Getting a second dog?(16 Posts)
I have a 7 year old springer X. She is a lovely dog. Quite calm and chilled at home, but rather nervous when out. She mixes with lots of dogs on our walks, but will randomly growl at some dogs - usually when they sniff too long. She'll growl and run off from them.
Would a puppy be a terrible idea? She used to spend lots of time with her mum, but she had to be rehomed due to a divorce. She loved being with her mum, but hasn't seen her in over a year now. I think she'd be grumpy with the arrival of a puppy, but would be fine in time. Dh thinks she'd hate it forever.
I have a few worries. If we got one, would she teach grumpy habits to the puppy? Growl at a few dogs - most of the time she is fine, I must stress that! Is she too old to cope with a puppy? Somewhere I read under 5 was the best age to introduce a new puppy. It could just be a disaster couldn't it? Or it could be great? I'm at home most of the time, so have time to spend with them.
My father's dog coped well with the arrival of a puppy when she was aged 6 but she did teach the puppy some bad habits ( digging, barking at other dogs)
If you do get a pup just make sure she has somewhere to go when the pup is annoying her and she doesn't want to play.
My father's dog used to go upstairs when shed had enough of the pup.
Two years later and if he's getting too plateful she still retreats upstairs.
But it worked for my father his older dog loves having the new dog around as she has company.
Would you consider getting an older dog? That way the puppy phase is over and you can test them out together by taking them both for a walk / having the new dog for a trial few days?
If not, and you get a puppy, your dog will need somewhere to escape to, and you need to let a certain amount of 'telling off' happen.
We got an older dog as a companion for DHs dog when we moved in together. We didn't put them together and until we brought the new dog home. No issues but they completely ignore each other! We were later advised we should have put them together first - we would have seen that they don't really 'gel' iyswim?
When we got dog3, he was a puppy. He played too much and tried to steal food / treats from the others. He got growled at / pushed on his back / snapped at a few times by both dogs. As long as I didn't interfere he learned what they will and won't put up with. He's a nicer dog as a result.
Also, our dogs ages are 11, 8 and 4. The 11 year old and 8 year old ignore each other but they all get on with the 4 year old.
And when 4 yo was a puppy, the older dog got on with him best, so age isn't really a factor.
Could you dogsit for a friend to see how your springer copes with having another dog in her territory? That could be a helpful first step. Our springer loves mixing with other dogs on walks but when we looked after a puppy cocker for a week he was beyond stressed. Hated every minute of it then completely relaxed when I walked them both. He didn't like his routine being disturbed so much with little cocker wanting to play all the time, insisting on cuddling up with him to sleep, pinching his food, barking, my springer ended up taking himself up to bed away from it all. He's 11 though, so very set in his ways!
I had thought about an older dog, but wondered if she'd be happier with a puppy so she knows she's in charge. We used to look after her mum a lot, but she'd obviously known her all her life and loved having her here.
We have a fairly large house so they could have beds in separate rooms if necessary. I could also easily separate them in the day too to give her a break. We live in a village surrounded by fields so lots of exercise areas available.
She probably could cope with a puppy, and may even like it.
In your situation, however, I would be looking at introducing a nice steady dog possibly of a similar age, as this could actually give your girl more confidence when she is out and about.
I think you're right but I'm not sure how to find a steady dog. I wish now that I'd taken her mum. She had a bladder issue - frequent leaks - and at the time we were in the middle of building work and it would have been impossible to deal with as we had no easy access to our garden.
Maybe contact a few rescues and explain your situation. There are specific springer rescues, and gundog rescues as well - or would you consider a different breed? ( one that could keep up with your girl in terns of exercise requirements )
Our six year old has had a new lease of life since we got a puppy last year.
We had in fact dog sat for a friend's dogs before that, and she was fine with it, so that's probably a good idea.
i've mainly added adult dogs, its finding a complementary character and ideally not similar issues i.e 2 reactive or nervous dogs would likely feed off each other & become worse. I've one that doesn't take well to being challenged but my others are laid back, she's also reactive to unknown dogs so needs parallel walking together etc to relax before greeting. Obviously it depends on your own dog who they gel with but can increase the likelihood of a good match.
My dogs aren't the type to cuddle up together & play lots but they like each others company & get along which is most important. First week or 2 is often a bit grumbly but soon sort out their boundaries.
Youngest we added was 6 months (was supposed to be short-term) and they all either ignored him or told him off for about 2-3 weeks and i had to step in to remove annoying puppy frequently & occupy him. They will play with him but he does have more energy than them (7-10yrs) so they've usually had enough well before he's ready & i've had to fill that void so he doesn't pester them, he can be bit full on and trample them in his exuberance. Its been more work for me though i hadn't really planned to get a puppy & generally prefer them 2+yrs .
Some adult dogs don't teach boundaries for pups & let them get away with murder so can't always rely on that & not all dogs have good social skills, if you go to the park often witness dogs with poor manners, so wouldn't blame your girl grumbling with some rude greetings, 2 of mine are very tolerant but there giving signals they aren't happy.
Perhaps I'll try some rescue centres. I thought they might just deem us unsuitable as she can be a bit grumpy. She is lovely with people and most dogs. She doesn't like small bouncy dogs as she was bitten by one when she was very little. It's all in the approach for her - if a dog rushes up to her she'll growl. If they approach each other gently, sniff and carry on she's fine. She used to play all the time with her mum, but she doesn't have anyone to do that with now. We play with her, but that's not the same!
Does the sex of the dog make any difference? I feel like she prefers females as so many of the males we meet are intact and a bit in her face!
IMO the sex of the dog is less important than the temperament. A very soft neutered boy would be preferable to an in your face girl, for example. A good rescue will have their dogs assessed and also advise you on careful introductions.
She doesn't sound that grumpy at all. Most female dogs at that age will not tolerate bad behaviour and rudeness. My two girls are now nine, and while they are perfectly nice dogs they don't hesitate to tell off any cheeky pups who run up to them uninvited.
About a month back we rehomed an 18 month old currently un-spayed (had to wait for her season to pass) female terrier cross who we already absolutely adore, we already had a roughly 10 year old female spayed Yorkshire terrier who has a love/hate relationship with other dogs. It was a bit of a gamble but I have to say it paid off big time, they adore each other!
The little one has given our yorkie a whole new lease of life and shown her how to be a dog, she now plays with toys and wrestles with the little one. The yorkie has never known how to play with another dog or been bothered with toys, she preferred to chew on our feet. The yorkie has gone from being a lapdog to them almost having a little pack of their own, it's very sweet.
In the first couple of days there were some little spats but honestly we expected it to be much worse and prepared the house to be able to separate them if needed, baby gates, crates etc. but they haven't been needed at all. If the little one oversteps her boundaries our older one will put her in her place with a sharp bark but no fights.
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