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fishingbuddy

2ND DOG

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I tried to do a search because I thought I saw topic before. Those of you with a second dog. Are ya happy ya did it? Any glaring problems.. other than times 2 vet bills [PoorWordUsage] pick up....thoughts?

fishnbuddy

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smile

Already getting the itch? Pretty normal. I am glad that I got 2 dogs. To me being in town right now it is no problem having the 2 but if I move to an acreage I can see myself having 3 labs and a llwellin also.

There are no negatives for me unless you worry about being able to care, travel and utilize 2 dogs.

All in all I am very happy I have two great hunters and pieces of our family.

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I've done it for two reasons.

I wanted a fresh dog on the long out of town hunts where we'd go all day long over a period of a few days. Problem is its hard to keep one in the crate. I can say if you want to see your dog hunt and develop to its full potential, hunt it alone or at least without a kennel mate. What do I mean by that. The nuts and bolts is a solo dog will have to "do it all". You might think two dogs will compliment each other in the field but what will happen is they develop weaknesses because the dogs work differently and at different paces. An example is, if you have one dog stronger/faster at quartering, the second dog will never have a chance to work at his pace.

I wanted an experienced dog at all times. So I like at least 4 years of age difference. Remember though even though you have a seasoned dog, that young dog is going to need time afield with you alone.

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I have two brits. Kind of spendy with all that

goes into caring for them. They are 18 months apart.

They are in excellent shape since they play together

outside. I find it difficult to hunt them together

because of trying to correct their actions and keep them

on the task at hand.

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I have 2 male dogs now that I keep out doors in separate kennels; I have had up to 4 dogs (males and females). When I am hunting I like having fresh meat on the ground. When they are finely both tired usually on the second day, I will run them together to push each other. Putting them on the ground one at a time works well for handling and fine tuning their training on wild birds, it also affords the dedicated time a young dog requires.

I do only take one in the boat for duck hunting, the other one has to stay back. Usually, not an issue unless we are camping somewhere and I am worried about the dog left at camp.

Three dogs is even more fun hunting, but I only have two hands so feeding, watering etc. takes longer with three dogs then with two or one.

I like mine to be 3 - 5 years a part as well, probably a bigger deal with pointing dogs because of when they real start to mature, how much training a young dog takes, etc. Having that mature dog provides the confidence to go out and get game, hunt with frieds and takes pressure off the young dog that may not be helpful - i.e. hunting a young pup all weekend when there is very little game for them to find, it can cause them to get bored and take some of the birdieness out of them.

Biggest problem I have right now is the young dog taunts the old dog to play by barking at him. Can go on for 20 minutes I am told by the neighbors (not the end of the world) if I am not around. Happens 2 - 3 times a day.

The pros of 2 dogs if you can afford it far out weigh the cons to me.

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I have 3 right now (springers). Typically only two but that's how things worked out right now. I don't think that I'd ever be without 2. I don't agree that a dog won't develop to it's full potential if hunted with another dog. There are a couple of steps (that have worked for me) that need to be taken.

First off, I feel it's very, very helpful for a young dog to figure things out if, when real young, to follow his "buddy" in the field and "oh what's he smelling" "oh what's he flushing" "oh master is excited and praising us because of this". Basically the older, more experienced dog will key the young pup into what he is out in the field to do. Once the pup sort of has this figured out, then it's time to get him/her on birds by theirselves to build that confidence in themselves. Many times a game farm is worth every penny for this.

Once that younger dog has enough experience to have confidence in his nose they'll begin to do their own thing in the field.

So to answer your question. Yes, I love 2 dogs. The older one assists me to get the younger one up to speed and then I don't have any down time when (unfortunately) the older one passes away.

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I like having two dogs because if one gets hurt during the hunting season, I still have a dog to hunt with. If it wasn't for the expense of the vet bills, and the hassle of traveling with three dogs, I'd like to get a third because 1) pups are fun 2) my old dog is 13 and just about done, I feel guilty taking her out.

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