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    • Soph1988
    • By Soph1988 4th Jul 18, 11:15 PM
    • 41Posts
    • 13Thanks
    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
    • 38,731 Posts
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    • #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
    • 6,220 Posts
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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
    • 4,845 Posts
    • 3,631 Thanks
    • #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
    • 203 Posts
    • 263 Thanks
    • #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
    • 41 Posts
    • 13 Thanks
    • #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
    • 16,737 Posts
    • 42,228 Thanks
    • #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.
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
    • w06
    • By w06 7th Jul 18, 1:07 AM
    • 659 Posts
    • 954 Thanks
    • #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.
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