View Full Version : Second puppy diliberation questions!

24th June 2008, 06:13 AM
Ah yes, ANOTHER post about getting a second dog! I'm sure you are thrilled!

Franklin is turning 1 year old in a week and I could not be happier with him! He is solidly trained in everything that I feel is important (housebreaking, sit, stay, come, and knowing basic home rules and routines) as well as some cute tricks like spin to the left/right!

I've wanted a second cavalier for months now and I think that Franklin would love to have some company while I work! I work a normal 8 hour day (and I only live about five minutes away from home :D) but I always feel guilty leaving him alone in the morning. I do sometimes come home and spend my lunch break with him because I live so close, but it's not something I can do every day.

Other than work, I usually spend all of my free time with him. We snuggle while I'm on the computer and visit either the dog park or a local grassy park AT LEAST three times a work-week if not every day. Every sunday we have a big outing to dog beach! The short of it is that he gets LOTS of exercise and attention and there is plenty to go around for a second.

Now for my concerns, questions:

1) My Franklin is absolutely PERFECT. We have the most wonderful relationship together and he is so good when it comes to helping me water our plants outside without darting down the stairs and with cuddling at night and basically being a dream. I am worried that another puppy could change that somehow, when he's not an only child!

2) My roomate's dog is less than perfect, to say the least. We have a large two bedroom apartment and share the living area between our rooms. My room and area is large enough (private entrance and all) that we are not constantly interacting with her dog but when we hang out and eat dinner or watch movies the dogs interact and play. She has a beagle mix who is not housebroken and seems to relish in peeing on the sofa/floor despite her best efforts. Will it be harder for her to learn, even with Franklin's good example, with this going on in the living room? Also, and this is what I am most worried about, her dog plays ROUGH. Snarling, biting, growling and making really mean/scary noises when he plays. Franklin doesn't mind and plays back but we have to pull off her dog sometimes because he gets carried away. I'm worried he could scare her or teach her bad habits when it comes to being socialized and playing.

Any advice/opinions on those concerns would be wonderful!

I already have the breeder picked out and have been watching the babies grow up since they were born. I have first pick of the females and so far they are just adorable! They are all blenheim ladies which is exactly what I wanted! It will be several weeks/months before the babies are ready but I'm trying to think about all this ahead of time.

Thanks in advance!! :dogwlk:

24th June 2008, 02:45 PM

Well, a couple of thoughts:

1) yes, adding a dog always will change the dynamic in a home to some degree, and may change the behaviour of your existing dog (the same happens often in the reverse -- the loss of a dog often changes the behaviour of the existing dog typically with shy or more low key dogs becoming more outgoing). Does this mean change in a bad way? No, and many people adore the pleasures of the interactions of two dogs. And change may not even be noticeable. But an additional dog always changes the group dynamic at least in subtle ways. That said: I have four cavaliers and love their interactions. Some, however, would probably blossom more if they were singletons or if I gave them more alone time, which I should do. Or to look at it a different way -- you need to give *separate but equal* apart time to BOTH dogs, which can be demanding.

2) keep in mind adding a puppy in your household is not having two dogs, but three. Three dogs is significantly different than two as now, the three will have to work out a pecking order as the new puppy matures, so this can cause some issues not present with just two dogs. And that means some discussions with your roommate, as her dog is part of the overall picture and decision. More than one cavalier is generally pretty easy especially if they are neutered but a third dog of another breed or mix is a different quantity to consider -- you will need to manage the integration of the maturing puppy and there may be some scraps.

3) lots of dogs play noisily but that isn't the same as playing rough. Jaspar for example growls and barks etc and will lunge and play-mouth another dog but this is not rough playing. Also most dogs will look like they are roughhousing when playing. If you have ANY doubts about whether this is truly rough playing you need to get a trainer in to evaluate the interactions. A truly rough dog that plays in a borderline way (meaning it can get dangerously overexcited) is an ongoing potential danger, especially to a puppy. You need to understand if this is a dog with some socialisiation problems or just a normal but noisy dog. This is crucial if adding a puppy to the mix as a puppy can be killed accidentally by a too vigorous dog that doesn't know limits. That said, what most owners think is rough is just normal dog behaviour. But I would not risk not knowing.

4) keep in mind that if you get a puppy you will need to be home several times a day for housetraining. And yes, a poorly trained dog will be as much an example to a puppy as a well trained dog. Though I presume your roommate's dog and your dog (or the puppy) are not left alone together during the day (eg where they have access to each other)?

5) you will initially, and for many weeks, need to keep your dog and a puppy totally separated when you are gone. It is not safe to leave two strange dogs alone and especially not a puppy and an adult. You need to know they are safe together. Again a good trainer or behaviouralist can advise.

6) overall I think it greatly adds to any dog's life to have a canine companion :) -- but the owner needs to be able to manage and commit fully to two, come sickness or health. So be absolutely sure you are dealing with a reputable show breeder with full health clearances for her dogs. Make sure you have seen the cardiologist certs for parents and grandparents and personally I would want a breeder who has MRI'd breeding dogs. It is worth saving the money for a dog from a breeder who is fully health and conformation focused and can prove it. :thmbsup: