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owning 2 or more dogs in a household

April 7th, 2005, 01:26 PM
I just want to go over the best matches to make for owning 2 dogs or more in a household, sex and attitude wise.

From what I've gattered off this board and from personal experience, 1 of each sex is best. 2 males is often fine but 2 females is not so good.

With an older dog, get a pup as it's less of a threat and they'll be used to each other by the time it grows up.

And if you own a dominent dog, get a submissive one.

Where my confusion lies is in if you already own a dog-submissive dog. Get another submissive one? Get a dominent puppy and hope the older dog doesn't mind giving up its status once the puppy grows up enough to challange it?

I remember growing up we had a male cocker spanial mix, raised from a puupy. One day my parents introduced a 2 or 3 year old male german shepherd they had given to them (from my uncle, he had a young son and the dog was just too big). The spaniel was around 7 or 8 at this time. Obviously, the spaniel lost his status as top dog and was pretty miffed about it. They eventually got along well, but there was about 1 or 2 years of sporatic fighting before the spaniel finally gave up. Thankfully, the shepherd rarely did much damage.

Later, after the spaniel had died of old age, my parents introduced another dog, a 2 year old australian cattle dog. This time there was no fighting. I still can;t decide who was boss during that time. There was no fighting, but no cowering or other overly obvious submissive movements. I assume they both agreed who would be boss without contest.

This story really doesn't add to my question except showcase my interst (not in this particular senario though, as I understand why they fought) and to wonder what all of your opinons are on this subject? Does breed matter? Size? Temperment? Age? Any way to minimize tension if it's going to be inevitable? Any personal experience to share? What if you already own 2 dogs, might they gang up on the 3rd? And What age/temperment to add to a 2 dog household? And so forth..

All ideas welcome

Lucky Rescue
April 7th, 2005, 01:51 PM
Does breed matter? Size? Temperment? Age? Any way to minimize tension if it's going to be inevitable?

Breed does matter, although even dogs of the same breed will have different personalities and temperaments. Looking at what the dog was bred for can help.

Any bull breeds created to fight other dogs will be much more likely to seriously fight than would, say, a bunch of beagles or other hounds, bred to hunt together.

Most breeds of terriers can be very scrappy, particularly with members of the same sex.

Two dogs of the same sex and same age (depending on breed) may be more likely to fight than if one is much older or the opposite sex.

And then of course, you may have a dog who hates only one other particular dog or breed for seemingly no reason at all!

My last dog was okay with most other dogs, but for some reason he hated anything that looked like a Doberman. He was very dominant and thinking about it, perhaps the cropped ears and upright carriage of a Dobie gave it a dominant look which he felt he had to challenge...who knows.

With two dogs, one is always submissive and one is alpha even if both seem submissive. It may be so mild you don't notice, or could be so severe one will get injured or killed.

Just speaking in generalities, a good combination is a dominant female and submissive male.

April 7th, 2005, 02:19 PM
I would agree breed totally matters!!! I have two MinPin boys, a Doberman girl and are currently fostering two MinPins (one female, one male) the nice thing about MinPins as you can have whatever you want!!! They mix very nicely.

I rescue shibas and they do best with either boy-boy or boy-girl matching, two female shibas is a BAD idea! LOL

April 7th, 2005, 03:53 PM
My first dog was a male 8 week old basset hound. When he was 4, I adopted a 7-11 year old female basset hound. (no one was sure of her age) There was some aggression the first day or two, but then they ended up the best of friends. About a year later, we got a 8 week old female rottweiler puppy. All three dogs were WONDERFUL together. No fighting, agressiveness or anything. I'm not sure who was the alpha dog. Honestly it seemed like they took turns. I know that's silly, but that is how it seemed. The oldest basset has since left us, but the male basset is turning 6 this year and the rotty will be 2 and they hate to be separate for any reason. Maybe I just was blessed with super sweet animals, but in my personal experience, I had no problems with mixing breeds and genders.


April 7th, 2005, 05:38 PM
I have had more than one dog at a time for most of my life. I can't say that I have noticed any difference between having 2 males, 2 females or a combination or that the breed matters. I've had blue healers and saint bernards at the same time, I had a male german shepard and a male 'belgium' shepard (both neutered) that got along great together, and at the same time had a female german shepard that was definitely the alpha dog! More recently, I had a coyote who was about 7 when we took in a stray puppy. Those two females (both spayed) lived together until the coyote died at age 16. The other female was alone for a little over a year, and then we got our first newf pup, also a female. Although the pup was rough with the older one, they got along great. The pup was definitely the dominant dog.

My point is, in my own experiences, I have not seen that breed or sex matters - but all of my dogs have always been spayed or neutered and maybe that makes a difference.

April 7th, 2005, 05:45 PM
Where my confusion lies is in if you already own a dog-submissive dog. Get another submissive one?
I have a submissive male. The best thing for that is a dog of the opposite sex a bit older. Dogs can have issues if they meet a dog that is younger, bigger and more dominant. Submissive dogs, in my experience, don't mind dominant dogs as long as they are older. We had Boo first, he is a newf mix and got Jemma second (husky lab)-- even if Jemma is 30 lbs smaller than Boo, she still dominates him. She is very dominant and she is almost a year older than him. Boo was very submissive when we got him.

I think if you're going to get a younger dog, it should be younger if not at least smaller than the one you have. Getting an older dog to live with a current submissive one, the older one should be more dominant or bigger than the submissive one.

The worst is to have a big, young dominant dog coming into your house of the same sex.

Of course if your current dog is less than 2 years old, the problems are not as serious and they will have more time to adjust before they show aggression. It only really becomes a factor after a dog passes though adolescence and learns how to assert themselves.

Does that make sense at all? :)

April 8th, 2005, 12:33 AM
When Akeija was 10 years old we got Dallas. They were 2 females and got a long great no fighting. When Akeija was 14 and Dallas was 4 we got Shayker. Again all females. (my husband used to joke the he live in a house full of *itches) :p . Akeija a golden/collie mix, Dallas a sheppard huskey wolf mix and Shayker a Llasa terrrier mix. No Fights.
Now we have a shih tzhu and a terri poo and there was a couple of fights but when we got the girls spayed them become buddies. No more fighting.
If anyone wants to know what happened to the other 3 dogs, Akeija died at 15.5 years of age, Dallas died of colon cancer at 6 years of age and Shayker died at 14 months of age due to renal failure. :sad: I lost them all within 2 years. That was hard. Akeija and Shayker died 6 weeks apart. Thought that I would loose my mind. Any way sorry i got side tracked.