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Seeking input on possible new puppy

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Hi, this post might end up a little long, apologies…


so, we have a female border collie, age 1.5. Katie. Great dog. “We” is myself, husband, 2 young boys, but she is very much “my” dog in her mind. She is my shadow, I have done all the training with her, that sort of thing.

we used to have 2 dogs back in the day, first died of extreme old age, second followed a few years later. Then came Katie. I had always planned on 2 dogs again once she was sort of trained up and mature.

we have an opportunity at a puppy through a rescue, mom is a stray. Of course the puppy is incredibly cute. Mix breed, mom is a Catahoula, they are guessing dad might be Australian shepherd based on litters appearance. Will be a mid sized dog.

katie loves other dogs. She was very shy as a pup, we started sending her to a dog daycare couple mornings a week to socialize and she now loves other dogs. She is the gentle one there, she often is the “intro” dog with new, unsure dogs now. Other than other border collies, she gravitates to other herding breed dogs and small dogs, she is very gentle with puppies as well.

but now, I am having doubts. So I will lay out some of what I see as pros and cons and while obviously the decision of whether to adopt this puppy comes down to my family, any input is welcome.

main issue I see is that Katie is very much “my” dog and I will be responsible in large part for the new puppy as well who will certainly, like any puppy, need lots of attention and commitment and time and training. Will I be able to give both dogs enough separate time. How can I make sure Katie still feels “special”. I have been looking into starting herding training with her, well an intro session anyways to see if it is something we want to pursue, in the next couple weeks. I guess that could be “our” time? I am just starting to wonder if she would be happier as an only dog. But then I remember the great bond our two older dogs had with each other, I don’t know.

When we had two dogs before, they were both adult dogs and we just sort of joined our two households. How do you work out your schedule when you bring in a new puppy?

thanks for any input 

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The other thing I have been thinking is to maybe try fostering. I don’t think there will be a problem finding another home for this puppy, puppies usually seem to find homes quickly.

that would give us a chance to see how a second dog might work in our household.

problems with this plan, we are not really a great foster home because we have an old cat and 2 young children. Also, my husband might not be totally on board with this, because we fostered a dog for a few months through a different rescue prior to getting Katie after my old dog passed away. The dog was said to be ok with cats and was very, very far from it. She was also not suitable for a home with kids. Not her fault, sweet dog, but not a good fit. I wouldn’t go through that rescue again, though I think it wasn’t entirely something they could predict, but I think it soured my husband a bit on the whole foster thing. I don’t mind working through some things and doing some training with a foster,obviously. The one thing I am not comfortable with is aggression to other pets or the kids. 

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I can only share my experience.  We bought two puppies within a few days of each other, littermate Border Collies.  I made sure to work with them separately when training and one became my agility dog, the other bonded more closely with my OH, who is home all day.

When they were about 18 months old, we saw an advert for a 20 week old red merle BC puppy give away in our home town.  We took him in, and he fit in almost immediately and became a shadow to one of our first two dogs.

Then several years later we had the opportunity to take another BC who was not quite one year old.  This dog turned out to be the most gentle and loving dog I have ever known, and he fit in with the others beautifully.

Then we lost one of our original two dogs to sepsis at seven years old, very suddenly.  A couple of months later, we adopted a not quite two year old BC who is quite high energy, but he has also fit in really well and seems to be keeping the others young. 

I think having four neutered male dogs at a time has been relatively difficulty free.  I am a strong believer in having more than one BC at a time, because I think they keep each other occupied when you may be away or busy.

I have heard that having more than one female can be difficult due to conflict between them.  Is the puppy you are thinking of male or female?

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Thanks for sharing your experience. 
the puppy is a male. I wouldn’t do 2 females, I know some people have success with that but I had a really bad experience with my old female dog at a place we stayed one winter with some aggression from other female dogs in the home we shared. Nasty, never again.

however, I decided against adopting that puppy. I just felt it wasn’t the right time for a puppy. I think I just got overwhelmed by adorable puppy pictures lol. With more thought I think a situation like you described, taking in another young dog, would be better at this time. Will continue the search!

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I totally "get" the NEED (OK, want...) to have two dogs.  I hope I never have less!

But at 1.5 yr old, Kate is still a puppy.  I try to space mine at least 3 years apart.  (Of course, it doesn't always work that way....right now I have a nearly 10 yr old and a 1.5 yr old!).  I think by age 3-4, dogs are pretty mature, secure in their place in your world, and still fairly tolerant of obnoxious puppies.  Even with the age difference I have now, I sometimes feel like the older one isn't getting enough attention (so I try hard to make sure she does!).

Your mileage may vary, but good considerations all around.  Keep us posted!


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Good point. Our last pair of dogs were 4 years apart, which wasn’t a bad age gap, neither was a puppy when they met though. She has really matured a lot in past couple months, but there are still a couple things we need to work on. I was planning to start jogging with her this summer since she is physically mature enough now and obviously a puppy wouldn’t be able to tag along. We also have our very first herding lesson for either of us on Monday, weather permitting (fields are nasty right now, freeze and thaw season, like a skating rink some days). 
I definitely still want two dogs again, but I am thinking of waiting until fall to really start searching, unless the right dog comes along…

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