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Lloyd90

When to get a second dog?

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I was offered a pup that I could have picked up today from a good field trial lad and judge, he had a dog pup left over and asked me if I wanted it before advertising, but after a lot of thought and talks with the Mrs we politely declined. 

 

We were very tempted, and I would have definately preferred a second springer over a cocker (or sprocker or cavapoo) but holding off still for the time being. 

My current dog Ted will be 2 year old in a few months (May I think), and we are off on holiday next week so the bloke would have had to keep him for extra few weeks anyways. 

 

 

We are thinking when would be a good time to get a second though. Do you find when you have two they are a lot more work, or keep each other occupied?

I know some lads who do tests and trials and the dog only comes out the kennel to train on its own and then back in, whilst others will take the dogs out and just let them free run together a few times a day in a big field, then do specific training 1:1 with each dog ontop of this. 

 

What do you guys do and how do you find it? Our current setup is no kennels as well so both would be in the house. We won't be moving house for at least 4-5 years at which point I have said we will ensure we have grounds with space for a kennels. 

On the upside though I am applying for a new job where I will potentially have a lot more time off in the daytime. We shall see if I get it. 

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Good decision. Personally I think your pup...and he is still a pup....needs to mature before a new face is introduced. He can then act the informed aged advisor. Been there done that many times.  It was always said you should never have two pups from the same litter and I agree BUT I did do just that with two viszla dog pups and they both became very agreeable with each other.  One of them died suddenly at 14 months and I mean suddenly in his bed just a whimper and he was gone...broke me up.  His mate went on to become a superb hunter of game for a friend. I had agreed to bring him on, teach him manners for six months and then he could take over.    All of my second dogs have been taken in when the older dog was about seven and I have had no problems at all and they have worked together as a team from day one.  BUT  I have always been pack leader and they knew it and that is where many people go wrong, they let one of the dogs become pack leader.   Fatal.  

Edited by Walker570

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I have just picked my replacement dog up and my current worker is 5. I figure on around 3 years until the pup is a proper trained dog, without having to do too much too young.

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1 minute ago, kennett said:

I have just picked my replacement dog up and my current worker is 5. I figure on around 3 years until the pup is a proper trained dog, without having to do too much too young.

 

I was thinking about getting a second dog maybe next summer, when my current dog is approaching 3 years old (that's if all his training has gone well and he is pretty much finished). I would prefer to have kennel mind as I do think it is a lot easier to seperate when you want, but still have the dogs in the house when you want them around :) 

1 hour ago, Walker570 said:

Good decision. Personally I think your pup...and he is still a pup....needs to mature before a new face is introduced. He can then act the informed aged advisor. Been there done that many times.  It was always said you should never have two pups from the same litter and I agree BUT I did do just that with two viszla dog pups and they both became very agreeable with each other.  One of them died suddenly at 14 months and I mean suddenly in his bed just a whimper and he was gone...broke me up.  His mate went on to become a superb hunter of game for a friend. I had agreed to bring him on, teach him manners for six months and then he could take over.    All of my second dogs have been taken in when the older dog was about seven and I have had no problems at all and they have worked together as a team from day one.  BUT  I have always been pack leader and they knew it and that is where many people go wrong, they let one of the dogs become pack leader.   Fatal.  

 

When do you think they stop being a pup mate? 

This also seems to be very different for people, lots of people say they take young dogs / pups out with older dogs to learn from them, whilst some others seem to keep them seperate and just do them all one at a time. 

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I take my pup out with his older (half) brother, just because the older dog is so good I hope it'll rub off, and when the pup sees the older one coming back to the whistle etc. It seems to encourage him! The best thing I did was walk the older one round and round the Pheasant pens all summer, and in with them while I was feeding. By the time he's seen 1500 everyday for 3 months he lost interest!

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I think 8yrs is time for a apprentice dog roughly 2 years until they are ready for the field then my older one that would be 10yrs is retired from fowling and does peg days and pigeon decoying with apprentice watching to steady it up.

You have to think kennel room and time.... also the amount of work you have for them, 

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1 hour ago, Konnie said:

I think 8yrs is time for a apprentice dog roughly 2 years until they are ready for the field then my older one that would be 10yrs is retired from fowling and does peg days and pigeon decoying with apprentice watching to steady it up.

You have to think kennel room and time.... also the amount of work you have for them, 

 

Don't think I'd want to leave it that long, one bad turn and you lose a dog and you'd be without a hunting partner. I know what your saying re space, time etc as well mind. 

One bloke who trains tops days said to me "The best number of dogs is two!" ... when I asked him why, he remarked, "I can only fit two in my dog box, why else?" :lol: ... but he then said you have too many dogs you don't have time to train them properly etc, or put in all the work needed at times. 

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2 hours ago, Lloyd90 said:

 

I was thinking about getting a second dog maybe next summer, when my current dog is approaching 3 years old (that's if all his training has gone well and he is pretty much finished). I would prefer to have kennel mind as I do think it is a lot easier to seperate when you want, but still have the dogs in the house when you want them around  

 

When do you think they stop being a pup mate? 

This also seems to be very different for people, lots of people say they take young dogs / pups out with older dogs to learn from them, whilst some others seem to keep them seperate and just do them all one at a time. 

True, they can learn good as well as bad habits. They should learn from their pack leader ...you...me..

I have had two dogs who would work as a team. My GSP would find and point and my choccy lab five years older, soon picked up on this and would nip in a flush whatver was there.

I built this into a workable deal and so directed the two of them to work as a team when we worked hedgerows.  I'm not into trialling and stuff. My dogs where hunters not machines and very often they would tell me things I had missed which helped fill the bag at the end of the day. Mole my GSP could pick out woodpigeon coming in to roost before I saw them and I have had many shots as a result.  I used to drive him mad because I would click off the safety and he would spin round, "WHERE ? WHERE?" it doesn't get much better.   As I have said before I am of the belief that they got invitations not me as such.    Your right, I don't suppose they ever stop being a 'pup' in our eyes. 

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51 minutes ago, Lloyd90 said:

 

Don't think I'd want to leave it that long, one bad turn and you lose a dog and you'd be without a hunting partner. I know what your saying re space, time etc as well mind. 

One bloke who trains tops days said to me "The best number of dogs is two!" ... when I asked him why, he remarked, "I can only fit two in my dog box, why else?" :lol: ... but he then said you have too many dogs you don't have time to train them properly etc, or put in all the work needed at times. 

Trouble is if the space is too short you will eventually end up with a minimum of 3 dogs, mine are labs oldest one lived to 13 1/2 youngest died at just before 12yrs I find they roughly ease up at 10yrs if used for full days shooting or picking up. 

So...

1 dog retired

1 dog about to retire 

1 trainee 

You have now moved to 3 dogs as the spacing is too close I have had 3 several times when I was breeding just to keep my blood line but now have 2 and replace as one passes away.

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58 minutes ago, Lloyd90 said:

 

Don't think I'd want to leave it that long, one bad turn and you lose a dog and you'd be without a hunting partner. I know what your saying re space, time etc as well mind. 

One bloke who trains tops days said to me "The best number of dogs is two!" ... when I asked him why, he remarked, "I can only fit two in my dog box, why else?"  ... but he then said you have too many dogs you don't have time to train them properly etc, or put in all the work needed at times. 

Problem is that, as always, you were starting from scratch. I think 5 years between dogs is perfect for sustainable progression. Unfortunate evens do happen however. One of mine died aged 4 unexpectedly - myocarditis caused by Lyme disease. One lost an entire season with major knee injury, cut right through joint on sharp rock face. When we have had two young dogs you effectively separate them and have twice the work. No joint walks, no joint training etc. If you have the time to commit then do it. I couldn’t do it again but when I starts out I did but was putting 18hrs a week into training the dogs. 

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There are so many variables here it is almost impossible to answer this but I do think you are right to wait. In my experience a two year old needs another years solid work for me and a pup is a distraction. This is what I have done/do as I am not a professional trainer and work three days a week at the desk.

When I had my dog as a shooting companion I bought a pup when the older dog was 6 or 7. I now pick up a few days a week and need to be working three or four dogs. Now I like to add a pup every three years. I reckon that whilst you never stop training by three the hard work should be over so concentrating on a pup becomes easier.

My dogs are kennelled. They are exercised together morning and evening when we do basics en masse, sit stay heel and individual retrieves. Dogs get individual time as well; pups every day, others as needed. My dogs are trained to do the work I do do not trials or tests as they hold no real interest. They must be able to hunt on the hill and join me wildfowling. The basics are taught as a matter of course and after that it is what I encounter on a daily basis.

Hope this helps.

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26 minutes ago, Dave at kelton said:

There are so many variables here it is almost impossible to answer this but I do think you are right to wait. In my experience a two year old needs another years solid work for me and a pup is a distraction. This is what I have done/do as I am not a professional trainer and work three days a week at the desk.

When I had my dog as a shooting companion I bought a pup when the older dog was 6 or 7. I now pick up a few days a week and need to be working three or four dogs. Now I like to add a pup every three years. I reckon that whilst you never stop training by three the hard work should be over so concentrating on a pup becomes easier.

My dogs are kennelled. They are exercised together morning and evening when we do basics en masse, sit stay heel and individual retrieves. Dogs get individual time as well; pups every day, others as needed. My dogs are trained to do the work I do do not trials or tests as they hold no real interest. They must be able to hunt on the hill and join me wildfowling. The basics are taught as a matter of course and after that it is what I encounter on a daily basis.

Hope this helps.


Yes I think if I aim for next summer my current one will be approaching 3 years then and after another full season in the field will hopefully be pretty much finished. 
 

 

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2 years almost to the day between mine. Like you I was offered the second dog at relatively short notice. As they are half sisters with excellent pedigree and the price was right I agreed. On balance I probably shouldn't have got them so close in age, but I'm glad I did as she is a little smasher. The two of them get on well, I think it has been the making of my older dog, as she's really matured in the 7 months they have been together, and the youngest is coming along very nicely in her basics. I will probably get another in 5 or 6 years as the rolling replacement, but that's a long way off yet. 

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