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Old June 12, 2012, 02:09 PM   #18
Senior Member
Join Date: February 21, 2012
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 763
Dogs are pack animals - IF you are going to get a hi-maintenance dog like a GSP, get two so they each have someone to play with and thereby not eat your furniture
Its true that dogs are pack animals but this is not good advice. Especially with high energy dogs you don't want to get two puppies at the same time. Unless you're an experienced dog trainer/handler you will not be able to handle them both.

The other problem is that dogs ARE pack animals. You don't want them to bond to each other more closely than to you though. Besides just because you have two doesn't mean they'll keep each other busy. I've seen cases (which happen more often than people think) where someone did exactly that - got two puppies "so they could play with each other" and ended up with two dogs that chewed/ate up everything they could put their mouths on. The owners came home one day to find one dog chewing on a shoe and the other dog chewing on the sofa - the path of destruction was horrible - 6 pairs of shoes pulled out of the closet and chewed up, two chairs with less than 4 whole legs each, a table with only 1 leg that hadn't been chewed on, the garbage pulled out of the closet in the kitchen and knocked over with trash spread all over the house, the closet door(s) chewed up, pillows torn etc. Sure the dogs played with each other - they also chewed on things with each other too.

The other thing is if you aren't experienced with training dogs and especially multiple dogs you can run into a problem known as litter mate syndrome. Some dog trainers say its near impossible to prevent if you get multiple puppies (2 or more) at once however I say its completely easy to prevent. Its when it occurs that it gets difficult to undo. In order to prevent it though you have to keep the pups separated from each other 24/7 till they have finished being obedience trained. The reason for this is that litter mate syndrome (LMS) occurs when the puppies bond to one another and decide that playing with each other is more enjoyable than playing with you, the owner/trainer/handler. In that case the puppies, while still liking to be with you, will be more eager to go play with the other puppies because its simply more fun than the training you want to do. No amount of playing you do with them will outweigh their playtime with each other since they have no new rules they have to learn after all.

If you're going to get the puppy get just one unless you're a very experienced dog trainer and have the stomach to do what is necessary when owning/training multiple puppies.

Bob Hunter -

I'm glad you put the dog down. Its really unfortunate those things have to happen but I've been privy to too many incidents regarding dogs and bite cases where it could have been prevented had the dog just been put down after all the signs were shown. A boy in a city near me had his face bitten in half by a dog that had been clearly aggressive and prone to violence. The dog (a pit bull) was outwardly aggressive toward strangers and had already bitten his owner twice. The owner didn't want to put his dog down and as such the dog was allowed to live long enough to break its leash (which by the way still amazes me how that happens since you should have a leash that is strong enough to contain your dog...) and attack a neighborhood boy. There are other incidents that I can recall that I have information about but I won't waste the bandwidth.

I will say that the majority of violent dog attacks occur because the owners didn't take the appropriate measures to prevent them... up to and including destroying the animal because of clear signs of unmanageable aggression. Thank you for being one of the few sane dog owners left in this country.
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