A third dog?

jakabedyFebruary 2, 2012

We're thinking of adding a third dog to our two-dog, one-cat household. I hadn't thought about the possible down side of it until today, so thought I'd get some input from the pros.

Our ACD mix girl is 7, and we have an Aussie/Border mix girl that is a year old. My initial thought with getting another young dog was to give the Aussie another companion more her age so that the ACD girl can get some rest! That and the rescue where we got our Aussie has another similar male pup available.

Of course there will be additional feeding and vet expenses. That's not an issue. We live in dog paradise with three fenced acres, so room to roam and run and dig and rip and snort is not an issue. He'll get obedience training and be crate trained like the other two. And the cat is actually pretty dominant over the two existing dogs -- he sets the tone. But is there anything inherently more difficult with three rather than two? Other than just handling the "extra" pup if we take them out somewhere on leash?

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Ginny McLean_Petite_Garden

IMO, three is not much more work than 2 when they are young and trained, and a male shouldn't pose a problem. Of course you will have more barks, hair, muddy feet, and the aformentioned extra expense. The other thing that may be worth mentioning is that the boys do lift their leg. Some people forget about that and are bothered by it, especially if they are careful about their yards. I have 3 girls and 2 boys and they can be quite a lot when they are all excited which is most of the time. It sounds like you have enough room and certainly incentive to have another one. The biggest question I would be asking myself is if I really have enough time to give attention to another dog. Something I struggle with as my dogs and myself age.

I hope this helps. :)


    Bookmark   February 2, 2012 at 1:56PM
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honalee -

Thanks. The leg lifting doesn't bother me. The dog we lost last year was a boy. We wanted another boy after we lost him but fell for the Aussie girl. And our yard is basically woods and some cleared area -- very little manicuring of any kind! As for the hair, mud, etc. We're pretty attuned to that already.

The time to devote might be an issue, but my office is close to home so I'll be able to easily work with the pup (probably bring him to work with me @ first), and they all get lots of ball/frisbee time in the afternoons and on weekends. Provided another family doesn't adopt the pupn (they were in line ahead of us), I think we'll get him.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2012 at 4:31PM
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Ginny McLean_Petite_Garden

Only time will tell then I guess. Maybe it is meant to be. :) My dogs are all shelties and all related ranging from 9 years to 3 years and are quite a handful when they all want a piece of me but it is never lonely here. Lots of fun! Let us know how it turns out.


    Bookmark   February 2, 2012 at 10:09PM
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up until last august when i lost my senior girl, i had 3 great danes. now that i am down to just 2, i find that i oftentimes get a seat on the sofa. :D

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 8:13AM
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I've been tossing around a third dog for a while too, and recently decided against it.

Like you, we live in the country so we have plenty of room for dogs to be happy. We have work schedules that allow us to spend plenty of time with the dogs, and more than anything I see *so many* dogs in need that I really just want to help another one.

There are a few things that have stopped me. The first, room in the bed! I love having our dogs sleep with us and they of course love it too, but DH and I are already hanging on for dear life by the end of the night. I just don't see how a third dog could work there, unless we threw them all out of the bed which I really don't want to do.

The second issue was wear and tear on our house. We built a new house 4 years ago and it's already a disaster from two dogs. I just can't face the damage a third dog would do. I'm not talking chewing or anything like that, just incidental damage. Floors ruined from claws, dirt and hair everywhere all the time. Door frames scratched from jumping, windowsills scratched from UPS visits.

Lastly, our two dogs get along so good, I'd hate the idea of a third potentially causing problems. I've heard that with three dogs, two can gang up on the third. I'd hate for that to happen and wouldn't be able to bear it if it happened to my oldest.

So, good luck with your decision. We will have three dogs at some point because before my oldest dies I want to get a third so that we're never down to just one dog. But until then we're sticking with two.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 8:17AM
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Thanks, all.

Our dogs don't sleep in the bed or get on the furniture, so we won't have that issue, thankfully! I think the possibility of two of them ganging up on the third would give me the most pause, and is definitely something to think about.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 2:38PM
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I prefer two dogs as it's just easier in general and feels more under control. I also don't feel like anyone is short changed for attention. But the balance always seems 'just right' with three. Just a litle bit more fun and sometimes happy chaos :) And no one is ever left home alone if one goes to the vet or an event.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 7:55PM
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The other family opted out, so we're going to be able to get the pup. How can you not love this?

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 6:06PM
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murraysmom Zone 6 OH

Oh my gosh, he is adorable!!! Congratulations!! Do you have a name for him yet?

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 7:00PM
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DH and I were just talking about names. we're musicians, so like music-related names. Our cat is Count Basie and the dogs are Tango and Poco. We were thinking maybe Presto. I love Django, but it sounds too much like Tango, I think.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 11:27PM
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Our DD and SIL got a third dog a couple of years ago and they couldn't be happier. They are a young family, one child and the other 2 dogs are getting older.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2012 at 12:42AM
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Many, Many years ago I started out with one black and silver German Shepherd pup. When he was about 18 months old a friends daughter's German Shepherd had pups, half of which were white. I saw them and picked out one for a friend who had asked me to get one for a friend of his who had lost his white shepherd recently. Naturally I also picked out one for me. Well my friends friend had just been given two GS pups and by that time, only a few days, I was already attached to both the white shepherds so I went from one to three.
Driving to work one morning I saw a puppy walking along a BUSY highway, at times wandering out onto the edge of the road. Traffic was just beginning to get heavy and I knew he was going to get hit so I stopped and picked him up with the intention of taking him to the rescue shelter....... then I noticed he had mange. Knowing the shelter would probably kill him due to the mange I decided to take him to the vet, get the mange cleared up and find him a good home, which I did. A really GOOD home. In other words I was now up to four. Four cost a little more and took a little more time with grooming and playtime but it didn't slow me down at all. When I had one he went on vacation with me, then three went on vacation then a fourth was added and all four of them traveled across the country with me.

Years later, I lost one of the white shepherds (11yrs) due to a tumor bursting. Was going to stay at three dogs.........at least that was the plan until I found my hound abandoned, abused and almost dead in the mountains. Back up to four. About a year later I lost the black and silver shepherd (15yrs) to a stroke. Definitely gonna stay at three this time. When my brother sold his house pets weren't allowed in the house they rented until their new house was finished so I volunteered to keep his dog. All the kids, whose dog she really was, were married or in college by now so when my brother's house was finished I didn't want to give his dog back. Back up to four. A couple of years later I lost my second white shepherd to old age (15yrs) and lost my mind.........I went to a rescue and got a puppy. Back to four. The years passed, the hound (10 yrs) I'd found in the mountains was diagnosed with cancer and eventually I had to have her euthanized. We were back to three and no way was I going to get another dog. The pain was too much when I lost them for one thing as well as the fact that three dogs were plenty.......RIGHT. I went to visit my sister and saw and ad in the paper for white German Shepherd pups at an unbelievable price. The litter was unplanned and the family just wanted to find good homes. The count was four again. The pup I found on the highway was 17 years old when he was diagnosed with cancer and he left me. Back to three and there was absolutely NO WAY I was going to get another dog. Then a friend of mine called wanting to know if I knew anyone who would like to have a red sable German Shepherd. The owner was a real jerk and was going to have him euthanized if he didn't find a home RIGHT AWAY. Thank God for that guy being a jerk because I could never have found a more loving, loyal dog. I believe that brought me up to four again. The dog (13 yrs) I confiscated from my brother had heart problems and I lost her.......three once again. No way, no how was I going to have four dogs at one time again. Oh, did I forget to mention that my DIL was diagnosed with MS. They didn't have a fenced yard and due to health problems she couldn't give my Granddog(11 yrs), especially at his age, the care he needed. Hey, he was my Granddog and I already loved him.... besides if I took him my DIL, who really loved him, could still see him and spend time with him. What can I say? That was about three years ago and I just had to have my Granddog (14 1/2) put down. No matter how many times you do it it never makes it any easier. Anyway, I am back to three and determined to stay there. One of my boys is 11 yrs old and the other two are each 9 yrs old. I guess when the oldest one goes I may think about getting a younger one for security purposes as the two shepherds will be elderly..............God please don't let any strays show up at my house or let me receive any calls or let me see a dog walking down the road or find one on vacation, or............................

Sorry this is so long but I just wanted to say that it didn't matter, three or four dogs I loved them all and wouldn't change a minute of it if I could. And truthfully, it wouldn't surprise me to have a number four show up at anytime...........that seems to be the number I am meant to have.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2012 at 2:46PM
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Lady Brat -

What a wonderful story! I think the moral of it is that the dogs find us, in a way. They are in need and find us. And then they fill a spot in our hearts that we never knew was empty.

We pick up the pup Saturday.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2012 at 3:16PM
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Thank you jakabedy..........and this little boy found you. Congratulations on the new furbaby. He is so handsome. He reminds me of my Jedi, who I lost last week. He was a Australian Shepherd/Chow mix and had the merle and black coloring. You will have to be on your toes with this little boy as Aust. Sheps. and Border Collies are both very intelligent. Just looking at the picture he seems to be thinking about what he can get into and how he can stay one step ahead of you. He is really precious.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 8:10AM
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Good luck with the new little sweetie. Brat...your stories about dogs echo mine with cats. I have never found a stray dog and never set out to rescue one until I decided I wanted one. But with cats it was like you and dogs. They found ME. I freely admit I'm probably more a cat person than a dog one although I love all dearly. I have two dogs now and will probably never have another dog. These guys, both rescues, are four and hopefully barring accidents or diseases they'll be around for maybe ten more years.

I have only had four dogs in my entire life but probably around 15 cats. I have four now and the youngest is five going on six and one is quite old. I will never ever be with out at least two cats. My dream someday is rescuing a young Siamese for that was my first cat, and he was always my 'heart" one. I love them all, and it's so heartbreaking to lose them...Good luck with your newest dog. I can see why you couldn't resist him.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 1:45PM
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Ginny McLean_Petite_Garden

He's beautiful! So happy for you! Everything happens for a reason is my philosophy. :)

Lady Brat, that is sure a nice history of your life with the dogs. I have a similar one spanning the last 40 or so years. For the last ten years I have had shelties after losing my border collie at 14. After my daughter moved out, my husband and I were without a dog for the first time ever. A little dog found me one day in the country village we lived and worked in and I very quickly found her owner. They were very grateful to me for cleaning her up and taking care of her as they were frantic looking for her. It was then I decided to get another dog so I went to look at a litter of shelties. When I arrived at the breeders, she asked me to sit down and she placed a 7 month old bundle of fluff in my lap. She was the cutest little thing I had ever seen and I instantly fell in love. This gal was not part of the litter I had come to visit but a girl the breeder had been keeping maybe to show. I named her immediately and took my Gidget home that night. She was an absolute delight to have around but she sure needed a playmate so I started the search for another one just like her. It wasn't easy as tri colored sheltie girls were not plentiful among breeders. I did eventually find one and Angel joined our family in 2002. I have enjoyed 5 litters of puppies with my Angel and a 9 year friendship with her breeder. Sadly, we said goodbye to our Gidget at 8 years due to immune system issues, but we now have 3 of Angel's puppies and one of her granddaughters who just never found the right homes. Haha. I have days when I feel guilty for not doing more with them but I am home all the time and they are happy, healthy dogs with unique and special personalities. Placing puppies over the years was always my toughest job but they have all been blessed with amazing owners and homes and I am done with puppies. I still go through puppy withdrawl now and then.

Jackabedy, I had a pup I called Gairden's Troubadour aka Tux as his father's name was Balladeer aka Story. He was such a singer as a pup that Dad always said we should have called him Elvis. I figured the singing poet was just as good and it suited him so well.:) Good luck with your new boy and may you enjoy many wonderful years with him.


    Bookmark   February 9, 2012 at 2:41PM
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