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Discussion Starter #1
Pros and cons of adding a 3rd dog?

Was it more difficult having 3 compared to 2?

Share your opinions please.
 

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I have had three dogs at a time for the past 13 years, but the dynamics were very different. And none have been/are GSDs.

My first trio consisted of a golden retriever, a sheltie and a scotty; the age difference was about 18 months year between the oldest (golden) and the youngest (scotty). Perhaps we were lucky, but the three were really good together; the sheltie was the boss, the golden just happy to be around, and the scotty true to his breed, was happy just being on the sidelines.

Fast forward, at the age of 8, we lost our Golden to cancer. For about a year and a half, it was just the sheltie and the scotty, who now paired together. We then added our Shiloh, who, as an 8-week old puppy, easily attached himself to the two older fellows, though the sheltie decided he wasn't worth the bother. So the dynamics changed, but not necessarily in a bad way. The Shiloh has a very submissive temperament and neither my scotty or the sheltie were overtly dominant. So other than a ridiculously fast-growing puppy, things were still peaceful within the kingdom.

Last Christmas, we lost our sheltie to heart issues. Our scotty, who normally seemed as if he could care less, was bereft, and the shiloh was confused...for a small but fat dog, the sheltie left a giant hole in the dynamics. And because we really should listen to ourselves when we say 'No More Dogs!' my husband and I added another sheltie into the mix - who had the complete opposite temperament of our late sheltie. Loud where the first one was silent, bouncy everywhere when the late sheltie was more of a couchpotato.

The dynamics have now changed in that we have two very young, suddenly energetic puppies and one grumbly older dog who is followed everywhere by the young ones.

I think that the dynamics change based on - in my very limited experience - the temperaments and even personalities of the individual dogs. Like at the beginning, I look at the pile of dogs in front of the TV and see two smaller dogs, and a big dog, but it was a lot calmer back then. Simply because the temperament of the sheltie portion of the trio changed. Thankfully it's just puppy exhuberance (and I did have a mousy sheltie; the one we now have is typical of the breed).

I think if we had a GSD with even a slightly dominant temperament, there would have been issues with my scotty, who does not suffer fools lightly (the shiloh has a scar on his nose since he still insists on trying to crawl under the scotty). Bringing in an older dog versus a puppy would not have been tolerated by our late sheltie, who seemed to give the shiloh a lot of wiggle room and was more receptive to him.

But other than the dynamics between the three, it's not technically more difficult other than extra food, always making sure I 'share' myself between the three...it was easier with just two, but maybe I'm fortunate in that my dogs are okay as a trio. They definitely keep each other company, and I have yet to observe any ganging up by two of them against the third.
 

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Three can change easily change pack dynamics. Depends on the breed and the individuals. With the age difference you have with you dogs, adding a third dog should be a cakewalk.

I think once you get past three, things can become more challenging especially if they are all large breeds, even if you look at such things as do you really have room in your house for three big dogs to spread out on the floor leaving you room to safely navigate through them?
 

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I would say it depends on the dog(s), gender and ages. With my first GSD, he was quite tolerant; I often looked after my friend's dogs when he was away, the longest for a month. So short-term adjustments in the household being mentioned here, I don't have experience with permanent multiple dogs in my house. The dogs were a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, and two collies (one female, one male). I liked that they all played nicely together, although the female collie has some resource guarding issues with the other dogs (food/toys/chews) that I had to manage. Walking them all together took a bit of coordination!

Jump ahead to the most recent dog-sitting experience, with the same three guests but a different GSD of mine. My new puppy, Phoenix was 6 months old at the time, and I looked after the three dogs for 16 days...it was definitely more of a challenge. Phoenix would want to play, and the collies would growl and snap at him. And I didn't even make an attempt to walk them all at the same time! It may be that things would be different once Phoenix matures, but I have to say I was glad it wasn't a permanent arrangement!

Dynamics between dogs can be tricky to anticipate!
 

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I'll be blunt because I love ya, Lauren. Along with my personal choice that 2 is my limit, I think you have way more than enough going on in your life right now without adding another dog.
 

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3rd, 4th and 5th did not change dynamics. The 6th did slightly and the 7th definitely did. The issues lie between number 6 and 7, but it's manageable. Now that the youngest is almost 2 the pack has stabilized once again. My senior is slowing down and I imagine the dynamics will change again once she is not around(I'm dreading this and get sick thinking about it). I do have the space for them and for the most part their temperaments(which play a role) are a decent match. They each have a personality and I know what they are individually. I can say adding one down the road with dog 7 will be difficult and not something that I might be able to do.
 

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2 has been our limit for many years now after we had the "3" dynamic. Never again!;)

Kind of like a third wheel. 1 might be left out of the mix when playing and get irritated. 2 may be against 1!:surprise:

Moms:)
 

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2 has been our limit for many years now after we had the "3" dynamic. Never again!;)

Kind of like a third wheel. 1 might be left out of the mix when playing and get irritated. 2 may be against 1!:surprise:

Moms:)
Exactly. And a 4th was terrible. We have two separate packs in our house. Jax/Seger. Sierra. And when we had Chaos, she was lost in the mix so I sent her to a friend.
 

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I have three right now and the pack dynamic is excellent.The Yorkie is a senior and when he passes if we decide to get another it wouldn't be a puppy.It would have to be older with a submissive temperament I think,in order to not rock the boat too much.
 

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It seems like every little thing can be a competition when there's 3. Going through doors, feeding them, everything you don't like just becomes harder to control. So many things you don't have to think about with 2, all of a sudden you have to be aware of. None of that or what others have said is absolute or unavoidable, but I don't think its worth it just from the standpoint of taking care of another dog, unless there's some specific purpose for getting that 3rd dog. Are you looking for a dog for something other then just wanting a puppy?
 

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Forgot to mention traveling = size of car: size of gsd's, food, beds, cages, other equipment....no place to put our suitcases!!!
Vacation was a nightmare for us with 3! :laugh2:

And just going places with 3! Only got 2 hands for big dog's! No arms to carry a small sized dog! LOL

Monetary......Food & Vets


Moms:)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
It seems like every little thing can be a competition when there's 3. Going through doors, feeding them, everything you don't like just becomes harder to control. So many things you don't have to think about with 2, all of a sudden you have to be aware of. None of that or what others have said is absolute or unavoidable, but I don't think its worth it just from the standpoint of taking care of another dog, unless there's some specific purpose for getting that 3rd dog. Are you looking for a dog for something other then just wanting a puppy?
I don't worry at all with adding a 3rd dog when it comes to my current GSD, he loves ALL dogs. My worry would be my Dalmatian, but he seems to do great with female dogs. I have not been able to introduce him to a puppy though. I want a 3rd dog because I want a 3rd dog, lol. My life revolves around my animals, I spend the majority of my time with them, I take them everywhere, I train them and make sure they are well behaved, they are both really good dogs and were a pleasure raising. I also want a 3rd dog because I would love Sinister's help raising one more puppy before he becomes too old (he just turned 7 years old), if I were to get a puppy this summer/fall like planned, then Sinister would be around 9 or 10 when the puppy finally settles down and then Sin can spend his golden years relaxing while my Dalmatian and the puppy run around all day. My Dalmatian is very active, playful and has a lot of energy and stamina, Sin is starting to slow down and in a year or two he probably won't be able to keep up or won't want to keep up with him.
 

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Well, just keep in mind that you already know Draven may not be ok and you can't guarantee what the temperament of the puppy will be, so for me that falls into the too much work to just get another dog category. But for you, maybe not. If its something you want to do and can enjoy, maybe its all worth it.
 

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Tough question. I love all three of my dogs but adding the BC as #3 makes things hard. I could easily walk the two to get to the dog park etc...3 not so easy. The BC is a bit of a spaz which does not help. Vacation with three...hubby says NO...I want to try a short trip. BC also had been prone to motion sickness so that is a deal breaker for anything too far off. If we take a long RV trip I might have to feel guilty and pick one for the trip and leave the other with the house sitter!!!! I hate that. My 6 year old gsd gets along will with others and had always liked puppies but I see jealousy issues in him daily. The other gsd turned one in Feb the BC is 7 months...yes close together but things just lined up to where we got him. The gsd was an easy addition and the jealousy issues seemed to come out with the 3rd. Nothing overly aggressive...He just gets bossy with them. He has to be shut off at feed time or he will eat ALL the food. Not fighting but they leave if he walk up and he will eat it all...he is getting fat and the other two are picky eaters! He has turned into a bed hog. I have had to make him sleep on his bed on the floor because he used to wait to be invited and only get on the bed when I wanted him there. Now with the other dogs he is in "I have to be the first mode" so there has been some retraining. Other times they play and love each other but I think he misses being the only dog. When it was just him and the gsd puppy his jealousy meter was running but not on high like it is now.
 

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Tough question. I love all three of my dogs but adding the BC as #3 makes things hard. I could easily walk the two to get to the dog park etc...3 not so easy. The BC is a bit of a spaz which does not help. Vacation with three...hubby says **** no...I want to try a short trip. BC also had been prone to motion sickness so that is a deal breaker for anything too far off. If we take a long RV trip I might have to feel guilty and pick one for the trip and leave the other with the house sitter!!!! I hate that. My 6 year old gsd gets along will with others and had always liked puppies but I see jealousy issues in him daily. The other gsd turned one in Feb the BC is 7 months...yes close together but things just lined up to where we got him. The gsd was an easy addition and the jealousy issues seemed to come out with the 3rd. Nothing overly aggressive...He just gets bossy with them. He has to be shut off at feed time or he will eat ALL the food. Not fighting but they leave if he walk up and he will eat it all...he is getting fat and the other two are picky eaters! He has turned into a bed hog. I have had to make him sleep on his bed on the floor because he used to wait to be invited and only get on the bed when I wanted him there. Now with the other dogs he is in "I have to be the first mode" so there has been some retraining. Other times they play and love each other but I think he misses being the only dog. When it was just him and the gsd puppy his jealousy meter was running but not on high like it is now.
 

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I thought #3 was the worst as far as changing pack dynamics go. Once it settled, #4,5,6 and 7 was a piece of cake. We're down to 4 now and that's very manageable. Our dogs are very easy going, they're used to new dogs coming and going (fosters).
 
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