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Heather Rae

Adding another dog: Space and other factors

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I don't think anyone really plans on 10. I had one for a long time, then two, again for a while, then a third was foisted on me. The rest came in dribs and drabs, for one reason or another. Three of mine are 13 or older, and a 4th is turning 12, so as long as I don't keep adding downstream, my numbers will go down due to attrition. It seems my dogs are rather long lived though....

 

I had a similar situation with cats. For years I just had two. Then three, then all these strays came along and next thing I knew, I had six. And every time one passed, another one or two would show up. My steady state seemed to be six cats, no matter what. But eventually time took its toll and I was down to one (the 18 year old), until a friend talked me into taking two kittens last summer. Still, no more will be added until Chili Pepper has passed on to a better realm.

 

J.

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Julie I don't mean to keep harping on 10 it's just a round largish number to say. I don't know that most of us multi dog families have intentions of getting the numbers that we end up with. But when you take great care of them they seem to live way longer than it takes to add numbers to the pack. Or so it's been for me.

 

I've had up to 7 in the house. It wasn't much different with managing than the 4 I have now, Mick the jerky hard to manage dog has been here the whole time so he creates most of my management issues. That and my old girl (Raven not the oldest Jazz) she is the alpha girl, when I bring in more dogs they have to bow to her or we have issues. I'm sure they could eventually work it out but I feel she has come so far in her life that I don't want to rock her boat on keeping her position. Although the older she gets the more Dew would like to step up. I keep it in check.

 

Money/expenses goes up with numbers, but for me, management seems to hover around watching the jerk and keeping a small eye on the rest.

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I have a friend that has 6 (I think, at last count) large dogs. I jokingly call her the crazy dog lady! She does not have a large house or yard (2000 square feet with a typical in town year). She spends an enormous amount of time on her dogs and they are all happy and well-adjusted. They are her life. She handles and trains them well, walks and play with them all the time. Cooks for them, etc. Two have serious chronic health issues, so all of her money also goes to her dogs. They are her children. I think if you are dedicated to them in your resources and attention, it can work just fine. One concern, though, would be any city ordinances. I have a big house and 1 acre. I have two dogs which is probably one too many! I would never consider adding a third, and I think Star will stay an only dog when Seven crosses the bridge. I love them both, but they are enough for my family and schedule, for sure. So, I guess my point is it so depends on your individual situation. Also, mine get along fine but Seven was older when we got Star as a puppy. This quickly established the proper order of things around here (and I was careful to reinforce the idea that Seven is the boss of Star and I am the boss of everything). Star does sometimes try to boss Seven around, but she won't put up with it if she doesn't want to and will put Star in her place with this scary viscious sounding growl/bark. She's never hurt Star, but she has scared her a few times! They've only fought once--over a bone. I did break it up and put the bone away. But, neither one of them was biting to injure, more like the play biting of teeth on, but not hurting (though they weren't playing of course). Anyway, I don't crate them so that makes life really easy around here. They just have the run of the house. On the very rare occasion I've wanted or needed to separate them (like when Seven came home and needed peace and rest), I just put them in different rooms.

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