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timing for new dog...

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Ok. Here's the deal. We're thinking of getting a second dog. There are a few things to consider before we do, so we're trying to figure out timing.

1.) we will be adopting a shelter dog. Something about the size of a whippet would be ideal, but easy to care for and that gets along with cats (essential)

2.) I'd like a dog with a bit of a play drive. Our current dog hardly ever plays.

We have a wonderful dog now, who will be turning 10 in January. She gets along famously with our cats, and is one of the most easy-going dogs I've ever known. She is, however, a bit insecure around new/bouncy dogs. We're hoping she'll be ok once she gets to know the new dog.

We are also planning on starting a family very soon, so that's another consideration.

So what it boils down to is this: we want to know if it's better to (a) adopt a dog before we throw a newborn baby into the mix, so we know that the dogs and cats will get along and everyone is secure in the routine and their place in the pack... we'd like the new dog to learn the "rules" from our current dog... sort of use her as a teacher for the new kid.


(b) wait until the baby is born, so we know that there will be someone around to ease the introductions and take care of things... make sure everyone gets along.

My biggest worry right now, is that Dixie (our current dog) will get jealous/insecure around the new dog and/or that we have an untrained, "green" dog to deal with along with a newborn baby...

Any ideas?
post #2 of 9
I am pregnant, and though our dog isn't "new" to us, he was kept outside for several months before moving back into the house. This leaves me in a position of being pregnant and trying to train a "new" dog.

It's pure hell.

You also don't want to be trying to housebreak a puppy and toilet train a child at the same time, either. You'll want to be able to give the baby as much attention as possible after he or she is born, and therefore *that* isn't the best time to get a new dog either.

I think that it depends on how soon you want to start your family. If you're looking at becoming pregnant within the next year or so, I would put off getting a new dog for about three years (sorry). If you're looking at waiting a year or more to become pregnant, then I think that now is probably the best time to get a new dog and get it acclimated to your household.

Keep in mind that even if you adopt an older dog from a shelter, they come with their own problems, too, and that you'll need to be able and willing to work with the dog on those problems.
post #3 of 9
If you plan to wait a year to get pregnant, then I say get a dog now. Give yourself six months to get the new dog settled before getting pregnant.....pregnancy hormones & a new dog do not mix, as my SIL found out.

I do not reccomend getting a puppy. I'd got for a dog 2-4 years old. That way, they're on the end of puppy & will hopefully mellow out more by the time the baby is born. I would not reccomend a Jack Russel, Rat terrier, or many of the terrier breeds. They are a handful, & often do not always do well with kids.

A lot of times, play drive goes along with energy level. Be sure to keep in mind Dixie when looking at dogs, maybe take her to meet the new dog.
post #4 of 9
I agree with Natalie. As far as your existing dog adjusting to a new one, a lot of it depends on how you manage your dogs. If she is secure with her place in your home and doesn't show signs of jealousy to the cats, chances are she'll adjust to a canine companion. Make sure that you are established as "alpha" with your dogs and they will always follow your lead. It is extremely important when you bring a dog into your home that they understand what you say is the law, as it will control their reaction to your other dog, cats, and upcoming babies.

We are looking for dog #3 right now and might be adopting over the weekend. We went down the rescue group path where we could find an adult dog that could be cat tested before she comes into our home. Rescue groups do a lot of in home fostering and you can get a better understanding of their personalities. I asked this group to cat test a dog we were interested in and they did that for me this week. The group I work with pulls from high kill shelters so by adopting from them, I am rescuing a shelter dog.
post #5 of 9
IMO if you are adopting an older dog (so no initial potty training or obedience training) then you could get one now and get everyone adjusted. If you wait till after you have a baby, you might be too overwhelmed with everything to devote proper time
post #6 of 9
If you're looking for an older dog, I'd actually say 3-4 is a good age, because they're still adolescent, but reaching adulthood soon.
post #7 of 9
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
IMO if you are adopting an older dog (so no initial potty training or obedience training) then you could get one now and get everyone adjusted. If you wait till after you have a baby, you might be too overwhelmed with everything to devote proper time
Another great thing about adopted from a rescue group is that they often spend the time to train them in case they didn't come in that way. The girl we are looking to adopt is already housebroken, crate trained, and knows some basic obedience commands. She's 3 years old.
post #8 of 9
Puppies are cute, and I've had them and trained them. Give me an adult dog who's trained any day over that cute puppy SOOOOO much easier
post #9 of 9
More and more rescues of medium to large dogs will not adopt to a family with young children or who expect to start a family. They are afraid of a lawsuit if the active dog knocks down a child or if the dog nips/bites the child. I blame that on stupid parents/pet owners as I raised three children with multiple large breed dogs in the house and we never had any problems. (The secret is to train both the dogs and the kids - I can't believe people don't get this)

My suggestion for you would be to get a laid back 2-3-4 year old dog. That would give you the best opportunity for your current dog to adjust to the newcomer and to do some of the housetraining for you (a great idea that worked well for us). Remember that for the first two months, the new dog can do no right and the current dog can do no wrong. This establishes the pack order and teaches the new dog the house rules. This will also make life easier for you during your pregnancy and the arrival of your child.

A more playful dog will also require more attention to avoid destructive behavior. So this might not be the best time for you to add one to your household.
We currently have a ten year-old Golden Retriever (who still plays), a six year-old Old English Sheepdog and a three year old Old English Sheepdog. The younger two play together all of the time and burn up some of their energy, which makes them better playmates for the older one.
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