Is a second dog a good idea

(18 Posts)
Pugdoglife Sun 23-Feb-20 19:56:04

Just wondering if anyone has any experience and /or advice.

I'm desperate to get a puppy or older rescue to join the dog we already have, my husband is less keen but open to discussion.

We already have a four year old small cross breed female, she is well socialized, happy and healthy and trained well enough to be a good pet (she wouldn't win any obedience competition though).

We have three children who are 8, 6 and 2 who are all good around the dog we have and like to help with her.

I work three days a week and my husband works 5, but due to my shifts being early and his late, she is only alone for just over an hour at a time, my mum looks after the dog if we go away at all.

Would adding another dog be a good idea or is it more likely to upset our current set up? I think it would be nice for our current dog to have another dog to play with, but I've only ever owned one dog at a time, so I don't know if this would work or not.

I'd really appreciate any advice or your experiences.

OP’s posts: |
Lincolnfield Sun 23-Feb-20 21:05:37

We’ve always had two or three dogs and have had dogs for forty years. Currently we’ve got an old golden retriever, 14 years old and two flatcoated retrievers aged 8 years and 15 months.

There can be a bit of jealousy at first. Our older flatcoat pierced the younger one’s ears a couple of times when he was a little puppy in the first week or two, but there again, puppies have to be taught their manners and as long as it doesn’t develop into outright aggression it’s fine. The snapping and growling sounds worse than it is and they soon settle down once the hierarchy has been established.

Now, our dogs are great companions for each other. I do think that dogs gain something from each other that they can’t get from us, after all they are naturally pack animals.

Also our son visits and brings his rescue greyhound with him and my dogs just accept Ralphie as another one of the gang. It’s lovely to see them all happy together.

GrumpyMiddleAgedWoman Mon 24-Feb-20 08:55:46

It sounds as if you are in a good situation to add a other dog, though with a lot of young DC you'll need to consider the exercise needs of any dog you get and how they would fit round a child with chicken pox etc. Also bear in mind that many/most rescues won't re-home to households with children.

As PP says, expect a bit of jealousy at first. IME they settle down fairly quickly.

Amicompletelyinsane Mon 24-Feb-20 08:59:00

I got a second dog. I think I assumed it would end up just like the first. Nope. He's even more energetic and has so many issues. I do regret getting him. Not that I would ever admit to my husband

adaline Mon 24-Feb-20 10:24:59

On paper it sounds like a really good set-up for a second dog.

But how would you feel if they didn't get along, or if the second dog had behavioural issues? I would be wary of upsetting the status quo but I am a bit of a worrier!

Hepsibar Mon 24-Feb-20 10:43:38

We have ended up with 4 dogs somehow ... a gorgeous springer whose family were friends of friends and were divorcing and were looking for a good home and our dear heinz 57 having been put down the year before, 2 years later another friend of acquaintance said they knew of another springer needing a good home and then two years later an acquaintance was needing a home for an elderly cocker all older dogs and males and castrated and then somehow we were landed with a JRx puppy.

So I would say go for it ... we did have the middle two for a weekend before we decided and they just stayed!

Sooverthemill Mon 24-Feb-20 10:47:53

We added in a second dog almost 2 years ago. Our old one was 9, now 11 and younger is now nearly 2. I'm not sure I would do it again, love both to bits of course. The young one looks to older one, is anxious when older one not here ( like today when he is at vet having a scan) and doesn't listen to us very well. I'm sure we could be doing better on training ( and believe me we try very hard) but I thunk the dynamic is very different. We did it because old dog has health issues and we thought he may need to be pts and we couldn't bear to be without a dog and vet said it might perk him up a bit. Not sure if it has though he is still here!
My advice is if you do it, build in lots of one on one time for both, individually and separate them sometimes.

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Pugdoglife Mon 24-Feb-20 11:18:38

Thank you all for your replies so far, it is really useful.

We got our current dog as a puppy, because no rescue centre local to us would consider a home with children under 8, I understand why, but my children have been trained to be careful around our dog and respect her boundaries.

The breeder we got our dog off has a litter of puppies available soon and also a female who is 4 years old, who he will not breed again and is looking for a good home for.
We had previously had a rescue dog who was 5 when we got him, he had come from a terrible life and he settled really well with us, but it was just me and my husband back then.
I would prefer an older dog but feel a puppy would settle more easily (not looking forward to toilet training again though) .

My worry is that it would upset the status quo as a pp has mentioned, but then I see other dogs playing together and snuggling up to sleep together and worry mine is missing out.

OP’s posts: |
Lincolnfield Mon 24-Feb-20 15:16:40

The 4 year old might be a good bet for you. Just take it slowly with your existing dog. Introduce them outside the house and take them for a walk together - less threatening and territorial. Whenever my son has a new rescue dog we meet outside and take his dog for a walk with ours. He’s now had Ralphie since last October and he comes to our house as though he lives here. We’ve never had any problems at all. He drags my son or his wife up the drive to get in!

You say your dog is sociable so a walk and letting them play together a bit before you take them both into the house. Your new dog will probably go all around the house sniffing and exploring but let her do it, then feed them preferably in he same room but with their own dishes - and DONT leave them alone while they’re eating!

Make sure existing dog gets loads of loving and cuddling and they’ll settle down.

GrumpyMiddleAgedWoman Mon 24-Feb-20 15:42:16

My advice is if you do it, build in lots of one on one time for both, individually and separate them sometimes.
I would agree with that. We also have a large age gap between dogs and we made sure to sometimes leave the puppy home alone so she wouldn't become completely dependent on the older dog, and also to take her out by herself and pile in the training time. It has worked very well, no regrets at all.

The breeder we got our dog off has a litter of puppies available soon and also a female who is 4 years old, who he will not breed again and is looking for a good home for.
I'd be a bit confused about this: in my opinion ditching a breeding bitch once you've finished breeding her isn't on.

jinxpixie Mon 24-Feb-20 16:06:41

I see other dogs playing together and snuggling up to sleep together and worry mine is missing out. Do not get another dog for these reasons.Your dogs might like each other or more likely they will tolerate each other. If you think your dog needs more dogs interaction(unlikely) then join a dog club or do dog sport etc and mix with more dogs.

The reason for getting another dog has to be because the humans want another dog.

I would also not touch a breeder who gets rid of their bitches when their breeding life is over.

Lincolnfield Mon 24-Feb-20 17:06:02

I agree with people’s reservations about the breeder but if some kind hearted person doesn’t give the poor little bitch a loving home, what will happen to her?

My sister had a mini schnauzer who had been seriously overbred - she got her via a rescue and thank goodness she did because Chloe then had another 8 years in a lovely home with my sister, her husband and their other mini schnauzer Rona.

Pugdoglife Mon 24-Feb-20 17:21:58

Thank you for the extra replies, my initial plan would be to walk the new dog separately from our current one, I can factor in the extra time and to take it to training classes, we used a great trainer last time and I would also like her to help with the introduction/settling process (she does one to one sessions as well as group).

Our dog has a crate in the living room with her bed in, she takes herself in there, we don't send her there, the children know to leave her alone if she goes in there.
I'm thinking I would have the new dogs bed and food set up in the kitchen until things settle, and I can assess how to move forward, we already have a baby gate on the door for our two year old.

It's such a hard choice, i can think of so many positives but then I have the fear of "what if the dogs don't actually like each other".

And I'm sorry if I made the breeder sound harsh, he isn't, he does keep some of his breeding dogs as pets, I had asked specifically about this one when he said it's her last litter, I worded it wrong when I said he was looking for a good home, more that he would be willing to re-home her.....is that still awful?

OP’s posts: |
Pugdoglife Mon 24-Feb-20 17:25:30

The other thing is my dog is more affectionate with me than anyone else e.g. she always sits next to me on the sofa not my husband, but she's happy enough if the cat sits with me too, so I'm not sure if she would be jealous or not?

OP’s posts: |
GrumpyMiddleAgedWoman Mon 24-Feb-20 18:24:26

more that he would be willing to re-home her.....is that still awful?
Less awful. I know someone who got a young bitch from a breeder who had had her hip-scored and decided (responsibly, on the basis of the scores) not to breed her. She had a lovely long, much-loved and well-exercised life.

Possibly my view is skewed by the fact that the breeders I know either breed their pets to keep a puppy, or breed their working dogs (also sometimes to keep a puppy) and having spent 2-3 years bringing a bitch up to a high standard of training, they'll not be parting with her for love nor money for as long as she can work, and once she's past work she's such a part of the family that she has an honourable retirement.

As for dogs getting on, IME they sort themselves out especially if you give the original dog plenty of attention for the first few weeks.

Lincolnfield Mon 24-Feb-20 18:38:21

@GrumpyMiddleAgedWoman I think you also talk very sensibly. It’s very unusual for two dogs to actively dislike each other. My dogs are still jealous of each other but in much the way that kids vie for attention. In our house if you get one dog loving up to you, then you get three! 😂😂

GameofPhones Tue 25-Feb-20 13:57:02

Try fostering a dog first to see how it goes? Then you have no permanent commitment, and you could keep the foster if all goes well.

79andnotout Tue 25-Feb-20 17:46:56

We got a second greyhound a few months ago. We thought two would be very similar to one but they have completely different personalities and needs so it's more effort than envisaged, but it has definitely improved our first dogs life. She seems to have more fun now. I'm glad we took the plunge. It's costing us a fortune in food though as the second grey is very active and eats twice as much.

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