Post # 1
I have really been considering getting a second dog, but I am unsure of how to find the exact right fit, We have a 2 year old female Weimeraner that we rescued from a local FB For Sale group- we did zero research, I just jumped to take her out of what was a bad situation. I realize we have been incredibly lucky that she fit right into our family with an extremely easy transition period- especially given we knew nothing about her or her breed. So obviously this time around we have thought long and hard and have decided we really do want a second dog and have the means and time to really commit to a second dog.
Question is this: how do you decided what breed of dog or type of dog is right for your family? We have a child that is 5, both of us work outside the home but I can come home at lunch to let her in and out, our new home doesn’t have a fenced in yard, but we built an oversized kennel type thing. Our Weim typically likes to go out in the kennel from when we leave for work until around lunch time. She just likes being outside- it’s big enough to give her space but not large enough to really run in it. Then around lunch time she comes in and has free roam of the house until someone gets home around 5-6 pm. She is very laid back, but active. She loves to play and due to her size it can scare other dogs.
I worry a second dog won’t like that or will get bored/anxious being outside. But then what if having one outside during the morning and the other inside all day ( whether it be free roam or crating) makes them unhappy? Completely fencing in our yard is not an option and I was raised with dogs who were dog door trained and had free roam of the house so I am super worried about about current situation. I know this board is full of advocates of crating your dog during the day, but I just can’t wrap my mind around it and will the second dog hate us if her big sister isn’t crated but she/he is?
So I guess my question is multi faceted- how do you bring a second dog into the home when you already have an established routine? How do you decide what type of dog is right- go by breed standards, visit a bunch of rescues? Then what if you get your new dog home and the 2 dogs hate each other? I worry if we don’t get a dog roughly the same size as our current one that her playful ways will overwhelm the new dog and will lead to fighting ( which is what happens when she’s around FIs parents dogs who are smaller than her)
Sorry this is so long and way over thought- clearly I have anxiety about doing the right thing and not causing any of my 4 legged buddies to hate me LOL
Post # 3
From my experience, our two dogs have separate routines and they do not seem to be bothered by it. My dog (who is 6 and I got her as a puppy) is let alone to roam all day in our apartment. Her doggy sister (she is 2, we adopted her a little less than a year ago) has to be crated. She still chews quite a bit and we did not want to come home to a hole in the wall. They both seem to be fine with it and we have had no other problems. Our crated dog actually likes to be crated and seems to feel secure in there. At night we will leave the crate door open and she chooses to lay in her crate rather than in the bed or on the floor by us.
Post # 4
When we decided to get a second dog, we knew we wanted a puppy, for the sake of our first dog. Our dog generally likes to be in charge, so we felt a fairly submissive puppy would adapt best to our first dogs personality. We wanted a pup that would have a similar energy level as our first dog. We also knew we wanted a male dog, again so our first female dog could be in charge.
We met a LOT of dogs the first time around, took training classes, so I feel like we’re pretty good at assessing a dog’s personality. So when looking for the second dog, we took the advice of shelter volunteers and basically said, “point us to a submissive but not fearful male puppy” and we got him!
I really don’t think it will be a problem to have the dogs in different spots during the day. Our puppy is crated and the older dog has free roam during the day and it is really, truly, not a problem. We followed the advice of puppy books (Patricia McConnel in particular) and the puppy is very happy in his crate.
It’s a big decison, it’s good you are taking the time to think this through!
Post # 5
When we decided to adopt a second dog, it took us awhile to find a good match with our current dog. Part of that is because our first dog is blind. The local humane society here allows people to bring their dogs in to meet with the perspective new dog and we took full advantage. It took 3-4 trips and we met maybe 10 or so dogs, but eventually we found a dog that is compatible.
I think part of the process is to not focus on a particular breed, but focus on how the 2 dogs interact.
Post # 6
I’m not sure how much help ill be but we were in this situation when we were looking for a second dog. Our first is a Boston Terrier and I did a TON of research on them before we got him. I was looking for a small, indoor dog that was very personable and family friendly. she has been a fabulous dog with such personality! When we started looking for another dog, we first went to the local shelter and Fiance picked out a mixed breed puppy. We had him for around 4 months but it didn’t work out. The shelter didn’t know that he was a mix of shepherd awas turned out to be HUGE and had serious energy. Our Boston was very timid around him most of the time and gave us a sense that he wasn’t “clicking” well with the new dog. We found the new dog a home with a huge yard and kids to play with, he was in heaven! Lol anyways, we ended up getting another Boston from the same fabulous lady that we got Regggie from and he adores her! They have similar personality traits and are similar in size so I think that helps. He seems to care about her like an older brother! We trained her the same way we did him and she adapted really well to the routine, it was seriously SO much easier the second time for us!
Post # 7
Do lots of research, think about your lifestyle, living situation, outside or inside, and what size dog, your outside space is important when considering the size of the dog, look up child friendly dog breeds, a puppy may be best for your older dog, but when looking at dogs, make sure they have a friendly temperament and seem to be comfortable around you, as well as other dogs that are there.
Post # 8
I think the two most important things to consider are getting a dog that is good with kids, and matching the energy level of both your family and your current dog.
Being comfortable with children is an individual thing, but you can hedge your bets with a breed that is known for a easygoing and friendly personality like a Lab or Golden Retriever. My parents’ Lab is an absolute natural with children (and in fact even seems to understand that she needs to play gently with them).
Another thing to consider is that if your current dog is confident and relaxed, the new one will probably look to her for behaviour cues and may learn “This is how we do things around here” quite easily.
Post # 9
I’ve been looking at various rescues and taking quizzes about what breed is right for me and driving myself mad over this. I am not opposed to crate training, I just have never done it myself and only seen it in practice with a dog who absolutely HATED it so I am nervous. I know I am probably making this way more serious than it is, but I want to be absolutely sure I am picking the right dog and I am not crying in a few months wishing I had never done it.
Post # 10
@vermonster: That’s what my Mom suggested too- a lab or retriever and strangely enough in all the ” What breed is right for you” quizzes I have taken neither have come up! it keeps suggesting beagles, boxers and an afghan hound. Maybe because I always choose that I’d prefer a dog that doesn’t shed? I loooooove beagles and we had one that passed away a few months ago and to me having a beagle with no back yard would be a horrid idea. Every beagle I have ever met is an escape artist that NEEDS to run and be free and I’d feel like a royal a-hole a) crating him/her b) having no fenced in yard.
Post # 11
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
@mixtapehearts: Call ahead to a local rescue and see what they say. Some will allow you to bring your own child and dog to see which of the rescue dogs have the best temperament. They can also recommend a dog that is already housetrained or has somewhat of a routine so you’re not training a brand new puppy.
If you must go the puppy route, I would say to plan to take a week off to stay home with the new addition. Make sure to continue the regular routine as much as possible just with a few added potty breaks for housetraining. As for breeds, if you have a Weimreiner I would stick to another medium to large dog, particularly a lab mix if you find one. Bigger dogs tend to be easier to housetrain and can be left alone longer without an accident due to having a larger bladder than smaller dogs. Plus, a bigger dog would be able to play with the Weinreiner without getting injured.
For reiteration, I always support a lab mix for families with children and other dogs.
Post # 12
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
@mixtapehearts: A female boxer is a good choice too. A male raised properly can also be good but many male boxers in our area are bred for fighting or protection so they are not good aorund children and other pets. We had a female boxer and she was a sweetheart.
Post # 13
@beachbride1216: I actually don’t really want a puppy. I mean if the right match came our way that was a puppy then great! But a dog between 2-5 years is more what I was thinking. I know puppies are usually the first to get adopted and would like to avoid that and help a pooch that has been waiting for their family to come along. I am going to be on maternity leave for quite awhile and plan to adopt while on my leave so I will be around in the hopes that that will make the transition even smoother.
Post # 14
Both my dogs are from the pound, and in both cases I visited the pound several times looking for the right “fit.”
The first time I was living on my own, and I immediately clicked with my dog in contrast with some others I played with. I didn’t decide immediately and slept on it to be sure, then came back and played with him again before filling out the adoption paperwork. I already knew I wanted a medium- to high-energy dog, young but not entirely a puppy, a bit “scary looking” due to size and loud bark but never aggressive (making him a perfect guard dog and companion).
I got a lot of tips about his personality by seeking out one of the more experienced handlers who works behind the scenes; she gave me his back story, told me about what his behavior was like while he was at the pound and when he came in, and gave me training tips. If you can find the right person at the pound to speak to, it’ll be worth that person’s weight in gold.
Darling Husband and I pretty much repeated this process looking for our second dog, except now the new dog had to click with me, with Darling Husband, and with our first dog. We visited plenty of times over probably a month until the perfect dog came along. She’s got a different personality than our older dog. (She’s dominant, whereas he’s submissive. If your current dog is dominant, it’s important to find a submissive dog to complement.) But she has a very similar energy level to our older dog, meaning they play well together and we can take them both for exercise and have them wear out at the same time.
Post # 15
Ok so this might not be what you’re looking for but I’ll just offer it anyway. I adopted the absolutely most amazing dog from a shelter a few years ago and I got totally lucky. I feel like the best/only way to make these kinds of decisions is based on your gut instinct. You can rationalize breeds and info online all day but I feel like with living things like our precious pups, you just have to go with your gut. I think eventually most dogs will get used to each other and get along, but taking your dog to meet potential dogs is always good. And of course shelter employees know certain traits more than you can tell, so it’s good to listen to them, but ultimately I would make the choice based on your feelings because you can truly never know if a dog is right before you try.
Post # 16
@mixtapehearts: I heavily advocate research and consideration before committing to a dog, second, third…or fourth if you happen to be us, but there’s also a just the tiniest bit of luck, or magic in that moment when you run across that certain soul, be it dog, cat, or person and you just know, that the two of you are going to mean something to each other.
I don’t really have a “go to” breed, in fact, we’re sporting some very different breeds, sizes, temperaments and personalities in our home at the moment and the one thing I can say, is that while it may be chaotic, I’ve never been happier.
All of our dogs have very different ways that they like to do things, and jealousy is just not a part of the canine vocabulary, as long as everyone’s needs are being met.