View Full Version : Adding a third dog?

25th March 2009, 02:55 PM
So we have our 2 cavs already who we love to death, Indy (3.5 year old female) and Charlie (2 year old male). We are considering adding a third dog (cavalier of course!) and I am wondering if others who have done the same can tell me how their experience was when adding a third dog? I'm sure it will be fine, but I'm just having my apprehensions about how the dynamic will change. Indy coudn't stand Charlie when we first brought him home, but after a month or so they were best buddies, so I'm sure we will have a similar situation this time as well. Just looking for any words of wisdom or advice from others, thanks!


25th March 2009, 03:23 PM
I posted something like this a few months ago only my post was about wanting the 4th one and people told me it was alot of work etc. They were right--lol. Of course I've been dealing with one that just recently had sm surgery. 3 wasn't bad at all but I must admit getting the 4th one is alot more work. I think it also depends on the personalities. Our 4th was almost 3 years old when we got her and also a little hyper which makes it a little harder. Do I regret it? Nope. Love them all. You need either a blenhem or ruby in my opinion. lol. In a way for us getting Chelsea has been a blessing as there's only so much of me to go around with this deal with Abbey and Chelsea and Bentley are very close. Chelsea thinks she's his mother I think--she cleans his face etc. and they play all the time. I say go for it!!! I'd also recommend pet insurance. We never had it until a few months ago and I'd never have another animal without it. We've had close to 5,000 in vet bills. Chelsea and Bentley are insured but was too late for Abbey. Its pretty dang cheap considering the alternative.

oops forgot to mention--I can hold all 3 also--one on each side and Bentley is a little guy and he just kind of squeezes in where he can--lol. Luckily our shih tzu is not a cuddler at all or I wouldn't have gotten the 3. For me all I can hold is 3 of them and they all like their attention you know.

Love my Cavaliers
25th March 2009, 03:41 PM
Adding a third was so easy for me. We got Riley when she was 11 months old and got her half sister, Madison, 6 months later when she was 10 weeks old. For some reason, Madison and Riley took to each other immediately. I joke sometimes that they are really one dog. Oliver, as the patriarch, tolerated both of them just fine, but has only really come alive with the addition of Oz, our fourth. So now it's the boys and the girls. Like Linderbelle said, 4 is a lot of work - 3 seemed easier - maybe only in retrospect though. Go for it - having 3 makes walks more difficult, but it is so much fun.

25th March 2009, 03:51 PM
I do not have three Cavaliers but I do have three dogs and I am so happy that I took the leap of faith and did it. I was a one dog house for 30 years, then a two dog house for five years and in January I went to three. We are having so much fun. Yes, it is more work -- more food to dispense, more dog beds to keep clean, more eyes and ears to wash, more coats to comb and brush, more training time and, my favorite, more poop to pick up -- but it is not as much additional work as you would think because so much of it you are doing already. The payback is three very distinct personalities to love, care for and make me smile and laugh every day. My biggest concern has been travel and as two of my dogs are larger this is a problem even with a Volvo station wagon but one we can work out (I think I am going to keeping a car top carrier on my car permanently!!)

I will say this -- make sure you are getting the third dog for you and not for one of the other dogs. They may or may not be friends and if not, you will have to sort it out and love them all the same regardless. Our Cavalier only loves our Clumber puppy when she is available to curl up and sleep with :rolleyes: !

Good luck -- and, of course, if you take the plunge, we want photos!!

25th March 2009, 05:59 PM
Thanks for your feedback!

We got Indy at 8 weeks, and then added Charlie at 11 weeks when Indy was about 18 months. Like I said, it took her a while to warm up to him, but now they are the best of friends, so I'm sure she will warm up to a new one just the same. And we are definitely getting the 3rd for us, not for them. Charlie was purchased for both reasons, we wanted another one and we also wanted her to have company while we were away at work. Not that they both don't sleep all day anyway!

linderbelle, you hit it on the nose, we will be getting a ruby, though we don't know what the sex will be yet. I always wanted a complete set! I'm hoping we'll have an easier time potty-training this one that we did with Charlie.

26th March 2009, 05:13 PM
Well, it looks like from reading your post, you are going to add a ruby. I just wanted to chime in and say, I never in a million years thought we would have two dogs. Now, we have 3!

One Lab and 2 cavaliers. I would definitely consider their personalities when adding an addition. We kept our foster, because he really fit in nicely. If he was very dominant, I don't think Libby would have liked him as much.

Good luck!

26th March 2009, 08:33 PM
Well it's hard to tell about the puppy's personality, but I think our two will do well with a new addition. I think we would be best with a boy, then Indy won't feel jealous of another girl, and Charlie will probably see him as a new playmate. I'm concerned if we get a girl Indy will think we are replacing her. Or I'm just over thinking it, but I'm leaning toward boy.

Any name suggestions!? (don't say Ruby, haha)

I thought about Copper, but the hubby veto'd that one right quick.

Mom of Jato
26th March 2009, 11:18 PM
That is so exciting you are getting a Ruby puppy!!! If you are looking for an original name, what about Rusty? You will have to let us know what a difference 3 makes in your life. I dream of having a full set one day. :rolleyes:

27th March 2009, 02:15 AM
We found getting a third (Shih Tzu, not Cav) painless. Oddly, it reinforced the status quo and exaggerated pre-existing character traits at first. Amber - always playful - became a playfight maniac whilst Holly did regal disdain as only she can. Now that Alanna is older, there's some genuine three way playing going on. Alanna tussles with Amber, but respects Holly (most of the time) but when she wants tug-of-war Holly's the only one who'll give her a good game because Amber's too submissive to do tug well.

It did take a while, but we were fortunate in that Alanna is incredibly laid back and had no intention of challenging Holly at any point. Adding Alanna has been a lot less work than adding Amber, frankly, but that might be partly because Alanna is primarily my housemate's dog, plus there were two of us! I don't think I'd ever consider adding a third (especially a puppy) if it was just me.

27th March 2009, 02:54 PM
We had 2 boys & while I thought if I were to ever get another it would be a female. It didn't happen that way. We ended up with a 5 year old male rescue. Things were a little rocky at first but now all get along fine.

28th March 2009, 01:55 AM
Well after talking things over more, we have decided to hold off for now. We move into our very first house on Monday, and we don't know exactly what our new increased utilities will cost. I'm also currently between jobs and on a limited income (unemployment), so we felt it would be best to wait until we're on more predictable financial grounds. As sad as it makes me to turn away from adorable puppies, we do still have two perfectly good dogs at home! :) I was thinking maybe later we will look into rescue as an option instead of puppies also. Thanks for all the input, and I'll try to be less of a stranger on the forums!

19th August 2009, 07:57 PM
Well after receiving an email about a family trying to find new homes for two blenheim boys near us, we have adopted #3 to our family! I am pleased to introduce Dexter (formerly known as Scrappy)!

We have had him 3 days now, and he is settling in nicely. He is quickly learning his new name and place in the family structure, that it's not so bad being in the kennel, and what "potty" means (and that it should only be done outside). He is 10 months old.

19th August 2009, 08:15 PM
Congratulations! He is lovely and I really like the name Dexter :D

19th August 2009, 08:55 PM
Congrats! :mexwav:

Love my Cavaliers
19th August 2009, 10:28 PM
Oh what a pretty boy. I hope you'll love having three.

19th August 2009, 10:45 PM
Congratulations & welcome to Dexter:jmp::jmp:

19th August 2009, 11:00 PM
ah well done they are all beautiful!

three times the work - three times the fun!:jump:

19th August 2009, 11:46 PM
I will say this -- make sure you are getting the third dog for you and not for one of the other dogs. They may or may not be friends and if not, you will have to sort it out and love them all the same regardless.

This is great advice. Do try and find the previous similar thread on four. The caveats are that there is no guarantee both dogs will welcome a third and as you will now upset the M/F balance they will have to sort out who fits in where and spats are more likely. You will need to take extra precautions with feeding separately, treats etc. And it does mean that much less time to split between the dogs.

Some people have no problems at all with such changes and some do. I know someone here said things did not turn out for the better when adding a dog so Phyllis's advice is spot on. It is totally normal for dogs to not initially be thrilled at an addition, then settle in. A month is about average.

The plus is that cavaliers really do tend to get along so well and it is fun to have a group. It is a lot harder to do walks though! I enjoy my pile and am probably going to be adding a foster as there are so many cavaliers coming in at the moment, so it will go to 5 around here... :eek:

But I have lots of friends with large multiple dog households. It helps a lot not to have a group of all young dogs though. Others facing this decision might consider adding an oldie rescue dog to balance out the group. I find having 4 much easier because one is Lucy who doesn;t need the exercise and activity the others do and she is very laid back.

Mom of Jato
21st August 2009, 09:39 PM
He is beautiful- Congratulations on your new addition. Keep us updated on how things change with 3 now. Those of us with 2 would be interested. :rolleyes:

Brenda in SC
22nd August 2009, 04:46 AM
Hey Kelly -
Just saw this post tonight (don't know how I missed it all before). Maybe it was the title...I've been contemplating a second...and THIRD made me afraid to open the thread.

Noticed you'd said you were moving and waiting til life settled before you got the third. Then along came Dexter. My mom always says the best things in life come when you aren't looking. Did you move from SC?

I'd love to find a tri or b/t rescue. Have been keeping my eyes open, no luck so far. Think of you every time we pass the Rock Hill exit when we travel to Charlotte.

26th August 2009, 01:47 PM
Thanks for all your replies!

Things are still going well. Dexter and Indy have taken to playing well together, and Indy & Charlie still play on their normal schedule, but the three have yet to figure out how to all play together. Charlie is also working on asserting himself as Dexter's superior in the ranks, so he is being a bit possessive over toys and sometimes tries to break it up when Dex plays with Indy, lol.

All in all things are working out great. We have a bad potty once in a while (mostly marking, 2 poops, and 1 bladder emptier), but he's getting the hang of things. He's also getting used to his kennel quicker than I thought he would, but Charlie is sometimes jealous of Dexter using "his" house and so they have spent time together in there when Charlie refuses to vacate, haha.

I think he will settle in well here. He already has calmed down unbelievably from how he acted at his old home, so I think he likes it here with us. :)

Brenda - I received two emails after we got Dexter for other adoptable dogs, if you want I can forward future emails along to you. These were for a blenheim and a ruby. And we are still in Rock Hill, my post was from before we moved here from Charlotte. And you are welcome to come by any time if you want to observe the dynamic with more dogs!

Thanks all!

26th August 2009, 01:51 PM
Great news! Thanks for the update. Sounds like he is doing much better in a home with your other dogs to keep him busy too.