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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We are pretty much convinced about having a second dog. Molly is now 7 months, and would appreciate your views about the right time to introduce a "sister"?. We would get another lab as we love them so much!!!.

Any pointers would be much appreciated.

Regards

Mark
 

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Any pointers would be much appreciated.
I thought you wanted a lab? (Sorry, bad joke. :? )

Having got our second dog a few weeks ago now it is a lot of fun (though feels like about 4 times as much dog!) For us the right time was when we felt Lottie had reached a good stage in her training and was reliable (she is hopefully going off to be a guide dog in a few months' time). I think whenever you do get one it's helpful to train and walk them separately quite frequently, at least for a while, as this will help them both listen to you rather than get too focused on each other.

Ours are quite close in age to each other (11 months and 15 months) as well as both being bitches, which probably isn't really advisable, but Ruth was the dog we were offered to adopt so we gave it a shot and have been lucky in that they get on brilliantly and Lottie soon established that she was boss, which Ruth seems happy with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
So you spotted my obvious error LOL!!!.

You mention its not the best idea to have two bitches ... do you recommend we get a little boy instead of another girl?

Mnay thanks for your advice.

Regards

Mark
 

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Well, it's often said not to get two bitches, but IMO that's a generalisation. I think the idea is that the more differences between your labs (age, sex, dominant tendencies etc) the less chance there is of fights, so it's one way of playing it safe. But ours are like two peas in a pod (they even have some of the same markings, paler bits on their coats the same shape, though they're not related!) and get on fine, so who knows! Are you planning on a pup or an older one (rescue)?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
We had said a pup, based on not wanting to introduce an older dog into the house where Molly is the only dog .. we were concerned this would cause a lot of upset.

If this would not be a problem, and having read so much (since having Molly) about the number of rescue dogs requiring homes, then we would very seriously consider a rescue dog..... sorry to keep asking, but what is your view about introducing an older dog into the fold?

Rgds

Mark
 

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I'm by no means an expert on this - I doubt the 4 months difference between Ruth and Lottie counts! But I don't see that it would necessarily be a problem - I know other people who have done it very successfully. The plus side would be that you could assess the two dogs together before you made any decision, and discuss it at length with the rescue centre. In any case, I think the key is to let the two dogs sort it out between themselves and then try to confirm whatever 'hierarchy' they establish between them, even if that means your first dog being the underling - as long as they are both happy. Sure others on here will know more about this than me, though.

(By confirming the hierarchy, I mean for example that as Lottie is top dog, I put her food bowl down before Ruthie's, etc, and she is the one who is determined to greet me first, so I accept that and stroke her before stroking Ruth. I've been told this is the right thing to do so hope it is!)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Some good advice and thank you very much. I will contact a Rescue Center to see what they say.

Best regards

Mark
 

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Hi Mollydog,
In addition to what's already been said, much depends on the amount of time you can commit to training and your personal circumstances, and while there are no hard and fast rules, some things worth thinking about are:

Molly is now 7 months, puppyhood is left behind, she is probably house trained, has a good basic obedience and it is common to start thinking about a second dog, BUT you haven't hit the terrible teenage stage yet, you're probably just about to :D That's the time you start wondering where you lovely little girl went and where this young tearaway came from. Ok some get through adolescence fairly unscathed, but others can grow horns :D , the introduction of another puppy at this time will tend to make things worse and give you less time with Molly.

If you wait till she's about 18 months, you should be through most of the adolescent stage, and give the pup the attention it will need. And Molly herself will be more mature and settled.
Personally, I like 3 to 4 years between dogs, this means that I have a steady reliable older dog and have time to spend with the puppy. The puppy will also pick up things from the older dog.

Sorry to be a bit morbid, but one other thing to bear in mind is that if you have two young dogs, when they are older you are more likely to get two lots of increasing vet bills, and also the likelihood of loosing them both within a short period of time increases too.

Hierarchy is nothing to do with age, as swillsy says, they will sort that out themselves. Bitches can get along together fine, just as two dogs can, although if bitches do fall out, they really mean it

HTH :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks Lablover .. very good advice. This is one of the elements that has been concerning us ie, does Molly still have too much development still to go through before introducing a brother or sister?. A friend of mine also mentioned the "terrible teens" in dogs!!!.

We have been discussing this issue today, and I think your comments may well have swung the balance ..... to wait for another 6 months or so.

Many thanks to all who have taken the time to contribute.

Regards

Mark
 
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