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> Owners Of 3 Or More Dogs!
Missiemoo
post 20th Apr 2017, 8:23 pm
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Currently have two rescue dogs ....... now 9 and 10 years old. Thinking of another one but how have others found life with 3 or more dogs. Positives and negatives please Thanks
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moorx
post 20th Apr 2017, 9:49 pm
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I can't really remember life with fewer than four dogs rolleyes.gif

I think once you've got more than one it doesn't make much difference, although it does depend on the dogs and the mix.

For instance I had two elderly dogs and lost one. The remaining dog was quite reserved and didn't like much attention (from either people or other dogs). So I decided that it would be best to get a pair of younger dogs who would likely bond with each other and leave the older dog in peace. Luckily, that's how it worked out smile.gif

I had four dogs for quite a time and was very lucky with them (they were all older dogs and quite steady). I could manage all of them on my own on leads, etc. I couldn't necessarily manage the four I have now on my own, but fortunately I have my OH to help now wink.gif

I think four is about right (although I'm always looking rolleyes.gif ). We're lucky that we have a largish house and garden and our own land. I certainly can't imagine having less than two.

Obviously you need to consider practical stuff like finances and whether your vehicle is big enough (this is an issue for us having four greyhound sized dogs). That, and whether you can physically cope with more than two (ie on walks) are the main things to consider I think.
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nikirushka
post 21st Apr 2017, 8:24 am
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Finances are most important, at least coming from the perspective of someone who has not been lucky with the health of my dogs sigh.gif Consider that insurance seems to be always creeping up in price, and if you do a savings account approach instead, an extra dog is an extra chance to wipe that account out!

As far as dog #3 him or herself - that is mostly down to the individual as to how much harder it will be. Breed tendencies will help steer a decision but how the individual dog is may make a massive difference, or none at all. I've added dogs here that have just slotted in and only added to the workload in terms of having an extra dog to walk (with local restrictions on the number I can take together), and I've added dogs who have made every aspect of life considerably more difficult, requiring management, extra training etc. I must say, those have always been driven herding types!
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hazzy1066
post 21st Apr 2017, 1:29 pm
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We have two chi's and a yorki. The only problem we have is trying to fuss all 3 at the same time, 2 like to sleep in our bed. They don't go off lead so its difficult for one person to walk all 3 so we end up like a Maypole
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Annieskel
post 21st Apr 2017, 3:55 pm
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I have 5 dogs, I have had 6 in the past and they were easier than the 5 I have now, breed and age makes a difference. My youngest will be 8 years old next month, I have another 8 year old, two 10 year olds, one will be 11 in August, and a 12 year old.

I was happy with 4, a Romanian dog was being returned and I said I would foster him, within minutes of him arriving I knew he was staying, he was far too traumatised to be moved again.

How we introduce a new dog to our others is important, I have found that using gates and keeping the new dog were he can see and interact with my other dogs is best for us, they can get to know each other in safety. The only time I tried parallel walking was a disaster, the new dog just wanted to kill my other dog, never done it since.
Yes she stayed, she wasn't going back no matter how much work she was, it took her 3 months to feel happy with my other dogs.



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EmCHammer
post 21st Apr 2017, 5:02 pm
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I had three dogs and would not be in a rush to go back to it - this was probably the mix of dogs we had.

Aside from the dogs in particular the things I didn't like about having three dogs were... they couldn't all sleep nicely on the backseat of the car and one of them was always squashed at the end... some holiday places didn't like 3 dogs and made it that bit harder and my mum couldn't manage three when she had to look after them. Its more of an effort with 3 going for days out, i.e. stopping at pubs and cafe's.
And extra set of muddy paws! Oh and 3 dogs wanting to sleepin the bed.
They all were cuddly too and one would always be mithering to snuggle when another dog was in your lap etc.


We had pudding (9 ish at the time) when had scout (2ish) and they got on really well.
Don't think pudding ever really took to Bosun in the same way looking back she started to get ill 6 months or so later so wasn't really keen on a young pup and she used to give him a hard time.

On walks, Bosun wanted to be off chasing squirrels all the time and being a pup .. pudding wanted to plod along behind and scout was in the middle somewhere - so could have one dog haring off into the distance and one lagging behind and was always an effort in control to make sure they weren't playing up and kept together - 2 young bouncy bull breeds in a busy park require eyes keeping on, and pudding could be snarky so couldn't abandon her to her own devicese.

Three Scouts would be a dream, but the three I had found hard work walking together in our busy walking areas and didn't want to get involved in separate walks all the time.
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mokee
post 24th Apr 2017, 10:18 am
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QUOTE(Missiemoo @ 20th Apr 2017, 9:23 pm) *

Currently have two rescue dogs ....... now 9 and 10 years old. Thinking of another one but how have others found life with 3 or more dogs. Positives and negatives please Thanks


What are you considering bringing in? I think the breed, sex, age and temperament of the dog you are bringing in is far more important to get right than the actual number of dogs you have. I used to have up to four elderly dogs together at any one time and they all got on wonderfully, never had anything more than the odd spat or problem caused by their various age related health issues. At that time I would, and did, recommend "the more the merrier". I don't any more lol.gif

Now I have three young, male Border Collies - they are 4, 5ish and 7ish years old. To be frank they're a blooming nightmare, given my time again I would never, ever have adopted this disaster of dogs. Without the presence of a strong, female matriarchal bitch to take charge, they just run amock like a gang of naughty schoolboys - trying to get all three of them to behave nicely together is genuinely as difficult as herding water. I've considered, in the past, adopting a bitch just to keep them in line - but never quite had the nerve to do it in case it doesn't work and (Dog forbid) I end up with four collie-brain nutcases in the house instead of three! ohmy.gif

On a serious note, I might be able to make light of it now but I've spent the last four years (since adopting Sjindi, aka Poobum McBitey, as a tiny, 8 week old puppy) crying, shouting, tearing my hair out and sometimes just quietly rocking in the corner, humming tunelessly to myself. I've spent a fortune on trainers, behaviourists, Tellington Touch practitioners, agility training, secure fields for free running - they've even had aromatherapy and melatonin in a bid to solve some of their issues. I've told my husband "it's no good, they have to go back to the rescue" more times than either of us can count. I love them, and that makes it worth it (just) but life would be 1000 times easier for all of us if I could bring myself to rehome one of the little buggers. Oh, and did I mention one of them is a horrible bully who thinks it is his right and responsibility to control every little movement the other two make?

So my advice to you would be to do your research, make sure that any dog you bring in will be a good fit for your household before you fall in love with it, let your dogs be involved in the selection process if possible - and if you have doubts, don't adopt that dog. I'm probably looking at another six or seven years of muddling through with a gaggle of dogs that aren't really a good mix and although I love them all to bits and wouldn't part with them really - I do wish that I hadn't brought them home in the first place, well, not all of them, anyway.

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Penninepoodlewelfare
post 24th Apr 2017, 10:45 am
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Mokee, Have you not considered becoming alpha female yourself rather than bringing in another dog. smile.gif

I have 3 boys but at the end of the day I step in as pack leader.
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mokee
post 24th Apr 2017, 11:05 am
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QUOTE(Penninepoodlewelfare @ 24th Apr 2017, 11:45 am) *

Mokee, Have you not considered becoming alpha female yourself rather than bringing in another dog. smile.gif

I have 3 boys but at the end of the day I step in as pack leader.


As an owner I am afraid I am a big, wet, fart - they run rings around me, laughing as they do it. lol.gif
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TheBeardedOne
post 24th Apr 2017, 12:29 pm
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QUOTE(Missiemoo @ 20th Apr 2017, 9:23 pm) *

Currently have two rescue dogs ....... now 9 and 10 years old. Thinking of another one but how have others found life with 3 or more dogs. Positives and negatives please Thanks



It was always my intention when my original dogs reached the age of yours that we'd adopt a youngster.
However, we didn't, we adopted an oldie, slightly older than my dogs at the time, she was a great match, she just slotted it, walks weren't anymore hassle as she just plodded along.
She was only a little dog, so we didn't notice the extra mouth to feed either.
However, in her previous home she had been neglected, we spent a lot in vet bills bringing her back to health, but after that she was pretty healthy, and I'm so pleased she was happy for her final years. No regrets.

Adopt an old dog. smile.gif
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Kanie
post 24th Apr 2017, 1:28 pm
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smile.gif I've got 3 and the real challenge is adapting exercise and training requirements and making sure I've time for them all. The upside is that when I want a quiet, reflective walk, I can take a quiet, reflective pottering dog and when I want to get soaking wet and filthy and come home looking like I've been dragged through a hedge backwards - I have a dog who gives me an excuse to do that too!


lol.gif I once talked to a man with working dogs and he said he had to take his terriers out first and then 'sit and meditate' before taking out his saluki.






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kilmousk
post 24th Apr 2017, 3:31 pm
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QUOTE(Penninepoodlewelfare @ 24th Apr 2017, 11:45 am) *

Mokee, Have you not considered becoming alpha female yourself rather than bringing in another dog. smile.gif

I have 3 boys but at the end of the day I step in as pack leader.


Thankfully the pack leader poo has been thoroughly debunked. Unfortunately there are still people that think bullying is ok but things are improving. Poor dogs that do however continue to live with those that do think its relevant or effective.
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EmCHammer
post 24th Apr 2017, 3:55 pm
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QUOTE
they just run amock like a gang of naughty schoolboys - trying to get all three of them to behave nicely together is genuinely as difficult as herding water.


A pack of naughty schoolboys describes my two boys. They are lovable and can be very clever (bosun picks up training really quickly) but out on walks they often act first and think later.
They are manageable now there are only 2 of them and they do make me laugh but add in another naughty schoolboy (or when we had fun police pudding) walks were not fun all of the time.
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nikirushka
post 24th Apr 2017, 5:58 pm
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QUOTE(mokee @ 24th Apr 2017, 11:18 am) *

At that time I would, and did, recommend "the more the merrier". I don't any more lol.gif


Indeed lol.gif
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Craters_on_the_lawn
post 24th Apr 2017, 7:00 pm
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I love having 3 (would love to adopt more but....). My current 3 all get along very well and are pretty easy (they are all boys so you don't necessarily need a "female in charge" as per other replies!!). I have a giant deerhound lurcher (very laid-back), a saluki-greyhound (slightly mischevious!) and a staffie (very soft and passive)
However I have had a mix of 3 that wasn't so successful. Depends on the personalities of the dogs and partly on how you handle them all. I would definately recommend a great book called "How many dogs!? - using positive reinforcement training to manage a multiple dog household" by Debbie McMullen - this really helped me alot, and see where perhaps I was going wrong in the past.
However - having 3 does make life a little more difficult - especially taking them all out for the day, and particularly holidays. Either we leave them behind - kennels - horrible, expensive; or relatives -who struggle with all 3.
Or we take them all - but with 3 teenage children this means taking 2 cars and does really limit what we do on holiday - and my teens don't want to play on the beach all day anymore, but want to do more teenage (and less dog-friendly) things.
Now my eldest daughter is at Uni I am also finding that I want to go away more to go visit - and I am starting to forsee a time when all my girls will have moved away and I will be wanting to go off visiting more and more - so the dogs / holidays /who looks after them while we are away/ thing will become more common and more difficult. Everyone says to me "oh what will you do when all your girls have left home? - I expect you will just have more dogs" - which would be lovely - but sadly I am beginning to think it won't be practical at all.
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