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Should we get him a buddy?

439 Views 3 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  polka123
Short version of the question:
Should we get a second dog?

Long version of the question (sorry if it's disjointed, just throwing thoughts out):
We have one dog, about three years old. He's great with kids and other dogs. Usually I work 24-hr shifts and am around during the week, but now I'm working M-F so he's home by himself during the day. I've noticed that he's gotten a bit more needy over the last month or so, and I wonder if it's because he's lonesome. We have another baby due in a couple of months, so he's not going to be getting more attention, that's for certain (although I'm going to take three months off, so he'll at least have some company at home during the day). DH is going to be going back to school full-time in the fall, so he'll be home more often also.
We spent the weekend with my step-ILs, who have a jack russell that our dog gets along with marvelously. They play for hours and are happily wiped out for the entire weekend whenever we visit. Obviously, our dog needs his people (I've never seen such a people dog) but would another dog (properly screened, of course) help him feel less lonely? I know he completely ignores any time-occupying treats if we're not around. Would two dogs play together when they're alone, or just hang around waiting for us to get home? Or would they eat the couch?
This would very likely be a shelter/rescue dog. If it's crate-trained, how does that work with an existing dog who doesn't use his crate any more?
Financially, a second healthy dog wouldn't be an issue. Space-wise, it's going to have to be small. I've done two big dogs/two big people in our house, and I'm not gonna try it with even one big dog and four people! I'm thinking about a jack russell mix...definitely short-haired.
What are your thoughts on dogs as dog companions?
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I don't know about all dogs, but our second dog was the best thing we ever did for our first dog! Our older dog (Max) was abused before we got him. We'd had him for two years and he was a total sweetheart (still is, I've never had a problem with him) but he was still *very* skittish. He'd hide a lot of the time and even though he loved being petted, he was scared to come out to be petted!

Once we got our second dog (Maddie) (who is a PITA, but she's cute so we love her anyway
) Max totally came out of his shell. They play together all the time, which cracks me up because Max is 120 lbs and Maddie is 15 lbs. But overall, Max seems soooo much happier. He comes out more and hangs out with the family, he'll set his head on the arm of the couch to be petted, stuff like that. He doesn't seem scared all the time anymore. And honestly, they distract each other and play together so they don't need as much attention from me. Maddie is always a total people dog, but if Max isn't around she is much more needy.

Anyway, we have more shedding and our dog food bills have gone up, and Maddie sometimes chews things and jumps on people, but overall it isn't much more difficult than one dog. I am not sure I'm a dog person and I don't know if I'll have dogs after these two are gone, but if I do I'll get a pair of them again.
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We always had two dogs until last year. I had a dog who was a nutjob stray and DH brought a wonderful sweet setter/retriever. The two of them never really played because my dog was such a twit. We got our current dog as a puppy when the setter was about 13, and he added at least a year to his life - they got along great.
what's your dog tolerance level? it's sometime more than 2X the work adding another.

let me tell you that dogs do NOT always get along!
we have many posts to that flavor.
just like you don't like every human, dogs don't either.
it's a crap shoot. I havd 2 litter bros that hated each other.

It's doesn't matter if it's a rescue or a $2000 dog.
they could hit it off right away or it could be months of work.
They might NEVER get along.
usually the new dog gets returned which is really sad in most cases.

2 dogs may eat the couch for fun. I've had many pillows shredded for that reason. Your older dog may start odd behaviours b/c of it.

I would wait until you have lots of time to devote to a new pet - IMO.

as I said... it may all work right away but again -????

most of the time, after a 1-2 mon period of the new dog getting comfy, strange things ca happen by both dogs. The honeymoon will be over & watch out,
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