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Old 09-08-2013, 04:57 PM
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Skits Skits is offline
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Default Adding a third dog

We've been thinking about adding a third dog into the home. After talking about it or a couple of hours with my boyfriend, we realized that another dog would fit right in, if it was the right dog. He's had a fox terrier mix in the past, so we were looking into another fox terrier, or airedale terrier. We came across one yesterday but when we messaged the rescue so we could foster, we were told he was adopted.

Some questions came to mind though, such as how is life with three dogs..How much more work is it compared to two dogs, how do people handle feeding time, walking, dog fights that may occur, etc. Any information would be great on the subject.

We will be adopting a male, which will make it three males in the house. All will be neutered (my pittie mix is going to be scheduled soon for his castration)..

Another problem is sometimes there's aggression issues between my two. If my golden has a toy, and growls about it, my pittie will growl back and snap. It's never when they are alone, only when we are around as it excites them both. We usually stop them before it happens, and even when it does, there's never any injuries in the time it takes for them to fight. I believe it's more growling than actual fighting. Both my dogs also have problems with new dogs, but nothing extra stimulation and walks can't help fix.

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Old 09-08-2013, 05:40 PM
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Cardiparty Cardiparty is offline
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My experience is that three is a crowd. Dogs seem to do better in pairs from everything I've seen.

Usually, if there's an odd number, someone ends up being left out or picked on.
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Old 09-08-2013, 06:05 PM
ruffiangirl ruffiangirl is offline
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If your two have little tiffs then I, personally, wouldn't add a third, especially one of the same sex. If they are not living well together a third could make it worse. JMO.

I have three, Gage and Bristol have never so much as curled a lip at one another, Diesel and Gage however will not share things.

Then there is everything thing else to consider. When I had 2 one person would take care of them, no one will take all three, I have to send them all to different places now. If they are the same ages then you will likely have to deal with three ageing dogs instead of two.

But you will have to make your own decision and what you can handle.
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Old 09-08-2013, 06:22 PM
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Snark Snark is offline
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Originally Posted by Cardiparty View Post
My experience is that three is a crowd. Dogs seem to do better in pairs from everything I've seen.

Usually, if there's an odd number, someone ends up being left out or picked on.
This. The only saving grace is that Mick and Murph are brothers and very close, so Mick isn't completely on the outs and Riley is the only one who picks on him, although not constantly, because we keep an eye on that.

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Old 09-08-2013, 06:38 PM
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Also factor in the fact that you have a bull breed/terrier mix that are prone to DA and SSA.

Just something to consider since you want to add a third male of the terrier variety.
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Old 09-08-2013, 06:46 PM
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I would hesitate to add another dog to the mix if your current two have scuffles, like mentioned above. Even if your two don't end up in an all out brawl, there's nothing to say that the third addition won't jump in and take it to that next level. Especially if you are thinking about adding a terrier.

I think you need to consider whether you will be physically able to separate 3 large dogs (especially Airedale sized) who are intent on fighting. I've only ever had to separate small/medium sized dogs and even then it can be darn hard to get them separate, especially if one or both wants right back into the fray afterwards.

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Old 09-08-2013, 07:07 PM
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sassafras sassafras is offline
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I think odds are noticeably more work than evens.

And agreed that if there is already some tension that I would hold off for now and maybe forever. In my experience, once a scuffle breaks out between two, the third often makes it their business.

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Old 09-08-2013, 07:07 PM
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Romy Romy is offline
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Three here was pretty easy, though they all got along extremely well. Strider is kind of the lazy old man of the house. He sleeps in until noon if I let him, lays about all day long, so he was totally content to let Kaia and Katalin run and wrestle all day long and be left out of it.

They'd include him when he wanted, and respected him when he wanted to be left alone.

If you're thinking of a third dog, you really need to add the dog that's the best match for the two that you already have, vs. what you would like to have. Personally, I'd LOVE an akita or a molosser bull type (like a dogo) but with my two, and the potential for DA on newdog's end it wouldn't be fair to my current dogs or the new one.

I'm not saying you can't have the dogs you want, just realize that there needs to be compromise. My gut feeling on your situation is that a female terrier may integrate much more smoothly into your household than a male. Or maybe something that's not a terrier at all would be a better choice.
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Old 09-08-2013, 07:41 PM
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*blackrose *blackrose is offline
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I grew up in a 3 dog household. We always had one male and two females. And we always had a SSA female dog around, so the dogs were normally divided up into "two" and "one", as whatever two females we had typically couldn't be around each other in some/most situation.

Having grown up with three dogs, I wouldn't hesitate to go back to the number three IF I was not the only one caring for the dogs. I, personally, can't do three by myself. I can't walk three, I can't fit three (large) dogs into my car, I don't want to have to keep track of three during a public outing, etc.

As others have mentioned, I would be VERY hesitant about adding in another male dog (even more so of a breed that is prone to DA/SSA), especially if your boys scuffle. Also, if there is any kind of "aggression" between your two boys, adding in a third dog may tip the balance and cause what used to just be tension escalate into a fight. (Personal experience regarding this.) Not only that, but the third dog may very well "join in" and cause the situation to escalate yet again (also personal experience).

Not saying that adding a third dog is impossible, or inadvisable...just be prepared to micromanage should the need arise, and possibly do "doggy rotations" in regards to who has access to what part of the house and with whom.
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