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Adopting a second dog. What to do?

June 12th, 2006, 07:31 PM
Well here is the story. I adopted a Husky/German Shepherd almost a year ago. He is a year and two months now.

My boyfriend and I are out at work for 8 hours. So he's alone for about 9 hours a day. I hate this but we really do love him and we do give him a good life when we are around.

He also has 3 little companions at home however not dogs but cats. My boyfriend and I have recently been throwing around the idea of getting a second dog for a few reasons.

We think that Prince could use the companionship during the day. I really feel bad for the little guy. Maybe if he had a friend they can keep eachother company all day. I'm aware it's not the human company that they love but at least it might help while we are gone.

Also, we would love for him to have a play partner when we bring him out. We work odd hours 3pm-11pm and when we go to the dog park, there is never a soul. We try running with him but we cant reach his energy level so we were thinking that a playmate, a second dog, would help.

But, we have concerns obviously. I've heard that there might be a lot of jealousy and fighting for attention. Is this a big problem we have to worry about? I want them to be best friends, not enemies. Also, would I be better off with a male of female?

We have the means for another dog. There is lots of love to go around and health-wise, we take very good care of all our pets.

Another thing is, I can't really raise a puppy right now. I would want an older dog. Probably around my guys age (1 - 3 years) Is this a good idea? Basically I'm lookin for any tips. Should I not mix two high level energy dogs? should I not have two males?

I'm also in an apartment building. A two bedroom apartment. They dont have access to a backyard but like I said, dog park every day, walks, bike rides, etc. We make up for the lack of a yard.

I'm just really sad for my guy. I hate leaving him alone that long. I know a second dog is not a solution but would it help?

Thanks for ANY advice!

June 12th, 2006, 07:55 PM
IF - your dog already has some training and socializing, IF your dog has NO behavioral problems and IF YOU want another dog - then you would be better off with a female.

DO NOT get another dog if you have any issues with the dog you have. Bringing another dog into the mix can make those issues worse.

It is often NOT a good idea to have 2 same sex dogs of the same age. Fights for dominance can be brutal and/or fatal. Having opposite sex dogs often eases this.

Your dog really doesn't need company, just good quality time with you when you are home. But if you want another dog for YOU then look around. Check shelters first, they have lots of dogs that are a year old or older that would love to have a great home. Make sure they meet on neutral territory. And make sure that, if you look into a specific breed, you know as much as you can about the breed.

June 12th, 2006, 08:05 PM
Since you have the means, how about hiring a dogwalker to come in around suppertime to break up his alone time? Maybe someone with a dog of their own so he'd have a buddy to wrestle with?

June 12th, 2006, 08:30 PM
Hi Brat.9 months after I got Bailey,I adopted Daisy.They didn't play together (older dogs) but they do like eachother.Not long ago,I decided to adopt one of my foster;Sam.Bailey and Sam play together and are so cute.Now female versus male,not too important.What you need to watch for is don't get 2 dominant dogs.It's a good idea to adopt an older dog from a rescue,they will be able to tell you wich dog will be best.And what is REALLY important is to bring your dog with you when you go to see the one you want to adopt,you will see if they like eachother.The 3 of mine NEVER fight for anything,food,toys,attention.When you get a second dog,you have to feed Prince first,give him plenty of attention even if you are tempted to 'baby' the "new" one.Keep us posted on your decision.

June 12th, 2006, 08:49 PM
The only issue I have with Prince is that he panics when we leave him. He will yelp for a little while. He has gotten a LOT better. He used to destroy things but now we actually get home and everything is in perfect shape.

We crated him for a long time but after we moved into the new apartment in December, he freaked out in his cage and the neighbour below complained. So, we had no choice but to let him have roam of the living room/dining room/kitchen/hallway.

As for a dog walker, where can I find one? Obviously I can trust them if this is their job right?

We do give him a lot of love when we are home. I just feel SO bad leaving him alone 9 hours a day, 5 days a week. When we first got him, our schedules were very different (my bf and I) so he was not supposed to be alone more than 3 hours a day. But then, things changed and we have the exact same schedules.

Ideally I would love two males and I would definitely take Prince to meet his new doggy friend. He seems to get along with EVERY dog when we go to the dog park. I have never seen him growl in the year that I've had him. His hair will raise on his back but nothing more. And that only happens when we take walks at night and he sees a person in the dark.

ahhh.. I don't know.. I'd love another dog eventually but this is primarly for my Princey Poo. I want to make him happy when he's alone. I dont want him to cry and panic. I want him to have as much fun while we are gone.

June 12th, 2006, 08:57 PM
I got a puppy for company for my dog when we are gone. It was the best decision ever. HOWEVER I knew that I would be home for 4 months and have lots of time to dedicate, and then my DH would be on summer holidays. You are right I think to look for an older dog, but one that still likes to play. It's good that your dog likes and gets along with other dogs.

I think dogs do enjoy each others' company. From my experience, I have pretty much erased any separation 'anxiety' (it wasn't a real problem) when they are together they hardly notice me! BUT, if I take one away, it does become a bit of a problem as the other frets.

Good luck with your decision and, if yes, your search.

June 12th, 2006, 09:00 PM
Now female versus male,not too important.What you need to watch for is don't get 2 dominant dogs.It's a good idea to adopt an older dog from a rescue,they will be able to tell you wich dog will be best.

I couldn't agree more. When Bailey was 1 1/2 we adopted Dart who is 6. They are both males and get along very well. We have the occasional growl when Bailey is too rough etc. but nothing serious. If anything Bailey has helped Dart become more youthful and energetic again.

I will say it does help that my 2 guys are so relaxed and easy going they are practically comatose :D

June 12th, 2006, 09:03 PM
It also depends how dominant your dog is. If he's really dominant, it'll be much harder to find a dog who suits him than if he's easy going with other dogs.

Boo was really easy going, so we got Jemma, who is smaller, but older and WAY more dominant. Neither have chewed anything substantial since they were brought together (compared with complete destruction before that).

We had a trial weekend with Jemma and then a trial week, just to be sure. But the lady who gave Jemma to us was very flexible and wanted to be sure that it would work out.

If I was you, after everything is considered, I'd get a smaller older female...;)

June 12th, 2006, 09:07 PM
I have 3 dogs, and they keep each other company when i am not around, it eases my mind too, however when i am gone and they are all together, There has to be NO food out! Meiko is guards his food and fights with Puppy over domination issues. For the most part though things are great with them. Puppy and Meiko have bonded so much better now. Now that Meik prolly doesnt see him as a threat anymore. Thankfully Puppy is VERY easy going and doesnt provoke any of the fights. ( well more like scuffles, but its been almost 6 months now since the last scuffle) I would recommend adopting one who is opposite sex. Cuts back on this problem

June 13th, 2006, 09:35 AM
I very recently got a 4 month old puppy purely for my older dog (who is 2 years in August). Even though I am only gone for 8/9 hours of the day I too felt bad leaving her even though she seemed fine with it. Honestly, it was one of the best things. She is the same sex - female - and so far so good. I always try to give Daisy (the older one) more attention and give her her food & treats first. If I think Daisy is trying to make her point with Buttercup I always praise her. Honestly, it's great seeing them play & chase etc. etc. and in the park too Daisy will always have someone to play with it - its really great!

June 13th, 2006, 11:17 AM
3 cats and 2 dogs in a 2 bedroom apt sounds like a zoo in a small space to me. you got great advice as far as dog vs. dog, however, be carefull, you also have THREE cats to think about too.

also, NO, you can't "obviously trust" a dog walker. Do your homework on the walker you choose. You wouldn't just trust a babysitter or daycare w/ your child if it's "their job", would you? no, most people talk to other clients & check references.

Lucky Rescue
June 13th, 2006, 02:08 PM
I would not get a second dog now. Not only you have find one that you can be sure won't fight with dog while you're gone, but one that you will also be positive will not harm or chase your cats.

If you can't be absolutely 100% sure and if can't stay home for a week or two to observe, then you may end up with a dog who must be crated during the day for all those long hours and will not be a companion to your dog after all.

I think the dogwalker suggestion is the best answer!:)

June 13th, 2006, 02:44 PM
I have no problem with the dog walking idea and I'm well aware I need to do my homework however I have no friends with dogs so I really dont even know where to start.

Like I said, we were just throwing around the idea of another dog. Thank you for all your opinions. I will not get a second dog. I would rather get a home with a yard before getting another dog.

Also, yes I'm starting to see that having another dog with 3 cats isn't as easy as I thought. I just assumed since my boy is amazing with them that any dog would be. I thought it would be the cats that wouldn't like the new dog for a little bit and just end up gettin used to him. But from reading different descriptions on dogs up for adoption. It seems that some dogs are just not compatible with cats and I don't want my kitties going through the stress. They are all happy with Prince right now.

So, I would be really happy to find a dog walker or someone to keep him company even by sittin down and playing with him in my place. But where can I start to look for someone? I don't trust any of my neighbours so neighbours are out. And my sisters live far and don't have cars.

June 13th, 2006, 03:21 PM
Check with your vet and if your pup gets groomed ask Groomer as well. The lady who boards my dog and also walks him once a week - also walks my vet's and the groomer's dogs. If you vet trusts her dog with the walker, well....!

June 13th, 2006, 04:21 PM
I would think,since your dog gets along great with the cats,they would be the only company he needs.
Contact a shelter,your vet or check pet-supply stores for notices about dog-walking services,or maybe even the newspaper.
They should be bonded.
Another dog could cause havoc,especially with your cats.
Even though they get along with your current dog,they might be terrified of the new dog and you would certainly need to stay home for a couple of weeks,at least,to make sure everything is fine.

June 13th, 2006, 04:58 PM
Well, the cats like my dog but they don't play with him. They play with eachother and just kind of hide from him. I think mostly cause he's annoying and rough with them. It's like a horse running at them when he wants to play.

I'll check with my vet in Laval and see if they know anything about dog walkers/sitters

June 13th, 2006, 08:58 PM
I'm glad you mentioned finding someone who is bonded, Chico, or is willing to be. Excellent idea. I have no idea what it means :), some kind of insurance? but if the person is serious and it doesn't cost a fortune, they can hardly refuse.

June 14th, 2006, 10:48 AM
Best if Prince can meet and pick out his own friend and companion chances are they will get along much better, sex is not too big an issue as long as they are compatible. and the dog should be tested with cats prior to bringing him home

The first 4 weeks is the settling in period and testing/challenging time to determine which dog will be top dog of the household. Sometimes their is enough gap in dominance between the 2 dogs where there will be no need to challenge each other, one simply accepts they will be lower ranking.

So during that period the dogs should be well supervised when they are together, and seperated by babygating apart or crating when you are not home and until any grumbling, snaps has passed for a few days. With big dogs I prefer to use muzzles during to get to know each other time till they work out things, it allows them to work out the pack order without a lot of interference from me and keeps them and myself safe in the process(snaps and growls I allow) as this is part of their communication, a fight I will step in and put an end to.

The reason a male and female together is less problems because in a dog pack there can be 2 alpha dogs, 1 male and 1 female, they share responsibilities (similiar to a husband and wife team with children underneath, if the they are fairly equally matched in dominance level the female will have the last word) but in a household with 2 or more males or female dogs there is only room for 1 one alpha dog of a sex, "if there is vieing" for that position and the dog owner must identify which dog is the alpha and offer him or her support and recognition, major problems like fierce fighting will or ongoing squabbles will occur if that is not done or the wrong dog is supported. The top dog will push others out of the way to get attention, they will take toys from the other dogs, they may glare or bark at another dog to make it move from a bed they want, this should be allowed by the owner without reprimanding the top dog, the top dog should be feed and petted before the others, this helps show the top dog you support and recogniize them as such and the others also acknowledge this as well, we as owners cannot pick and choose which will be top dog, and sometimes there are shifts in rank and owners need to be aware. If your dog is dominant it is best to pick a less dominant dog if you are unable to let him pick out his own friend, in my household of 3 adding a dominant dog would be a good thing, it would help take the load off of Sunny who is not alpha material, he is much happier as a middle of the pack dog. If your current dog is acting pouting and withdrawn with the new dog in the house is likely because it recognizes the other dog as being higher ranking, it is easy for the owner to feel sorry for the current dog, but don't fuss over and give extra attention to him in front of the newer dog, as that sends mixed signals to the new dog, since he is supposed to get most of the attention from you(doing so can cause him the fight your current dog to put him in his lower ranking place), if you want to give extra attention to the current dog arrange alone time like a walk instead.

Feeding and treats should well apart from each other and supervised to ensure one dog does not wander to another dogs space.

Most fights especially that occurs after the first month are about food or because the pack order has not been resolved and 99% of the time it is the owners fault for not acknowledging pack social structure and trying to treat all the dogs as equals or by favoring a lower ranking dog or because the rank has changed for example one dog is becoming older and weaker and the owner has not acknowledged the change. Unfortunately dogs do not understand the concept of equality, to them social structure and rank is very important, and a necessity to live harmoniously together.

Equality in our world only works amongst amongst peers of like standing, but causes conflict when ranks/lines of status are crossed for example if you have a range of children from teens to toddlers you cannot treat them all equally without having problems, a teen is expected to have more priviledges and rights eg staying up later and allowed to leave the house to be with friends, if you try to apply the same rules to the teen as the toddler there will be conflicts. If I disagree with my spouse I can argue over it usually without problems, but do the same with a police officer, judge or boss and I would be in trouble for insubordination.

This is important to understand when living with multiple dogs inorder to avoid infighting

article to explain dog packs

There are mp3 audios here that are worthwhile listening to, especially if you have and are introducing dominant breeds but worth listening to regardless as their are some important tips

My own steps which I used during fostering and adding dogs to my home

1) If I have a helper I make the first introductions as a walk using a different route than my daily walk some space inbetween new dog and existing dogs, aftrerward muzzles are put in all the dogs and we enter the house

Because I live alone and fosters tended to arrive from the US late in the evening or early morning hours , walks were not always possible. The new dog stays in the cars while I quickly run inside muzzle my dogs and put up a babygate attach a leash to each of the dogs, so I can bring in the new dog, I go back to the car and put a muzzle on the new dog and bring them into the house on lead, the dogs then get to meet over the gate, then I put the new dog in another room while I get just one of my existing dogs out and then introduce them muzzle and onleash, if it is going well I take them out to the yard and let them loose but muzzled and supervise the interactions, any growls I verbally correct, then back inside and do the same with the next dog,, until I complete them all if all has gone well I take the babygate down but leave all the dogs muzzled and let them check each other out for a few minutes before crating the new dog and removing all the muzzles, usually be then it is bedtime and the next morning muzzles all go on and they go out to the yard for a potty break with me supervising, back inside and the new dog is crated and all muzzles come off and I prepare meals for the dog the orginal dogs get their meals first in their normal spots , and then I take a dish to place in the crate for the new dog. 20 minutes later all food dishes are picked up regardless if the meals are finished or not. If I have chores to do I do them now so I can be fully focused on the dogs later when they are out together again. And the dogs once again muzzled and released to interact they are gated into smaller area to allow for constant supervision and housetraining correction if needed, at this point I allow some growling and grumbling so they can work out the pack order, but correct if it is getting excessive or if hairs on the back is getting raised, the first couple of weeks the muzzles stay on while the dogs are together only under close supervsion , and only if the grumbling has ended for 3 or so consecutive days. Then I allow brief interactions without the muzzles especially watching out for possible toy aggression, dominant dogs will often take toys from less dominant dogs, I pay a lot of attention to body language if this happens like stares, stiffing of body as a challenge if a toy is taken that alert me to the possibility of a fight so I can step in with a loud verbal corection and take away the toy before it escalate to that point, if toys appear that they will cause a problem then I pick up all toys put them away and only give to play with when the dogs are seperated. For the first month the dog will not be allowed together when I am not home, longer if there is growling and grumbling, the first outings with them together is short, when I had Callie still all outings out in the yard was with muzzles on as she played too rough and would play nip, which could result in a fight due to pain agression my current crew mix does not need to be muzzled but if things changed I would you use a muzzle rather than risk running dogs to the vet to be patched. To me a muzzle is a safety tool and worth having and using, my preference is with the basket type as it allows for open mouthed panting and allows the dogs to drink with it on.

This type of style is available for all breeds pet stores are starting to carry and for a less rigid lighter weight version which is called the italian muzzle they can be bought online