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Hi , I have a 31/2 year old Standard poodle. I wonder if he needs a companion. We live on the beach - but he doesn't swim. He will go on the paddle board, or canoe and sit very still and be taken for a ride, but doesn't like his feet wet, unless to cool off. He doesn't really retrieve - he will a couple of times- maybe, if he feels like it, but would rather be chased, preferably another dog and especially if he has taken their ball. He chooses not to eat until he has exercised! is not food motivated at all. He goes for a walk for an hour, or more in the morning, and 45mins at night, a large part of it off lead. I have to watch for small children, particularly babies as he is fascinated by them, and will have selective hearing, the same with other dogs - has to say hello to everybody on the beach - and is generally very friendly ( if bouncy) . He has a lot of energy. I am taking him to agility - but doesn't do it madly keenly like the others in the group. When it became more intricate he seemed to perk up ,but even then only did it a couple of times before returning to a plod.He is well behaved there though in spite of all the dogs around. He doesn't really cuddle. Kisses me in the morning. Seems quite contained. I sometimes refer to him as The Count - as he looks so regal. I wish he would interact with me on a walk, sometimes he will play hide and seek - but really is on the look out for another dog. The other day he played beautifully with a one year old English cocker spaniel and I thought perhaps I could get him a pal. Or will I be making a bigger problem. Any advice gratefully received.
 

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What problem are you having ? That your dog is bored ? Or you think he is ?

In my opinion you should never get a pet to make a companion for an existing pet. It needs to be for your first, because that’s what you want. Then, if it makes a companion for your dog too, fine, that’s a bonus.

Because some dogs just won’t get along. And even if they do, you might end up with two dogs that are looking to you for excitement instead of one. After a while, the excitement vanishes, life with a second dog becomes routine and just as boring as before for the previous dog.

I’ve had two dogs for 12 years now and I love it but it comes with a price. A lot more work and two living being depending on me instead of one.
 

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Thanks for your thoughts.I think I feel guilty when I leave him on his own. ( not for long or often) And I guess he's harder to wear out if he doesn't swim or fetch or do agility, and I have to hope there is another dog on the beach that is able to play. He doesn't seem very like a poodle to me.?? But I think you are right I could just end up with more of the same.
 

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It sounds to me as if you want to bring the bounce and joy back into his life, and that is an excellent thing. A companion may help, but there is a lot to consider - compatibility, expense, time, etc, etc. There are other things you could try first. What are his absolute favourite things in the world? You have mentioned small children and friendly dogs - could you set up play dates once the world becomes more normal? Or change the way you walk and play - upping your own energy to dance and run if you can, or playing with a flirt pole or tug toy if, like me, your knees are no longer quite up to dashing around. Simplest of all, go into a play bow at home and let him tell you how he would like to play.

If he gets bored easily keeping training sessions short and varied, and challenging his brain with puzzles is probably the way to go. Many poodles find repetitive work boring and confusing - "I've done that already - did I do it wrong? What should I have done? I think I'll go and sniff the floor for a bit now to calm things down..." But I also think that with young dogs we can get so focussed on all the things we need to get right - socialising, training, feeding, exercising, grooming, etc, etc - it all gets a bit serious and we can forget to just have fun together. Hence the play bow, to invite him to play, and being bouncy and silly yourself!
 
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It sounds to me as if you want to bring the bounce and joy back into his life, and that is an excellent thing. A companion may help, but there is a lot to consider - compatibility, expense, time, etc, etc. There are other things you could try first. What are his absolute favourite things in the world? You have mentioned small children and friendly dogs - could you set up play dates once the world becomes more normal? Or change the way you walk and play - upping your own energy to dance and run if you can, or playing with a flirt pole or tug toy if, like me, your knees are no longer quite up to dashing around. Simplest of all, go into a play bow at home and let him tell you how he would like to play.

If he gets bored easily keeping training sessions short and varied, and challenging his brain with puzzles is probably the way to go. Many poodles find repetitive work boring and confusing - "I've done that already - did I do it wrong? What should I have done? I think I'll go and sniff the floor for a bit now to calm things down..." But I also think that with young dogs we can get so focussed on all the things we need to get right - socialising, training, feeding, exercising, grooming, etc, etc - it all gets a bit serious and we can forget to just have fun together. Hence the play bow, to invite him to play, and being bouncy and silly yourself!
Thank you for your considered response. I get what you are saying. Is he still considered a young dog then at 31/2? I know his favourite things - he's loves rough and tumble, with other big dogs, and can be mouthy if my sons ( in their 20s) 'rough house' with him - but he does stop when told. But given a choice that's what he likes best. I am 58- not my thing, but I am good at being silly. Maybe I worry too much - I shall try to add a few short training sessions to try and strengthen our bond.Thanks for your advice
 

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Discussion Starter #7
What would you like from him? I'd focus on that and your bond before complicating things with another dog, but that's just me. I didn't have much luck with a two-canine household.
Thanks PeggyThe Parti. I suspect you are right. I need to focus on our bond - and I think that is where I am having trouble.
 

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It sounds to me as if you want to bring the bounce and joy back into his life, and that is an excellent thing. A companion may help, but there is a lot to consider - compatibility, expense, time, etc, etc. There are other things you could try first. What are his absolute favourite things in the world? You have mentioned small children and friendly dogs - could you set up play dates once the world becomes more normal? Or change the way you walk and play - upping your own energy to dance and run if you can, or playing with a flirt pole or tug toy if, like me, your knees are no longer quite up to dashing around. Simplest of all, go into a play bow at home and let him tell you how he would like to play.

If he gets bored easily keeping training sessions short and varied, and challenging his brain with puzzles is probably the way to go. Many poodles find repetitive work boring and confusing - "I've done that already - did I do it wrong? What should I have done? I think I'll go and sniff the floor for a bit now to calm things down..." But I also think that with young dogs we can get so focussed on all the things we need to get right - socialising, training, feeding, exercising, grooming, etc, etc - it all gets a bit serious and we can forget to just have fun together. Hence the play bow, to invite him to play, and being bouncy and silly yourself!
I am also researching what a flirt pole is :)
 

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It sounds to me like you have the perfectly well behaved poodle. I would be thrilled. He doesn't sound bored to me, just playful with other dogs and that can be a good thing. He gets to play and ou don't have the additional work or expense. It sounds like you actually have a good relationship with your dog and that he listens well to you and enjoys going on the water and can actually sit and enjoy the ride. Personally I would just stick with what I have and be happy. I know of many poodles that aren't as well behaved.
 

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It sounds to me like he might enjoy things like tracking or scentwork that engage his brain without all the running and jumping and physical activity. I think these things also really help with the bond between you and your dog because you have to really look at your dog and learn his body language, and how he moves, and how he changes when he is on the right scent and when he is not. With scent you are not teaching the dog, he already knows how to track. You are following him into his world where he is the leader and learning how to understand him.
 

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It sounds to me like you have the perfectly well behaved poodle. I would be thrilled. He doesn't sound bored to me, just playful with other dogs and that can be a good thing. He gets to play and ou don't have the additional work or expense. It sounds like you actually have a good relationship with your dog and that he listens well to you and enjoys going on the water and can actually sit and enjoy the ride. Personally I would just stick with what I have and be happy. I know of many poodles that aren't as well behaved.
Thank you Mufar - maybe I just feel overly responsible. I shall resolve to not overthink things and try these scent games and flirt poles( which I had never heard of) to add a bit of variety.
 

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It sounds to me like he might enjoy things like tracking or scentwork that engage his brain without all the running and jumping and physical activity. I think these things also really help with the bond between you and your dog because you have to really look at your dog and learn his body language, and how he moves, and how he changes when he is on the right scent and when he is not. With scent you are not teaching the dog, he already knows how to track. You are following him into his world where he is the leader and learning how to understand him.
Thank you reraven123- I like the sound of scent tracking and shall investigate further - that and the flirt pole - sound right up his alley and could be a bit of fun. The scent work would stimulate him mentally as well. I presume info is all on line? thanks for the suggestion, much appreciated.
 

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I second other sentiments - another dog won't improve your relationship with him. I also agree he could use some brain work which can equally tire him out. My main gripe with most obdience classes and issues with training is a dog has to know they need to pay attention to you. I taught my guy this by teaching "watch me" which bridged into every other command, and recalling him off leash. Be fast and enthusiastic with rewards, and only work for 5 min at a time. It will take time but poodles are smart, he will catch on! *edited - my experience with this command I feel helped me have a stronger bond with my dog, which is why I suggest it :)

 

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I second other sentiments - another dog won't improve your relationship with him. I also agree he could use some brain work which can equally tire him out. My main gripe with most obdience classes and issues with training is a dog has to know they need to pay attention to you. I taught my guy this by teaching "watch me" which bridged into every other command, and recalling him off leash. Be fast and enthusiastic with rewards, and only work for 5 min at a time. It will take time but poodles are smart, he will catch on! *edited - my experience with this command I feel helped me have a stronger bond with my dog, which is why I suggest it :)

Thank you old Boots- good advice
 

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My spoo Groot is somewhat similar to what you describe. He loves playing with other dogs and isn’t the most cuddly, but that’s just his personality. I don’t think it speaks to our relationship since he is obedient and looks to me for leadership or whenever he’s unsure about something.

We got a puppy recently and it took a couple weeks of adjusting, but now he’s pretty happy about having a friend at home. He still likes to do his own thing when we go out but still checks in with me frequently and keeps tabs on the puppy. When we’re at home, they play chase and roughhouse in the yard frequently and then settle down very nicely. I definitely think the older dog likes having a sibling to play with and mentor. I still dedicate a fair amount of time to each of them individually so that my relationships with them don’t suffer, but I haven’t really had issues. I’d say if you have the time, it’s definitely worth considering getting a second dog. It definitely takes more time in the beginning but I do think it improves their quality of life to have a dog friend if they get along.
 
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