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Kiwi_Steve

Two better than one??

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Hi

I am considering getting a second dog, and heard from somewhere that it is easier having two dogs than just the one. Is this true, and if so why? Is it because they keep each other occupied, I would imagine that it will definetly be better when we aren't home as they still have each other rather than being alone. If I do decide to get another dog, would it be best to get a female as my BC is a neutred male, and have her spayed, so as not to have two males that might try to be the alpha among them? I guess it would also be a good idea to get a breed that has the same sort of energy levels as my BC so they get along together. Does anyone have any comments or is willing to share what the pros and cons are of having two dogs rather than just the one?? Thanks

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Easier??? Well, no...I personally wouldn't say that. *IF* they get along and play all day then yes, I've found that I don't have to supply as much training, mind games with Buddy. BUT, that is only when I'm busy (I work from home). I find that if Buddy wants to play or Marzipan wants to play - they play together. But there are times when they do want to play with ME regardless.

 

Also - this "2 friends" thing can be dangerous. They form their own sort of pack and you - as the human - are not part of that. Just keep it in mind.

 

And, work with them apart A LOT so as to not get any problems later. THAT can be hell...and I've seen many dogs at training that just can't stand to be away from the other house dogs. Heck with the human that is shoving treats or toys in their face - it's all about the other dog.

 

If you walk your dog and play with you dog on a regular basis, then it's not so bad. You just have to buy another leash.

 

Would I change our decision to get a 2nd dog. Heck no! In our situation it really is the best situation you could imagine. The 2 LOVE each other and Buddy (older boy) had many years of obedience so he defers to me at all times. If he wasn't as solid as he is, I think it would be harder to control them during play, etc. (especially since Marzipan just got spayed...Buddy will back of from play if I just look at him.)

 

before we got our pup, I did lots of research and asked lots of questions about male vs female. We had a 3 yr. old fixed male and the majority of folks said go with a female. There may still be alpha issues (those BC females are notorious for that!), but I was told that the m/f thing is a better combo. I agree so far.

 

I'm very thankful that Buddy was a rescue dog. If I could have found the right rescue to add to the mix, I would have. (We tried with 3 different dogs and they just really got into way too many fights/problems for the weeks we had them.) We went with a pup because - 1) she was available 2) I liked and knew her parents 3) her breeding was pretty good - UK working dogs and 4) Her and Buddy hit it off instantly. That was key and had it not worked, the breeder wanted her back.

 

First 4 months are hell - Buddy agrees, too! And I will never have more than 2 dogs in this house and on this property. (I would love a herd of about 5 or 6!!!)

 

Denise

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In our case it was a must getting a second Dog, eventually getting a 3rd. They keep each other company when we are away, 14 hrs a day, and they excercise each other when we cannot. They constantly play and get into trouble :rolleyes: . Prior to having Niki, Bozy and Cody I always had just one dog and just one cat. I can't imagine ever having just one of each again. BTW we have 3 cats now and the cool thing is they all get along so well. I've also learned that male/female combinations seem to get along better than male/male or female/female but I guess that depends on the dogs you get.

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Only two? We're at 3 now and just waiting to move to a bigger home before we add #4.

 

(we're crazy though)

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try five,yes five i need my head examined, no im kidding i wouldnt trade them for all the tea in china.and they all get alongreally well too

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My husband and I each had a female dog when we met, 13 years ago. The 2 were the same age (2), same size (Collie and Golden mix) and quickly became best buddies to the ends of their sweet long lives (13.5 and 14...we lost both last year).

 

We long ago decided we would always have 2. They do keep each other company when we aren't there, or even when we are. We got our BC Tenaya as a pup, after Maile died last year...thinking a young one would be good for our other older dog, who soon after went to the rainbow bridge, leaving Tenaya an only dog. We got another Collie pup about 4 months later; our two new girls are now 9 months and 14 months old. (Yes we have 2 girls...we're partial to girls....)

 

We did a lot of research on what kind of dog, age, and sex we wanted. My husband wanted a BC to play frisbee with, for SAR and agility. I wanted a dog that might be more mellow to hang out with me when I'm quilting, but to also do agility and obedience and therapy-dog stuff with, so I chose another Collie. They are both "both our dogs", but we each are primary "handler" of one dog for the dog sports/jobs.

 

The Collie is definitely lower energy, but the 2 play like crazy often enough, which burns up some of that BC energy. The BC is very human-bonded because she was an only dog in her puppyhood; we have to be careful to spend enough time, each of us, with the younger Collie to make sure she bonds to us first and her BC sister second (our trainer cautioned us about this when we brought Willow home).

 

So--yes, I think 2 dogs are a great idea, in some circumstances!

 

It is definitely more work than one dog, though, especially to give each one sufficient one-on-one time to create and maintain the dog-human bond. There are 2 humans in my household so it works out fine, but those times when my husband is out of town, I really notice how much work it is for one person.

 

Not all dogs will like each other (this was a real worry for the first couple weeks we had Willow the Collie home--Tenaya the BC wasn't sure she wanted to have a sister!....but now they are really good buds).

 

Two different breeds can do fine together, too, although I probably wouldn't put a toy poodle and a Great Dane together (intentionally).

 

Deanna in OR

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I have two (obviously, I'm deprived! :D ), I get the occasional squabble, but no serious trouble. I have wondered a few times whether the fact that they are brothers (different ages) made any difference?

 

There's definitely a hierarchy between them, but both seem to recognise human authority, and a loud shout of "SHUT UP!" is usually enough to get their attention when they argue.

 

I think that, in the long run, it's down to what you think you can handle - much as I would like a third, I have to appreciate that, in my dilapidated condition, it would be one too many :D (sniffle) - and Ihave names all ready, too :D

 

Snorri

:rolleyes:

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Well, I have a BC mix named Jewel that I got from the shelter and a GSD. It was really rough at first as Jewel tried her best to be Alpha dog when she first got here. I've done a lot of work with them both to get to the point we're at now.

 

I would suggest you get a puppy if you already have a doggy that's been with you awhile.

 

Yes, I agree that two dogs are better than one for you and for them. Titus is so much happier now that Jewel and he have gotten used to each other. Before I got her, I was his only playmate and he has a ton of energy. I was exhausted trying to exercise him.

 

I now take them for walks separately and train them separately and together. There have been no problems with them forming their own pack. I'm definitely part of their pack but I'm also hanging out with and interacting with them all the time when I'm home.

 

I will never have just one dog again. I think they really appreciate the company when you're not home and it makes them feel more secure too compared to dogs that are by them selves while their people are away.

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Have to agree that having 2 dogs is great ? but also have to agree with others who have posted about the extra time you have to put in. Also, if I remember rightly, Steve, your boy is still quite young (or am I mixing you up here?) Having worked for the last two years with my boy and girl who are only 7 weeks different in age (long story!), my preference would probably be to get a fair bit of basic training into one before you get the next one. Just makes things a bit easier, although since these kids are my second pair of dogs, we manage OK.

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My boy is about 18 months and I have only had him for the last three months. I had thought about getting a pup, maybe another BC or even a New Zealand Huntaway to keep him company. I have actually just got back from the vet as he had a terrible reaction to a dog shampoo, even though we had used it previously without any problems. His skin down his spine has gone all flakey and in areas has gone scabby as well. He has managed to rip the scab off one area by licking and biting at it and it is now a large open wound that is infected. He's now on antibotics and has a large shaved area in the middle of his back with the large wound exposed so as to let it breathe. Anyhow bit of a worry but I'm sure he will bounce back. Thanks for the advice so far.

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More dogs = more work and more expenses. I used to have just one dog, but he had my neighbor's dog to play with and so didn't spend his days alone. When I moved away I got a second dog as a companion for him and as a jogging partner for me. My dog family has grown from there. As long as you recognize that the "keeping each other company" thing is not a substitute for the individual time you will need to spend with each dog, you will be fine. Just remeber that two dogs can be twice as destructive too! If you look at my sig line, you can see that I manage multiple dogs, and if I had to say what one thing was hardest about having all of them, I would have to say veterinary expenses (border collies are very active and as such are more prone to injuries--at least mine seem to be). Of course I don't have a life outside the dogs and I work and trial a few of them and otherwise devote a lot of time to them.... Just something to keep in mind.

 

J.

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OK Julie,

 

if we're going to play the "who's got the most" game :eek: ; my money is on Sam. :rolleyes: Anyone who needs a 15 passenger van (with back seats removed) to haul all their crated dogs has got to have the most.

 

Life with >1 dog is different and with 1 dog. You'll find some things are easier (or at least no more work) while other things will become more difficult. Cost will always go up. Yes, dogs can play with each other freeing you from always entertaining. However, their preferred play may not be what you want. They can keep each other company; however, this may reduce their attention to you. A lot of this will depend upon the dogs individual personalities. Having multiple dogs is an exercise in management; you need to learn how to best manage various situations (training, 1-on-1 time, play, housing, transportation, feeding, turn-outs, etc). Everyone will find there is a maximum number and desirable number of dogs they can manage and this number will change based upon pack dynamics.

 

Mark

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The facility where we train Oreo is connected with an all-breed rescue. Monday they brought their newest puppy rescue in at the end of agility class. She's an adorable Shiba Inu mix and Oreo fell in love with her. He is very sweet tempered and was the only dog she would play with.

 

My daughter talked about nothing except adopting that puppy all the way home. I did my "mom" thing, pointing out that the adoption costs were the least expensive part of a lifetime of costs, plus mentioning our small home and small backyard.

 

When I was telling my husband about the pup this morning and my daughter's desire to adopt, she listened for a while and then finally said, "I don't want the puppy for me, I want her for Oreo!"

 

I've told her that EVERYbody loves puppies and there's more to getting another dog than just falling in love with a puppy. I have to admit, though, it is VERY tempting. :rolleyes:

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Hey Mark,

If I had as many dogs as Sam, I'd have to get a *second* job to pay for them all! I think seven is my limit, though with everyone getting pups, it's so very tempting (something Renee and I talked about at the trial this weekend). Now everyone knows why I drive an Astro--size alone limits the number of dogs I can fit, though there is room for one more (puppy) crate....

 

Mark does make an important point about managment. The more dogs you have, the more personalities you have to deal with. When on the road travelling, I have one dog who will not go potty unless he's out by himself (extra time/work for me as I have to take extra walks for him alone). I have two others who like to challenge each other all the time (extra work for me refereeing things). I have two others who play "anything you can do, I can do better, faster, deeper (holes in yard), etc. You get the picture.

 

J.

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Julie,

 

Renee will be VERY tempted at the end of this week. We're delivering puppies from Susan R. to Mary B. this weekend, and Renee is looking forward to time with them Friday afternoon before we leave.

 

Mark

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WE HAVE TWO BC' BROTHERS FROM THE SAME LITTER. THEY DID GO THROUGH A LITTLE FIGHTING FOR A LITTLE BIT OF TIME AND IT WASN'T REALLY NASTY FIGHTING NO BLOOD THANK GOD. THEY WILL BE 1 YEAR OLD MAY 5 AND THEY FIGURED OUT WHICH ONE WAS THE ALPH (OTHER THAN ME) I WHOULD NOT TRADE THEM IN FOR ANYTHING. THE ONE DOG IS JUST STARTING AGILITY AND THE OTHER IS GOING TO START TRACKING CLASSES. THEY DO LOVE EACH OTHER VERY MUCH. IT IS SO FUN TO WATCH THEM RUN AROUND THE YARD AND PLAY. THIS IS THE FIRST TIME I EVER OWNED TWO DOGS AND IT IS THE BEST MOVE WE EVER MADE.

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7 dogs?? Wow... now there's my hero. My boyfriend is getting a GSD this year, I'm getting a BC next year, so we'll be at two (since Oreo is staying with my parents)... but I definitely want at least 3 dogs. I have my heart set on a long-hair dachshund. :rolleyes: Boyfriend isn't too keen on little dogs (to say the least) and thinks two dogs is plenty enough. I've got time to wheedle. I LOVE dogs... they're my babies.

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Hey Mark,

Might you get home from work this afternoon to find a little bundle of joy added to the dog family? If not, then Renee has remarkable self control.

 

J.

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Our two dogs, Andy and Maglore (aka Rude-Dog Magoon) get along famously; so much so that they seem to have developed a co-dependeny. I suppose that's not entirely good, but certainly not all bad either. When they are separated and then reunited they go through a ritual celebration as if they'd been apart for years. I do still spend time with each dog individually although most of their time is spent together. Andy, my mild-mannered BC, especially appreciates the "me" time, as we are able to play old favorite games that Maglore prohibits (instant jealousy). In the big picture, having two dogs who really like each other, get on well and readily play with each other has made things somewhat easier and worth the additional cost. More to the point, they are my family, my kids, and I don't think of them in terms of their maintenance costs. Perhaps not all two-dog combos would be as smooth as this, but having these two characters together has probably been less work than either dog alone would be.

 

-kevin-

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ArmyDoc,

While I appreciate the sentiment that your dogs are family, etc., (mine are too) I think people who are getting additional dogs (or considering doing so) *really should* consider additional costs. Doing so doesn't mean you love the ones you have any less--it simply means that you are approaching the idea of adding to your dog family in a *realistic* manner. I have seen any number of posts on these boards and in other places (e.g., when I worked for a vet) by people who find they can't afford the basic veterinary care required by their pets. To suggest to John Q. that they needn't consider the costs because their pets should/will be like children to them is doing a disservice to the dogs if the humans later find that they cannot afford the extra expense. I'm not trying to pick a fight with you, but many people read these boards and I do wish for them to have a realistic view of life with multiple dogs. (Of course in my case we're talking about way more than two, but the point remains the same--if you are considering an extra dog, cat, fish, whatever, you need to consider not only how much time and attention you can give but also whether you can afford the additional expense.)

 

J.

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I must preface my post with the following statement ? I love all of my dogs. They are all wonderful and fantastic in their own way, and each one gives me something special that I appreciate every day.

 

However ?

 

I miss having one dog, in lots of ways. After I lost my first dog and it was just me and RD, we had a blast. He and I were very bonded and he went absolutely everywhere with me, and we had such a great time together. To this day, if I take RD out by himself for a stroll to the store or whatever, the old guy is just ECSTATIC. He practically does cartwheels he is so excited to have one-on-one time with me. So I suspect he sort of feels the same way.

 

My three dogs get on together reasonably well ? they do squabble fairly regularly and they certainly don?t curl up together or anything like that. It?s a funny little pecking order they have with one another ? Tweed likes to play with RD who doesn?t like to play very much at all, but will sometimes indulge. Piper would like to play with Tweed but Tweed doesn?t like to play with Piper. RD and Piper will sometimes play for a bit, but it usually turns into some kind of disagreement sooner or later; plus Tweed tries to break it up because he doesn?t want them playing.

 

RD is impeccably trained, which I attribute in part to simply his nature ? he is a very biddable dog ? and in part to the fact that he and I had an easy companionship for a long time that allowed us to operate in sync. Then I added a second, and things got a little more difficult. Tweed does not have nearly the degree of biddability as RD did and does. Piper is an extremely smart dog and although she learns fast and easily, she has also learned that she can away with a ton of behaviours simply because my focus is spread pretty thin at any given time.

 

It used to be such an easy thing to slip on some shoes and stroll to the beach with RD ambling along easily beside me. Now it?s a big production with three dogs, and leashes and me sniping at someone for something ? tell me why it is that each of my dog has a nice loose-lead heel when he or she is alone with me, but together they pull like a team of sled dogs and make walks so unpleasant?

 

RD resented Tweed initially but now seems to enjoy his company for the most part. Both of them resented Piper, and sort of still do, a year later. Piper dislikes being resented and is a bitchy little thing. Poor RD has given up trying to muscle in on attention (he will beat the crap out of your dog, but he won?t fight with his own housemates) and spends a lot of time lying behind a sofa feeling sorry for himself. I make a point of locking the other dogs away every day so I have some one-on-one time with him, even if it?s just 10 minutes. He is always happy to see them if they are separated, so I know he feels they are part of his pack, but he also doesn?t seem to need them.

 

Tweed needs RD in a lot of ways. When RD was sick in the hospital, Tweed was depressed. I worry about this because RD is considerably older than Tweed and I?m not sure how he will fare when RD does pass. This is in part why I got Piper, although it hasn?t worked out exactly as I?d hoped. Another thing that worries me is that RD?s mobility is decreasing with each year, because of his CHD and arthritis, and one of these days he?s not going to be able to keep up to the whippersnappers, and it?s going to greatly compromise our routine and make a lot more work for me (but keep in mind I do live in an apartment, so that?s kind of specific to me and my situation). Piper doesn?t seem to care if the other dogs are around or not, she just wants sheep or a tennis ball and is content. I could probably give her to any one of you and she would be happy as a clam because her attachment to me and the other dogs is the least strong of any of them.

 

As Julie says, the additional costs are a major consideration, and that includes not only basic care and vet bills, but also things like boarding when I go away, and finding room for them all in one car and things of that nature. I had to buy a deep freeze for crying out loud!

 

At any rate, there are lots of positives to having three dogs. Watching them play chase-me games on the beach when the tide is out on a summer evening is wonderful. Each of them has their sports / activities that they excel at and I love working with each of them one at a time. They are all fantastic in so many ways, but I definitely view them as a little pack and I definitely do not have the same relationship with them all that I had with just one.

 

Anyway, that?s just my two cents.

 

RDM

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Point well-taken. I didn't mean to suggest that one can simply ignore the financial burden of additional dogs (or children) before entering into such a responsibility.

 

-kevin-

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If I understood the original post, he wants aplaymate for his current dog. If you can offord the $ and time then by all means do it, But I would suggest checking with bcrescue. They have lots of BCs that need a loving home. Here is their link: Border Collie Rescue

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