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Old 07-01-2014, 06:54 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default The Temptation of a 2nd Dog

My GSD is 4 months old now. And while I read all the problems of littermate syndrome and realize the enormous time, sweat, and tears shed so far on just raising my GSD to this point will be multiplied with another puppy, I am sadistically tempted by a 2nd dog.

Namely, an English Creme Golden Retriever puppy that is currently 2 weeks old.

That would mean if I got the GR puppy at 8 weeks, my GSD would be 5.5 months old.

Is this always a REALLY BAD idea? Are there any advantages at all to getting a 2nd dog while the first dog is still 6 months old? Or is it almost always better to wait until my current dog is at least 1 year old?

Any experiences or input would be great.
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Old 07-01-2014, 07:14 AM   #2 (permalink)
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the only 'con' I see to this, is, losing them when they get elderly.. I have gone thru this 3 times,,getting two close in age, and they've all passed away within months of each other, devastating enough to lose one, but when you lose two within months, it's even worse
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Old 07-01-2014, 08:19 AM   #3 (permalink)
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We looked after a 5 mth golden retriever pup for two weeks when our GSD was 10mths and it was fantastic! The retriever had a lovely relaxed temperament which my normally reactive dog picked up on. They played brilliantly together and were a brilliant combination. If we hadn't been moving house we would of got another pup then.


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Old 07-01-2014, 08:39 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by arctic View Post
My GSD is 4 months old now. And while I read all the problems of littermate syndrome and realize the enormous time, sweat, and tears shed so far on just raising my GSD to this point will be multiplied with another puppy, I am sadistically tempted by a 2nd dog.

Namely, an English Creme Golden Retriever puppy that is currently 2 weeks old.

That would mean if I got the GR puppy at 8 weeks, my GSD would be 5.5 months old.

Is this always a REALLY BAD idea? Are there any advantages at all to getting a 2nd dog while the first dog is still 6 months old? Or is it almost always better to wait until my current dog is at least 1 year old?

Any experiences or input would be great.

I currently have 2 gsd Athena just turned 5 mos. and Eden who is 15 weeks... although it is a lot of work I do not regret my decision. Fortunately my girls have opposite personalities Athena is a dominant personality that is very toy driven and Eden is a happy go lucky (usually muddy mess) that is completely food driven. It works well for me but maybe I have just gotten lucky...
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Old 07-01-2014, 09:00 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by JakodaCD OA View Post
the only 'con' I see to this, is, losing them when they get elderly.. I have gone thru this 3 times,,getting two close in age, and they've all passed away within months of each other, devastating enough to lose one, but when you lose two within months, it's even worse
this is very true... i lost my GSD last 2010, then after 2 months both dalmatians, then followed by my pug and the shih tzu..... felt very bad but most of them ha lived their life of at least 10years.... sad....
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Old 07-01-2014, 09:09 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I'm glad I waited for Delgado, it was supposed to be a two year gap but ended up being 1.5 due to the timing of the litter. In that 1.5 years I got all of Jazzy's basic training done along with behavioral training and we were both prepared for the second dog

The youngest dog will take up much of your time, between house breaking, bonding, training alone you will need to spend most of the time switching between dogs and the older dog will have to not only adjust to not being the only one anymore but take a back burner for at least a few months. Personally as tempting as it is Delgado is 2.5 and I'm only now even seriously considering another but due to my living situation it probably will be another 2 years before I'd be ready. Otherwise I'd probably be puppy shopping now and know it's a good time

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Old 07-01-2014, 11:49 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by My2shepherds View Post
I currently have 2 gsd Athena just turned 5 mos. and Eden who is 15 weeks... although it is a lot of work I do not regret my decision. Fortunately my girls have opposite personalities Athena is a dominant personality that is very toy driven and Eden is a happy go lucky (usually muddy mess) that is completely food driven. It works well for me but maybe I have just gotten lucky...
What kind of steps have you taken to prevent "Littermate" syndrome? My dog LOVES other dogs so I am afraid she'll turn "doggy" on me and not be as obedient with another puppy in the house.

I'll certainly crate them separately, get an ExPen for the GR puppy, and train them separately as much as possible.

But I'm wondering how careful I have to be about keeping them together at all? For example, I like taking a walk to a local cafe to work for 3-4 hours a day. It would be great if I can take both of them for a walk there and have them rest under the table while I'm on the computer without worrying about them "bonding" too much with one another or distracting one another. Not sure if this is realistic though.
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Old 07-01-2014, 11:56 AM   #8 (permalink)
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If you think you'll be able to put 2 puppies that are less than a year old together and have them "just relax" you're kidding yourself. I think that most people don't realize how much work does go into training a dog to being at the level where it will just lay there. It's also partially on the dog's temperament and how outgoing/curious the dog is. If you have a very curious dog, you'll have a hard time suppressing that drive at this age...I actually wouldn't recommend it because it's preventing the dog from being a dog.

Keeping two dogs separated is much harder than you think. IF you're like me, you love having your dogs follow you throughout your house and not having to restrict them. When you are trying to have to separated, one is always in a crate, a play pen, or somewhere else where it can't interact with the other dog but also can't interact with YOU. When it comes to puppies...I'm a very "natural" trainer. When there is an opportunity to train, I will. I don't want to have set times when we work on obedience, I want to teach my dog house manners that will help him/her in any and all situations. As puppies...its much easier to teach things like don't jump on people and teach them how to stay calm when people come over. Well...if you're keeping them separate, that means only one dog gets the experience of learning how to greet people when someone new comes over.

I'm not against two dogs...but I think you're greatly underestimating how much work it will probably be.
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Old 07-01-2014, 12:04 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I train them speparately for individual obedience but I walk them together frequently too which up until recently would take a bit to calm their excitement before they walk "civilized" lol. I keep the girls separate but side by side for kennel and crate time more in the interest of protecting their ears during the WWE matches they would launch into than for "littermate syndrome". My girls love their time together but also get it now that I dictate play/work. I can call a down for them when it is time for the rough housing to stop and they listen to me easily now.

It has not always been so easy I will not lie to you but patience and lots of training are paying off. I will say though our walks are informal for the most part, keeping them at a heel together is virtually impossible as they both vie for the same position but that is okay with me. I enjoy the casual walk too.
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Old 07-01-2014, 12:13 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I have 2 GSD pups, one month apart. Plus a 10yr old Chocolate Lab. If I had to do it over again, I would have stopped at one pup for first 1-2yrs. However, I have a huge weakness for those English Creme's and I would fail miserably at passing one by! It's all about the time factor for me. Not enough time in the day or energy in my body to keep up with kids, house, yard, work, AND training, bonding, socializing of 2 pups. Trouble is once you have them, you love them, and there is no going back.
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