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multiple doggies

lm9012
December 15th, 2005, 07:41 PM
As i've mentioned in the past...we recently adopted our first dog from a shelter. He's turned me into the biggest doggie lover..and yes now I want to bring every unwanted doggie home! I know I can't. However, I would like to add to our family. We've been thinking about bringing a female in to our pack. We want Al to have someone to play with. We've only had Al 2 months, our initial plan was to wait a year to bring him a buddy. That way he has time to adjust to us and get to enjoy all our attention. So far he's adjusted very well and is totally comfortable with us. However, we think that maybe if we bring another pup in earlier, he will adjust better to not being #1. We do believe he is an alpha dog..so a female is our best bet. Anyway, just wanted to get some opinions..i know many of you have a multi-pup home...when is the best time to bring another furbuddy in?

MIA
December 15th, 2005, 08:12 PM
I don't know how much dog experience you have but my suggestion to those wanting to add another is go to your local shelter and look at being a foster parent, that way you can foster the dog, see if the dogs get along and have first choice to adopt or not. The dogs can meet near the shelter and if they do ok, you take the dog home and have some time to see if they are good together. I did that when we adopted our third, mind you the shelter would have probably PTS as she was pretty naughty and they know me well! :evil:

mummummum
December 15th, 2005, 08:14 PM
I too am new at this but, I have learned much (the hard way unfortunately...) in a very short time since bringing The Boy home to an an ALL Grrrl family. I have an UBER-ALPHA grrrl so don't count on the gender thing. I wish I had had more time to introduce them but (well, never mind my buts). My grrrls are 6 years old - I suspect it would be easier with pups or even with dawgs less well-established in the household. I STRONGLY recommend that you take time off work the first week of homecoming. If I had done that we wouldn't be in the mess we are in now. www.torontohumanesociety.com has some excellent advice on introducing a new dog to a dawg-family home. I would add to their advice by suggesting you have lots of treat on hand - literally in every pocket - and rewarding every positive - or even tolerant - interaction between your current dawg and the new addition. Supporting the pack hierarchy is difficult when you want your new furrkidd to feel welcome and loved but, it will take much longer and be more stressful on everybody if you don't defer to the dominant dawg at all times. All the while maintaining your own rank as The Boss of course. There are tons of good training books out there, I'm reading Shelby Marlo's New Art of Dog Training at the moment which has some helpful advice on understanding, establishing and supporting pack relationships in a multi-dawg household. You're doing a good thing - good luck and keep us posted.

Prin
December 16th, 2005, 01:23 AM
I would wait till you have this guy under better control. You can't expect another dog to keep him in line- you could end up with fights or worse dominance issues than you already have. And don't forget that doggies can learn a lot of bad habits from each other too... I would try playdates first and then fostering, just to be sure you have the confidence to move forward.;)

lm9012
December 19th, 2005, 05:46 PM
I'm not sure what you mean by 'under control'? Our doggie doesn't have any dominance issues. He understands the hierarchy of our home. He has never shown any aggression or violence towards any human or other animal.
Albert is extremely laid back and gentle. But he will bark if the doorbell rings, that sort of thing, so he does show to be protective. But that's as far as it goes.

The only reason I think he's an alpha dog is based on his interaction with other dogs. We've gone to doggie parks, and he's a loner..would rather sniff around on his own than play or chase a ball. When other dogs approach him, he will do the doggie 'handshake' (sniffing each other's nether regions!) and move on. However, if a dog, especially a younger male tries to bully him, he will not cower down. He will stand his ground. Every dog that tries that will back down from him, even a larger dog. In that sense, I believe he is an alpha dog. He's got that jack russel fearlessness in him!

I think fostering might be a good idea..i'm worried that I'd get too attached to give the dog back though and end up with a litter of animals! I think another dog, maybe a younger, more playful one, would make him a bit more playful. He doesn't play too much on his own or with us for that matter. We just want him to have some steady interaction with his own kind. Instead of us being his only world. Now that winter is here, it will be a bit hard to make it to the dog park..

Prin
December 19th, 2005, 11:28 PM
Sorry, when I read "We do believe he is an alpha dog," things pop into my head. Jemma is quite dominant, but I'd never refer to her as an alpha dog. You know what I mean? Alpha means they are winning the battle already, in my head anyway...:o

MIA
December 19th, 2005, 11:57 PM
I think fostering might be a good idea..i'm worried that I'd get too attached to give the dog back though and end up with a litter of animals! I think another dog, maybe a younger, more playful one, would make him a bit more playful. He doesn't play too much on his own or with us for that matter. We just want him to have some steady interaction with his own kind. Instead of us being his only world. Now that winter is here, it will be a bit hard to make it to the dog park..

Fostering is IMO the best way to see if the dogs will get along and enjoy each other! I know when I adopted my second dog my first dog was NOT very happy about it but they worked it out now they are buds, when we adopted our third we commited to a three week period as we weren't sure how it would be, that and she was a different breed and a bit of a spazz but it all worked out in the end...

It's hard to let them go but if it's not working out but if you foster for a rescue or good shelter at least you have a place to send the dog back to where you know they will make sure it gets a good home. I have fostered hundreds of dogs and I have adored each one, wished I could keep each one but know that I am only capable of owning three at this time in my life. IF I brought in a foster that got along just too well I might be tempted but my hubby usually keeps me in line.... Come to think of it, he's weaker than I..LOL