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    • Soph1988
    • By Soph1988 4th Jul 18, 11:15 PM
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    Soph1988
    Is another dog a good idea?
    • #1
    • 4th Jul 18, 11:15 PM
    Is another dog a good idea? 4th Jul 18 at 11:15 PM
    Hi all,


    Just after a bit of a balanced view! I currently have a (almost) 10 year old neutered male dog who is a friendly little chap. Since taking him to a few dog training classes to see how he got along, he's discovered an entire new want to play with other dogs. He's usually always just walked past them very not bothered - until he discovered that other dogs were FUN!


    So I'm considering getting him a friend. My partner and I work odd hours, and sometimes I'll be working 9-5 Monday to Friday whilst my partner is away. Sometimes he's home all of the time, it can be very mixed. For instance, last week he was here all week, this week the dog's on his own from 9-5pm.



    I am aware that this is not ideal, but 10 years ago I got my dog and I've made it work one way or another and generally had little to no social life in the week to make sure he gets full attention before work (extra walkies!) and evenings and the weekends always involve a few trips to the park. He's definitely become happier with this arrangement as he's become older and sleeps most of the day (recorded on CCTV to make sure he is OK!)



    But have I just been very lucky that my dog has been OK with this arrangement? Is this a rarity? I see so many older / old dogs in rescues needing a home and as much as I would LOVE to be able to help one, is it fair getting another dog whilst working? It's worked ok for my little guy and if another dog was quite as comfortable with the arrangement as he is, I'm sure they'd be much happier?



    Pee accidents and a bit of chewing doesn't bother me. I'm just trying to weigh up if another dog who needs a home would be better off with us or in a rescue...


    Any input greatly appreciated.
    Last edited by Soph1988; 04-07-2018 at 11:17 PM.
Page 1
    • Savvy_Sue
    • By Savvy_Sue 5th Jul 18, 1:41 AM
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    Savvy_Sue
    • #2
    • 5th Jul 18, 1:41 AM
    • #2
    • 5th Jul 18, 1:41 AM
    You might find a rescue wasn't willing to let you have a dog under those circumstances, but I think it would depend on the dog.
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    • bugslet
    • By bugslet 5th Jul 18, 9:44 AM
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    • #3
    • 5th Jul 18, 9:44 AM
    • #3
    • 5th Jul 18, 9:44 AM
    I do struggle a bit with being left alone 9-5, no chance of a dog walker to break the day up?

    Personally I think all dogs are happier with another dog - poss trickier when they've been an only dog most of their lives, but since he seems to get on with other doggy pals, then I'd try it. A dog is nearly always happier in a home environment than in a rescue.

    However, as sue says, there are some rescues that wouldn't let you take one based on being on their own so much some days.
    • sheramber
    • By sheramber 5th Jul 18, 11:29 AM
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    sheramber
    • #4
    • 5th Jul 18, 11:29 AM
    • #4
    • 5th Jul 18, 11:29 AM
    Rescues usually don't like left for more than 4 hours. Could you get a dog walker to break up the time?
    • SensibleSarah
    • By SensibleSarah 5th Jul 18, 12:56 PM
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    SensibleSarah
    • #5
    • 5th Jul 18, 12:56 PM
    • #5
    • 5th Jul 18, 12:56 PM
    It is a tough decision. A new dog could be a great addition that settles quickly and is no hassle, but equally it could also upset the balance of things and cause a lot of stress. I've always erred on the side of caution and despite really wanting a 2nd dog, I've resisted because of similar concerns to you (and also bringing my elderly cats into it).

    I used to have a dogwalker for my rescue dog as I was out for 9 hours straight on 4 weekdays, every week, at the time.
    It turned out after 18 months of persevering with the walker that she was actually much more relaxed being left on her own (she didn't trust even known people easily) and I was able to sort her a dogflap with access to the secure garden when I'm at work. It works well for us but of course a different dog may not cope as well with being left...
    • Soph1988
    • By Soph1988 7th Jul 18, 12:30 AM
    • 54 Posts
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    Soph1988
    • #6
    • 7th Jul 18, 12:30 AM
    • #6
    • 7th Jul 18, 12:30 AM
    Thank you all to your responses and not absolutely burning me for working and owning a dog


    Like SensibleSarah, I too worry about the what ifs and the fact that this might not all go to plan.... but I don't think it is something I could not work through. I don't mind taking on dogs with behavioral issues as I have significant experience of training and working through issues like aggression, barking, lead pulling, etc, its more about whether or not a dog would be more miserable with my situation that in a kennels.


    My dog and the other dog would likely be kept physically separate by a dog gate for at least 6 months when I'm not around to ensure they can't cause any damage to each other if something did go wrong - but I assume this is the risk having more than one dog in any household? Over time I'd figure out if it was something that worked and was trustable or if not, keeping them both safe would be what I'd work on whilst building on their bond.


    I have contacted a few rescues, a couple of the big televised ones made me feel like I should hand myself into the RSPCA for leaving my poor dog alone... a few others were much more flexible, especially as I'm keen to take on an older dog and don't want a young pup.


    I have to say, I've had my dog for 10 years (since the age of 18!) and with several job changes, a divorce, a few house moves and only recently becoming financially secure and owning my own property have I started to consider adding another dog. I've always been a true believer that if you have a dog it should be the top of your priority list and I've made sure my little guy is. Initially I worked from home, things changed, then I couldn't afford a dog walker whilst I worked. He seemed to settle well and I remember watching him on webcam from work to make sure he wasn't distressed. When he reached 7 I started hiring a dog walker for 2 hours 3 times a week and it completely had a negative effect on him. I'm not sure if it was the change of routine or because he's only a small dog and isn't an overly energetic breed. He started to become far more distressed and anxious before and after the walker had been and he always seemed on edge. I slowly weaned out the dog walker and he's back to his happy self. Odd! I appreciate this may well not be the case for another dog though.


    I will continue considering my options - I'm certainly in no rush! More trips to the doggy filled park of an evening seems to keep the little guy happy at the moment!
    • elsien
    • By elsien 7th Jul 18, 12:35 AM
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    elsien
    • #7
    • 7th Jul 18, 12:35 AM
    • #7
    • 7th Jul 18, 12:35 AM
    Sibling was in a similar position and was contemplating a second dog till they had a younger dog come to visit. Not a young puppy but still quite bouncy and playful. The 10 year old dog got very fed up very quickly with being jumped all over, so it was decided a second dog just wouldn't be fair on the older dog.
    Obviously that depends on the temperaments of the two dogs involved - some older dogs get a new lease of life with a younger companion- but some are happier to be the only dog in the house. Just something else to consider.
    Personally I'd love a second dog, but although Gitdog loves to play with other dogs he hasn't got an off switch where they're concerned and most dogs find him immensely annoying. He's also a sensitive little soul underneath the idiot exterior and hates having his routine disrupted.
    When I retire/win the lottery I'm going to have a houseful of bull terriers. But until then, think I'm going to have to stick with the one.
    Last edited by elsien; 07-07-2018 at 12:41 AM.
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    • w06
    • By w06 7th Jul 18, 1:07 AM
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    w06
    • #8
    • 7th Jul 18, 1:07 AM
    • #8
    • 7th Jul 18, 1:07 AM
    I'll always have at least two. It creates quite a different dimension and is I think much better for them.

    It is a long day to leave them and I suspect a lot of rescues may say no, but I agree a life in a loving home is far preferable to kennels. Is there a neighbour who could let them out in the middle of the day?

    I'd not anticipate needing to keep them separate for 6 months. cautious introductions obviously but if you keep them separate you'll lose many of the advantages of having a second for your dog.

    It's been all change in my house the past few months, losing a 12 year old hound, arrival of a 5 year old to keep the remaining 12 year old company followed by losing him too, and now we have two 5 year olds. each pair had a very different relationship, but the need for a second each time was clear - the newest arrival was almost accidental (there would have been an adoption soon but this particular one not planned), Mr Man chose his sister, and he was spot on.
    • Pupnik
    • By Pupnik 29th Aug 18, 1:11 PM
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    Pupnik
    • #9
    • 29th Aug 18, 1:11 PM
    • #9
    • 29th Aug 18, 1:11 PM
    I think another dog would probably benefit your dog, especially as he is at home all day - it'll be nice for him to have company. I am in a similar situation in that I recently inherited a dog who is used to being kept in alone all day (she is older and just sleeps) but I see how much she enjoys playing with other dogs when we're out and about and I'd like her to have company. I'm planning on a getting a small dog and having a catflap installed (I have a secure garden) so if the new dog has irregular toilet habits it is never stuck in. I do have neighbours who can pop in during the day too, but they run their own business so I don't know how long-term that is.

    As mentioned above most of the big shelters do not rehome to full-time workers without a provision in place for contact during the day, however there are smaller charities taking in death row dogs from around Europe and they can't keep up with the amount of abandoned dogs in countries where they are only kept for 7 days, but I'd just be careful choosing a dog that's older and calmer and not a young active dog that'll need/want lots of attention.
    • Deano777
    • By Deano777 1st Sep 18, 9:29 PM
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    Deano777
    I would first see how your dog reacts to another dog being in their space. So if you know someone with another dog ask them round and see. I think 10 yrs as the only dog then getting another might be a huge upheavel.
    I would also get another adult dog 2+ but this depends on your dogs personality.
    We had a 3 year old then decided to get a puppy, best thing we ever did though we are home all day. It will be a nice companion for your dog but depends on them both.

    Good luck with whatever you decide.
    • catkins
    • By catkins 4th Sep 18, 1:20 PM
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    catkins
    I think an older second dog could well be a good idea. If they get on well it will be company for your existing dog.

    I have 2 dogs although didn't plan to. I was fostering a rescue dog who had been very ill treated and after he went happily off to 3 different homes who claimed they couldn't cope with him and came miserably back to me each time (the longest being a week and the shortest being 1 night!) me and DH decided to keep him. They get on fantastically. In 5 years there has never even been a growl to the other. They play all the time (admittedly they are both still pretty young).

    You are already speaking to rescues and that's good. I would carry on and see if any have dogs that have come from homes where the owners worked and how the dogs were with that. Some dogs hate being left, some tolerate but some really don't mind as long as when you are home they get walks, play, attention etc.

    A breed like a greyhound may be a good bet. They don't need masses of exercise and they love to sleep. I have quite a lot of friends who have them and quite a lot of them work. You do get the odd one that has separation anxiety but the rescue should, hopefully, know if they do or not.

    Most of my dog owning friends started with one dog but now have 2 or even 3. As far as I know, none of them have had an real problems.

    Could you maybe coincide getting another dog with time off work? A week or longer would let you see how they get on
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    • teddysmum
    • By teddysmum 4th Sep 18, 4:22 PM
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    teddysmum
    I remember a James Herriot story where he was called to pts an old dog who had given up and just lay in his bed. For some reason,he had to take a young dog along and this dog made the old one jump from,his basket and play, so a good result all round,as the younger dog was homeless.


    Except for a short time with no dog, then taking in a rescue who lived just 4 years as a sole dog, I've always had two or more dogs and they do miss each other if one has to be away (eg at vets) for a while.


    My last foursome, is down to one ,but at 15 Teddy is enjoying being an only dog. There was no chance of a companion for him as he has never liked other dogs except his home mates, who were there before him.


    Most dogs do like a companion, but there are, like Teddy,exceptions. He likes being an only dog, but doesn't like being on his own.
    • sheramber
    • By sheramber 4th Sep 18, 6:51 PM
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    sheramber
    Do not get a second dog unless YOU want one. You are the one who will care for it.

    You are the one who will need to walk it. If the two dogs don't get on or the dog is not lead trained you may need to do separate walks. Would this work?

    Has your dog experienced another dog in his house? Playing outside is different to having another dog in your house, near your bed, near your dish, near your toys.

    I have introduced another dog several times but my dogs have always been very sociable and used to another dog around.

    There are a few squabbles until things are sorted out but nothing serious.
    • Soph1988
    • By Soph1988 6th Sep 18, 10:20 PM
    • 54 Posts
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    Soph1988
    Thanks all for all of your insights! Iím doing some volunteering at a dog rescue at the moment and so far havenít met a dog I thought would be a great match that was available to rehome (their was one who was already owned by the owner of the rescue that seemed they would be a great match!).

    Iím happy to get a second dog, I have the finances and time (around work of course!) to meet their needs, like walks, play, cuddles attention etc and could happily manage a couple more dogs without issue, but Iím so aware that my pup has lived a very happy single man life for 9 years and Iím happy to wait or just never get a second dog if I donít think itís the right match. I so donít want to be in a position where I have two dogs snarling at each other constantly and having to rehome the second dog - that is just so damaging and something I am trying my absolute hardest to avoid.

    I did consider a greyhound but enquiries around re-homing one have generally been thrown out as soon as they know I have a small furry dog. Apparently the prey drive is high (same with Huskyís) and the risk of it all going wrong is higher. I know of course it totally depends on the dog and itís past homes / training...!

    So right now Iím sticking with just the one and funnily enough, I donít think my dog even cares haha!
    • cjj
    • By cjj 19th Sep 18, 9:42 PM
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    cjj
    Thanks all for all of your insights! Iím doing some volunteering at a dog rescue at the moment and so far havenít met a dog I thought would be a great match that was available to rehome (their was one who was already owned by the owner of the rescue that seemed they would be a great match!).

    Iím happy to get a second dog, I have the finances and time (around work of course!) to meet their needs, like walks, play, cuddles attention etc and could happily manage a couple more dogs without issue, but Iím so aware that my pup has lived a very happy single man life for 9 years and Iím happy to wait or just never get a second dog if I donít think itís the right match. I so donít want to be in a position where I have two dogs snarling at each other constantly and having to rehome the second dog - that is just so damaging and something I am trying my absolute hardest to avoid.

    I did consider a greyhound but enquiries around re-homing one have generally been thrown out as soon as they know I have a small furry dog. Apparently the prey drive is high (same with Huskyís) and the risk of it all going wrong is higher. I know of course it totally depends on the dog and itís past homes / training...!

    So right now Iím sticking with just the one and funnily enough, I donít think my dog even cares haha!
    Originally posted by Soph1988

    I've just been through months of thinking about rehoming a 2nd cat and after 7 months I went for it and its just the best decision. Another rescue gets a good home and from reading your posts that's what would happen if you took on a 2nd dog. You would make it work and give an unwanted dog a loving home. From what I'm reading I would say a dog would be very lucky to find a home like yours
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