Should you get another dog if your first one is "bored"? - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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Old 01-10-2014, 01:31 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Should you get another dog if your first one is "bored"?

I have a 19month old male GSD. Despite giving him 1.5-2hours a day of exercise/mental stimulation, it still doesn't seem enough for him. So I thought getting him a playmate would be the solution. However, after reading on old thread from here from a few years ago, alot of you don't recommend that? I'd hate to put in more time and money to another dog and then they both become bored when I'm away at work, or don't play together unless I'm right there with them.

Thoughts? Experiences? I don't want another dog, but if it would guarantee to tire out my dog during the day, I'd be happy to get him a playmate.
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Old 01-10-2014, 01:41 PM   #2 (permalink)
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You're on the right track when you're apprehensive about it, for the right reasons If the first one is exhausting, now you'll have to divide your time even more. Keeping them together during the day would be a recipe for disaster and destruction. Getting a second dog as a playmate is never a good idea...especially if you don't REALLY want another dog for you. You'll end up with TWO dogs you resent.

Focus on your boy- this is a tough age (teenagers!). Are there any classes you could take? Do you have any interest in agility, etc? What kind of training do you do with him?
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Old 01-10-2014, 01:55 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks! I'm glad we agree!

I've had him for almost 12 months now. We've done 2 basic puppy training courses, 1 intermediate course (which he failed), and 1 agility foundation course. All courses were 6 weeks long. I really liked the agility training course and so did he. I wasn't going to do any training courses with him this year and just work on everything that has been given to me at all the courses I've already done, but maybe I'll rethink that.

Manners training is ongoing with him, and I do recall training everyday (like 5 minutes). Until we got buried with snow, I made my own basic agility course in the backyard and was doing that 1x or 2x a day with him.

There is no dog park in my area. The closest one I know of is 45 minutes one way. There is no doggie day care either.

Back to a playmate....so just because my dog loves playing with other dogs (especially females), doesn't necessarily mean he'll want to live with one right? And share all his things with...including me? I fear he might get jealous.
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Old 01-10-2014, 06:05 PM   #4 (permalink)
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In my experience adding an additional dog works best when the resident dog is mature, settled and a workable schedule of training and exercise has been established.

When you add another dog in the hope that the new dog will help occupy the current dog, most often you end up with two bored dogs and at least twice the work to deal with it.
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Old 01-10-2014, 06:43 PM   #5 (permalink)
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If you don't want another dog for your own sake, then don't get another dog.

Stepping up training is a good idea. If you can find doggie playmates in your area, set up play dates.

Even snow can be a beneficial thing. A really simple game is burying treats in the snow and letting your dog dig them out. You can make this more complicated later by putting the treats in containers and then burying the entire container, scattering them across a wider range of snowfield, etc. A lot of people have remarked that asking their dogs to use their noses is very tiring to the dog, and that's one super easy way to do it.
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Old 01-10-2014, 07:19 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sit,stay View Post
In my experience adding an additional dog works best when the resident dog is mature, settled and a workable schedule of training and exercise has been established.

When you add another dog in the hope that the new dog will help occupy the current dog, most often you end up with two bored dogs and at least twice the work to deal with it.
Sheilah
My dog is definitely not mature - yet. I'd be extremely annoyed if I went to all the effort of getting another dog and they both ended up bored. I'm glad I'm hearing all of this because it sounds like this is not a good idea for me and the timing is wrong for my dog's stage of life.

The next time my mother makes me feel guilty that he has nothing to do, I'll mention all of this I'm reading here.

Thanks!
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Old 01-10-2014, 07:30 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I agree with the others, if YOU don't want/can't afford another dog, don't get one.

You'll be doubling your food bill/vet bill/training BOTH, doing things with TWO dogs..It's alot of work having multiple dogs.

I've had up to 4 gsd's at one time, and it's not cheap, nor easy , tho I wouldn't change it for the world

I never got any dogs for my other dogs, I got them for myself.

And I also agree in 'waiting' until your dog is mature/trained well, and NOT close in age.. You'll end up with two senior dogs who may need more vet attention, and will pass away close in time as well It's devastating to lose one, but to lose a couple is really the pits

Anyhow, concentrate on your dog, it sounds like your pretty active with him already, enjoy him
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Old 01-10-2014, 07:43 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I second Merciel. Nosework, or any scent work, really tires a dog out. When searching, their respiration goes up to about 190 breaths per minute. The olfactory part of their brain is huge. These 2 things combine to to use a lot of energy when searching.

It's also fun for the dog!

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Old 01-10-2014, 07:43 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Look into puzzle toys and food/treat dispensing toys and go back to classes you both enjoy. Trying to wear a dog out purely through physical exercise is futile. You will reach a point of diminishing returns rather quickly because the dog gets more fit and capable requiring more exercise, repeat, repeat, repeat

Often what we think of as "boredom" for a dog is welcome down time for them. If the dog can settle in the house and not destroy things, he's probably not bored, just doing the dog thing which is sleep and/or relax the majority of the day and really blow it out when the opportunity presents.

I like having multiple dogs, but I would never get one just as a playmate and I prefer a minimum of a 2 year age gap between additions of young dogs.

Have fun!
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Old 01-10-2014, 07:54 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I want to get another dog if the first is able to hold a down stay while I work with the pup. That is my measure stick in that regard. And I only would get another dog for me, not as a buddy for the other one, although it is awesome when they click.
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