Have fearful pup, getting a second dog?!

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Have fearful pup, getting a second dog?!

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Old 07-15-2013, 02:45 PM
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Have fearful pup, getting a second dog?!

Hi Forum Folks!

Well I would like to share some of the canine activity going on in my life and see what the DF folks have to say about it all. I have a people shy puppy and she is my first dog. My partner and I would like to get a second dog but imagined it would be in a year or two – having a pup is such a handful I thought it would be best to wait a bit, but the universe has a different idea.
Recently at our puppy class the trainer brought down Buddy, a golden/BC mix and let us know she needs to adopt him out. He is 3.5 years old and pretty much bomb proof. She even uses him with clients whose dogs are reactive or have various behavior problems, apparently he is excellent with calming dogs down and basically setting examples for desired behavior. She brought him to class specifically to meet my pup Baileymoon, a Jindo who is extremely shy and fearful of people. He was an amazing influence on her.
This has been my biggest burden with Bailey, she is a gem in every other way, wants to please and is good with training (thanks to some of the tips I get from DF!!) but when it comes to meeting people we are getting zero progress. I know she is young, and at five months will be fearful of many things but I take her to town EVERYDAY and spend time at the café meeting people of all kinds and in the four months I have had her-- no progress. Now since she is getting bigger its becoming a real downer: jerking to the end of the leash while cowering at passersby, hiding under chairs and tables, even knocking them over sometimes when people stop to look at her etc. Everyone thinks she is an abused animal from a shelter and it breaks my heart. Absolutely breaks my heart. (getting teary just thinking of this now) I do every positive reinforcement method out there for her, have read so many books about cautious and fearful dogs and am getting near my wits end.

Finally here is the crux of my post: when she is around other dogs her fear of people disappears, poof! She does not care if literally five people pet her at once! All she wants to do is have fun with the other dog, get treats from people, lick hands and is a total happy, social, friendly gem! When the other dog exits the scene its right back to the old fearful self and total avoidance of people. ~~Sigh~~ I don’t want you dear readers to think I would ever consider getting a dog for my dog but Buddy is a rare opportunity and could be great big brother for my pup to learn from. Mainly he is very loveable and sweet and I would consider him a great candidate for adoption into our life. Fearful pup or no, Buddy is his own self and I want to honor his awesome doggyness too!!


We are taking him on for a two week trial run this week. I am nervous! He is well behaved and is very good in general, but I am a novice dog owner and have fears and apprehensions about going from zero to double trouble so quickly!!

Any thoughts, insights, opinions or advice wise DF members? (And THANK YOU for reading this very long post!!!)
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Old 07-15-2013, 08:10 PM
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If Buddy helps Bailey come out of her shell, I think that would be a great opportunity! Even if it doesn't work out, it's good to try.

Something like that kind-of happened to me...
I used to have a dog that was a little shy towards people - he wasn't one for sitting next to most people or hanging out in crowds. It wasn't that bad, but once we got another dog who was a total cuddle buddy, my other dog started opening up. In a few months he would actually fall asleep with us and loved being the center of attention! He is much more happy, especially because he has a friend to hang out with!
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Old 07-15-2013, 08:35 PM
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If Bailey is picking up her cues from Buddy, and the opposite isn't happening, it should be alright. Just be sure to keep working on her with her fearfulness.

As long as there's no dog aggression going on, and both dogs are relatively well behaved, owning two dogs is a great experience. Sometimes, as you've noticed, a dog can actually do best when it has another dog around.

What are some of your concerns about having two dogs?
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Old 07-15-2013, 08:57 PM
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One thing we did with Arty, who's also quite skittish with people, was to make sure we carry treats everywhere, and everyone who expresses interest in him is handed a treat to give him.

With some dogs you have to becareful of doing that, cause they'll approach strangers looking for treats when none is offered, but thats not likley to be a problem with these guys.

Food really is the way to Arty's heart!
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Old 07-16-2013, 03:46 PM
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Thanks for the input folks!

Rain: my concern with two dogs is because i am a novice dog owner. I suppose some of it is the new and big responsibility to Buddy. Plus though I have have a major and thorough crash course in dog ownership I still have my doubts about going out into the world with two dogs. It just seems like I will have to be super on top of things. Thankfully Buddy is very easy and well trained (dog trainers dog!) so I am willing to give it my best shot and feel optimistic but of course still have my doubts as i am sure to encounter new and unimagined situations with having two dogs to keep an eye on.

Ruth, thanks so much for that input - food seems to be pretty high on Baileymoons list of motivators and I think I will start asking more strangers if they are willing to give treats to her.

Earlier today we went by a person who was busking on the street, man oh man was she terrified. He was such a nice guy too, playing a mellow tune on his acoustic guitar. But Baileymoon was not having anything to do with it, maybe guitars is just another thing i am going to have to add to her 'exposures' list!!!
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Old 07-17-2013, 10:16 PM
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Good thing you tried it on a trial basis. It definitely is a lot more work and money. However, you have the perfect age group with that combination and the opposite genders. A young puppy and a young adult who will likely be tolerant and teach the puppy. When I got my mix, my lab was about 8 months old. My mix was very fearful and had a number of issues. Having my lab did seem to calm her some and when seeing strangers she didn't run to stand behind me.

See how the trial goes and go from that point. There are definite pluses of having two dogs with the drawbacks and extra work. Right now I have 3 and it is a lot of work - got a puppy with my dogs getting older. Decided seniors and puppy may not always be best option, but my seniors are helping teach him things and calm him down. Also, he has perked up my female who kind of lost her playmate 2-3 years ago as she as aged slower then my male. As someone who owned multiple dogs, I think I'll always have 2. Three for awhile is ok.
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