January 12th, 2009, 12:38 AM
My boyfriend and I got a puppy (Jackson) a few months ago and he is almost 7 months old. He tourtures our poor cat (Cash), always wanting to play and chasing him everywhere! We have a baby gate up so that our Cash can get away from Jackson, but we are now considering getting a new puppy for Jackson to play with. We got him when he was almost 5 months and for his first few months he was raised in a house with other dogs and puppies, so we thought a playmate might be a good idea. But, we have heard so many different "theories" on getting a second dog...like, you should wait two years between pets, or wait until your first dog is out of the puppy stage...can anyone give me some insight?
January 12th, 2009, 10:29 AM
Whether or not adding a 2nd puppy will work out well for you depends mostly on you and how you handle the situation. Are you willing to put in the training for 2 puppies? Do you have time to do so? Will you expect them to just entertain each other or will you be spending a lot of quality time with them? Some things to keep in mind is that Jackson may revert to some earlier behaviours with a young pup around. He is probably either just recently housetrained or possibly still working on that and he may have more accidents when he scents where the new pup goes. Also, he's still at the teething/chewing age and the two of them will be very likely to use anything they can find for chewing and tug-of-war. It's always more fun when you've got a friend to get into trouble with! Sometimes a playful pup can even entice a relatively mellow older dog into doing things they shouldn't. Of course, if you crate train your pups when you're out of the house and keep a close eye on them when you're home that shouldn't be too big of a problem. The key is proper management and supervision, and don't just expect them to keep each other busy. They will, but you won't like how they do it! One other important thing to consider too is that this probably won't solve the "harass the kitty" problem, the 2 of them will just gang up on the kitty. However, if the cat has a safe, quiet place to retreat to the pups may distract each other from the cat enough to let the cat slip away unnoticed.
I've raised single pups, siblings etc. many times over. At one time I had 2 collie pups (sisters), then after they passed away our next dogs were a great dane brother and sister and when they were only 6 months I got an 8 week old collie pup. More recently, in the past 5 years, I've raised first Lightning (border collie/lab) as a single pup while we still had one dane, then Flash and Thunder (mixbreed rescues) together the next year, then Storm and Rain (border collie pups), then last year Flurry (another BC pup) and now I've got Dru who's a 5 1/2 month old BC. So yes, raising multiple puppies of the same age or different ages absolutely can work, but, here's the thing. I'm home all the time, the dogs are always with me. I have a small farm and the dogs get tons of exercise. I take my border collies for sheep herding training and I do dogsledding with most of the dogs we have. So I'm there for them, I'm training them, tiring them out and they're very happy contented dogs. Plus, I start all my puppies out in crates at nightime and anytime I leave the house, both to help with the housetraining and to protect the pups and my house from total destruction. When they're older, fully housebroken and mature enough to handle being out of the crate without destroying stuff they earn the right to have full run of the house if I'm away from home. As I said at the beginning, whether it will work for you depends on you making it work and setting the pups up for success. You don't want to put them in a situation that allows them to be wild and crazy pups and end up learning bad habits and frustrating you to no end.