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When is a good time to get a new pup


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I know there is probably no real way of answering this question but here goes.


I have a two year old Border Collie. We have been taking sheep herding lessens and he is doing very well. He is now just starting to settle down a little and is turning into a very good dog.


I was thinking this might be a good time to get a new Border Collie pup. Is there a rule of thumb about what age to introduce a new dog to the pack?


Dexter (an intact male) is a little head strong and dominate. He has also had me for his very own all his life. I am a little worried about bringing a pup into the house. I was thinking of looking for a slightly submissive female.


Dexter is not a dog that plays with other dogs much, do you think he would ever bond with a new dog or will it always be a bit of a battle at some level.



Thanks

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My thought would be that if you are worried I would wait, seems like the males really settle down nice when they hit 4-5. Jake is now 7, never really liked puppies, was a bit of a jerk, but this year he is suddenly at peace with the puppies and can be found playing with them, way more tolerant and patient then he ever has been in the past. For that matter he is now a rock as far as things go as a working dog and way more social with strangers.



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It depends, I think, on what your plans are...

 

I prefer a longer time frame between my dogs ages because I want 3 dogs, and I prefer to have only one puppy and one aging dog at a time. I am happy with 2 dogs to work in sports and activities (with one being a pup and not old enough or one being retired).

 

If you prefer to have two dogs close in age now might be a better time.

 

I do think that dogs who live together will interact differently than dogs who meet occasionally. So, just because your dog is great with or a jerk with other people's dogs doesn't mean he will act the same wy with a dog of his own.

 

That said, I have never had a Border Collie that couldn't get along with his housemates. I am sure there are exceptions, but as a rule I think Border Collies are not a breed where you run into huge issues with interpersonal conflict (thinking of bitch German Shepherds or male terriers here).

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I agree with Debbie and rush doggie. It really depends on how close you want the age spread to be and your current dog. Both puppies and senior doggies require a lot of care, which factors in your time available as well.

 

My male Phoenix who just turned 9, has also settled quite nicely from his younger serious jerky, unfriendly to other dogs or strangers, self!

That being said he actually has always been ok with new puppies, not so with older dogs!

 

I also have a terrier mix female, about 40 lbs (same as Phoenix) and they are serious pack mate buddies. We just this past June added another BC puppy to our pack, a female (Rose) , now almost 6 months old. I was a bit concerned just because of the bond between Phoenix and our Terrier girl Bree. I thought jealously may set in and Phoenix would possibly be a jerk with the pup....but actually...it was Bree that was stand off ish for over a month. Now ALL 3 are fine together!

 

Phoenix set the puppy straight the FIRST day she was home as to HIS "play or approach me" rules...in a VERY assertive but appropriate manner. He put her on the floor but did not hurt her at all...she didn't even yelp! Now it is the 2 BC's ganging up on Bree telling her where and when she can go!! Of course I strongly step in to let those BC's know just who sets the rules around here!! LOL! Suffice it to say we have a VERY lively household these days!

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I was worried I'd waited too long. Duncan loved playing with other pups when he was a pup. But he'd pretty much outgrown that by the time he was a couple of years old. He seemed quite reserved around other dogs - didn't like them invading his space, REALLY didn't care for pushy puppies. But as long as a dog wasn't in his face, he was OK. So it was with some trepidation that we added a pup when he was four. (On the other hand - he did like playing with the cat, so clearly he wasn't too old for frivolous pursuits).

 

At first he was snarky toward the pup. And the pup was pretty pushy. I was encouraged to let them sort it out - as soon as I realized that Duncan's corrections were more bluff than substance (mostly growls or showing his teeth, an occasional snap, but they rarely elicited a single yipe from the pup), I was content to do so. I kept them pretty much separated for the first couple of months. After that point Duncan relented, and the two now play "bite face", "tug", and "chase" together. Duncan will still correct Ross if Ross is trying to play at an inappropriate time. But overall it's been great to see how well they get along, and I'm relieved that I don't have a situation that requires constant management. It all worked out well because Ross is much more bonded to me than to Duncan (by virtue of my having kept them apart).

 

I'm pretty much limited to two dogs, so the age difference between them works out. I'd hate to introduce a puppy to a young dog - my fear had been that Duncan wouldn't accept a puppy. Glad that wasn't the case.

 

If the puppy had been more shy and retiring, though, I'm not sure he would have persisted to wear down Duncan's reserves. So a lot depends on the individual personalities.

 

And I have known people with Border collies that hate each other, and that require careful management.

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When I added Sammy, an 8 week old puppy to the family last June, my other dog, a 9 yr old heeler mix was not pleased. In fact he still hasn't forgiven me :angry:

 

But that doesn't mean the harmony is gone, it was just suspended for a bit. My old man Foster was/is very close to me so I knew we were in for a break-in period. At first he was grumpy towards the pup, now he tolerates him more. They play together but the difference is the old man isn't into playing constantly like the pup is. So it will appear that Foster will act a bit like jerk when he shuts it down and sometimes it appears he's just down right mean to the little guy. But I have to remind myself that Sammy is/can be a pest! So I try to restrain myself from reacting when Sammy has it coming and gets his medicine from the old man (it looks/sounds terrible!).

 

Also I should mention that clearly Foster is Alpha and I don't expect that to change as I think I would've seen some indication of it by now? Foster is just a great, well rounded dog and if Sammy turns out to be half as good as him I'll be greatly satisfied. Even if he is a grouch when it comes to puppies :)

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My rule of thumb - when the current dog(s) are pretty well trained to the level you want them. In practice for me this has been when I routinely think "wow, my dogs are REALLY good" then I'm about ready for another dog. It usually takes 3-4 years to get to that point. When you get the new dog then you'll be really happy the older ones are so well behaved!

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My rule of thumb - when the current dog(s) are pretty well trained to the level you want them. In practice for me this has been when I routinely think "wow, my dogs are REALLY good" then I'm about ready for another dog. It usually takes 3-4 years to get to that point. When you get the new dog then you'll be really happy the older ones are so well behaved!

 

Oh goodness yes to this last part. Today I was petting Wes and said to him 'I am so glad you don't pee every five seconds' hahaha. Puppies are adorable and fun but well behaved adult dogs? Lovely.

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My dog is 4 and I don't think we will be getting another dog for at least a couple of years. Our sport is agility and my learning curve has been pretty steep with Rievaulx and I don't feel that the two of us have really learned as much as we need to, to be the best we can. I really miss having two dogs but I just feel I don't have the time to continue working with the my current one and start a puppy.

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Like rushdoggie ideally I would like to leave around 5 years between dogs - 1 to train up, 1 in it's prime and 1 nearing retirement.

 

What we actually started this year with was 5 dogs aged 7, 9, 10, 12 and 14 and no chance of getting a new one until numbers reduce. I wouldn't recommend it if you want to do an activity with your dogs.

 

As you're getting into herding I would leave it until both you and your dog have learned more and made more of the usual beginner mistakes then you can put your experience into working with the new one.

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Both of my dogs were 4 when I got Joey. Tommy was awful to him for about 2 days. Then she started playing with him. Now they play all the time.

 

Zeke wanted no part of the puppy. Joey just kept trying to play with him. It took probably a month but Zeke came around and now he plays with Joey a lot, too.

 

I thought it would be the opposite. I expected Tommy to be awful. Zeke wasn't terrible but he growled and snapped - he never tried to actually do harm to him.

 

Now I'm having an even weirder problem. Tommy has gotten pretty protective of Joey. She gets mad at Zeke if he tries to discipline the puppy. It's kind of like two parents who can't decide on how to raise a child - one thinks there should be discipline and the other doesn't believe in it.

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Oh goodness yes to this last part. Today I was petting Wes and said to him 'I am so glad you don't pee every five seconds' hahaha. Puppies are adorable and fun but well behaved adult dogs? Lovely.

Oko, you know it was your cute photos, your excitement and your experience picking up your pup that got me thinking it might be time for me to get a new one. :)
Please keep posting stories about how awful it is to have a puppy in the house. Maybe you could post some photos of something he has chewed up, that would help a lot.

Thanks

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You are all correct. I lost a dog three years ago. It was one of the saddest days of my life. Having two senior dogs at the same time would be bad but losing them both at the same time would be devastating. Putting off getting a pup for a couple of years makes a lot of sense.


Thanks for all your replies.

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Of course there is no guarantee on how long your dog(s) will live. I've lost dogs at 3, 6, 9, 11, and 14 years of age. But you have to plan based on something. I find myself with an almost 12 yr old, a 2 1/2 year old, and a 1 1/2 year old. The middle dog had severe epilepsy and severe hip dysplasia and couldn't take any more at age 6. After we put him down, we started looking for another dog because we just like to have 3, it works for us. But I have never been so tired in my life from having 2 puppies in a row. I definitely could have done more with Micah, but Gideon was always an easier dog to do anything with. It would have been better if I had waited, but now that he is 1 1/2, things are easier again. I thought this day would never come.

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Some great advice here. Another dog means more time, money, and commitment. Well worth it if you're prepared for it, but possibly much more stressful if the timing isn't right.

 

I think spreading out ages is best. I've raised 3 puppies (litter mates) at once...NEVER AGAIN!

 

At age 9 1/2, Bear was very lonely when his sister died so (for other reasons too) we got Meg at age 2. I didn't want a puppy at that time because I didn't want to mess with potty training or teething, and I didn't want to put too much stress on Bear. Meg was house trained with good manners when we brought her home, though she lacked confidence. Meg and Bear took to each other right off. They were a good match because Meg would back down anytime Bear gave the slightest hint of growl, lip curl, or just a hard look. He liked having her around, but had to establish boundaries with her those first few weeks. She was also good for him in that she made him be more active. She wanted to play and so did he sometimes. That meant he had to keep up with her. It worked out great at that time.

 

Meg and Bear are now age 5 1/2 and 13 and I'm ready for another dog. Meg needs a dog pal that can keep up with her so she'll stop pestering Bear to play. He rarely has any interest in playing anymore, though she tries to encourage him often. She doesn't push him too much, but I am concerned that with another young dog it'll turn into both Meg and the new dog bugging old Bear. Winter is really hard on Bear so it won't be until spring at the earliest that I add a new dog. And I still have to convince one of the human household that another dog is a good idea (almost won her over).

 

Meg has more training than any dog I've ever had. With Meg, I had to spend our first 2 years together focusing on building confidence and fixing issues.I don't regret one minute of it because its made me a much better trainer and I have a great sense of pride every time I see my now confident girl say hello to a strange dog or person. BUT I'd prefer to not have to do that much 'fixing' again with this next dog.

 

I'm torn between a puppy or another young adult. I haven't had a puppy in 13 years and I'd really like a cute little baby to start fresh with. I'd love to raise a puppy using all that I've learned with Meg. At the same time though, I worry that a puppy would be too much for Bear to handle, and also you never know what a pup will grow up to be like. I think I'm leaning towards an older puppy (10-16 months). I suppose I'll just wait and see what dog/pup I find when the time comes.

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Oko, you know it was your cute photos, your excitement and your experience picking up your pup that got me thinking it might be time for me to get a new one. :)

 

Well, you know what the late Walt Jagger used to say. . . . "Border collies are like potato chips. You can't have just one." :)

 

(It helps if you're old enough to remember the old Lay's potato chips commercial when their slogan was "Lays. You can't have just one.")

 

They're definitely addictive. :D

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Meg and Bear are now age 5 1/2 and 13 and I'm ready for another dog. Meg needs a dog pal that can keep up with her so she'll stop pestering Bear to play. He rarely has any interest in playing anymore, though she tries to encourage him often. She doesn't push him too much, but I am concerned that with another young dog it'll turn into both Meg and the new dog bugging old Bear.

I got hobbs with this in mind (I also wanted a new agility prospect). my twitch is 10ish, just had cruciate ligament surgery and not as playful as he used to be. my nova is 5ish and full of piss and vinegar. I thought a young border collie would be just the ticket. luckily they all do get along BUT everyone wants to play with twitch. he is the king after all and everyone wants to curry favor with the king! hobbs and twitch play well. nova and twitch play well, but the 3 of them can't seem to manage. nova is my awkward child.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I very much prefer about 3 years between dogs. Younger dogs often relapse in their behavior and training when you add a pup. Older, fully trained, settled dogs don't tend to relapse much at all. If you add a pup before your next youngest is settled, you may find you have a lot more work than you anticipated.

 

My current dogs are 12 yrs, 6 yrs, 6 yrs, 4 yrs and 5 months. Not ideal to have the littermates (who are 7 next month). Won't do that again. Otherwise, I am happy with the spread in age of my dogs. Of course, if everything goes according to plan, I will have another pup in the spring. :blink:

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I added a 9 week old to the family when the current BC will turn 1 in a couple days. I have never been so stressed as I have been for the last 3 weeks! The dogs get along but my house is a total zoo! I wish I had waited until the current BC is 3-4! I am considering contacting the breeder to return the pup. ):

Shell - I DO hope you can find a way to make it work but in the end you have to make the best decision for you and your new puppy. That's very sad and I'm so sorry you even find yourself in such an awful situation... I wish you all the best, whatever choice you make. :(

 

Every now and I then I see pictures of cute BC puppies or young BC teenagers at rescues and I think "maaaaaaaybe?". Then I look at my 15 month old and quickly squelch that idea. He's a great dog, don't get me wrong, but he's still a teenager and has a long way to go with training, confidence building and learning self control. I doubt he'll even be ready at 3 but hopefully by the time he's 5 I can start to entertain the idea of adding a second dog to our little pack.

 

I'm on the fence whether I'd ever get a very young (under 6mo) puppy again. Puppies are super cute but they are really, really, really hard.

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