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Thread: Undecided

  1. #1

    Default Undecided

    I am trying to answer what I would think to be a common question. Should I get a second dog. I have Moses, a male (desexed) golden retriever, who is 4 and I love him to bits. He is the perfect dog, has lovely manners and is no trouble at all around the house. But he seems lonely. Seems lonely, I mean how can I really tell? He loves other dogs down the park but does not get the chance to play often. In the past I have always had two dogs but by fate rather than choice. On one hand I am enjoying how easy it is to live with Moses and worry that I may not be so lucky with the next dog. On the other, I wonder if I am being selfish, my other dogs always loved one another and I work from home and have a good size back yard. There is no way that I wouldn't love it once it became a member of the family (dogs being so easy to love).

    If I were to get another dog it would have to be smaller than Mo because I don't think I could walk two big dogs by myself. He is very gentle but do you think that a small dog might get injured by accident? Like if he sat on it or something. I always get the best advice from the website so I would appreciate your opinions and ideas.

  2. #2
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    Can't help but am very interested in answers as I'm in the same situation OH and I are having the discussion of a second dog on and off and he raises exactly your points 'We are so lucky... a second dog could ruin it'...

  3. #3
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    I have a friend who has a German Shepherd and a Small white fluffy - and they don't injure each other. They don't play together much either.

    Maybe you could organise a few play dates with your dog and other dogs he likes (that belong to your friends or you meet on walks), and see what kind of dog he likes.

    The advantage of rescue dogs is you can take your dog to meet them and see how they get along...

    Sometimes my dog will play till she can't run any more and sometimes she will completely ignore the other dog. I'm pretty sure if I got a kelpie or another cattle dog cross, or maybe a coolie - she'd be happy - though she is getting quite protective of the home territory so I will have to manage that too.

    I always think no point getting a second dog if the first one is out of control - because the first dog will just teach the second one to be naughty...

    But if you've had two dogs before - you could probably manage two dogs again. GRs do tend to get along best with fairly robust other dogs eg labs and other GRs... but it would be up to you to set limits on what is and isn't ok.

  4. #4
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    Hi Sue,

    I had an elderly labrador rescue, and a tiny cavalier puppy. They developed a very strong bond and were together constantly from 8 weeks old. I never worried she would get injured and my lab took on a new lease on life with a small newbie around hanging off his ear flaps. Retrievers also have a very gentle nature, and dogs usually do much better with "pack" company, especially if the owner works.
    But you really need to decide for yourself but I have also found things easier with 2.
    The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated.
    Mohandas Gandhi

  5. #5
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    I have had serious thoughts about this aswell but i'm flat out fitting one dog in our 4x4 with all our crap....2 would be impossible...but then again i could leave 2 at home together overnight and they'd be company for each other....."sigh" i dont know.......food bill ?? , Mojo getting jealous ??, 2 dogs waking me up for toilet breaks in the middle of night ??? Dog fights ??? Vet bills ???

    There's a lot to consider......


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  6. #6
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    When we got Bella Harley somehow new how to play gentle with her. It was so adorable to watch him play tug-o-war with her but only doing little tiny tugs while she went to town. Two dogs is great and we have never had a fight or any other issues like that. I don't regret it now and Harley and Bella adore each other. I think if you can manage two and want one just do it! Lol

    There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face.

  7. #7
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    I am constantly thinking about this very question too... There are so many things I like about having only one dog. The most important one being that it is so much easier to take one dog with if you go visiting or on holidays or whatever.

    But my old dog was anti-social and too attached to me and she was ok as an only dog. Now I do have a social dog who loves to play or just hang out with other dogs, I really do have to think about what is right for her.

    But I still haven't decided! I will make a decision after we have moved into our own house, hopefully by the end of this year. Though I might foster for a while first, I think.

    I would go for a smaller dog than my current one too. And I personally have never heard of injuries caused by a big dog sitting/lying on a little dog! My old dog was fairly big and her best friend for years was a tiny JRT. They often played and slept together, without any issues.

  8. #8
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    You could try fostering and maybe fail with one of your fosters and become a forever home...that way you cannot fail. you are winning by giving a foster home and winning if you choose to keep the dog.

    I let my dogs help choose when i bring a dog home...except when they are problem dogs, which I often end up with, those I just take and introduce slowly into the pack.

    Our last forever to keep rescue was chosen by the girls...they hated the other dog we had as an option.

    I will never have a one dog, but that is my choice. As it is yours to have one or two...never feel pressured because of the dog. Only get a second dog if you, not your dog, really want to.

    I find two dogs great, three dogs a pain and four works again...but you do have a pack and there is a difference owning a pack. You have to have good Leadership to own a pack that is well mannered. otherwise they can turn into pack mentality that is out of control.

    I love my dogs and they get quite a lot of freedom, but I like order and expect them to behave when I say so....it is easier to control one dog, twice as hard to control two. So make sure you have good control over number one, before you get number two.

    I do that with every forever dog I choose. the numbers before have to be at a good training point..........I still remember how long I had to wait to get my puppy Katy, because Annabelle took so long to get on track. there was no way I was brining a new dog into a household with one aggressive dog, who was not well trained. As soon as she was on track we got the puppy
    Pets are forever

  9. #9

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    I think I might be the opposite to the majority but the truth is, if I didn't work so many hours, I wouldn't have 2 dogs. There are no problems that would be obvious to an outside observer - the new puppy was toilet trained earlier than the first dog and has learned quickly from him - she is quite an easy puppy. They get on like a house on fire, similar energy levels and both give as good as they get. But if I am honest (which I rarely am on this issue), I was happier when I just had Sammy. The truth is, I think now we miss out on doing certain things with him because it is harder with two dogs - but not in the way that I thought it would be. Sammy came everywhere with us before - house parties, every car trip, every holiday etc. Now the dogs stay at home more often. It's one thing to bring one large well trained dog to these sorts of events with 2 people to watch him, but 2 is a different experience. One dog can fit up on the couch with us, but 2 can not and the result seems to be that more often than not it's easier to kick both off rather than try kick one off and keep one on. They barely fit on the back seat in the car together, so now it seems we have to get a dog trailer or something. I hate the idea because I love having Sammy in the back with us - but I can hardly keep him in the back and put her in the trailer...

    I have 2 dogs because I am at work (and consequently Sammy is alone) for over 10 hours every day. There's nothing wrong with our second dog and in fact I'm sure that if I'd had her first I'd probably feel the same way about getting a second dog with her. But I miss our lives with one dog. Nothing to be done about it though when I work these kinds of hours - and really we're lucky that we have managed to find 2 great dogs.

  10. #10
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    99bottles,

    You describe exactly what's on my mind on this one. At the moment we take Nero almost everywhere and it's no issue. I can even take him to work sometimes because my boss has a dog too - though I'm not so sure what he thinks if there are all of a sudden 3 dogs going crazy in our tiny office - or 4 when he is minding his daughters dog as well... she's got a Great Dane... erm...

    We take him when we go out for lunch and he lies quietly under our table without bugging anyone. We go on most holidays together but most importantly it's all these little things he is a part of. Just strolling down to the post office or the convenience store. Visiting neighbours or friends, etc. it's little things like that I think he might miss out if we had 2 dogs because it'll be just easier to leave them both at home. In the end I fear he might spend much more time in our yard than he does now.

    So, yes, he is very social and goes nuts when we meet other dogs and I'd love him to have company all day. But at the same time he has regular playmates we meet several times a week, and he is really a part of our life. Perhaps if we'd both work all day it wouldn't be so hard to decide. But at least at the moment I'm self employed and spend quite a bit of time at home anyway. Decisions, decisions...
    Last edited by margoo; 04-03-2012 at 06:42 AM.

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