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We've always been a one-dog household until we got our spoo puppy a few weeks ago, and I'm starting to learn a lot about the pros and cons of having more than one dog.

One big benefit to this arrangement is that the two dogs play with each other, a LOT. My older dog, Cooper, is pretty chill and doesn't need a lot of activity, but he likes playing with our puppy. I can't imagine how much busier I would be if I was the only one available to drain energy from this puppy. The older dog is helping us out a lot in that regard. On the other hand, they are like little toddlers when toys or chews are around - the only toy they are interested in is the one that the other one is playing with. So, I'm starting to learn that toys need to be put away when both dogs are loose, otherwise it's endless tugging and growling. I suspect they enjoy it, but I don't want it to escalate out of control.

A possible con of this, however, is that I'm not the center of the dog's world like I was when we only had one dog. The dogs have each other for much of the time, and I suppose they don't need me as much. I already have a very strong bond with my older dog, but I wonder if I'll ever have as strong a bond with my poodle, since she's never been the only dog like he has.

Even though Cooper enjoys playing with the puppy, I feel that overall he was happier without her. Maybe this will change over time, but if they are not actively playing, they are ignoring each other. There's no cuddling or anything cute going on, it's either wrestling around, or they're napping.

For me personally, I'm enjoying it. I grew up with 3 siblings and was used to a lot of activity in the house, and having two dogs certainly make the home more lively. It makes things more challenging too - we can't just drop off a dog at our friend's house when we want to go out of town. And of course the puppy requires a lot more time and attention than the older dog. But so far I would say the pros outweigh the cons, and I'm glad we got the 2nd dog.
 

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A possible con of this, however, is that I'm not the center of the dog's world like I was when we only had one dog. The dogs have each other for much of the time, and I suppose they don't need me as much. I already have a very strong bond with my older dog, but I wonder if I'll ever have as strong a bond with my poodle, since she's never been the only dog like he has.
Most likely, YES, you sure will. Frosty is the baby of my canine family and the bond I have with him is unbelievably strong. He definitely prefers me over anyone else, although he adores Maizie too.

Nice list of pros and cons. I definitely agree that although there are pros and cons to multiple dogs, the pros outweigh the cons.
 

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Most likely, YES, you sure will. Frosty is the baby of my canine family and the bond I have with him is unbelievably strong. He definitely prefers me over anyone else, although he adores Maizie too.

Nice list of pros and cons. I definitely agree that although there are pros and cons to multiple dogs, the pros outweigh the cons.

What she said. Exactly! :adore:
 
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Lily was an only dog for about 8 weeks when she first came home. I doubt she remembers that time at all. Since she and Peeves were puppies at the same time we had to do a lot of extra work to make sure they were bonded with us and not just one another. They had a great play relationship when they were young. Eventually though Peeves just lost his desire to try to play herding sorts of games with her even though she still wanted them.


Enter Javelin when the older dogs were about 7. Lily spent about 6-8 months pretending Javelin didn't exist at all. Javvy's puppy life pal was Peeves. Then his relationship with Lily blossomed. Javelin got hormones and his relationship with Peeves flattened out since now Peeves was not only too old to want to play much with the now reasonably sedate Lily, but he got really tired of a 40-50 pound adolescent dog playing the puppy game of Peeves being a one dog sled team and Javelin being the sled holding Peeves by the tail.



Having two dogs was much simpler than having three. The two boys don't like each other very well and Lily is a pot stirrer.
 
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I've always had 2... until I had three LOL

We have had bonded pairs over the years, one young one coming in when an older one passed on. 3 years ago, in anticipation of losing our 9 year old Bouvier & wanting her to pass on all her good stuff to a new home guardian, we got a GSD. The Bouvier saw this and had a second youth -- no WAY was she giving up to the GSD (both female and a continual jostling for alpha). So we had 3 for 3.5 years!

When the Bouv passed this spring, the remaining 2 (5 year old mini poodle mix and 3 year old GSD) have really been at a loss. It was like becoming roommates of a friend's friend ... but without the mutual friend in the middle. Just kind of tepid. Neither really happy about it.

Which lead us to consider the return to three, because both of these guys grew up in a pack and neither have been alone (which I should have made sure they learned).

So, enter Angus, our brand new Standard. Big enough, eventually to rough it with the GSD but also able to chill with the little guy. We chose a male intentionally to let the female GSD keep her rank. Over the years I've learned I can only deal with one bitch in the house at once ?

Make sure new pup has lots of human only time, and first dog has puppy free time. We play only on neutral territory for a while. Pick up resources so no competition. Go at the pace the older dog is happy with. Older dog always gets everything first ?
 

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I currently have 2 tiny dogs, 3 large working dogs. Big dogs' ages are 8 yrs, 4 yrs, 6 months. The older dogs assist me in training the younger ones in ways that is not only easier but more effective. I see my old Collie every day in my Giant Schnauzer & my young Collie. She trained my young Giant. I always tell folks, if you have an adult dog & s/he is perfect to you, get a pup before that dog is too old to fool with a puppy so they can help you train. So much easier than starting from scratch. Its not for everyone but if you can do it... you'll always get a glimpse of that senior dog from time to time.

If you do this right, you will have a very strong bond with both dogs. Make certain to spend one on one time with both dogs. I have a great yard set up for this but if you don't you can crate or put one dog in another room for an hour. An hour doesn't hurt anyone. Give the older dog his time. Give the pup his time with just you (or you & family). Also train with the pup one on one. Once the pup has learned the commands reliably, train the pup with the older dog. The older dog is often a distraction at first but that's okay, it teaches puppy to focus on you. You become a unit but it comes from that single contact from one on one time
 

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Wow, lots of great advice here, thanks! I need to start spending some time 1-on-1 with each dog, I haven't really been doing that, and I can see how that would be helpful.
 

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I’ve always had two dogs also. I let the alpha be the alpha... in your case Cooper. He should get his food, treats, choice of toys, and everything else first. Like first greeting when you come in the door. I give mine lap time together, and lap time separately. I don’t separate them to do this. If you teach them to wait their turn, it goes smoothly. Not that the dog on the floor won’t want to get up, but they get used to the routine.

Zeke was the puppy when I got him... as a 3rd dog. My female chi was in charge and she taught him many things. But everyday I would work with him on something new or fun or exciting, and I’ve never been bonded to a dog like I am with him. Again, I never separated the dogs.

So you will have an awesome bond with your puppy. And Cooper will feel better about having him there. The cute stuff, while laying down together will take a while, but it should happen. If it doesn’t it doesn’t mean they don’t love each other, more likely they want their interpersonal relationship to be with you.

Congrats on the puppy! The pros of 2 definitely outweigh the cons. Once you had them together a couple years, there won’t be many cons left.


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We’ve mostly had more than one dog at a time, except in cases where one passed and we didn’t get a new dog right away. For the dog, I think the companionship is nice, but I think a well cared for single dog can also have quite a fine life.

I currently have 4 dogs. Ages 8,9,10 years and nine months. Two spayed females, a neutered male and the ninth month old girl is still intact. How’s that for a mix!

It works, but my life does revolve around them way more than it did with only one or two. It’s pretty harmonious most of the time. Misty, the eight year old Bichon mix is the only one who stirs the pot. She will once in a while scrabble with Lily when Lily’s play gets too crazy (in Misty’s opinion)- but Lily backs right down so that hasn’t been an issue. Misty has no problem putting pesky poodle puppy in her place and I’ve noticed lately Gracie will give it back to her, so I have to watch how that unfolds as Gracie matures. But there’s no bloodshed and it doesn’t escalate beyond a mild skirmish. They all sleep in the big bed and hang out harmoniously the majority of the time. Here are right now in thier usual morning spots on the couch with me.

I do make it a point to spend one on one time with each of them. Gracie’s puppy training and socialization needs have cut into some of the older dogs’s time lately, but they’re no worse for the wear. The one on one time can be a simple as running to Home Depot and taking just one of them along for the ride.

Hope this helps! I like multiple dog households, but you have to be a dog centric person to appreciate it, and it will tie you down way more than just one dog does. I believe the pros outweigh the cons.
 

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I have quite a few dogs but we are definitely a dog-centric household. We live in the country so we don't really take the dogs for walks on leash very much--we do take them everywhere with us on our own property off leash though, which they love, and at our place at the lake. The poodles are 11 so years ago I spent a lot of time with them in obedience classes which we all enjoyed. I still teach all the dogs obedience basics, to have good manners, but in a group. I enjoy all their different personalities and they all get along, which helps. So I guess my experience with multiple dogs is, it's been fun and rewarding. I love having several dogs.

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Eric,

I would have to give you my two cents because we have never had a single dog household so i cannot imagine it! I am sure it means a lot more focus on your pup when the dogs are not distracted with each other and it all falls on your to get the dogs energy out.

Currently we are in a 3 dog 3 cat household and I love it! Granted there are 4 people living here full time. Cats belong to my sister. 2/3 dogs are my moms. And 1 poodle boy is mine!!
My Norman has never known life without other dogs and him and I are completely bonded! I think this is because I am the sole person who feeds him, baths him, walks him. Unless I am out of town then it is my mom who steps in (he has also bonded to her). Also, he sleeps with me in my room (he either sleeps in his Cage or my bed, which ever he chooses for the night). From my research, Poodles are family dogs and pack dogs. They love company so I am sure your poodle pup is very happy with Cooper. As for your older dog, I think this is giving Cooper a new life! Not that he never had one, but now theres a new dog/friend/pal! Someone to be with if yall step out to the store, etc. Cooper might have been happier to be the only dog, but this may be very beneficial to him! More activity :) Our bulldogs are getting a lot more activity with Norman and at night they are all tuckered out by 8!! LOL

When I do get my own place with my boyfriend when he leaves the Navy, we will likely get another dog for many reasons, especially the company!! Norman is bonded to me for sure but I personally am happier knowing the dogs have each other. :) so I think a 2 dog household is perfect, if it fits your lifestyle of course :)

Many pros and cons, but it all comes down to what is best for you and your dogs !! Everyone is different and it works!! :) But I wouldn't worry about Cooper, he is likely excited about his new sibling.
 
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