is not working out.

tushnurse posted 5/27/2014 10:05 AM

If you have a good dog now, and want him to have a buddy, then I would suggest another young adult dog, that is close to equal in size, and temperament. I think a foster or a rescue may be in your wheelhouse too.

We always have had multiple dogs, and think they are actually happier when they have a buddy. We were down to just one, and with the kids being almost college ready, didn't want to get another dog to own.

We are trying our hand at fostering for soldiers. See my post on "Doing my part for Memorial Day" .
We are working with a group called Dog on Deployment, and you foster for the time that they are actively deployed. This particular family is choosing to pay for all medical, and food costs as well.
So far so good.

Dreamboat posted 5/27/2014 10:36 AM

I have 2 dogs that get along well and sometimes play together. They played together a lot more when then were younger. Now they are older and like to laze around and sleep.

They are about the same size and about the same age. Both spayed females. Very different personalities but they get along great. One is the alpha in all things except food. The other was an abused shelter dog and she is the alpha when it comes to food. The first dog is laid back and does not care about that as long as she gets to be the boss in all other areas. If my first dog was not laid back then the food issue could have been a disaster.

When I was looking for the second dog, I brought alone my first dog to make sure that they got along. If they growled at each other on the first meet then I knew I would not take home a second dog.

Good luck!

Williesmom posted 5/27/2014 11:20 AM

I have 4 dogs, and it works well for me because I'm never home - the party is ongoing, whether I'm there or not.

The 4th one has been a bit of a problem because he's aggressive. I have stopped stepping into their battles, because I think they need to work it out amongst themselves.

With my corgis, I've been told that more than 1 male is fine. Multiple females are trouble, and I've found that to be true.

Good luck!

marchmadness posted 5/27/2014 11:41 AM

I was a one dog household up until 5 years ago. We now have three and I love it. All three of the dogs have been with us since they were puppies.

They are 11, 5, and 3...male, female, male...all small breed. Until we purchased the female, the older male slept a lot and was gaining weight. He acts and looks younger now at 11 than he did at 6.

All three play together and then collaspe and sleep in the same chair. We have never had a fight. In fact the 3 year old is only 7 pounds and has 3 legs, and older two know to take it down a notch when playing with him and they let him "win". The female comes running if he lets out the smallest of yelps.

It has been very rewarding to get a glimpse into their social dynamics. They are more evolved and compasionate than most people I know . If you have the space, patience, and time, I vote to give it a try.

[This message edited by marchmadness at 11:42 AM, May 27th (Tuesday)]

GabyBaby posted 5/27/2014 11:45 AM

If you have a good dog now, and want him to have a buddy, then I would suggest another young adult dog, that is close to equal in size, and temperament.

I agree. We've also always had multiple dogs (as well as our two cats).

We currently have a white German Shep (our only female furbaby), a Pomeranian, and a teacup Chi that hubby found about a month ago.
The Pom and the Chi are both VERY new additions (we recently lost 2 dogs that we'd had for over 6 years and raised from pups).
Our Pom is a total lovebug and gets along with everyone and everything. His best buddy in the house is actually one of our cats.
Our GS is "mama bear" and tries to mother everyone from her human kids on down to the cats.
The teacup just basically sleeps all day.

I love that they keep each other company.

[This message edited by GabyBaby at 3:03 PM, May 27th (Tuesday)]

Lionne posted 5/27/2014 12:54 PM

IDK about dogs, but it seems a foster situation could work well. If the temperaments don't match, it's not a permanent placement.

I know that despite the fact that my elderly cat doesn't LOVE her baby sibling, it has put a bit of energy into her that wasn't there before. The vet gave her three months to live last June. She is going strong.

purplejacket4 posted 5/27/2014 18:15 PM

I've always had multiple dogs. In 25 years of dog ownership I've had one vet visit for a rambunctious injury. And the vet wanted to know why a doctor didn't stitch up her own dog. Um, cuz I'm not a vet. Makes me wonder about his family's health carez

CheaterMagnet posted 5/27/2014 19:21 PM

We had brother/sister Golden Retrievers. They had never been apart until Gracie passed away unexpectedly in 2013. We swore we'd never get another dog (hurt too bad to lose her).

Until I made eye contract with the puppy at the Petco adoption event. We ended up fostering a set of 3 siblings. Within the 1st half hour at our home, the original puppy I'd seen was snuggled up with our remaining Golden. And Loki was allowing it. That was the puppy we kept.

It's been a year and a half now and the two, while wildly dissimilar (105 lb Golden and 30 lb Jack Russell/Beagle mix) in size and temperament, are inseparable. They truly love one another. Even our cat came around and accepts Sam as one of the family. I often find Cookie and Sam curled up together on the dog bed.

I definitely recommend fostering for at least a week to see how the animals all work together. And I definitely think 2 males would be better than 2 females (unless you have an aggressive male).

We are currently dog-sitting a third dog. This one is a year old lab/chow/pit bull mix and all three dogs act like they were litter mates.

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