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Hi Everyone,

I had an interesting discussion with my friend yesterday and I wanted to pick your brains and get more opinions.

A little background on me and my dogs:
I currently have two dogs, Keiko who is a 13 year old Shiba Inu and Mia who is a Staffy/Pit mix. She will be turning 1 in Dec.
I'm currently single and I live in Vancouver, BC. Great city, I do a lot of outdoor activities (sometimes weather permitting) but rain or shine dogs always go out for walks/runs etc. around the neighborhood.

My friend (who has had lots of dogs and currently owns two along with 5 cats) was telling me to reconsider getting another dog when Keiko passes. I haven't really thought about it yet because I still think Keiko has another good 3 years left at least, so far he's been in great health. When the time came, I thought it would be great for Mia to have a dog friend she could actually play with. Given their age difference, Keiko and Mia don't play at all but they co-exist very well.

Her main reason why she doesn't think it's a good idea for me to get another dog is because she says Mia is so bonded and attached to me (she is a bit of a velcro dog) that any attention away from her, especially to a new puppy/dog may or will cause issues. She also told me that when I leave the car for a quick moment (while Mia and my friend and her dogs are waiting in the car), Mia will sit there and freeze and just stare in the direction that I left. She won't move from her spot until I come back.

It was like a light bulb went off in my brain. For some reason I didn't see it like that, I just thought she was really eager to please me and that she was just a really obedient dog. Now I can see my friend's point.

Mia also tends to rush toward me or anyone that gives attention/pats to another dog. She loves being the center of attention.

She also is protective over her chew things like her yak chew specifically. I've seen Keiko approach her bones and she watches him but doesn't react. She only reacts with her yak chew (she will quickly go and grab it if Keiko is walking nearby). With toys I haven't seen her resource guard them.

Other than that, she loves to play with other dogs and she goes to daycare once a week. At home (when I'm at work), even though her and Keiko don't play I'm sure she still likes the company of another dog? This is the part where I'm unsure...am I just trying to think for Mia and justifying getting another dog because I think she will want/need the company? or would she really be okay being alone while I'm at work? I still come home during lunch to let her out and it time/weather permits well go play fetch or do some obedience training.

How did you guys decide on getting your 2nd (or any additional) dog(s)? I was a firm believer at first that getting a 2nd dog should be for your own reasons and not to give your 1st dog a companion but I know there are exceptions and now I'm questioning whether or not Mia would benefit from another dog companion.

I still have lots of time to figure her out more, develop our relationship and when the time comes I'll have a better idea, but I would like to get everyone else's thoughts and learn of other people's experiences.

Please note**I'm not rushing with this idea of getting a second dog as soon as Keiko passes. I want him to live out his life as long as possible and I can't even imagine how devastated I'm going to be when that day comes. This just happened to be a discussion I had with my friend yesterday.**

Thanks
 

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I think it depends how old your other dog is when Keiko passes, it could be years yet. I'd be inclined to get another dog about the same age, whenever the time comes. But why think about it now? Enjoy your dogs, enjoy your life -just ENJOY!
 

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@lynsey haha i know i know, we are enjoying every moment together! My friend was the one that brought it up so it got me thinking and I was just curious how others had made their decision. :)
 

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I have a neighbor whose older dog recently died and he's been asking me to find him another dog to keep Suzy company. He was interested in a pup I mentioned to him in casual conversation, and as tactfully as I could I pointed out that as he's now 80 years old, taking in a pup may not be the best idea. He said 'That's ok, I know you'll look after them when I'm gone.' What a cheek! I have enough trouble with dogs dropping in to say hello as they are passing, then refusing to leave, without the neighbors thinking this is a dog hotel.

The photos of your dogs are lovely by the way, they look so friendly

Lynsey
 

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I am kind of in the same boat you are in except it is not an older dog but me moving out. Right now Rocky has my parents 2 dogs for company and since they are all close in age they love playing with each other. I have struggled with whether or not to get another dog once I move out. He is a serious velcro dog and does not like sharing my attention but he will with my parents dogs. He doesn't like it but he grew up with both of them. Now I have dog sat before and after some initial posturing he settled down. I never left them alone together and the other dog actually slept in bed with us. This shows me I may have a chance at getting another dog. I would say when they time comes maybe dog sit just to see how she will do with other dogs in the house and sharing your affection. You could also always do a trial period or even foster to see if it will work out.
 

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Levi was just under one when we (well me, my husband didn't get very much say) brought home Heidi. I have loved Border Collies forever, but didn't think I wanted one for my personal first dog. Levi was a velcro dog in every sense of the word. He cried in his crate if I left him, he pushed his way into the bathroom or into the shower, slept in our bed and he came every where with me. But, I also knew that there was never a dog he met that he didn't want to be best friends with. He also doesn't guard food, treats, people, or space, so I knew even if a new dog developed bad habits (Heidi used to guard high value treats from him), he wouldn't mind.

They do very much love having each other around, they snuggle together, play together, and if something is scary to Heidi, she seems to gain confidence with Levi around. So yes, they do benefit greatly from having each other around, I think. Plus it is awesome to have a distraction dog around to proof behaviors. :rofl:

We've filmed them, and it turns out they both just lay depressed by the door when hubby and I are out. :p
 

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You will need to be cautious with adding a new dog to the house when you have a staffy/pit mix. They can often be dog aggressive and this dog aggression often doesn't turn "on" until they are 18 months old or later. I LOVE pits and have 2. Pits generally prefer their owners over other dogs. Both of mine would rather be by my side than anything else in the world.

If Mia could speak she would say "Hell no Mom, I want you all to myself!!!!!!!!!"

If you do get another dog (I have 4), the odds of peace and harmony would be better if you get a dog the opposite sex of Mia. Many people who are not experienced with pits will always say "it is all how you raise them." That is simply not true. Of course, proper socialization and training raises the odds of successful cohabitation but genetics still play a factor.

Many people with multiple pits have to "crate and rotate" as they call it or keep the dogs separated at all times as I call it. I have 2 females, one is a Staffordshire/pit mix and one is a Canaan mix. They got along great, played together all the time and then BAM - a dog walking by the fence got them overly excited, they got into a fight and have hated each other passionately since. If they are in the same room they both lose their minds and attack. What is worse is the injuries the pit's bite and shake genetics can inflict. Both of my females get along great with the other two males.

I would never rehome a dog I took responsibility for and I love both of my girls dearly, but such a situation can be difficult. I am fortunate in that I have a large house on a large lot so there is much room to work with. Each female dog literally has her own bedroom with a walk in closet and private bathroom. Spoiled. Like with Mia, if they could talk they would both say "Dad, please hurry up and get rid of that b$&ch before I have to kill her!!!!!!" Also, it breaks my heart each time I have to put one away so I can let the other out.

Dog aggression certainally doesn't always happen with pits but you must make an informed decision and realize if you get another, not only might Mia not like it, but she may literally try to kill it.

There are some great pit specific boards with tons of real live pit owners like myself.

I got a male pit puppy earlier this year and it has been a blast. He is currently 8 months old and loves everything that moves. I hope it stays that way and am doing everything possible to prevent him from becoming dog aggressive but I realize that it MAY happen one day and will be prepared if such an awful day ever comes.
 

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Thanks @lynsey! Socialization is the first thing I start with with my dogs. They love to greet people as they walk by, especially people they recognize. But it doesn't help that Mia has a natural tendency to guard and protect so when she barks at something she isn't familiar with she can get a little intimidating. We're still working on that one!

@samon5261 I like that idea of dog sitting though, any dog she is friends with I know will be okay because she will just want to play with that other dog. Fostering has crossed my mind, I wouldn't mind fostering actually but I will have to see if I qualify since I do work full time. I would imagine they prefer foster parents that don't leave the dogs alone for too many hours during the day. Fostering could be a good way keep socializing Mia to new dogs. I still have a lot of time to consider it but looks like that could a good start.

@Shandula So far I haven't had a situation where Keiko wasn't around and it was just Mia and myself at home so I don't know if she would actually miss him, but over the weekend, I had a friend take care of Mia for a couple of days because I went through some minor surgery and my back wouldn't be able to handle her strength. I thought Keiko would be elated that she was gone but it was weird, it almost looked like he missed her company. Even though they never play with one another, he would kind of look around the apartment and lay down in the middle of the apartment.

YES to the distraction dog!!! I would love for Mia to have another dog to play with so then I don't have to be the one to tire her out all the time!!! lol

I've been wanting to set up a camera for a while to see how the dogs are while I'm away. I wonder if Mia tries to play with Keiko at all. Did you use a gopro or a webcam or something?


@TWadeJ Thank you for your input. You have brought up a concern that I have thought about many many times. I have read in a couple of pit bull forums about having more than one pit (mix) dog or multiple dogs with a pit (mix) at home. It seems like majority say it's a bad idea and that pits don't need another dog for company because they are more people dogs, while others have had successful relationships with other dogs. I think that's what led me to ask, how do you know if you're making the right decision by getting a second dog. As much as I would LOVE LOVE LOOOOVE to get a second pit (mix) dog, I don't think I will. Where I live, it's been challenging to find a place/strata that doesn't have a breed restriction. I'm currently looking to buy and it's been a little harder with Mia.

haha what you said about Mia is right on the money, she would definitely say she would want me all to herself haha but I know that she would also love to have another playmate because she loves to play with other dogs (well...if she connects with them - she can be a little selective).

I didn't want to get another male because I find their need for marking is a little annoying but I still have a few years left to figure Mia out and figure out what's best of all of us. :) Keiko and Mia balance each other out, he's patient, mellow and puts up with her. She's pushy and annoying but she also respects him enough that if he growls at her she will leave him alone and gives him space.
 

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@yoshiposhi - Funny story, I scheduled Heidi's spay on Levi's birthday so we could spend the day just the two of us. We took walks, went to the park, went to the pet store, but every time we came home, he just looked in every single room for Heidi, and then moped when he couldn't find her. :p

I just set up my video camera in the corner/kinda tucked behind a table and left it plugged in so it wouldn't die. It was an extremely boring 3 hour video.
 
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