Thinking Of Adding Another Lab To The Family?

"Moose" at 13 years and "Winslow" at 2 months

Are more than one Lab lots more fun?
by Laura J. Dedering">

 

Thinking Of Adding Another Lab To The Family?

"Moose" at 13 years and "Winslow" at 2 months

Are more than one Lab lots more fun?
by Laura J. Dedering, Folklaur Labradors Reg.

Many Lab owners start to wonder what it would be like to add another Lab to their families.  So far, all of the Labs I have placed in homes with existing Labs have been successful.  I highly recommend having two.  Some of my homes have three!  Here are a few thoughts on the subject.

When should I add another pup?
All of the following situations have worked out fine:

1.  Add another puppy when the first dog is six years old or older -
Positives: The new puppy is much easier to housebreak and train since he follows the lead of the older dog and youíve been through it once so you know how to handle it better this time. Also, he has another dog for company and to play with.  You already have a lot of the equipment, toys, etc. and have had a few years to save for another pup.  The new puppy doesnít go through all of the separation anxiety the first one did.  However, since the average life expectancy is 12 years, when the older dog passes away the younger dog is only around six.  You then get another puppy and you donít have to deal with the loss of both dogs at around the same time.

Negatives: Your existing Lab may not take well to an annoying, energetic teething machine entering his territory. There is more hair and more dirty paw prints.  You have to go through the housebreaking and teething again.  There are additional costs for food, vetting and boarding.  You may need a bigger auto.  When the older dog passes away, and you donít want to start with a new puppy again, the other dog may get lonely for canine companionship.

2.  Add another puppy when the first dog is one or two years old -
Positives: The first dog is still young at heart but is now housebroken and through the teething stages. Most of the positives above. When the dogs get old they may pass away around the same time so there is no dog left grieving for its friend. With both dogs gone, you may be at a point in your life when you donít want to be tied down.

Negatives: Most of the negatives above. Both dogs are close in age and you may lose them around the same time.
The grief could be doubled.

3.  Buy two pups at the same time -
Positives: The puppies donít have to deal with separation anxiety, have playmates other than people to chew on and they have company when their humans are not home.

Negatives: There must be sufficient numbers of family members to make sure that each of the puppies get individual attention and bond to humans.

There are increased expenses since you need two of everything, i.e. bowls, crates, collars, leashes, vet bills, food, including the cost of the puppies, etc.  There are two to housebreak, to teethe on your furniture and to keep track of.  They could get wild, running in the house, bouncing on and off the furniture.

Maybe I should add another Adult, instead of a puppy?
Adding another adult Lab to the family is an excellent idea! And there are many sources of lovely adult Labs available.

1. Contact your Breeder -
If you already have a good relationship with the breeder of your current Lab, contact them to see if they have any older pups that didn't turn out to be show quality or an adult who is retired from showing and/or breeding.

Positives: You already have a good relationship and can trust why the breeder is placing this dog. You will have a full history for the dog. Your new dog will have been the pick of it's litter. It will be housebroken and leash trained and done with teething. It may already have some or all of it's health testing done. Breeders almost always place their older dogs on a trial period for compatibility and will always take them back, no matter what. Your existing Lab may take better to an adult entering his territory than an energetic puppy.

Negatives: Your existing Lab may not take as well to an adult entering his territory. An adult dog has most of it's personality established. If the dog was strictly a kennel dog, it may take longer to housetrain it. However, Labs are especially loving, adaptable and trainable, so it may still take less time to housetrain than a puppy.

2. Check with your local Labrador Club's Breeder Referral Service -
If you didn't get your current Lab through a breeder, or your breeder doesn't have anything available, see if there are any listings with the regional Lab club. Their members may have older pups that didn't turn out to be show quality or adults who are retired from showing and/or breeding.
A good source is the
 Jersey Skylands Labrador Retriever Club - Breeder Referral

3. Contact a Lab Rescue Group or Visit a Shelter -
Many dedicated individuals donate their time to find good homes for unwanted Labs.

Positives: Some poor Lab may be in need of a home and you can provide them with a great one. You will be helping to save a life. How wonderful for you both! The dog may have been surrendered through no fault of it's own, i.e. the owner died, lost their job, a divorce, etc. You can obtain a lovely Lab for a reasonable donation. Or the dog may have a health or temperament issue that has kept it from being adopted, but you have the time, the knowledge, the financial resources and all the love needed to save this poor dog.

Negatives: You may not know the REAL reason the dog was placed with rescue or dropped off at the pound. It might not be the dog's fault, but it also might be because the first owner never trained it, or they abused it or it has health or temperament issues. It may even have bitten someone. You may not have the willingness, time, training knowledge or the money to help some poor Lab that comes with "baggage".. If you have kids, you need to consider their safety, and your other Lab's safety, around the new dog. You need to use your head as well as your heart before you adopt a dog with possible issues.

 


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Last modified: April 21, 2016