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One dog or two?

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  • One dog or two?

    When you get multiples do they just form a pack and ignore you and take over the farm for their own, or do they entertain themselves? Just curious what people's thoughts are on having one dog vs. two?

  • #2
    There are pros and cons to both. Having two is usually managable but the key to keeping them in line is to spend time with each alone and make sure you maintain your alpha status with both. The individual dogs and thier drives will also determine how well things go.
    When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.

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    • #3
      Two. They need a bud and anyways, dogs are like potato chips. You can't have just one.

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      • #4
        I am NOT a dog trainer, nor do I play one on TV.

        But I'll never have just one again, unless I get a different job where I'm home more or away for a shorter time at least.

        Littermates can be an issue (fighting,) but aren't always. My best pair was a big black labbieX male and a small Aussie female.

        I have three right now, which really is one too many, but how on earth do you choose...
        InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs
        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

        Bits are like cats, what's one more? (Petstorejunkie)

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        • #5
          Originally posted by pandorasboxx View Post
          Two. They need a bud and anyways, dogs are like potato chips. You can't have just one.
          I agree, but you don't have to get two at once. The best dogs seem to happen when you're not looking or expecting it.

          My Pyrenees took over the farm all by herself, and generally doesn't listen most of the time anyway (it's a Pyr thing!). She does buddy up with the neighbor's Pyr to patrol both farms, but neither one of them is a problem. I also have a herd of Corgis (6), but they're mostly penned up, supervised, or in the house so they don't count.

          In the past, I've generally had two medium to large outdoor-only barn dogs. For the most part they'd sleep, patrol the farm, sleep, eat, sleep, etc. The only time I had a problem is when I had a pair of heelers. We didn't give them a job so they'd create their own- it usually involved herding the cows and attempting to herd the horses. They also thought finding a way to catch and kill my guinea birds was fun. I was not amused and ended up re-homing both of them to places without fowl. Those two were too smart for their own good.

          For me, I can't imagine only having one dog. They are definitely like potato chips!

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          • #6
            I've had 4 at one time.

            Now I only have two.

            Many years ago I had a young dog that I was having problems with, because I worked all day and he was at home alone. The vet suggested a crate, as did dog trainers.

            I got another dog instead, and those two were the best of friends their entire lives. No crates, no prozac, no animal communicators or special diets needed. He just needed a friend.

            I hope I can always afford to have dogs and that I never have to keep just one, even though now I am home all day.
            Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
            Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
            -Rudyard Kipling

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            • #7
              Right now I have two old sister dogs and two 6 month old sister dogs. Oldie are lab mutts, babies are border collie mutts.

              10 years ago we got littermates from the local rescue, then a singleton collie mix 4 years later. The collie was the best farm dog ever and we resolved to stick to herding mixes in the future because of that, with a plan for her to help raise her replacement after the labs passed on. It didnt work out like that, because our angel dog had liver failure and died at the age of six last August.

              As it turned out, the old girls had really been leaning on the collie. They are so old and deaf they dont even hear the UPS truck sometimes. We didnt want to burden them with puppies but it has worked out really well, everybody doing well.

              I think in a lot of ways multiple dogs are easier than one, and can sure provide a sort of insurance against heartbreak if you have a younger dog or two coming along as your seniors approach their end.

              We definitely plan to get another pup or two within a couple of years to keep the canine workforce infused with new blood.

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              • #8
                Two! If you pay attention to breed and personality getting two dogs is wonderful - they can keep each other company if you can't be with them. And if you're taking care of one you may as well be taking care of two.

                I have three... two laid back types (a JRT and english setter) and a little JRT who charms the two boys into playing with her. They all came from shelters and they live in complete harmony with each other. They get alot of exercise because tired dogs = good dogs!

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by fizzyfuzzybuzzy View Post
                  There are pros and cons to both. Having two is usually managable but the key to keeping them in line is to spend time with each alone and make sure you maintain your alpha status with both. The individual dogs and thier drives will also determine how well things go.
                  What FFB said.

                  Best, ideal, is if you get one dog at the time and train it a little to listen to you.
                  Then a year or two later you add another, that you also train alone until it listen well to you, as it is also playing and living with the other dog.
                  You will find that the second one will be much, much easier to train, because it will learn from the first one and you are a better dog trainer by then.

                  As you add more dogs, as long as they have a relationship with you, they will bond to each other but will also know to listen to you and so you won't have many problems.

                  How well all goes will also depend on the temperament and drives of each dog and how much you put into interacting with them.

                  Now, life is not always following the ideal pattern, so you make do with what you get.

                  I am allergic to dogs, so, although over the years we had many dogs around here, at times up to six, the last years, preferring to breahte a little better, I have only one.
                  Since it is with me practically 24/7, she really doesn't need another dog to play with at home, although she gets many other playmates with our dog club dogs and visitors.
                  She is a social butterfly, so there is no problem as far as socializing with other dogs.
                  A dog raised and living completely alone may not learn to be a dog and have problems around other dogs from that.

                  Getting adult dogs from a shelter makes the process of adding dogs much simpler, as you have an adult dog to train already and those learn extremely fast, in a few weeks, not months.

                  I would not get two dogs at the same time, as a good training program will be harder to manage, when bringing one at the time you can get a start on one first, right as you go on with your life.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I have never had just one dog so when we decided to get a puppy for DD we got 2 black labs (1 male, 1 female) from the same litter. Everyone said we were crazy and they would be wild, but I have to say it has been the easiest and most fun experience I have ever had with dogs.

                    House breaking was a breeze - we used crates and a precise schedule and literally had just 4 puddles between the 2 of them. Training went just as well because it was almost as if they were competing with each other to see who could complete the "task" (sit, park, come, stay....) first.

                    I have ended up with 2 of the best Labs - no chewing, jumping, wild or neurotic behavior they can be known for, which I truly believe is because they have each other. And for the record - the sibling dynamics have been the best part - they don't fight, each has his/her own status and "jobs" (male is inside watchdog, female has the outside), both respect me as the alpha female and they have their own games which are more fun to watch than anything on TV most nights.

                    You haven't lived 'til you've lived with a Lab and I will never have another one unless I can have 2!

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by KnKShowmom View Post
                      I have never had just one dog so when we decided to get a puppy for DD we got 2 black labs (1 male, 1 female) from the same litter. Everyone said we were crazy and they would be wild, but I have to say it has been the easiest and most fun experience I have ever had with dogs.

                      House breaking was a breeze - we used crates and a precise schedule and literally had just 4 puddles between the 2 of them. Training went just as well because it was almost as if they were competing with each other to see who could complete the "task" (sit, park, come, stay....) first.

                      I have ended up with 2 of the best Labs - no chewing, jumping, wild or neurotic behavior they can be known for, which I truly believe is because they have each other. And for the record - the sibling dynamics have been the best part - they don't fight, each has his/her own status and "jobs" (male is inside watchdog, female has the outside), both respect me as the alpha female and they have their own games which are more fun to watch than anything on TV most nights.

                      You haven't lived 'til you've lived with a Lab and I will never have another one unless I can have 2!
                      Looks like you did a great job and have great dogs.

                      How old are they now?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        For the last 10 yrs I've always had more than one. I have 4 now. All previous strays except for an 11 yr old Golden/Lab that the owner couldn't keep contained, so he chased cars, got hit by cars, wandered, and bit someone at the barn.

                        Don't get littermates. There can be problems with them. I'd also not get 2 puppies at once.

                        I've had my other dogs housebreak the new dog, help give confidence to fearful new ones, and generally show them "how we do things here". They all get along, play together, sleep next to each other, yet still be there for me when I want to give them individual attention.

                        I think if you have more than one, walking them together helps a lot, in keeping them all thinking like a pack. Also, it is necessary to teach them each to have a good recall. All 4 of mine can be playing, but I can call one to me, if they are getting a little too wound up, and things immediately settle down. You can't just get another dog and let them keep each other company with no individual time with you, grooming, patting and walking.

                        But I'll never have just one dog again.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Bluey View Post
                          Looks like you did a great job and have great dogs.

                          How old are they now?
                          Thank you - they will be 4 on Valentine's Day!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I have three - my big guy (9 yo Border Collie/Lab? mix) and the Corgi girls (one turns 7 in February, one turns 3 a week later).

                            Personally, I like having multiple dogs around, but I think if you're going to have two - have one male and one female (and neuter both of them). Same sex pairs can work, but generally, they seem to be much more volatile than mixed pairs. My girls occasionally squabble, but neither one of them challenges my big guy.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              We have 5!! They range in size from 100lb lab/golden mix all the way down to 6lb Pomeranian. We had 4 but found one running by the side of the road and had to pick him up... a hound dog/weiner dog mix. He is the cutest thing and probably the sweetest dog of the pack. (Other 2 are a terrier mix and a Jack Russell -- my soulmate dog and shadow). As for them packing up and ignoring me... no way! They follow me all over the farm and have so much fun. I am their leader, for sure.

                              I think (hope!) we are maxed out with 5.... 5 is a lot.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I don't find that more dogs is really more work - it just requires you to be more firm as their pack leader

                                We have 4 dogs and although sometimes it feels like 3 too many, I wouldn't trade any of them. The two younger Lab boys stay outside during the day and run each others' energy off while we're at work. The two older girls, Lab and Boston Terrorist, are content to just stay inside and nap during the day We have a strict routine for them at food time and for coming and going from the house. They know the deal. Otherwise they'd be unmanageable.

                                I would definitely get two, just so they can keep each other company while you're not around. But if you don't take the time to work with them, they will run your farm
                                "Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil, and you're a thousand miles from the corn field." --Dwight D Eisenhower

                                Boston Terrier Rescue of NC - www.btrnc.org - Adopt for Life!

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  My parents have 3 Standard Poodles. They are a pack... 2 are fine, but 3...watch out! They took down a deer last winter. They were hunting machines on the farm! Now that they live on a 1/2 acre lot they are squirrel and mole hunters. The girls are breeding dogs and are Grandma, daughter and baby, ranging from 2 to 9. The 9 year old is retired and a pet!

                                  I currently have one, but I am waiting for dog #2 from the breeder, a Redbone Coonhound, for my SO, yep I think that I am crazy. A Weim and a Coonhound... and I will be getting a second weim in the future...
                                  www.simplicityweimaraners.ca

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by 4Martini View Post
                                    When you get multiples do they just form a pack and ignore you and take over the farm for their own, or do they entertain themselves? Just curious what people's thoughts are on having one dog vs. two?
                                    Don't know about other breeds but I have two pyraneese (great work ethic BTW- not the breed for everyone) and they take shifts patrolling. So if you can, get a pair and give them a job.
                                    A pussycat of a horse with a chewed off tail won the triple crown, The Cubs won the world series and Trump won the Presidency.
                                    Don't tell me 'It can't be done.'

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I have 3, and no, they don't just form a pack and ignore you. Unless of course you weren't the pack leader to begin with. I could probably never have just one dog. I agree, they're definitely like potato chips. I love watching the crazy nut job things that my 3 do. They are all very distinct breeds with distinct personalities and if you have a very balanced household with balanced dogs, you should have no problem whether you have 1 or 10.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        In the past 30 years I have always had at least two dogs.

                                        Four years ago we merged families, and my in-laws and my family moved to a farm. They had two dogs, we had two dogs, now we had 4 dogs. All female, and all got along from day one.

                                        Last year two of the older dogs died within 6 days of each other, one was mine, one was the in-law's dog. A month later we got two aussie/golden cross puppies from a rescue, yes, littermates.

                                        It has worked out great, the pups were easy to train, and have livened up the lives of the older dogs (one is 10 the other is 8).

                                        I find they don't have a pack mentality, we find them in various places all over the house napping. The only times they act as a pack is if a delivery man shows up on the property and at meal time.

                                        We also have a dog-door and 1/2 acre fenced for them to come and go as they please and be dogs.
                                        There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams

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