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Get a second puppy?

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Hi all! I currently have an almost 10 month German Shepherd female, Aliyah. Yes, I know she's young - hear me out! I live with my boyfriend of four years and he is looking into getting his own puppy - a German Shepherd/Pitbull mix male puppy.

A few things to note on Aliyah's training: She knows (and by knows I mean does without fault no matter what the situation is or who's around) includes sit, stay, lay down, come, down, no, drop, leave it, roll over, paw (both paws depending on the hand you put out), and gentle. As far as heel training goes, she's doing well - the only issue is when she gets excited (mainly when seeing other dogs) and so she'll pull a little because she wants to go play. That's the only part that's still a work in progress with her as far as basic training goes.

On Aliyah's temperament: She's incredibly sweet. Truly. I know every dog owner is biased but she is so gentle. Almost to a fault! She's been well socialized with big dogs, small dogs, puppies, senior dogs, etc., and also with people. She absolutely adores puppies and knows to be gentle. I was surprised with how much she knew. She licks them, loves on them, teaches them, but doesn't play like she does with dogs her age or older until they cross a certain "threshold". What threshold it is I'm not sure - but she does and she's never been wrong about it! She's never met a dog she didn't love (even the little Chihuahas that hate her, ha!).

So with all that in mind, would adding a puppy to the household be too much? We have two dog parks located near us within a two minute walk which she goes to everyday. Yes, I'm aware the first few months the puppy will not be able to join due to parvo/distemper risks. But I know she'd love to have a playmate! Also, I'm currently a senior college student with classes throughout the day - many of those from home, and my boyfriend works evenings to late nights/early mornings so there's pretty much always someone there. I don't want to deprive my boyfriend of getting his own pup, I just want to make sure it's not going to cause problems for either pup as well.

I've read some of the posts on getting a second pup, but I thought I'd hopefully get some more specific answers pertaining to this situation. Yes, I know she's young! But please let me know your thoughts on getting the second dog and any experiences with having two young dogs as well as how to handle it. It's my boyfriend's pup so he has the final say in if he gets it or not just like I did when I got Aliyah, so if he does get it, what should I expect given the above information and is there any advice? I'd love to hear any and all advice. Please let me know if there's further questions!
 

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Hi all! I currently have an almost 10 month German Shepherd female, Aliyah. Yes, I know she's young - hear me out! I live with my boyfriend of four years and he is looking into getting his own puppy - a German Shepherd/Pitbull mix male puppy.

A few things to note on Aliyah's training: She knows (and by knows I mean does without fault no matter what the situation is or who's around) includes sit, stay, lay down, come, down, no, drop, leave it, roll over, paw (both paws depending on the hand you put out), and gentle. As far as heel training goes, she's doing well - the only issue is when she gets excited (mainly when seeing other dogs) and so she'll pull a little because she wants to go play. That's the only part that's still a work in progress with her as far as basic training goes.

On Aliyah's temperament: She's incredibly sweet. Truly. I know every dog owner is biased but she is so gentle. Almost to a fault! She's been well socialized with big dogs, small dogs, puppies, senior dogs, etc., and also with people. She absolutely adores puppies and knows to be gentle. I was surprised with how much she knew. She licks them, loves on them, teaches them, but doesn't play like she does with dogs her age or older until they cross a certain "threshold". What threshold it is I'm not sure - but she does and she's never been wrong about it! She's never met a dog she didn't love (even the little Chihuahas that hate her, ha!).

So with all that in mind, would adding a puppy to the household be too much? We have two dog parks located near us within a two minute walk which she goes to everyday. Yes, I'm aware the first few months the puppy will not be able to join due to parvo/distemper risks. But I know she'd love to have a playmate! Also, I'm currently a senior college student with classes throughout the day - many of those from home, and my boyfriend works evenings to late nights/early mornings so there's pretty much always someone there. I don't want to deprive my boyfriend of getting his own pup, I just want to make sure it's not going to cause problems for either pup as well.

I've read some of the posts on getting a second pup, but I thought I'd hopefully get some more specific answers pertaining to this situation. Yes, I know she's young! But please let me know your thoughts on getting the second dog and any experiences with having two young dogs as well as how to handle it. It's my boyfriend's pup so he has the final say in if he gets it or not just like I did when I got Aliyah, so if he does get it, what should I expect given the above information and is there any advice? I'd love to hear any and all advice. Please let me know if there's further questions!
Mine are 6 months apart, currently 16 months and 10 months. The one big challenge with adding a puppy is ensuring that there is a lot of just one on one time with each dog separately. The puppy is naturally going to want to bond with the other dog over you and your bf, so it just takes some extra work and time to keep the dogs separate a bit at first.

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Mine are 6 months apart, currently 16 months and 10 months. The one big challenge with adding a puppy is ensuring that there is a lot of just one on one time with each dog separately. The puppy is naturally going to want to bond with the other dog over you and your bf, so it just takes some extra work and time to keep the dogs separate a bit at first.

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That's a really great point. I see it with my current pup all the time. Training at the dog park when there was other dogs around was the hardest of all the training. I'll be sure to note that we each get a lot of separate with our separate dogs. Thanks for the advice! Any advice on the best and most efficient ways (AKA the route with the least temper tantrums lol) to keep the pups separate? It'll be a little hard since they'll be living together, but I want to ensure I give them the one-on-one time they both need and deserve for training and bonding as best as possible!
 

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That's a really great point. I see it with my current pup all the time. Training at the dog park when there was other dogs around was the hardest of all the training. I'll be sure to note that we each get a lot of separate with our separate dogs. Thanks for the advice! Any advice on the best and most efficient ways (AKA the route with the least temper tantrums lol) to keep the pups separate? It'll be a little hard since they'll be living together, but I want to ensure I give them the one-on-one time they both need and deserve for training and bonding as best as possible!
It really just depends on your set up. My husband would take one outside to train and I would keep one inside to train or vice versa. We would take both dogs out and go different directions sometimes. Even in the house we would have one dog with one person in one part of the house and the other with the other person in a different room. I live in a very small cabin and even then, it can be done. Also watch the older dogs body language and don't let the puppy harass the older dog when the older dog has had enough. The older dog will tolerate a lot from a puppy, but people sometimes run into problems when the puppy hits 8-9 months old and the older dog no longer gives it the benefit of being a puppy. It's important from the beginning that the dogs know YOU are not going to allow innappropriate behavior and they don't have to take corrections into their own hands.

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It really just depends on your set up. My husband would take one outside to train and I would keep one inside to train or vice versa. We would take both dogs out and go different directions sometimes. Even in the house we would have one dog with one person in one part of the house and the other with the other person in a different room. I live in a very small cabin and even then, it can be done. Also watch the older dogs body language and don't let the puppy harass the older dog when the older dog has had enough. The older dog will tolerate a lot from a puppy, but people sometimes run into problems when the puppy hits 8-9 months old and the older dog no longer gives it the benefit of being a puppy. It's important from the beginning that the dogs know YOU are not going to allow innappropriate behavior and they don't have to take corrections into their own hands.

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Yes, my living space isn't the largest, but with the two dog parks both in opposite directions yet within a two minute walk, that seems more than doable! And yes, that is my concern with the situation. Less so from mine doing something and more from the puppy as it gets older. Like I said above, mine is sweet to a fault. I worry that the puppy will get bigger and play with her like he's always done when little - except start to hurt her accidentally and I'm worried she won't do anything. At the dog park, I've never had to step in with her and another dog because she's so submissive - she doesn't really give them a reason to get aggressive towards her, but I've seen it happen with other dogs. That's definitely my worst fear regardless of the perpetrator. I know there will eventually be clashes between the two especially as the puppy gets older, and I know one of us has to get involved. I'm just hoping she'll learn to stand her ground some too. Not in an aggressive way, just kind of a "big sister" way I guess. When you got your second pup, did you bring the first one with you to pick it up/pick it out? We will be going to look at the litter and pick the one we think will work best and because she's so great with other dogs/puppies and people, are thinking of bringing her as well to see if there's any she seems to get along with better. The owners of the litter are fine with it since she has all her shots, flea/tick, etc., but do you have any idea if that be a good idea?
 

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Yes, my living space isn't the largest, but with the two dog parks both in opposite directions yet within a two minute walk, that seems more than doable! And yes, that is my concern with the situation. Less so from mine doing something and more from the puppy as it gets older. Like I said above, mine is sweet to a fault. I worry that the puppy will get bigger and play with her like he's always done when little - except start to hurt her accidentally and I'm worried she won't do anything. At the dog park, I've never had to step in with her and another dog because she's so submissive - she doesn't really give them a reason to get aggressive towards her, but I've seen it happen with other dogs. That's definitely my worst fear regardless of the perpetrator. I know there will eventually be clashes between the two especially as the puppy gets older, and I know one of us has to get involved. I'm just hoping she'll learn to stand her ground some too. Not in an aggressive way, just kind of a "big sister" way I guess. When you got your second pup, did you bring the first one with you to pick it up/pick it out? We will be going to look at the litter and pick the one we think will work best and because she's so great with other dogs/puppies and people, are thinking of bringing her as well to see if there's any she seems to get along with better. The owners of the litter are fine with it since she has all her shots, flea/tick, etc., but do you have any idea if that be a good idea?
We brought ours with us in the car just because it was a long drive, but she didn't get out while we were picking up the puppy. The puppy rode on my lap and my girl sat next to me. She was perfect with the puppy from the beginning. They do get rambunctious now that they are older and my girl sometimes tries to be the boss of him, but we try to stop bad behavior towards each other as soon as we see it starting to form. All in all we love having two. They burn a lot of energy racing and chasing and playing. We hopefully have another puppy we'll be bringing home in January.

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We brought ours with us in the car just because it was a long drive, but she didn't get out while we were picking up the puppy. The puppy rode on my lap and my girl sat next to me. She was perfect with the puppy from the beginning. They do get rambunctious now that they are older and my girl sometimes tries to be the boss of him, but we try to stop bad behavior towards each other as soon as we see it starting to form. All in all we love having two. They burn a lot of energy racing and chasing and playing. We hopefully have another puppy we'll be bringing home in January.

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Oh perfect! I'm so glad to hear that. Especially as the weather gets colder, it's harder and harder for me to find her dog friends at the park as people aren't going as much as they were. I don't mind throwing the ball for her, but it's nice to have other dogs for her to play with - burns more energy faster! I want this to be a good experience for her. She's truly such an amazing dog - beyond anything I could ever teach her for sure - I just want her to be happy about the new situation and not tortured by it. Did you ever deal with any jealousy from your girl after getting the puppy? I'm always loving on other dogs and she doesn't seem to care so far. Even my families dog who's all of thirteen pounds max (don't worry - he makes up for it in attitude!) I can cuddle and hold and walk around with and she only cares if he has the ball in his mouth ha! But I'm not sure if that would change over time with a puppy around? She doesn't seem to have that kind of personality, as long as she can cuddle with me at bedtime, but I just want to cover all the bases just in case!
 

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Oh perfect! I'm so glad to hear that. Especially as the weather gets colder, it's harder and harder for me to find her dog friends at the park as people aren't going as much as they were. I don't mind throwing the ball for her, but it's nice to have other dogs for her to play with - burns more energy faster! I want this to be a good experience for her. She's truly such an amazing dog - beyond anything I could ever teach her for sure - I just want her to be happy about the new situation and not tortured by it. Did you ever deal with any jealousy from your girl after getting the puppy? I'm always loving on other dogs and she doesn't seem to care so far. Even my families dog who's all of thirteen pounds max (don't worry - he makes up for it in attitude!) I can cuddle and hold and walk around with and she only cares if he has the ball in his mouth ha! But I'm not sure if that would change over time with a puppy around? She doesn't seem to have that kind of personality, as long as she can cuddle with me at bedtime, but I just want to cover all the bases just in case!
My girl gets possessive of her toys at times but doesn't seem to mind either my husband or I playing or paying attention to my boy. My boy totally attached to me from the minute we picked him up. When he was younger he used to try to intervene between me and my girl and didn't want me paying attention to her, but he got over that pretty quickly.

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Got it! Thank you. My worst fear is that this new puppy will attach to me more than my boyfriend. He really just wants his own little buddy like I have! I really hope he’s able to get that out of this! I’ll definitely keep an eye out for you possessing and any jealousy from either side. Thank you so much!
 

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Personally, I'd wait just a bit longer for your girl to mature a bit more and to be able to more fully focus on the pup when the time comes. We tend to taint these decisions with the dog park experience "it will be so much easier to exercise them with a buddy around" but the first 6 months can be very challenging. You definitely should plan to train the pup separately.
 

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My questions to OP are what do you really envision for these dogs down the road whether it be playmates, dog parks, hiking, etc.? Have you done research on the expected behavioral traits of the breeds involved? After you did your research, did you find these breeds a good match for what you are looking for in a dog? It's not all about how you raise and train them.
 
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We have two working line GSDs, a female just over 15 months old, a male who will be 9 months November 6.

Two puppies at the same time can be fun and rewarding if you go into it with open eyes, and the dogs get along. My two are uncrated the vast majority of the day. While I go into work just about the same schedule as pre-COVID, my wife has been home for much of the year, and will be into early 2021. If that were not the case, I'm not sure we'd have gotten a second puppy.

Two puppies at a time can also be a real handful. Every piece of equipment is x 2, at least. Leads, short leads, prong collars, crates, and so on. If you go to a remote training site, take them on trips with you, go to the park, etc., you are probably not going to get it done with a Prius or a Honda Civic. Maybe you could do a sedan if they were not oversized GSDs and you had a safety type harness and two collapsible crates. We have a crew cab truck, and it likes to eat. Ours have been healthy so far, but vet visits as needed would also be x 2.

Mine will play some semblance of co-fetch in the house, but they are generally very competitive about play time. To really work with them, you will most likely have to crate and rotate. In our case, I take one to the school baseball diamond nearby, and my wife works the other one in the yard.

I would not get two females. It works for some, I gather, but the majority would say it can invite fights, and the resulting fights if they happen are likely to be no holds barred. Two males, maybe. I have no experience with that, with any dogs. One of our breeders remarked it can be easier to keep two males than two females. That wasn't the same as saying it was easy.

Some words from our Schutzhund club head, not from me, though I have tried to take what he says to heart: (1) Try not to let an older dog dominate a younger puppy, bc it risks that the puppy will become more submissive. (2) Let a puppy be a puppy sometimes, and do some goofy puppy stuff. That doesn't mean let them wreck your house, bite you till they bleed and grow up with no boundaries, but I think I get what he is saying.

Jealousy issues-- our two coexist pretty darn well. When I have been gone all day, and come home, they can get a little fussy with each other over who gets pets first. That passes pretty quickly, but to defuse it, sometimes I meet one in the basement, where it gets special attention, then I go see the other one, or vice versa. What we cannot do is take a couple of training balls and have them both play two ball fetch in the yard, or train together. That just does not work. Ours do not fight over food, but I do crate one of them. Translation: he eats faster, and would try to horn in on her food if he was not in a crate. But they do not get snappish with each other over treats. They do learn to count however--he got one, so I get the next one.

Net, net, from our last year or so: Two can be rewarding, and not the trial by fire you hear about. But it doesn't always go that way. Lots of challenges with having one puppy, let alone two. You'd have to go into it with open eyes. Those who say "wait" aren't necessarily wrong. We had a chance to get a pup we were really interested in at a time when one of us was going to be spending a lot of time at home. That played into it. Last fall, 13 months ago, we also lost a GSD who had been our only dog, suddenly and unexpectedly (at least as to diagnosis). I still can't write much about that lost girl dog without deep pangs of sadness. But getting the puppies helped a lot. That played into the decision too.
 

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Personally, I'd wait just a bit longer for your girl to mature a bit more and to be able to more fully focus on the pup when the time comes. We tend to taint these decisions with the dog park experience "it will be so much easier to exercise them with a buddy around" but the first 6 months can be very challenging. You definitely should plan to train the pup separately.
I agree with you on waiting longer. However, it's not entirely up to me. The decision has yet to be made. Assuming waiting is not an option, any advice? I understand the separate training and have thought of ways to incorporate that. Anything else I should be aware of?
 

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I would not want that other breed mix, so no, I would not get another puppy.
Other breed mix? I'm sorry I don't fully understand. Do you mean you would not want the pitbull mix? Or that you wouldn't get a mixed breed? There's no judgment on my end either way! I just want to clarify what you meant. Please explain!
 

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My questions to OP are what do you really envision for these dogs down the road whether it be playmates, dog parks, hiking, etc.? Have you done research on the expected behavioral traits of the breeds involved? After you did your research, did you find these breeds a good match for what you are looking for in a dog? It's not all about how you raise and train them.
Yes! I have owned both Pits and German Shepherds throughout my life. My dog now does have "jobs" around the house to do. For example, my current pup is doing ESA training and learning how to deal with panic attacks. She has a great personality for doing that. Depending on the personality of the (maybe) new pup, we would find something that he's fit for. I envision them being playmates, hiking, park, etc., and yes! There has been a lot of research put in to both breeds before I got my first dog, and life experience with both breeds and genders to match!
 

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As said above, the two breeds are very different. Different play styles and temperaments. That is all. Personal experience is not the issues. It’s not about how you raise them but inborn tendencies. We aren’t allowed to discuss the other breed so I can’t say more.
 

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We have two working line GSDs, a female just over 15 months old, a male who will be 9 months November 6.

Two puppies at the same time can be fun and rewarding if you go into it with open eyes, and the dogs get along. My two are uncrated the vast majority of the day. While I go into work just about the same schedule as pre-COVID, my wife has been home for much of the year, and will be into early 2021. If that were not the case, I'm not sure we'd have gotten a second puppy.

Two puppies at a time can also be a real handful. Every piece of equipment is x 2, at least. Leads, short leads, prong collars, crates, and so on. If you go to a remote training site, take them on trips with you, go to the park, etc., you are probably not going to get it done with a Prius or a Honda Civic. Maybe you could do a sedan if they were not oversized GSDs and you had a safety type harness and two collapsible crates. We have a crew cab truck, and it likes to eat. Ours have been healthy so far, but vet visits as needed would also be x 2.

Mine will play some semblance of co-fetch in the house, but they are generally very competitive about play time. To really work with them, you will most likely have to crate and rotate. In our case, I take one to the school baseball diamond nearby, and my wife works the other one in the yard.

I would not get two females. It works for some, I gather, but the majority would say it can invite fights, and the resulting fights if they happen are likely to be no holds barred. Two males, maybe. I have no experience with that, with any dogs. One of our breeders remarked it can be easier to keep two males than two females. That wasn't the same as saying it was easy.

Some words from our Schutzhund club head, not from me, though I have tried to take what he says to heart: (1) Try not to let an older dog dominate a younger puppy, bc it risks that the puppy will become more submissive. (2) Let a puppy be a puppy sometimes, and do some goofy puppy stuff. That doesn't mean let them wreck your house, bite you till they bleed and grow up with no boundaries, but I think I get what he is saying.

Jealousy issues-- our two coexist pretty darn well. When I have been gone all day, and come home, they can get a little fussy with each other over who gets pets first. That passes pretty quickly, but to defuse it, sometimes I meet one in the basement, where it gets special attention, then I go see the other one, or vice versa. What we cannot do is take a couple of training balls and have them both play two ball fetch in the yard, or train together. That just does not work. Ours do not fight over food, but I do crate one of them. Translation: he eats faster, and would try to horn in on her food if he was not in a crate. But they do not get snappish with each other over treats. They do learn to count however--he got one, so I get the next one.

Net, net, from our last year or so: Two can be rewarding, and not the trial by fire you hear about. But it doesn't always go that way. Lots of challenges with having one puppy, let alone two. You'd have to go into it with open eyes. Those who say "wait" aren't necessarily wrong. We had a chance to get a pup we were really interested in at a time when one of us was going to be spending a lot of time at home. That played into it. Last fall, 13 months ago, we also lost a GSD who had been our only dog, suddenly and unexpectedly (at least as to diagnosis). I still can't write much about that lost girl dog without deep pangs of sadness. But getting the puppies helped a lot. That played into the decision too.
Thanks for the advice! Yes, I'm aware that it will double the cost - both at vets and foods and toys and everything. My current dog is not terribly large (about 65 Ibs). So she's not oversized by any means. Because the other is a mix, there's no telling how big he would get. I agree with the gender issues you'd mentioned above. That's one of the big reasons my boyfriend chose to get a male instead of a female. My current pup absolutely loves other dogs and gets along with almost every dog she's met (only ones she hasn't was because they didn't like her - mainly the little dogs that felt the need to overcompensate, ha!). I'm definitely nervous for having two if it works out. But your post made me feel a little better about it! Like I've said above, this would be my boyfriends dog and so the ultimate decision is up to him. As much as I would love to wait a little longer, it's not up to me! I'm so sorry to hear about your loss. I lost a 7 year old Pitbull to blood cancer a year before I got my current pup. I still tear up sometimes when I think about him. I wish you the best in healing from that. I know getting my pup helped more than I could've imagined, but it's still hard sometimes. Please let me know if you have any further questions or advice! I really appreciate your advice and for taking the time to answer my questions!
 

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As said above, the two breeds are very different. Different play styles and temperaments. That is all. Personal experience is not the issues. It’s not about how you raise them but inborn tendencies. We aren’t allowed to discuss the other breed so I can’t say more.
Ah I understand. Thank you for the advice! I believe we have the ability to meet both the parents if we get the puppy - from what I understand they are both incredibly sweet and gentle. But I will keep your advice in mind. You are absolutely right that are genetics and breed are incredibly important regarding future behavior!
 

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I agree with you on waiting longer. However, it's not entirely up to me. The decision has yet to be made. Assuming waiting is not an option, any advice? I understand the separate training and have thought of ways to incorporate that. Anything else I should be aware of?
Not much to add right now. I currently have two GSD but not close in age.
Generally though, I'd suggest you supervise play for the first few months and then differently, the first year.
Train separately a lot of the time or you'll have trouble getting either to focus on you.
Watch for resource or toy guarding; having two of everything doesn't matter when the only toy wanted is whatever one the other has.
Make sure both of you give lots of attention to both dogs. When you all live under one roof(?) there's no my dog and his dog although they'll likely bond primarily one way or the other.

Good luck!
 
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