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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, I'm quite new to the forum and after some advice, please. Just read the very helpful Sticky about introducing a new puppy to an older dog. I'm thinking about getting a playmate for Lucca (who is just coming up to 5 months) and wondering when the best time to do so is? Is it best if he's a bit more grown up before a new puppy arrives?

Also wondering whether to get another Lab or a different breed. I love the bones of Lucca, and I'm sure I'd fall in love with another Lab, no problem, but is the issue is time for walking. If the new addition can't walk very far early on and has to do seperate walks, that's not really practical even though I work from home a lot. So would it be better to get a smaller breed, or one that doesn't have potential hip and elbow problems (are there any medium/big breeds that don't?)?

Be interested to hear what you more experienced people think, and whether there are certain breeds that make good companions for Labs. Lucca himself treats every dog we meet as his best friend, so probably wouldn't mind at all what variety of dog came along, so long as he or she was prepared to eat, sleep and play with him!
 

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I think it's down to personal preference and what you think you can cope with, though I would wait a while longer in your position, but others have done differently.

What about adopting an adult rescue dog? There are lots of labs and other breeds/crosses looking for a good home.
 

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Any puppy of any breed you'll have to walk with caution for the first year or so - just moreso with labs and other larger breeds. If you want a dog to keep up with your current walks, how about a rescue older dog, say a year old?

It is generally recommended that you wait until the first dog is around 18 months before introducing a new pup. At this age, the older dog will be more mature and better behaved so as not to give the pup bad habits (in theory!). However, if you get an older dog then you won't have this issue, so it's more a question of when is right for you.
 
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If you haven't the time to walk them seperately then I would at least wait until you have excellent control on and off lead of Lucca before you think of adding another pup. Pups tend to make the other dog regress a little so unless things like Recall and lead walking are very good, you could end up with the two dogs palling up, ignoring you completely and being a nightmare to walk out together.

If you have the time to train them seperately then there is no real reason not to have youngsters together but on the whole, unless you have the time and experience it is best to wait until the first dog is mature AND you have very good control over him.

As for breeds which don't suffer joint problems, I can't think of many. About the only larger breeds I can think of are Greyhounds and Lurchers which rarely have joint problems. Smaller breeds may have joint problems but if they are light weight breeds (rather than big hefty things like Bulldogs) then the exercise thing isn't so influencial as they are growing, as they have far less weight/pressure on their developing joints.

And as for which breeds get on best with Labs, I think Labs are amiable enough to get on with most breeds, although as they tend to be "under" dogs, you may find they get bullied or dominated if you get a more assertive breed.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the advice everyone. I think I'll plan to add to the household when Lucca is 18 months old 'cos I want to make sure that I do the best for him. We made the mistake with cats of introducing kittens at the wrong time and then lived with the consequences (an older cat who just really put up with the little ones but always made them feel intimidated if they got too near her), so I wanted to make sure I don't miss the best time or do it too early.

I hadn't thought of a rescue lab. Would you suggest that I look for one that will be younger than Lucca when we adopt?
 

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There's no reason why you can't adopt a rescue when Lucca is 18 months/2 years old -ish (don't put a definite time on it, please just wait and see how she matures, it might take her a bit longer than 18 months to be ready for a brother or sister).

When you do adopt, there's absolutely no reason why you can't adopt an older dog - if you get a rescue lab, maybe 4-5 years old, then you won't have to worry about restricting lead walks etc, you'll have two adults. I often find that an older dog appreciates a younger one, it gives them a new lease on life, that's what happened with my border collies anyway - I had Monty who was 4, and we adopted Emma who was 8, and she went from being an old slow-poke to running about and having fun in no time at all!
 

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Arow said:
I hadn't thought of a rescue lab. Would you suggest that I look for one that will be younger than Lucca when we adopt?
I would look for a suitable dog to live with Lucca, rather than worrying about age :) I have adopted older, younger and same age dogs and it's all been fine. A good rescue will help match the dog to your family and lifestyle.

I definitely wouldn't rule out adopting a dog older than Lucca - and you might decide you'd rather not relive the puppy years once you get to the stage of wanting a second dog? :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the advice. Lucca certainly enjoys walks with his best doggy friends who are both retired guide dogs. He gets this sort of 'look at me, I'm with these big dogs, you know' look in his eye and puts his nose in the air and wags his tail till it looks like it will fall off. It was that made me think he needs a bit more stimulation than he gets with just me and the OH.

I did love the puppy thing though. The only bits I didn't like were constantly taking sticks and stones out of his mouth and being bitten mercilessly. Fortunately, he's getting over both. He much prefers eating mud now!
 
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