|Barked: Sun Feb 27, '11 7:48pm PST |
|As most others have said, it depends on the dogs in question. We have 6 dogs, all acquired in a 5 year time span. Had we known how our first dog, Logan would react to his first sibling (Daisy) then we might not have gotten a second dog. But we worked through their issues and now have a large, happy family.
We raised Logan from birth (well, 7 weeks) and had him as an only dog for the first year of his life. We socialized him very well with people, but not other dogs since we didn't know anyone else with small dogs at the time. He was very spoiled and bonded to us. He was a little over a year old when we got Daisy (she was 12 weeks). He didn't really understand why she was there, why she was taking his toys, his bed, his attention from us, etc. When we put her in her crate that first night, he even sat outside it doing some sort of not-quite-barking/talking to her for about 15 minutes. It cracked us up. We don't know if he was thinking that was his bed and he wanted her out, if he was telling her the rules or what. He went through a fairly long period of adjustment and some aspects of his personality changed quite a bit. But they got along well and as long as he gets the attention he wants, all seemed to be fine after a while. Daisy, ont the other hand, bonded to Logan right away and adored her big brother from the very first day.
We added Peaches the next year. Being an older dog (she was 7 or 8 at the time) they mostly ignored her and she them. She did try to bully Daisy for a while and Daisy just avoided her for the most part. Logan didn't seem to care at all and after a few weeks, everyone was co-existing well. They weren't all buddies, but there were no issues.
Two years later, we added Sam and Rufus. Sam is a needy dog, loves everyone (human or canine) and fell in love with Daisy - they are about the same age. She doesn't quite feel the same and prefers Logan but she and Sam do get along well and will often cuddle or play. But...Daisy sets the terms for that and Sam goes along with whatever she wants. Peaches switched her attention from Daisy to Sam and often gets onto him, trying to keep him in line. Luckily, Peaches has no bottom jaw and very few teeth, so she's not able to do anything to hurt him and Sam always defers to her authority anyway. Logan really didn't pay much attention to Sam joining the household...by this time, he seemed to be accustomed to us adding new dogs to the home.
A month after we got Sam, we got Rufus (13-14 years old at the time). Ru doesn't really care at all about the other dogs in the house as long as he's got his bed and his food. As he's gotten older (16 or so now), he's less interested in anything they do and they all just give him a wide berth. It's like they understand that he's the grandfather of the group and they give him the respect he's due.
Last year (a year after getting Sam and Rufus) we got Jax. Jax was a pretty big disruption to our household due to his energy level, his trust issues and the way he plays with the other dogs. He's about the same age as Daisy and Sam and seems to like them best...it's kind of like they're a little clique most of the time. As he's settled down and become more comfortable over the last year here, the other dogs have taken to him quite a bit better and they all get along well.
So here's how our pack seems to break down, based on how I think they interact...
--Rufus (16 yrs) - not really the leader of the pack but they all respect him and let him be.
--Peaches (12 yrs) - put herself in charge and gets onto the other dogs if they're too rowdy or get out of line. They all seem to respect her authority.
--Logan (7 yrs) - our little watchdog is head of the "younger" set of our pups. If he barks at something, they follow his lead.
--Daisy (6 yrs) - is our little princess....much like Scarlett O'Hara with her own set of little beaux. She sets the terms of her interactions with Sam and Jax.
--Jax (6 yrs) - Jax is a bit more dominant that Sam is...he initates play with Sam, walks away when he's done even if Sam is not. Very buddy-buddy with Sam and Daisy, primarily.
--Sam (6-7 yrs)- Sam is submissive to everyone and just goes with the flow...loves all the other dogs, even if they don't love him.
All in all, I wouldn't have done anything different and love having multiple dogs.
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