More than one dog

(10 Posts)
Meltedicicle Sat 31-Aug-19 21:21:14

Have been thinking for years about getting a dog but wanted to wait until DD1 was a bit older (has SEN and was a bit unpredictable when younger). She’s now nearly 12 and we think now’s a good time.

So, we are looking at rescue dogs and just wondering, would people recommend getting more than one dog or does it just depend on circumstances or breeds? And does anyone have any particular thoughts on this?

We have never owned dogs before (we just have a cat) so not sure if 2 dogs would be a crazy idea for us novices or if actually it would be good for them to have each other as playmates?

OP’s posts: |
missbattenburg Sun 01-Sep-19 06:17:58

Start with 1 dog.

Two bring a whole level of complexity you don't want:

- they could dislike each other and need help to get along
- they could love each other to the detriment of creating a dog-human bonds
- they could learn/escalate each other's bad habits
- they could trigger bad habits in each other

All of the above can be overcome, but as first time dog owners do yourself a favour and avoid it right from the start. At least, that would be my advice.

The only time I might question or bend that advice is if you found two perfect dogs that already were used to each other (e.g. had come from the same home and were to be rehomed together).

Dec2019mumtobe Sun 01-Sep-19 06:51:43

Completely agree with @missbattenburg. Especially with older rescue dogs who perhaps don't have good habits trained in from puppyhood (speaking from experience, I have two rescues....)

I often regret getting two dogs, it made life far more complicated than it needed to be. I love my two dearly but aside from the behavioural reasons listed above (some of which apply in our household), there's a list of financial and logistical reasons I wouldn't recommend having two either:

For me, the cost at the groomer doubled from £30 every six - eight weeks up to £60.

Ditto with vets bills, dog training classes (should he compulsory for ALL owners IMO), worming tablets, flea treatment, food, treats, coats in winter, things like dog beds, etc. Even toys! You always have to buy two of everything. which adds up over a year.

Won't apply to everyone but renting a home. We were evicted twice (no fault of our own - both owners wanted to sell after two years). Slim pickings to find anywhere they'll accept one dog never mind two. Easier to convince landlord/owner to accept one dog than two. We've always had to put down a massive deposit for two dogs. And most landlords make us pay £100+ for pro carpet cleaners when we leave. (Thank god we own now!!)

Same with holidays (b&bs, hotels, holiday cottages etc). Can be difficult to find dog friendly holiday let, never mind anywhere that accepts two.

If you go abroad and need to put them in kennels or arrange a home boarder, dog walker etc. Price doubles! Even if you don't go abroad and need to find somebody who'll have TWO dogs while you attend a family wedding, child's graduation, hospital appt, hospital visiting sick relative etc.

The space! My mum was continually falling over her two big Labradors, their beds and other paraphernalia. Even my two little terriers take up lots of room and get under my feet. And both of us have good sized houses.

One dog is easier to walk than two. Especially if you get one that pulls like a rocket and the other is a slow plodder that likes to stop and wee on every blade of grass!!! Of course, training can sort that...

But training one dog is muchhhhhh easier than two!

We noticed our two "competing" for attention too. One will turf the other out of what he deems to be the best bed. (Comfiest or closest to us). There was also issues with sitting close to us (who can sit the closest). We have to operate a strict no dogs on the sofa policy which has been amazingly helpful with that.

Smell/mess! One easier/better than two! Washing dog bedding, muddy paw prints in autumn, wet dogs if you get caught in a rain shower on a walk, etc. Picking up poo from the garden. All just easier with one!!!

I love my two very much but I'm not sure I'd ever have two again!! The worst thing is we got them to be "company" for one another, thinking they'd play together, like each other... but nope. They're totally totally indifferent to one another. They largely ignore each other and honestly wouldn't be sad if they didn't see the other one ever again.

And god, the worst thing... when one barks the other joins in without even knowing why he's barking!!!! Just joining in for the fun of it 🙄🙄

BiteyShark Sun 01-Sep-19 06:53:25

I agree totally with missbattenburg. As a first time dog owner it has been much harder than I thought (I had grown up with dogs) and I think two would have been too much.

If you really want two, get one and wait a year or two (depending on the dogs age) to make sure you have all the training sorted and have ironed out any behavioural issues before looking for another.

Meltedicicle Sun 01-Sep-19 09:41:05

Thanks all, really useful and lots of things I hadn’t considered. It was always the plan to just get one but then my friend said as dogs are pack animals they should really live with another one and some of the rescue sites have dogs which say they can’t live as an only dog which made me wonder as obviously I want to do what’s best for the dog. But I agree with you all, 2 is probably too crazy for an inexperienced owner!

OP’s posts: |
ImogenTubbs Sun 01-Sep-19 09:51:00

We just got one dog and I do sometimes feel bad for him that he doesn't have a playmate as he loves other dogs, but I think it's really helped with his training and obedience and created a strong bond between us. And we try and give him regular doggie playdates so he gets the chance to interact with other dogs.

BiteyShark Sun 01-Sep-19 09:54:07

I wonder if the dogs in rescue that say they must be rehomed together is simply because they are bonded with each other so much that it would be traumatic to separate them as well as move them to a new home.


missbattenburg Sun 01-Sep-19 10:59:05

Some dogs are more relaxed around other dogs - sometimes as a result of poor human socialisation or cruelty from humans - but this is not the norm.

Dogs aren't really pack animals, though they are quite social to their own species, they don't really NEED them.

GrumpyMiddleAgedWoman Sun 01-Sep-19 14:07:12

Definitely start with only one. Two is a different ball game, quite manageable with experience, but it does really help to know the first dog very well before you get the second.

labazsisgoingmad Sun 01-Sep-19 16:25:32

had one dog when she was 12 years our dog walking / home sit business received a call asking us to pick up a dog who's owner died then take him to a rescue. unfortunately or fortunately we fell in love with patch so kept him but it took 2 years so iron out so many of the issues he had due to living with bad owners ie did not have proper dog food just what the owner dropped such as chips etc; he had never been outside and was 3 years old took a long time to be happy with grass trees etc; owner and dog peed and pooed in the flat where they wanted to etc. now he is 90% better but took 2 years and a lot of hard work. then we lost our first dog intended just to keep patch but then the charity i work for had a little chihuahua that was surrendered mickey is ok with animals but terrified of humans thanks to his owner. took us 3 days to get him to come out of his crate 3 weeks on he will wander around the house go in the garden to see the guinea pigs etc but if he hears a voice or spots us runs back to his crate fast as he can. it will be another long road but we will get there he will be worth it. we did intend both times to stick to one dog for many reasons already given but to us circumstances dictated otherwise!

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