Two dogs = twice the work?

Discussion in 'Dogs - General Dog Chat' started by StevePax, Jan 2, 2008.

  1. StevePax

    StevePax A guy with a dog

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    Happy New Year, all!

    We currently have our little Leo (about 14 pounds, 8 months old, Chihuahua x Shi-Tzu). We love him - he's a great dog, not messy, not noisy, potty trained very easily, all that good stuff.

    Personally, I want to get him a playmate. Specifically, I was looking at this one: http://search.petfinder.com/petnote/displaypet.cgi?petid=9954098

    An adult dog (so not a puppy, which we all know are tons of work!). My wife thinks it would be tons more work for her. I don't quite understand, because aside from feeding Leo and washing his dishes and such, he's really not that much work. I guess he adds a bit of vacuuming, but that's about it. Oh, and of course cleaning the poop in the yard. So, I told her I'd come to the experts - is having 2 dogs a ton more work than just having one? Take it from her perspective, too - she's a stay-at-home mom to our two kids (ages 4 and 2) who are both, by the way, great with the dog (with careful supervision, of course).

    Do I have a case here? Leo would love a playmate (he loves doggy daycare because he gets to play with other dogs), and I've really always thought beagles are sharp looking dogs.

    All you Chazzers, help me out here! Or, tell me I'm off my rocker, if that's the case.

    (Edited - OK, I just noticed that the particular dog I linked to was already adopted, but there are millions of others around, too, so my question still stands!)
     
  2. Psyfalcon

    Psyfalcon Fishies!

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    Not really.

    The only thing that doubles in time is training. Thats not even perfectly true, as depending on how reliable you want/need your dog to be, there can also be significant "group" training, although you probably wont see the results of spending the time for really separate training to avoid disruption.

    Feeding/walking/ and even the vet can be largely doubled up on. It isn't much harder to shovel a cup of food into 2 bowls instead of 1. Even time spent playing wont double, since its likely they'll play with one another.

    Granted, it assumes some things, you're dogs aren't DA to the point that they can walk together, and perhaps they share the same "interests." For example if I got the Greyhound I've been wanting, I would have to add a walk or two, since it wouldn't want to run 5 miles in the rain like my current, waterproof, dog.
     
  3. Barb04

    Barb04 Love my pets Staff Member

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    I went from having 1 dog all my life to now having 4 dogs and 2 cats. The dogs do play together and are great company. I don't think having 2 dogs is any more work than 1. The only thing, as you say, is more poop piles.
     
  4. Saintgirl

    Saintgirl New Member

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    Personally, I will always have at least 2 dogs. Some of the work is easier, as some of the work doubles. The obvious stuff that you have already mentioned! However, a second dog, especially a beagle (don't get me wrong, I love them and own one) can be tough little dogs because they are hounds! Beagles are absolutley adorable to look at, and a small breed so immediatley people think that they will be an easy dog to own, but there is a reason so many of them are in shelters and rescues. They can be a very stubborn dog to train, because that nose of theirs is such a distraction. They are very determinded, especially when they decide that they want something! They are generally great with children and other dogs, but have incredible stamina which needs to have an outlet (activity). They are a great little dog, but they are absolutley not for everyone.
     
  5. Herschel

    Herschel New Member

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    In a word, yes.

    You're right--the only basic things you need to take care of are feeding/taking them out/etc. However, its double the training, double the potential for behavioral problems, double the veterinary care. Most importantly, you will need to find time to give both dogs enough attention.

    If you want to get a new dog as a playmate for you and your wife, then go for it. Just remember that if you get a dog for Leo, he isn't the one that is going to be taking care of the new addition. :)

    (We just adopted our second dog in June. It's been a lot of work, but very rewarding.)
     
  6. Debi

    Debi Moderator

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    I do think it's twice the work. not that it's a huge problem, but naturally double what you do now. little dogs may be less. :) I spend a great portion of my day on dogs...walking (I walk them separately), I brush both daily, play (altho they DO love to play with each other. having a buddy is awesome) double feeding...double vet bills. I guess it's the walks I notice more (especially in winter..lol) I'm outside alot to exercise them both individually. and potty walks. :) obviously it was easier when I only had one. but it's just a huge part of my life. now...if someone is working or busier than I am, then it might be more of a burden for them. oh..and yes....I clean-up all doggie 'piles' daily.........that certainly doubled. LOL
     
  7. Psyfalcon

    Psyfalcon Fishies!

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    But feeding and vet bills are not "work" as long as you have the disposable income so you don't have to work more to afford it.

    Brushing yes, I forgot since I am thoroughly enjoying NOT brushing my dog daily, since it isn't shedding season (he does not like it either!).

    A beagle and a toy mix might require separate walks, to get the energy out of the hound, but overall, I'm not sure dogs care either way, we might be overplaying the "individual time" thing. Most of the dogs I've been around seem fine walking with its "pack" vs the individual human.
     
  8. darkchild16

    darkchild16 We are Home.

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    with the walk thing. the only time ours are walked seperate is when i take walker to the "field" and thats because hes the only one that has a reliable recall. Other then that they are all walked together and actually hate to be walked seperatly.
     
  9. Debi

    Debi Moderator

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    maybe we're overplaying the 'individual time' thing. or maybe not...depends on the dogs. I think they should have individual time, but that's just me. what I forgot to say before is this.......when someone thinks of anything as 'work' or 'extra work', then it isn't the right thing to do. you have to respect her feelings. like anything. we happen to love remodelling, but to other people it's intense 'work'. so we always say...don't do it. don't do anything that you see as work. it isn't worth the agony if that is how you feel about it. :)
     
  10. SizzleDog

    SizzleDog Lord Cynical

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    Not in my experience. The training is doubled, but not really - Ilsa just needs basic brush-up lessons, Ronin needs more. So it's not the same training - just varying degrees and difficulty. I don't mind training sessions, so it's no big deal for me (although I do go through more treats).

    Expense-wise... YES. Double the vaccination fees, double the office visits, double the heartworm preventative. You also double the risk of having a big emergency come up that costs thousands of dollars. Aside from vet care, you've got to buy more food, another crate if you crate, etc.

    Time - my dogs are rarely apart, they "share" my time and are happy to do so. The only time they spend apart is when it's training time or for vet visits. When I go places with them, I rotate. So, instead of one dog going with me to 6 places, one goes 3 places and the other goes 3 places. Time at home with me, they share.
     
  11. darkchild16

    darkchild16 We are Home.

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    oh ours get individual yard time or cuddle time depending on teh weather and time allotments. They also get seperate grooming time (the girls) and training time (walker) and just genearal private time (Scirracco). They all know when its seperate time the rest lay down together and the other gets attention. In fact right now since walker is the only dog allowed on my bed hes the only one in my room.
     
  12. houndlove

    houndlove coonhound crazy

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    My experience has been actually that it's three times the work. Maybe I'm just a "one dog at a time" person but having two large dogs in the house to deal with really is a lot of work. I feel like there's the Conrad-related work (he's go his own likes and dislikes and training issues) and then there's Marlowe-related work, and then there's this third category of creature named Conradandmarlowe. There's a whole separate set of issues that crop up when they are together.

    I love both my guys and wouldn't change a thing about having them both, but in the future when the time comes....we'll just be having one dog I think.
     
  13. Spirit2010

    Spirit2010 Yum...

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    Pooper scooper doubles! lol Vet, food, and some other stuff is more expensive. Time with each dog every day. And the normal stuff you do with your dog now. ;) (I'll just leave it at that.) lol Good luck! You have gotten excellent advice!
     
  14. saffie

    saffie New Member

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    It doesn't feel like twice the work for me. As allready mentioned, the costs double. But I walk my dogs together most of the times, so that isn't more work.
    The training could be double the work, but because Saffie is my 'sports'dog and I train with her a lot, I wanted my second dog to be somewhat older and to be okay with less training. Of course Boy gets his individual attention, but Saffie does obedience, doggydance and agility. If I have a training class with Saffie, I take Boy on walk by himself that day and we play with the ball somewhere. He loves the attention for himself but he doesn't like lots of training at all.
     
  15. Debi

    Debi Moderator

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    oh...and there ARE THOSE DAYS when they decide not to be buddies. lol yes...today mine have decided they can't tolerate any infraction of their individual space. hence...tis a pain at times. it's not like they actually fight, but when one is not in the mood to be pals.................yeah, I have little moments when I wonder why in the world I have 2. LOL not in a serious way, more in the same way I felt when my kids were picking on each other. dogs...kids....so much alike sometimes! mommy needs a break already today! :) :)
     
  16. Buddy'sParents

    Buddy'sParents *Finding My Inner Fila*

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    I agree. It is more work. We got Banzai for a playmate for Buddy because I was going back to school. Banzai was the perfect dog for that.. but we had to double our training.. because both needed training.. both together and individually. Then, there is just special time.. when each dog gets one on one with us. Now, with three dogs.. absolutely... the more dogs you have the more love and time it takes. For crazy dog folks like us.. it's no big deal, though. :D
     
  17. Pam111

    Pam111 New Member

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    I don't think it's twice the work. Twice the money, yes.
    But all the things you do when you have a dog, such as planning vacations to include them or finding a kennel, being home often to let it outside, walking, taking time to play and feed, you do when you have one dog. Grooming and training are really the only things I think require twice as much time, assuming your dogs get along and can be walked together and stuff
     
  18. showpug

    showpug New Member

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    I am a full time Mom that is home with a 20 month old toddler and FIVE dogs. It is a TON of work, but I have three more than what you are considering.

    Any time you add another animal to the household, it's needs come with it. It is silly to assume another dog will not add some amount of extra work. They need affection, feeding, vet trips, grooming, play time etc. etc. The degree of extra work will depend on the dog, but don't fool yourself by assuming things will be the same. They won't.

    My other words of wisdom (lol) are if everyone in the family isn't 100% SOLD on the idea of another dog then don't do it. It's not fair to that family member or the dog. Peace in the home is more important than a playmate for your dog. If your wife isn't comfortable then put her needs first.
     
  19. houndlove

    houndlove coonhound crazy

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    We totally fooled ourselves that it wouldn't be extra work. We figured, we already walk Conrad, we already feed Conrad, we already clean up after Conrad--what's one more?

    What we failed to think about is that first of all Conrad just by himself is a lot of dog. We'd grown used to him and his peculiarities and preferences. But he can be a handful. He's got separation anxiety and is reactive (though not aggressive) and did not have the greatest start on life. He's a lovely dog--calm around the house and quiet, and that does kind of give you a false sense of him being easy to live with. He's not always.

    Marlowe is a completely different dog personality-wise. My dogs are not BFFs and probably never will be. They are both quite fixated on us, and not so much on one another as far as fulfilling their needs for affection and fun. Now we've got two dogs who, when they are bored, don't want to play with one another, they want to engage with us. So imagine this. You've just settled on to the couch after dinner for some trashy reality TV. Both dogs are resting quietly. But one gets up and comes over to say "hi". The other notices and has to also come over to say "hi". Now you've got two dogs crowding you and not only are they now saying "hi" they're also saying "IGNORE THAT GUY! LOOK AT ME! LOOK AT ME! TOUCH ME! GIVE ME A TREAT! PLAY WITH ME! NOT HIM! ME! ME! ME!" Boy do I love the "Go lay down" command. But you know, I can give that command and they grudgingly comply but it's not really the ideal end to that moment in my view. When it was just Conrad and he came over for some love, he'd get his little skritch behind the ears and a coo of what a good boy he is, and probably an invite up on to the couch taboot, his need would be satisfied and we could all get back to the serious business of watching junky television.

    Is that how it's going to be in every multi-dog house? No of course not, but it is an eventuality I wish we'd thought about more before deciding on a second dog. Dogs are all individuals and not all of them get along with one another, and many who do get along with one another aren't total best friends, they're acquaintances or co-workers or classmates. My dogs play with one another sometimes, but considering their size, even that can cause problems unless they're outside!

    At any rate, Conrad because of who he is needs a separate walk from Marlowe every day. If he doesn't get it, his behavior starts to deteriorate. I could have never predicted that would be the case with him, but experience has proven that. Also, Conrad only really needs 1 walk a day, especially now that he's getting older. But Marlowe needs two. When we brought him home we were thinking that we walk Conrad once a day so we'll just add Marlowe to that mix. As it turns out, adding Marlowe did double the number of walks we take. Actually, tripled them, since the morning walk is done with me walking one dog, DH walking the other, and then they get walked together by me in the evening.

    Just some stuff to think about. Far be it from me to ever discourage anyone from adding more dogs to their family if they think they're equipped for it. I just wanted to add a dose of what could possibly happen if you do.
     
  20. milos_mommy

    milos_mommy Active Member

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    double the work, no. A little more, but by far not double.

    Double as expensive. You have twice as much poop to pick up. But feeding two dogs isn't any harder work-wise than feeding one. You've just got to watch their reactions with each other and kind of have eyes all over in case they're running in seperate directions causing trouble, lol.

    I say GO FOR IT!
     

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