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Thread: Getting a second Cavalier

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    Default Getting a second Cavalier

    I have 10 month-old neutered male, and have just committed to buying a 6 month-old female (though the male will be 11 months old by the time we bring the new dog home). Our current dog just seems to be so happy to socialize with other dogs when we're out walking, it seemed to make sense to put them together, but someone my husband was talking to (who is a trainer) said to not let them be together. What has your experience been with introducing a second dog, and what has worked or not worked for you? I had planned to work with the new pup separately on training, but to let them share the x-pen during the day when we're not home.

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    I was just reading about this this morning in Jan Fennell's The Practical Dog Listener. She said prior to bringing the new dog home, you should take the first dog to meet the second dog in neutral territory, ideally more than once. she said this can minimize problems of territoriality, i think that was the issue. But she was talking about dogs in general. Cavaliers are so friendly and sociable, i'm not sure all that would be necessary. I don't think i would worry about bringing another dog home with Zack. I think he would be very happy about it. When my daughter's cavalier, Belle, came for a visit and stayed for three days, there were no negative issues. One of the main reasons for getting a second dog would be companionship for Zack. I wonder what that trainer was talking about, what was his reason for saying they should be separated.[/i]

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    I think her concern was that the new pup not pick up any bad habits from the current pup.

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    Oh. I would've thought a trainer would see the solution to bad habits as, well, training. Does your pup have bad habits? Now that you mention it, I guess that is a real problem. Before Belle stayed here the second time, Zack was always adapted to being in his pen during the night and while i was at work. The night he and Belle both stayed in the pen together, Zack jumped onto the kitchen table and escaped the pen. i never saw any sign of him trying to escape before. Belle has always hated being in her kitchen at her home, it has been reported. When Zack jumped out, Belle did not, yet somehow i think she put him up to it, somehow....she might've been agitating. Also, she chews paper. He does not. If she was here all the time, i suppose he'd chew paper. On the other hand, he did chew a paper towel a couple of times. I chastized him sternly and generally don't leave paper towels around where he can get to them, and he has plenty of chew toys, but occasionally a paper towel will end up laying on the floor for a while and he leaves it alone. My fantasy is that if Belle were staying here, I'd teach her not to chew and shred paper all over the room. I wonder if it would work....

    that's good of you, i think, to get another dog to keep your boy company, after seeing how much he enjoys other dogs. What's she like, the new dog? What color is she?

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    I think Jan Fennell's advice is spot on with cavaliers as well as other dogs -- the existing dog can be very upset to haveanother dog join the household and introductions done on neutral territory tend to go much better than having dog 2 just arrive in the home territory of Dog 1. Better yet if Dog 1 gets several opportunities to meet Dog 2 mefore Dog 2 moves in. If you can go for a few walks with Dog 2 in the next few weeks that would be ideal!

    Most trainers I know of suggest walking as an excellent way of letting a new dog get to know the existing dogs on neutral territory. In the case of rescue dogs, I find a group walk is a very good way to ease anxiety and stress. My two are calm and happy dogs and indifferent to having another dog along. For a scared or worried rescue or any new dog, going for a walk away from the home allows everyone to meet and socialise in a friendly way and is more calming for them than walking alone with you. Even very emotionally scarred, abused dogs tend to interact well with other dogs so walks and other forms of canine companionship are one way to help them on to the road toward a new life.

    In your case, if the recommendation is to walk them separately until they are both completely trained -- I really think this depends on your existing dog. If he is a source of serious problems on walks the younger dog can certainly learn those bad habits so you'd want to be cautious on how and when they are walked together (maybe you and partner can each take one dog). But the concern of the trainer seems a bit overly wrought to me. Few people are concerned as to whether their dogs walk with military precision as opposed to enjoying a social time out on a walk! I'd certainly not feel you should NOT walk them together at all!

    What you WILL need to do is work alone with the pup on walks for training IN ADDITION to group walks, as she will not learn much just following your existing dog. She deserves time and focus herself and needs to learn to respond to you and your cues to her, not your exisiting dog. On the other hand a well trained dog can help a younger new one learn more quickly (especially useful for housetraining!).

    One of the reasons many experienced trainers and good breeders do not usually recommend

    1) getting two puppies at the same time or
    2) getting the second dog before the first is at least 12 months old, 18 months being prefereable is that

    1) two young pups will likely bond very closely with each other rather than to the people that own them which is hard to avoid, and can cause behaviour problems as they grow -- and the owners will need to put in a LOT of time with each pup separately to train and so on. Two pups is as hard as twin babies -- everything has to be done twice and unique to each pup andf one pup alone is a serious amount of work and time. Also siblings do not always get along very well as they get older. I know many people who have successfully brought up two puppies together but a good breeder will advise carefully on doing this and it is wise to realise from the start how much work this is going to be. Many good breeders will not home two pups at the same time or two pups from the same litter for these reasons. I don't mean to overly worrry anyone but these are very real worries and extra work will be required as well as a very vigilant eye to prevent problems from the start. Not least because two puppies are so cute playing together than the temtpation can be to just let them spend all their time together and let them get away with whatever they want as it is charming. But what is charming at 4 months is not so charming as 12 months and may need a lot of remedial work. So just be aware, anyone thinking about two pups together.

    and 2) if the training of the first dog isn't complete then you will simply not get the time once the second one arrives and you are more likely to end up with two not very well trained dogs. I can speak from experience on the latter point -- I've posted on this before to say that I got Leo when Jaspar was about 9-ish months old and they were a month apart in age. In restrospect I wish I had waited a few more months as once Leo arrived I simply did not have the time nor inclination to work with each separately as I needed to do, as Jaspar was still quite young and only partway trained. I cannot emphasise enough how much more difficult it was than I expected in this regard --- somehow I thought I'd just work both together and also I thought Jaspar was further along than he actually was.

    My situation is complicated however by the fact that I live alone and also that I must walk the dogs several times a day as they do not have a garden in which to relieve themselves. So on average we have four walks daily. If I walked them separately -- that would be EIGHT walks or over two hours just walking daily.

    In general, if there are two adults -- either you and partner or an older child (eg probably 14 or older) who can each work with each dog/pup separately as well as walks together then there's a much better chance of training success!

    For anyone getting two puppies together (I know we have two coming onto the board soon! ) just be sure to read carefully and widely on how to handle this successfully.

    For example:

    http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&A=2043

    PS -- I think having two dogs is wonderful for both and one of the best things you can do for the quality of life of your dog. I also think in most cases, two dogs are EASIER than one. Two are a real delight to watch interact as dogs -- and it is far different for them to have a constant canine companion then occasional play dates or walk encounters with other dogs. They are such social creatures that I think they (like cats) benefit from a companion.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Leo Lily Tansy
    In memory: Lucy
    Cavalier SM Infosite:www.smcavaliers.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by karlin
    I think Jan Fennell's advice is spot on with cavaliers as well as other dogs -- the existing dog can be very upset to haveanother dog join the household and introductions done on neutral territory tend to go much better than having dog 2 just arrive in the home territory of Dog 1. Better yet if Dog 1 gets several opportunities to meet Dog 2 mefore Dog 2 moves in. If you can go for a few walks with Dog 2 in the next few weeks that would be ideal!
    Unfortunately, we won't be able to do this as the breeder is far enough away that arranging visits is pretty near impossible.

    In your case, if the recommendation is to walk them separately until they are both completely trained -- I really think this depends on your existing dog. If he is a source of serious problems on walks the younger dog can certainly learn those bad habits so you'd want to be cautious on how and when they are walked together (maybe you and partner can each take one dog). But the concern of the trainer seems a bit overly wrought to me. Few people are concerned as to whether their dogs walk with military precision as opposed to enjoying a social time out on a walk! I'd certainly not feel you should NOT walk them together at all![
    Our Byron is actually pretty good on walks now, other than wanting to chase the occasional bird. But I had planned to work with the new girl separately for training.


    1) two young pups will likely bond very closely with each other rather than to the people that own them which is hard to avoid, and can cause behaviour problems as they grow -- and the owners will need to put in a LOT of time with each pup separately to train and so on. Two pups is as hard as twin babies -- everything has to be done twice and unique to each pup andf one pup alone is a serious amount of work and time. Also siblings do not always get along very well as they get older. I know many people who have successfully brought up two puppies together but a good breeder will advise carefully on doing this and it is wise to realise from the start how much work this is going to be. Many good breeders will not home two pups at the same time or two pups from the same litter for these reasons. I don't mean to overly worrry anyone but these are very real worries and extra work will be required as well as a very vigilant eye to prevent problems from the start. Not least because two puppies are so cute playing together than the temtpation can be to just let them spend all their time together and let them get away with whatever they want as it is charming. But what is charming at 4 months is not so charming as 12 months and may need a lot of remedial work. So just be aware, anyone thinking about two pups together.
    Yes, that's why we didn't get two dogs at first. We wanted the first dog to bond with us and our son, which he has. I also had figured that training one dog would be easier than training two! I'm really glad we didn't get two pups at once as I think it would have been overwhelming for us. Now that we're a doggy household, I think we can make the adjustments a second dog will require more easily.

    2) if the training of the first dog isn't complete then you will simply not get the time once the second one arrives and you are more likely to end up with two not very well trained dogs. I can speak from experience on the latter point -- I've posted on this before to say that I got Leo when Jaspar was about 9-ish months old and they were a month apart in age. In restrospect I wish I had waited a few more months as once Leo arrived I simply did not have the time nor inclination to work with each separately as I needed to do, as Jaspar was still quite young and only partway trained. I cannot emphasise enough how much more difficult it was than I expected in this regard --- somehow I thought I'd just work both together and also I thought Jaspar was further along than he actually was.
    Good point, and we're going to be setting up a private session with a trainer before the new dog arrives to help us fine-tune Byron's training a bit before we bring his new "sister" home. Byron and I did a six-week obedience class, but in retrospect I don't think that particular trainer's methods (a different one than the person we're working with going forward) were appropriate for Byron. The first trainer was very anti-treat and dominance based. He did introduce me to the Sporn harness which cured Byron's leash-pulling, but otherwise I didn't have a lot of success.

    PS -- I think having two dogs is wonderful for both and one of the best things you can do for the quality of life of your dog. I also think in most cases, two dogs are EASIER than one. Two are a real delight to watch interact as dogs -- and it is far different for them to have a constant canine companion then occasional play dates or walk encounters with other dogs. They are such social creatures that I think they (like cats) benefit from a companion.
    That's what it seemed to me and when we encounter other dogs out on our walks, Byron is just so happy to see other dogs and wants to socialize/play, that I thought he'd probably be happier with some doggy companionship.

    Thanks so much, Karlin, for taking the time to give such great and detailed feedback. I really appreciate it, and am so glad I found this forum!!!

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    Judy, she's a tricolor, predominantly black. We've decided to name her Coco. It's a name my son (who is developmentally and speech delayed) can pronounce, and also she reminded me of Coco Chanel in her "little black dress." So we'll have Byron the Blenheim and Coco the tricolor.

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