Better for dogs to live in pairs?

(11 Posts)
imabusybee Mon 06-Jul-15 09:19:35

Hi all. I'm a bit of a newbie but longtime lurker.
We have a 3 year old rescue poodle/spaniel/something else cross who came to us in November last yr. He had no training but we've worked hard & now he's a little superstar smile
I'm a dog walker & he goes out with me on 3-4 walks a day and has lots of doggy friends because of this. But there have been times at home when I think he misses doggy company - eg when he wants to play wrestle with me or DP & we don't have time to. He's good pals with our four cats & enjoys their company but I wonder if he'd be happier living in doggy company too? Or am I being silly/over thinking?

ender Mon 06-Jul-15 10:04:50

Dogs can enjoy playing with other dogs on walks but they might not want another dog living with them. The best reason to get a 2nd dog is because you really want another. It could end up more time consuming if you have 2 dogs demanding individual play sessions from you smile
We thought our lab would enjoy having a doggie playmate as he loved playing with other dogs on walks. But he wasn't overjoyed when we got 2nd dog and mostly ignored him for a year, we had both of them competing for attention from us.
They play together now but lab would still much rather play with me or DH.

imabusybee Mon 06-Jul-15 10:30:22

I do want a second dog but I'm wary of it having a negative impact on DDog & would only really go ahead if I think it'll be a positive thing for him

LimeJellyHead Mon 06-Jul-15 10:57:51

You are right to be cautious. I would lean towards two dogs, especially as that is what you want too and your dog sounds very sociable and at a playful age still. I always have 2 dogs. I do love to see them playing and keeping each other company. I wouldn't want to be an only child. But also it can depend and only testing it out can really answer it, I think.

Why don't you talk to the rescue about your concerns and see if they have a solution. You might be able to take a second dog home for a few days to see how it goes, before adoption. We did this with one of our current dogs as the introduction of another dog could have gone one of two ways wink

We are always careful not to heap too much fuss on the new dog as the existing dog may get jealous and no matter how much they want a pal, a new favourite won't go down well with any dog. So like having baby number two, baby number one needs to feel their place has not been usurped.

Floralnomad Mon 06-Jul-15 11:10:39

You do need to consider the impact on your business as well - how many dogs can you walk at a time / how many are your customers happy for you to walk . We have a local dog walker who has 2 dogs ananda I often see her with an extra 3 clients - personally I wouldn't be happy for my dog to be out with her at that number as I don't see how she can give attention to 5 dogs . I will say though that I don't use a dog walker and my dog doesn't like other dogs so I may have a different attitude to many people .

villainousbroodmare Mon 06-Jul-15 11:10:42

Have a friend's dog to stay for a weekend. Pick a good candidate obviously; pleasant personality and probably opposite sex. Try that out a few times.
My dog is sociable and we very often have friends' dogs to stay (just bid farewell to a Peke who stayed for 4 months) but I don't think he misses her much.

StarsInTheNightSky Mon 06-Jul-15 11:58:58

I have three dogs, just picked up an 11 month old rescue pup two days ago. Our other two are rescues too, and ddog1 was not happy at the appearance of ddog2. She accepted him pretty quickly and now they get along just fine. Ddog3 is currently settling in. Again, ddog1 was not at all happy (she shredded an old tractor tyre in fury) and ddog2 sulked too. They have pretty much accepted her now (still a long road ahead though) which was greatly aided by her being meek around them. Had she tried to throw her weight around and be bossy with them (looking at you, ddog2 hmm), it would have been a much slower and more difficult process.

My dogs are all breeds with very antisocial tendencies (except with immediate family) and they have learnt to get along together. They would all be equally happy on their own with just DH, DS and I too, but again, that's the nature of the breeds, which all three are very typical examples of. Don't underestimate how long it takes, even with dogs which like other dogs, it usually takes a while for the first dog to truly accept the new dog, and requires careful supervision. Don't let that put you off, in my experience its always been well worth it. smile

Another thing, our dogs are never left alone, they're always with either DH or myself, usually me, if they were left alone sometimes (and if they were more sociable) I could see it being much nicer for them to have company.

Personally I prefer having more than one dog, and its necessary for us too as we need guard dogs (which are also family pets), and just one isn't really enough.

ender Mon 06-Jul-15 12:42:22

Overall I prefer having 2 dogs but its taken a while to get to this stage.
I miss having my lab cuddled up to me on the sofa in the evenings. Its impossible now with another large dog as they both compete to get closest and not relaxing for any of us.
So now they have their own sofa and seem quite happy with that arrangement smile.

F475LAG Mon 06-Jul-15 12:43:43

We've always had two dogs, sometimes three and when Old Dog 1 died we got a new puppy, for us and as company for Old Dog 2. She never really took to the puppy and pretty much ignored her for the first couple of months but the puppy adored her, followed her around everywhere and eventually won her over.

When OD2 died New Dog 1 was devastated and really went into mourning. Not eating, not wanting to go out etc. We got a new puppy pretty quickly which cheered ND1 up a lot but to be honest ND2 would actually prefer to be an only dog. She is ball obsessed and would much prefer to play ball with a person than play with another dog. She doesn't like too much rough-housing and will go and find somewhere quiet out of the way if ND1 wants to play.

A few months later my Mum and Dad's dog came to stay while my Dad recovered from a nasty fall and she never went home. She is wildly extrovert and very much the friend that ND1 wanted. They play together all the time, lots of stupid dog stuff. They sleep together at night too whereas ND2 prefers to sleep with us.

I think what I'm trying to say is that some dogs are more compatable than others and when it works it's brilliant but not every dog wants, or needs, a buddy. Maybe take one you like on a trial to see if your dog likes them too.

imabusybee Mon 06-Jul-15 14:05:43

Thanks for all your replies! Really grateful to gear so many opinions. I think he'd like another dog that shares his character - he's quite spaniel-y in nature but a more calm version. Most of the dogs I walk are spaniels & he gets along with them but sometimes they're a bit full on.

I definitely think we have to choose carefully - he's not very big (13 inches to shoulder) & I think a much bigger dog would be a no no, as would another male as he has bonded far better with the girl dogs I walk...

Also in terms of the attention thing he has always been of the opinion that he is DP'S dog & I think if I am the new dogs primary person instead of DP that could help reduce the likelihood of jealousy.

It's a big decision but similar to the ones we made when we got our cats when we already had 1 - it was scary at the time but it's worked out so well everyone gets along brilliantly (equally I'd obviously hate to ruin that balance!)

Decisions decisions!

LimeJellyHead Thu 09-Jul-15 09:29:29

We always have one boy and one girl and each dog has one of us as their special person. Like you say, it cuts down on jealousy smile

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