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Discussion Starter #1
So we've been going out a lot more with friends and we've noticed that Athena is a COMPLETELY different dog when she's in a pack of familiar dogs of 3 or more. Absolutely no reactions or even uneasiness, she seems confident and relaxed. Lately we've been working on her reactivity and uneasiness with greetings. Our routine is she is in a heel position, working on LAT while Nala greets and then she is allowed to greet in most cases she either sticks by me or runs up to the other dog. We've really been working on her being more polite. Yesterday we had 3 dogs (our two plus Jake's cousin's dog) and it was the same routine, but this time when she was free to greet she took her time approaching the other dogs, then one sniff and done no fixating at all. She even started doing puppy bows and trying to play with the other dogs. We played around with the idea of getting a third dog but is this a good reason to consider adding another dog? It wouldn't be until we got a bigger place with a yard, but we originally said we probably wouldn't consider a third dog until Athena and Nala were a lot older. I think we had said once Nala was about 5 but with the change of attitude we've been seeing we may consider it within the next 2 years. What do y'all think?
 

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I think getting another dog should be done cause the people want it, not to help with another dog's behavior issue. I think if it helps the behavior issue, it's a bonus - but it's a pretty big commitment to take on, especially if it doesn't work for some reason.
 

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We do really want another dog once Nala settles down and is trained completely but because of Athena's reactivity we pretty much decided until she was a lot older it wasn't going to be an option. We didn't want her to feel neglected or lose progress or get anxious with another change but with the way she's been acting when we're out in a "pack" it's like all her worries go out the window and she feels "safe" so we brought up the idea again
 

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I say, if you want a third dog and you can afford it, why not?

But just want to mention that Athena may be reactive to a single dog that you are bringing into your home as its a different thing than out walking with dogs she already knows. It could set her back, or not - I'm just mentioning to help you with your decision process. Have you considered having someone like a behaviorist or very experienced trainer observe Nala in the situation with the 'pack walk'? They may spot something important that you aren't seeing, either positive or negative.
 

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If you really feel you're ready for it, it may be a good thing. However, as an owner of 3 dogs, I will warn you that it's harder. Once you get to 3, they do start to act more as a pack, which can be a good thing, but also very difficult. Occasionally one of my dogs will do something they're not supposed to do, and the others will join in. Corralling 3 dogs is not easy!

Chess is very territorial, which we've been working on. But throw in 2 dogs that also get excited when they see her get excited, and it becomes chaotic.

I don't believe that living with more dogs will actually help her reactivity. I think what it does is give her a sense of security so that she reacts less. However, that's not addressing the source of the problem. I know that you are working on that, I just don't think another dog will solve it.
 

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But throw in 2 dogs that also get excited when they see her get excited, and it becomes chaotic.
We only have two dogs, and see this happen. Boone is pretty reactive, and if he sees Tara even look at something with extra attention, he goes into full-on alert mode. If Tara tries to chase a rabbit/squirrel/leaf while we're on a walk - Boone starts to go, too, not necessarily in the right direction. If Tara is in the house and starts barking, Boone comes barking out of the bedroom, looking around wildly to see what it is he's about to defend against ....

Aside from the annoyance factor, it's pretty funny. :)
 
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