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MissMetric 12-18-2012 02:16 PM

Pack of Two?
Hello! I am bringing home my 8 week old GSD on January 8th and he'll be my first dog that aI am solely responsible for raising. Nervous!

My question I enough for him? Already I am more than devoted to him, unhealthily maybe since we've never met, but dogs are pack animals and I wonder if he will miss extra people to call his pack. I have two roommates but we do our own things so they won't (and I don't want them to) be his family. One of my close friends will be involved but more or less I will be all he has. Is that enough to give him a sense of pack and family?

Also! I live in an apartment but have a shared yard. My neighbor has a dog too and they will be sharing a potty area...but before his 9/10 week vaccinations is it safe to have him going there?

Thanks for any insight. I would love stories from single dog owners!

Gretchen 12-18-2012 02:36 PM

Sure if you have the time to devote to him. I just hope your roommates are up for a pup. You will be taking it out every two hours for a while and there may be crying/whining at night when you sleep.

About the yard, ask your neighbor if their dog is healthy and current on their vaccinations.

My daughter has a dog in her apartment sharing with 2 roommates. One is seldom there and the other has grown to like the dog and now it has two mommies. This has really been helpful for my daughter as her job would get her home at 2am and she did not want to be getting up at 6-7am to take her dog out to pee. Her roommate was gracious enough to take the dog out when she gets home from graveyard shift, just after 7am so my daughter could sleep a bit.

Our dog has some neighborhood dog friends and enjoys greeting them, but I think she does not feel the need for more humans in her "pack". It's mostly my other daughter and myself.

Shade 12-18-2012 02:45 PM

I agree about asking the other owner regarding vaccinations

As to having a single dog, it depends on the dog. My first two dogs were singles and they did just fine, I would take them to the dog park and they might play for a bit but preferred humans to other dogs. They probably could have gone the rest of their lives without seeing another dog and be fine

Delgado on the other hand is a total social butterfly and LOVES other dogs, he loves his human pack but much prefers other dogs compared to most humans. I don't think he would be very happy as a single dog

Even if your dog is a social butterfly they'll learn that home is for human interaction only. Set up play dates with other owners you trust and see how it goes, if he really likes other dogs try to make it a regular thing. If not, keep him around humans

MissMetric 12-18-2012 03:18 PM

It's not that I worry about him being a single's that I worry that only having me gives him no options for bonding and if he doesn't like me or gets tired of me there aren't really any other options.

Thank you though for your replies! I hope my roommates do come to like him but even if thry don't they are prepared for his arrival.

Any more insight or stories from people who are by themselves are welcome. I am probably just concerned because this is my first puppy on my own (I'm 21) and my other puppies have been with me and my family thus able to choose who their person was.

Ziltoid 12-18-2012 04:03 PM

My female absolutely craved dog on dog interaction. She loved humans as well and got really excited about seeing them... but if that same person brought their dog for a visit she would basically ignore the person and spend the entire time hanging out with the dog.
It was really nice to see but I am single and away from the house for work a good 10-11 hours a day so felt terrible about leaving her alone. I'd take her to the dog park basically every day and she would have an absolute blast, definitely her favourite time of the day but i still don't think that was enough for her.

Anyway I ended up getting a male puppy about 6 weeks ago and she is happier than i've ever seen her. I always planned on getting a second dog but so far it's worked out even better than I hoped for.

It's helped me too. I don't feel nearly as guilty about being away from the house.

Every dog is different though. My first shepherd didn't really care that much about other dogs, not that she was unfriendly to them but just didn't have that same need to hang out as i've seen with this one. I was younger and living with my family when we had that dog, so with a 5 person family, 2 cats, budgies and better hours due to school etc. maybe she just had enough interaction going on anyway.

Plenty of people at the dog park have one dog and they are all happy, healthy, well looked after dogs.

I'd suggest just seeing how it goes. He may not be a dog socially needy animal or you might find looking after one dog is hard enough work.

Sorry for the ramble =)

Ziltoid 12-18-2012 04:21 PM

Oh, I see you are more concerned about not having multiple humans around. Again, it probably depends on the dog itself, I'm sure mine would prefer I had a big family here but until things change, they're stuck with me.

I've always been the person that spent the most time with my previous dogs - training, playing, walking, feeding, cleaning etc. so had a really strong bond with all of them. Haha!! Quite frankly my dogs are lucky to have me =)

As long as he's getting interaction with other people and doesn't grow overly protective of you, I'm sure he'll be fine.

I wouldn't recommend rushing into a relationship/family just so that your dog has a choice of humans.

wolfy dog 12-18-2012 05:01 PM


Originally Posted by MissMetric (Post 2658461)
It's not that I worry about him being a single's that I worry that only having me gives him no options for bonding and if he doesn't like me or gets tired of me there aren't really any other options.

I have yet to meet that got tired of his owner. The other way around, yes.
Expose him to new people every day and take him to a class as soon as possible.

KatsMuse 12-18-2012 05:54 PM

IMO, I think you'll be fine with the dog. Most dogs don't 'get tired of their owners', provided they are truly a part of your life.

Owning a dog is a huge responsibility and plan on that for the next 10-12 years...he will impact every facet of your life. (vacations, dates, work schedule, etc.)
Bonding with the the dog and doing things together will be key.

I would think though, that having other people in the house and them not bonding/ interacting with the dog might be confusing to him. He will know it's his new home and might think you are ALL part of his new "pack".
(There are plenty of threads on here where dog owners have other family members that don't care for the dog and it causes problems...and, yes, the dog will probably think the roommates are its family members.)

Also, another consideration, sometimes dogs are drawn to and bond with one member of their pack more prepared for that; it could happen.
And, if it happens to be the roommate - who doesn't want to be a part of the dog's life...that could cause other issues.

Not trying to discourage you...just hoping that you consider everything and be prepared for anything.

JMO. :) Kat

MissMetric 12-19-2012 01:29 AM

Thank you all for all of your insight.

@KatsMuse: There isn't really too much of a chance of that happening. My roommates and I really are sort of separate from one another. We have different schedules and different lives, and while I'm friends with them both, they'll have their own concerns I think. I'm sure they'll want puppy time, but I don't think he'll be seeing them any more than any of my other friends. He will probably see my roommate's cat more often then he sees her. But should he become more attached to one of them than me, I'd be happy that he found a connection with one of them and sad at the point when we go our separate ways, haha.

@Ziltoid I was wondering especially about him perhaps becoming over protective? That I hadn't even thought of. Is there a way to prevent this or something I can do to lessen the chance that it will happen. If anyone else knows anything about that, that would be great too.

Any more comments or stories are more than welcome. I'm feeling better already, and think it might have just been first time puppy owner nerves.

doggiedad 12-19-2012 07:45 AM

you and your pup will bound perfectly and you're
going to be a happy 2 pack. why don't you want
your roommates being part of the pack?

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