Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Multi-dog Household: Three Pitties in the City

Many people are curious about what it takes to have 2 big dogs in our 2-bedroom, no-backyard condo. It has actually worked well for us because between the two of us we have 'his &her dogs'; it's easy for us each to handle a dog at a crowded event, allow each dog to have their own window in the car, and even to have their own twin beds:
At the same time, we love having the occasional foster dog which is a great reminder how we will only be able to own 2 dogs ourselves. I think having just one extra dog makes us realize how walking can be difficult, it's more difficult to give individual attention to each dog, space can be at a premium, and it takes that much longer to seatbelt each of the pooches into the car:
Not to mention additional vet bills, baths, and trying to find boarding if we go anywhere on a trip.
So it is fun for us to have an extra foster, but now we're amazed with people who really do own more than 2 dogs. Are there any secrets to keep things manageable? Do they just fall into a rhythm after awhile? And does size really matter?
PS. Interested in the snazzy bandanas the pooches are wearing in the first photo? To raise money for expensive surgery to save SuperLevi's (super)x-ray vision, we are selling flying SuperLevi T-shirts and bandanas in preparation for a Walk for Levi on November 12. The walk will be both virtual and in Chicago. Plus, we are also having a raffle of some of the pooches' favorite things: GoPro Camera! Ruffwear Coat! Custom Dog Sweater! Ruffwear Backpack! Sirius and Silly Buddy Collars! Dog Treats! And the odds of winning are actually really, really good. Click here for more information about the T-shirts and raffle prizes. You can donate by clicking here and indicating "For Levi".

22 comments:

waldobungie said...

For me, I feel like three isn't that much different than two, especially because Ginger helps to mellow Turk out. And Rufus is so small, it's really only like 2.5 dogs.... :)

Kate said...

I think the jump from 2 to 3 dogs is the hardest because that's when the dogs outnumber the people. Once you're already outnumbered though adding a fourth (in our case for occasional fosters) isn't too bad. ;)

Having had three dogs for a long time now though, I don't really think anything of it. We have such a good routine that it's just easy. It helps that they're older dogs too.

Claudia said...

I'm afraid of the jump from 2 to 3 (that's why I haven't made a play for Levi myself!). The his and hers dog rule holds in our house as well, and keeps some level of sanity. I think being outnumbered would be a challenge.

The jump from 1 to 2 was really only noticeable in terms of chaos (lots more chasing and playing) and cost (even though dog #2 is little, we still have to feed him and take him to the vet and buy him treats and toys and sweaters... ok, maybe we don't NEED all that...)

Sarah said...

For us, it wasn't that much more to handle (except for the obvious puppy training). But we have a big backyard, I've got several hours in the morning where I can get walks done and they get along so well. If our situation was different, I think it would be a bit harder to handle.

I am very conscious of giving attention to all 3 and making sure I spend quality time with them one on one. I never thought about that before - it was always Sadie & Maggie together. They didn't get a ton of individual time with me. I get lots more exercise now that I'm doing at least 2 walks per day! I'm also gaining a better understanding of dog behavior as pack dynamics play a larger role once you go above 2.

And 3 dogs sharing the bed with me while I catch up on blogs every morning is my favorite time of day!

tdotcopeland said...

Wow, Levi is filling out quite nicely (most noticeable in the last photo). Great job, guys!

kasia077 said...

I find my experiences with fostering are similar. Max and I are a team so fostering is great. Max gets to have a live in pal for a few weeks/months and I get to enjoy helping more than one dog without the strain of permanently having two dogs in a small city apartment. I'm gearing up for my fourth foster through NLOL and I can't wait.

My Max, on the other hand, would love it if I brought 4 more dogs home and maybe 2 cats. He lives to socialize.

HoundDogMom said...

Having gone from 4 dogs to 2 dogs in the last 15 months, due to their going to the Bridge. I am so totally lost and confused with only 2 dogs. I always walked 3 at once and know walking 2 dogs is quite boring, even though we have improved on Winston's walking skills during this time. I did not find the jump from 2-3 hard at all, it was trying with 4 because I had to take multiple walks with them. As I am the primary dog walker in my house. I think if you have a good routine in your house one more will not cause that much trouble. It will definately increase the vet bills and boarding if you have to do that. We never had to board our dogs, but the vet bills were crazy. But then again, we live in a house with a 1/2 acre for them to run in all day. It would be a different situation I think if I lived where you guys live. Also, having to take them for a walk to potty. Heck if I don't want to walk I just open the back door. Sniffs, The HoundDogs

In Black and White said...

I like to have a hand for each leash so when I have more than two dogs in the house, walks can be a bit of a pain (I've got Billy, Flower & Buster at my house today and I have to confess we've only had a backyard potty break so far this morning). I think the main factor is the character of the dogs. I had a hyperactive foster once who wanted to play with Billy constantly and it was the most exhausting thing ever just dealing with two.

Corbin said...

It's hard for us with Corbin and a foster... when we have two fosters, forget it! And we live in a small 3 bedroom house with a back yard. But Corbin is very high energy when we have another dog, so he's always bouncing around and running crazy though the house, which is what really makes it difficult with another dog. But the secret joy we find in fostering is the constant reminder that we're a one dog household and Corbin's an only dog kind of guy. Fosters are great, but there's no way we could have a second full time :o)
-Corbin's momma, Jenn

jen@inubakablog said...

size definitely matters, and it does become routine. I thought I'd pull my hair out with four, but I'm blessed to have my husband's help and its not so bad.

Brenda said...

This is an interesting topic today. For many, many years I had only one dog. And then there were two. And now... three. Personally, I find that there are pros and cons to being a 1 dog family, and pros and cons to being a 3 dog family. It is MUCH more of an ordeal to go anywhere with three, and because of the logistics, they just don't get to "go with" as often. Jessie used to go everywhere with me, and it was effortless. Partly because she was an only dog, and partly because she was Saint Jessie, no leash needed, just always right with me.

This crew is just different. None of them can be "off leash" and there are just more of them. But, how fun it is to come home and have three happy dogs to greet me at the top of the stairs. And, when I walk around the house, it's like I have this pack with me. :) Plus, watching the interpersonal dynamics and different personalities is fun. So, I find that I have given up some joys by having three dogs, but have added some new joys not possible with just one dog.

Shauna (Fido and Wino) said...

I've thought the same- I'd love more, but I think I'll have to wait until I live somewhere with property so the pups can spend lots of time outside (I live in a temperate clime).

Pauley, the Mr. or the Mrs. said...

I have never only had 1 dog, but can tell you that life is MUCH easier when we only have 3 dogs. With more than 3, trips out with any of the dogs are rare & for that matter, most of the humans time is spent at home as well....Can you tell that the foster pups are wearing me out? :)

Skinny Fat Kid said...

We currently have 3...Izzy and foster Topher and Brendan. They're only 10 weeks, but they're a handful! I keep telling Skinny Fat Kid that there's no way we'll have 2 dogs permanently where we live now. He wanted to keep Sassy, then he wanted to keep a puppy...he's quickly learning one crazy Izzy is enough for us!

When we have a big house and a big fenced in yard, we'll have more dogs and more fosters for sure. For now, we're just trying to manage our own personal space!

Two Pitties in the City said...

Skinny Fat Kid -- that has become our new mantra 'when we have a house and a yard'. With a third dog the extra walks are ok on a temporary basis, but especially with winter coming, I don't think we could ever own more dogs than I'm able to handle on a single walk.

Kari in Vegas said...

Yes, the house and yard is important. We are also lucky in always having someone home :)

Stop on by for a visit
Kari
dogisgodinreverse.com

Two French Bulldogs said...

you guys are adorable
Benny & Lily

h(eather) said...

I think it solely depends on the dogs. I could have 17 Marleys without a problem, but double the Rudies and I would probably not make it a day ;)

We haven't done three for more than a few days yet, but are hoping to add a third when we move (Spring, paws crossed).

Phil said...

I remember feeling overwhelmed when my girlfriend and I went from one dog to two. Before we got out second dog I thought it'd be a piece of cake, only to realize that it wasn't quite so easy. I can't even imagine going from two to three dogs.

Sagira said...

It is great that people remember these things. So many people just jump in an add another dog and don't think about some of the other factors that really matter. Keep up the great work of fostering. :)

pittiefullove said...

I feel ya! We can handle two dogs in the city (our Knox plus a foster) but even that's a lot for us. Our boy is a young, VERY high energy boy. So pair that up with an equally high energy fosterpibble and it is a lot going on. Tell me, do they calm down with age? fingers crossed. lol.

A Wonderful Dogs Life said...

When we went from 2 to 3 a few months ago it was probably more of an adjustment for the humans than us dogs. Then they found their grove. The question was who is going to walk two and who one. The person with one dog is usually doo doo picker upper. When Mom feels one of us has been lacking in the attention and lovins area then she will walk that one and Dad will take two.

I think in a smaller living space the most interesting challenge is seating. Who will sit where. With three dogs and a small home sometimes one of us gets the floor. It's not always a four legger ;) What can I say they are a push over for a senior Dane.

I think you guys are all making it work very nicely. You will find your grove and one day you won't even remember any difference between 2 or 3. It will just flow right for you.

Emma

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