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From one dog to two dogs, the good, the bad and the ugly? update post 12

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  • From one dog to two dogs, the good, the bad and the ugly? update post 12

    Talk to me about going from a one dog household to a two dog household. When Emmett and I lived with my mom in PA she and her partner had two pitbull mixes (wonderful dogs!) and everyone got along great. Then I moved into an apartment and my roommates had a Bassett mix and he and Emmett were BFFs. I loved having one more dog in the house and to me, it feels empty now.

    Emmett has lived with me and my BF for about 6 months as an only dog but he wants to play with every dog he meets on his walks. I think to an extent he'd like to have the company of another dog again.

    I got Emmett several years ago from Ron and Danny and contacted them again. They have a male terrier mix, almost two years old, perfect size/temperament and cute as a button. He actually looks strikingly similar to Emmett! I'd be shipping him from SC to VA, however if there were any issues with he and Emmett getting along, they'd take the dog back. I'm not making any decisions until after the holidays (mid January) so it gives me time to weigh all the ups and downs and make a solid, educated choice. If the new guy is still available, maybe it's meant to be! So let me have it. What should I consider? What could I be overlooking? Pros and cons? Thanks guys!
    Last edited by TatteredDaydreamer; Dec. 20, 2012, 06:10 AM. Reason: Grammar
    "And my good dreams? They all come with a velvet muzzle and four legs. All my good dreams are about horses."--In Colt Blood

    COTH Barn Rats Clique!

  • #2
    I have always preferred having two dogs so they can keep each other company during the day while I'm at work. For me it would be a no-brainer. however two same sex dogs do not always get along, so be ready for that.


    • #3
      They play. And play. And play. Alllllllll the time lol. When one is a 100lb Shepherd and 1 is a 5lb chi mix, you're either constantly getting bowled over or stepping on one ;-)


      • #4
        Cons: twice the expense, and a bit more annoyance when you're trying to take two dogs somewhere as opposed to one (my older dachshund moves slowly and has to be carried a lot, which is fine except when you have a fast energetic dachshund also on a leash).

        Pros: two dogs to snuggle and be cute. Dual dog snores, which are adorable.

        I think the pros outweigh the cons.
        "Remain relentlessly cheerful."

        Graphite/Pastel Portraits


        • #5
          Pros: built in company/play mate, confident one can serve as a guide for a less confident dog, adorable cuddling

          Cons: potential incompatibility, twice the vet bills, overly attached and the resulting separation anxiety, making arrangements when you travel


          • #6
            To me, the only con to upping the number of dogs in the house are the expenses of dog ownership going up. BUT, to me, that's entirely worth it. If my husband didn't have a say, I'd have as many dogs as i could reasonably care for


            • #7
              I struggled for YEARS about whether or not to get a pet for my pet--which was essentially what I was doing. LOL

              It wasn't until I got a roommate who also had a dog that I realized how much easier it actually made things. My dog had been an only dog for 6 or 7 years at that point. We now have two big dogs. Lab (9) SP (2)

              PROS: They play, they have company when you're gone. You get to have two great pups!

              CONS: Harder to leave two dogs with someone while you go away, pretty much have to have a pet sitter. More cost obviously. Less room on couch/bed for humans.
              A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

              Might be a reason, never an excuse...


              • #8
                I've always thought two dogs was, in many ways, easier than one dog. Going from two dogs to three dogs is a major step, with all sorts of complications, but one to two is no big deal.
                The dogs themselves often seem much happier, and often play constantly with each other, and if your first dog is well-behaved, often the second dog will just copy the good behaviors of the first dog (the converse happens too- if the first dog is an out of control PITA, the second dog will copy all of the bad behaviors).
                One person can easily walk two well-trained dogs, even two very large dogs.
                The only "nightmare" is if the dogs turn out to not get along- I'd suggest minimizing the chances of this happening by choosing a male-female pair, trying to stagger the ages so one is clearly older than the other (at least 3 years apart), and selecting dogs of approximately the same size. Sometimes getting two very different temperaments works better than getting similar dogs- I've always found having a gentle, laid-back dog plus a more hyper, intense dog seems to "balance" well.
                Costs will double of course- double the food, double the vet bills, double the equipment costs.


                • #9
                  Friends? No luck here

                  Originally posted by kasjordan View Post
                  They play. And play. And play. Alllllllll the time lol.
                  Looks like I'm the only poster with two dogs who aren't friends. They are roommates. They co-habitate perfectly fine. Playing and cuddling? Only in my hopeful dreams. Then I wake up and they are asleep in opposite corners of the room.

                  Each are prancing and perky when they are the only pet on a walk or trip.


                  • #10
                    I have always had 2 dogs at a time, our lab passed away 2 years ago and my 13 yr old Golden has been an only dog since then. Our last 2 years have been crazy (building, moving, new child) I tried to keep it to 1 dog but it did not feel right. Last week we took on a stray that needed a home and (other than the remedial housebreaking) she is pretty darn perfect.

                    She has re-animated the aging Golden and now, after about 10 days, they are becoming fast friends. There were a couple of snarly bits, she made it clear to him that food was very important to her and he must back off when he is eating. She is now a bit more laid back about the food, realizing perhaps, that it will be coming more consistently now?

                    They have been playing a lot and a couple of times it got snarly as he was making it clear to her that he did not appreciate having his back jumped on.

                    They seem to be working things out and are now sleeping right next to each other.

                    I agree with Wendy, it is best if you can get opposite sex pairs with a spread in the ages so it is clear who will be in charge.

                    Be careful about feeding together, feed seperately until you know whether there will be food possesiveness issues.

                    Keep an eye on the play, sometimes it can escalate into something more aggressive. My own policy is to let them work it out TO A POINT but intervene if you sense that things are continueing to escalate. A dog trainer once told me that if my dogs started fighting to grab both by the collar a yell at them, making it clear that I am still the Alpha B*tch. I have since been told that is bad advice but it certainly worked for me for my last pair of dogs. This new pair have so far played very nicely together, once new female respected Golden's wishes that she not jump on his back.

                    Personally...I really like having 2 dogs.


                    • #11
                      I have 4...two sounds so easy. But we just walk ours in pairs.


                      • Original Poster


                        What type of arrangements do you folks make if you have to travel and have two dogs? Current dog comes with us when we go to PA for the weekend. I don't think my SO's parents would welcome two dogs to stay for the weekend. Do you board them? Pet sitter? We're talking a weekend at most, not a week or even 5 days out of town. This is my SO's biggest concern.
                        "And my good dreams? They all come with a velvet muzzle and four legs. All my good dreams are about horses."--In Colt Blood

                        COTH Barn Rats Clique!


                        • #13
                          Pretty much what everyone else said = )

                          Cons: 2x the cost. Potential incompatability. Harder to travel with or leave with sitters when you travel without them.

                          Pros: Keep each other entertained. 2x the doggie love and fun.

                          Are you dead set on the one that is far away? Might be easier to try to find one closer to home. We foster a lot, and that can also be a good way to find a potential best friend for your existing pup.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by TatteredDaydreamer View Post
                            What type of arrangements do you folks make if you have to travel and have two dogs? Current dog comes with us when we go to PA for the weekend. I don't think my SO's parents would welcome two dogs to stay for the weekend. Do you board them? Pet sitter? We're talking a weekend at most, not a week or even 5 days out of town. This is my SO's biggest concern.
                            I have 6 dogs, so I can't take them all with me. I hire a house sitter for the week, so the puppies stay home where they are comfortable and in their own element. It would cost me a small fortune to board them all, and they would be miserable. For this reason, I pay the dog-sitter VERY well. Sitter stays at my house while I'm gone, and I stock the fridge with food, leave a list of emergency numbers on the counter, and leave lots of treats for the dogs. Works out very well in my situation.

                            My dogs keep each other entertained during the day while we are all working. They also guard the house. (I live in a rural area, house can't be seen from the road, you get the idea...) They are a good natured bunch, and they all get along well for the most part. (the Jack Russell is the exception to this rule)
                            The cons are that vet time is quite expensive, and it is stressful when we travel. The sitter is quite capable and the dogs love him, but I still worry.
                            Two dogs sounds like a breeze!
                            ~Rest in Peace Woody...1975-2008~


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by TatteredDaydreamer View Post
                              What type of arrangements do you folks make if you have to travel and have two dogs? Current dog comes with us when we go to PA for the weekend. I don't think my SO's parents would welcome two dogs to stay for the weekend. Do you board them? Pet sitter? We're talking a weekend at most, not a week or even 5 days out of town. This is my SO's biggest concern.
                              Our Animal Control Officer (who is also a tech at our vet's) keeps our dogs at her house when we have to go out of town and can't take them. It's the only thing we could work out...one dog is very sweet and we could have anyone watch her, but the old ACD can be a nasty piece of work and doesn't trust many people. We use to leave her with my mother (who she does like), but my elderly mother can't handle the energetic, younger, dog and we want to keep them together to reduce anxiety. There is no way anyone else, or a boarding kennel could handle the ACD mix and a sitter would never be able to get in the door of the house. ACO can not only handle ACD and her issues, but the ACD actually likes her!

                              You could ask around at your vet's, some techs do dog sit as a side job. I like having my dogs go stay in someone else's house, rather than boarding them or leaving them alone and having a sitter/walker come in.


                              • #16
                                if you only have two, it's easy to board- most good boarding places will let them share an enclosure, at less than the cost of using two different enclosures.
                                If you have more than two, a petsitter is the only cost-effective option. I know someone with 8 dogs who tried boarding them, and reported it cost more for the week of boarding than for the entire rest of the fancy trip to an exotic resort.


                                • #17
                                  I highly recommend to anyone that if they're going to have a dog... have 2 dogs! The dogs have companionship when you're not home, which is for a good bit of the day for most of us who work. That's a lot of hours of alone time for a single dog. Two dogs will entertain each other more when you ARE home, which means you don't feel like you have to constantly be playing with them or giving them attention while you are home. Most importantly for me, if something should happen to one of your dogs, you still have a dog. Nothing to me is more painful than that huge, ugly emptiness that exists when a pet has passed on and you have to go home to a quiet house.

                                  Two dogs are also very manageable for boarding or pet sitting. We have two Labs that we've boarded before and they were able to share a large enclosure for the two nights we were gone. I would love to find a pet sitter but haven't investigated that enough to feel confortable having anyone come to my house.

                                  Of course there's the additional cost of food and vet expenses with multiple dogs. You also have to be extra careful with your training and what you allow - something might seem cute or not annoying when one dog does it but when you've got 2 or more dogs doing it, it can really suck. haha! Plus, my two Labs are like two little boys.... constantly egging each other on and what one doesn't think of, the other does!

                                  I actually have 4 dogs now.... 2 Labs and 2 Boston Terriers.... and it's probably about 1 dog too many for our household right now.
                                  We don't travel much (and probably wouldn't even without the dogs!) so it really hasn't been a huge issue for us at this point.
                                  "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!


                                  • #18
                                    Cons: you're one dog away from three dogs, which is how many I have. It's a slippery slope.

                                    Just kidding, sort of. If you can afford it, two is easy. We board ours if we go away, or get a family member to stay. We have discussed allowing ourselves to get down to two or even one in the future so that we can take the one (or maybe two) when we go horse camping, and not have to board. Right now we go a couple weekends/year and board the dogs, but once the kids are older/moved out we would like to go more, and frequent boarding doesn't appeal to me.

                                    I would on impulse say a big con is hair, but there's already a lot of hair, so do I notice more? Probably not. I would actually say that it takes extra time for grooming, nail trimming, ear cleaning, wiping their feet when they come inside on muddy days, that sort of thing. Or when I walk them when it's wet, I have three wet/muddy/sandy dogs to clean up and brush. It takes some time! So make sure dog #2 is low maintenance that way to save some time.

                                    Pros: I love all of them, and they are quite the amusing group. It's hard to pet three dogs at once, so two is a good number.


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by TatteredDaydreamer View Post
                                      What type of arrangements do you folks make if you have to travel and have two dogs? Current dog comes with us when we go to PA for the weekend. I don't think my SO's parents would welcome two dogs to stay for the weekend. Do you board them? Pet sitter? We're talking a weekend at most, not a week or even 5 days out of town. This is my SO's biggest concern.
                                      In the past, I've mostly been lucky to have dog friends who were willing to stay at my place with the dogs (bringing theirs along) or the dogs could stay at their house.

                                      I did have a few false starts when I first moved to MI with friends who DIDN'T have dogs, but agreed to stay at the house and then didn't.

                                      I absolutely do not ever kennel my dogs. (I have reasons, all of them have to do with my experiences with boarding when I worked in the industry) They either go with me or someone stays with them.

                                      In fact, that is the reason I'm not going back to MI for Xmas with my husband to see his family. They will let me bring the dogs, but the dogs aren't allowed in the house and especially with one having some medical issues right now (beyond the fact that they're HOUSE dogs), I'm not comfortable relegating them to a mud room or the pole barn for several days.

                                      I will say that when I have taken the dogs home (to my family) in the past, I've taken a crate so that the dogs who LIVE there aren't being bothered by my dogs. We rotate all of the critters in and out and everyone seems fine.

                                      But I don't leave them without someone staying at the house.

                                      Now with dog friends, if you can go back and forth returning the favor, you don't necessarily have to pay $$, but I've always brought back a gift and the same has been done for me.

                                      If I hire someone to stay (which I haven't done much), I typically pay $25/day with the expectation that they will be home with the dogs overnight, getting to the house by 7pm on a weekday. I don't like the dogs to be home alone for more than 7 or 8 hours tops.

                                      Right now, my guy can't go more than about 2-3 hours so hiring a local pet sitting company is out of the question.

                                      Good luck!
                                      A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

                                      Might be a reason, never an excuse...


                                      • #20
                                        I think the tipping point for a lot of problems is going from two to three or more. A friend (actually her hubby, don't let them run loose in Petsmart on adoption day or you'll end up with dog #3 also) now has three. She could find tons of dog friendly cabins and vacation places with two dogs, but with three there aren't many places that will allow it.

                                        I almost always had two dogs, and the best buddies each had a crate for during the day (with the door removed, it was just a comfy den), and they would always go in the same one and curl up together. The best situations were where there was a more laid back dog with a more energetic one, or there was a more submissive dog, but I never had a problem with any of them fighting or competing. I always had spayed females, except my one boy.
                                        You can't fix stupid-Ron White