Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Lake Tahoe Area
I just don't get how anyone can do this well unless they don't work and are willing to focus their lives around the dogs. That is just me. One puppy takes all my time. But I also have high standards about what I want from a dog, I am very focused on trying to bring the best out of that individual, and I have high drive dogs.
I also, in my uninformed youth, had a GSD and when she was 18 months old I got a lab mix pup. I was working full time, then in school full time, and was single. Not a disaster but looking back I cringe. The dogs had a lot of time by themselves and that lab pup and I never bonded. The lab belonged to the GSD. While the lab was submissive and not a problem, he was an anxious mess when she was not around or later, when she died. The lab never got to reach his full potential and while this happened in the 90s, I still feel terribly guilty about that choice.
I do understand the urge to have more. Oh another puppy, how cool will that be? When we enjoy the connection with our animals, that unique connection, I think we humans really have a great tendency to want more. We hoard, we buy more, we gather up. I have two dogs (one my SAR dog, one is my husband's), but a friend has a retired IPO dog that I would love to adopt. A beautiful WGWL boy that is about 7 years old. I hear the voices... "I can do it" "We could make it work" I slap myself around, "Noooooo!!!!!" I could do it but it would change the dynamic (see I'm still talking myself out of it!)
It is about delayed gratification. We humans, when we like something, we want more NOW. Very hard to delay. Now a person who has decided that their lifestyle is about dogs, I say it can work. So folks who do lots of dog sports and their lifestyle is organized around that, I think they can handle it. But just a person who likes dogs but has kids, jobs, other hobbies... I think it often backfires. Sad because often, not always, a dog will pay... like my lab mix.
And one more thing. Sometimes we say, wait a year or 18 months before getting a second dog. I say wait 3 years. My dutch, 65 lbs, changed pretty dramatically in the months around his 3rd birthday. To have another distraction of another dog before his 3rd birthday would have cost us, I would have lost something with him... (Wait, does that mean I can adopt that other dog now? SLAP)
Keep in mind I work 4 days a week. If I didn't have a job, I would have more dogs. hahaha.
Get one dog and commit and invest for at least 3 years. That is my advice.
Dutch Shepherd - Ptygo (Tee-Go) de las Flores
Rescue GSD - Freyja (Husband's Dog)