SECOND DOG
One is never enough!
If your reading this someone should have warned you that aussies can be very addicting, one is
often never enough. We have as many or more repeat buyers than we do families with just one
dog. I have buyers who have 3-4 of my dogs and wish they had the room for more.

So is a second dog a good idea. When is a good time and the big question...what genders mix
well.
Grab a coffee and lets see if I can help!

So is a second dog a good idea. That really depends on a few things.

My number one recommendation is not to get a second dog until your first one is trained the way
you want it. It should be house trained and asking to go out to potty, have a solid recall (that means
it comes back the first time you call it), and have all the basic manners you find important such as
not jumping up, not barking, not begging etc What you find important will be different than the next
family so it is very individual. Only you know when your first dog is trained the way you want. I
usually recommend no sooner than a year old as a goal. Some are ready a bit sooner, others
need a while longer, some should never get a second dog. How much time and work you put into
the first one will dictate when is a good idea to add a second one.
If you get your second dog while your first still needs work, the first dog will teach the second dog
all the behaviours it knows, both good and bad. So if #1 doesn't come when it's called, #2 will
learn not to come either and you will have two dogs with bad recalls. If #1 still has accidents, #2
will think the house is a great place to use as a toilet. If #1 is a barker, then #2 will pick it up and
you'll have a choir. So it is very important to only consider a second dog once the first is where you
want it in training.

Next look at the age of your current dog from the other extreme. If your current dog is 10 years old,
it is probably not a good time for a crazy bouncy puppy. Do you really think an elderly dog wants to
put up with a puppy grabbing at it's fur and ears and barking at it and harassing it to play all the
time. Probably not. Just like as we get older we have less desire to be surrounded by toddlers on
an ongoing basis, the same holds true for your elderly dog. So if your dog is elderly, it is a better
idea to allow that dog to live out his old age in peace and get a puppy when he's passed on. Don't
put him in an early grave by tormenting him with an obnoxious puppy.    

So back to a younger first dog. When is young too young.
A lot of people as me if it's a good idea to get two puppies at very young ages together.
If you have two young dogs together, even just 6 months or a year apart you are going to have two
geriatric dogs at the same time. This seems great at first, but in 8-10 years when one starts to
decline the other will follow. You will have two dogs who may loose vision, two dogs who may
loose bladder control, two dogs who may need dental work and when one passes on, it is almost
guaranteed the other goes into depression and passes fairly quickly behind the other one.  So
having them around the same age has a few years of advantages but it comes with it's downfalls
as well.

Do I ever recommend getting two puppies together, no, pretty much never a good idea and I know
first hand because as a breeder I have to do it occasionally.
Two puppies at the same time seems great, they will play with each other and occupy each other
and leave you some freedom, but that's the problem. You do not get a puppy as a puppy sitter. If
you do then they are best buddies and you my fine human do not exist in their world, they have no
value in you what so ever. They have all the love, companionship and play time they need in their
other canine and you do not exist in their world. This leads to a dog who has no respect for you.
Can two puppies work. Yes. Do you really want to put the time into it. Probably not.
Do you know anyone with twin human children, have you had the chance to watch them grow up.
Jack and Jill go to all the same places, dress in matching clothes and have no individual identity.
Why, because it's easier as a parent to do it all together instead of doing everything twice. But
twice is what is needed.
If you get two puppies then you should be willing to do twice the work. I'm very serious.
If you get two puppies they should have separate crates in separate rooms, NOT SIDE BY SIDE.
If you get two puppies they should have separate play times. Jack plays with you from 9-10 am,
then he goes in the crate and you play with Jill from 10-11. At 11 they can both come out and play
with each other but their play time together should be restricted and limited. You want them to
bond with you, not with each other.
When you go for a walk, you should take Jack and your partner should take Jill. You go left out the
front door and they go right. You go on individual walks at least once a day. The other walks you
can do together but they should always have their own individual time. Tomorrow switch which dog
you take so both puppies bond with each human.
Obedience classes, do not do them together. The puppies know each other and will want to play,
not only will you not learn anything with your own puppies but it is very distracting to the other
participants. So you go with Jack on Mondays and Jill goes on Wednesdays :)
Of course this is just while they are puppies. Once they are 6 months old and have bonded to the
family members and you can call them off of each other in play then they can spend much more
time together. But it is always nice at least once a week to do something with just one, even if it's
just a run to Tim Hortons and they get a tim bit. Each dog deserves to be an individual.

So let's just assume you have one dog, it is a year or so old and trained and now your looking for
a second dog. Now the process begins to match you up with something that will compliment your
family and not throw it into chaos.
Look at dog number one. What breed is it? What does it like and not like. Is it at all dominant or
very submissive. The more we know about the first dog the easier it is to match you with success.
In Aussies females are almost always dominant.
If your current dog is a female - get a male.
If your current dog is dominant - get a male.
If your current dog is a male - you could get either gender ( as long as he isn't dominant, if he is
get a male)
Let me know about your current dog and I will help you pick parents that may be more what your
looking for. Some blood lines are more dominant than others, I know my blood lines so I can help
you pick the right litter.

Colour makes absolutely no difference at all, it is a personal preference.

So in short you have to take your first dog into consideration and make sure you are not upsetting
his life by bringing in a second dog. Too early is a lot of work, to late is not fair. So picking a good
time frame that works is key.

Adding a third or fourth dog is exactly the same process, knowing the first dogs, having them
trained and then bringing in the new addition.

If your getting a second dog, welcome to the crazy aussie club where one is just never enough!