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I have a 7 month old Border Collie right now, and my living arrangements will be changing (for the better) later this fall, and I've been contemplating getting another pup sometime next fall or winter. I have some questions for those of you that have added a second dog to your home:

 

1) How old should the first dog be before introducing another dog into the family? (I wouldn't get a second pup for another 4 to 6 months)

 

2) Did your first dog's behavior change?

 

3) At what point did you decide to get a second dog? (like what caused you to decide to do so?)

 

4) What suggestions would you give me (or someone in my situation) for weighing the pros and cons for bringing another dog into the family?

 

Here's a little of my background. As I said, Jade is 7 months old. She loves people, and she loves other dogs. She's been well socialized. She has started some herding lessons, has been through puppy classes and I am currently working with her to sharpen her obedience skills and responses (basic obedience, sit, stay, come, heel, etc.) along with several tricks. I currently live in-town with her, my boyfriend, and a cat. She gets plenty of exercise going on walks, playing frisbee, catch/fetch, etc. I've had Borders my whole life, but Jade is the first that I've had inside with me (the rest have been out on the farm).

 

Any suggestions/comments are great!

 

Thanks!!

 

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I would stongly suggest that you get a second BC. I have never been without 3 or more up to 7 and it is an amazing experience. I have never had a single problem outside of minor problems introducing a new dog. I have introduced new dogs, puppys to my pack who range in age from 4 to 10, they have all done well with the new dog. I think there is something about BC's in a group that works extremely well. I have also had as many as 4 puppys at once and I can tell you that they are work but more fun than you can imagine. Go for it get the second dog, you will find it very rewarding.

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Well, two dogs means twice as much money spent on vets and new classes if you decide to enroll the new pup. Also, you would need to dedicate time to each dog for training. While it is obviously more expensive, it's sometime helpful to have a second dog so that they can entertain each other and allow some time for yourself. My boyfriend's mother's dog is staying with me for 2 weeks and I haven't had nearly as many "Mom, PLAY.WITH.ME!" episodes while I'm trying to do something around the house from my own because he's off playing with his guest. There are a ton of pros and cons to having a multi-dog household, you just need to find what's going to work easier in your home!

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This topic has come up multiple times, though I'm not sure what the best search terms would be to bring them up.

 

Here's my abridged answer:

 

1) I prefer to wait 2 and sometimes 3 years between dogs.

 

2) I want the existing dog to be a formed adult with reliable obedience and behaviours before I add a second.

 

3) two puppies at a time is too much puppy, for most people (definitely for me).

 

Don't rule out adding an adult dog. Not every addition has to be a puppy. It can be an adult or adolescent rescue when the time comes.

 

RDM

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I agree with RDM-

I enjoyed Usher as a puppy, but was glad he had obedience on him and he was pretty reliable with his recall when I adopted Bailey, the older one. As for me, never a puppy again. They are so much easier to train when they are a little older and they appreciate you so much more for giving them a second chance. I believe 2 dogs are easier than one, but not two puppies.

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This topic has come up multiple times, though I'm not sure what the best search terms would be to bring them up.

Indeed it has, and it's super hard to search for because of the limitations of the search engine (can't search for the kind of subject line most people use, e.g. "2 vs 1", or "two vs one"). Here is one thread that further explains why not to get two puppies at once, and especially not littermates.

 

Abridged version of the standard very good advice (similar to RDM's):

 

1) Most people are glad they added a second BC, as long as:

 

2) Make sure you have the time, money, enough space in your vehicle, etc. for a second dog

 

3) Wait 3 years between dogs. This is mainly so you can get the first dog trained up - it takes about this long to for a dog to mature and have its manners solidly in place. Also, different ages may reduce potential competition for status between them. Third, you minimize the chance that they will reach the end of their lifespans at the same time, which can be hard to take (e.g. see recent threads on retiring multiple dogs at once).

 

4) Opposite gender greatly increases the odds of peaceful coexistence.

 

Certainly some people add BCs without following this advice and manage to live happily ever after, but I would venture to say they're in the minority and/or they have a lot of BC experience.

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Thanks for all the suggestions and comments- they're greatly appreciated. I think that for right now waiting until Jade is a little older would be best- looking back (not that it was that long ao) I loved having a puppy, but couldn't (and still can't) wait for her to grow out of 'puppy-ness'. I think I will be able to wait until she is about 2 to bring another dog into the family.

 

Thanks again!!

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I have 3 bcs; the boy is 6.5 years old, one girl is 16 mos. old and the other girl is 6 mos. old. Oh my. I certainly wasn't looking for another puppy 5 mos. ago but it was a case of "right puppy but BAD time." Anyway, I got the second puppy because she was just too darn nice to turn down. While I haven't regretted my decision, it has been a tremendous amount of work. I'm so ready for puppyhood to be be over...and I only have another year or two to go!!!

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I got a second puppy when the first one was three months old and they are two weeks apart in age. It is my personal belief that dogs should have a dog companion, provided you can afford and have time to care for two. We wanted our dogs to grow up together and be buddies, and while we know now that there are alot of ways this could have gone wrong, for us it worked out great. The first dog's behavior changed for the better, less nipping, much easier to tire them out, training was not that much extra work...two puppies at the same time id only roughly six months of potty training, whereas puppies back to back would be a solid year of potty training...I'll admit to being totally puppied out though.

 

The third dog we added when the first two were about 14 months old and he was an adult and had some training already. We hadn't planned on another, but it was another case of right dog, wrong time. He just sort of seamlessly blended in with the others, no problems. For my next dog, I am forcing myself to wait at least 3 years though, so they will be 4-5 years apart, because I don't want to loose all of them close together, not to mention senior vet bills that will come all at once. It's a morbid thought, but it has to be considered.

 

Anyway, I would say definitely get another dog at some point, when is entirely up to you and your circumstances. Consider how much time you have, whether you have anyone that can help you (I say that because I could not have one two puppies if my husband had not been actively involved), finances, whether your current dog has any issues you want to work on first, and definitely consider an older dog if you haven't already. Good luck. :rolleyes:

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1) How old should the first dog be before introducing another dog into the family? (I wouldn't get a second pup for another 4 to 6 months)

 

Answer: Thats up to you and depends on your time and patience. My dogs are only five months apart and it definately has its trials. At the same time I wouldnt trade my dogs for the world. My biggest concern is having to old dogs and the potential of losing them so close together. If you are very dog savy its not an issue. For you it wont matter because of your situation but for others I would suggest having the first very solid on potty training before adding another. Two dogs going through that could be very bad and the first could regress with the younger if not 100%.

 

2) Did your first dog's behavior change?

 

Answer: Yes, and for the better. I have always had two when one was young and it serves well during the crazy months. A playmate is a wonderful thing! Koda now only drops the ball in my lap 300 times a day rather than the 500 he used to :rolleyes:

 

3) At what point did you decide to get a second dog? (like what caused you to decide to do so?)

 

Answer: When Koda was 4 months old. I added him because two is best IMO if you have the time. I like having two for many many reasons. However, I did adopt my second as its my unbreakable rule - if I buy one the other MUST be adopted. There are no ifs ands or buts on that rule. Zak is my purebred shelter BC and has been a wonderful pup. I would encourage you to do the same when getting number two.

 

4) What suggestions would you give me (or someone in my situation) for weighing the pros and cons for bringing another dog into the family?

 

Answer: Less individual time, double the cost of everything including treats, crates, vet bills and so on. Its more work in many ways but it also is less work in many ways so its a balance. My biggest concern with any dog (one or two dogs) is that your living situation is assured to be stable. You must be a home owner and not renting and can assure that they will be able to remain with you forever. Other than that its just about training and love.

 

I would also suggest that you take your current dog to meet the other first. Some say you can always work out issues - and you can many times but not always. But my thought is why would you want to?!? I could marry someone and work out issues but if there is no solid foundation your looking for divorce. Bad analogy perhaps but you get my point. This should be as much about your first dog as it is for you and everyone should love each other. Remember, your current dog is your comittment and priority and anything else is secondary until committing to the new dog. Therefor dont get the other dog unless you are SURE it is the right dog. Dont get puppy fever and always trust your gut. Really listen to yourself and be honest or you and your current pup may be sorry.

 

Good luck!

 

Ryan

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  • 10 years later...

I have a 15 month old BC bitch, she is gentle and has responded well to training.  She has lots of lengthy walks and loves to play.  We have been considering adding another puppy to the house and we have found out today that her mother has had another litter of pups, would a puppy from this work well, our dog would be 16 months old by the time the new one would join us.  We are hoping they might be similar temperament.

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