View Full Version : fourth dog

4th July 2010, 08:14 PM
just wanted advice do you think 4 dogs is too much i have 2 cavaliers and my son has a boxer who also lives with us i would love to have a bichon frise but wonder would it be to difficult to manage four any advice from multi dog households welcom thanks:confused:

5th July 2010, 10:46 AM
I think if you are prepared to put the work in, then it can work - many people have multiple dogs.

It is a huge commitment in terms of time, space, exercise requirements - and most especially making enough individual time for each dog for training, one to one cuddles, grooming etc.

It's also a huge financial commitment - food, vet bills, insurance, necessary items such as collars, leads, toys :D - and with a Bichon - grooming.

I would write that all down and make sure you are prepared to commit before taking on another dog. With each additional dog you add you will see more pack behaviour - so that is something to be prepared for too.

How are your dogs with other dogs? Are any of them elderly and would therefore find a pup difficult and stressful?

Is someone at home most of the time?

Lots to think about!!!Also with a Bichon, many breeders say not to let them off lead as other dogs are quite prone to attacking them - think small, white and fluffy.

9th July 2010, 06:20 PM
hi yes i am home all day so have the time and i really dont mind grooming in fact i am considering doing a course in kinsale to learn how to groom my own dog so that would cut down on the expense involved i have always admired the bichon and would love to own one my 3 dogs are all young so i think they would not mind to much still considering whether it is managable i have my brothers cavalier staying for the next two weeks while they are on holiday so i will see how that goes :p

9th July 2010, 07:04 PM
One thing to also consider is if you have three young dogs all around the same age, they are also going to all be old dogs at the same time, with more ailments and costs, and far less activity -- meaning you may spend several years without having a very active dog in the house. A lot of experienced multiple dog owners really advise spacing them apart in ages as it can be devastating to have the cost of serious illness or maintenance meds (eg hearts meds for cavaliers, which can get quite costly) all at the same time -- and be a bit depressing to have nothing but elderly dogs. That said you never know how things will go but it is something to keep in mind for 5-10 years on when maybe you'd enjoy having an active dog yet are unable to manage one due to a costly house of three elderlies.

If the cavaliers are around one or so, I'd definitely be inclined to wait a couple of years and give the time now to the young dogs, when they will really enjoy having your active time and focus. A young pup coming in means all attention will shift to that dog for the coming year; it is very hard for this not to happen as pups are both cute and demanding.

Brian M
9th July 2010, 09:09 PM
We have four,one to two was fine then two to three was a huge jump and three to my Lily no 4 we are still recovering from the shock .But seriously Dawn is home all day I work all day and for walks I have my son Luke to help ,it is expensive but as I neither drink nor smoke so I enjoy giving the girls the life they deserve ,it is fun and I dearly love all and would certainly not turn the clock back but have a good think before committing .Good Luck
Brian :)

Love my Cavaliers
9th July 2010, 10:44 PM
I'm with Brian on this one. I have 3 oldies (almost 7, almost 8 and 9 years old). We got a pup 3 years ago to liven things up - and he certainly did that and much more. He is a little pistol, much more active than all 3 of my others put together. He is so much fun, but also so much work. He is my little ADHD dog. He is also the most affectionate of my four - and I never thought I could get a more affectionate dog. But he sticks to me like velcro. That said - taking four dogs for a walk is difficult. I usually take them 2 by 2, but that takes longer. Also, the pack mentality kicks into high gear occasionally - like when someone new comes to the door, or another dog is walking down the street. Then it is just crazy with barking here - and no one seems to mind me at all for a while. I can get them calmed down, but it takes more effort with four. The other three were just so mellow until Oz came along. Also, make sure you're getting a dog for you, not for your other dogs and that you'll be fine with whatever temperament he/she comes with. Oz and Maddie don't get along some of the time. She tolerates him, but he really annoys her sometimes. So as Brian said, I love them all dearly and I wouldn't turn back the clock either, but do think about the extra work and the training. Good luck with your decision making.

Zoe bowie
10th July 2010, 07:52 AM
I think some good advice has been given & I am glad you have your brothers cavalier for a few weeks to test the water & help make your decision for you. Bichons are beautiful but they are a he'll of a lot of work!! Their coat needs constant grooming, my experience with bichons is they can be a little narky at times & like attention-even more than cavaliers (only my experience!)

Best of luck with your decision, I've 3 & for me that's enough work....well for now! :-D

10th July 2010, 05:57 PM
I have four dogs. It is a HUGE commitment in terms of time and money. Vet bills can get out of control very easily even for routine things such as check ups and dentals. I have recently had to deal with some medical problems that cost me a bundle. Grooming takes a ton of time. It isn't easy finding time to spend with each dog individually in terms of training. My dogs are close in age, 6-8 years and I worry about the coming years in terms of health. I really never intended to have 4 dogs. I started with two and three and four came in as rescues.

I don't ever for one minute regret having 4 dogs, but sometimes it isn't easy. You just need to realize that with all the joys that having 4 dogs can bring, there are many other things you need to consider hard and long. It isn't for everyone.