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Is it better to have one or two dogs?

 
 
Reply Mon 9 Feb, 2009 01:06 pm
We have a one year old beagle mix named Abby, who has been driving us nuts lately. She's been becoming incredibly destructive, and is always bouncing off the walls no matter how much exercise we give her. The other day I took her on a two-hour run (thinking I could wear her out), and she came home, napped for about half an hour, then went outside and dug up my entire garden. We spend a lot of time with her, and give her as much exercise as possible, but she just seems to have boundless energy.

We've been through two obedience classes with Abby, and talked to several trainers about our problem, and it seems like everyone suggests getting another dog so she always has someone to play with. We've been told that beagles are INCREDIBLY social dogs, and that they're much happier and well adjusted when they have a doggy friend. It sounds like it might work, but I'm worried that if we get another dog they're just going to gang up on us and then they'll be two dogs destroying the house.

So what do you think? I'd like to hear from someone who has multiple dogs whether this sounds like a good idea.
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Type: Question • Score: 7 • Views: 5,433 • Replies: 13
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maporsche
 
  2  
Reply Mon 9 Feb, 2009 01:12 pm
I had 1 yellow lab who behaved much the same way you're describing. Since buying the 2nd lab they are both very well behaved. A few incidents here and there, but all in all, much better.

They do enjoy playing with each other. They do the play fighting pretty often, and they spend a lot of time licking each other, they play tug of war with each other. They are less dependent on you for entertainment, but they will respond very appreciatively when you give them attention.
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maporsche
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Feb, 2009 01:18 pm
Don't just get another dog to make your other dog easier to deal with though. Make sure you'll love the dog and can handle the extra expense. But assuming that you'll do that then I think a 2nd dog is a great idea.

I'd also invest some time in obedience training for yourself and the dog though. That will help control the behavior.
aidan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Feb, 2009 01:22 pm
@jesuistroptimide,
I had a beagle and malamute/golden retriever mix at the same time.
I had the big dog first. But he was huge - grew to weigh about 120 lbs and my son, who was about four at the time couldn't walk him and he wanted to have a little dog that he could walk when I walked the big one.

So a friend of mine had these beagle puppies and we got Joshua. Joshua never settled in. Even though he had had his doggy friend, my other dog who was very well behaved- and the opportunity for a very nice dog life. I never did get him house trained. I've had dogs my entire life and have never had this problem with another dog. We had a large fenced side yard - more than half an acre for him to run around and play with our other dog on - but he was constantly digging under the fence and getting out.

I finally gave him to the guy who was rebuilding our chimney as he was a hunter and had hunting dogs and a bunch of acres out in the woods for Joshua to roam freely on. He didn't have any problem with him at all.

I guess the moral of my story is that the other dog didn't help. And I would never get another beagle- no matter how cute it was-and it seemed like what this little beagle needed was space to roam.

But I just reread your post - and if this behavior is new - maybe she is bored and could settle down if she had a friend.
I've had as many as three big dogs at a time with no ganging up.
Maybe I've been lucky - all of my dogs except Joshua have been really well-behaved.
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Bella Dea
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Feb, 2009 01:35 pm
1- do you have small kids?
2- do you have a fenced in yard?

Both of these are important because dogs play rough and having small kids around can be scary. As well, they will need lots of space to play and get rid of that energy. You can't expect them to just play in the house.
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farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Feb, 2009 01:47 pm
@jesuistroptimide,
beagles and Jackie russels are high maintanance and high energy. Our neighbor has a pack of beagles and hounds for rabbit and fox hunting. The beagles can be gone half a day rooting around the woods and then come home and want to play some more. More dogs is good with high maintenance breeds.

You wanna see a dog that loves to figure out new ways to drive you nuts, get a border collie.
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Miklos7
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Feb, 2009 02:24 pm
Beagles live to dig; they are restless, inquisitive, high-energy characters. It may be, since you have talked with trainers, that your beagle is not going to "settle in." If this is the case, you might consider giving him to a home where he can be the kind of full-tilt beagle he is. Hard to give up a dog, but, sometimes, that's more fair to both the dog and to you than confining him to a world where he cannot fit.
I wouldn't risk getting another dog on the off chance that the new dog's chemistry will combine with and temper the beagle's. Dogs have distinct personalities (this kind of discussion is encouraged now, even by scientists). The effectiveness of this rote doubling pattern is uncertain, at best! The best one can say is "Perhaps." There are plenty of second dogs out there who have aggravated the first, just as there are some second dogs who have become best buddy to the first and soothed his soul.
I'd try to come to terms with the beagle on his own. If, with the best will, you cannot, there's a message there.
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maporsche
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Feb, 2009 02:25 pm
@maporsche,
Sorry, I glanced over the part where you said you already did obedience training.
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kuvasz
 
  2  
Reply Mon 9 Feb, 2009 03:56 pm
The more dogs the better, besides they can keep each other company

btw i have six dogs, and you can't leave a dog alone for too long because they are social animals and need companionship
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paige88
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Feb, 2009 12:31 am
@jesuistroptimide,
Beagles are number 1 for naughtist dogs
Labradors are number 2.

I think if you get another puppy Abby will then have someone to play with.
But in saying that the puppy may learn Abby's bad behaviour. Have you spoken to a Vet? I have a 10 month old Choc Lab and she sounds exactly like Abby and they put her on Climocalm, which helps her to relax.
hingehead
 
  2  
Reply Tue 10 Feb, 2009 06:00 am
@paige88,
No comments on breed, but dogs are pack animals and love company all the time. Leaving a dog on its own for any length of time without company is a little cruel.
jesuistroptimide
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Feb, 2009 02:22 pm
@hingehead,
Abby has never, in her entire life, been left alone for more than three hours at a time. If we're going to be gone for longer than that we take her to my dad's house so she can play with his dog. Lack of attention is absolutely not the problem. Please don't imply that I'm cruel or abusing my dog. Did you even read my post?
hingehead
 
  0  
Reply Wed 11 Feb, 2009 02:55 pm
@jesuistroptimide,
Oh ye of little skin. I was not replying to your post, I was using "reply to all" about what I knew about dogs. Droppeth thy sword.
0 Replies
 
parsons
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Jul, 2009 01:01 pm
@jesuistroptimide,
We home raised two Bouvier pups - brother and sister from the same litter for the last 2 years. They are incredible. Yes, they do tend to migrate to one another periodically throughout the day - it is what they are accustomed to. They have never been left more than 3 hours by themselves. They are very social, enjoy their daily walks and meeting other dogs along the way. We have yet to see ANY aggression to either each other or to other dogs (or humans). They are certainly intimidating to look at (over 160lbs each) and look like giant bears but they are the most gentle breed we have ever owned (previous Giant Schnauzer, Wheaton Terrier, Shepherds) Not sure if getting a 'friend' for Abby will assist with her energy level but, hoping you get a breed that gets along with her, she will likely be very happy to have someone else to play with!
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