Post # 1
- Wedding: July 2013 - Rock Hill Country Club, Manorville NY
We are thinking of getting a second dog.
Here’s a little background: We have a 2 year old mutt, Bruford. We rescued him at 11 weeks old. He is very sweet, gentle, pretty calm in the house, loves us very much, is great with our cats and REALLY loves other dogs. He loves our closest friends and family and their children but is TERRIFIED of strangers. His fear has manifested itself as aggression and has bitten some of our friends that he doesn’t know well. He’s never hurt anybody (he’s about 45 lbs), but it’s still a huge problem.
His bad behaviors somewhat subside when he’s around other dogs. He’s clearly insecure and has a chemical inbalance that we have been trying to manage with different drugs, a dog behaviorist and exercise. Nothing has helped as much as otehr dogs.
Mind you, he does not magically transform when another dog is around, but he definitely gets better and more comfortable around strangers.
Our vets, behaviorist, obedience trainer and other specialists have advised us that getting a second dog might help a lot. It certainly wouldn’t hurt.
We’ve tossed the idea around. We love dogs, obviously, and would like another dog, but we are trying to be realistic. We own our house and have a lot of property, but it’s not fenced in (yet). Bruford uses an aerial run, but only one dog can be on it at a time. We also would feel bad because for now, we both work and nobody is home from 8-3, M-F. We’re off in the summer, and I wanted a puppy then, but I was pregnant and we thought it would be too much. Now I just finished my second miscarriage and it’s no secret that I’m craving a baby of sorts. I realize it’s going to be probably a year before I have a baby, so I’m thinking now would be a good time to get a puppy.
I’m just curious about how your house/life changed after getting a second dog. Did you get a puppy? Any special tips? Thanks!
Post # 3
@Jilliebean1: Getting our second dog was the best thing we ever did. Our male had quite a few behaviorial problems that simply disappeared once he had a friend and playmate. The two of them are inseperable and they are the funniest thing to watch when they play. Oh goodness I can’t imagine life without the fearsome duo.
Yes your vet bills, food bills, grooming costs etc will double. So finances are a consideration. For us it wasn’t anything too extreme that couldn’t be managed so we never hesitated.
For the new dog you might want to consider getting a female. This will alleviate any dominance related disagreements you might have with two males, even if they are neutered. Your other dog is two, still fairly young, so the introductions probably won’t be too difficult depending on how your dog with other dogs. Is he socialized?
Just set boundaries with both animals and give them time to get used to each other. Once the puppy is old enough to go on walks definitely take them out together. Walking as a family is a HUGE bonding experience and solves a world of issues.
My ferocious duo:
Post # 4
Whenever we had two dogs when I was a kid the second dog came to us as an adult-ish (the last one was 9mo old). I think it actually might be easier to have a puppy because dogs don’t see them as a threat as much as a grown dog that has its own way of doing things and is freaking out a little about now suddenly living with you.
However that’s all the advice I can offer – I want another puppy (we have a 3yo golden retriever) but my husband says no. 🙁
Post # 5
I don’t have any advice towards the second dog as my one boxer is more than enough! She isn’t fearful of strangers, quite the opposite. She is terrible company b/c she wants to jump and be a maniac the whole time.
I just wanted to say good luck and hugs!
Post # 6
I think if you want one you should go for it. Get a wireless invisible fence and teach your current dog to use it (set the range wide) and then when your puppy gets older, you can teach him/her (young puppies cannot use an invisible fence). When you eventually get a physical fence then you just deactivate the invisible fence 🙂
Post # 7
You’ll have to carefully choose the dog, since you have cats in the house. Multiple cats + another dog is a lot for a new dog to come into, so definitely make sure you discuss that with the rescue group you go through! It won’t be impossible to get another dog, but you should definitely be careful about which one you choose and how you introduce all of them to each other!
Post # 8
With this situation I would be more inclined to look for an adult with a calm, confident personality. Breeders are usually pretty good at telling what kind of a personality a puppy will have, but it’s never a sure thing. You wouldn’t want to end up with another insecure dog, or one that doesn’t like other dogs, is too dominant, etc.
Post # 9
1) If you do get a second dog, I would not get a puppy. Puppies learn behaviors from other dogs, and you could potentially get a situation on your hands where you now have two dogs that are very afraid of strangers. I would rescue a dog that is at least two years old. You need a dog that is extremely set in its ways when it comes to strangers so that when you’re walking them together, and your current dog is uncomfortable, that it doesn’t wig out the new dog.
Also, if you’re still actively TTC, I would stick with an older dog. As soon as dogs reach 2-3 people forget what it’s like having a puppy and how much work it is. (Which is probably why we keep buying puppies, it’s a defense mechanism :)) I can’t imagine having a dog under two and an infant. As PP mentioned, I would also recommend a female.
Do research on how to integrate either a new dog and a puppy into your home with an existing dog.
2) Your expenses magnify for sure. Vet bills double. If you’re getting a puppy, they’ll more than triple for the first year. Those intital vet visits every 3 weeks, plus spaying/neutering, and going to puppy training classes add up like you wouldn’t believe. Boarding, daycare, all of it adds up.
It’s also not fun to think about now, but I can’t imagine losing my dogs within a year of each other or less — which is another reason why we went with an older dog. Aside from the emotional grief, the cost of end of life care for each dog should be taken into consideration.
Post # 10
- Wedding: August 2012 - Sunset Harbour
We got a second dog for our yorki thinking he could use a buddy since he grew up with my parents dog, and just seemed happier with the other dog around.
However….our yorki was NOT happy with the new addition. For a solid week, he wanted nothing to do with the new dog, refused to even be in the same room with him. And he looked at me and DH like we ruined his life. Every time he looked at us it was like he was screaming ‘Whyyyyyy?!?!?!”
But after a week of adjustment, they were Yorki was turning 3, and our new mut was turning 1. They are so much fun, DH and I can just sit on the couch and watch them wrestle and be crazy all night.
Post # 11
- Wedding: July 2013 - Rock Hill Country Club, Manorville NY
Thank you for all of your input. One reason I’d prefer a puppy is that we have cats. Our cats are used to dogs (our friends bring their dogs over all the time ans the cats are confident and comfortable around New dogs) I’m sure some people might disagree but I feel like a puppy raised with a cat is safer than an adult who is said to be good with cats. I simply can’t take the risk. Trust me though I remember what it was like to have a puppy… lots of work. As for socializing, Bruford is really well socialized with other dogs. He’s never met one he didn’t love. He’s a very submissive male too. All of his “friends” are female so we would want a sister for him to ensure they get along. I’d like to rescue again but want to from a shelter that has their dogs in foster homes bc I feel like the foster parents REALLY get to know the dog and can tell you a lot about them. I’d prefer a female, under 50 lbs, low to medium energy and most importantly, friendly to people.
Post # 12
@Jilliebean1: To be honest, I would personally recommend waiting to get your fences up. Dogs need room to explore and if only one dog can get it at a time it’s not really fair on Bruford, plus they need room to socialise, play and get to know each other!
We adopted our older dog from a shelter when he was 12 weeks old. He’s a gorgeous boy, but very clingy and needy, so we decided to adopt a puppy to keep him company during the days while we were at work. We hoped it would help him, but to be honest it’s made him more clingy and a little more desperate than he was before! I suppose it doesn’t help that every time we have friends over now, they go straight for the puppy and love holding him and giving him cuddles so our older boy gets a bit jealous.
They do get along great though, although I think our older boy tires of it from time-to-time, as the puppy will never leave him alone. He always wants to play, and despite being a lot smaller can be a bit of a bully!
I definitely agree with adopting foster dogs. Our older dog was 12 weeks old and a from a pound type shelter. Our younger pup was 9 weeks old when we adopted him, but born into a loving foster home. Their personalities couldn’t be any more different!
Post # 13
I love having two dogs. I can’t imagine being in a one dog house now! our second dog is a boston/boston mix. he was the one who was skittish and hesitant (he does NOT like strangers until he sees me hug them). We had some dominance issues between our two dogs.
I adopted the pug (Hammy) when he was a few months old – he was a rescue, but was taken out of teh situation at 2 weeks old and had been living in a foster home. Then he was my only dog until I moved in with my now husband, and was lavished with attention. Neither dog is alpha, so they had no clue what was going on (according to our trainer – HIGHLY SUGGEST having a trainer work with you nad your dogs). The second dog also came from a rescue – he was relinqueshed by his old family. They moved from their house to a very small apartment and knew space-wise it wouldn’t work and they couldnt give him the attention he needed). Boris (boston) is such a good dog. I recently scolded him for trying to eat a slipper and he legit went and stared at teh wall!
Anyway to get a second dog, we had Hammy meet the candidates on neutral territory. Some of them did NOT work out – either with Hammy or with us. There were afew rescues that were terrified of males. When we brought Boris home, we had the boys meet in the driveway and play in the yard, then come in together. I did not really want a puppy simply b/c I didn’t want to train another dog! Been there, done that. Boris and Hammy are both such lovers and relish attention, so we did have to spend some time with each separately so they still got their attention. Right now I have Hammy on my left and Boris on my right snoring away – if you do get a dog with a more smushed face beware of the snoring!
One thing is that we seem to go through food so fast. We did have to switch food b/c Boris has some food allergies. Their treats are more expensive as well.
Now our dogs LOVE each other and do not like to be apart. They do act like brothers so they do sometimes fight – nothing super bad, just if one has the current favorite toy and the other wants it. They also play fight which we love. It’s really helped with Hammy needing less exercise, which sounds lazy. I think it’s helped his personality too.
Post # 14
we have two dogs and absolutely love it! we started out with just one (a miniature poodle), but felt bad that she was alone all day. we got an older standard poodle for company, and she’s been great! our little dog was chewing on furniture a lot, but has stopped completely. the older dog is super sweet and very motherly. I think getting an older dog, maybe one that has lived with cats, would be perfect for you.
Post # 15
I wouldn’t suggest a puppy. I don’t know that a bouncy puppy will help much with the situation, and may aggravate the existing dog. Puppies are very tiring for adult dogs more often than not.
One from a foster home from a trusted rescue would be my suggestion. A confident, calm, social dog who has grown past the adolescent weirdness (older than 2 years) would probably be ideal.
Post # 16
@Jilliebean1: We just got our second dog last month and she was 8 weeks old when we took her home. Our other dog is 1 1/2. It was a big decision for us as we are actively ttc and we don’t have a completely fenced in back yard. All things aside, it works for us and our 1 1/2 year is absolutely loving having a second dog in the house.