View Full Version : Pros/Cons of another dog

31st August 2009, 08:15 AM
So in my arguments/discussions with my boyfriend about why we should/shouldn't get another dog (specifically I want a cavalier) I have been able to debate most of his cons but he has stumped me with some so I am coming to all you helpful people. I love Zoe to death (btw, she learned to "shake"yesterday, yeppie!), and think we would enjoy one more dog. She is all potty trained and is getting pretty good with stay and come. Riley does not play at all and most of the dogs that Zoe is around are either older or way smaller/bigger so she does not have any good dogs to play with. Also no dog park where I live and since she gets carsick... not going to drive to far. Anyways, I think we need another, he doesn't. His arguments:
1: Zoe will get jealous.... With people adopting their second, was that a problem?
2: has to do with giving both dogs enough 1:1 attention... There are 6 of us that spoil Zoe rotten with love and attention, I had the same thought when I had my second child and it never crossed my mind once she was born...
We are both home a lot. Our house is ready, I would like 2 dogs (Riley is great but she has always been his dog), I would also like to have one close enough to Zoe's age/play level so that they can grow together.
Please help us win this battle!
Zoe's best friend is a cat right now!
-Osanna and Zoe
(male or female too... any pointers?)

31st August 2009, 08:30 AM
We have 2,one is 14 months the other 4 months,i have found them to be naughty together.Arch has allways been a little naughty,but since the pup its double trouble.On the other side,Arch has taught him to play nice and toilet trained him.They adore each other now,sleep together .I think it depends on your dog and what she is like.Arch LOVES puppies and love the company.My dog that died couldnt stand other dogs and couldnt care less.So you need to think about,does she like being with other dogs,can she put up with a nipping puppy.try not to fight with each other.

31st August 2009, 11:00 AM
It would be wiser and kinder and more responsible to wait til Zoe is at least 6 months older -- it actually is not great idea to bring in another dog exactly her age while she is still so young and while there is much for her to learn and time needed to bond with you. She has had very little time in her short life to get your full attention and will continue to need that for some time yet to reach her full potential. If you introduce another young dog 80% of the focus will have to go to that puppy or other dog, simply because it will need that level of attention. Zoe is only just beginning to reach the age at which she can begin training and she will go through a period between 9-12 months or so where she will 'forget' much of what you have trained now -- this is a critical period for maintaining training and working with your dog. For her, there will be an inevitable loss of the time and attention she needs. Any good trainer and breeder will state very strongly that it is far more in the interest of *the dog* to wait til she is 12-18 months old at least before bringing in another dog. As well, she will then be a role model for a new dog. Otherwise they can both just slip back and become more focused on each other and some of her training will slip away.

I have seen through my own experience the impact my second had on my first who was just 9 months at the time -- both dogs are around the same age. It was many many months before I could give Jaspar the time to work on training we had begun and there were numerous negative consequences to this. Also I never had the time to focus properly on Leo because I now had two younger dogs. I thought the advice of trainers and good breeders on this issue wasn't that important as I could manage two. If I am honest, I was wrong, Jaspar lost out on croitical time and attention he needed still, his training and time with me dropped off, and I know this was the wrong decision.

It is important not to try to convince yourself you are doing this for Zoe -- it would not be for Zoe but for you, to some detriment to Zoe. If you want to benefit Zoe, then wait at least 6 months and then consider a new pup or older dog as a companion.

Dogs do not need to be the same age to be delighted with each other's company and actually, getting in a younger dog and having at least some age difference tends to make for more balanced and less adversarial relationships. It also eases training as the more mature dog acts as an important role model and companion to a younger dog -- an invaluable relationship that tends to produces a better socialised and balanced second adult dog eventually, than with two younger dogs growing up together. Often the closest relationships will form between dogs where there's some age difference as they can take different roles from the start -- if they are the same age, especially adolescents, you can risk actual problems as they can become adversarial due their hormone changes as they become young adults.

I would strongly urge you to wait and continue to give Zoe the time she will need and deserves from you as your first dog, for at least another 6 months. At any rate, if you wish to get a cavalier it will likely take at least 6-12 months to find a reputable breeder who properly tests and is health focused and will have a litter available. But also, don't let the focus on getting a second dog eclipse your time and focus on Zoe :) . :thmbsup:

Your best option would be to get a male.

31st August 2009, 02:36 PM
I have to say I really agree with Karlin.

I waited to get a second dog until Lucky was 2. Primarily, I did get Sparky for him, because I could see how much Lucky enjoyed being with my sister's dog and I felt guilty leaving him alone when I went to work.

Lucky loves Sparky, but I can tell sometimes that he misses being an only dog!! He acts so differently when Sparky's not around, and I have to say, I miss that dynamic sometimes as well, even as much as I love Sparky!!! Hope that makes sense.

Anyway, I'd say just enjoy Zoe for now and in 6-12 months when she's older, if you still want another dog then go for it!

31st August 2009, 02:58 PM
I waited until Gus was 2 yrs and 5 months before getting Pippin.

I would also say enjoy your time with Zoe for now and see how things go with her in a few months or even a year:)

Mom of Jato
31st August 2009, 05:46 PM
My two are only 7 months apart in age- a girl and a boy. They get along wonderful. I wasn't planning on getting a second one so soon, I thought it would take a while to find a "qualified ruby breeder". I guess it was meant to be that a wonderful breeder was about to have a litter born, so I waited patiently to see if there would be a little girl available, and :w**h**:along came Zoey.

Brian M
31st August 2009, 07:08 PM

Yes agree with Karlin our four girls are aged 3 ,2 1/2,2 and 1.In our case for many years we always had rescue cats and when my special ginger tom "Ben" left us my wife Dawn agreed that Luke and I could get one dog so in Sept 06 Poppy joined us then 6 months later in March 07 it was Daisy then another 6 months and Rosie Sept 07 arrived and last but not least Lily only 2 weeks ago joined our little pack,each are totally different from each other in looks ,temperament and demands on us and each other,but I do love them.:):):):)

1st September 2009, 01:46 AM
Your best option would be to get a male.

Karlin, I enjoyed reading your post.... so informative!!!

I was wondering why you feel a male is a better fit?

1st September 2009, 06:14 AM
As the others, I agree with Karlin. Ours are age 4, 3.5, and 1. We found 1.5 years difference was a good range between the first two.

1st September 2009, 07:02 PM
It is always the best approach to get a dog of the opposite sex to the one you have if adding a second dog. Same sex pairs are more likely to have problems; generally less likely with cavaliers but risk of any problem is significantly reduced by getting a dog of the opposite sex as there's no competition sexually. Zoe's a pretty cavalier mix though too :) so that adds a bit more uncertainty about going for a same sex pair, meaning I'd especially recommend a male. Any dog trainer will say the same.

Also I forgot to add one of the most important concerns in this whole discussion: if one partner opposes or is reluctant about adding a dog, it is probably not the right time. The whole family needs to be on board or it isn't fair to the new addition, but also isn't fair to the person who lives there and objects and will have more than a decade of having to live with and give significant time and care to an additional dog they may not want or like much. And: it can put serious strain on a relationship. I would not advise making any move to add dogs to any home situation unless *everyone* is 100% behind the decision and looking forward to the addition. :) :thmbsup: Also your partner is right that two dogs will need double the attention -- attention kids cannot provide. The critical interactions and training and housebreaking and socialisation must ALL come from the adults and that is a big time abd effort commitment and means far less focus for Zoe. Hence I'd wait til she is older then get a dog with some age gap there -- a puppy would be a lovely choice -:) , and also when your partner is 100% sure he too wants a third dog (as this isn;t actually a second but a third, isn't it?).

Tip of the Day

Second Dog Tips
If you decide to get a second dog, feelings of competitiveness can be alleviated if the new canine addition is of the opposite sex and is at least a year younger or older in age.

And this is a very wise advice sheet from the Berkeley Humane Society:

Multi-Dog Households

Congratulations … and our sympathy at the same time! Having two dogs can be a great experience, but it can also
be a lot of extra work, money, and management. Are you prepared to deal with the extra cleanup, additional
expense, lost time, changes in behavior of your existing pets, and the possibility of canine rivalry? If you’ve recently
experienced a change in your household, such as marriage, divorce, job change, death, a new baby, a new roommate
or a new residence, now is probably no the right time to adopt a second dog. It is better to wait until all major
changes are settled and your lifestyle is a serene as possible.

Does your current dog have any behavior problems such as barking, destruction, aggression, or fearfulness? Dogs
can mimic and learn from each other. So, for example, if you are getting a second dog in the hopes that your
existing dog will not bark as much, you are much more likely to end up with two barking dogs! Getting a playmate
for your dog does not solve behavior problems. In fact, in most cases, the problems will intensify.
Are you looking for a second dog as a companion for you or for your dog? Are you sure your dog wants a
companion? Most senior dogs aren’t looking for a new puppy playmate. If your dog is a bully or protective of you,
the chances of your finding another dog who is compatible are quite slim. If your dog has always lived alone, he
may not want to share his life (or his territory, toys, treats, walks, etc.) with another dog. The adoption staff at the
Berkeley East Bay Humane Society are happy to assess your situation and advise you on whether or not a second
dog would be a good idea.

How old is your existing dog? If he/she is younger than 14 months old, you may want to wait until he/she has
reached sexual maturity and has developed their stable, adult temperament before you add to the family. What sex is
your existing dog? Males and females tend to do better together than same-sex pairs. A male dog and a female dog
will tend to see each other more as companions and less as competition. Ideally, your dogs will be opposite sex and
similar in terms of size and energy. A large dog can easily injure one who is more than fifty percent smaller than
him/her, and an energetic puppy can easily irritate a mellower adult dog.

Dogs that live in groups naturally establish a social structure (or pecking order). This social structure serves to
maintain order, reduce conflict, and promote cooperation among group members. Dogs do not view the world in
terms of fairness and equality, and if you undermine the structure they create, you risk far more serious problems.
Successful management of multi-dog households includes respecting this natural hierarchy, keeping all members of
the household safe during the adjustment period, and maintaining good interactions and a healthy relationship
between your dogs.
Adding a second dog to the household will change your dog in many ways. Are you ready to accept this? Dogs,
given the opportunity, will bond to each other rather than you, and your dog will likely change with the addition of
another pack member. Be prepared to facilitate the adjustment period for both dogs.

3rd September 2009, 06:29 PM
I read some of the posts however I can only go on my own opinion. We got Sam in Oct and Charlie in January, they were both around 8 months when we got them and we have had no problems. They are both cavs from the same breeder. They love each other, play together, sleep together, when they are apart they look for each other, they both get loads of attention from us. Charlie is the boss but Sam doesnt really mind because he loves having another dog to play with. We have had no issues with either dog as a unit or an individual dog. We are so glad we got Charlie, he was the last dog left of his litter cause he was very small but we love him loads!! and Sammy of course!

cavs r us
3rd September 2009, 06:47 PM
Many good opinions, here. Waiting for a while and finishing Zoe's basic training is certainly wise advice. You can manage more if you set your priorities to do so, however.
Here is another angle on the situation:
I have found that the third makes it easier to work individually with each dog. When I only had 2 and would do my training sessions, the "left out dog" would raise holy heck. With more than 2, there isn't someone being left out and alone. You can spend one on one time without leaving the other dog alone, lonely and possibly getting frantic or destructive.

3rd September 2009, 07:19 PM
Many good opinions, here. Waiting for a while and finishing Zoe's basic training is certainly wise advice. You can manage more if you set your priorities to do so, however.
Here is another angle on the situation:
I have found that the third makes it easier to work individually with each dog. When I only had 2 and would do my training sessions, the "left out dog" would raise holy heck. With more than 2, there isn't someone being left out and alone. You can spend one on one time without leaving the other dog alone, lonely and possibly getting frantic or destructive.

Id love a 3rd but hubby says no!! Im due a baby in Dec so that should keep me busy for a while!! Cant wait to see how the baby and the dogs get on when the baby is older. I can imagine them all running around playing together!

3rd September 2009, 09:35 PM
We have 2 and they absolutely love each other! Cooper was 10 months when we got Chloe. I may have waited until he was about 15 months if I could do it over again, just because what Karlin says it right about training. Cooper could have used a little more one-on-one training and after we got Chloe he started to regress a little on his potty training. Now he is 15 months and Chloe is 8 months (only 7 months apart). They have a great bond and I found that Cooper was less clingy to me after we brought Chloe in the family. He doesn't get jealous much, I try to give them both equal attention.

3rd September 2009, 11:45 PM
when they are apart they look for each other,

But this is exactly the problem and the actual point I am making -- this is why trainers and most breeders will never recommend getting two puppies in particular at the same time. All of this can seem a good thing but it is setting up potential problems for the remainder of their lives.

There's a good post and set of links in the Library section on 'one puppy or two' that I'd strongly recommend reading. You need to get these two so that they are very comfortable when alone for periods of time and not looking for each other (that is a major warning sign!) and also,they need daily significant time apart, and separate training. :thmbsup:

Taking on two is a huge task for most people and not training correctly can lead to serious problems as they reach adulthood, so please do have a read and take the advice of several excellent trainers on managing two at this very critical age for proper training. :)

I have found that the third makes it easier to work individually with each dog. When I only had 2 and would do my training sessions, the "left out dog" would raise holy heck.

This can be true (nd I found it one advantage too! :) ) but it is a minor argument I think generally for considering taking on three dogs, which would be overwhelming for many people especially as many working homes simply don't have time to give to three, and cannot manage the extra costs. I am covering the costs of Susie's heart meds and they are about $50 a month. My SM medications for two dogs currently run about $70 a month. These are not insignificant sums and while a young dog may be inexpensive, this breed is likely to have heart problems and runs a serious risk of something very costly like SM -- so anyone should be sure to consider all these future factors along with time when adding any additional dog, whatever the number. :thmbsup: