So i have two dogs now and love it. I dont see myself getting another one in the foreseeable future but im curious to hear from the people that have more then 2 dogs and how you manage to exercise and give each dog the time they need.
They all get daily hang out time and any time we are home and the weather is decent, they go in and out of the yard as they please. My most high energy gets a jog before work and a training session to work on his leash manners and the others get yard time. They all get puzzle toys for during the day. In the evenings after work, we use the flirt pole and we double walk them on trails behind my neighborhood. On weekends, we go hiking, to parks, swimming, etc (whatever fits the weather). I work training into our daily activities (CCing for strangers, confidence building exercises).
I work with animals for a living. My boyfriend is far more sociable than I am, so I'm content spending most of my time with my mutts.
We have two German Shepherds depending where you live... I find taking each dog out on individual special trips in the truck to the store works well. There's a Canadian Tire here, the staff have dog treats at the cash out and it's huge, so can walk for an hour easy. Each dog loves it.
I have 3 and I don't really find it very difficult once everyone knows their place in the routine. I find having a strict routine very very helpful. They know what's coming and what's expected of them. Everyone has their own bed, their own food bowl, their own toys.
I have an older dog that doesn't need or want much exercise except playing in the yard every now and then. The other two go to the barn with me and get lots of exercise that way. I admit I despise walking, so it's a good thing I go to the barn a lot. I also have plenty of one on one training sessions, working with one while the other is in a down-stay. Other than that they have an acre fenced yard that they stay out in in decent weather while I'm at work, and play their own games all day.
In dealing with dogs, I kind of think a lot of it depends on the dogs themselves. Having 3 'easy' dogs shouldn't be as hard as owning 1 'difficult' dog that requires a lot of attention.
For example, I can no longer work, due to a disability...so I now can spend all day at home. This has allowed me to take on 2 dogs that I would have never considered if I had to be gone most of the day when I was working.
One dog, Jaya is almost feral, she was abused (hit with boards and whipped with tie down chains) for the first 5 years of her life and isolated in a back yard. I think she has improved a lot, due to my constant presence...if I wasn't able to spend the time with her, I know her progress wouldn't be any where near what it is now.
My other dog, HaHa, wasn't abused....but he is slightly retarded. I'm not sure for his first year, how much time the breeder spent with him, but at age 2, he was given to the shelter, almost starved to death because the breeder couldn't get him to eat, nor could the dog be sold because of his mental short comings and his physical appearance. His head is rather smallish and slightly misshaped, but also his issues with eating...made is so the breeder ended up letting the shelter have a go at finding him a home.
I know the shelter had him for a year, and so for a year HaHa (then known as Ruger) had people with him daily, and he's a Very sociable dog. The shelter never figured out how to put a lot of weight on him either...and was getting close to giving up on him. I decided to take him on because he was so friendly with people, I thought he could help in Jaya's social issues. And I thought I could try out things with this eating that the shelter didn't have time for. Like feeding him many times a day but just tiny amounts. That ended up working and now he's hat a healthy weight.
HaHa really, on an emotional level needs a person around, he's almost like a little 4 year old kind emotionally...if one could compare a full grown adult dog as behaving like an adult person. HaHa...would, as I said, be more like a small child due to his mental issues...he just never really grew up mentally.
However, he doesn't have separation anxiety, but I think having Jaya around helps with that a lot. He does follow me from room to room and can't seem to stand the idea of not being within a few feet of me while I'm home, though.
I think it would not have been good for him to be left alone for a long time if someone had adopted him then had to leave him alone and go to work all day. With his mental issues, it's kind of like abandoning a small puppy for a long time.
So...those two dogs...for me...are something that takes up a lot more of my time that what I would have been able to do if working. Again, I would not have taken in these 2 if not for the time factor.
I've almost always owned 2, and for a time 3 dogs...while I worked. But they were all easy keepers, no social issues -- people friendly. They didn't destroy my home while I was gone (and I had a fenced in yard and a doggy door). They also never barked all day while I was gone...my neighbors told me that...when I asked.
So, getting 3 dogs might not be a problem, if you take your time and chose a dog that fits in well with the other two you have and you know you can afford to feed and vet a 3rd pet. I did a huge amount of pre-adoption investigation before I got my last two 'problem' dogs. I knew what I was pretty much getting into...because I talked and emailed the rescue org and the shelter for as much information and for opinions about the dogs. I took on the dogs I did just because I was going to be home all day, and rather bored, and I have been around dogs my whole life and felt confident I could figure out how to help them....even if at the same time I knew I was going to have to play it by ear, especially with Jaya and go look for help in helping them.... which landed me here by the way : )
Weed out any dog even if you 'fell for it'...if it's truly not sounding like a good fit with your other dogs, for your life style and be honest with yourself if you won't have the time in working with it as much as it needs. I think that will make it a lot easier to have 3 dogs.
I have two, and would seriously get 10 more. Time is pretty easy for me, since I'm home all day. I basically schedule separate play, training, and bonding time with each. I also like to do things all together, so the dogs love being around each other because it means something awesome is going to happen. I'll definitely be getting a third once these guys are a little bit older.
I have 3 and it goes well now they're on a schedule. When my younger 2 were babies, it was EXHAUSTING. But that was mostly because Rico didn't really know how to function and had separation anxiety and mommy issues. He bonded immediately to my older girl Ginger, who doesn't have a motherly bone in her body. It caused tension for awhile but now theyve all figured out their places and favorite activities, it works well. The kids have dog park time and backyard time while Ginge naps inside, and they all get backyard time to sunbathe (Ginger's fave activity) and entertain themselves. Rico gets puzzle time to work his brain, and Roxy gets snuggle time, her favorite. It helps that I work from home. For awhile, we had 4 and it was challenging but we managed and found a routine. They're pretty adaptable!
Right now I have three, which is actually the least number of dogs I've had since I can remember. My parents raised dogs and I would like to some day too, though now it is not in the cards.
The heeler gets worked twice a week at the Schutzhund club, but other than that he just comes with me everywhere. It's not always high activity but it's enough stimulation to keep him maintained. He also helps me move horses and cattle when need be.
The dachshund is my boyfriends dog, he does exactly nothing except sleep and steal socks.
Then Thorin, the hound, doesn't require much. I usually try and take him on a walk every other day or so and other than that the heeler runs him around for us.
The mutt, originally a stray, she's independant and happy so long as she gets her two bowls of food per day (she might as well have been raised by cats). She knows how to wander in the streets safely so she gets a little bit more freedom, a leash wouldn't suit her, you can always trust her not to run off either way. Friendly towards both people and dogs, she'll always enjoy some snuggle time despite her feral nature.
The spoiled, the result of a friend's oops' litter, he's very high energy, territorial and loud. He will chase anything that moves so he's not very dependable. Uneasy towards people and dogs, but more so dogs. He loves his family to death and will do anything to defend them, but god forbid you ever switch your attention off him! You'll never hear the end of it.
The perpetual puppy, he's a purebred GSD we got from a breeder, and he might just be the embodiment of Courage the Cowardly Dog despite being the biggest of the bunch. He enjoys playing more than he enjoys food, maybe even more than what their older siblings can handle, which is why he gets some extra exercise fun time, never 30 feet farther from his family though, the world terrifies him! yet he's so curious at the same time. He's also the smartest of the three, you'll never get bored when he's with you.