quote:Originally posted by snipes:
I'm interested in hearing from dog lovers who have owned more than one dog at a time. How does having another canine in the house change the dynamic between owner and dog? I've always thought our Schnauzer would love to have a play mate. It would have to be the right kind of dog of course.
Are we talking miniature, standard, or giant here? Not that it matters, but just curious!
Just don't fall for the old "2 dogs are easier than 1 dog" line of crap. And crap is a key consideration! Having 2 dogs, from my experience, doesn't change the dynamic between owner and dog at all. They may be less demanding of you, as they have a playmate to expend some energy with, but they still are attached to their owner. More importantly, you need to pay attention to the personality of your current dog and that of any prospective playmate. "Alpha" personalities may not welcome a new dog into the fold easily and could result in conflicts. Is your dog protective or possessive of you as an owner? Does he/she get in between you and other people? Other dogs? Does he/she show signs of being territorial (with home, land, or toys)? There are many thoughts on bringing new dogs in: no male/male combinations, etc., but each situation and animal are different, so you need to learn what to look for and be prudent in selecting a good brother/sister for your schnauzer. I do believe that dogs are happier when they have "a buddy" around.
I broke every rule: I have 2 very large males. One I raised from a puppy, the other a rescue, who was already 4 years old. My breeder advised against the 2 males thing, but when the 2 dogs met, it was clear they would get along well. Neither had alpha tendencies, though the rescue is almost un-naturally attached to me and can exhibit some weird behavior that way. I guess it's no surprise, as he sees me as his "rescuer" and likely retains some insecurities from his earlier trials and tribulations. We've not had a single issue between them, though the rescue took to chasing the cat constantly, but she's siamese and soon put him in his place!
There is quite a bit of information on dog behavior out there that can help you. If you have any questions, feel free to page me.