Second Dog... Good Idea?

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Barked: Sat Sep 29, '07 11:49am PST 
We have a four year old Mini Aussie, have never had more than one dog at a time. We are thinking of getting a small standard Aussie. What are the pros and cons of having a second dog? Our Mini is a female, we are told she is a dominating female so a male companion would be best. Would having a second dog change her "personality" such as causing her to pay more attention to it than us, or be jealous of the new addition?

Thank you.

MIHKOA -goodbye friends-

Barked: Sat Sep 29, '07 4:10pm PST 
well, i will tell you... that some say there is no such thing as jealousy in dogs... but i believe that my dogs do get jealous... and easily. because we have alot of foster dogs come in and out... they will beg for attention (even if they are crate) if we are working within hearing or seeing distance. we have never reinforced there whining... and yet it continues, and the nudging of a hand to get attention, when another dog is being pet, ect... its definately there. our aussies are such people dogs (like most) that they want to be your whole life. i like having 2 aussies... ours are both females and they get along great. ones slightly more overpowering than the other... but one is very laid back. so they work good together. i like um. 2 is just enough aussie for me... LOL, like potato chips... ya cant have just one wink way to go

Oh ee oh wee- oh!!
Barked: Sat Sep 29, '07 4:24pm PST 
If you let them work out their own order (instead of interfering every time there is a minor tiff) they will usually figure things out. If you do try to negotiate all the time you are setting them up for a blow up later because no clear order will be established.

We have 5 aussies at the moment...everyone gets along great. Oreo used to be my showmanship dog but in 05 I started using Ty when Oreo started to show signs of burning out. He definitely gets jealous of Ty. When I started showing Oreo in Altered he decided he wanted to be out there again and would actually PULL me into the ring. He is also harder on Ty and does not tolerate much rough housing and tends to like to make sure Ty knows he is below him by occasionally staring him down. Oreo will go to our youngest Smoke and play with him and let that younun be really rough and not do anything. He also will play with other younger dogs with no problems. I think he views Ty as a threat to his spot in my eyes because Oreo is now retired and Ty is right in serious training (therefore getting to do some more things) I think this is why Oreo is so hard on him. They do get along and can be together...Ty is very submissive and Oreo never goes farther than a snarl but still the jealously factor is there.


We miss- you- Sarai!-
Barked: Thu Dec 20, '07 10:43am PST 
2 is always better than 1!!! You should definately get a playmate for your Aussie! I feel that they are so busy and energetic, that if we didn't have 3 dogs then Sarai would be bored to death! She loves to play with other dogs, and likewise. I beleive that dogs do get jealous, but they would get jealous if you spent more time with a statue than you. Anytime you get a new dog, don't force the two to like eachother. Eventualy the both of them will begin to love eachother. All Aussies are very dominant, no matter what gender you decided on i think you would have the same problem, at both ends. I havn't had to much expeirience with male dogs. The one i do have though is not submissive at all. But of the 3 girl dogs i own, my Aussie dominates them at 3 months old! I think if you get a male or a female, she will try to dominate them both. I would reccomend getting a female Aussie, they work best together... I think so at least!

I dont beleive i was much help to you, but if i was a help then i am happy that i did. I hope you make the best descision fr your lifestyle. HAPPY PUPPY PICKING!
winkway to goway to gowink

Edited by author Thu Dec 20, '07 10:45am PST

Cinnie CGC,- TDI, NJ-A,- NJP

Did you say- agility?
Barked: Thu Jan 3, '08 6:57pm PST 
I have 3 herding dogs and for the most part they get along very well. There are moments where, if someone didn't know them, they would think they were trying to kill each other, although there has never been any injuries. Most herding dogs are typically dominant personalities, so I would suggest getting a male companion for your girl.
Sunny - Aliyah's CN- SunSpots

I want to lick- your brain!
Barked: Fri Jan 4, '08 2:46pm PST 
"Yes." smile I too have always owned single dogs consecutively all my life, and am on my second Aussie (I own). We recently fostered a wonderful, low-key, loveable Aussie boy with our bossy little girl, but decided it was "2 dogs too much."

Individually, they were fine, but together, they were running herd through the house and constantly playing, wrestling, knocking stuff over, and suddenly I lived with the dogs instead of the dogs living with me. They are both loveable, but they both paid significantly less attention to me while the other was there, and trying to get them to listen was something else altogether. They learned reasonably well, and we had them doing "synchronized sitting", but the only way we weren't pulling our hair out was to keep them separated a lot of the time (one upstairs with my bf, one downstairs with me).

And while it started out with "Oh boy, a playmate!" and ended with, "I miss my buddy" the in-between time was a lot like bickering siblings. "He's shoving toys in my face!" "She's sitting on me!" "Mom!" There was jealousy, mostly by my (own) dog, and she's not very old, so it's not like a 10-year old who was an only-child his whole life. They largely got along well playing with the same toys, but a lot of it was, "I want the one HE has, because he has it." And bones, rawhides and other things created guarding behaviors and tension, so we did away with them altogether while they were together.

I can't say I felt MORE loved. Sure, there were two of them, and they both sought attention, affection, and gave plenty of love, but I didn't feel like there was enough of me to go around, and with this realization on their end, eventually I was forgotten altogether, except in terms of what I could do for them...

And while Sunny retained her genius, she didn't learn any new tricks during the time he was there (not enough individual time to work with her, for one), and while Champ wasn't a dummy, he seemed like he had been around dogs too long. I expect he will "brighten up" significantly now that he's an only dog and doesn't have any other doggy distractions. When I was teaching him one-on-one, he learned quickly. But together, he interestingly always looked at Sunny for cues and followed her lead. "Sit!" *Sunny immediately sits.* *Champ looks over at Sunny, slowly sits, and then looks back at me.*

So, if you've always had one single dog, I understand the question and concerns. I volunteered as a foster-home because I wanted to help, but it was also largely an experiment to try out having 2 dogs to see if it was right for me, and personally, I think the answer was a resounding "No!"

Both dogs were wonderful, sweet, good-natured, and got along pretty well - an ideal situation - but it was certainly an eye-opener for me. I'll continue fostering on a case-by-case basis, because I want to help out, but I think I know the answer to my question and concerns now, without being committed to the situation. Perhaps you could try something similar? We had our foster for 2 months, and probably could have kept him if we wanted to. We love him dearly, and will keep in touch with his new owner, and there's a part of me that wishes there was a way I could have both of them individually, but together, we agreed it was 2-dogs too many! ;-)

These are just our (personal) findings! I'm sure other people have different points of view and different experiences. We're now back to our single-dog family, where it's MUCH quieter, just as lovey (if not more, since she's paying attention to me again?), and we feel free to do things and go places again, because we don't have to include both of them. (I could certainly bring them somewhere without the other before, but I always felt guilty if it was someplace fun. But the reality is you can only have one dog under your control at a time.)

What kind of person are you? Do you like chaos, or order? Logic, or emotion? Do you like to be the center of attention, a part of the group, or off on the side? smile I feel I'm an orderly, logical, likes to be the center of attention kind of person, and it didn't work out for me. If you lean towards the other side on any of those, it might work out for you, and if you're a polar-opposite to me, you may love it! smile

Cuddling costs- four treats,- kisses six..
Barked: Fri Jan 11, '08 8:38pm PST 
I went through the same thing. Rosco is also a mini aussie. Hes a spoiled bratt who actually only got along with some dogs. I really wanted another dog, so we went out to get another mini, but a female. I ended up with Teddy instead. He won me over with his snuggly ways. It turns out, he isn't so mini and is almost full size, but isn't quite. Hes not that fluffy either. Well, now in the house its pure chaos. The two love eachother, but get into 'sibbling' fights. Since Teddy is much more energetic then Rosco, he will drive Rosco nuts trying to play. Also, Teddy gets jealous Very easily, so giving Rosco attention is difficult because Teddy is very in your face. At first, Rosco HATED Teddy, but now they've really grown to like eachother. They still squabble and purposley drive eachother nuts, but they'll nap together on the couch or even once at the dog park a dog kept pinning Teddy to the ground and wouldn't let him get up. Well Rosco came to the rescue chasing the other dog away from Teddy with his little vicious bark. big laugh

G-L-A-M-O-R-O-U-- S
Barked: Fri Jan 11, '08 9:21pm PST 
I think two dogs is a WONDERFUL idea - I have an 8 month old sheltie and a 6 month old mini aussie. We got the mini 2 and 1/2 months ago and I've loved every minute of it. It's much fun to watch them play together whether in the yard or in the house, and to see them compete when we do training time - they try to be the first one to do it right, definitely a motivator.

They're rambunctious now but they'll settle down - I can already see some settling down - and my sheltie is the one that has to calm down - my mini is a lounging lucy :p

Keep in mind the age that you get your new dog is you decide to get one will also determine the energy levels. And remember that even when you have two dogs, you still need to seperate them for individualized attention and training as well.

My sheltie doesn't love me any less, she's by my side 70% of the time instead of 100% of the time now, but really I prefer her to have some dog on dog companionship - imo it really helps them be a dog instead of a kid, I don't know if you speak doggy language but I sure don't smile

I wouldn't give this up for the world and this was the first time I've had 2 dogs (pups even) at the same time - and always will smile

Hope this helps!

Barked: Thu Oct 23, '08 6:54pm PST 
Thanks for a great post Sunny. I've been toying with the idea of getting another dog, but since mia is still young & the training is ongoing..I feel like another puppy would set us back MONTHS.
Looked into some rescues, the nor-cal aussie rescue has some great dogs right now. But then again, I do enjoy my peaceful home dog