Two dogs together, genders, ages, what works best?

(26 Posts)
hellymelly Tue 10-Sep-13 13:30:30

Time for us to get a new terrier, we lost our last one over a year ago. This time I am thinking maybe we should have two dogs, rather than a singleton, but what works best- two puppies? Siblings? Getting a puppy first and then another when the puppy is a year or so? I want the two to get along obviously, and I have only ever had one male dog at a time. This time as the DDs will be walking the dog when they are a bit older I will probably choose a bitch to limit the chances of fights, although as my previous dogs very rarely got into fights maybe I am worrying too much about that? Can you keep two bitches without spats? Or should we just stick with one!?

Lonecatwithkitten Tue 10-Sep-13 13:39:20

IME bitches are more likely to fight than dogs. Me I would always start with one and then if I wanted another two years later get another then. My personal preference is always for males.

We got a new male pup when our older dog was 22 months old (also a male). It's proved to be a good mix, and a good age gap. The puppy isn't too annoying for the older dog, as he's still young himself. They play together for hours in the garden, chasing and playing tug with their toys.

Ilovemydogandmydoglovesme Tue 10-Sep-13 13:45:18

It's hard to train dogs if you get two siblings together. They tend to look to each other rather than you. Might be best to get one before the other.

hellymelly Tue 10-Sep-13 14:33:09

So maybe we should get a puppy now (would be ready in late Jan) and then another a year or two later? So two bitches, or would they fight each other? A bitch first then a dog? I've never had a bitch, but terrier males can get into scraps as they are so bouncy and feisty. I like the idea of them having a chum to play with. Both would be terriers, but two different breeds probably.

topbannana Tue 10-Sep-13 14:51:16

Definitely not siblings <shudder> grin
I have dogs. Always went for bitches, always ended up with dogs for some reason. They don't fight (spaniels) though there are moments of tension as the pup is becoming "a man" I have seen some awful bitch on bitch fights and would probably steer clear of two bitches. Two dogs or one of each would be my preference.
As for age gap, IME at least a year depending on breed (I am assuming you mean puppies rather than rescuing an adult dog?) the other option could be a pair from a rescue centre. As they are older then the dynamics are more settled and likely to be less of an issue.

MrsWolowitz Tue 10-Sep-13 14:53:46

Don't get two puppies at the same time.
No no no no no.

<gibbers at the thought>

EasyToEatTiger Tue 10-Sep-13 15:01:13

I wouldn't have 2 pups at the same time either. I would have one, and get it bedded down and trained before getting another. If you end up with 2 dogs and a gap between it will be clearer who is top dog. 2 bitches could be complicated if they fight. Bitches tend to bear grudges more than dogs. We have 2 dogs and a bitch. My mum had 2 bitches and a dog. It's easier to start with one sex then get one of the other, and go from there...

hellymelly Tue 10-Sep-13 15:17:05

I did want to home a bonded rescue pair I'd seen on the breed rescue website,(I have 25 years experience of one breed) but they felt my youngest child was too young at 6, and they would want my dds to be older before they give me a rescue. My brother has a rescue patterdale who is unpredictably snappy with smaller children so I think a puppy/puppies are the way I will go this time, and rescue next time, or possibly a rescue in two or three years. I am taking on board that two puppies together is a very bad idea! So now need to decide on whether to get a bitch or a dog, and which breed. What are the pros and cons of dogs vs bitches generally?

MrsTwgtwf Tue 10-Sep-13 15:18:53

Great thread, OP...not that I'm marking my place or anything...

tabulahrasa Tue 10-Sep-13 15:29:12

Oh it's personal preference really, a neutered bitch shouldn't be really any different to a neutered dog...

Though, I prefer boys, I find them cuddlier and soppier and bitches a bit more independent (though I know other people say the exact opposite).

I'd take a bitch from a good breeder though over a boy from a not so good one,that's way more important.

Lilcamper Tue 10-Sep-13 15:30:09

This is a good write up about littermate syndrome positively.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=6011

throckenholt Tue 10-Sep-13 15:47:56

two puppies would be a nightmare in my opinion. I would go for one - get them to maybe 2 before introducing a new pup. We have a gap of 4 years between ours and it is fine - older one has become "younger" under the influence of the younger one, and the pup has matured quite quickly taking the older one as a guide.

Previously we had a 10 year old and a pup - which was ok - but the older one was a bit like a grumpy granny - didn't want to be bothered but sort of enjoyed it if she had to.

We have always had one male and one female - no idea about two bitches.

hellymelly Tue 10-Sep-13 15:53:42

Thanks Lilcamper, that was a really helpful link. NOoooo I definitely don't want two puppies now! I had thought maybe it was kinder, that they would be less lonely of doggie company .We are at home a lot though, I am not working and DH works mainly from home, a puppy would not be left alone at all until it was really settled. Last time I had a puppy I was in town, and socialising was easy, now we are in the country and it will be harder.
So now I have the sex/breed thing to decide. Have always had fox terriers, but the bitches are madder than the dogs, so thought maybe an Irish terrier bitch. Saw some puppies on Sunday. Lovely parents, great temperments, but I feel somehow bereft at the thought of a different breed, while DH feels too upset still about losing our lovely old doggie, and thinks he might prefer a slightly different breed.

topbannana Tue 10-Sep-13 16:57:50

Ooh Irish terriers smile
Dogs v bitches? Very much a personal thing, as I said earlier on I have dogs. With the exception of the one bitch (my once in a lifetime dog) all my boys have been more devoted, more biddable and ultimately more faithful- plus no seasons to worry about.
Perhaps start with a dog. Then you can add another dog or a bitch later. If you start with a bitch you will most likely be tied into having a dog second personally I just rock up and choose whatever takes my eye

hellymelly Tue 10-Sep-13 19:18:37

Hmm-I had assumed it would be a bitch this time but now am doubting. I hate dogs fighting and growing up with a bitch was easy as she never got into fights ever. Whereas my own dogs did. Not often, they were good tempered on the whole, but enough times to have had the odd fright. (the bull terrier who attacked my dog, the rottie ditto, and the time my dog waded in to another dog's fight with glee). But my dogs were both very devoted as you say. Partly it is a breed thing though, some breeds are more devoted than others. My first dog was entire, the next neutered, and the only difference that made was that the neutered dog had less hassle from other dogs as I suppose he was less of a threat. It changes the coat though, so that was another reason for thinking of a bitch. AAArggh I can't make my mind up.

We had a 9 year old boy ( Collie X), then got a bitch pup ( Saluki type Lurcher). She was 2 when the old boy died last year so we got a dog pup ( GSD X) fairly soon afterward.
Now we have a 3 year old bitch and a 1 year old dog and they are mainly okay together.
The Lurcher mainly wants to lie around after they've been walked but tells the younger dog off when it's required. And they also play well when they are both feeling lively enough.
I like having one of each.

thesixteenthtry Tue 10-Sep-13 20:47:16

If you want one of each gender, get the girl first so she's spayed well before the boy arrives.

You don't have to decide until you meet the puppies really - and then choose the puppy who suits you best.

I don't think gender matters too much - it's more about the individual dog and which one picks you from the litter. Having said that, just for interest, I had four bitches who lived happily together until a couple of months ago - now I'm down to three, but still they still fit together happily.

Definitely, definitely avoid two pups from the same litter. It is very hard and very time consuming to turn them into well behaved, trained adults. I'd aim for an age gap of about 2 years if I was choosing.

heidihole Tue 10-Sep-13 21:06:32

Fwiw we have 2 bitches, 3 months apart in age and both got at 8 weeks old.

They are the best of friends, both play so well together and would be lost without the other. Lovely dogs who are impecibly behaved with our 1 year old DC too.

everlong Tue 10-Sep-13 21:35:30

I've got a 10 year old bitch and a 12 week old male. The girl is my sweetheart, she is devoted to me and food, very loyal and well behaved. The puppy is a little hooligan but they get on really well and play and cuddle each other. She is definitely the boss.

I'd get one of each or two males.

HotPanda Wed 11-Sep-13 07:10:44

I have a 5 yearvold Dalmatian and we have a bitch pup weimaraner, who is 5 months. So far, it is working very well.

hellymelly Wed 11-Sep-13 11:10:24

Have spent hours looking at videos on youtube of the prospective breeds. Has only made me miss my fox terriers horribly sad. But DH thinks we should get the Irish terrier as they are a bit calmer so might be an easier dog for the girls at the moment. I am still undecided!
Don't think I'll get to choose the puppy from the litter whatever we decide, but certainly not with the Irish, as we need to reserve a puppy now, and state the gender we want, so there might only be a choice between two or no choice at all. We live quite a long way from the breeder too. When I got my fox terriers there was only one dog left each time so that was the dog I had.
The other dogs I really like are wolfhounds or deerhounds , but apparently they musn't go up and down stairs when they are growing, and we have steep stairs down to our kitchen, with the entrance to the garden off that. So until we move, that isn't an option. I have never had such a big breed either, so would be a novice.

hellymelly Wed 11-Sep-13 11:11:00

heidi what breeds are your two?

heidihole Thu 12-Sep-13 04:35:20

I have a boxer and a Labrador (working strain, not 'stout' show strain)

hellymelly Thu 12-Sep-13 16:07:22

I have put my name down for a female Irish terrier from the next litter, and will most probably add a male Fox Terrier in a year or two, either a rescue adult or another pup. Feels good to have decided! I am really happy with the breeder we found, very careful and responsible, good tempered dogs, so that helped the decision process. Thanks for all the great advice everyone.

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