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Adding a second dog to the household, any advice?

5498 Views 8 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  marishavh
Hi All,

Katie, my 1 year old V, will be getting a new family member soon. I've been speaking with the Ridgeback rescue group and completed the home visit and approval process here locally. I'm still going back and forth on another V or adding a Ridgeback or even a shelter rescue. Been considering this for the past couple months. Katie is a typical in V style thinks all dogs must play with her on demand so I am looking at adding a younger dog 3 years or less preferred but open of course should the right match come along.

Would like to know if anyone has advice on introducing a new one to the house. Also, what about Katie - should I have her interview the new family member so to speak or just let them work it out?

I am being very cognizant of the tempermant of the dog to be added. My little Katie gets her feelings hurt easily if she's snubbed by another canine =)

Thanks for the input,
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Things to be concerned about;

Katie is a female I'm assuming. Introducing another female dog could be a little tricky, especially if both haven't been spayed. Females tend to exhibit more resource guarding tendencies than males. It could cause problems.

Katie is only a year old, and still a puppy mentally and physically. A new dog may confuse her and she may revert back to puppy behavior to keep the attention on her, she may also begin a pattern of negative behavior to recieve attention of she feels the new dog is getting too much attention.
There is a lot of difference between a year old dog and a three year old. Unless Katie is very forward and dominant, a three year old could easily intimidate her too much, which would be bad for everyone involved. I would really try to keep that age a little closer together. If Katie were the three year old I wouldn't be as concerned.

I would ask for the rescue/adoption to be on a trial basis for a few weeks to give you a chance to see how they interact with each other, and make sure both dogs are up to date on all shots. Look for food aggression behaviors and over dominance issues.

I have two females. One is just over two years old and the other is just over a year old. I got the two year old this past May, and the year old this past August. Mine knock the snot out of each other playing and mock fighting, steal cookies from each other, and then sleep on top of each other at days end. It can be done.
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Thanks for the feedback. I dog sat the neighbor's 5y/o Golden (male neutered) last night and today. The poor Golden is thoroughly exhausted now and so am I. They did very well. Shared, played, slept.

Even though I had separate water dishes and food dishes. They shared her bowls (of course she has a premium food. I suspect that alone naturally led the GR to want to give it a try). No aggression at all. Katie did well if not showed off a bit with her good behavior. We'll see. Working with rescue now on appropriate candidates.
I've never figured out the deal with the food either. I've had at least two food bowls down daily for many years, sometimes four. They'll eat out of one bowl, drop kibble which the other one picks up, swap to the second bowl and repeat the same. My males did it and the females do the same thing. As long as they're not fighting, they can do what they want. ;)
Hi viszlaloverlexington I know this isn't relevant to your original question but just had to comment of the breed of dogs concerned, Scooby is 11mths and his best mate is a 10mth Ridgeback they play together every day and are great mates it's fab to watch them. :D Good luck with your decision
Thanks Scooby, Thanks Gunnr.

Appreciate the thoughts and comments.

I have similar question. We have 16 month old Female (speyed). She lives outside as she can't be trusted inside not to chew the TV remote, take food off the kitchen bench, chew kids toys/homework etc. She has plenty of space to run, but drives me crazy scratching at the back door. We are wondering if she needs another doggy friend out there to keep her company, or is it just us humans she wants to be with? I am keen to get a herding dog, not sure if the V needs another V or if any breed will do.
We added Virgil to our household a year ago because our 11 year old vizsla cross was looking, well.... old. Victor the cross took the addition quite well and enjoys playing with Virgil some times. He has taught Virgil some good lessons on who's boss and how to behave. The older dog likes to sleep a lot and when they go out to play, plays hard and then needs to sleep again for a while, so Virgil is on his own alot.

Our dogs also live outside. They play together part of the time when Vic wants to, but we also have 9 cats for company, cattle to herd and ducks and chickens to observe and keep out of the yard. Also we farm and there is usually someone around outside 25-50% of the day. So there is a lot of entertainment for Virgil who is 17 mos old.

I think that when the time comes we will have to seek a companion for Virgil. It did a lot of good for our older dog when we got him a friend.
If no one has been around I will bring Virgil in the house in the evening when I have time just to sit and pet him. No playing in the house hes too big. Our dogs are both neutered males.

I think you need to consider the energy levels of companion dogs. Virgil would have a lot more fun if Vic would come out and play more. Virgil just glows when Vic is out playing and stands and looks at Vics house like I'm not done playing yet when Vic has went back to bed.
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We have an 11 yr old V and we're getting an 8 wk old V pup next week. I'm hoping the pup will push our old fella to well.. not be so old! Must admit I'm a bit nervous as Bentley is much less patient with younger dogs than he used to be, but I'm sick of him sleeping all day!

But back to the original question: I do dog rescue where I foster dogs that are death row and find them homes and recently I rehomed a male pointer x who was 10 mths old to a home that had a 2yr old female Kelpie. The new family had probelms with the dogs not getting along for a few weeks and kept saying the dogs couldn't decide who was dominent.

After discussing exactly what was going on, I discovered that the family really wanted the Kelpie to be top dog cause she was there first and their actions reflected this. After I suggested they make the new rescue dog top dog, everything changed! Within a few days the dogs were best friends and have been great together since.

I guess my point is when you introduce a new dog, you'll have to suss out who you think is 'alpha' and support that decision, even if it doesn't seem fair. The dogs will be so much happier knowing where they stand, especially if one is naturally a leader and one a follower..
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