Jump to content
BC Boards

Benefits or busts of more than one BC


flyer
 Share

Recommended Posts

We are so in love with this pup. I was thinking that when he was through puppyhood we might search the rescues for a young adult but I see him with other pups and dogs and I think why wait?

 

I see so many on this board have more than one BC and I know people who have more than one.

 

Would people share the pluses and minuses of owning more than one dog?

 

Thx,

Flyer

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There's a big difference in owning more than one dog and owning 2 puppies at the same time. We wait 2 years before getting each one of ours. Be patient. Be your puppy's center of attention for now. He needs you more than you realize. As good as he is now, don't be surprised if he eventually starts pushing the limits.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I kind of had the same idea yesterday at the dog park when somebody brought in this awesome female, Millie. She is a week younger than Gus, and I got this thought that it would be cool to have two. Well, now that Gus' worst adjustment days seem to be over. Then again, I'd probably have to get them on the same schedule, potty wise. Not sure how that would go. Gus will go pee when I tell him "Go Pee" and he will usually deficate when I tell him "Go Potty" It helps that I have learned his schedule.

 

I think I'll wait until I have more space, but I now think I will eventually get a second.

 

Img_2426.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Two pups are awesome! I would highly recommend it! With that being said, wait until your pup is older before you get the second one. The 7-11 month stage is hell on wheels and is best approached one at a time :rolleyes:

 

Lucia was 2 1/2 when I got Grady. She was trained to the point where she would not likely regress when the new dog acted up and tested the boundries. She still has moments, but all in all is a great roll model for Grady and he follows her lead on most things.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think what In2Adventure is saying when she says "two pups are awesome" is that having more than one dog is awesome, not necessarily that having two pups at one time is awesome. I am not someone to tell you not to get a second dog. After all, I have nine (ranging in age from 14 down to 2.5), so I must be completely deranged.

 

ETA: Most folks on forums like this seem to agree that going from one to two is a bigger change than going from two to three. Obviously some of your expenses will increase, but I do think that dogs enjoy each others' company as well. As long as you don't think that the two dogs should keep each other well entertained without much effort on your part (huge misconception that many people have), adding a dog shouldn't be a problem and might even double your enjoyment.

 

J.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have two pups. We got the Aussie when he was 15 weeks old, and about 7 weeks later we got a 9 week old Border Collie. I thank God we got Rusty before Jack. Jack would be quite a handful if we didn't have an energetic Aussie to wrestle with him for hours every day. It is a bit interesting when I try to walk all 3 - I also have an older dog - but I think it is wonderful having two puppies in the house. Just don't sweat the potted plants that get attacked.

 

Also, I might repent my words later on...Rusty is now about 6 months and Jack around 4. Their 'teens' could get challenging, but they have pretty laid back personalities for their breeds.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Two pups are awesome! I would highly recommend it! With that being said, wait until your pup is older before you get the second one. The 7-11 month stage is hell on wheels and is best approached one at a time :rolleyes:

 

UhOh, I'm almost there, can anyone tell we what to look out for as Pirate gets closer to 7 months? I know young horses have stages, but, well, they live in the barn and I know the problems when the come up....any heads up on my housemate? Thannks!

post-9760-1235449046_thumb.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree that 2 pups at the same time can be a nightmare. One of the reasons our rescue got really started was a pair of brothers. They were purchased form the same person but, of course not neutered. They were big boys and pretty much reminded me of thing 1 and thing 2. They usually were in all kinds of trouble but, in different rooms. You would be throwing one off the counter and the other was walking on the dining rom table.

 

We rarely adopt 2 dogs at the same time either. When we have they are usually older dogs and different breeds. I even tried 2 6 month olds from differnt places but, the people did report problems in the 9 month phase. I most likely wont do it again even though I thought it was a great match.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Its been fifteen years since I only had one dog, cant remember what its like LOL. At this point I think I would be lost if I had less than 3 at any given time. I love having multiples but definately would wait to add another baby

 

Julie-- I dont know if you should be nominated for sainthood or committed :rolleyes: When I had 7 in the house my 4 plus 3 fosters 2 14 wk old pups and 1 1 yr old foster, along w/ 5 cats I was ready to shoot myself!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just to clarify I wasn't thinking of adding in another puppy, I'm not that brave. I was thinking of a young dog.

 

It makes sense to me going to two is the biggest step. Could people say why that is? Off the top of my head I think it would be easier traveling with one. Colt comes everywhere with me. Is this so do you all think?

 

Someone upthread mentioned that Colt needs all my attention right now. This also struck a cord and is something that occurred to me as well. Thoughts?

 

BTW, watched the Gus vid's. I think he might be trouble. Should I PM you my address? :rolleyes:

 

Thx,

Flyer

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We were an only dog family for about 2 years before adding a second. I struggled big-time with the decision, but shortly after bringing Jack home, I knew it was the right thing to do, and I doubt I'll ever have just one dog at a time now. I worried about all the usual things, like would I love the second dog as much (of course I do), would I be able to devote enough time and training to him (of course I did and still do), would our first dog accept him and would the new dog like her (they are best buds/thick as thieves). Adding a third dog was another big decision, but only because the second dog has fear issues that make him unfriendly to other dogs. My fears were again a moot point and after a slow introduction, Alex became the Third Amigo to complete the other two. :rolleyes:

 

I do think that it's an important decision and you have to be sure, your family has to be sure and you have to be resonably sure that your resident dog will enjoy the company. I also think getting the *right* dog (or as close to it as possible) is important. As in, I chose a male puppy when the resident dog was a two year old female who doesn't prefer the company of other females. Then I chose a submissive, calm puppy to add to the mix when the other two were 4 and 2 years old, one of them with the fear issues I mentioned. In other words, take into consideration what is going to be the best match for a happy dog family.

 

The only "cons" I can think of are the added costs (particularly vet care) and it's a little bit more hassle taking three dogs places than two. Regardless, totally worth it!

 

PS. I just realized you asked about adding another border collie, specifically. Mine are not all border collies.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think it is smart you are asking for outside input on your thoughts of getting a second dog. Regardless of whether you are looking at getting a second puppy or a younger dog, you are going to be dealing w/ some of the same issues. If your pup isn't fairly concrete in your relationship as well as basic training adding the second dog may cause you to take a few steps backward in training w/ your pup. You are suddenly going to have this great source of entertainment and distraction in the second dog and your puppy may not be able to resist being influenced by the other dog.

 

Also, from the sounds of it you are considering getting a young rescue pup. Thank you, there are many out there that need forever homes. However, rescues can come w/ issues that depending on where you rescue the dog from the people may or may not know about the issues so they could be a surprise to you. I have seen many young dogs, say 9 months to 2 years that are in rescues b/c the owners never did any training when the dog was little and treated them like a spoiled child, but once the dog is 40 pounds and leaping at people and the once soft bark is now very loud, the dog isn't so cute anymore and the dog finds itself at a shelter or rescue. I am not in any way trying to discourage you from a rescue, but the first few months w/ a rescue dog can be even more tiring then dealing w/ a young pup.

 

The jump from 1 to 2 is definately the hardest in my mind, and I'm not exactly sure why. When I went from 1 to 2 I dealt w/ a lot of jealousy issues from the first one. Smudge was 2 when I brought Boots, who was about 11 months into our home. Smudge had two accidents on the carpet, although I can't really call them accidents since both times they involved my shoes :rolleyes: . Smudge also quit eating about half of his meals for the first month or so that Boots was in the house. Boots however, really didn't have rescue issues at first, but after being in the house for about a month we went through doggy hell for about 6 weeks. All the puppy phases coming from a 35 pound dog...good times. The other thing about the second dog is everything changes, walking, # of beds lying around, amount of dog waste, and all of a sudden the two dogs seem to get into about 3 times as much trouble as the one did...I don't know how that math works out, but in doggy world it seems to. The third or fourth dogs don't seem to have the same effect. In our case, it seems like the pack is established after 2 dogs and anyone that gets added in just finds their place in the pack. Looking back w/ one dog I'm not sure we really had a pack relationship, more dog and human. However, w/ 4 personal dogs, 2 foster dogs, a cat and 2 hens we definately have a pack dynamic. I include the chickens b/c they have no qualms about chasing one of the dogs from any crumbs thrown their way. So while they aren't leaders they aren't at the bottom of the pecking order either...ha, ha I love puns :D

 

Traveling doesn't seem an issue w/ four dogs, we all just get cozy. Last winter we all headed to a dog trial, four dogs, Paul and myself and went camping on the coast for 2 nights. Well, with it being WA it rained the whole time, so Paul and I slept in the front seats of the truck and the dogs were in the back seat of the truck, very small area, 6 of us, no issues, well Paul did start getting a little fussy when Renoir kicked him in the face, but otherwise all went well.

 

Best of luck

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As someone who has three dogs who are all one year apart, I highly recommend that you space out the ages of your dogs a bit. When they were 1, 2, and 3 it was a party. When they were 3, 4, and 5 it was perfect. When they were 5, 6, and 7 I started to realize that they are all going to get old pretty much at the same time!

 

If you want to add a dog now, I'd recommend going with a rescue who is maybe about 3 or so. 3 year old Border Collies are still super young, but you'd have more than a 2 year age difference between your two dogs.

 

Personally, I wouldn't consider going back to having only one dog in the house. We added Maddie, who is a year older than Speedy, when Speedy was 10 months old. It was a good move for both dogs. If my only dog were a puppy, I probably would get a young adult rescue dog again.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

BTW, watched the Gus vid's. I think he might be trouble. Should I PM you my address? :rolleyes:

 

Gus has me trained the way he wants me, he probably would be even more trouble with a big change like that. I guess I better let him keep me. :D

 

He can be a little toy aggressive at the dog parks, he doesn't like to share his frisbee. He has stolen toys from much bigger dogs. Although one took his frisbee and kept wanting to play tug of war with him. It would bring it up to his mouth so he could get a hold and then take it away.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I started fostering about 6 months after I adopted my 2 year old border collie. I currently have 3 dogs in the house and I'm still not sure about adding a permanent second dog! I love having just one--the relationship you have with your single dog changes after you get a second. And my dog likes being an only dog as well. When I bring in a new dog he acts up for the first week or so until he gets used to the new routine, but he always seems happier when he is the "only child." (Of course, some dogs love the company of other dogs, so this would not really be a consideration in that case). I also work full time, which makes it hard to devote individual time to each one--a definite must if you want to have a good relationship with each of them. You are still in a stage with your pup where he is just beginning to learn how to act properly and if you bring in another dog, even an adult, you will be at square one with that dog as well. This could be frustrating and training both dogs could take twice as long. More dogs means more of your time taken up with play and training--when I had just the one I had some free time, but with two or three my entire night is generally spent training, playing or policing dogs! Multiple dogs also means more clean-up, more accidents, more "stuff" destroyed, more hair to vacuum up, competition for toys and chews and pets and treats. Of course, my fosters generally come in pretty un-trained and so that probably contributes to the constant chaos--your house would probably be chaos for a bit but then would settle after the dogs got to be fairly well trained.

 

On the flip side, more dogs means more fun as well! My fosters (especially the one I've had for 6 months who feels like part of the family) are hilarious, loving, entertaining, etc. They sometimes help to entertain each other and give each other more exercise by playing with each other when I am busy, though being border collies they are more likely to bug me to play.

 

Just some things to think about from someone who loves having two (or more) dogs but also loves having just one.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Off the top of my head I think it would be easier traveling with one. Colt comes everywhere with me. Is this so do you all think?

 

Just re-read your post, and yes, this is a big one for me. One dog is far easier to cart around than two. My first dog is welcome at my relatives homes, but my second is not--and even if she were I would spend more time policing dogs than visiting--so I often end up just staying home since I would feel bad for the dog who had to be home crated. Bringing two dogs to the park to play usually means bringing a crate for one or leaving one in the car while the other gets to play. It's more cumbersome and results in less time for the first dog.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We have a 1 yr and a 9 yr. The benefit for us is that the puppy (Abby) keeps Indy more active. I dont care what anyone else say but its more work. At first we felt really guilty because Indy didn't really like Abby but both adjusted with time.

 

But you get 2 times the following:

 

the hair in in the house

the amount of poop in the backyard

amount of expense (food,microchip, vet, shampoo,etc)

 

 

You'll also need a bigger vehicle. Luckily we already have a truck with a campershell. Also when you go on vacation, its more of a burden on the people thats taking care of your dogs.

 

 

I don't regret the decision because both of our dogs are rescues and we love them to death. We were prepard to take the additional responsiblity but I was sort of shock of how much extra work was involved. Probably would've been less if our second dog was more mature.

 

2596356579_8e68b82919_b.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Someone upthread mentioned that Colt needs all my attention right now. This also struck a cord and is something that occurred to me as well. Thoughts?

I don't know the extent of your bc experience so your situation may be different but JJ was our 1st border collie. When I told dh I was ready to get another dog, we did our research. We decided to get a border collie mainly because of their level of intelligence. And because of his intelligence level, we took JJ to a number of obedience classes and at night, while dh was at work, JJ and I did our homework. We also took him out and about as much as possible including vacations when we could. We absolutely doted on that boy (and still do) and the payback has been priceless.

 

As much as we were doing for and with JJ, I realized we couldn't play with him like another dog could so Jake came into the picture. Before adopting Jake, we had the usual worries....twice the vet bills, twice the food costs, taking 2 dogs on vacation vs one, etc. As it turned out, adopting Jake was a piece of cake. In fact, lot easier than adopting JJ. I took Jake to the same obedience classes (Basic, Intermediate and Advance) but with JJ's help, Jake learned the house rules a lot faster! I also feel if it wasn't for JJ, Jake might have developed a fear of others or things. Every time we took the dogs out and Jake got nervous about someone walking up or got nervous about walking into a strange building, Jake would lag behind a couple of steps and look over at JJ. When he saw JJ being happy and excited about something we're about to do, Jake got happy. There's no doubt in my mind Jake 'feeds' off JJ. Now when we take Jake out by himself for some reason, he's a very happy and confident young man.

 

We also didn't go thru any jealous issues with JJ. I feel by building a strong bond with JJ first (along with how we handled bring Jake in our little pack), instead of thinking Jake was 'competition', he seemed to mature more and acted more like a big brother. But that could also have to do with their personalities. I knew before bring Josie into our 'pack', Jake was our perpetual puppy. Josie was only 6 mos old when she came here and we've had her 4 mos. Jake is madly in love with Josie. He also went thru a spell where he was really jealous over JJ when he played with her but that's gotten better now. Whether it's due personality differences or something else, I still see a big difference in having 2 yrs of one on one time with JJ vs having another dog around with Jake when we got our 3rd dog. (And when you get further down the road, don't be surprised if you find yourself wondering what it would be like have 3 dogs :rolleyes: As others stated earlier, even though we've only had Josie for 4 months, I can't see myself having less than 3 dogs now. It just seems so natural.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you everyone for your thoughtful replies.

 

Funnily enough I took care of someone else's adolescent pup today and O M G! Not a BC. Twice as old as my pup and a sweet dog but...OMG.

 

I think I will wait until Colt's training is second nature to him. I kept worrying that he might pick up behaviors from the other dog that I find unacceptable, but whenever I corrected the other fellow and there was no change in behavior, Colt would look at him like what aren't you getting here? Still I could see very clearly how hard it was at times for Colt to listen to me and this is a young fellow who when off leash I can call away from other dogs in the park and the trails no problem regardless of what they are up to together.

 

I like the idea of really spacing the ages too. I think it would help the older ones to stay healthier longer having younger ones around, though my last dog, a BC cross, lived to be a month shy of 17. Course like Colt she came everywhere with us so she remained active well into her senior yrs., but I often felt bad in her last year because she couldn't get around like she used to, was blind and deaf, and I think would have benefited from another dog to lie with, something I couldn't do all day.

 

I can also see that adopting a young dog from a rescue could end up being a lot like raising and training a pup.

 

In any case, sharing time with Colt has allowed me to understand why so many people have so many BC's and I believe it is just a mater of time for me to join the ranks.

 

Flyer

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My experience is a little different as I started with a 8-9 month old german shepherd/beagle X Jester ( she is now 14) and 2 years later got a young border collie who we never knew his age but since he died we now suspect was about 3 or 4. I have to disagree about 2 being harder than one, we have found it easier for some of the following reasons.

Company for each other, Jester was a cling-on and once we got her a friend she became a much better companion. Also we never worried about them getting lonely if we were away from home longer than planned. (they were never crated)

Walks, they played together and explored together, once we got two there was a lot less tennis ball throwing

We always had a house sitter with one so it did not make a difference going away.

 

I fully agree about the age difference, I think for humans staggered ages is best, but I think dogs prefer a closer age difference :rolleyes:

 

When Bandit the BC died last winter we discussed getting a new dog in the summer but two months later a 3.5 year BC arrived, the reason a depressed Jester, although we don't think she likes her new friend very much he is keeping her bouncy, she seems to have more energy and spring in her step than last year and she is no longer unhappy

 

Now my husband and I have a self impossed rule 2 dogs only, which everyone from my vet to my agility trainer seem to want to break by offering us border collies........ I truly don't think I could cope with 3 for me the step to 2 was easy I just can't make the leap to 3.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have to disagree about 2 being harder than one...

 

 

Alligande,

The comments against two together were directed at two puppies at the same time. That doesn't seem to be your case. I have raised two pups (littermates), along with a youngster who was 6 months older (three youngsters altogether), and it can be done, but it takes a lot of work to make sure each gets individual attention (in my case I could take them to stock individually, so it was easier in a sense) and training. Littermates can be a special case because of littermate dynamics. For the average person (not necessarily dog savvy, not willing or able because of work and family constraints to devote the time necessary) two puppies at the same time is not ideal. That doesn't mean it can't be done--just that it's not the best choice, in general.

 

Spacing out doesn't have to be several years, and the situation is a bit different, IMO, if you are bringing adult dogs together one right after the other or an adult and a pup vs. two pups.

 

J.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think it would help the older ones to stay healthier longer having younger ones around,

 

That is what I found. We added a 10 month old to the group just over two years ago and even now it is nowhere near the geriatic dog ward it was turning into before we adopted him. He really did add a youthful dynamic to the entire group that I still see even though he is 3 years old now and quite settled.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you take Colt everywhere with you and would like to keep it that way, I would seriously rethink the idea of getting a second dog.

 

First of all, if he indeed goes everywhere with you, his social needs are more than met.

 

Second, a single dog is welcome at exponentially more places than two dogs are, no matter how well those dogs are behaved. Especially when both dogs are the size of Border Collies, which many non-dog people consider "big." If you like taking Colt places with you keep in mind that many of those places will be closed to you forever if you add a second dog. Either that, or you must make choices about who comes and who stays home alone, and that sucks (and is one of the reasons I have three instead of two -- I can take one somewhere, and the other one has someone to keep him/her company).

 

Going anywhere with multiple Border Collies is a bit of a production. This is fine when you are doing something that is dog-oriented -- you expect to have some sort of production when you do dog stuff -- but it makes just "bringing the dogs along" when you are attempting to have a civilian life a major pain in the ass sometimes. Every now and then I think back fondly to when I had one dog, a Pomeranian, who truly was portable and allowed to go EVERYWHERE with me. Life was so easy back then!

 

When you have multiple dogs the work is multiplied not only because you have more, but because they tend to stagger their needs. They don't always want to play at the same time. They aren't always sick at the same time. There's always something going on. Some days, it seems that no sooner do you take care of one minor crisis, like say, someone throws up on the carpet, then someone else is rubbing a dingleberry off on the floor.

 

I just took all three of the dogs to the vet for annual checkups and my husband is still recovering from the sticker shock. He's had dogs, but only one at a time. I have two senior citizens (and a 16 month old) so their exams were extra expensive for the geriatric screens (liver, kidney) they now get. There's a big difference between say $100-200 vet costs a year, and, well, three times that.

 

There is a shitload, excuse my French, of dog poop in the back yard.

 

I love having three dogs, don't get me wrong. And I do think that it enriches their lives to have another member of their species around, depending on the dog. My Pom was an only dog, had zero interest in other dogs, and was with me 24 hours a day, and I think she would not have liked to share me with another dog. Solo is kind of like an only dog because he's my favorite, but he did better after I got a second dog as he has anxiety and separation issues. When I added the pup, Jett, my bitch Fly had someone to play with 24/7 which is great because Solo doesn't play as a rule. And so on. Sometimes though I wish it was just one dog and me, going everywhere together, like when I had Harley the Pom, or when I only had Solo. Think about which scenario you like better because once you add the second dog there's no going back.

 

By the way, I did find it was a larger transition in some ways from 2 to 3 than from 1 to 2. For one thing, when you walk three dogs, everyone thinks you are a dog walker and asks what your rates are. I lived in the city at the time and had to walk my dogs every time they went out. I don't live in the city anymore, and having three dogs is WAY easier in the 'burbs than it is in the city.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you take Colt everywhere with you and would like to keep it that way, I would seriously rethink the idea of getting a second dog.

 

First of all, if he indeed goes everywhere with you, his social needs are more than met.

 

You know I think this is the crux of my musing. Sometimes I wonder if I am enough for him. I never felt that way with my last dog, Piper, or any other dog I had when I was younger. And I don't mean enough, exercise wise. I am meeting those needs and it is doing me good to get out there again so much and for so long.

 

He is a love and seems particularly devoted to me according to my husband and kids. I just don't think I have ever had a dog look to me so much. Pipe was my constant companion and was extraordinarily biddable, but Colt just feels different. I don't know how to explain it. I think I'd sound flakey if I tried.

 

You're right, I can't imagine taking two BC's to the places I take Colt. Even as a pup, I can take him to friend's homes, my son's martial arts academy, the barn, soccer games, outdoor events...maybe this will all change as he gets older and he will become unruly or excitable as I keep expecting a puppy to be instead of just fine to sit at my feet or stay close enough to monitor no matter how much chaos is going on around us.

 

Sometimes I just don't know what to make of this pup.

 

Thank you for being so candid about how you feel re: missing the time when it was just your Pom.

 

Flyer

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...