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Thread: What Second Dog to Chose

  1. #1
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    Default What Second Dog to Chose

    Hi everyone,

    I'd be interested in your opinion on this one.

    Our lab x is now about 18 months old and we're thinking of getting another dog. Mainly for two reasons: for one he is still scared of people. He has made progress but we now seem to plateau ... He accepts strangers as long as they keep a healthy distance to him. He would never allow someone to pat him and I am pretty sure that he would bite if he felt trapped.

    The only strangers he seems to accept with no major difficulties are those with a dog on the other end of the lead. Or those that at least smell of dog. If other dogs are around his confidence is boosted by at least 200% - he is a completely different dog. No sign of the timid little lapdog... So we hope with a companion he'll grow eventually more confident. The other reason is that my work has changed. I used to work from home but will spend a lot more time away in future and I would like to give him some company.

    He LOVES dogs, has never been in a fight and plays nicely with everyone although he seems to be more interested in bitches. Some male dogs he even completely ignores.

    So my ideal is a youngish girl. Must have is: well socialised with people and dogs and very friendly to anyone. My preference is therefore a grown up dog ... simply because we'll know what we get. My partner wants a puppy though He believes that nobody ever knows how they turn out once they're settled in...

    So I'm basically just after some tips on how to chose a second dog. Is there anything we need to think about? How do we introduce a new member to the family ... and how to his playmates.

  2. #2
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    Find a good Rescue place that assesses the dogs it places in new homes...it will be extremely important that you gat a second dog, who is mature and friendly. A younger dog might end up worried about people too.

    My rule nearly always is fix the first dog to where they are great and then get the second dog. that is what i do here. I do not get my next dog, until i have sorted the previous. It is tough, but generally the safest. there is only one thing worse than a dog with a problem....Two dogs with problems.

    There are many different ways of re-training a dog with your problems, have you looked into the BAT system. Dogwise has a cheap E-book on their site and it is well written and very thorough i own that one and several of my client have now read it and use it.

    Personally I would try to fix your number one dog first.

    Welcome to Dogwise.com Link to book
    Last edited by newfsie; 10-01-2011 at 06:10 PM.
    Pets are forever

  3. #3
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    If you do get a second dog now, I'd second the rescue option. I did not really have enough time or energy to take on a tiny pup, so I went for a slightly older dog. Mine was still only 8 months old, but at least she was over the having to be watched and comforted non-stop.

    And I chose for getting a dog from a rescue organisation as opposed to the pound or RSPCA just because you get to know a lot more about the dog's temperament and habits that way. The foster carers are usually pretty honest about those things because they are very committed to finding the right home for the dogs as opposed to just wanting to move them on quickly.

    But maybe it is worth trying some of newfie's suggestions first before you start looking around. I don't really have any advice in that regard.

  4. #4
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    We have tried to fix it. We started as soon as we realised that there is a problem, i.e. when he was 12 weeks old. I would walk him past strangers and rewarding him if he didn't try to run away. We also rewarded him for approaching strangers. This was something our trainer showed us: People stretch out their hands and if he approaches for a sniff he was praised. We practiced this heaps and took him to lots of places where he could meet lots of people but the breakthrough came when I could take him to work.

    Most of our customers were Muslim, they would not go anywhere near him because inside dogs are 'haram' so he just sat quietly under my desk and learned to accept non-threatening strangers in his comfort zone. He is now fairly relaxed about strangers. He still has his moments but I have generally no trouble walking him along a busy street.

    We took him to Lorne, VIC the other week because my partner was participating in a bike race. I was so proud of him (the dog I mean). He was just politely curious towards people. There were about 3000 cyclists in Lorne plus families and he would walk up and down this extremely busy road with me without any difficulties. Or almost no difficulties. Once he got tangled up in his lead in the middle of a crowd and panicked. So he still has his moments but overall he has improved a great deal since we had him.

    I would not trust him enough to tie him up outside a store because the only thing we could never get him to accept was to be touched by strangers. Absolutely no effing way! No matter what - he would not go there and I'm not going to force him him - well not unless it's a vet This is the last hurdle we just can't seem to master. As I said if a person has a dog on the lead he is fine and often even allows them to pat him. But he is pretty consequent there: No dog. No pat.

    Thank you for the recommendations. I have just downloaded the e-book you suggested... won't hurt to try

    Beloz... I'm a bit surprised about your note of the RSPCA. This would have been our first choice. Can you suggest any rescue organisations in or around Adelaide?
    Last edited by margoo; 10-01-2011 at 06:56 PM.

  5. #5
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    Looks like you have really worked on the problem and good for you........

    Do try to have a quick look at the BAT system...My Annabelle was a real problem and it really helped her, just check it out. It is cheap and I do not get any commission. It is Desensitisation of the dog. i was initially unable to take Annabelle near any people and she is very friendly now. I have also used it on several other dogs.

    I would also prefer the Rescue to RSPCA, because they know the dogs better.......
    Pets are forever

  6. #6
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    Yep, the RSPCA do make a good effort at vetting families and making the right match, but their dogs are still in kennels and not part of a real family. I found that they often couldn't tell me if a certain dog was good with other dogs for example. Also, some of the dogs at our local RSPCA have been there for way longer than would be healthy for any dog.

    And their rules are often a bit too generalised too. For example, if they test a dog with cats and they show signs of wanting to chase it, they won't let the dog go to a family with cats. While I was willing to spend the effort on training my dog out of that behaviour. Sometimes their rules about kids are a bit similar.

    Rescue organisations are a bit more flexible in that regard if they can tell that you are committed to training the dog. And as a bonus, lots of the foster families have both kids and other pets, so they usually offer good environments for socialisation. But they will make sure that the dog's basic needs are met when they match them. Eg. some very timid dogs should not go to a family with small kids, some dogs need another dog for company, some dogs need someone home most of the time, etc.

    Have a look at www.petrescue.com.au for rescue organisations in your area. I am in Canberra, so don't know any out that way.
    Last edited by Beloz; 10-01-2011 at 07:41 PM.

  7. #7
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    I would worry if you get a younger dog than the one you have now, that your current dog will teach your new dog "the house rules" and that may include being wary of strangers. My brother's older dog was deaf when he got his puppy and the deaf dog taught the puppy that there is no need to bark at anything or anyone. Cos she didn't hear them coming so she gave no warning bark and neither does the puppy now adult dog. Lick to death by a self propelled bowling ball is a standard greeting.

    I second the vote for pet rescue though.

    And if you ever want to take your dog to Victoria - avoid anything that looks vaguely like any of the bull breeds, ie safe with something small and hairy.

  8. #8
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    I would go a rescue too...though I would go for rescue, spca or pound.

    Im not sure what the SPCAs here are like but the one where I got Barney from was fantastic...they spend time with each dog individually to "get to know them" so are able to tell you quite a bit about the dogs personality. maybe it is different here.

    Like the others, I would work on the issue with the first dog, or get a dog who is a bit older an dnot likely to pick up the problems.

    My friend has a wee cocker bitch who digs holes. She rang me and said she was going to get a second dog to stop the first one digging (not the only reason but it was generally to keep the first company and out of trouble). I told her that all that would happen is she would end up with 2 dogs digging if they didnt sort the first dogs digging before hand. Well they got a second pup and now their back yard is just a massive hole fest LOL.

    Anyway, good luck with it.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hyacinth View Post
    And if you ever want to take your dog to Victoria - avoid anything that looks vaguely like any of the bull breeds, ie safe with something small and hairy.
    Ehm. Yes. Are the Victorians are a little paranoid about bull breeds? When we were in Lorne Nero barked at a few young guys who came a little too close for his liking (the fact that they were drunk, loud and sneaked up on his back didn't help). Anyway... Nero does really look like a Lab - most people think he is a purebreed. i mean he has floppy ears for goodness sake! But one of the guys pointed his finger at him and exclaimed with great certainty: 'Hey guys, look... this is a Pitbull !'. I mean what the ....!!

  10. #10
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    [QUOTE=margoo;142145]Ehm. Yes. Are the Victorians are a little paranoid about bull breeds? When we were in Lorne Nero barked at a few young guys who came a little too close for his liking (the fact that they were drunk, loud and sneaked up on his back didn't help). Anyway... Nero does really look like a Lab - most people think he is a purebreed. i mean he has floppy ears for goodness sake! But one of the guys pointed his finger at him and exclaimed with great certainty: 'Hey guys, look... this is a Pitbull !'. I mean what the ....!![/QUOTE

    There are some idiots out there who wouldn't know a Jack Russell from a Great Dane lol

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