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Those of you with more than one dog- practical questions

(19 Posts)
westmid Thu 07-Jan-16 11:16:15

Currently debating whether to add a second dog to our family (DDog 1 is 7). I have seen and taken on board a lot of pros and cons regarding having more than one dog in various threads- particularly in terms of behaviour.

What I am now keen to find out is other people's experiences of the basic, practical implications from having two e.g. If you have more than one, how big is your house/garden? Are the dogs crated and if so, is that one crate each? What do you do when you go away on holiday (if not taking the dogs that is!)? Just in general, how has it been having two dogs around the place?

I realise everyone will have different answers but just keen to get a sense of how people manage. I would love another, and plenty of people have more than one, but when I consider all the implications my head spins!

hellhasnofurylikeahungrywoman Thu 07-Jan-16 23:10:27

Average size 3 bed semi.
Longer than average garden (compared to house size)
No longer crated.
Family look after them if we go away.

Two dogs has been great, our timid collie loves the boisterous spaniel to bits. Collie was 13 months old when we brought a 9 month old spaniel home to stay. The collie has taught the previously a stray spaniel everything he needs to know about living in a family home. We did use a crate when he first came home but she used to let him out to play if we shut the door when we went out so we stopped using it.

Thed0gs Thu 07-Jan-16 23:16:33

We have a 2 bed end terrace, small rubbish garden.

2 dogs; GSP was just under 2 years old before having our Ridgeback.

It's been brilliant. Gsp had taught RR all his manners so he's been excellent with other dogs. RR is laid back which I think eases GSP's separation anxiety. They're an absolute joy to have.

BooAvenue Thu 07-Jan-16 23:20:26

I adore having two. Although we have a big garden and quite a big house!

Having two relieves the guilt I used to have of leaving one on his own for anything over 10 minutes blush.

Luc28 Thu 07-Jan-16 23:28:29

We were so unsure when we got our second Labrador. We live in a 4 bed detached with ave garden, our first dog Albert was a rescue pup my daughter was 4 and I was pregnant with my son (now 2) we introduced Oscar when Albert was nearly 3. At first they didn't settle but now are inseparable and so good together. Hardest part was getting used to having 2 ... We use connecting lead chains so they are clipped together When walking or travelling in the car. I am glad though that we got Oscar at 2-3 years old and didn't introduce a puppy to Albert as I can see that being much harder work!

LizzieMacQueen Thu 07-Jan-16 23:42:43

It can be incredibly noisy with 2 - mine like to lie on their backs mouthing each other whilst squealing, though as the puppy has aged that has changed.

They are good company for each other (company for dog1 was the reason for getting dog2) an dog1 is never bored now.... a big plus.

We only crate the puppy at bedtime as he sometimes still pees overnight but I think that they'll soon get to sleep all night together on the sofa.

Walking the two has been easy, the little one falls into step nicely with his big sister, but you also have to walk the older one separately as the puppy will only need minimal walks to start with.

My dog sitter gives a discount on a 2nd family dog so home boarding isn't as expensive as you might think.

I think our problem this summer will be finding a holiday cottage that will take two pets - a lot will only consider taking one.

We have a detached house with a mature garden, lots of shrubs etc to explore outside and space enough inside to have a 2 living rooms, one of which is dog-free (well maybe not on a Saturday night).

DramaAlpaca Fri 08-Jan-16 00:01:43

We've always had two dogs, they are great company for each other. I think dogs benefit as much from the company of one of their own kind as they do from the company of humans, and wouldn't have just one. They clearly have their own canine way of communicating with each other and enjoy being together. We do have plenty of space, a large detached house with a big mature garden.

Our old girl died about eight months ago, and we started looking for a pup quite quickly as a companion for our four year old girl. DPup joined us at the end of August & has fitted in really well. It took about a week for DDog to accept him fully, and now they are inseparable. If we have to leave them they have the run of the kitchen, utility room and a little sitting room, with lots of things to play with & comfy sofas to sleep on and they are fine. They have never been crated.

Watching them romp around & play together is just lovely, they enjoy each other's company. It is quite noisy though, lots of excited yaps and happy growly sounds. We live rurally and the dogs love country walks, haring around together and having great fun. The only difficulty is walking them on leads, both are working springers and it's hard for one person to walk them both on lead as springers like to follow their noses and have great difficulty walking in straight lines! So we usually take them somewhere where they can run about safely off lead.

I've put two dogs into kennels before, even though it's expensive. We have a good one nearby. These days DH & I go away on our own as our DC are grown, and the DC take care of the dogs.

LibidinousTurkey Fri 08-Jan-16 07:29:41

I've always maintained that the biggest shock to the system is the first dog, rather like the first child really. After that the others generally just slot into your normal routines.

For us we have a small cottage with a tiny back yard but are two minutes walk from open country. Walking all three together on lead had been <ahem> a challenge but many months of hard work has paid off and they will walk beautifully together now- I use figure of 8 leads for the younger two just to give me a little more control, DH refuses to walk all three together and prefers to do separate walks which is his choice. Off lead they are great, though walking in small parks and narrow footpaths can be problematic so I try and avoid these if I can.

This is the first year that they will be going to kennels, this works out at £30 a night which is a definite consideration when going away. It is almost impossible to find the perfect cottage in the perfect location at the perfect time which will accept three dogs though, it was definitely less hassle with two (but not exactly easy hmm)

They will share a crate if we go away, at home they have a two seater sofa a large bed between them or they sleep by the fire.

DDog3 was a rescue and there's only a year or so between her and DDog2- this has been both a blessing and a curse. With hindsight I would have preferred a bigger gap but DDog3 just happened along when she did so that was that grin

WizardOfToss Fri 08-Jan-16 07:48:26

Having 2 is great. They love each other and have growly conversations! The senior dog helped train the junior dog, giving her a nip if she didn't come back quickly enough (ironic given his own recall!), but she's the boss now.

We have a small house, although they have their own boot/dog room, but we do have a massive garden, stream and woods which they run in and explore - as a consequence, they're not good on the lead!

They have separate crates, which the springer doesn't really need, but the cocker can't sleep without his so we've stuck with them.

Drawbacks - just the expense of food, vets bills and kennels really. And double the mud and hair!

All worth it when DH and I have a dog each on our laps in front of the fire..

BlackMarigold Fri 08-Jan-16 09:03:29

2 large dogs, small garden which is no problem as they get all their exercise on walks. We live close to river and woods, which means mud++ in winter.
We've got a tiny utility room with a front door, and a back door to garden. Couldn't manage without this, dirty dogs go straight into utility, get de-mudded and stay there till dry. Its also useful to be able to leave them there when we go out, so neighbours can't hear them when they play - very noisy barking and growling.

MaitlandGirl Fri 08-Jan-16 09:43:32

It's chaos!! The hardest part is remembering just how much hard work a puppy is, when you're used to the settled behaviour of an adult dog.

I'm still not convinced our older papillon likes the puppy but the pit bull cross adores him.

Our older pap is a funny eater, prefers to graze but this has been sorted out now we've got the puppy and housetraining was a doodle with the older dogs showing the pup what to do and where.

Our dogs are 6, 5 and 6mths old and I think maybe the gap is too big so we're getting another papillonmin about 12-18 mths time.

We currently live in a large 4 bedroom house with a smallish garden but we're moving out to a property next year with a huge back yard, we'll have to section off part of the garden for the dogs otherwise we'll never get the little buggers in when its bed time!

KatharinaRosalie Fri 08-Jan-16 09:55:10

we have 2 large ones, from the same litter - everybody always says you shouldn't do that, but it has worked out very nicely for us.

Average house and garden, but honestly they sleep most of the day and couldn't cate less about the size of the house. Not crated.

If we go on a daytrip and don't take them, we have a dog walker. She doesn't charge extra for the second dog, as ours are so well behaved she says it's no more work for her. For longer holidays, we take them to PIL's.

Yes they do eat twice the amount - but in general, having 2 is no more trouble than having one. You still need to walk, feed and organize dog-care for absences, even if you have just one. But 2 is twice the fun!

MaitlandGirl Fri 08-Jan-16 11:12:08

Meant to say - they're all still crated overnight (separately). The older 2 don't sleep well if left out and the puppy is a lunatic who likes to throw himself off the back of the sofa.

Greyhorses Fri 08-Jan-16 19:51:19

I love having two but it is much harder work than one...maybe this is because ddog2 is a nightmare though.

I have a small semi which can make it hard with two lots of mud/hair etc. Mine are large but to be honest after a walk sleep most of the time so I don't notice how much space they take up. I don't crate mine at home but I do at work and crate them seperately.

I have found jelousy issues hard to deal with (dog 2 pushing dog 1 out of the way!) and making sure both get equal attention. I hate to leave one out so maybe this is all in my head though.

Walking has changed, it is more enjoyable as they play and run together but also is harder as I have to watch two instead of one and they are so strong when being silly. Sometimes one recalls and the other dosent and I end up dragging the poor other one around while trying to catch the first hmm
Pup is 11 months and things are getting easier now but the beginning was hard.

It is also twice the cost. Holiday cover shouldn't be a problem as kennels will take two happily.

Overall, I do enjoy having two but it is much harder work than I thought!

Pippin8 Sat 09-Jan-16 09:55:09

We've always wanted 2. Never got round to it with first dog as he was so good we were worried another wouldn't be & we'd be disappointed.

Now he's gone & we've got a 3 month old pup, who is a complete whirlwind. She's proving very difficult to housetrain & she has so much energy, even though she can go out now. Would we be mad to add another dog into the mix?

We have the chance to rehome an 8 month old male cockapoo. He is housetrained. His owner is an older person who was bought him when their partner died. This person cannot exercise him enough & is not in the best health, hence needing to rehome him.

Noitsnotteatimeyet Sat 09-Jan-16 12:29:04

You'd be mad to add another puppy to the mix ...

TheoriginalLEM Sat 09-Jan-16 12:41:19

pain in my fecking arse the pair of them. But i love them as much as my children. id never go back to a single dog. I have bastards jack russels. They play fight alot and im not sure id find it so funny with two labradors. i often walk them on a single split lead. often one of them stays on the lead because he is not 100% with other dogs. but two off lead can be a challenge.

does your first dog have good recall? i think the 2nd dog picks up manners from the first.

Scuttlebutter Sun 10-Jan-16 00:04:25

We've currently got 4. Things to consider as the number of dogs rises:-

Your car - after our second greyhound arrived, we moved up to an estate car and now we are pretty much stuck with that or a van. Obviously this would depend on the breed you choose.

House - I don't think I was really prepared for how much extra mess each dog adds to the general levels of cleaning in terms of mud, hair, oomska, occasional accident etc. We have a short haired breed but I sometimes feel that cleaning the house is a never ending and thankless task. One dog was very easy to clean round, but I did notice a big jump when we moved up to two. At this time of year, I seem to be in an endless cycle of washing muddy dog coats, our dog walking jeans, throws, dog beds etc.

Financial - extra costs of food, vets, kennels, dogwalkers and insurance plus additional coats, collars etc.

Training - I regard this as essential and ongoing - you have to devote more time to training including separate sessions for each dog.

People you can use as dogsitters - it's incredibly easy to find a person who'll dogsit one eg. next door neighbour, parent, friend. Much less so for two, and for four, only if like us you have friends who are also multi-dog obsessives.

Holiday accommodation - becomes steadily harder to find as the number of dogs increases.

Having said all that, I am completely smitten with ours and love being a multi dog household - it's just so much fun. And it's endlessly fascinating watching the dynamics of the group, the relationships and how they help each other get into mischief etc.

MaynJune Sun 10-Jan-16 19:27:17

My older lurcher was six or seven when I got her, and six months later I got the younger one, who was about three or four at that time. The older one is an extremely calm dog and the younger one learned from that and generally respected the older one. I wouldn't have wanted the second dog to learn bad behaviour from the first one, and I think that age gap worked well.

Otherwise, what Scuttlebutter says. I feel two dogs is a bit much for the family members who would look after them when I'm away so I put them in kennels. They share a kennel which makes me feel a bit better.

There are holiday cottages that take two dogs, Welcome Cottages is pretty good for finding them, but two dogs' beds etc as well as the dogs themselves take up a lot of space in the car. Small dogs would be easier.

Mine are on the lead most of the time, as they both have a strong prey drive, and walk extremely well with no pulling so it's no bother at all. A friend has more of a problem with her two.

Some dogs are better on their own but my two co-exist very happily and are now very close. They make me laugh every day and my two are certainly more than double the pleasure.

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