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Thinking about adding a second dog - current dog considerations?

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  • Thinking about adding a second dog - current dog considerations?

    Just as the title says, I'm thinking about adding a second dog. I've had my Cavalier for over three years now and he loves to play with my father's dogs and his dog friends at the barn where we board in the winter. However, play time is different than adding another dog to the home. I've had a foster dog (senior Maltese) for almost a month now and Dublin doesn't really care about him either way. They don't play but Dublin has never really been into dogs smaller than him (he doesn't seem to understand what they are).

    Dublin is definitely my #1 sidekick and goes with me everywhere he can. When I'm not at my office job, he's at the barn with me or he's snuggled right next to me on the couch. I'm definitely "HIS" human and he can get a little jealous (not aggressive, just whiny). I don't know if adding a second dog to the mix would make him really depressed or if he would learn to enjoy having a brother.

    A barn owner in the area has been looking for a home for her sweet, young, male pit-mix foster dog. He sounds like he would be a great fit for my situation since he is experienced with small dogs, cats, and horses. However, I'm hesitant to ask her for more information since I'm not sure if Dublin would agree with adding a second dog.

    Any experience or advice?
    "Last time I picked your feet, you broke my toe!"

  • #2
    Has Dublin gotten to play with the foster?

    Size difference would make me a little concerned, as size does make a difference. Some dogs are pretty good about understanding their strength, some are less so.

    Play styles also might be very different, as the bully breeds *tend* to do a lot of drive by shoulder slamming and paw wacking. Think about how Dublin plays and think about how the other dog might play too.

    Also, since your barn owner is the foster home, is it possible to try a 2 week (or less if it becomes obvious it won't work) trial period?

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by threedogpack View Post
      Also, since your barn owner is the foster home, is it possible to try a 2 week (or less if it becomes obvious it won't work) trial period?
      This sounds like the most sensible way to go about it if you like this other dog but are not sure how Dublin would take to his new bro.

      Comment


      • #4
        I've always stuck to one at a time, but I have flirted with the idea of adding a cat to the family (dog loves cats) and if I do that, I will specifically look for a cat who loves dogs so everyone's happy. I think you could apply the same logic to this, essentially letting existing dog choose the new dog. Granted, you'd still have some guidelines for your own sanity, so new dog doesn't turn out to be a breed or size you just can't stand or handle, etc. But I'd look based on what the current pet is likely to be comfortable/safe/happy with, and not worry about rescuing a specific needy dog. If you adopt, you're going to be rescuing a needy dog at some point, anyway.

        Comment


        • #5
          I've always had multiple dogs. Usually strays that need a home, or ones due to be euthed. So I don't get to be picky. And somehow, it always seems to work out fine and the dogs end up being buddies.

          See if you can try taking your dog and the other dog for a walk together. Have friend walk her dog briskly for about 45 min, and you do the same. Then bring bring friends dog over to your house, and walk both together briskly (one on each side of you) without stopping to sniff. You need to ignore the dogs, keep your head up, and keep moving forward, without talking to them. Walk for about 20 min. Then return home, and if you have a fenced yard, go out back, and drop your dogs leash, and walk the other dog around somewhat briskly, so your dog can walk behind and sniff. Then drop the new dog's leash, but keep moving, and then you move away from them, (especially away from your dog, so he doesn't want to guard/claim you.) let them sniff, and get to know each other. I've been introducing dogs this way for years, and have never had it not work.
          I don't like introducing dogs on leash where 2 people each hold leashes and let the dogs sniff, as inevitably, one of the owners is nervous, and the dogs sense it, and become leash reactive. Plus they are forced to meet head to head, which is less than ideal. Walking both briskly together on each side of you without letting them sniff, gets them thinking forward, and by the end of the walk they seem to bond and not look at the other dog as a threat/intruder. Walking them individually beforehand, gets the excess energy out, so that it doesn't feed into anxiety/excitement, and the calmer energy is better for first meetings.

          All of my dogs seem to really enjoy having a buddy. When they get old, they seem to not care or interact as much. So your old ones should be fine.

          Comment


          • #6
            Someone here suggested doggie "sleep overs" as a chance to see how everyone gets a long, like taking horse on trial. I like the expression.
            Now, if one could take a current cat to the shelter and do a session of "speed dating" that worked, well that would be great.

            Comment


            • #7
              the best thing is to try a two-week trial period. Just meeting up somewhere won't tell you much about how they'll interact through daily life.
              most of the people I know with cavaliers have more than one of them, and they seem to enjoy the company of their own breed- if this particular dog doesn't work out, I'd suggest looking for another cavalier.

              Comment


              • #8
                It's been my experience that dogs of the opposite sex seem to work much better than the same sex if you have only two.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by threedogpack View Post
                  Has Dublin gotten to play with the foster?

                  Size difference would make me a little concerned, as size does make a difference. Some dogs are pretty good about understanding their strength, some are less so.

                  Play styles also might be very different, as the bully breeds *tend* to do a lot of drive by shoulder slamming and paw wacking. Think about how Dublin plays and think about how the other dog might play too.

                  Also, since your barn owner is the foster home, is it possible to try a 2 week (or less if it becomes obvious it won't work) trial period?
                  I agree, doing a trial would be ideal, especially if you are hoping that the dogs will play together.

                  Both my BC/Boxer/Who Knows What mix and the neighbor's Pit Bull seem to have the "bully play style" described...they are into body slamming, shoving with the shoulder, standing on top of the other, smacking each other in the face with their paws, spinning around and butt slamming, etc... If the Pit mix would be happy with the Cavalier's play style (I don't know what that is), it might work, but if he wants to play in my dog and her friend's style, they'd need to be closer in size and everyone needs to be able to control their temper, because it's extremely physical.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I really agonized over the idea of getting my dog a buddy. Which is pretty much what it was. Getting my pet a pet. LOL. He was used to being an only dog, a dog who got to go everywhere with me, including the office, the barn, the grocery store, etc. Very similar to your situation.

                    I looked into various rescues for quite awhile. But finally, the decision became moot because I got a roommate with a dog. Initially, she hounded the heck out of him and there wasn't a lot of love lost. But they became good playmates. I also had a friend whose dog often stayed with me or mine with her and when separated, they would be all depressed for days.

                    So I wasn't terribly surprised when we got a puppy a few years ago that it all worked out. At that time, my lab was 7. It worked out well.

                    I would do a trial, but realize that it can take a little time for them to work it all out. Just like horses. So if it's not going well on day 2, don't give up.
                    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

                    Might be a reason, never an excuse...

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Thank you for all the replies, these are great! I'm pretty sure the dog I referred to in my OP has been adopted (hurray!), but there are plenty of other dogs out there needing homes!

                      I'm not terribly concerned about size difference, except for the fact that Dublin doesn't seem to like interacting with dogs smaller than him. My father and sister both have large pitbull mixes and he loves both of them. His BFF is a tall, lanky Schnauzer mix and they play very rough together (chase, pounce, tumble, run over each other...he'll jump up to do body checks). He also loves to chase other dogs and I have a friend with two Newfies who love to BE chased, so they get along swimmingly.

                      Do most local humane societies allow trial periods? Most of the places around here I know do a "meet & greet" sort of deal, but I don't feel like that would be very telling for Dublin (unless the other dog totally hated him or something) since he is very polite and reserved when meeting new dogs.

                      I keep looking at these two little guys:
                      http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/24810933
                      http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/24548148

                      Another detail that may factor in: I'm moving into my new house this month. Dublin doesn't seem too bother by environment changes (he's house sat with me several times), but perhaps a new home AND new dog happening so close together might be overwhelming?
                      "Last time I picked your feet, you broke my toe!"

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Why not fill out applications with several rescues, let them know what you're looking for & when, if you're willing to foster etc.

                        I'd move, get settled, then add the next dog, probably trial a few fosters first to see if both the dog & the humans preferred being a 2 dog family

                        Definitely get beagle educated before committing to one

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by mg View Post
                          Just as the title says, I'm thinking about adding a second dog. I've had my Cavalier for over three years now and he loves to play with my father's dogs and his dog friends at the barn where we board in the winter. However, play time is different than adding another dog to the home. I've had a foster dog (senior Maltese) for almost a month now and Dublin doesn't really care about him either way. They don't play but Dublin has never really been into dogs smaller than him (he doesn't seem to understand what they are).

                          Dublin is definitely my #1 sidekick and goes with me everywhere he can. When I'm not at my office job, he's at the barn with me or he's snuggled right next to me on the couch. I'm definitely "HIS" human and he can get a little jealous (not aggressive, just whiny). I don't know if adding a second dog to the mix would make him really depressed or if he would learn to enjoy having a brother.

                          A barn owner in the area has been looking for a home for her sweet, young, male pit-mix foster dog. He sounds like he would be a great fit for my situation since he is experienced with small dogs, cats, and horses. However, I'm hesitant to ask her for more information since I'm not sure if Dublin would agree with adding a second dog.

                          Any experience or advice?
                          agree with Alto!!
                          In case you don't know about it: cavalierrescueusa.org. I have 2 cavaliers of my own and foster for them! By far, one of the most rewarding experiences I have!
                          My one dog thinks other dogs are boring unless it is another cavalier. Seems cavaliers like "each other best", lol
                          With my personal dogs Nosey was 5 when I got Pnut and could have cared less....for awhile, but then they became good buddies.
                          Even though cavaliers are known as "expensive" dogs versus some I will tell you we took in 515 of them in 2012 and almost that many in 2011. :-(
                          Puppy milles, owner surrenders, people aging out of living alone, etc. My own 2 are adopted mill pups. Don't know what area of the country you are in but if interested fill out either an adopter or volunteer form on the site and PM me and I can tell you all about it.
                          What we do when we get a dog in...as the foster I am responsible for assessing the dog over a 3 week period to see what kind of him it will need. single/miulti dog home, kids,no kids, etc. Rescue has a total check up, dental spay or neuter and any other health concerns taken care of BEFORE the dog is adopted.
                          Example: I have a breeder surrender foster right now: she has had about 1000.00 in medical bills and her adoption fee is 350.00! She goes to her new home tomorrow after 6 weeks with me.
                          Adriane
                          Happily retired but used to be:
                          www.ParrotNutz.com

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I think I'd wait til you get moved as others mentioned. Moving is stressful on people and on some critters. I have two dogs and just recently moved to another state. Just having movers in the house, having things "disappear", learning new noises in the new house, etc was a little stressful on mine and they're pretty easy going dogs.
                            A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

                            Might be a reason, never an excuse...

                            Comment

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