Hi folks, I was hoping I might get some opinions here.
We already own a wonderful 1.5 year old chocolate Lab, and have been considering getting another. We want to do so while he's still fairly young so they can have their prime years together. The thought of having another one around is great. My wife is all up for it, but I'm a little more cautious at this point.
On the plus side, we know how to raise a Lab from recent experience, we have a lot of Rupert's old puppy stuff around we can re-use, we can afford the expense of another dog, and it would great for Rupert to have a friend.
However, here's what worries me. We both have demanding professional jobs so we aren't around as much as we'd like. This will get worse as I plan to start taking night class in the spring toward another masters. Also, we are currently renting right now. We couldn't afford to buy fresh out of grad school, plus we are only in this area temporarily for another year and a half or so. I'm worried it will be nearly impossible to find a place that will allow 2 dogs if we aren't able to buy yet when we move.
If the time and housing situations were a little more stable, I'd be all for it. Am I just worrying too much or are these really red flags that we should hold off for now?
I'm interested to hear what you think.
Well - yes I would agree that there are a lot of potential issues for you there. IMO a gap between dogs of 3 years is ideal. A 3 yo is pretty fully mature (as mature as Labs get) and is a better mentor to a puppy. He'll still be plenty young enough for them to have fun together - much in common.
And - I think you would have a tough time finding housing as a renter with 2 large dogs. Doable I am sure - but harder. Not sure how financially secure you are yet - but the potential medical expense with 2 dogs can be daunting.
Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.
Those would be smart reasons to hold off. Easier said than done, because I've made far too many pet decisions with my heart and not my head. I think the biggest reason to hold off a few years would be that I wouldn't want both of my dogs to be too close in age. Caring for pets as they age tends to get quite expensive, imo. Dogs just don't live long enough and I would hate the probability of losing them both within a short time frame.
And your housing concerns are very valid. We're a military family and we move every 3 years. We've always had large breed dogs and it has been a very real struggle to find housing with ONE dog. Two large breeds??? Next to impossible. I have a 1.5yo lab mix and while I'm positive he'd love a friend, I know he would not be a good dog teacher himself b/c he still has some puppy in him to outgrow. My husband and I have talked about getting another dog at some point, but for us, we'll wait 5 years until he retires from the military. It will give us time to train our current dog, time for our kids to grow up, and also our housing issue will be much more stable. I am not good at being patient so hopefully I'll stick to my 5 year plan Good luck. Its great that you have thought this through, so many people don't.
The time and housing issues are both real concerns. we waited until we had time and had bought a big house with alot of land before we got our first dog. We could have done it sooner, but we lived in an apartment with a tiny yard and we were both so busy...we felt it wouldn';t have been fair to the puppy. Once we bought our new house and our lives slowed down a little bit we still waited a year to get a puppy because we wanted to make sure we were ready and totally committed to putting in the time and effort required.
we got Java in March, at 8 weeks..it was so great that we later got Moka in October at 8 weeks....so now we have a 10 month old chocolate, Java, and a 3 1/2 month old chocolate, Moka. It has been awesome...but, alot of work. We invest the majority of our time at home into the dogs. Our schedules with work and other activities also revolves around the needs of our dogs, they're both still puppies.....
So, my suggestion-if you're hesitant about it at all (which it sounds like you are) then wait. It wouldn't be fair to the dog(s) to be in a situation where you don't have enough time, energy or space for them. That, to me, would be a recipe for unhappy dogs and owners and would be a disaster.
Also, as Sarah alluded to, if you were to get a pup while your first dog was still young (under 2.5), eventually you would have two seniors (10, 12.5 for eg), which also can be tough financially if there are health issues.
I can only offer this... my two are about 5.5 years apart and are the best of friends. I'm so glad that I waited as long as I did to add my second.
Hadn't considered the finances of medical care when they get old, but that's a good point. I saw some of the crazy vet bills with my parents' dogs over the years, it's expensive.
Financially, we are in good shape (all those years of college paying off) and live comfortably. But we ain't rich!
The more I think about it, the more I think I would rather wait and see where we end up and what the situation is. I've hinted at this to the wife, but I think she has blinders on as far as a lot of this goes. Her attitude about this is more like, "We'll work it out, what could be better than a cute little puppy" than having a solid idea of how we would handle things. It's tough not to let your emotions influence something like this, but the more I think about it carefully, the worse my doubts get.
She has been fairly intent on getting one around the holidays since we are around more then, but I really think I need to dissuade her from this a bit.
I agree with waiting. 3 years between dogs is a great gap as mentioned.