Increasing pack size to more than two
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  • Hopefully, a week from now our next puppy will be born…that is if there are boys in the litter. This will be our first adventure into having more dogs in the house than two. So, for those of you with experience in that area, what is your top suggestion on how to set up the household for success? I've gotten a number of tips from some breeders I know and have started to work on a few things. But I would love as many perspectives as possible.

    Thanks!
    Clay

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  • When we added our third it was from our first litter. The biggest key to success, IMO, is that the dog wants to be part of a multi-dog household. Each of our keepers have shown that they truly love their "village". After that, I think there is a lot of the same stuff you do with any puppy, training, relationship building, routines and becoming a real expert in body language so you head off most stuff before it ever really starts. There is a lot of management, making sure everyone gets what they need.

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  • I second the reply above–especially the part about reading body language & "managing" your mini-pack. Two of our "keepers" were failed fosters, and while it's a little easier to integrate a puppy than a full-grown dog you can't assume anything: males AREN'T always more easy going than females, pups AREN'T always tolerated by adults, that threat display exhibited by your male ISN'T necessarily for show today, just because it was yesterday and the day before. Don't give the puppy an opportunity to wear out his welcome with your two existing dogs.

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  • And finally– plan for what your life will be like and how you will manage more than one pack if you have to. Anytime, with any breed, that you add in a new dog== be it dog, 2, 3, 4 or 5== pack dynamics can change no matter what you do and you have to be mentally willing to run separate packs if the worse happens.

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  • @DebraDownSouth:

    And finally– plan for what your life will be like and how you will manage more than one pack if you have to. Anytime, with any breed, that you add in a new dog== be it dog, 2, 3, 4 or 5== pack dynamics can change no matter what you do and you have to be mentally willing to run separate packs if the worse happens.

    Yes, that scenario was discussed in detail with the breeder to see how we would handle that situation if it occurs. She has to run two separate groups herself.

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  • @lvoss:

    The biggest key to success, IMO, is that the dog wants to be part of a multi-dog household. Each of our keepers have shown that they truly love their "village".

    So, are you saying you assessed the tendencies for the puppies to want to interact more with other dogs versus by themselves? Or something to that effect?

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  • The good news for your situation is that both the boy and girl have been altered… so it should be an easier introduction for the male coming into the family... To me the most important thing is the interaction with both your kids to a pup.... take them to meet the pups often... it makes a big difference... IMO See how the pups interact with the adults... this would be a clue on what pups would make the best addition along with your breeders thoughts. And while I introduced a bitch to a pack of one bitch/one dog... the pup that I brought in was very confident, not a top dog what a be... nor was the bitch that I already had... They never had a problem with each other... Honestly, I have found that uneven numbers... 3/5/7 can be a problem.... but with OJ, Maggii, and adding Mickii it was not... but Maggii and Mickii were both very confident bitches and didn't need to try and challenge each other for the top dog in the house... The male, OJ was bottom of the list regardless

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  • Hopefully there will be multiple boys in the litter so there is a better chance of finding a good fit but that's obviously out of anyone's control. And if there isn't a good fit in this litter, we're going to wait until the next one.

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