View Full Version : 1st is Dreamy - Should I get a 2nd?

11th February 2009, 05:12 PM
I am a first time dog owner and we have had Joshie now for 6 months. He is DREAMY! My entire family and anyone who meet's Joshie is amazed at how fantastic this little fella is.

Josh has slept through the night from just 2 weeks after being home (at 10 weeks), learned to ring the bell to use the potty at 4 months, slept inside the crate - but we started leaving the crate door open at 6 months, sits, rolls over, plays dead, shakes paw, and sits and waits on his bed during OUR meal times to wait for his treat after we are done.........you get the idea that he is dreamy and perfect in every way.

He is however quite naughty at times when he doesn't get the attention that he NEEDS RIGHT AWAY. He'll start chewing the baseboards when I don't play with him. He'll whine and pine if I am on the phone and not playing with him. I work at an adoption agency and he'll squeeze in with jealousy if I am loving and hugging on a child at the office.

I realize this might night be the right audience to ask for help in 'talking me out of getting another cavie', but I am needing some help here as it is getting a little obsessive (eg. My thoughts of getting a second). I have signed up for rescue, but also love the idea of a little female pup playmate for Joshie (cav pups are irresistable indeed). BUT - is Josh just beginner's luck? Can you love a 2nd as much as your 1st LOVE? Does having 2 cavies mean I'll have 2 pups begging me to play ALL DAY LONG? Are 2 cavies double the work? I feel like I need to detox from all these thoughts...how can I be so consumed with this little dog, when I thought I'd never be a dog owner -- EVER!:lpy:


11th February 2009, 05:20 PM
I think having two is lovely!!! As long as you're prepared to do the training all over again, I would def go for it !!! Sounds like you've done a great job of training Joshie. My goal, someday, is to own one of each colour.

11th February 2009, 05:22 PM
I think it is always nice for a dog to have a dog companion -- they have a richer life than simply living alone with people.

However I would not recommend getting a second dog until your existing cavalier is at least 12 months old, and 18 months or older is far better. Once you get a second the time you can give the existing dog halves and at this age -- anytime up til about 12 months -- they go through regression phases where they can lose a lot of the training they have learned and with another puppy there, you are likely to end up with two dogs with poorer behaviour, no matter how ideal the existing one seems now (indeed -- he is just hitting the adolescent phase at which you are going to start to have a lot more challenges -- quite normal but he will likely be a more difficult dog to manage for the next 6 months than he has been for the first six. He won't be sleeping as much and will be getting into all sorts of things and forgetting some of the good behaviour he has learned. There's some excellent info on dealing with dog adolescence in the training and behaviour section at www.dogstardaily.com btw. Also I can say from experience that the first dog does suffer some from not getting the chance of being the dog he could be given time ALONE with owners til adulthood. No matter how good the intentions, and how confident the owners that it won't be the case for them, I see this happen over and over and it happened in my case, too, where I got a second when my first was 9 month old. A second takes as much time, and needs alone-time with owners, so there is a lot more time involved and if you get a puppy, MOST of your time will go to the pup and not to the young dog you already have, leaving him without the same relationship you have formed up til now and generally, missing out on the continuing training he also needs, to the level he needs. I regret not waiting and all the trainers and good breeders I know say to wait til 18 months at least, ideally.

Also: there's no guarantee that any dog will ever by just like the first. They are all individuals. It sounds like you have an especially responsive dog -- you probably would not get two that were that easy to train initially. One of my four was that easy (initially!!) and very, very smart -- but be aware this type of dog can prove a more time consuming and challenging and demanding adult!!! They need to have body and mind exercised daily and will need far more interactive time than a quieter or less bright dog. Bright dogs are not everyone's cup of tea (no way could I handle more than one like this) and do need dedication and daily activity. :thmbsup: Again that's why it would be wise to wait and see if you feel a second will fit in -- you don't yet have any real idea of what your adult cavalier is going to be like as he is just too young. He may be more of a handful than you suspect right now (and I am guessing he will be). You are just beginning to see some of the challenging adolescent behaviour in the chewing an etc and I am guessing you may well find this is what he is going to be like as an adult. I call my bright dog my Attention Deficit Dog. :o He is my favourite but he is HARD WORK too!

Other than that -- please make sure you only use a reputable, health testing breeder if you opt for a second (or stick with rescue). There are some challenging health problems in the breed and you want to make absolutely sure that your breeder has done all she or he can to protect breed health and the health of that individual puppy. Full details here:


11th February 2009, 05:23 PM
If you want another one get one, i think its easier to train a pup with an older dog showing the way, so if josh is six months now, by the time youve looked around and made a choice it could be another month or two.
The only thing i would say is dont expect the new pup to live up to joshs good points, every dog is individual and even the same little pup will be better at some thing and worse at another. How do you think josh would take to another dog sharing your affections.

11th February 2009, 05:48 PM
Well, as the owner of two cavvies, I can't talk you out of it! (I have four total dogs). My malamute mix is 6, my collie is 3, Bandit is 8 months old and Lizzie turns 6 months old this month. As Karlin said, there would have been advantages to having waited longer to get Lizzie. Bandit is much more focused on me than Lizzie (though she is still quite focused on me as well). He was here for 3 months without her. I have to make it a point to seperate them and work with them individually daily. Bandit accepts being left while I work with Lizzie much better than Lizzie accepts it when I work alone with Bandit. I believe that is due to her being so bonded to him since she has been with him since arriving here. I do work from home, however, so I am with them both during most days. They both will sit at my feet and stare up at me (it is so hard to concentrate when they do that!) wanting me to play with them or hold them on my lap.
So, Karlin has very good advice about waiting, but even more critical advice about choosing a health-focused breeder. Things work out whatever you do if you make the effort to train both dogs and not let them just pack up and do as they please.

Good luck!

11th February 2009, 05:51 PM
If this is something that you really want, then i would suggest waiting. We bought Bailey into the house when Lily was 14 months old, this worked extremely well as Lily was fully trained and had settled into the household. It is hard work, as you forget how much time a young puppy needs, but Lily is sooo happy havng a little sister!

In hindsight, i completely agree with Karlin, in that a few extra months waiting may have been even better, i think if i were to do this again i would wait til dog # 1 is at least 18 months old. We have been very lucky in that neither of our dogs have been chewers, so as Joshie is starting to chew and ask for more attention, maybe spend the next 12 months taking him through adolescence and then add a little friend then?

11th February 2009, 06:05 PM
My only query regarding leaving a large time gap between them is that I think there is the potential for bonding issues between dogs whereas if they are raised together from a young age I feel they have a better chance of bonding with each other. I have two that are the same age and they are joined at the hip. It has been hard work to train them and I agree with everything Karlin says, but in my case, I feel it has been worth it. My folks are now getting two 8 week old males from same litter even after seeing what we have gone through with training ours.

11th February 2009, 06:12 PM
Bonding is not really an issue when adding a second dog except in very rare cases -- and adult problems are just as likely with two dogs raised as pups together, including (sometimes especially!) siblings. Puppies almost ALWAYS get along. They do not always get along as adults. In many ways, the better option for having the dogs get along (as trainers will say!) is to have an adult and then get a puppy -- never two puppies together (which present some serious challenges for bonding TOO closely and all the behaviour issues and over-dependency issues that then arise-- far more serious problems for most households than any concern about dogs becoming friends after getting a second dog after the first is mature. See the post on 'two pups or one' in the Library for some professional viewpoints on this. Anyone taking on two at once needs to be fully aware of how to avoid having serious problems arise. :thmbsup: I think you said you are getting two at once for your parents so this is really, really important.

11th February 2009, 07:25 PM
First of all, Joshie is SO CUTE!!! What a face! Anyways, we have 2 boys (half brothers) - Miles is almost 2 years old Truman is just over 1 year old. They are about 8 months apart. Miles was mostly trained when we got Truman, except for walking nicely on a leash. It would have been easier if we would have waited another 6 months or so before adding a second dog, but I really wanted to get another dog from the same breeder that we got Miles from, and she is having fewer litters now each year than in the past, so we decided to get another puppy sooner rather than wait a year or more to add a second dog. I really like having 2 dogs - they play all the time and I don't feel as bad leaving them when we go to work. Miles is much more bonded with me than Truman is, and I am more bonded to Miles. Truman is sweet but kind of flighty, whereas Miles is more peaceful and in tune with me. Miles is very loyal to us and will choose to be with us over anyone else, whereas Truman would be happy with anyone's attention.

Having 2 is not double the work, at least for me; you have to feed the 1, so feeding 2 isn't double the time - just double the food :D. I ususally walk them together. Bathing and brushing takes twice as long, but that's not an everyday thing...It is double the expense though, with insurance and vet visits.

Mine like to sit and hang out with me but they are also content playing with each other if we aren't playing with them. So, I would definitely move forward with getting a second, but I would wait for at least another 6 months...which will give you plenty of time to research good breeders :)

heather r
11th February 2009, 08:52 PM
Agree with posts urging you to wait a while. We have a 2 3/4 yr. old golden retriever and obtained our cavalier who is now 7 months last Sept. I believe that this gave us time to really train the golden and she is still young enough to like a pal.

Our cavalier hasn't been as easy to housebreak as yours so a second cavalier might pose some problems. As others have said, they are individuals.

Heather R

11th February 2009, 09:29 PM
I think getting a 2nd is fine, although I do agree to wait until your pup is a little bit older. Lucy has gotten much easier (not that she was horrible by any means) now that she is 2. I think a slightly more mature dog is a better role model for the puppy as their behavior is generally better. I will say that having a 2nd puppy has been a little bit difficult. Charlie Brown is a great pup but he is a lot or work and it is like being a new mom all over again. He wants to play w/ Lucy all the time and I can't let him out of his pen without supervision (me) because even though he is litter box trained if it's out of his sight it's out of his mind. I had gotten quite used to having Lucy at my feet all day and not having to worry about her having an accident...now I have to take extra time to make sure I am downstairs with the puppy as much as possible. Add in two kids and honestly it is a lot of work. I certainly don't regret getting him at all and I know that once he gets a bit older life will be a bit easier, but be prepared for double the work for awhile.

Brian M
11th February 2009, 09:54 PM
We got Poppy first then 6 moths later Daisy then 6 months later Rosie and I would dearly love another but Dawn is at home all day while I am at work I still drop big hints but so far no lusk but I will pervere as to me they are angels with waggy tails.:):):)

11th February 2009, 09:56 PM
I'll add a thought from another perspective - the end scenario versus the beginning scenario!!

I've had multiple dogs for 20 years -- spaced closely together in age, spaced years apart in age, dogs that were together for years from a young age, and new dogs that have joined seniors who had been in my home for a long time.

I sometimes worry about folks in the forums that I frequent that have acquired multiple Cavaliers that are close in age. I've been in the situation where I had three or four dogs all aged 13 to 15. Several things happen - you can spend many thousands in medical costs per year even if you don't have a dog with a critical illness but merely with the normal geriatric problems. Add up three or four cardio workups, three or four sets of chest x-rays, six or eight blood chemistry profiles, three or four dentals, meds for the group, acupuncture for dogs with serious arthritis......you get the picture. And a final hospitalization or crisis needing diagnostics (like cancer) can really be expensive. Then there is the physical care - seniors might need to be carried up and down steps because of arthritis, require more supervision (giving meds, letting out more frequently, may be deaf or vision compromised or a little senile). It is harder to find good care for them if you go on vacation. The list goes on. And then there is the emotional toll - I lost four dogs this past year - all teenagers - but that didn't make it any easier.

At the moment, my group is 6, 8, 11 and almost 14. This is much more balanced in terms of money, time, emotions, and these dogs are just as bonded as the littermates and dogs close in age that I've had.


Brian M
11th February 2009, 10:24 PM

But surely a group of Cavaliers whatever their age is a joy to behold ,so to me having three with only 12 months between them is great fun as they all have similar amounts of stamina when playing together and they are all young enough to be still all my babies and i enjoy them all being equal and doing the same activities be it walks or with all three chasing balls together so sometimes like children with a big age difference the youngest often has no interest in the activitys of the eldest ,we all have our own thoughts and ways but we all still enjoy our beautiful dogs whatever their age gap .But hopefully in the very distant future when we part company I know I will be totally devastated but then they may be here and not me but God willing thats 15 yrs away or more for the girls and posssibly me.:)

11th February 2009, 10:27 PM
We got our second Cav, Lois, when Sally was 20 months old. We brought Lois home at 8 weeks old. It has been very, very hard work. Sally is a very demanding and high energy dog requiring a lot of stimulation and attention. It has been very difficult to divide the attention between both dogs. I wouldn't change a thing as we adore Lois but I did under estimate how much harder it would be with two dogs. It is definitely getting easier though as Lois is getting older (now nearly 5 months). It is also difficult to train the second dog with another dog already around. I would suggest going for it though if you have the time to dedicate to both dogs. I wouldn't assume though that you will get another little angel like Josh. Our two are so different in characters. Sally is a total lap dog who adores cuddles and is also a velcro dog. She has so much energy she never gets tired. Lois is little miss independent who has probably got more attached to Sally than us. She rarely likes to sit on our knee and can be a little feisty madam. I love them both and wouldn't change them for the world but it is much harder work.

12th February 2009, 01:08 AM
Brian, of course I agree that any group is a joy - just giving a little food for thought that it can be quite demanding in several ways when you have a geriatric group. Funny but two I had that were the most devoted to each other were 8 years apart!


12th February 2009, 03:03 AM
Well I am so appreciative of all of your input and I feel like I've received some of the detoxing therapy that I needed.

What I (at the moment) feel after reading all of your authentic and open feedback is that I will probably delay getting another puppy at the moment as I have a puppy that I can thoroughly enjoy still. I also really do not realistically have ANY idea what this dog adolesence is about and I currently have a daughter that is readying to enter preadolescence --- boy that would be scary to have to learn about a daughter's preteen craziness along with a puppy preteen 'who know's what' all at the same time.

I wish more folks in my community had cavaliers and pups around, so that perhaps I could fullfill my cavalier-crazy-cravings without actually having to fill my house with them.

Ahh...so some relief from my obsession for the moment...thanks to all of you....but still hoping that maybe we'll be blessed with perhaps a cavalier rescue....:xfngr:


12th February 2009, 03:25 AM
Pat you bring up some really good points that I haven't thought of. Mindy just turned 11 and Max is not quite five months. I will say it's pretty easy with that age difference although it might be better if they were a few years closer because Mindy tires of playing far sooner than Max does. I find it a bit hard to do one on one time but probably far easier than if Mindy was a younger dog because she really doesn't mind me taking Max into another room for training -as long as she gets some attention afterwards.

One of the things we've notice since we got Max is that Mindy is slowing down (she is eleven and she's entitled). It's made me face her mortality. She healthy and fairly active right now but when our Retriever died he failed fairly quickly. Hubby has said when the time comes to get another dog we should try for one the same age as Max (this was said in the middle of the not sleeping through the night stage). I can see the benefit at least a couple of years difference though. Hopefully it's a moot point and Mindy will be with us for some years yet.

12th February 2009, 03:33 AM
It all seems to come down to::::: do you have the time and money to give each dog/pup its due. It is best to take your time and figure out what works in YOUR world.

12th February 2009, 05:53 AM
I too will say thanks for all the info as I was wondering excatly the same thing but I'm def going to wait!!! bella is only 8 months and it's just us two, I don't think we need to change anything anytime soon :) she has her puppy playdates and gets lots of socialising...

12th February 2009, 02:22 PM
This thread has been helpful and made me do some more thinking. I too am in the same position of wanting a second dog. Charlie is 12 months and we were thinking of adding a little brother in two months (the litter was born last week). Now I am wondering if we should wait another year or two before adding a second dog. The only reason I wanted to add another dog so soon (even though we have a busy year coming up with planning a wedding and everything) was because I thought you should get them as close in age as possible so that they would have the same energy level and would bond better.

Sometimes I wonder if it's better that Charlie is the only dog since he is so spoiled with all our time and attention and if he would want to share our attention/love with another dog. :confused: I guess we are going to have to do some more thinking and come to a conclusion soon.

12th February 2009, 02:39 PM
I had wanted a I second cavalier about 3 to 4 years ago, the seed got sowed when I saw a cavalier listed as a rescue, I phoned and it had gone, my O\H said Jasper would never like a friend as he is so spoilt, and deep down I know this. We have Jasper insured and at £30 a month which has gone up over the years as he is now nearly 9, I know we can not afford 2 dogs and with Jasper just started on heart tablets I know it has been the right decision for us not to have another one and now with the SM as well as MVD hanging over this breed I think you have to except that there will be health issues in the future.

12th February 2009, 03:08 PM
We have Jasper insured and at £30 a month which has gone up over the years as he is now nearly 9, I know we can not afford 2 dogs and with Jasper just started on heart tablets I know it has been the right decision for us not to have another one and now with the SM as well as MVD hanging over this breed I think you have to except that there will be health issues in the future.

More people should be like you Jasperpaw:thmbsup: You're really thinking with your head rather than your heart ...cause it would be your heart that would take a serious beating in the future as it is almost certain that you would have two dogs on your hands with medical issues that are very expensive to treat. I can't imagine being in the position of having to put my dog/s down to end their suffering because I simply could not afford the cost of their medical care. Even worse, making the decision to only treat one dog out of the two!

12th February 2009, 05:28 PM
After having two dogs and then having one neither my heart or head can imagine having only one dog for very long. My Zeus and Mindy were only a year apart in age and odd as it might sound, when Zeus died it was the first time it occurred to me that we wouldn't have Mindy forever. Of course there is no guarantee that dogs live to the same age but I do imagine that losing two in a short space of time would be gut-wrenching. I know that after Zeus died I became obsessed with every little sneeze/scratch/odd look that Mindy gave for the first while. I managed to reason myself out of it after a bit but I can see how having a significant age difference can have some real advantages.

13th February 2009, 01:07 AM
Holly was three when I got Amber, if I remember rightly, and I have no intention of adding a third while I still have Holly (hopefully for a long time yet - since my housemate acquired Alanna, Holly has become ridiculously puppylike and active, which is lovely since she's going on six). Hopefully this means I will avoid the heartbreak of having several infirm dogs at once. To be honest, after seeing what's happened in the last six months or so since PDE, I question whether I would want a third Cavalier. I'll always have at least one, I think, but I've sort of been a little seduced by the Shih Tzu via Alanna, and as a breed they seem to be much healthier. But hopefully I have a good six years plus before I need to worry about it, and by then the vast majority CKCS breeders will be starting to get a grip on MVD/SM. Alternatively, I'd look at Cav Rescue.

Or maybe I'm living in lala land...