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Discussion Starter #1
Do you think that the average person should own more than two dogs,as far as having the ability to control a pack? I know a lot of us up here have way more than two,and manage it well. I have seen a lot of trainers/behaviorists recommend that most people shouldn't have any more than two dogs as pets in their home. I am guessing it's because of all the issues that they encounter with people who can't control their dogs.
 

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The average person can't handle 1 dog as evidenced by all the dogs in shelters, strays, and animal abuse cases. People who can handle 1 or more dogs responsibly should be considered exceptional individuals :) Just my opinion.
 

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I base it on how well they can manage the ones they have. IMO some can only handle one, and some can handle 10 without any major issues.The issues I am referring to are dog fights and just an out of control situation.
I've seen some professionals recommend not having anymore than 2 dogs in a pet household.I think anyone *CAN* have more than two and do it successfully,but many are don't want to do the work to maintain order in their pack.


how do you question how many dogs a person should own?
 

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We have three dogs. Jax is "mine". Banshee is old and wants to sleep 98% of the time, eat 1% and get attention 1%. Sierra needs more outside play and attention...she belongs to DH.

I really think it depends on the person. I don't have time to "work" more than one dog at a time. Other people have more time. I don't think anyone can say that "everyone" should only have a certain number of dogs.
 

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I've had 3 dogs at one time; all german shepherds. I never knew what pack action was until then. You just have to make sure they know who that alpha leader is---you.
 

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We have a 7 month old mixed rescue puppy and a 5 1/2 month German Shepherd. I want to get one more - either a Siberian Husky or Malamute and try to train it to talk like the famous Mishka, but plan to wait until out 2 puppies are grown first.
 

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We have 3 dogs all about a year apart. I do daily training with all of them. I can safely walk all 3 dogs at the same time at a foos/heal on a loose leash by just verbal commands. My dogs were trained by myself and my husband not professionally trained. My dogs are all wonderful off leash with commands and having 2 acres of all elec fence has helped greatly with off leash work/commands. My dogs are by no means perfect. I'd love to get them into some professional schutzund training or agility training just as I love those sports and how dogs trained in them learn versitility.

I believe it is up to the person/family to know how many dogs they can handle safely.
 

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when owning two dogs its one thing, but something about going from 2 to three you now have a pack mentality and things change quite a bit. Most people are not familiar with dog behavior enough to know when to interrupt something that can go wrong.

Without having that knowledge you have to rely heavily on the dogs actually getting a long. This is not always the case, and just like humans, some dogs just DON'T get a long.

So I think it entirely depends on the person. I manage my 8 dogs quite well and board my clients dogs regularly. I often get comments on how amazed people are at how well behaved my dogs are and how easy they are to manage. When using obedience, and then interrupting behaviors that can lead to problems, it makes handling them that much easier.

In another home, this entire pack structure may not work.
 

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the county i live in has a 4 dog limit..unles you have alot of acerage....i have owned 3 at one time and i would foster 2 to 3 at a time on top of that...it was in fact a handful sometimes....now im down to just my 9 yr old and my 6 month old puppy and for me 2 is a magic number...ill always have 1 or 2 dogs
 

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I've had 3 GSD's at one time and never had any trouble. Took them all for walks at the same time and never thought much about it. Course, they all 3 knew I was boss lady, lol. As I get older, though, I find that 2 is enough for me. I used to chuckle at the looks I would get from passers by. I think nobody wanted to mess with me, having 3 large GSDs!
Forgot to add: We would babysit my inlaws GSDs too at that time, so we occasionally would walk all 5 of them at the same time. We never had a fight, ever. Had 1 male with 2 females of our own and the inlaws dogs were a male and female.
 

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I've had 4 german shepherds at one time, for about 12 years, really not that bad in my case anyhow.

Having 3 now, (2 aussies, 1 gsd), I'm not crazy about having an odd number..But I've put myself on 'self limit', and won't get another since the aussies are seniors (tho don't act like it), and the male is a real butthead:) When I'm down to two, I will most likely get another..

But ya know I agree with Elaine, not ALL people, but I tend to know alot of people who shouldn't have ANY dog or have been required to pass a test before getting any type of animal:( Sad for the animal:(
 

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To me it depends not only on the person but also on the actual dogs themselves.

I think the average pet owner could handle 3 or even as many as 5 Chinese Cresteds (good ones) - but probably not 3 German Shepherds (or Dobes, Rotties, Amstaffs, ACDs, Aussies, etc.).

We currently have 8: 1 young GSD, 1 old Cocker, 1 old Corgi mix and 5 Cresteds. The two oldsters sleep most of the day. The 5 Cresteds amuse themselves by playing Chase Me with each other or the GSD. The GSD is the one that needs the most attention from us - unless we were to invent an automatic Jolly Ball Launcher. :)
 

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I think the idea is that when you have 2 dogs they are not a pack, but the addition of a third creates one, and creates a situation that is more fluid, less fixed, than the 2 dog situation. You are suddenly dealing with an elevation of needs and behaviors and need to be aware and responsive to those things. Most people do not want to give that much time, energy and thought to their dogs, and that's when you see problems and issues - Leerburg has a whole bunch of letters from people who can't figure out why 2 of their dogs killed the other, etc.
 

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I currently have 4 dogs. I manage well. This year is the first year that I'm having to crate and rotate due to my older Golden having behavioral issues. But I am able to manage it.

I have acerage. I have a large fenced back yard. 1/4th of my yard is seperated by a dog run. I also have a large kennel in my back yard. My entire fence in the back yard has a live hot wire on top. I have crates (of various sizes) as well. When I'm tired, and have nothing to give I can easily take my dogs out to run in the pastures, while I stroll along.

Managing my 'pack' is just a matter of spending time and being creative.

About a month ago, my sister's horse was injured. I have to go to her house at least every other day to treat and wrap the mare's leg. It has put a lot of pressure on me, and the dogs suffer for it. If I didn't have the ability to let them 'exercise' on their own (stroll out to the pastures) I truly don't know what I'd do.
 
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