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Marley Girl

A friend for Marley Girl

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This past weekend, I took a drive up to Northern California and bought a companion for my Marley girl. A beautiful black and white short-haired border collie. His name is Jet and he's nine weeks old. Okay, before I mess things up, does anyone have any advice, criticism, etc.?

 

As for Marley and her barking outside while on leash, I hired a very qualified, top-of-the-line behaviorist :) So far, we've incorporated a Thunder Shirt into her non-existent-until-now wardrobe, Comfort Zone DAP, and I'm not putting her into an situations that might cause her alarm and break that threshold so as not to further cement this behavior. I'm also working with her on the "find it" game, to help stimulate her brain; and the "leave it" game, which I suppose will be incorporated into our walks on leash with the behaviorist (and by myself once I learn how we will use it next week).

 

Thanks in advance for any advice you might share! :)

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I would not have come home with another pup. I think it's a really bad idea. Will the breeder take the pup back? You have a 6 month old at home that needs your time and energy. Puppies learn from each other and feed off each others emotions.

 

At the very least, if Marley is barking on walks, do NOT walk them together. They need separate walks, training and socialization.

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Liz, there are absolutely no walks together as I don't want Marley's outdoor behavior rubbing off on the pup. We actually have three dogs and the great walking behavior of the Aussie hasn't rubbed off on Marley unfortunately. But whenever the Aussie isn't home, Marley is lonely because she likes having another dog around. The three dogs play wonderfully together and with two adults and a teen taking care of them there is more than enough love and attention for all the puppies! They each have one-on-one time and together time with each of us.

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I have to admit I thought the same thing as Liz. Please, please don't take this the wrong way, but given your posts about Marley and her reactivity I was quite surprised to see that you brought home a nine week old puppy. :(

 

I'm not saying you can't make it work... but it will be really, really, really hard. Marley girl needs your help getting through all of her fears and uncertainties. You'll need to work with her one on one and devote a lot of time to her current behaviors and issues. In the meantime Jet will also require a tremendous amount of one on one time as you teach him the basics of living in the human world.

 

I just saw your response as I was wrapping up this post. I still wanted to express my concerns (for Marley more then the new pup) but will wish you the very, very best of luck. I really do hope you can make it work!!!

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I was thinking the same things, too, about it's probably not being the greatest idea.

 

You're going to have to spend a lot of time with these dogs separately to make this work, without letting Marley's issues get worse and without having them affect the pup so he can grow up to be a well adjusted dog.

 

But, since the deed is done, I wish you nothing but the best in bringing him up well. He's certainly adorable.

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Of course it's going to be challenging, but I think the companionship Marley will get from the new pup outweighs everything else. I did not get the new pup for me, but for Marley. She LOVES playing with other puppies. In fact, when she's walking down the street and a puppy or small dog is crossing paths, she brightens up and everything else going on around her doesn't exist. She even warms up to the other pup's human. It gives her joy and makes her happy. So I have some extra work and extra training. That's not a big deal to me.

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Sorry, but getting another dog for an existing dog, especially one that's exhibiting behavioral issues, is rarely a good idea.

 

So Marley loves puppies? How long is Jet going to remain a puppy?

 

As I said before, best wishes in doing this well.

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Go read up on littermate syndrome: http://paws4udogs.wordpress.com/2012/03/30/littermate-syndrome/

 

In particular, this:

 

The puppies need to have more one-on-one time with their new owners than they have with each other, effectively doubling the work and negating any of the possible benefits (i.e. companionship) that they were adopted together for in the first place.

 

With a four-month age gap, there's still a strong possibility of them becoming too dependent on one another and not living up to their full potential socialization-wise.

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Sorry, but getting another dog for an existing dog, especially one that's exhibiting behavioral issues, is rarely a good idea.

 

So Marley loves puppies? How long is Jet going to remain a puppy?

 

I'm afraid I have to agree with this.

 

I think it would be ideal if all (or at least the vast majority) of Marley's issues and insecurities were under control before adding a new puppy to the mix.

 

I hate to sound like a Debbie Downer, but what if Jet and Marley aren't BFFs when they both reach adulthood? Marley is just reaching sexual maturity and Jet will get there soon enough. You don't really know what either of these young dogs are going to be like as adults, much less if they will enjoy each others company once puppyhood is behind them (ETA) or if they will become overly bonded or dependent on each other, as others have pointed out.

 

This situation makes me worry and I apologize if I'm totally out of line for saying so...

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In fact, when she's walking down the street and a puppy or small dog is crossing paths, she brightens up and everything else going on around her doesn't exist.

Why would you want that though? I want my dog to bond with me, respond to me, and so on. Not become obsessed with its sibling to the point of not caring if I am around. I know two Goldens that belong to a lady who bought them from the same litter. The dogs have extreme anxiety when separated (it is truly pathetic), pay no attention to the owner, and definitely are co-dependent to the point where I feel bad for the shyer one.

 

I think getting a second dog for the first dog just isn't a good idea. Plus you get a puppy for a few months, and a dog for 10-15 years.

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I'm sure glad I'm going into this with positive thoughts and energy! And I'm sure thankful I've always thrived on challenges and was blessed with a well that overflows with hope, faith, and the belief in all good things :)

 

My top of the line behaviorist probably thought it was a bad idea, GentleLake, but I didn't ask.

 

The die has been cast and even with all these nay-saying responses, I feel very positive about the whole thing. But my well always overfloweth and I always pull through the toughest challenges :)

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You asked for our honesty and opinions. Our responses are based on science and personal experience. It's a very bad idea. It would be best to take the new pup back to the breeder.

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You asked for our honesty and opinions. Our responses are based on science and personal experience. It's a very bad idea. It would be best to take the new pup back to the breeder.

 

I was just about to post and say almost the exact same thing but Liz beat me to it. You did ask for " advice, criticism etc." in your original post. You have received our best advice, based on our experience and quite a bit of knowledge that these folks have. The best idea is to return the puppy and focus on the puppy you already have.

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"I'm wondering what you are basing the idea that, "Marley is lonely because she likes having another dog around."

 

Not to be rude of facetious, but did she tell you she wanted another dog because she was lonely?"

 

My experience is that dogs tend to sleep most of the time when the owner is away. They may be delighted with companionship in general, but are the two of them left loose to hang out together when you are away? Sounds like a recipe for disaster to leave two youngsters alone together. Also, if they are crated separately when you are gone, (advisable, I would think) how much will this assuage Marley's alleged loneliness?

 

I think Liz is right. If the breeder will accept a return, hard as it may be, your best course would be to return the pup.

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Liz, you make me laugh. You are always forthright in what you have to say and harsh in your judgments. You call a spade a spade and I respect that as I am the same way and think it's the only way to be. That being said, I will get back to this board as my work with the behaviorist and Marley progresses. If it turns out I was wrong and made an awful choice and did the wrong thing, I will be the first to admit it.

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It seems like a lot of responses are coming from a place of treating Marley like a "special needs" dog because of certain behavior she exhibits outdoors on a leash. And I come from the camp where the more you treat something like it's special needs, the more it believes it is special needs and the more special needs it becomes.

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Most of the responses are coming from a place of 'it's not a good idea to get two pups so close in age'. Marley's special needs are really just a cherry on top - this wouldn't be a good idea if she had a rock-solid temperament. You run a very real risk of Jet ending up with huge problems by bringing him into a situation where he may bond very closely with Marley, to the exclusion of bonding fully with the human members of the family.

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"Okay, before I mess things up, does anyone have any advice, criticism, etc.?"

 

Just curious, if your mind is made up, why even ask for opinions/advice?

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I wouldn't say it's because Marley is a special needs dog-it's because all puppies Marley's age are on the cusp of becoming 'special needs dogs'! :) You are coming up on a very trying age, especially for such an intelligent and athletic breed, and it' take a lot of work-I'm there, with my 7 month old puppy. I really would, if possible, just wait until she's at least a year (I would wait until she's more adult, say 2 years) and you've made it through all the challenges that come with adolescence. I don't think anybody is trying to be a naysayer, just trying to help. Good luck! :)

 

ETA, on the subject of needing a friend for her-Marley is still a puppy herself, which is probably why she enjoys the company of other puppies so much. But in my experience, with mature border collies are not lonely without other dogs, so much as lonely without their people.

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"Okay, before I mess things up, does anyone have any advice, criticism, etc.?"

 

Just curious, if your mind is made up, why even ask for opinions/advice?

Way too often, we see people asking but not really wanting to hear anything but support for or agreement with what they want to do. Once again...

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I wouldn't say it's because Marley is a special needs dog-it's because all puppies Marley's age are on the cusp of becoming 'special needs dogs'! :) You are coming up on a very trying age, especially for such an intelligent and athletic breed, and it' take a lot of work-I'm there, with my 7 month old puppy. I really would, if possible, just wait until she's at least a year (I would wait until she's more adult, say 2 years) and you've made it through all the challenges that come with adolescence. I don't think anybody is trying to be a naysayer, just trying to help. Good luck! :)

 

This is so well stated!!! Thanks, Oko! I agree there's not a 6 month old puppy out there that doesn't need lots of time, dedication, attention and training to become the very best dog they can be! I'm not sure anyone thought your Marley Girl was a "special needs" dog... she's just a 6 month old border collie. :)

 

You've gotten thoughtful advice regarding the addition of a new puppy to your life, even if it's not the advice or feedback you were hoping to get. I hope you'll see it as people being honest and trying to help. Good luck, whatever choice you ultimately make!!

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