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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I currently have a 3 year old Dobie and a 10 month old GSD bitch, both neutered. The Dobe is big and goofy and fun to be around. The GSD, is sweet, pretty well trained and socialized for her age, has been doing obedience and is very responsive, although she doesn't have the highest drive ever.

I have the opportunity to take on a WL GSD bitch, she is 15 months old, very high drive, currently not speyed, but will be. She was going to be a working or breeding bitch, no problems with drive but possibly has transitional vertebrae, so is being offered for rehoming.

The vertebrae thing doesn't worry me, as the way I see it, any of my dogs could have underlying health issues I don't know about, I'll just deal with them if they develop..

She came for a visit today, I introduced her one at a time to my two, the Dobe, pinned her to the ground when she tried to jump on him, and she got the message, from then on, they just played. The two GSD's made a lot of noise, but neither really took a lead role, they were happy when told, to lie down, and played a bit also.

I decided not to have all three together on this occasion, but I don't foresee any huge problems.

I know everyone is different, but what do people feel about three dogs, how are the dynamics likely to change? Is it easy still to get each dog to focus on me, or will they become more of a pack?

Any thoughts would be appreciated as I'm in a quandry, I like her lots and think she could be a better obedience dog for me, but, I'm not sure if 3 will be just too much more work than 2... :eek:
 

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Hi Charlie: I have had 4 gsd's at at time (all female) and then recently three females and a male. Having two female gsd's can be challenging but as long as you are pack leader can be done. I have never had a serious fight but every now and then a skirmish. Most time it happens when I lose the older one and the pack is re-establishing themselves. I recently lost my oldest Falon and the two remaining girls became a bit more - aware of each other but only took a few days to get the pack back in order. Best of luck if you decide to increase your pack!
 

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Hi, thanks for that, how do you exercise them? I ride horses and take my current 2, but not sure about keeping an eye on 3! I am lucky enough to have a few acres for them to blow off steam and take them on outings a few times a week, beach, park etc. not sure how good I'd be at 3 on leads and not sure if I'd feel bad leaving one or two at a time behind...
 

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sometimes 3 can be a crowd:)

Only you can make that decision whether she would fit in or not. My worry would be if they got to rough and hurt her (even unintentionally) since she already has something going on? don't know enough about what is wrong with her tho..

Maybe a trial basis? couple weeks see how things go?
 

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...

I have the opportunity to take on a WL GSD bitch, she is 15 months old, very high drive, currently not speyed, but will be. She was going to be a working or breeding bitch, no problems with drive but possibly has transitional vertebrae, so is being offered for rehoming.
...
I cannot tell a lie, I've never heard of this condition until I read this post, had to GOOGLE it. This is the article I read (I picked it at random so don't know if it's accurate or not). Lumbosacral transitional vertebrae

My first question would be, wouldn't the dog be better off as an "only dog" rather than in a group situation where there's a good chance she may accidentally get injured even if the other two are playing nice?

Also, I'd take vet bills, if any, into consideration ... don't know what they would average for this condition (but I do have experience with Lumbosacral stenosis/cauda equine syndrome, which may be a result of this condition)?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I'm thinking of a bit of a trial, she will end up in a multiple dog home wherever she goes. Without blowing my own trumpet I think that ours is probably the most dog-knowledgeable of the homes that are on offer. I do think that maybe as we have cats, sheep and horses, a puppy would be a better 3rd dog to take on, and maybe a dog would work better than a bitch? Maybe I'm just considering this one as she is on offer...
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Took her for a walk without my two today, here she is...She really listens, I'm still undecided....:confused:
 

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don't do it. stay with the 2 (for now). make sure the 2 are well trained
and highly socialized before taking on another dog. why do you want 3 dogs?
reading your posts and reading what i think is uncertainty on your part i thnk
the uncertainty is saying don't take on another dog. you can always get another
dog. get another dog when you're certain.
 

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I had 3 for a while but there was a big gap in their ages-and I think that makes it easier because one of my dogs was a senior-
 

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They are both young and only 5 months apart. I would not get 2 females that close in age. They may get along now but in a few months when they start to mature that may not be the case.
 

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Two dogs is a pair. Three dogs is a pack. The mentality definitely changes with three, especially three young, high-energy, high-drive dogs. It can sometimes work okay, as long as you have absolute obedience and control over all three dogs both separately and together, or if the three don't live together 24/7.

For a while I had two GSDs and an Akbash Dog. That worked out fine, as the Akbash lived out with the goats 24/7 and did not care about going for walks, chasing a ball, or playing with toys, so he was never really in competition or cahoots with the GSDs. But I would not want to try going anywhere by myself with a pack of three dogs. To the average dog owner, I always recommend you not have more dogs than you have people to control them, though a dog-savvy owner may be able to control multiple dogs at a time.

If you do take on another female, I would definitely have her spayed. Bitches can sometimes be quarrelsome with other bitches when they come into season.
 

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I have three dogs. The first two I got a year apart. We waited a long time before getting the GSD. 6 years. For the most part having three is working out well. There are sometimes some little quarrels that break out. Nothing major. We make sure they all get attention.

If I were to get another dog I would wait for a few years. The reason is my GSD is only 9 months old and still learning and training. I would make sure he was on solid ground with his training and socialization before I brought another dog in. However, three is our limit where we live.
 

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I have five dogs. 8 year old female (spayed) labrador, 5 year old female toy poodle, 2 year old female GSD, 4 year old male toy poodle, and a 3 year old male GSD.

When managing a pack of dogs, there are some things we've learned through the years that makes our life easier and more relaxed....

Humans are the pack leaders. Every person in the household, from toddler to adult is above the dogs. The dogs are here because we want them to be, not the other way around. Dogs have their "place" and that's not at the top of our household food chain.

Training, training, training. A well behaved pack is essential. One unruly dog can lead to chaos and trouble...If one gets away with acting nutty, the others will soon follow.

Exercise is mandatory. A tired pack of dogs is less likely to want to pick fights and bicker over silly stuff.
Our GSD's actually work on our farm, so they're out running pastures randomly throughout the day. I've noticed on days when we spend less time out, when they don't get enough exercise, they're more disagreeable in the evening. That's when they want to bicker over tennis balls and he's laying in my spot, and I'm drinking water right now, leave me alone.

Routine and consistency are a must. Each dog is let out of their crate each morning in a specific order. Each dog is fed, in a specific order, in a specific location. Each dog is crated in it's own, designated crate, in a specific order, each night. Every day, same order, same routine. It's the routine they know and are comfortable with and they know what to expect and when. It keeps things organized and predictable and easily to manage.

Going from one to two was more difficult than going from two to five, for us. Of course, each person, each pack is different.

I'd suggest taking her on a trial, for a week or so and see how it works out for you. That way, if you feel it's too much, having that extra dog, you're not committed to taking her and you'll not end up with a dog you truly didn't want or that isn't going to work out.
 

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I have four dogs and let me tell you, two sounds like a vacation! I don't know if I will ever have this many dogs again at one time. For the most part they all completely ignore each other, my 3 non GSD's are much more human oriented and could care less about each other. My GSD though is very dog oriented and this causes issues with him annoying the other dogs(he's still a puppy so it's something we're currently working on)... My Golden though has some issues and will occasionally snap and growl if another dog gets too much into his space(also something we've been working on).

Having one dog causing issues like that can make life very stressful then add in the cost of keeping that many dogs, food, vet, etc... It certainly can be done if you have the time and dedication to give everybody what they need and also agree with the above, a tired pack is a happy pack. :) My only hesitation would be having two females so close in age, me personally I could not manage it if one were to decide the other needed to be taken out so I would not to do it.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
OK, so we took her on trial and it soon became apparent that we would really have our work cut out if we wanted her to be able to co-exist with the cats. Our dogs are indoor dogs and I really felt that if one of the cats got cornered by her, she might kill it. Other than that she was great, a lot of training had been done with her so in that respect she would have been a breeze.
I also took on board the comments re: two bitches together, and she did seem more at ease with Red (dog) as opposed to Norah, so I think that might have become an issue.
So, much as small puppies (cute as they are) are not my dream creature to live with, we have decided that we will get a third dog, however, it will be another dog rather than a bitch, it will be a puppy so that it can be raised to fit in with our life without putting either of the cats in danger, and it will be another GSD :)
 

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I had two working line German Shepherds, and a hunting line Weimaraner for years.

All females, all intact.

I never had any problems from the dogs........and they went everywhere with me, even traveled internationally. We could go anywhere and do anything and I never had a problem(from the dogs, stupid people sometimes gave us problems---but when the training is right, even stupid people can't give you much of a problem).

Just make sure that every member of the pack is given EXACTLY the same treatment. There can't be any fighting for pack position if there are no positions to fight for, everyone gets the same number and size of treats, everyone waits and gets their treat at the same time, no gets attention that everyone doesn't get equal attention at the same time.

Do the training, and use it everyday----training is only any good at all if you use it. The more you use it, the stronger it gets. And easier. After awhile, you and they are so accustomed to it, that you use it without even thinking about it----and so do they.

It takes some commitment and work, but it can be done.

I wish I had a dollar for all the people who told me it couldn't be done, with three dogs standing right beside me, doing exactly what they were telling me couldn't be done.
 
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