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Bungo

One or two dogs

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This is not the typical migration question, but I did not know where else to ask.

 

I am a fairly new dog owner, I have owned a dog for less than a year. I am wondering if he would be happier with another dog as a companion though. He appears to be a happy and contended dog and he has plenty of human company throughout the day, he is never left alone for more than a few hours at a time. He does love to meet other dogs though and takes a very over enthusiastic interest in the cats (lovingly sniffing bottoms, never aggressive).

 

I am wondering what experienced dog owners might think.

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I have 3. The eldest is 14 and was an only dog until the age of 5. We then got Marley (who is now 9) Harvey was not sure at first but with in the week they were best buds (They still are) Dogs are pack animals so although they do perfectly well in families as only dogs their natural instinct is to be part of a pack so in that respect I think a 2nd dog is a great idea.

You just need to make sure the 2nd dog is a good fit for the 1st. There is a natural order of things in dog packs. We were lucky that Marley was happy with his place (Beneath Harvey) otherwise it could have been a different story. They have never fought but I do know others have had the problem of an almighty fight to determine the pecking order.

 

So yes I believe a playmate for your dog is a great idea but pick wisely.

Never a dull moment with 2.


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What breed is he?

 

TBH I think its one of peoples biggest worries that their dog is lonely or needs a dog companion but I think its often unfounded and we overthink it or humanise our dog more than we should.

 

Certainly some breeds of dogs (and also this can be sex dependant too in some breeds, ie a male dog copes better on their own than a female) do prefer company of another dog, sometimes better suited to another of their own breed but some breeds are not so fussy but we humans think and act for them regardless. Size, exercise needs, food requirements, training, vets bills etc should all be factored in to what type of dog you get to join your other one. Some people forget that different breeds will have different exercise needs, different traits and so on and often the mix of breeds, while it works to a point, isn't an ideal one for the dogs or the humans.

 

Personally, if he is happy and content around the house and out and about, I'd not rock the boat. If you are coping well with him, enjoying life then leave it as it is. Only consider getting another dog if you really want one and are prepared for what a second dog could be like. It may be the new addition suffers separation anxiety, will be dependant on your other dog overly and your dog not like this, there may be food issues (ie one eats slowly, the other fast and so they need to be kept apart when eating), there may be arguments, one may want to sleep after a walk, the other might not. Of course, they could also be 2 peas in a pod and do the same all the time but there is no way of knowing this.

 

Having worked in dog rescue and been a foster carer, I know full well not every dog gets on when a new dog comes into their home. Sadly all too often we used to see the older established dog being handed in to the rescue with the reason being that it didn't get on with their new dog or became destructive. I found this pretty **** and heartless to give up the original dog to keep the younger newer one and very selfish of the owner. The older dogs had done nothing wrong apart from not get on with the new addition or struggled to adapt and so developed a behavioural issue. Of course, its more appealing to keep the puppy or easier to not have to work through the many months of adjustment the dog has to go through. So out with the old (and the future vets bills that may start to creep in in middle age and older) and in with the new.

 

I've kept up to 7 dogs at any one time and its only in the past few years I've had one dog on its own. It was a new thing to me and while I really wanted a second, it was more for me than my own dog's needs though I tried to convince myself it was for him and his nose was well and truly put out of joint when we had a new one join us. He wasn't as happy and thankfully the dog was only a foster and was much more relaxed once the other dog had gone. As it turned out, he remained in England when we moved over and is living very happily as an only dog with my parents. They lost one of their dogs a while before we moved and their other one was really depressed. So when we went on holiday, our dog went to stay with them as usual, their own dog's mood lifted overnight and he was back to himself within a few days and our dog never came back to us! He was happy, their own dog was happy and so were they. I didn't have the heart to rock the boat plus I was in and out of hospital then for a number of months and it made sense all round. Sadly, their dog died suddenly a few months before we moved to Aus and they asked us if we would like our dog back to take with us but I said no, he was happy and content with them and they needed him more. It gave them something to focus on when we left, a part of the family still around that they could care for, love and spoil a bit :) And he lives again as an only dog, very happy, settled and enjoying his life. They look after a friends dog quite a bit and while it works well, apparently the whippet tires of having another dog in the house and often retreats upstairs for peace and quiet away from the doggy visitor. Once she goes back home, he appears downstairs more often again :cute:

 

And here in Aus we only have the one who is a robust friendly little chap who loves human company and while he loves to see dogs when he is out is perfectly content when he is home. I often say to my husband about getting another but he says one is enough and that he's fine as he is and really its me thinking it will make it even better when in fact it could be worse. Also the aspect of walking a second dog on a raining or hot day or having one who doesn't chase a ball or like to play or plays too much or some such does concern me as our one dog works perfectly for our family. Also our little fella is very much a people dog and his 'pack' of humans extends also to our family and friends who visit a lot.

 

I'm in the one dog is fine camp. Of course, two or more can also be lovely but its not always the best thing for the single dog you already have. If you can fully justify your reasons and feel things would be better with two, consider it and research carefully on breeds etc. Based on what you've said about your dog though, I don't see reason to go out and get another just for his benefit.

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.........agree with snifter.....

.........if your dogs happy no need and if it's you that wants another....

.........try fostering one first....

.........I've had up to six here.....with foster dogs...

.........never had a problem,but sometimes the new dog.....especially if young...

..........does upset the status quo..!

..........they naturally form a pecking order....

..........and my eldest is often content to leave the others and just sit with me...

..........and will warn the others to keep away....

...........I have to watch he doesn't get too aggressive with new comers...!

...........most dogs ime......will mix if socialised from little....

...........wether they are happy to share beds,toys and food bowls....

............is sometimes something to be worked on....playing and friendly in a dog park..

.............is different to sharing in their own home....!

............the older dog can also become a little jealous of sharing you....!

............you don't know till you try......

............and if it doesn't work......a foster can always find another foster home usually....

............sad ,but better than getting a new pup and having the heartache when they don't get along...

............good luck with your decision....

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Thanks for responses, some very wise comments and food for thought. I like the comment about one eating fast and the other slow, never would have thought of that, my current dog eats super fast, he practically inhales his favourite foods. I assumed all dogs did this as I have never fed another dog before! Anyway I don't know if I can honestly say that the second dog would be for him rather than me, that is a very hard thing to analyse.

 

My dog is a pug. If I got another it would be another pug or a French bulldog, I believe this would be a good fit because they are about the same size, build and whilst they will vary by individual, the "typical" dog of these breeds has similar personality traits. Certainly my pug displays a lot of the personality traits that you read about for the breed, except he was much easier to train than a pug is supposed to be!

 

I thought if I am going to get one, I should do it soon, whilst the current one is still young (he is one in a few weeks).

Edited by Bungo

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We have just one dog but he has lots of doggy pals whenever we go out walking or in an off-leash area. His two best friends are a pug and a greyhound and they meet up nearly every day and have a great time together. He is a very happy only dog at home though.


Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away :smile:

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Thanks for responses, some very wise comments and food for thought. I like the comment about one eating fast and the other slow, never would have thought of that, my current dog eats super fast, he practically inhales his favourite foods. I assumed all dogs did this as I have never fed another dog before! Anyway I don't know if I can honestly say that the second dog would be for him rather than me, that is a very hard thing to analyse.

 

My dog is a pug. If I got another it would be another pug or a French bulldog, I believe this would be a good fit because they are about the same size, build and whilst they will vary by individual, the "typical" dog of these breeds has similar personality traits. Certainly my pug displays a lot of the personality traits that you read about for the breed, except he was much easier to train than a pug is supposed to be!

 

I thought if I am going to get one, I should do it soon, whilst the current one is still young (he is one in a few weeks).

 

Pugs are fab. I adore the breed and would love one, in fact the breed is top of my list but it wouldn't suit well with our current dog (an unusually sweet not very yappy JRT) as he is, though very small is very high exercise and chases a ball for ages and walks for miles. He doesn't really play with other dogs much and prefers to just run up and say hello then come back to chase his ball.

 

Pugs cope fine on their own and in pairs. I'd not get a Frenchie as a mate for one though. I'd either have one or two pugs together or two frenchies as they love being with their own breed and often don't seem to cope as well with another breed of dog, even if similar size and type etc. I'd never have a Frenchie on its own but I would a pug.

 

Personally, I'd stick to one pug if you are happy with the one. He'll be fine on his own and once a bit older they do slow up quite a bit and don't play as much nor can they go for such long walks or out on warmer days for obvious reasons. They just love companionship and that can come from people as much as it can from other dogs. Their personality is usually such they like every dog they meet (although can often be indifferent too once they grow up) so he'll usually be happy to see dogs when out. Another one coming into the home might not get quite the same reaction though as he's still young and not matured he'd hopefully not mind too much or bat an eyelid even. Two pugs would most likely work of course so if you really want one and are ok with all the factors from getting along or not to the vets bills then go for it :)

 

The food thing often happens. Food issues can cause big problems and some dogs eat slowly or pick, others scoff it down the moment its put down in front of them. I used to have 2 dogs, one would eat in seconds the other far more slowly, chewing his food (silly thing, fancy chewing it) and the other one would finish hers and run over to his bowl and starting wolfing his down. He'd then go for her and they would argue. I used to feed him about a minute before and keep her next to me and then put a ball in her bowl so she had so eat round it and thus more slowly. She used to just pick the ball out and put it on the floor and shovel her food in. A foster dog I used to have to feed in another room as he would eat in seconds and then head to the nearest bowl and attack the dog eating from it. Others would like to eat when they were ready and that could be 3 hours after the food was put down.

 

Also recall wise, your current pug seems to be good? Another one might not be and could lead the other one astray. Same with training. Pugs are not the greatest at taking things on board and can be pretty choosy as to what they do bother to listen to.

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Pugs are fab. I adore the breed and would love one, in fact the breed is top of my list but it wouldn't suit well with our current dog (an unusually sweet not very yappy JRT) as he is, though very small is very high exercise and chases a ball for ages and walks for miles. He doesn't really play with other dogs much and prefers to just run up and say hello then come back to chase his ball.

 

Pugs cope fine on their own and in pairs. I'd not get a Frenchie as a mate for one though. I'd either have one or two pugs together or two frenchies as they love being with their own breed and often don't seem to cope as well with another breed of dog, even if similar size and type etc. I'd never have a Frenchie on its own but I would a pug.

 

Personally, I'd stick to one pug if you are happy with the one. He'll be fine on his own and once a bit older they do slow up quite a bit and don't play as much nor can they go for such long walks or out on warmer days for obvious reasons. They just love companionship and that can come from people as much as it can from other dogs. Their personality is usually such they like every dog they meet (although can often be indifferent too once they grow up) so he'll usually be happy to see dogs when out. Another one coming into the home might not get quite the same reaction though as he's still young and not matured he'd hopefully not mind too much or bat an eyelid even. Two pugs would most likely work of course so if you really want one and are ok with all the factors from getting along or not to the vets bills then go for it :)

 

The food thing often happens. Food issues can cause big problems and some dogs eat slowly or pick, others scoff it down the moment its put down in front of them. I used to have 2 dogs, one would eat in seconds the other far more slowly, chewing his food (silly thing, fancy chewing it) and the other one would finish hers and run over to his bowl and starting wolfing his down. He'd then go for her and they would argue. I used to feed him about a minute before and keep her next to me and then put a ball in her bowl so she had so eat round it and thus more slowly. She used to just pick the ball out and put it on the floor and shovel her food in. A foster dog I used to have to feed in another room as he would eat in seconds and then head to the nearest bowl and attack the dog eating from it. Others would like to eat when they were ready and that could be 3 hours after the food was put down.

 

Also recall wise, your current pug seems to be good? Another one might not be and could lead the other one astray. Same with training. Pugs are not the greatest at taking things on board and can be pretty choosy as to what they do bother to listen to.

 

I was smiling when reading about your little JRT. Ours is a JRT x Staffy. He is the opposite of yours as he is not interested at all in chasing and fetching a ball. All our other dogs were chase and fetch fanatics. He just looks at me as if to say "You go and get it yourself". I sometimes wonder about his past life before we got him from the RSPCA shelter. Perhaps he had never learned how to play and he was aggressive towards other dogs. He was skin and bone and had a broken rib. Anyway, he has learned to be friendly toward dogs and plays with his doggy pals but no way will he chase and fetch. He will chase seagulls, plovers and gallahs for ever and a day and will even attempt to climb trees but totally ignore a ball of any description. I agree pugs are great little dogs :smile:


Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away :smile:

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His recall is quite good but not excellent, although as a pug, he doesn't like to go far. There are some places on his regular walks where I let him off leash. If he goes on ahead of me, he looks back regularly to check I am still there, if he stops to look at something I keep going and before I get too far he will come charging after me (pug running is very cute) he would definitely come when called then, often he just walks beside me despite not being on lead.

 

We went to puppy school so he knows all the basic commands and he loves playing fetch. We got him at tenweeks old and he was house trained within a few weeks, we could not have had much more than half a dozen inside accidents, although we were vigilant even through the night. I read that a pug can take six to twelve months to house train and doesn't learn commands very well so we do think we were pretty lucky with him and we do say perhaps we won't be as lucky with the next one in terms of training. The only time he is really disobedient is with food (he steals sometimes) and if he doesn't want to go out for a walk because there is a breeze or heaven forbid it is spitting, then he digs all four paws in amd you can't drag him out!

 

When we first got him and until he was about nine months old, he barked once a day when his dinner was being prepared. Now he rushes to the window and barks at anybody he sees outside and we have a long front garden and they can be some distance away!

Edited by Bungo

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Well after some deliberation of all the very good points made, I have decided not to get another dog. I think perhaps there is too much risk of upsetting what I think is a happy status quo.

 

He is a happy dog, he has human company through the day and some feline company too. He maybe does not interact with other dogs as often as I would like as it is very quiet countryside where we live. Occasionally I put him in doggy daycare as he gets to mix with the other small breed dogs including the owners dogs and he loves going there.

 

In terms of our life, we are lucky because he is generally a very good dog, although he has his mad moments, but perhaps we should not disrupt anything or risk bringing in a bad influence! I think maybe I was trying to justify it as sonething he needed when really it was me that wanted another. :wink:

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