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Old 07-12-2014, 04:48 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Spending time with adult dogs lessens puppy-owner bond?

I read about "Second Dog Syndrome" -- whereby having your puppy spend significant time with even an adult dog could lessen the human-dog bond you build with your puppy.

I recently had my puppy spend 6 days with my trainer (who owns two dogs). She's also spending another 2 days this week with her while I travel.

I noticed that when I picked up my 4 month old puppy after she spent 6 days + 5 nights with my trainer, she seemed a little different.

It could be my imagination, but she almost looked a little depressed to be back alone with my apartment with me. She still responded to training. But appeared more distracted on forest walks. And did not seem as "eager" to be with me as before. It took a few days of intense training and spending time together before she seemed to slowly ease back to the way she was.

It seems to me that at least for the first 1-2 years of a dog's life, you must spend the vast majority of the time with your puppy alone, with no other dogs there to "interfere" in the bond-building process.

It's also making me really think twice about getting a Golden Retriever puppy. It seems like even after your GSD is older (2-3 years), your second puppy may still not bond strongly with you if you let him interact at all for an extended period of time with your adult dog.
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Old 07-12-2014, 05:00 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I 100% agree with your post and observation.

I always attempt to discourage people who get another dog for their current dog's companionship.

I did exactly that, and Zeeva follows around her husky brother more than she does me.

Sometimes it bothers me, but sometimes it's like having a babysitter for her...
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Old 07-12-2014, 05:09 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Zeeva View Post
I 100% agree with your post and observation.

I always attempt to discourage people who get another dog for their current dog's companionship.

I did exactly that, and Zeeva follows around her husky brother more than she does me.

Sometimes it bothers me, but sometimes it's like having a babysitter for her...
Thanks for sharing your experience. Did this happen despite you spending alone time with your puppy as she was growing up?

I remember watching a Leerburg video where he says he keeps his puppy leashed, crated, in an expen, or outside training with him alone for the first 18-24 months of the puppy's life and thinking that was really extreme.

But it sounds like he knows what he's doing -- and that any type of extended doggy interaction basically causes the puppy to see other dogs as more "exciting" than you?
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Old 07-12-2014, 05:15 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Usually I get a new pup when the other one is about 2 years old. I never had this problem. I think when you work, play and exercise them separately and limit the free hangout-with-your-buddy-time, it is OK. At one point I had 4 dogs that each were two years apart from the other and it worked out well. It actually lessened my load quite a bit compared to now while I am raising one alone. They had a stronger bond with me than with each other.
You just have to work with each dog individually, making you the center of all the good stuff, while crating the other one. You can also train the older dog to down-stay while you are training the pup.
And yes, it may not be the best idea to get a second dog for the other dog's companionship unless you don't mind the strong bond between the two. A second dog for me is because I want a second dog for myself. I do love their interactions and observing their dynamics as a bonus.
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Old 07-12-2014, 05:16 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arctic View Post
Thanks for sharing your experience. Did this happen despite you spending alone time with your puppy as she was growing up?
To be honest I did NOT spend alone time with her :C

The only 'alone' time I had with her was maybe the first 3-4 months when we kept the pups separated because we felt Zeeva was too young to hold her own against my husky...

I'm sorry I don't know much about your other comments...this is just my experience...

I'm pretty sure, however, that there are many that would disagree with your post...hopefully they'll chime in.

This is a great post BTW!
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Old 07-12-2014, 05:30 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Usually I get a new pup when the other one is about 2 years old. I never had this problem. I think when you work, play and exercise them separately and limit the free hangout-with-your-buddy-time, it is OK. At one point I had 4 dogs that each were two years apart from the other and it worked out well. It actually lessened my load quite a bit compared to now while I am raising one alone. They had a stronger bond with me than with each other.
You just have to work with each dog individually, making you the center of all the good stuff, while crating the other one. You can also train the older dog to down-stay while you are training the pup.
And yes, it may not be the best idea to get a second dog for the other dog's companionship unless you don't mind the strong bond between the two. A second dog for me is because I want a second dog for myself. I do love their interactions and observing their dynamics as a bonus.
I guess I'll probably wait another 1.5 years before I even consider getting the Golden Retriever pup of my dreams then. :-( Seems like it's much to early right now given my GSD pup is only 4.5 months old.
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Old 07-12-2014, 05:34 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Six days and five nights, is a long time for a puppy.

I had Moofie in with his momma, but she is getting way too fat eating her food and his, so I put him in with a skinny girl, Hepzibah. And she is eating now, and he is eating better -- gained three pounds since Monday, 30 pounds today. And the girl has gained a little. And today when I weighed his little butt at the vet, he was walking by my side like a professional heel-er and hopped up on the scale and sat for me.

Too good to be true. And he is spending time with adult dogs.

I think your puppy would be having a bit of an adjustment thing, if you are looking for it, and he went and lived anywhere else, dogs or no dogs.
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Old 07-12-2014, 05:55 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Oh, and 5 years ago, I had a litter of 10 puppies. Joy was one of them, and Woden. Most went home before 3 months. But I kept Joy, and still had Shadow and Woden at the six month mark. I homed the two boys within a week of each other. All three stayed in with their dam during that time.

I did not keep in touch with Shadow's owner, but Woden is the one I often go to with my girls for play dates. They say that I must have worked with him a lot because he was super easy to train, and he is very engaged with them.

It depends on the puppy. Letting dogs interact with older dogs, or keeping them separated -- what matters is what kind of a leader you are. If you are a good leader, if your dog sees you as a good leader, you're better than chopped liver, and better than the litter mate, kennel mate, older dog.

Now, if your dog is constantly kenneled by himself or in the house with you and never sees another dog, when you let him loose with another dog, maybe he will pay more attention to the other dog than you. He has you ALL THE TIME. This other dog is new and interesting and fun, fun, fun.

But when he is tired out, he will come over to where you are sitting, and curl up by you -- that is what you want.

I let Moofy out to run with Woden a few weeks ago. Woden had a young bitch over for a play date too, Cheyene. Any way, with their longer legs, they could easily outdistance my boy. But, he was game and running after them. And then came back to where the people are to crash.

I don't know why we expect so much from dogs. He will be more interested in dogs than me. Well, yes, if he is constantly kept away from other dogs, there is the novelty of it. But if you take him out, and he sees other dogs working alongside other people, he should learn to ignore them. And if there are periods in his life when he gets easily distracted, and we do not freak out about it, he will come out the other side perfectly ok.

Heck, Hepsi was in with her dam for a year, she is totally focused on me, when we are out. Karma was in with her dam for a year. She is totally focused on me. Lassie was in with her dam for a year, well, Lassie likes dogs.

Of all my dogs, one of the ones that went home at 9-10 weeks, and came back to me at 6 months, when her people busted up her elbow, she was the one that wanted nothing to do with me, and only was interested in the other dogs. They had a trainer take her and put her in with a couple of adult dogs to learn doggy-manners for a few days. Whatever. She was with her litter long enough for that. But, I took my cues from her, and left her be, and let her heal. The following summer I took her to classes. And she is fine. When we are out she is focussed on me, not other dogs.

It depends on the dog, and it depends on the person. I think it is really individual. With some dogs it might make a difference. With all dogs, no way.
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Old 07-12-2014, 06:32 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I've not had issues with my GSD puppies not bonding with me, and I don't really limit their interactions with my adult dogs (large mutt, adult male GSD, 2 year old pit bull mix). They are separated when I leave the house since a puppy is crated, but usually while I'm home they all have access to each other, indoors and out. They play a lot, typically there are pairs that get along better, but if I stand up they all run to me and each one wants to be with *me*.
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Old 07-12-2014, 07:02 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I didn't have an issue with Jax or Seger bonding with me. I experience the exact same thing as Lies describes above.
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