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Two dogs - twice the fun or twice the work ?

(18 Posts)
Montypig Wed 28-Nov-12 20:59:43

Hello - we have a rescue Staffie dog - 14 months old who is brilliant with other dogs and good with the children - but.... When he is bored or attention seeking he chews - and he does it magnificently! We have been talking about rescuing a companion for him and the rehoming people who know him well have just recommended a calm 4 yr old bitch.

However I am worried that this will be double the trouble ! Do any of you have experience of this and what would you do ?

The chewing and bouncing is a product of bored attention seeking but with 3 dc's including a newborn there isn't much wriggle room there !


GoldenOrangeWhippoorwhill Thu 29-Nov-12 09:20:33

I'd say twice the fun, assuming they get along well together. Dogs seem to really enjoy having canine companionship. Mine used to spend hours lying together on their mats just mouthing at each other. There was no way I had time to play for that long.

Actually I liked it best when we had three so I'm most probably crazy. smile

D0oinMeCleanin Thu 29-Nov-12 09:29:19

When I went from one dog to two but the biggest shock was not the increase in mess or work it was the noise. Two dogs make ten times the noise.

I am used to it now. I can't remember what quiet is like anymore grin

My neighbours must think I run a dog fighting ring in my dining room the racket they make now there are three of them. I've shocked a few visitors...

Dogs in other room: "Snarl, snap, growl, bark. growl, snarl, snap, whimper, yelp, growl, bang, smash, growl"
Visitor: "Do you need to go and see to those dogs before they hurt each other?"
Me: <cheerfully> "Oh no, they're just playing, they always do this"

MoaningMingeWhimpersAgain Thu 29-Nov-12 09:35:05

I know I find the frequent playfighting really really wearing TBH. Its not unlike the children bickering all the time grin

Our newer dog has really changed the old dog too. Old dog was a very placid little terrier and since newer dog has taught her new bad habits like barking at and chasing our cat, it is a bit annoying.8 yrs of taking no interest in the cat and he gets chased a lot. Not aggressively, just noisy with lots of thundering about.

But they look very sweet curled up in the basket together.

mistlethrush Thu 29-Nov-12 09:38:05

We had a very energetic collie cross - the best thing we did was to get a second - they would spend hours playing together, play fighting (in the garden) or playing tug inside - they would also love a run together on a walk, but also did their own stuff when out too....

DH doesn't know that I'm already considering a 2nd wink

SpicyPear Thu 29-Nov-12 09:39:01

I would say both. I have a four year old rescue Staffie who is very calm in the house and about a month ago we bought home a JRT/Whippet pup. I guess it's been harder than usual here because SpicyDog is noise phobic so has been a bag of nerves since mid-October (fireworks) and SpicyPup was a baby. it's Niue than twice the work as they need to be walled and trained separately as well as together to ensure the new dog bonds to you as well as your existing dog.

Also, my girl loves other dogs, but does get asked with the pup bouncing in her so they need their own space. To begin with she was possessive aid toys despite not really being interested in them before. So you have to carefully manage access to resources to avoid problems. Some dogs might settle together straight away, but you might equally see behaviour you hadn't expected from either of them even if they get along well at a meet.

You beef to consider how much tie and energy you have to work on any such issues that crop up. The best advice I was given was to only get another dog for us, not SpicyDog because you can't really tell how that relationship will work out. For example SpicyDog chews a lot more since the puppy arrived!

Scuttlebutter Thu 29-Nov-12 09:41:39

We have greyhounds. We started with one, and we lasted three months before making the trek back up to the kennels. Greys in particular really thrive with another chum, since they spend so much of their time with other dogs, when they are racing. For us the biggest jump was going from two to three. Now we have four. shock

I found it very easy to go from one to two - but issues you want to consider would be:- Walking - Who currently does the walking? Is your 14mth old dog currently good on the lead? How would you walk two dogs together if you are also wrangling 3 small DC?

Money - v important - be brutally honest. Can you afford the extra insurance, food, wormers, kennel costs while on holiday, etc etc Even if you have insurance, most dogs seem to have a knack for needing minor vet treatment that is just the cost of the excess in the month when the car also needs new tyres, the boiler blows up and the kids need new shoes.

Cover/help - depending on family circumstances, you might have a friend, family member or neighbour who is willing to pop in and help out when you need to be somewhere else or even for pup to have a little sleepover. Many folk who are happy to do this for one dog are understandably more reluctant to do so for two, and considerably less for multiples. Think about your support systems and how they will cope. If they can't/won't (and there is no reason why they should) then you will be back to teh money issue and thinking about kennel costs if you need a weekend away/day out etc.

Noise/mess - yes, it seems mysteriously to be a lot more. But with 3 DC as well, this may be less of an issue!

Good luck!! smile

SpicyPear Thu 29-Nov-12 09:41:47

Oh gosh. Sorry for typos! Must proof read on phone! Hope you can work it out.

Montypig Thu 29-Nov-12 10:19:51

Thank you all for your help. I am beginning to agree with DH who has been pitching for no 2 for a while and you have all helped a lot - I guess the risk is that they don't get on as well as expected but there is only one way to find that out ! Thanks again

Ephiny Thu 29-Nov-12 10:50:00

I don't think it was twice the work/trouble. The expense was the biggest thing, by far. Also space in the car (more an issue for larger breeds, of course). And it was more difficult to ask someone to look after two dogs if we were going on holiday/away overnight.

Ours didn't fight or make much noise, not once they'd got used to each other (there were a few squabbles in the first few days!). But they were both calm older boys, it's different if you have a bouncy pup or something.

Walking two is fine, once they're both trained to walk nicely on the lead - if they're not, you might have to start with walking them separately. I never got the hang of recalling one without getting both though smile

SpicyPear Thu 29-Nov-12 14:25:44

Ah yes D0oin the noise, good point. The other day DF started to look concerned and finally said, "hadn't you better stop that, it sounds like it's getting a bit serious". They were having a great time!

VeganCow Tue 04-Dec-12 11:52:45

I can recommend having 2 definitely.
Would always recommend a dog and a bitch so glad she is a little girl, having said that I have had 2 boys and a girl and they all got on brilliantly.

I tend to do park walks rather than on-lead walks, so, I drive them to wherever I decide that day, lots of variety and means they can just jump out of the car so no pulling on leads to contend with, but I know thats not for everyone and mine are very well behaved with great recall.

DreamingOfTheMaldives Wed 05-Dec-12 10:55:28

I wouldn't recommend getting a second dog as a way to appease the first dog as you don't seem to have much time for him at the moment. Sounds like you have your hands full with the children right now and the dog isn't getting the attention it needs/wants. Getting a second dog may just exacerbate the problem, and you may find yourself with two frustrated dogs. Just think of all the work which may go in to a second dog - training etc. Even if you get an older dog that is already, it will need that extra work coming into a new house.

What about perhaps using some of the extra money a second dog would cost (food, vets, insurance) and pay for DD1 (darling dog 1!) to go to a doggy creche or have a dog walker come in. That way, the dog could burn off some excess energy and you could have some peace. Even just taking him once a week to doggy creche would give him chance to socialise with other dogs and would tire him out.

Just an idea anyway.

lifeistooshorttodrinkcheapwine Wed 05-Dec-12 23:05:31

Be really careful choosing another dog - see how your dog responds to any potential new pet - do they get? on ignore each other? become aggressive/dominating is one submissive to the others domination? We have 2 labs. one is 11 and the other is 4 the younger one is a big soppy loveable dog and the older one lives on his nerves, is easily frightened and doesn't like socialising with other dogs much. The younger one bullies the older one, pinches all his toys pushes him out of the way, etc - despite this they do seem to get on and sometimes play together- i think.
With two dogs you are limited with holidays - some places will take 1 dog and not 2 dogs. It does cost more but not a great deal. it is more dog hair, more mess and double the vet bills - get insurance for them.

BUT I would still have another dog if and when we lose our older dog, partly because the younger dog has never been on his own without the other dog and would pine terribly, also we like having 2 dogs

mistlethrush Thu 06-Dec-12 19:06:42

lifeis - I second the 'see how they get on' However, when we had a nervous collie cross, we got a rescue cross puppy to see if it might help - the first three days were hell.... then puppy started to go down with kennel cough so was more subdued - and dog discovered that puppies were actually quite fun to chase... and so the relationship started, and it became the best thing we could have done for the timid dog - because the puppy took the front line and therefore took all the pressure off the other one who could skulk in the background - and the two of them had the most wonderful games of fight and chase in the garden and out on walks.

Montypig Fri 07-Dec-12 17:19:07

Thanks all - lots and lots to think about - very grateful for all your ideas

kitsmummy Fri 07-Dec-12 19:03:38

Twice the fun and a little bit more trouble but the fun makes it worthwhile (so speaks the owner of DDog1 who is has a few behavioural issues slightly challenging but loves her new friend)

Montypig Tue 11-Dec-12 21:34:51

Thank you all for your advice and ideas - I gave up the battle with DH and newsmallerdogno2 arrived on Sunday. It has been an unqualified success with olderbigdogno1 clearly very happy to have company. Thank you for your help all of you.

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