Info needed from multiple dog owners - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-04-2008, 11:05 AM Thread Starter
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Info needed from multiple dog owners

While I'm doing my research on adding a second dog (male GSD puppy) to our home, I was hoping to get some information from people from the board that have two dogs in their home. Now I'm still working on softening my husband up on the idea of bringing a pup into our home and he just isn't going for it at the moment. So now is my time to gather as much info as I can

I wondered, how did everyone introduce their older dog to their new pup? My girl Molly is the type of dog that takes a little bit longer to warm up to other dogs but in the end does get along with them.

How did you balance your new routine after getting a second dog? My thoughts are that I would still do everything with Molly first, like feed her first and stuff like that and try not to alter her routine as much as I can. I know puppies need so much attention when they are young especially when it comes to potty training and everything like that, so I'm a little nervous about balancing out my time with the new pup and Molly.

Did you let your older dog and the pup interact and play a lot right off the bat. I have a feeling that Molly may be a little rough with the pup because she plays hard, so I was wondering if I would need to keep them seperated for a while before allowing them to really interact with each other.

Molly is still currently crated when we are not home and I would plan on crating the new pup as well. For those of you that crate your dogs, do you crate them near each other so they can see eachother or do you put their crates in seperate rooms? I was just wondering if it would frustrate them to be able to see each other and not be able to interact with each other if they were crated in the same room. But then I wondered if it would frustrate them to be seperated in seperate rooms because they each know where each other is.

I've never owned two dogs at the same time except for when I was growing up, so as excited as I am about bringing another dog into my home (if DH every caves!!) but I'm also so nervous about adding a second dog. I wonder how Molly will react and how difficult it will be to juggle two dogs. I'll have to do the doggie shuffle during training class which I do not think will be too much of a problem. The new pup will go everywhere Molly and I go.

What worries did you have before bringing a second dog into your home and did you find yourself laughing at yourself for being worried about something so silly after getting used to owning a second dog?

What things surprised you after getting a second dog that you didn't even think of before bringing the dog home?

Ok, I think I've asked enough questions now and hopefully my questions made sense. Just wanted to get some opinions from people that own 2 dogs

Nicky~ Mom to Molly, CD, RN, NA, NAJ, CGC, TC, TDI~ 6 year old GSD
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-04-2008, 11:27 AM
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Re: Info needed from multiple dog owners

Just my info on what I did. I never ever had owned GS's or dog for that matter & I'm kind of in the same boat, but dealing with how to work in a ADULT rescued GS in our pack right now !

On to my pup intro though.

I was worried about our dominate female & bringing in a pup, but it went way better than I thought. They are best buds & will help each other out if needed !

We brought the puppy (male) home & put him in a small crate. Let the Golden Ret. & our female GS go over to sniff him, etc though the crate. All went well & the only growl was from the 13 week old pup ! We then went ahead & let the puppy out with the adults & all went well. They sniffed him a min & didn't really care.

We crated him right away & near the girls. Let him play with the others & kept a close eye peeled.

I always feed in the crates & make each dog sit/wait till they can dive in their bowls. I also don't free feed & ALWAYS feed in each dogs crates. I fed our pup 3 X's a day & the adults eat 2 X's so, pup might have to go to his/her crate to have a fast meal of his/her own in the middle of the day.

I think it will be just fine & I have always brought pups in my pack & have had good luck. It's just now trying to bring in adult where I have been more scared & still trying to get that to work. I have never done anything like this & was thinking on starting a thread about it.

Best of luck to you if you get hubby to say, go for it............ Just need to do a little more sucking up !


Shadow~ BGSD *Adopted* RN, CGC
Storm~ GSD RA, TN-N, CGC
Skyrah~ GSD, CGC

"Money will buy you a pretty good dog, but it won't buy the wag of his tail."
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-04-2008, 11:38 AM
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Re: Info needed from multiple dog owners

What a coincidence, we have a Molly too! We had her before we brought Elmo into the picture. I was a bit concerned about how she would react to a puppy. I know she is friendly, but she is also Ms. Queen Bee. She loves to be the center of attention so I wanted to make sure she did not feel threatened with a new dog coming into the home.

I've read about people introducing a new dog in a neutral territory (away from the house). That sounds like a good idea. If I knew about it before, I would have probably done that. But, we didn't have any problems with the formal introduction. I think I took Molly upstairs before my husband brought Elmo into the house. I didn't want her to feel like a new dog was coming in to invade her space. Once Elmo was settled for a few minutes, I brought Molly back into the open area in the house. She was curious who the new guy was. I love this picture of when Elmo first met Molly:

We made a conscious effort to make sure we gave both dogs lots of attention. We didn't want Molly to resent having Elmo there. I can't remember exactly, but I think I used to put Molly's food down before Elmo. After a day or so, I think the novelty wore off for Molly and she wanted him to leave. She acted out a little bit. We have a doggie bed in the living room. She pee-ed on it. If we didn't see her, we would have immediately thought it was the puppy. When we saw that behavior, we made more time for her individually.

I think it's good that you are thinking about bringing a male into the family. Even though Elmo is a lot bigger than Molly, he lets her get away with a lot. It's because she's a girl.

It is so much fun to watch them interact. When Elmo was just a baby, he wanted everyone to play with him (still does). But, he didn't realize Molly couldn't throw a ball for him. He would roll a tennis ball to her and want her to throw it. It was the cutest thing. Molly has never been big on playing with toys. When Elmo came along, she opened up a little bit. She tried to get in on the action all the time. I thought that was a sign of the two of them getting along.

If your Molly is a little on the rough side, you may want to control the interaction between the two a little more. You don't want the puppy to start playing too rough either.

Molly was not crate trained as a puppy. We tried when she was older but it was a disaster. She would hurt herself trying to break out. So, we let her have reign of the house while we're gone. Elmo was crate trained from the beginning. He loves his little home. So, we put Elmo in the crate when we go out. Molly is a clown and she'll jump onto his crate or sit next to it when we're leaving. Since we tell Elmo to go to bed when we're leaving, she feels like she wants to be told where to go also. I've even seen her go and sit in his crate when we're at home. My husband and I can't believe it. She HATED the crate before.

I'm a natural worrier and planner. So, I don't think I overreacted with my concerns of bringing a new dog into the house. It helps with planning. The more you know ahead of time, the better. It looks like that is what you are doing which is great!

I personally love having two dogs at home now. I think we will always have at least two dogs from now on. They keep each other company. We do try to keep an eye out when Molly wants to rest and Elmo wants to keep playing. Since he's a puppy, he doesn't understand how anyone doesn't want to play with him.

I'm not sure how two dogs are crated. I'm curious as well as to whether people put the crates near each other or not.

I'm so glad we got Elmo. Molly was starting to act like her age and was slowing down a bit. When Elmo came into the picture, she livened back up. So, I think he keeps her young!

Good luck! I hope you can convince your husband.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-04-2008, 12:10 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Info needed from multiple dog owners

This is great information! I'm want to get my hubby to read these responses because everyone I know that owns 2 dogs always says they would never have a household of just one again.

I'm a total worrier and planner too. Sometimes I think I over plan but I want to make sure I'm as prepared as I can be.

Nicky~ Mom to Molly, CD, RN, NA, NAJ, CGC, TC, TDI~ 6 year old GSD
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-04-2008, 12:11 PM
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Re: Info needed from multiple dog owners

HEHE.......Storm & Elmo have the same look & ear thing going on !


Here's Sable & him.......she wouldn't leave him alone, loves to play & it helped the old Golden Ret. get Sable off her back !



Oh.............I miss the puppy days........
They grow up so fast !


Shadow~ BGSD *Adopted* RN, CGC
Storm~ GSD RA, TN-N, CGC
Skyrah~ GSD, CGC

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-04-2008, 12:12 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Info needed from multiple dog owners

Awwww....they are all so cute! Now I really want a puppy after seeing everyone's pictures!!!

Nicky~ Mom to Molly, CD, RN, NA, NAJ, CGC, TC, TDI~ 6 year old GSD
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-04-2008, 01:12 PM
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Re: Info needed from multiple dog owners

Molly was fine with the puppies. I think it will be totally different too, when the puppy will be at your house and part of her every day life. I would keep her routine as normal as possible. Feed her first, give her treats first etc etc. I did this with Cody and Brandie, but Cody does not really care who eats first as long as he eats. Brandie was SO pushy with the food, that it was easier to give her the bowl first and then to Cody. So you might find that out with Molly and the puppy too.
The hardest thing for me was the exercising. You cannot really walk the puppy as long as you can your 3-year old. So you gotta compromise -IMO- a little bit, unless you wanna play and walk all night long.... Maybe more quick play time/obedience for Molly and then some play time for the puppy. I had to adjust their feeding schedule. Brandie prefers to do something right away when I get home, Cody prefers to eat. So at times, I give Cody food and take Brandie outside to play or for a little walk, then bring her back in and feed her and take Cody out. Obviously you cannto feed them after vigorous exercise, but you cannot do THAT MUCH exercise with a puppy anyways.
I have their crates next to each other. I think this also depends on the puppy... and the existing dog. Brandie would have screamed no matter what, I am sure, but NOW she is calmer when Cody is in the crate right next to her. And she is better at night, when she is crated in the bedroom with us, all 4 animals and my DH and I sleep there, so she feels secure when everyone is around.
I let cody and Brandie sniff at each other right away. Took a couple of days and they were playing . I always supervise the play since she is 24 lbs and Cody is 103 lbs, don't want any accidents happening (him sitting on her). I don't let them play TOO MUCH, so she does not bond to him, but they do play. you just gotta see how much is enough for Molly, you can tell when they start getting annoyed by the puppy too. when Brandie has been hanging on Cody's "double-chin" for 15 minutes, he starts getting a little more vocal and I separate them.

Mom of
Cody 3 yrs, CGC, CDX, BH, TDI, TT, TD -HOT
VP Myth Vom Triton (Brandie) 2 yrs, CGC, BH, TT -HOT
Iida -American Shorthair Cat 5 yrs,
Odin -Bengal Cat 4 yrs

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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-04-2008, 01:13 PM
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Re: Info needed from multiple dog owners

What we did...
When the puppy came home, we didn't really let them interact much at all. When one was out the other was crated and they could see or smell each other through the crate. My BF and I would walk the dogs together on leash, but they weren't really allowed to play. We didn't want the new puppy to become "doggy" as that can create training problems later on down the road. I know people that let their dogs together all the time, and they all love how much the older dog "teaches" the younger dog. You call your older dog and the puppy comes too, older dog goes to the bathroom and puppy imitates...etc. The problem with this is that your puppy can consider the older dog it's leader and not you.

Our older dog is crated downstairs inbetween the family room and kitchen, and the puppy is in her small crate in our bedroom upstairs. When she moves to a big crate I am going to put her in the spare bedroom upstairs. This provides less distractions for them when they are in the crate, and when I have one out the other isn't crying because the other dog is out and having fun. PLus both are intact and when the puppy goes into her first heat, I want to put as much distance as possible between the two of them.

After about 2 weeks I let them out together to see how it would go. I kept my older dog busy with his ball, so she wasn't his focus. And they really did well together, so now they get to run around and play together about once a day for about 20 minutes. I don't let them loose in the house because all the puppy wants to do is play and it's too much for inside.

Argos eats in his crate, and I let Anka eat next to his crate. She's been fussy with food and watching him encourages her to eat. They both get fed at the same time. What I've found nice is that BF and I basically split the dogs. He takes care of puppy and I have Argos, so each dog has their prime person and there hasn't been much jealousy.

Here they are in this thread-

Bianka vom Eisernen Loewen IPO3, CGC, TC 1-3-08
Cade vom Eisernen Loewen IPO1, CGC 3-25-09
D'Artagnan (Tag) vom Eisernen Loewen BH 2-2-10
G Aiko von Burkndeiros SchH 3, IPO3, FH, TC, KKL2 9-17-02 (Retired)

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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-04-2008, 01:52 PM
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Re: Info needed from multiple dog owners

Someone on the board PM'd me not long ago about how I introduced D & K - because I'm too lazy to type it all out again, I'll just copy most of my reply to her:

I didn't do anything special as far as intros go. Dena has always been really good with other dogs, and very easy going in general and somewhat submissive in a "You want to be the boss? Sure, whatever" kind of way, so I wasn't *too* concerned. Not an 'alpha bitch' at all, although she does have her moments now that she's got a bratty little bro to pick on, which he totally deserves....

We had him shipped, and I debated bringing her to the airport with us so they'd meet in the car, but we decided to leave her at home. We brought his shipping crate into the garage pen and set it down and opened the door. She barked at him, he screamed, and then she stuck her head in and sniffed him. After that, they were fine.

I have some pictures of their first meeting, and the days following, so you can see how quickly they became fast friends.

First meeting

That same day

The next day

Carefully sliding the bone out from under his leg, lol!

Sitting together for treats on day 5

Playing on day 8

Some things I think are important is to make sure each of them get some alone time with you. When he was still not housebroken or trustworthy unsupervised I'd crate him or put him in the garage pen while I made dinner or cleaned house, and kept Dena in the house with me. I took her to daycare twice a week while he was too young to go, and then once he was old enough I took him twice a week for a couple of months, so they each had time away from each other. Tom would take Dena with him in the car when he went somewhere and I would spend time bonding and training Keefer. We'd take her with us when we went out to dinner or to Costco, and he'd stay home alone.

After the first week or two they spent most of their time together when we were at work, except for when one of them was in daycare, so I wanted to think of as many ways to give them each individual attention as I could. Now they are never apart unless they want to be. Sometimes when Tom is home working in the office one or the other one wants to be in the house with him, and the other one asks to go outside, but we never deliberately separate them anymore.

I don't know if you've ever had two dogs at the same time before, but I hadn't, so that was new territory for me. I really struggled with knowing when and if I should intercede, and I probably erred on the side of caution. When Dena was a baby I used to wear my treat bag from the time I came home from work until bedtime, and I did the same thing when we got Keefer. When they started playing really rambunctiously, and LOUDLY, I'd break it up with sits and downs for treats. I'd mark and reward attention and calm behavior. When they blew me off I'd put them both in their crates for a timeout. There is a definite tone you'll hear when one of them goes too far and the other gets pissed, and then it's really clear that it's time to step in, but I wasn't exactly sure what behavior seemed okay now, but might escalate into not okay behavior somewhere down the road when he was bigger, so I never let them pick on each other. Usually if they keep going back for more, everyone is fine - if someone is trying to get away and the other one won't back off, it's "*I'M* the alpha around here" time!

I wasn't prepared for the fearsomeness of their play either. We had this sweet, calm, perfect girl in Dena, and then we got her a little brother to play with and she turned into a completely different dog! Still a good girl, but the two of them will chase each other in circles around the dining room table, dive on each other, bite at each other faces and heads, all accompanied by barks and play growls. If you didn't KNOW it was all in fun, it could freak you out 'cause it sounds pretty scary sometimes!


The intro, interaction, and routine questions are pretty much answered above. As far as the other stuff, I've always fed them side by side and they eat at the same time. I've never had a problem them guarding their food from each other. At first, when Keefer was little, I'd wait in the garage while they ate to make sure that whoever finished first didn't try to steal the other ones food, but now I don't bother. They'll both hold a down with their food bowls on the floor in front of their noses, even if I go in the house to refill their water bowl before releasing them to eat. They usually finish eating around the same time and then lick each other's bowls. The only thing they'll guard is bully sticks. Both of them respect each other enough not to push it, so it's never escalated to a fight - if someone gets too close a little growl backs them off immediately. I figure they deserve to chew their evening treat in peace, so I allow it.

We have the garage pen for during the day, so they are together when we're not home. Tom is a general contractor with a home office, so he's around a lot or in and out during the day, so the dogs are wherever they want to be then, either with him in the house, or outside in the garage or their dog run, which is accessible by a dog door from the garage. At night they are crated side by side in our bedroom.

My main worries were about the additional time involved, and having never had two dogs at the same time before, if I would be up to managing their interactions to prevent future problems. I stressed about that a lot - I just didn't know if I'd be able to tell play from something more, and what behavior I should allow and what I should stop immediately. I wouldn't say that looking back that was a silly concern, but it was easier to tell when it was time to step in than I thought it might be. Lots and lots of mutual NILIF helps a lot.

The thing that surprised me the most was how much more assertive and bitchy Dena can be! She's always been the good girl, the calm, well behaved dog, just hanging out and relaxing around the house. She has way more energy now that she has someone to play with. She always seemed perfectly content being an only dog, but I think she really enjoys having another dog in the house, and he definitely does not push her around! She'll stand over him dangling a toy on his head to get him to play, and they love to rip toys out of each others mouths and playing tug. It's a lot of fun, and very entertaining, and in many ways it was much easier than I expected. They got along really well from the very beginning - he's always been bold and confident, he loved Dena and was never intimidated by her, and she was totally fascinated with him. The hardest part was just having a new puppy and all that goes along with that.

Cava 1/6/18
Keefer 8/25/05-4/24/19 ~ The sweetest boy
Halo 11/9/08-6/17/18 ~ You left pawprints on our hearts
Dena 9/12/04-10/4/08 ~ Forever would have been too short
Cassidy 6/8/00-10/4/04
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-07-2008, 07:57 PM
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Re: Info needed from multiple dog owners

I currently have 4

Ki was here first. I brought Shaker home, put her in the crate, let Ki (and the cat) sniff and get used to her--probably a good hour, because Ki was not thrilled (now their best buds). Then I opened the door and let Ki sniff her more closely (and I was supervising closely--my best friend's prediction was that Ki would eat her) I don't crate train and I free feed. One good thing about free feeding is that there's no food agression, so that wasn't a problem at all. That night, she slept with Ki on the floor (with 2 "lets go potty breaks"). Ki is really my dog, so I let the kids shower Shaker with attention the first few days. I took off from work for the first week so I could supervise. By the end of the week, they were great friends and Ki played nicely with her.

I did the same with each of them. When it comes to treats or grooming, Ki is first, then Shaker, then Daisy (who's 6 pounds of alpha wanna be) then Berr. At first I was careful to spend time with each alone and tried to be even with everyone, now it doesn't matter. We're all one family.

I would never go back to only having one dog. My guys play together all the time, sleep together, etc. It's wonderful
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