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Hi there,

I got my first dog 6 months ago, a tpoo, she is now 8 months. She's adorable and well-behaved already, no behavior problem or whatsoever. I discovered that I had a big passion for dog education and oh god, I just absolutely LOVE my girl. I have an opportunity to adopt a second dog RIGHT NOW, he's a mpoo of 8 weeks. I would love to add another companion to my family. However...

  • I've heard that getting two young dogs at the same time can make them bound together strongly. My girl is a velcro dog and I want her to stay the same.
  • Is a 6 months interval in age enough between two puppies? My girl is well behaved and if she stays the same, I will be able to raise the other puppy at the same time.
  • I want to, eventually, be able to walk my two dogs at the same time. Is that feasible or pleasant? I love to walk my dog and I don't want it to become a chore. I know the puppy will need some separated training before and I'm ready to do it.
  • Finally, I'm starting a Ph.D. in september. If I adopt the new puppy right now, I will have about 4 months to set him on good bases. I think it's feasible, my girl was well-behaved already at 6 months, so after 4 months of training.

I would like to get insights on how this could work from people who have or had two dogs at the same time. Am I crazy to think about getting a second puppy already??
 

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It sounds like you’re in a great position to enjoy your girl, help navigate her through adolescence, and be in a great position with her when you start what will presumably be a very intensive new schedule in the fall.

Why would you like a second dog right now? I think you should dig deep into your answer to that question and it will guide you forward.

Honestly, two puppies are triple the work, and the presence of another dog in the home may dramatically alter the behaviour of your current poodle. I experienced this firsthand with my last dog.
 

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I'm a year out from finishing my PhD. Speaking from experience, I can say the first year was brutal. You may find it difficult to go through with a young puppy. I got mine at the beginning of summer before my 4th year and I think it was a good time because it was after I had passed all of my proposal and qualifying exams and had completed most of my data collection. I do not think I could have done it before my first year. But I'm in biology and different programs will vary.

An 8 month old is still very young, and their personalities and behavior will change a great deal as they age. You may find that she requires more training as she matures, so you may need to put quite a bit of time into this. Many behavioral issues do not surface until dogs are more mature. Having a new puppy means your first dog won't be getting as much attention and time from you, possibly when she needs it most in her teenage phase.

I do think that the gap is probably enough that you won't have littermate syndrome. But you will for sure want to do things with them separately to ensure they are both bonded to you as individuals. I think they can certainly both be walked together, though this may take a while before it's actually pleasant for you.

Whether it's the right choice for you is just something you need to decide based on your own schedule and committment. My minipoo felt like a full time job when he was a puppy. Probably until he was around a year.
 

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Miss Pia Maria (10/6/2014) Mr. Leonard Pink (8/7/2017) Walter Grey (9/28/2010(
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My girls are 27 weeks apart in age, I got my second tpoo at 20 weeks when my first tpoo was 11 months, it was a lot of work and they will gang up on ya. I have no regrets but I won't do that again, adding a second puppy will change the dynamics with the first puppy. You haven't even gotten to puppy adolescence yet.
I walk 3 dogs at a time, you have to be on the ball
 

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I agree with Raindrops. I also have a Ph.D. in specifically immunology. I knew I waned a poodle when I was in grad school but also realistically knew I would not be good even at multi-asking one pup and didn't have economic depth that would do justice to all of the $$$$$ involved potentially with a puppy.

Many years later we had Lily and Peeves as cohort pups. It was pretty miserable. I will never have a puppy added if other already established house members are less than 3 years old. I know it sounds irresistably fun, but my experience says not really.
 

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Mia, Christmas in June 2010
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Am I crazy to think about getting a second puppy already??
Adding a second dog sounds fun, but it's not advisable. Most people here recommend a minimum of two years in age between dogs; many other owners say four years is preferable. On top of the stress of adding a new dog, you are also anticipating major lifestyle changes in the next few years that will be physically, mentally, and emotionally taxing. My advice is to wait until you're a few years into your PhD; depending on what you're studying, get your coursework out of the way, get into your research, and then decide whether you have the time and energy for a second dog. All dogs are happy being only dogs, but only some dogs are happy sharing their home. Adding a second dog when you're not ready is an expensive and emotionally wrenching mistake to repair. Twice the dogs usually ends up being half the fun, and you do not want to jeopardize your PhD because of dog conflicts.

I know this is a bit of a downer, but enjoy being in love with your tpoo. It's a magical time, when you fall in love with your dog. Soak in these next few months before you start school.
 

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I'm going through young dog + puppy right now. My older dog was 14 months when the 8 week old pup came in. I've also done littermates in the past.

Yes, it is possible and even enjoyable to walk two dogs simultaneously. When they are first learning it is a bit of a pain. Everyone needs to learn how not to get the leashes tangled. They also need to learn not to wrestle on leash and not to run behind you. They figure it out.

I do have some concerns regarding your particular situation.
One is that a PhD program and the post-doc afterwards are very demanding and could leave you with a very disjointed schedule. Dogs like consistency.
Another is that your girl is really still a puppy herself. She's an older puppy, in the way that a 15 year old girl is an older child. She's may act like a responsible adult most of the time, but she is likely to regress under the stress of having another puppy in the household.
A third is that you mentioned she is a toy, and the new puppy will be a mini. This means the puppy will grow to be larger and possibly more energetic than she is. Are you going to be able to keep them separated if the puppy turns into a hellion teenager?
 

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I often think of adding a 2ndpoodle though my household is already a multi dog family. But then I say, remember the hard times and frankly this dog has a great temperament even though he is reactive at times on a leash to other dogs & people. Then I say what if the new one doesn't potty train as quick as this guy did, really I basically had minimum accidents, 1 p and 2 poos from 8 weeks. He goes to bed a 8 or 8;30 and will sleep to 6 if I need him too. I'm an early riser 5 am. What if the new one isn't this way. Then I say nope going to keep things the way the are and just enjoy what I have.
 

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I agree with Raindrops. I also have a Ph.D. in specifically immunology. I knew I waned a poodle when I was in grad school but also realistically knew I would not be good even at multi-asking one pup and didn't have economic depth that would do justice to all of the $$$$$ involved potentially with a puppy.

Many years later we had Lily and Peeves as cohort pups. It was pretty miserable. I will never have a puppy added if other already established house members are less than 3 years old. I know it sounds irresistably fun, but my experience says not really.
I agree with this timescale. I want a second dog after I am done with PhD and have a house and better salary. I think 3-5 years for the first dog is ideal for adding a second. Training takes so much time. I want Misha to be 100% on his manners before I bring in a second. That way he will be a great mentor. At 2 he still has room for improvement.
 

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Leo (GSD), Lily (APBT), and Simon (SPoo)
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Basically, yes. Two puppies at once isn't twice as much work, it's more like four or five times as much work. Separate crates. Separate feedings. Separate training sessions. Separate walks. Separate loose in the house sessions. Then you have supervised together time. Throw in some intense school/personal upheaval, and you won't know whether you are coming or going.

I currently walk my 9 year old GSD (55 lb) and 7 year old APBT (35 lb) together, and it can be uh... interesting... when they want to go different directions, or one stops and the other doesn't. I just hope I survive adding the SPoo puppy... it's been a long time since I've walked three dogs at once, and I still have the scars from being dragged down a couple of times.
 

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Wait until your current puppy is two. I raised two puppies at once. I will never do that again, and I am a professional dog trainer. It’s so much harder than I thought it would be.
 

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I'd probably wait until you're at least done with coursework and through most of your tpoo's adolescence before adding another dog.

Depending on your program, your working hours can become much more flexible (though potentially much longer) once you start independent research. Prior to my prelim, I was spending 12+ hours/day on campus between classes, labs, and meetings. And it always seemed like there was the next milestone to put all my efforts into: the first year proposal, prelims, dissertation proposal, dissertation,...and all of the papers and conferences in between. Another thing to consider is if your field values conference publications/presentations, there may be a couple of months where you are home every other week, which might be especially hard on a young pup. My friends in the program made it work between boarding and helpful roommates/friends, but it was stressful for them.
 

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Thank you all for your feedback!!! It seems that raising two puppies is way harder than I thought. I will enjoy the time with my girl, see how the PhD goes, and think about getting a second dog later! :)
Wise decision.
 

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I think you're making a wise decision. 2 pups... at once... argh.

We've done it before but it's a ton of work. My tribe are ages 10, 7, 6, 4, 2. The 7 & 6 year old were a Chihuahua & a Collie so pretty mild. There is a reason I space them out
 

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I have a post closely related to yours. After consulting the highly intelligent people on this forum, I have decided that I am not ready to add another puppy, My reasons for adding another puppy are not optimal and I like the way our lives are now. My dog is just over 2 years old. I would not have considered adding a 2nd when he was 6 months old. Not because of behavior ( he is an angel), but because that time let us grow a very strong bond.
 
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