Pros and cons of a second dog?

(20 Posts)
DogsAtHome Wed 10-Aug-16 15:04:33

My marriage is breaking down and I'll soon be living on my own (no children). I work at home so our dog will be coming to live with me. She is a one year old poodle who we've had from a puppy.

At the moment, she doesn't get much attention during the day as I'm working, but I'm there for company. She tends to doze most of the day, despite having tons of toys. She really comes alive in the evenings when she gets a big walk, training and play - this is all split between the two of us at the moment - and I'll be doing it on my own in future. She much prefers to play with one of us than on her own.

When I live on my own, there will be some evenings where I'll want to be going out, and I'm really bothered about leaving her. She's a Velcro dog, loves company, and I think me leaving her once or twice a week will depress her, especially in the evenings when she usually gets a lot of human attention.

If it's during the day, it's not a problem as she can go into daycare. But doing this in the evening would mean overnight boarding, which seems excessive.

I'm thinking of getting a second dog so she has company on the occasions I do go out and also so she doesn't need to rely on me quite so much for entertainment.

The cons I can think of are:
Potential jealousy - although the benefits of a doggie friend might outweigh the jealousy for her?
How to train a second dog/get one on one time with the second dog when I have another wanting to play or have attention
Potential noisy play while I'm working
Difficulties managing two out on walks, getting in and out of car, etc.
Could potentially end up being even more work for me, rather than less, if my current dog still prefers to play with me than the new dog
Extra cost

Does anyone else have two dogs? How have you found it? Are you glad you got a second dog?

OdinsLoveChild Wed 10-Aug-16 15:33:35

I recently got a second dog but not for the same reasons as you. Its not generally recommended to get a 2nd dog just for company. How do you know your current dog needs company? Would it not be better to try being on her own for periods?

When I leave mine I give specific treats and fun toys and a specific blanket (very fluffy and soft) I give them frozen kongs which keeps them busy for hours. (fill with cream cheese, ham, peanut butter, or whatever I have floating around then freeze them) I also buy some long lasting treats (pizzle sticks, pigs ears etc) so when left for 3 or 4 hours alone they have fun things to do. I have come home and found them snoring with kongs melting all over the floor because they just went to sleep while I was out.

Its hard work having 2 especially if your 2nd dog is a puppy.
I have to take each of them out separately because puppy will not listen to me if older dog is there. Twice the walking is not easy but eventually when puppy is better trained I will take them together.

Getting in and out the car really you should have already got your current dog trained to sit and wait while you open doors etc. I have always insisted my dogs only jump out if I tell them and not before. They get the message eventually if you just keep returning them to the car every time they jump out. Mine will wait now until told to go.

They do keep themselves amused though. Although they do play quite loudly together so if you think you will get peace and quiet then that may not be the case. I still have to play games with them as the only real games they play together are fighting or chasing each other, and who can dig to Australia the quickest, and empty the bins the quickest. In fact anything really naughty it top of their list if left unattended.

Older dog used to get very jealous but puppy picked up on this very quickly and will sit patiently while older dog is being an arse. Older dog always has to catch the ball first, sit closest to me, go out the door before puppy, eat his dinner first, get out of bed first, get his treats first etc. It can be extreme sometimes and he has to be put in his bed sometimes to calm down when he is just too overwhelming.

Its not a quiet life having 2 dogs.

DogsAtHome Wed 10-Aug-16 15:45:49

Thanks so much for all that information. That's really useful (and eye opening!)

I really didn't know it wasn't recommended to get a second dog just for company for the first dog. So that's put paid to that idea! smile

Maybe, as you say, I just need to work more on her entertaining herself. I do leave her stuff to do - Kongs etc. - but I feel so mean going out in the evening when that's her time for human attention.

Missgraeme Wed 10-Aug-16 17:00:25

A cat would be good company without the downsides of an extra dog! When we had one dog we got 2 kittens and they got on great! Then we got a Husky puppy and a lurcher puppy but that's a whole different story!!

LHReturns Wed 10-Aug-16 19:18:56

OP we got three puppies in the space of 8 months - taking our dogs to four!

I'm sure totally unadvisable - I did it definitely for company and because I was broody. Mine are all fairly small dogs in London.

PP is right that they often need separate walking for various reasons, and we also found that the older puppies regressed re housetraining to the level of the youngest. We have had about a year of piddling on the floor - now fine.

Yes yes that older ones get jealous for attention and should always call the shots. Babies have to wait and take a back seat.

But they are certainly the best company for each other, and I feel less guilty about the (little) time they have to have alone! Although they all competitively weep when I leave, and competively pounce when I return!

They love each other so much, and I always find all four of them snuggled up in the morning together (as soon as they know I am watching they dash apart in disgust!).

Do it - first three months will be awful - then you will have a new family member.

Hongkongfuey0k Wed 10-Aug-16 23:15:49

Life long dog owner, only had 1 dog before, didn't realise meaning of 'wolfpack' before we got second dog , 1st dog trained including toilet 2nd dog, now inseparable, have doggy cam(highly recommend) which we drop into when we are out, & mainly see them cuddling up or playing together,would never now have 1 dog alone. We have friends dogs to stay & all love more company, really is no downside.

DogsAtHome Thu 11-Aug-16 09:31:55

Ohhh thanks so much for sharing all your experiences. So much to think about!

KylieJo Thu 11-Aug-16 09:34:53

I do believe a second pet is going to increase the time for doing your chores. However, it should ultimately come to how you feel about it - if you believe it's going to make a positive impact on your life, go for it!

DogsAtHome Thu 11-Aug-16 09:46:14

Hmm, thanks Kylie. I was hoping my current dog might be a little less reliant on me for entertainment if I got her a friend to play with. Maybe not!

I don't mind the extra walks and so on, as they're a huge source of pleasure for us both. I'm just thinking of evenings when I've finished work. I'll be on my own and making my dinner, clearing up, playing with dog, a training session, an evening walk. It will be bedtime by the time I finish! Maybe it's a good opportunity to have a look at our daily routine and swap things around a bit. Work is full time, but is fairly flexible. Maybe I could start earlier or something, get more free evening time.

Greyhorses Thu 11-Aug-16 12:53:41

I love having two dogs and I do feel better about leaving them as I know they have eachother. They sometimes play which is nice.

However, training has been much harder as I need eyes in the back of my head. Sometimes they are jelous when I give sttention to the other and I can't do anything with either dog without the other one crying to be involved.
I also find people are less likely to speak to me with two as they are intimidating in a pair.

Also twice the hair, mud, cost and barking.

Wouldnt be without them now though!!

Hongkongfuey0k Sat 13-Aug-16 23:49:55

Hi dog at home
I think we're missing the point here,
Think logically, would your dog want to be left alone to entertain itself in the time your not there or have a fellow member of your family with it? 2 dogs maybe more practical work for you but will definitely ensure your pooch will be more happy in its life when you are not around. As I posted before I won't have 1 dog again, at first the oldest was resentful of the new bundle of fluff & yes sometimes it is a balancing act to ensure no one is jealous! However, every dog like a human being has their own unique personality & they will rub together in some harmony. Example, my 2 dogs are 2 & 4 yrs, we often have a friends 13yr old come to stay (sometimes for a month) & he rules the roost! I suppose what I'm trying to say is, don't underestimate your dogs ability to adapt to new experiences & potential lifelong friends.

davos Sun 14-Aug-16 07:41:04

I work for myself from home. So I make sure I organise my day so I have a longer break in the middle of the day to spend with dpup. Feed her, walk her play and then let her sleep.

I don't know much about poodles, can you do 2 shorter walks to give you more time in the evenings.

Also me and my friends have 2 people who take the dogs overnight. They are professional dog sitters but do it in their own home. If we are all going out together, our dogs (3 of them) spend the night at the one of the dog sitters together.

One of them even drops them off and picks them up for us. The dogs love it. It's like a sleepover.

Could you find someone like that or a dog sitter that comes to your house, for when you want to go out?

honeyroar Sun 14-Aug-16 16:06:41

Ive never heard that it's not recommence to get a second dog for company, quite the opposite in fact.

We had a sole dog for a couple of years, then got another. The first dog was initially jealous and a bit grumpy, but the second dog ignored her, and they soon discovered they had a lot in common, such as loving water and balls (both labs) and soon became firm friends. Four years after that we got a little dog to add to the mix. Things have changed a bit with three. Sometimes I feel like the woman from Trumpton with all the dogs when I'm on a walk if they misbehave! And little dog is not a lab, so doesn't have the same interests (water and balls!) and can get a little left out sometimes. So I'd say get a similar type of dog, but I would never have a lone dog every again, always at least two.

TrionicLettuce Sun 14-Aug-16 16:45:10

Getting a second dog might help your current girl be less reliant on you but it also might not.

I've got four dogs. The three whippets are definitely happier as part of a group. They adore each other's company and will, to some extent at least, entertain themselves if I'm busy.

DDog2 however is very people oriented. She likes the whippets but to be honest I don't think she's any happier than she would have been as an only dog. They're also no substitute for people in her eyes so she's just as reliant on interacting with me and DH as she would be without them.

She also needs to be left separate from the whippets when we go out as she's very much the fun police and it could easily escalate to her snarking at them if they were all just left to their own devices together.

Having multiples does exponentially increase the workload, especially when they're young. You need to do more training, more walking (so they get and stay used to not always doing everything together), more individual attention, etc.

insan1tyscartching Sun 14-Aug-16 17:15:10

I'd like a second dog but as much as Eric likes his doggy friends on his walks he loves people much more and so daren't risk another dog in case it happens to be a disaster. I'd hate to have my heart set on a particular dog and then not be able to keep it if Eric wasn't happy about it so have reconciled myself to Eric being an only. He's a poodle cross so wonder if it's a poodle trait to be people orientated?

Darklane Mon 15-Aug-16 15:30:54

I have four dogs & not sure that they're that bothered about each other for company, each is more fixed on me really.
I'm not sure that a second dog would be the best solution for you. I'm at home all day so they never get left for more than a couple of hours. I've also always had multiple dogs, never just one, & it's a whole different thing. You might find it harder rather than easier, especially if they don't quite hit it off straight away.
I too think the ideal thing, if you think your dog does need company, would be a cat. This is the first year I haven't had at least one cat with the dogs & most of my dogs adored the cats more than each other. Cats are much more independently minded too so can be happy on their own for a few more hours.

thisisbloodyridiculous Fri 19-Aug-16 19:44:48

Does your dog actually enjoy the company of other dogs?

DianaTrent Fri 19-Aug-16 19:56:18

I have three. The two that are the same breed love each other to bits, but the other isn't so keen on them and needs time out frequently to stop him from getting upset. I'd recommend getting a second dog from a similar breed but of the opposite sex (as long as you neuter at least one). If you want to test the theory, get in touch with a breed specific rescue and arrange to foster a dog for a while to see how your dog responds. If it looks like it's going to work in principle, they'll probably be happy to match you with a dog that's a good fit, or if you're really lucky you'll end up fostering the perfect dog and may be able to take it on permanently.

Marbles589 Sat 20-Aug-16 05:46:10

Hi there, we've started taking our dog to doggy day care. He get love, company and plenty of play time. And he's knackered when he gets home. Win win for everyone.

JoffreyBaratheon Sat 20-Aug-16 12:44:12

Have had dogs all my life and twice, had two dogs together. The first time there was quite an age gap between the dogs (two bull terriers), and it worked very well til the older dog got very ill towards the end of her life then the younger dog turned on her - which he'd never done before. That was quite scary and led to a not very relaxing last year or so for the older. (This was when I was a kid and the older dog was the family dog, the younger bought for me).

For many years before that, they were fine together, with no issues.

The second time was when our last staffy was 2, we took a risk and got a bull terrier - she was the same age as him, and had been kept in a breeder's kennel, so wasn't even a housedog. They adored eachother and got on very well. The bad thing there, though was that he died young (aged only 6) and she mourned for him for months. Her heart was utterly broken and it took her months to be herself. She would never go in tthe part of the garden where he was buried. And truth be told, she was a gentle quiet soul anyway but with him gone, she was never the same again. So there is that. Even if it works... there can be a downside.

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