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questions about getting a second dog

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My wife said she is considering us possibly getting a second dog a lot sooner than I thought she would be ready to do so and I have a few questions.

 

First let me explain that we have never had more than one dog at a time so this would be something completely new to us. We were thinking that maybe Xena would appreciate having a doggie friend to play with for times when we were busy with chores. (we do give Xena a very good amount of time and attention pretty much most days)

 

1.) I had read where someone said that Border Collies don't really need to have another dog around, and something like they might even be uncomfortable with their space being shared, is that more of the norm or just that way with some Border Collies ?

 

2.) I am thinking it would be best to adopt another Border Collie close to the same age as Xena so they would grow up together having the same basic energy level, any thoughts on that ?

 

3.) Before we would adopt another dog we would want to take Xena to the "meet and greet" to see how they would respond to each other, would that give an accurate assessment of how they would get along when they are actually living together in the same house ?

 

4.) Is it preferrable to have a seperate crate for each dog to sleep in at night ? (if not we would have to find a bigger crate :) (maybe one dog make wake the other dog up when they are trying to sleep, or simply prefer having their own private "den", do any of you have dogs that prefer to snuggle next to each other when they sleep at night ?)

 

5.) Any other considerations for someone considering having two dogs at once for the first time ?

 

 

 

 

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I grew up in a multiple dog household. I was too young to remember everything about having multiple dogs but when I was three we got two puppies around the same time. They weren't littermates but they were the same age and they grew up to be inseparable. They were also outside dogs and could roam our 25 acres freely so they had plenty of opportunity to get away from each other if they wanted (though I don't think I ever saw one without the other).

 

I've heard it both ways, that you should wait until your dog is two years old and out of the puppy stage before getting another dog or you should get one so they'll be the same age. I think it really depends on your lifestyle and what you think you can handle. If you enjoy the high energy and short attention span of puppy hood and can handle that being doubled then go for it.

 

Xena is also half Beagle, isn't she? Beagle are used to running in packs so it could be that she would greatly enjoy another dog. I also know plenty of BC's that have other dogs in the family that are happier because of it. The meet and greet will be an indicator of how they get along, but it won't tell you everything that might come up once they are in the home together.

 

I would definitely suggest getting separate crates for them to sleep in at night, that way they each have their own space.

 

If you do get another pup make sure you spend ample time with each of the dogs separately. Train them separately and give your new dog plenty of alone time with you so it will bond with you and not just Xena.

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Wait. Wait till she is older, wiser and trained.

Then add another if you still feel like it.

At that point you may have a clearer idea which way you want to go as far as age.

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One issue with same-age dogs is that they will grow old at the same time, and you may be faced with losing them both in a short period of time. That can be tough.

 

I second the advice to train and spend time with them separately as well as giving them play time together.

 

Amy

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My advice would be to wait until Xena is about 1 1/2 years old. She should be solid in her basic training and settled in the house. If one dog is x amount of chaos, then 2 dogs are x times 3. They won't necessarily both settle down at the same time and when one settles the other will probably stir it up again. Trying to deal with that and puppy crazies just adds even more chaos.

 

If you don't get seperate crates, you won't get much sleep either. They will play and wrestle off and on all night.

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Thanks to everyone for the various thoughts !

 

Xena is about 8 1/2 months old now so even though she might still be considered in the puppy stage, she has matured and settled down quite a bit from how she was just a few months ago.

 

Xena is half Beagle, and any Border Collie we might consider adopting would possibly be a mix with something else also as it seems mixed is more often available for adoption and that is fine.

 

Is there ever any tendency for the other dog to get jealous if they see you petting or paying attention to the other one ?

 

(we would want both dogs to feel equally loved)

I grew up in a multiple dog household. I was too young to remember everything about having multiple dogs but when I was three we got two puppies around the same time. They weren't littermates but they were the same age and they grew up to be inseparable. They were also outside dogs and could roam our 25 acres freely so they had plenty of opportunity to get away from each other if they wanted (though I don't think I ever saw one without the other).

 

I've heard it both ways, that you should wait until your dog is two years old and out of the puppy stage before getting another dog or you should get one so they'll be the same age. I think it really depends on your lifestyle and what you think you can handle. If you enjoy the high energy and short attention span of puppy hood and can handle that being doubled then go for it.

 

Xena is also half Beagle, isn't she? Beagle are used to running in packs so it could be that she would greatly enjoy another dog. I also know plenty of BC's that have other dogs in the family that are happier because of it. The meet and greet will be an indicator of how they get along, but it won't tell you everything that might come up once they are in the home together.

 

I would definitely suggest getting separate crates for them to sleep in at night, that way they each have their own space.

 

If you do get another pup make sure you spend ample time with each of the dogs separately. Train them separately and give your new dog plenty of alone time with you so it will bond with you and not just Xena.

 

Xena is about 8 1/2 months now and has matured quite a bit in recent months, I'll research more about this, but would it really be that bad if we got another dog before too long, it could be from a few weeks to a couple months depending on what dogs are available, so likely Xena would be at least over 9 months old by then.

Wait. Wait till she is older, wiser and trained.
Then add another if you still feel like it.
At that point you may have a clearer idea which way you want to go as far as age.

 

That is a very good point, it was VERY tough when we lost our last dog after having her just over 15 years.

 

But on the other hand if there is too big a difference in age it could be rough on the older dog who wants to relax when the younger one still wants to romp and play.

 

Everyone has brought up a lot of good points I need to ponder on.

 

As much as we enjoyed the enjoyable aspects of Xena's early puppyhood, I'm not sure if we are ready to go thru the challenges of another very young puppy again already, so if we don't get one near her age, then perhaps anywhere from a few months maybe up to about 2 or 3 years older, but still have to ponder on all the things we need to consider first.

One issue with same-age dogs is that they will grow old at the same time, and you may be faced with losing them both in a short period of time. That can be tough.

 

I second the advice to train and spend time with them separately as well as giving them play time together.

 

Amy

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Young and young adult dogs are often found in shelters and rescues because they have outgrown that cute puppy stage and people get tired of taking care of them, etc. So, if you were to look for another dog of similar age, you might find it pretty easy to find one.

 

Our dogs have usually been "stair-stepped" or we have one that's mature (3-5 years old) before we get another pup. That allows us to have working dogs of different ages and experience, and (as Amy pointed out) dogs that are not becoming aged/old at the same time. Celt and Megan are an exception to this, and it's been great having the two of them of similar age, but I know there is going to be a time when it's likely we will lose both within a fairly short time span, and it will be extra hard. It can also be very, very hard on the one that outlives the other, if they are very close to each other.

 

You need to consider what will work best for you and Xena - she'd probably enjoy a companion similar in age and activity to herself. She's young enough to adapt well to a young/young adult new dog, which is not always the case with a mature dog if you choose to introduce a new dog that is out of the puppy stage and also not an adult, either.

 

Meet-and-greets are fine but remember that dogs do often not show their true selves until they've been in a new home for a short while - you can rule out animals that just don't get along from the get-go, and can probably tell if they get along reasonably well, but you can't predict all outcomes - but you will be increasing your odds of a successful introduction by doing this, and introducing the new dog into your household wisely.

 

Good luck making a decision and finding a new dog if that's what you choose.

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Another excellent point - that it can be very very hard on the surviving dog when one outlasts the other, so I guess that is another thing to take into consideration as to how close in age the other dog should be.

 

Wow, there is a lot more to think about then what you might think at first, not that we still won't see about getting a second dog, but we need to take various things into consideration to try to make the best decision especially as to what age difference might be the best choice.

Young and young adult dogs are often found in shelters and rescues because they have outgrown that cute puppy stage and people get tired of taking care of them, etc. So, if you were to look for another dog of similar age, you might find it pretty easy to find one.

 

Our dogs have usually been "stair-stepped" or we have one that's mature (3-5 years old) before we get another pup. That allows us to have working dogs of different ages and experience, and (as Amy pointed out) dogs that are not becoming aged/old at the same time. Celt and Megan are an exception to this, and it's been great having the two of them of similar age, but I know there is going to be a time when it's likely we will lose both within a fairly short time span, and it will be extra hard. It can also be very, very hard on the one that outlives the other, if they are very close to each other.

 

You need to consider what will work best for you and Xena - she'd probably enjoy a companion similar in age and activity to herself. She's young enough to adapt well to a young/young adult new dog, which is not always the case with a mature dog if you choose to introduce a new dog that is out of the puppy stage and also not an adult, either.

 

Meet-and-greets are fine but remember that dogs do often not show their true selves until they've been in a new home for a short while - you can rule out animals that just don't get along from the get-go, and can probably tell if they get along reasonably well, but you can't predict all outcomes - but you will be increasing your odds of a successful introduction by doing this, and introducing the new dog into your household wisely.

 

Good luck making a decision and finding a new dog if that's what you choose.

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Having just lived through the early puppy hood of the most active and destructive puppy I have ever owned (who just turned 1) the thought of two puppies makes my shudder. I cannot WAIT until my heathen matures (and he is a small breed so we are hoping that happens soon!).

 

My 3 year old dog was so very very helpful with the heathen and they really seem to enjoy one another. I think in most cases a young adult who is playful can be a good companion for a younger dog. In addition to playing with heathen and wearing him out he has also disciplined the puppy and helped teach him manners. So they don't have to be the exact same age to be playful with one another.

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My first BC was 14 months when we got the second. The second is now 15 months and starting to settle and be a good house dog. After 2 in a row, it will be a while before I'm ready for another puppy!!

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We understand what you are saying about rowdy puppyhood :)

 

Fortunately Xena has calmed down a lot in recent months, still very energentic, but no where near as rowdy most of the time :)

 

That does seem like a good idea to adopt a dog a little older, Xena is about 8 1/2 months, so maybe we should consider adopting a pal for her that is at least a year old ?

Having just lived through the early puppy hood of the most active and destructive puppy I have ever owned (who just turned 1) the thought of two puppies makes my shudder. I cannot WAIT until my heathen matures (and he is a small breed so we are hoping that happens soon!).

 

My 3 year old dog was so very very helpful with the heathen and they really seem to enjoy one another. I think in most cases a young adult who is playful can be a good companion for a younger dog. In addition to playing with heathen and wearing him out he has also disciplined the puppy and helped teach him manners. So they don't have to be the exact same age to be playful with one another.

 

Puppies can be a lot of fun, but yes they do take a lot of energy and I can understand not wanting to go thru it again right away :)

My first BC was 14 months when we got the second. The second is now 15 months and starting to settle and be a good house dog. After 2 in a row, it will be a while before I'm ready for another puppy!!

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Wait!

 

You are still having some training issues with your current pup that I have seen you post about. You still need to focus on getting her solid before introducing another dog to the mix. Even if you think she is a lot better, she will most likely regress in her training if you add another dog to the mix.

 

For less experienced owners, and for first time owners of multiple dogs, I would advise on 3 to 4 years of age between dogs. I also advise not adding another until your youngest dog is at least 2 years old, preferably 3. That way they are mature, past the terrible teens and have become settled adults.

 

Xena is just becoming a teenager. The next year with her will be critical for reinforcing training.

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Do whatever you feel is right for your situation.

 

My advice is to also wait. My boy didn't relax until sometime in his third year, puppyhood was easy when I compare it with his 1.5 year old stage... Wow terrible twos indeed. And he was a crazy crazy crazy puppy..

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This is my first time having two dogs at a time, and i didnt get Libby until Chloe was 6 years old. It's been great. Chloe is well behaved enough that if I have to go chasing after the pup I don't have to worry about her, she also disciplines Libby too, so all in all, it's a good age difference. I couldn't imagine having two puppies at the same time, phew! One at a time is plenty for me!

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I agree with this. I lost a 15 year old and a 16 year old, both of which had been with me since they were young puppies. They were a year apart in age. It is hard to lose them anyway, but I do think losing them so close together was even tougher.

 

One issue with same-age dogs is that they will grow old at the same time, and you may be faced with losing them both in a short period of time. That can be tough.

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Wow, y'all have given me a lot to think about (and it is all appreciated !)

 

Seems like more are saying to wait till Xena is older but there are varying opinions on how much older, so I'll have to research that more.

 

 

......good point (and funny) about them wrestling off and on all night if they don't have seperate crates :)

 

My advice would be to wait until Xena is about 1 1/2 years old. She should be solid in her basic training and settled in the house. If one dog is x amount of chaos, then 2 dogs are x times 3. They won't necessarily both settle down at the same time and when one settles the other will probably stir it up again. Trying to deal with that and puppy crazies just adds even more chaos.

 

If you don't get seperate crates, you won't get much sleep either. They will play and wrestle off and on all night.

 

 

.....what are roughly the basic ages they are considered as going from puppy stage to teenage stage then to adult stage ?

 

Wait!

 

You are still having some training issues with your current pup that I have seen you post about. You still need to focus on getting her solid before introducing another dog to the mix. Even if you think she is a lot better, she will most likely regress in her training if you add another dog to the mix.

 

For less experienced owners, and for first time owners of multiple dogs, I would advise on 3 to 4 years of age between dogs. I also advise not adding another until your youngest dog is at least 2 years old, preferably 3. That way they are mature, past the terrible teens and have become settled adults.

 

Xena is just becoming a teenager. The next year with her will be critical for reinforcing training.

 

 

So even though Xena has calmed way down at 8 1/2 months from how she was a few months ago are you saying she could possibly go back to becoming more rowdy again ? (if so, is that more the norm or just a possibility ?)

 

Do whatever you feel is right for your situation.

My advice is to also wait. My boy didn't relax until sometime in his third year, puppyhood was easy when I compare it with his 1.5 year old stage... Wow terrible twos indeed. And he was a crazy crazy crazy puppy..

 

 

I'm not sure yet just how long we might wait, but when we adopt a second dog it will more than likely not be a very young puppy but perhaps somewhere between 1 and 2 years old, so maybe that might make it possible to adopt sooner than later.

 

This is my first time having two dogs at a time, and i didnt get Libby until Chloe was 6 years old. It's been great. Chloe is well behaved enough that if I have to go chasing after the pup I don't have to worry about her, she also disciplines Libby too, so all in all, it's a good age difference. I couldn't imagine having two puppies at the same time, phew! One at a time is plenty for me!

 

 

......I will still ponder on all the advice before deciding, but I was just thinking, if some people will adopt a young puppy as a second dog after their first dog gets about 1 1/2 to 2 years old, then why couldn't it work in reverse and adopt an older dog (about 1 1/2 to 2 years old) as the second dog when your present dog would be the younger one instead - close to 9 months old ?

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I imagine it was also tough on the dog who survived a little longer, I'm sure he or she missed the other one a lot after having been together so long. When we lost our dog of 15 + years I had to console myself with at least knowing we gave her a happy life and a loving home for all those years she was with us.

I agree with this. I lost a 15 year old and a 16 year old, both of which had been with me since they were young puppies. They were a year apart in age. It is hard to lose them anyway, but I do think losing them so close together was even tougher.

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I've raised a decent number of dogs, and virtually all of them regressed in their training, obedience and overall behavior when they hit adolescence. For Border Collies, this starts at about Xena's current age and continues until they are about 2 to 3 years old (but generally later for males).

 

As to why it can't work in reverse, when someone adds a pup to a household with a stable, established dog, that resident dog helps by providing a role model for the new pup. The older dog knows the rules and follows them. You would be asking a teenager to be the role model. Not a good situation IMHO. The only way I could see this being ok is if you get a very well trained adult. For example, many stock dog handlers will place a fully trained dog that didn't make the grade on sheep in pet/sport homes.

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That is basically what I was thinking - Xena is close to 9 months old, so if we adopted a dog that was older, say closer to 2 years old, wouldn't the older second dog be a help to Xena, even though the older dog would be the newcomer to our home ?

 

.......or would being a newcomer affect that senario ?

 

I've raised a decent number of dogs, and virtually all of them regressed in their training, obedience and overall behavior when they hit adolescence. For Border Collies, this starts at about Xena's current age and continues until they are about 2 to 3 years old (but generally later for males).

 

As to why it can't work in reverse, when someone adds a pup to a household with a stable, established dog, that resident dog helps by providing a role model for the new pup. The older dog knows the rules and follows them. You would be asking a teenager to be the role model. Not a good situation IMHO. The only way I could see this being ok is if you get a very well trained adult. For example, many stock dog handlers will place a fully trained dog that didn't make the grade on sheep in pet/sport homes.

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But even if the other dog is well behaved and somewhat trained, they are trained to someone else's standards and expectations. If your dog is the older dog, the one that is setting the example, then you are in essence getting training help from your already trained dog. Let's say you adopt an older dog that turns out to have some quirky behaviour, well your dog is still in a very impressionable stage and you may end up with two quirky dogs.

 

My first dog was almost 10 when we got a puppy. It was not the plan exactly but that is how it worked out. He kept her young til the very end and boy did she let him know when his behaviour was unacceptable. Training him was a breeze thanks to her.

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I would wait. I have two adolescent dogs right now. We got Tucker when Ezra was six months old. Ezra was a very easy puppy, although quite shy. We wanted to get him a companion. Despite trying to do everything "right" as far as picking a breeder, socialization etc., Tucker has turned out to be a real project dog. I spend so much time dealing with his issues that Ezra's training has pretty much gone by the wayside. They do play really well and Ezra does like having a companion, but I was just thinking tonight that it would have been so much better if I had waited until Ezra was fully trained and an adult. If he wasn't such a naturally compliant dog I would really be in trouble.

 

Leslie

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If you bring a second dog into the house and are not careful, you risk both dogs bonding more to each other than to you. I would wait until your current dog is older and in the interim take the current dog to classes so it learns to control itself and listen to you in the presense of other dogs.

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I agree - wait until Xena is very well-behaved and stable. That may be another year or two. You will not have to worry about her regressing when the new dog comes in. She will be able to help you train the new dog/puppy. (I agree that a new older dog may be almost as much of a training project as a puppy - depending on the dog you adopt.)

 

Another thought on having two dogs of the same age - once they get older, often the medical bills add up with senior issues. That means more $$ to spend on the dogs.

 

Jovi

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I agree with everything that has been said about waiting. I also would not have 2 dogs close in age again, losing 2 dogs in just over a year was heartbreaking.

Although we will be a 2 dog household again, and we have always believed having 2 dogs is better our young dog who is almost 4 is thriving since his bossy and rather mean older brother died. The first couple of months he was miserable and slowly he has become a very happy boy, much happier than before. That said he is hardly ever alone as he goes to work with my husband.

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My advice is to only get another dog if YOU want another dog. What if it turns out that the new dog and Xena are not best buds? Keep that possibility in mind.

 

I have three dogs: Georgia 7, Texas 6 and Faith 15 months. Faith came into the house at 9 months (granted she was more like a 4 month old pup) and Texas turned into a puppy again. He and Faith wrestle and race as much as possible. Tex is a pretty well trained/behaved dog but he definitely needed a few reminders on behavior in the beginning.

 

Faith and Georgia like each other alright. They occasionally play chase but other than that, they really don't spend much time together.

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