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Bowfin

Benefits/Drawbacks of Two Dogs?

25 posts in this topic

My Lab is 8 years old but still going strong. My wife is bugging me to get a second Lab pup. I guess I know some obvious drawbacks - twice the vet bills, twice the food, twice the hair in the house, and it will take my son twice the amount of time to pick up the yard (poor guy). I always had the idea that if you got a pup while still having an older dog the pup wouldn't bond as much to the owner but would bond instead to the other dog. Is this true? Also it seems like it would be a distraction training a new pup with another dog around - although, I have heard that the pup would learn from the older dog making training easier. Is this actually true?

Hoping to hear some thoughts of any other positives or negatives of getting a second dog.

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While I haven't had 2 dogs myself I can see one benefit being that one dog is entering it's prime while the other is leaving it's prime.

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I am in that exact situation, an older (13) Golden Retriever & a soon to be 3 yr. old Lab. They definately bonded, but they both know that I am the master. My Golden did in fact help with the field training in that she went out to fetch some downed ducks and my Lab followed her (he was 6 months old then), and it seemed to spark the light, he was soon a retrieving machine. The inprovement in the last year has been unbelievable, he even amazed me last fall on the pheasants. It is definately an added expense, but I believe that both dogs and master are better for the relationship. She also taught him to be quiet when I'm sleeping, I work most nights, so that was important!

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My 10 year old Brit suddenly seemed 2-3 years younger when I brought home the new Brit puppy last September. They screw around together quite often and I think it helps the old guy get some exercice running, wrestling and doing the dog thing. It's been a hassle to keep the food seperate as I have tried to feed the pup Native and was trying to keep the old guy on OF food. The kid kept eating the old man's food. I've given up and both will be on Native 2 in a day or so.

I didn't get out hunting enough and the kid wasn't old enough to be able to say that there's any cross-training.

I guess my reaction to you post is that if the wife is urging it go for it. How many other guys have the opposite problem?

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There are no drawbacks. You are already buying food, cleaning the house etc... The older dog will actually teach the younger dogs a lot of things. That can be good and bad aka bad habbits.Serieusly I have nothing but good things to say about 2 dogs. I currently have 2 golden retrievers. I had 1 for the first 4 yrs of my dogs life. Then decided to get a second. Now I wonder how we ever got by with only 1. They love to hang out together, play etc... When I let them out the first one always waits for the second and vice versa. Now my wife and I also have a dog of our own to pet with instead of her or me with 1. I say go for it. If you feel you can love them both and they will be part of the family than no reason to look back!

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If you have the room two dogs are great way to go. Older dog helps starts the new one. One is run down you got a spare and when the old dog passes it is easier to deal with because you still have a partner. I also get a lot more birds hunting with two dogs instead of just one. Good Luck.

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I was just commenting to my neighbor on saturday that although I would not have the room for 2 dogs, it might be easier than having only 1.

My neighbor has a lab and I have a britt pup and it is hard to get my pup the amount of exercise that she requires every day in the winter. Taking her for a walk just doesn't cut it no matter how far we go. Once in a while we put the 2 dogs together while we B.S. and let them play for a couple of hours. After that my little girl is ready for a nap.

I guess what I am getting at is if I had 2 dogs, they would probably wear each other out on a daily basis and not cause as much trouble in the house.

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or double the trouble! grin.gif

Good Luck!

Ken

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here are some benefits I like:

- little one is easier to train (learn alot from older dog)

- on really hot/cold days instead of one dog shouldering the load, you can rotate if needed.

- I just caught the bug training and working with dogs that I couldnt wait to do it with another

- they keep each other entertained

Things I dont like:

- twice the amount of p00 to pick up

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The wife wants another pup??? Its a no brainer! Go ahead and get the new puppy.

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I have two, there both just over a year old and without each other i couldnt tell you how they would behave. Seems like they do a [PoorWordUsage] good job using up all the energy.

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The one thing I had problems with when I got my second dog, was time to train. He is not nearly as good as the first one whom I had all by himself. Its hard to get time to work with the new pup and make the old guy stay out of the way... Now I am back down to just one, and trying to make up for some bad habits he's picked up without me properly training him earlier. Its hard to go back!

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yeah understandable, its all part of the game.

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 Originally Posted By: Tom7227

I guess my reaction to you post is that if the wife is urging it go for it. How many other guys have the opposite problem?

That would be me. I have been working on the wife for close to 2 years to get another Britt. I think I am getting close.

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i've got two dogs, a 10yr oil and one almost 2. when training you have to train the young one by themselves. some benefits: old dog is suddenly much younger. when hunting and in general young one will learn from older dog. major drawback:if old dog has a lot of bad habits, pup will more than likely pick them up. two is twice the fun.

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I've got to agree with most of the points made here. I'm in the same boat as Bowfin - I've got a 7 year old yellow lab (Kota)who's excellent in almost every way (except she's got a hard mouth), and last May we got lab #2 (Dover). When I got Kota as a puppy, I was very impressed with how the older dog I had at that time trained her for me, both in the field and at home. I'm seeing the same thing happen with Kota and Dover. I will probably continue to stagger my dogs in this way going forward.

One advantage that hasn't been brought up is that when it's time to put the older dog down, having dog #2 around seems to ease the pain a little bit. On the disadvantage side, the dogs are so competitive about food that you have to be careful when feeding them or giving them treats. Transporting 2 dogs also takes up all of my SUV's cargo area, so family trips require the use of a utility trailer, creative packing, or both.

The competition in the field can get tricky, too. Last fall I shot a grouse that disappeared around a corner, mortally wounded. Both dogs went tearing after it, and I heard a commotion in the leaves. Kota came back with it, but it was missing it's head after the tug-of-war that it endured. I've seen this a lot over the years, especially with pheasants.

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Jaybird,what happens to dog#2 when dog#1 passes away, have you seen where the red fern grows?

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2 dogs have worked well in our house for the past 19 years. First hunting dog came 7 months after we were married and next dog came when my daughter (2nd child) was just 3 months old. Hey we were up anyway.

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I'm sorry, Dckasten, I don't understand your question about the red fern. Can you clarify?

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 Originally Posted By: Bowfin
Hoping to hear some thoughts of any other positives or negatives of getting a second dog.

Benefits: Twice the good stuff

Drawbacks: Twice the not so good stuff

I have two dogs and IMO the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks.

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I have had two dogs in the past and it was great. They sure do entertain each other. We just picked up a yellow lab pup on sunday to go with our other one. They are already keeping each other busy.

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On a side not Matt, I heard through the Waskish grapevine that you are changing your name from Hruby to Hubby! Congratulations!!!

Good Luck!

Ken

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Thanks Ken. What you heard was true. Its too bad we have been so busy this winter, we havent been up to Red much. One more trip in March is all we have planned. Hopefully we can catch up with you guys sometime.

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The biggest benefit that I see with having two dogs is that if one is hurt you still have the other one to hunt with. I've had several times in the last couple of years where one has cut herself on barb wire, while shes down for a couple of weeks I can still hunt the other one.

Make sure theres plenty of age difference or you could end up with two old dogs. A pup and a three year old turn into a 10 year old and 13 year old in a hurry!!

I'm actually contemplating a third dog. My two labs are currently 12 and 4 years old. When the young one was a pup she was so much fun I said when she hit five I'd be getting another pup - but the logistics of a third dog get tough, especially when traveling.

The one downside to a second dog is that its easy to have the pup overshadow the old dog, the pup is young and cute and you pay more attention to it. Also, I have a hard time leaving one at home, so consequently I hunt them both together, and consequently you don't get to enjoy the work of the older veteran dog that has it figured out, my young lab is more aggresive and gets most of the retrieves.

Have fun with the pup!

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My 7 month old is trying to take down the old boy in my house. Its quite entertaining to see the little girl go at him.

I think We just added a couple years to his life by getting him a pal.

She is already learning from him.

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