Multi Dog Households.

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Lotsaquestions
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Multi Dog Households.

Post by Lotsaquestions » Thu Jan 25, 2018 9:18 am

Ok, so we have a big decision to make about if we want to go for a second dog and I wondered if I could get any input from anyone who does have two or more dogs, and the bad and good points of it.

As many know Merlin has a bum leg at the moment, and he is learning how not to be reactive, so whatever we decide about the second dog we will not be getting one before we are sure Merlin is healthy and I can walk him well. So we likely have a bit of time to mull it over! We are certainly not going to rush this.

I have lived in a multi dog household before, and that was horrific. Two Yorkie bitches who absolutely hated each other to the point they tried to kill each other. It was either rehome one, or supervise and seperate at all times (except on walks where they were fine together). My parents decided the latter, and it was years of stress and watching them like a hawk. One has passed away, and now the remaining dog has started to bully their third dog (absolute sweetheart who never starts anything) so now they have to watch them too. So whilst I have experience with it, it was a horrible experience with two dogs who, in general, didn't really like other dogs anyway.

Having said that I have seen multi dog households that not only work, but thrive. Merlin also very much enjoys dog company, more than human company for the most part, whereas both bitches didn't whatsoever when they matured. So I am looking for other people's experiences on it. We are hoping to add an affection fiend into our home that will also enjoy playing with Merlin, it is a selfish decision for the most part. We are prepared to walk them seperately for the early socialisation, train them seperately once a day, and give them time of seperate affection so they don't get jealous.

We have also considered a cat instead, but the main reasons we've not gone with that decision is a) Merlin chases cats so it would be a while of introducing, and b) the cat can't come out on walks with us so we'll miss out on both dogs exploring and playing together.

ZaraD
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Re: Multi Dog Households.

Post by ZaraD » Thu Jan 25, 2018 9:59 am

In my limited experience I know the more experienced members of my family who own dogs always say they would never have to females in the same household as females fight to the death. I know that female \male is the best pairing and then male\male. I think maybe if your certain merlin will like a doggy friend then picking a breed that not just matches you and your family but that is compatible with merlin , like I would probably pick a more laid back dog in temperament for merlin and one who is similar in size and one who is friendly and happy go lucky.

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Nettle
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Re: Multi Dog Households.

Post by Nettle » Thu Jan 25, 2018 12:57 pm

Be very aware that you (anyone) get the second dog for YOU not for your dog. Your dog may get on with the other dog, or he may not. He may see the other as a constant rival for resources. He may, on the other hand, bond with the other dog to the extent of making you superfluous.

If you decide on a second dog, I would recommend waiting until your dog is adult, at least two years old, before getting the next one. Too close in age ramps up the risks.

I've run a multi-dog household for many years, and it is constant hard work, anticipation and deflection, never ever allowing a circumstance to cause disagreement. It's very hard work,and the more people in the family, the harder it is. Not saying you couldn't do it, but if we hadn't had working dogs, we would have had one dog at a time. Much easier on everybody.

All the best with whatever you decide.
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ZaraD
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Re: Multi Dog Households.

Post by ZaraD » Thu Jan 25, 2018 1:13 pm

Agree with everything Nettle says , I was going to say to wait until he has matured but I wanted to see if a more experienced member says it so I know I'm right in suggesting it. I'd love another dog and Sampson is already an adult but I want to wait until at least a year so we can bond more and get to know each other a lot better.

Lotsaquestions
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Re: Multi Dog Households.

Post by Lotsaquestions » Thu Jan 25, 2018 1:44 pm

@Zara @Nettle Thanks for your responses!

Those are the concerns we have since I've lived with multi dog households 'gone wrong' before. However the household Merlin came from (his mum, dad and one of his sisters) is doing really well which is the main reason we think it might work. If Merlin was a bit more affectionate we wouldn't be considering it at all, so it is very much a selfish decision for our benefit! I can see that he might possibly bond with the dog more than me, he is very, very dog orientated as it is.

Some things definately to think about. Its one of those decisions that you have little control over how it'll end up, and I've seen how wrong it can go! We are certainly in no rush to make the decision, so unless some amazing opportunity falls in our laps we'll be holding off until he's grown up.

If we did decide to go for it, which seems to work best; a dog of similar size / temperament, or a dog that's different? If we went for it we need to decide between a few breeds (Japanese Spitz, Poundlane Spaniel, Eurasier, Finnish Lapphund) with the JS being the most 'merlin-like' out of them all, the spaniel being the least, and the lappy and eurasier occupying the middle ground. All the dogs meet our (mine and my partner's) requirements of affectionate, smart, and up for fun.

ZaraD
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Re: Multi Dog Households.

Post by ZaraD » Thu Jan 25, 2018 1:50 pm

From kera's experience Eurasier love cuddles and from what she learnt and seen no Eurasier would ever refuse a cuddle , they LOVE there people so affectionate wise I'd say Eurasier. Poundlane spaniel I don't know much about as I don't know much about Brittney spaniels but Cavaliers I know a lot about and there very affectionate but from seeing some Eurasier with Kera I'd say they seem a lot more affectionate than even a cavalier and there are a few females who are 18kg your limit size wise plus there a spritz without being so vocal as Kera said even watching them playing together they don't bark.

Lotsaquestions
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Re: Multi Dog Households.

Post by Lotsaquestions » Mon Mar 19, 2018 4:13 pm

I think we have decided on a second dog. As much as I adore Merlin, there is a cuddle shaped hole in our dogdom. That and because of his bum knee I am hoping our second dog can get really stuck in with agility & flyball without worry about joints.

We've also decided that a dog larger than him just can't happen for many reasons.

We're not rushing it, we're hoping to narrow down our breed and then our breeder and go onto a waiting list for a while. But on that topic, we're really struggling to pick a breed. Every one of our list has positives and negatives, as does everything in life!

We are looking at;

Japanese Spitz - Adore these dogs. They have a varied gene pool in the UK and I've found breeders that fully health test joints, especially patella. Unlike the German Spitz where I couldn't find a breeder with an inbreeding coefficient lower than 20%!! Problems may arise with both dogs being very gregarious and easily excited, and if one fails recall they will likely both bog off. :lol:

Papillon - The only issue with a Papi for us is their size. If they were Merlin's size it would be an absolute no brainer. They are everything I want in a dog and more - they're just very delicate. I've tried looking for breeders who cross them for agility with Shelties, but I've had no luck. Merlin is a very strong and oafish 11.5kg, Papi's are 4kg at the largest with light and delicate bones.

Shetland Sheepdog - These seem like a good middle ground dog between the JS and the Papi, and I do love them to bits. My only worry is their overly sensitive nature and I don't know how common that is, I don't think having two sensitive dogs would be best. Of the Shelties I've met most have been fairly timid, with only one being bombproof.

Now I just can't decide! Oh dear, I am terrible at decisions. I am sure no matter which I pick I'll end up with a nutter. :lol:

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gwd
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Re: Multi Dog Households.

Post by gwd » Tue Apr 03, 2018 10:32 pm

Well, I've got baby girl giving the evil eye to boy dog right now. she's a horrible resource guarder and sometimes she decides that boy dog is breathing too much of air that should, by rights, be hers. ..........I've had packs of dogs that get along beautifully. Then, you get one that isn't wired quite right (yeah, i'm looking at you baby girl) and even a two dog household can be a challenge.
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