Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Pooches: What is Your Dog Limit?

Even though we already have our own two pooches, sometimes we come across certain pups that make me think we should become a 3-dog household.
For awhile we were actually considering adopting Boris the Bachelor ourselves. I've never had a dog who was loyal to just me, and Boris really is the complete package.
But then there is reality. I barely mastered walking 2 dogs at the same time, and with a third dog I've been taking an extra 3 walks a day (6 walks a day!).
Everything takes a bit longer: feeding 3 pooches at mealtimes,wiping 4 extra paws each time they go outside, and buckling 3 pooches into the car.  I've also been finding it hard to divide my time among the pooches and not feel like I'm neglecting anyone.
While it is fun having fosters, they are also a good reminder that we can never own another dog. Like Kate said, it's always hard when the pooches outnumber the people.
 Though we do know so many people who successfully own 3 or 4 (sometimes 5!) pooches. How do you determine your dog limit? How much of it is group dynamics? Or maybe age and size really matter?

Also:
Didn't this 3 dog outing look seamless? (Though it was secretly overwhelming at times).
The other time we almost foster failed.

25 comments:

Uji, Izzy + Ziggy said...

We never planned to have more than two then I saw Izzy's photo and I knew she was destined to be part of our family and so that came to be. We were then asked to foster Ziggy and he just slotted in so well that when his forever home fell through we knew he had already found his forever home with us so we became a four dog family. Sadly later we lost our darling Queen Ronnii, a short while later someone was looking for a special home for a little puppy who was not going to make size and my name was put forward. I wasn't sure I was ready but then I saw this tiny little girl perfect in every teeny tiny way and the rest was history. We are now a four dog family again. Our pack is balanced perfectly and I could not imagine it any other way now.
Love
Momma Tea ( owned by the Kresty Krew )

Sam said...

I think it depends on the breed, etc. We at one time had 4 Great Danes and 2 Golden Retrievers. The Golden's, of course, where the velcro dogs and needed us at all times, but the Danes where happy enough spending their day roaming our (fenced in) farm property and coming in at night for love and attention. Could we walk them all? Not really!

Sam

mayziegal said...

Mom says 2 dogs (and 2 kittehs) is their limit. She worries how another dog might upset the balance and she thinks abouts the added expense and how a third dog might make it harder to go on walkies, travel, etc. Like you said, we know peoples who have many more pets than us and do just fine. But for us, the number we have right now seems to be just pawfect!

Wiggles & Wags,
Mayzie

orange sugar said...

I think it really depends on the temperament of the dogs you have etc... For a long time Shadow was our only husky, then we got Saber. There were a few fights in the beginning and I wasn't sure if they would get along but then they became buds. They were both older and it was extremely easy taking care of them. They could both stay out during the day while we were at work and didn't need to be crated. Sabe was the best, then he passed away.

My bf felt that Shadow needed a friend and adopted another husky way too soon. I wasn't completely on board with getting her and am still not a big fan. Sonya is young and crazy and has to be constantly watched and crated if you can't watch her or else she will eat furniture and get into trouble.

I had also always wanted a dachshund and got one from a breeder. First and last puppy ever! Will only be adopting dogs that are past the puppy stage in the future.

The dynamic of the household is a lot different and it's a lot less easy with these three. We are in the process of fencing the yard which should make it easier. Integrating a third mellow dog with Shadow and Saber might have been easier. But right now with these three I think two is ideal.

pittiefullove said...

For now we're a 1 dog household, but I do that because I love keeping a 2nd foster. I think we could totally be a 2 dog household, however that would be my limit and I don't think I'd be as skilled at you guys with walking 3 pitbull type dogs in the city 3 times a day! So 1 Permadog and a foster is my perfect mix! Not to mention, I love that financially that means we are only ever responsible for 1 dog!

Luv My Rosie said...

1 Rosie is plenty! I would love another one but she commands so much of my attention its hard to find time for myself. Next time, I'm definately getting 2 that way they will have someone else to keep them occupied.

Jessica Rosman said...

My limit will be two. I have 4 dogs right now and it's just me with the occasional of my roommate but 4 dogs is too much. My ex liked to bring home every animal he came across and at one point it was me and EIGHT dogs because my ex wouldn't feed them, play with them, walk them, anything. So in about 8 years when the current pack has moved on I will choose one dog that will be the right dog for me and he or she will get all my love and attention and be the best dog ever. If a second dog comes along that will be fine but I will never have more than two dogs again. I can't give them the time and attention they need and it's very expensive taking care of 4 special needs dogs.

secondchildhood said...

We currently have three and have had three for quite some time. When our elderbully passes on to the bridge, i think two is plenty! But may consider a foster scenario!

Sara @ LiteraryLima said...

So glad you brought this up, I've been asking myself the same question lately! We currently have 2 with a pittie foster on the way. What to do if we fall in love?? Do we give in and adopt the foster, or still allow the dog to go when it finds a good home? Advice? @LiteraryLima

Kinsley said...

At one point we had four of our own plus two fosters. At that time we had a huge fenced in yard and it was fairly easy to let them run and play. I had an Irish Wolfhound that was the old man and he kept them all in line. We also had a choc. lab, shep x, and bully x. Then we had our current dog Izzy, who was a foster at the time and she's a pit. I think it depends on the time and space you have to take care of multiple dogs. When the pack is balanced things are a lot easier for sure! Now we have a smaller house and yard and have to personal dogs...(we lost two of them), and right now I have two foster puppies that are about 7 weeks. I love fostering, but am always happy to let them go!

In Black and White said...

As some of the previous commenters have mentioned a lot comes down to the character of the dogs. My current permanent max is one (primarily for financial reasons) and I'm ashamed to say I'm even taking a foster break at the moment. With an easy fit 2 or even 3 is nothing, with a challenging dog 2 can be overwhelming.
I'm lucky to have dogcare support from my awesome downstairs neighbor and we switch off making sure all the dogs are let out when work schedules are crazy. Between our two apartments, that can be anything from 3 to 6 or 7! I could definitely not do over 3 for more than a day or two.

adorabully said...

I agree with previous commentors that it all depends on the dog. We're a 3 dog family and it's very hard some times and very easy others. The hardest part for us is the boys don't get along. It requires a lot of creative locating and swapping. Finding a pet sitter for all 3 is very hard when we want to go on vacation. We usually spilt them up 1 one place and 2 another. But the love is three fold and wouldn't trade any of them for the world. We're a mixed family (1 mine 2 his) so there really wasn't any other option and we made it work the best possible. I don't think any of the three lack for anything.

Blueberry's human said...

I just have one dog right now. She's really great and after having had two in the past - I am realizing just how easy one is to care for! Right now I am struggling with whether or not to foster because I know that will be more challenging. Not sure I am ready to give up the ease of caring for one dog!

Sarah said...

We're a 3-dog family and without a backyard, I would never consider more than one actually. We've pretty much mastered the two dog walk but the three dog walk is still very much in its infancy. Having a backyard allows me to focus on training good behavior during daily walks rather than worrying about everyone doing their business (and then me not stepping in someone's business as they twine 3 leashes around my legs!).

In terms of equal attention, I think I've let my guilt over equitably dispensing attention and activities go. It becomes much more about how we function and interact as a family. Maggie & Hurley are total playmates and give each other tons of attention, while Sadie prefers to nap comfortably. So she gets more love & affection in the house while the other two are romping around. Hurley goes on a lot more outings as we are working on him getting ready to go back to work with me. During our recent trip, both Sadie & Maggie enjoyed solo day trips with us while the other two stayed in the cabin (and Hurley got no special solo trips). It's not equal but because taking 3 dogs everywhere is impossible. The way we select who gets a walk, outing or other special attention is dependent upon our family interactions as a whole and not always whose turn is next.

Two French Bulldogs said...

We have consider it too sometimes but mon always reminds herself that my Lily is already like 2 dogs
Benny & Lily

Rebelwerewolf said...

I think personality and how well the dogs get along definitely matter. Badger and Mushroom are both very active and get along maybe 50% of the time. Oddly enough, they can be walked together fairly easily, but we're mostly crate-and-rotate indoors.

Which means we're already one over our limit. Oops!

My Two Pitties said...

Right now I have 3 pitties and although I live in a small place with a small yard I find them every easy to manage. Luckily they are all excellent off leash so I can take them hiking, etc. every day for a couple hours and they come home and lie around mostly. I have walked all 3 around the neighborhood but 2 are very easy leash walkers and 1 I never leash because she is so obedient so I really can't say how it would be with a different crew!

That being said, I am gripped with the hard decision of whether or not to keep my new addition. She is so sweet and loving but needs a ton of TLC and I feel spread thin at times. Plus there is no room left on the couch!

Corbin said...

For us, adopting a second dog means putting an end, or at least a big dent, in our fostering efforts. While, we could see ourselves keeping many of our fosters, especially Brutus, we have a lot of factors that keep us a one dog family. We don't have the room on the boat for two dogs (unless it's a tiny dog), our house is pretty small and Corbin is still very active even with a fenced in yard, and we don't have the money to budget in another bag of dog food a month and additional yearly vet bills. We enjoy fostering, and having Brutus around really sends home the fact that a second dog just isn't in our near future...
-Corbin's momma Jenn

Rachel said...

What a great post... I always think of this too. We have 2 pups and I really don't think having a 3rd would work in our house. As is, they want to play constantly and we still separate them by a baby gate when it is time to relax. However, I think if the third dog got along really well with them it would be hard. Also, I too would get nervous with more dogs than people! Very interesting post and it's nice to read what other people do and how they manage their pack.

Garnet Scarabin said...

I began with just one dog, a female German shorthaired pointer/Labrador retriever mix that I saved from euthanasia at the local pound when she was 7 months old (first and last puppy, ever!). I fostered, then adopted her. We spent a few months with her as an only dog, working on her issues, and finally decided that she needed another dog to "cure" the last bit of her separation anxiety. So I went back to fostering. It wasn't until 8 dogs later that I chose to foster fail/adopt again and he was a 6 year old male German shorthaired pointer. They are both large, strong, high energy, super smart, and athletic dogs but they also interact with and wear each other out. They tend to either take turns getting attention/affection from me (I'm single and live alone or as "alone" as you can live with pointers!) or sit one on each side of me.

I continued to foster, after I'd moved to a larger home/yard but secretly wished to get back to "just my two." My plan to do that was derailed when I took in a 9 year old sweet as can be English pointer who is in the later stages of vascular cancer. I have decided to keep him in hospice care until it is his time. He (like the other pointing breed dogs I have fostered) fits into my little pack pretty seamlessly. I've had as many as 4 and 5 (usually German shorthaired pointers or English pointers) dogs at a time and it is a huge challenge to keep them all exercised & give them all attention, but they do sort of form a cohesive pack and keep either other company as well.

Kitty+Coco said...

Well...I will put it this way. My husband says two is our limit because of financial resources and the possibility of having a human baby to take care of. I say three is the limit. I would love a third that is special needs because my heart goes out to them so much. I know that I could travel with, feed and love a third. But yes, my husband is right that our house is small and you never know what vet bills can pop up. So far I have not won the argument :( Maybe one day though.

Of Pit Bulls and Patience said...

Every situation is different. I've considered keeping fosters that fit well into our household, but I always changed my mind. Those fosters also ended up in fantastic homes, so that helps. With our big yard and my flexible schedule I could have more than 2 dogs. For me, I want to be sure that Parker and Skye get everything they need before I commit to another forever pet. Right now Skye's health is still unpredictable and we have 2-3 other dogs hanging out on any given day, but I know I'll end up with 3 eventually!

Acd Mom said...

Well...looks we are the only ones with a full-fledged pack! Six rescued Australian Cattle Dogs and recently a five month old blind ACD mix. All are inside/house dogs, as they should be! Four of them are blind (ages 5 months to 3 years) and one is deaf. They all get along extremely well and are very different personalities. Maximum four at a time go out for hikes and camping/backpacking, the others go to the "spa" (boarding) Sure it is a bit challenging but SO much fun! The only time they are crated is when there is no one home, otherwise, they have the run of the house and big fenced yard. I do know of people with multiples who keep them crated most of the time - not our house! Prior to the pack, when we only had four or five, we fostered and had as many as eight at one. Oh ya, two very tolerant rescued cats too! :)

Kolchak Puggle said...

A few months ago, I would have said we were a three dog family (living in a town with a two dog max). Then my sister's puppy came to stay with us a few times and I realize that three is pure insanity (if one of them is a puppy). I'd love to try an older wiser dog for a bit to see if it's a better dynamic. It seems like a shame to move out of this neighborhood so we can get another dog only to realize we can't handle three.

Emily said...

Financially speaking, two of our own and two fosters, since rescue pays the bills. I think more than four would be insane for us.

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