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Would love to hear some of your experiences with multi dog dynamics. We are looking for a third dog who would be a pal and playmate for Hoku (2 now). (Our other dog Gussy is 15 and just to old to do much.) Our issue is that his bestbestbest pal is Lady, a 2 year old Golden, owned by our good friend. We all get together a couple of times a week for doggy play sessions. Our friend is really concerned that if we get Hoku a pal, that Hoku and Lady's relationship will really be impacted. It is true that they have an amazing bond, they are just the best mates, and love each other to bits. They can entertain each other for hours on end. I would hate to change that. But would love for Hoku to have a buddy here at home.


Do any of you have any thoughts on how introducing a third into their little play duo might impact them?

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When we added Pippin to our one dog household, it completely changed the dynamics between Renzo and his best buddy next door, Zuri. Zuri disliked Pippin from day one, so even though Renzo still wanted to play, Zuri would leap the fence and go back home if we brought her over and then, over time, their friendship just kind of withered. She never liked any of the border collies, actually (even though she's a BC mix).


Our other neighbor dog, a pit mix has rolled with the flow with each addition to the pack--plays with them all, even socially disabled Tansy. I think maybe you can't necessarily predict what will happen.


Adding a third (and fourth, fifth and sixth) dog to our home pack (and bringing in about a dozen fosters) never did too much to upset existing friendships in the pack. The main issue we've had is with our two two-year old males who play with each other as well as scuffle with each other mightily. They were great help in raising the puppy, though!

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When Zoe was the baby she had 3 older dogs, 11 years and up, living with her. Next door there was a yellow lab one week younger than she was and they became best friends.

They remained best friends until we got Ari, 10 months later. From that point on Zoe didn't like to play with the lab.


Now Kya plays with the lab because Ari and Zoe play together, but when Ari and Zoe let Kya play with them she doesn't want anything to do with the lab either.

So I guess as far as my girls go they would rather play with the dogs that they live with not the dog next door.

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My dogs have always played with only each other. However, my neighbor kept bringing her BC over when she watched my dogs for 10 days and she said that Diesel and her dog, Beau, had tons of fun playing the chase me game. That said, Diesel being the 3rd dog added bonded to my dogs first and vice versa. My dogs didn't play with neighbor dog when I just had 2 dogs. River does play more with Diesel now and less if any with my non-BC, Jaida (who isn't a super playful dog to begin with, but did play with River).


It kinda depends on what your priorities are. If you want a third dog anyway (#1 reason to get another, not for only playmate purpose) but still want your other dog to play with the golden, then when you do the visit with perspective new dog, make sure the golden is also present. Not sure if a puppy would be a better idea to blend in, or if getting a known young dog that just loves to play with everyone.


Dynamics will change. Just depends on how willing you are to bend and in which direction. :rolleyes:

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It might help to continue to take Hoku to visit the Golden without the new dog. If you add the new dog to the mix, things will change. They might change for the better - all three might play. Or they might change in a way that excludes the Golden. There just isn't any way to know. But it would seem to me that if Hoku continues to visit the Golden by himself, there is a good chance that they will continue to enjoy playing together.


That said, dog relationships change even without such influences. When Speedy was a puppy, he and Maddie played and played and played. Sammie wanted nothing to do with playing with Maddie and he and Speedy have never paid any attention to each other. Somewhere along the line, Speedy and Maddie stopped playing and Maddie and Sammie became play buddies. I think that as Speedy matured, he wasn't interested in that kind of play anymore, so Maddie adapted herself to Sammie. Now Maddie and Dean play wrestling games and Speedy and Dean play ball games, but they very rarely all play together.


I'd say that if you want a third dog, go for it.

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