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Is it cruel to keep a single dog or would it be unfair to introduce another dog into our household? We've never really had another dog around the house so I have absolutely no idea how Coco would feel.

Head or heart?

I have been offered a puppy from an accidental mating (Lab x golden retriever), mum needed an emergency C-section after first few pups so the 6 that survived were hand-reared after she wanted nothing to do with them. I have no idea if the parents had any health tests but I suspect not.

I really would like another dog but had in mind a smaller dog (maybe a border terrier?). I have been thinking about it a lot over the last few months and considered rehoming a Lab earlier this year but felt I didn't connect with her so I didn't go ahead. I love Labs and would probably be happy to have another small one (Coco is 22kg) but increasing insurance costs more than anything are putting me off. I love their trainability and temperament but I don't have a great deal of experience with other breeds - would I struggle with something else?.

Expense - as a "cross breed" the insurance would be a little lower but food would be more expensive with a bigger dog - and the pup in question may end up being 30+kg depending on the parents' size (I haven't seen them), then there's vet fees etc.

Lifestyle - Coco is a bit of a couch potato but enjoys agility and flyball, she was easy to train and her obedience has only gone to pot because I have spoilt her rotten. The offered pup should be quite trainable but would I struggle with a wilful border terrier? Would a BT demand more exercise?

How would Coco feel? She has been an only dog for 5 years, she is spoilt, likes to sit on my lap, isn't particularly sociable with other dogs whilst out though never aggressive, she is happy to run alongside or say hello but doesn't tend to play with others. She hasn't got a lot of patience for youngsters and will grump and swipe at them with her paw if they try to play with her. I'm sure the offered pup would be taken back by the mum's owner if it didn't work out but that would only cause heartbreak all round.

I used to be indecisive but now I don't really know... I feel that I either have to take the plunge and go for it soon (would I regret it?) or forever stay a one dog family (which I know I would always have regrets about). I have about a week to make my mind up about the pup.

Any thoughts?
 

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Hi, I have no advice sorry but didn't want to not reply
I had the same dilemma a few weeks ago regarding another pup and decided to leave it for now. Although I still look at puppies and want one I made the right decision at the time as seeing the puppies now they are ready to leave they just aren't 'my' cup of tea, I love the chunky show type and these just aren't. I guess what I'm saying is only you will know what is right for you x
 

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At least I won't see the puppies as they are down in London and will be delivered later this month if I opt to have one. The lady is visiting her dad and bringing one of the pups for a relative who lives up here so can bring another with her if I want it. I may struggle to say no if I see them, though I have walked away from litters before when I haven't been sure.
 

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Coco wouldn't probably be too bothered if you never added another dog, at the moment, she's got a life without competition for resources, you, food etc. You won't know what she's like until you add another dog, I tell ya it's hard work fussing four at once and I'll end up with more if I breed on and/or buy in.

I think you just have to really sit and think and make up your mind is that what you want to do. It will change your life with Coco irrevocably, and you may feel that you've lost something once you've got another pup and have to share all the attention, training etc, or you may feel that you've gained something. Personally, I always feel like I've gained something with my four, it can get a bit hectic when they're all trying to get in to greet me, I have been bowled over pretty much literally!! But I love their different personalities, love watching them play and interact together and love how they interact with me.

How that lot helps you decide whether to go for this pup or not, I don't know. Personally, for me, if I was *buying* in a pup, because I'm getting more selfish about how I want to spend my time, a pup would always be home bred or bought in from a specific litter I had researched. Otherwise if I had the time, and the right dog came up, I would consider a rescue, but that route at the moment would be much more difficult because of the amount of time I spend working and then also training with my current dogs etc.
 

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Perhaps you answered your own question by needing to ask for our opinion. I think that if you were 100% sure you'd just go for it.
 

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I'm replying to tell you MY experience but as I don't know Coco or you in the real world, I can't comment on if it will or wont be right for you.

Misty was older than Coco when we got Brody, she was about nine and like Coco she had not been aggressive towards other dogs but not seemed too interested in them either. Being that much older, we did have to manage their first few months together because Brody could pester the old girl and so we made sure Misty had plenty of chance to have a break from the pup. But, I have to say, although Misty did have underlying heart problems and died shortly before her 12th birthday, having the pup about livened her up in many ways and I feel it maybe improved the last year or two of her life. Poor Brody seemed to be in a state of depression after we lost Misty, so we ended up then getting Ellie...to whom B thinks she is mum and they adore each other.

Anyway it's all a long winded way of saying that I think in many ways the issue is more about how a new pup will fit in with YOUR life, your budget, and how you would manage the first few months while they get to know each other.
 

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I am offering no advice but I as far as the cross breed..... My Sophie was a exactly the same, a working kennel had an accidental mating with a lab and golden retriever. They said through the fence, I have no idea of the exact circumstance but it was when I lived in Arkansas and the breeder wanted the puppies off hand. It was the only dog my husband has ever came home with. That was huge deal for him because I'm the dog lover of the family and the best thing he ever brought home. She was absolutely adorable, beautiful to look at and the most amazing temperament in the world. I can honestly say I don't remember training her. She just seemed to want to do whatever I wanted. The total opposite to the other dogs. :0) I wouldn't want to influence you either way but as far as to whether 'I' would love a crossbreed like that I again I would jump at the chance. I will try and scan some photos of what she looked like.
 

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I agree with Lyndaloo, if you have to ask maybe it's not the right time.

Having said that Mummy's boy Max has adapted remarkably well to new friend Ted and I'm sure a Coco will too!
 

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My Cavalier, Gavin, was 15 years old when Tatze arrived.

He ignored her completely at first, didn't even look at her. Then he slowly began to do 'normal' doggy things with her (bum sniffing etc) of course, he was far too old and creaky to play, but they got on really well. He taught her good doggy manners and that some pooches just don't play!

Go for it! As you said to me, dogs are very adaptable!

:D

Here is my lovely boy with new puppy Tatze. I miss him every day. I am SO glad we had Tatze when he eventually went to the rainbow bridge, there is no way I could have got a puppy afterwards, I was torn apart.


 

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Coco-Loco said:
I used to be indecisive but now I don't really know... I feel that I either have to take the plunge and go for it soon (would I regret it?) or forever stay a one dog family (which I know I would always have regrets about). I have about a week to make my mind up about the pup.

Any thoughts?
This last para stayed with me. You think you might regret getting another dog and you know you would regret only having one dog... I say follow your heart. Life is too short. Meet the pup and if it's love at first sight, then take him in. If not, then move on and continue searching for the right one!

I personally don't have the time or energy to split between two dogs, but perhaps when Cooper is older I will look into getting a rescue puppy or dog. We'll see. :wink:
 

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Just sharing my experience! I knew for sure that I wanted a second dog for me and for Luna. I had no doubts and though very carefully about the options, narrowing them down more and more until the Perfect Tucker popped up!

My questions/thought process went:
- I know labs, feel comfortable with labs but would've be happy to take on a lab cross, for a third dog I'd maybe branch out of labradors but not for the 2nd.
- A puppy was considered and discounted due to my work commitments, I knew an active, older rescue dog would be my route as I was active in agility/gundog/obedience training already they'd be able to fit straight in with the activities.
- So long as they wanted to be active and trained I was happy for them to be older or younger than Luna at that time.
- Male or female as long as they were equal in status to Luna and didn't bully her.
- Black dog as I just like them best! And already had the fur all over!
- They had to be able to come home July so that I had long summer hols to settle them and adapt them to life with us.

I'm slowly developing criteria for 3rd dog... (sssssh!!!).
- Female
- Black again
- Considering a cocker spaniel as well as a lab
- Older rescue again
- so long as active and enjoying activity older or younger than Tucks

I always find that writing things down helps me to see things in black and white and help me make decisions. Making a wanted poster (it is on here somewhere!) for that 2nd dog helped me figure out what we needed/wanted and it was what we ended up with :)
 

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This is my Sophie, lab x golden. Puppy/middle aged and Elderly around 14/15 years.








Sorry about the quality I had to take a photo of the photos with my phone. I miss my Sophie. :(
 

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For me, I don't think your girlie should really have a say, she will adapt and cope whatever you decide for SURE... thats domestic dogs, and lets face it dogs are pack animals after all... its just how many you decide to introduce to your little or big 'pack'... and it IS your decision not hers ;-)

She will probably be thrilled....

BUT and its a huge BUT for me, this is NOT what you wanted, its obviously not the timing ideally you wanted because otherwise you would be Border terrier hunting and you are just doing this to help someone out really and truly. And IF it works out for you great but otherwise, well... there was no real gut for it from you or you would of been off looking for a golden cross puppy before this friend had this contact.

The idea of someone just coming up and delivering your puppy to you sits badly too. You REALLY REALLY need to go down before they are old enough to come away and meet mum and decide for yourself. Yes they will be cute but if they aren't at the 'coming away stage' then you still have time to think logically about it having seen them and more importantly, mum.

me I say yes get a second, but get what you wanted and planned. Track down a good breeder of border terriers or whatever takes your fancy early next year and make calm decisions without any pressure of 'oppps litter peer pressure' as such.

Feeling a bit sorry for someone or something is honestly never usually a good way of buying another.... but good luck either way, hun!

xxxx
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks everyone, I've been out to agility this afternoon and made the decision whilst I was there.

Yes, I definitely do want another dog, no, those puppies are not what I want. I don't want a dog any bigger than Coco. I'd like a border terrier but OH would like another Lab (so the jury's still out on that one). I'd like something that I can hold onto at flyball without causing myself injuries and ideally something that my daughter can run at flyball/agility (there's no way she can hold Coco). That's assuming my chosen dog actually wants to do flyball and agility - as there's no guarantees there either.

I don't really object to having another small Lab, I'd just got it into my head that a smaller dog would be my ideal. I do object to the extortionate insurance premiums for Labs and know that certain health problems are far more likely in a Lab than something like a border terrier. More thinking needed regarding preferred breed!

There was a golden retriever in the field where we train and it was a big hairy thing - if the puppy turned out more like that it certainly wouldn't be what I want. Not knowing much about the parentage certainly isn't a good start and as both breeds are prone to various health problems the lack of health testing is a significant issue. I have briefly met the mum when her owner's dad was looking after her and I know she is of good temperament but I can't remember much about her.

I'm lucky that my house is big enough and set out in such a way that I could separate 2 dogs if necessary (when I get another of whatever breed). Coco can be trusted in any room on her own so I wouldn't have to worry about them being alone together if there was a problem.
 
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