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For those that work/compete with more than one dog how do you find it?
Do you enjoy it? Do you find that your dogs could be at a much higher level of training had you only had the one?
How old was the first dog, and how far along in the dogs training before you started another?
 

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I started training Flirt at about 8 months old for agility but had a Vizsla with cancer at the time. Our privates were more of a “get me out of the house” fun thing than solely focused on training. My instructor also lost a dog to cancer and sometimes we just chatted vs training. It took me until Flirt was almost 3.5 to be ready to trial.

I started my young Vizsla at 11 months and he and Flirt rotated weekly classes. He’s kind of an odd nut in that he learns quickly. He may not be the most confident or fastest but he learned the weaves in 10 lessons. He was ready to trial at 2 with limited training.

I had the bright idea to start them in Novice together since I didn’t want to be at a trial all day long. Well they moved into Open relatively quickly and had 3 dogs in open which can be tough at smaller AKC trials. Sometimes I have ONE dog in between Flirt and Havoc.

Cost is an issue in entering. It is about $300 to do all 3 dogs in 2 classes for 2 days in AKC.

TIME is an issue. I have 2 dogs in one class on Tuesday, one in class on Wednesday and I rent the facility for 30 minutes on Monday. I’m LUCKY that I live 3.2 miles from the facility.

I like the fact that when I train – all 3 dogs are at similar levels now of training. I like the fact the last 2 dogs were trained identical and fortunately they also run similarly. I can put a training plan for the week together and use the same one for all 3 dogs.

However between conformation, hunting and agility AND off leash time, it can be difficult to fit it all in. Something always suffers. Right now it’s MY workouts. For a while it was hunting. Now I’ve put conformation on the backburner and am focusing on the other 2.

I’m active and I am often multitasking and enjoy active breeds so for me this works well. A lot of people think I‘m nuts especially running 3 dogs at a trial. I will say 2 is so much easier than 3, but 3 is doable.

I don’t think I’d do that much more training if I just had 1 or 2 dogs. I don’t train for hours on end. I do commercial training (1-2 minutes at a time) and short 5-10 minute sessions.

I do think foundation is critical in whatever you do. I do believe it’s the reason the 2, 4 and 8 year old are at the SAME level and the 8 yr old has been trailing since she was 2. I didn’t have the same foundation skills and I wasn’t as good in my training. She’s also not as biddable and why I picked the other personalities.

I enjoy running two dogs in a class. I'm going to a seminar tmorrow night and asked if I could run 2 dogs vs one. I may as well make the most use out of my time. Even if I have to run back to back it should be doable.
 

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Eva was SchH 1 and 3 years old when Fenja came to live with us as a wee pup. For the first year when Fenja was easy (puppy tracks, cookie sit, puppy circles), I was able to work Eva without any problems with time.

As Fenja, grew and demanded more training time, Eva's training started to wane. Obedience and tracking are fairly easy with 2 dogs. Tracking takes an extra 15 mins to lay and run, ob takes about another 15 mins. It is too expensive for me to train 2 dogs in protection though, so Eva is basically retired.

I still take her tracking and do some ob for fun with her. I also let new club people play with her as she is a firecracker still.
 

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Having 2 dogs in two venues (agility & Ob) is a challenge (different levels makes it even harder I think--you have to change gears, depending on who you are working.

I have access to great trainers and facilities, but the driving can be a bit much, especially when you are showing, your weekends become a blur.

I always wanted to know how & what it took to get the results needed and I feel I now know--so mission is somewhat accomplished.

Tamora was 3 when I got Atlas. Perfect age for 2 to be brought together, but training for the older one does take a bit of a back seat.
 

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Having 2 dogs in two venues (agility & Ob) is a challenge (different levels makes it even harder I think--you have to change gears, depending on who you are working.

Tamora was 3 when I got Atlas. Perfect age for 2 to be brought together, but training for the older one does take a bit of a back seat.
This is a really interesting thread Okie, and it's useful to hear everyone's thoughts. We've been contemplating alot lately about when to bring in a 2nd dog to the family, but I really feel like I need to achieve more goals with our existing girl before doing so.

I am worried about trying to juggle training and eventually trialing two dogs, especially if I'm still doing conformation with our current dog, along with OB and hopefully agility again soon.

My husband doesn't get it as to why I would be reluctant to add another pupper yet, but neither does he do the training or showing!
 

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I know you ask this before, and for me personal, it don't work, when I have to work more dogs at the same time, mostly you will do it half, and I do think you deprive the dogs, mostly never come out what there really capable off, for me the best thing is when the dog is older and "knows" how it works, just then I take an other dog, Yordi was 6 when Zabar cames, so I have all mine trainings time free for Zabar, without doing Yordi to short.

To train your dog especial when you doing trials, costs so much time, I personal take that in one dog so to be sure he gots all the attention he needs. I do tracking at least 3 times a week, last week I did take Xasper to tracking too, but I don't do that on the same day, one day Zabar and the other day Xasper, so that really takes a lot of time, and if you have a job it ask a lot from you to do it all right, obedience I do at least 3 times a week, and protection 2 times a week, especial when I have to work him to a trial it take more time, before the trial I go there and do some obedience on the field, and the revier arround the blinds.

I know there people out there who work more dogs, but for me personal it don't work.
 

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I started training Flirt at about 8 months old for agility but had a Vizsla with cancer at the time. Our privates were more of a “get me out of the house” fun thing than solely focused on training. My instructor also lost a dog to cancer and sometimes we just chatted vs training. It took me until Flirt was almost 3.5 to be ready to trial.

I started my young Vizsla at 11 months and he and Flirt rotated weekly classes. He’s kind of an odd nut in that he learns quickly. He may not be the most confident or fastest but he learned the weaves in 10 lessons. He was ready to trial at 2 with limited training.

I had the bright idea to start them in Novice together since I didn’t want to be at a trial all day long. Well they moved into Open relatively quickly and had 3 dogs in open which can be tough at smaller AKC trials. Sometimes I have ONE dog in between Flirt and Havoc.

Cost is an issue in entering. It is about $300 to do all 3 dogs in 2 classes for 2 days in AKC.

TIME is an issue. I have 2 dogs in one class on Tuesday, one in class on Wednesday and I rent the facility for 30 minutes on Monday. I’m LUCKY that I live 3.2 miles from the facility.

I like the fact that when I train – all 3 dogs are at similar levels now of training. I like the fact the last 2 dogs were trained identical and fortunately they also run similarly. I can put a training plan for the week together and use the same one for all 3 dogs.

However between conformation, hunting and agility AND off leash time, it can be difficult to fit it all in. Something always suffers. Right now it’s MY workouts. For a while it was hunting. Now I’ve put conformation on the backburner and am focusing on the other 2.

I’m active and I am often multitasking and enjoy active breeds so for me this works well. A lot of people think I‘m nuts especially running 3 dogs at a trial. I will say 2 is so much easier than 3, but 3 is doable.

I don’t think I’d do that much more training if I just had 1 or 2 dogs. I don’t train for hours on end. I do commercial training (1-2 minutes at a time) and short 5-10 minute sessions.

I do think foundation is critical in whatever you do. I do believe it’s the reason the 2, 4 and 8 year old are at the SAME level and the 8 yr old has been trailing since she was 2. I didn’t have the same foundation skills and I wasn’t as good in my training. She’s also not as biddable and why I picked the other personalities.

I enjoy running two dogs in a class. I'm going to a seminar tmorrow night and asked if I could run 2 dogs vs one. I may as well make the most use out of my time. Even if I have to run back to back it should be doable.
My god woman you are like wonderwoman! I bet your married to and have a hot dinner waiting for your husband when he gets home from work..lol!


Eva was SchH 1 and 3 years old when Fenja came to live with us as a wee pup. For the first year when Fenja was easy (puppy tracks, cookie sit, puppy circles), I was able to work Eva without any problems with time.

As Fenja, grew and demanded more training time, Eva's training started to wane. Obedience and tracking are fairly easy with 2 dogs. Tracking takes an extra 15 mins to lay and run, ob takes about another 15 mins. It is too expensive for me to train 2 dogs in protection though, so Eva is basically retired.

I still take her tracking and do some ob for fun with her. I also let new club people play with her as she is a firecracker still.
So do you think if you didn't have to pay for bitework you would have worked her more? Maybe had a 3 on her? Or do you just loose a bit of the drive to work the older dog?

Having 2 dogs in two venues (agility & Ob) is a challenge (different levels makes it even harder I think--you have to change gears, depending on who you are working.

I have access to great trainers and facilities, but the driving can be a bit much, especially when you are showing, your weekends become a blur.

I always wanted to know how & what it took to get the results needed and I feel I now know--so mission is somewhat accomplished.

Tamora was 3 when I got Atlas. Perfect age for 2 to be brought together, but training for the older one does take a bit of a back seat.
Interesting, why does the training of the older one take a bit of a back seat? Is it a time and or money issue? Because the first is already titled?
 

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So do you think if you didn't have to pay for bitework you would have worked her more? Maybe had a 3 on her? Or do you just loose a bit of the drive to work the older dog?
She had a SchH3 already. When I got Fenja she was SchH1, but while Fenja was growing up I got SchH3 on Eva. Since I have been working Fenja in bitework now, I still trial Eva. She got FH last year and AWD1. I just can't consistently pay for two dogs at once. If I didn't have to pay, I probably still would do bitework with Eva. She has a lot of life left in her and is fun to work with. I figure it wouldn't be too much extra time as I would already be at the club.
 

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Interesting, why does the training of the older one take a bit of a back seat? Is it a time and or money issue? Because the first is already titled?[/QUOTE]

I think when you get a puppy or even a baby for that matter, they will take more time in the early days and months. The first one does not have that single undivided attention that you gave before the next one comes.

You are divided in half (with two) with your time. Have 3 and you are divided in thirds etc.
I had 4 children and that is pretty much what happens. My children are grown now so our dogs have my total attention at home. I did learn to multitask with the kids and now I am doing it with our dogs, so that helps.

Money also can be a factor for a lot of people. Its not cheap---training, travel, showing. I would not be as active today if I had a young family at home, because their would not be enough time or $.
 

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For me, prior to shifting gears into sport work from performance, I made sure that my current dog knew everything he was capable of. He is a lazy dog, low drive, no motivation, and stubborn as hell. Not your typical doberman attitude. I knew we would never go to Open or Utility in OB and put all the foundation skills I needed. After that we worked and trained as often as humanly possible while learning everything together for the first time. Once I realized how far he was capable of (not far, hehe, poor guy XD) I decided to look into another dog when we were just finishing up our titles. I still have one more to go but he has been so burned out I'm just letting him be a dog. He runs better cold than hot.

Which gives me lots of time for my malinois. Her shortcomings in sport work are large in part to my broken back. If I hadn't been so severely injured I would be able to drive longer distances for training and have the time on a suit that I need to get her where she needs to be. I need someone to post my dog for me and I can't play tug. It really drags us down so I have to be creative in toy rewards. I also need to find a club close to me that trains more often than 1 time a week. Still looking into that.

I also have no idea what I am doing, as I am new in Ring Sport and am learning as I go. :) Now that she is at the point of getting her performance titles I will be running two dogs at once (providing Logan decides he wants to) and it hasn't been hard to train both at once. I bring both and do short sessions, switching off dogs every 15mins or so until we're done for the day. One is still foundation while the other is just refreshing his memory on what to do.

At home I tend to work on my first dog about once a week for his burnout but his prime was 3x a week, short 15 min sessions. My malinois I train with OB every day, twice a day, short 5-30 min sessions. We're still on foundation work and her drive is through the roof. Everything is play, everything is fun, everything is a game. She keeps going and going and going so no worries on working too much with her (just too little). We do Splash Dogs when it's near us, I'm looking into tracking in the fall, and I am going to attend meetings for agility soon to try it out and see if I like it.

I don't find it hard, yet. For me it's a nice balance to have one dog a little more low key. I was entertaining the idea of a foster with work potential so that it felt a little more like working two dogs instead of 1 1/2. :)

So maybe my story doesn't help at all because I am still young to the sport world but I find 2 a good number. I still have the go go go after I work the first so switching to another dog helps get that extra energy out! If I am too tired or focusing real hard on teaching something new, I leave one at home and focus on the other. Then I go back to doing fun games with the left-out dog to get the bond and play time we need. When I take them for walks I just switch off/on who goes with me. One likes to swim, the other does not. I try to balance our fun activities around who likes to do what.

I do admit to having a favorite. Working with my malinois has been the best experience one could ask for. She is a fun little dog and I don't sweat getting her to a podium any time soon. I am more focused on the foundation and applying the groundwork while piecing all of our routines together. Then again, my training style is train train train then boom title, boom title, boom title all at once. I try to get them, training wise, to the highest level and THEN go for titles so it works for me to take my time and do things slowly at my own pace. :) I'm a lot more casual, at this point in life, in regards to trialing but that may change as I grow into the sport.
 

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I don't even own a dog yet and I have trouble getting all the training done that I want! I train 3 dogs in agility and compete with 2, it's hard work on training nights to get work in with all of them... Going to be interesting when my pup comes along (hopefully early 2012!!!)... All of the dogs I train live in either 2 or 3 dog households where the other dogs are also working in some sport or in conformation, so their owners enjoy the break I give them by getting some extra work in with their dogs. Competing isn't too bad at the moment, I only compete with two and they are in the same level of competition and are in different height classes, so that doesn't make things too difficult.
 

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Great thread, Okie.
I have thought a lot about when I would like to bring in a second dog.

I think that workingk9s did what I would like to do: basically have a great foundation, titled, mature dog before I bring in a puppy or young dog to start. I think having one dog working on more advanced titles while having a young dog learning the basics would be a very fun (exhausting, yes) way to go.

But, I would like more training time in general before I add a second training schedule. Right now between work, school, and training everything barely fits in! Oh... and I cannot afford to train two of my own dogs at once.

I have been handling one of my trainer's Bouvier puppies to work toward a BH, but in this case, the dog stays there so I'm not working two dogs during the week. Its great because I can train with a different breed and learn so much more in the process. If this continues, I may never get a second dog!
 

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There was a thread about this some time back. I tried it for a long time. I found it was more difficult to get motivated to train, especially with the 3 phases of Schutzhund. I had a long talk with my training director at the time. He said it would be more doable if they were at different stages but at the time they were both in the 14-18 month range. He has had a lot of success personally and helped a lot more people to achieve success. He said that he had tried in the past and never had great success doing working 2 dogs. I made the decision to give my older male to my daughter and focused on the bitch who shows much more potential and consistency. I think it depends on your goals. If you just want to title dogs then it is one thing, if you want to achieve something I believe it is helpful to set priorities. It might be different if you don't have to work and perhaps don't have many other commitments. For me I found it much more enjoyable after I let go of the training of the male.
 

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For those that work/compete with more than one dog how do you find it?
Do you enjoy it? Do you find that your dogs could be at a much higher level of training had you only had the one?
How old was the first dog, and how far along in the dogs training before you started another?
Enjoy:
I enjoy training multiples as dog training is one of my most favorite things, but I do not have the money, energy, time, and other resources needed to be highly successful at precision training and titling multiples.
Level of Training:
I know that if I was only training one dog we would be at a higher level.
Age:
I like to space out my dogs by at least 2 years, in my opinion 3 is my perfect number.
 

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For those that work/compete with more than one dog how do you find it?
Do you enjoy it? Do you find that your dogs could be at a much higher level of training had you only had the one?
How old was the first dog, and how far along in the dogs training before you started another?
It's very enlightening for me. I'm still a novice, so the experience of using what I've learned from one dog and applying it to another with different results really forces you to adapt quickly. I have to think, really think, about the dog I'm working and how they learn. I love it, honestly. I'm pretty sure I'm always going to try to have two dogs to work at the same time.

I'm not sure that only having one dog to focus on would make that much of a difference. At this point in time I'd almost say it would do the opposite - my dog wouldn't be as good as he will be if I only trained him.

Ruby is about 6/7. I started training her seriously when she was 3 - a month after we rescued her. We brought Rocket into the picture at 4 months....so I had been working her for about 2 years before putting a lot of attention on Rocket. She was very close to showing at that point, and I finished her CD/RN this year.

Rocket is 2 1/2. I've been training him seriously since he was about a year. He'll be ready to show next year. I started working Kaylee (sizzledog) 2 months ago - she's 3 1/2 and had the basics (sit/down/stay) before I started. She'll be ready to show next year as well.

I made the goal of showing them at Nationals next year. I'm not sure if I was insane that day or just very optimistic. :)

Overall, I think it's very rewarding and worth the effort.
 

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What about people who want to go to a high level in two separate activities? Is it easier to handle one dog in everything or handle 2 specialized dogs? I'm leaning towards one dedicated working (SAR/therapy) dog and one dedicated show/protection dog. There's also a houseful of pets, but they only require CGC-level training and rides to adoption events.
 

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Wow,just had a discussion yesterday at training about this! Sounds like the same discussion here lol
Its definitely more work to train and trial 2 dogs,but the results of your efforts are so rewarding! (Quite a few people commented last wk at the National how"lucky" I was to be able to walk both dogs together and how well behaved they were!)
Its trialing 2 dogs the same day in different events that can get mind frazzling lol

If you're thinking of training more than 1 dog,be realistic in your goals you set for yourself and especially your dogs. If time and money are factors, pick one venue and start training.
Remember,this is suppose to be fun. If its not fun for you,it won't be fun for your dogs. So,why do it???
There's so much fun stuff to do with our dogs out there! Go train!LOL
 

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So far I'm not finding it too difficult to work two dogs at once. Naavi is a year and seven months and Haari is seven months.

Granted, Haari is VERY puppyish for a seven month old puppy so all we're doing is tracking and getting her to drive for food. No static commands, no 'real' heeling work.

Naavi I'm working in protection, tracking, AND re-doing her obedience (getting her to drive me instead of the other way around). It's a little more work but I tend to train in short sessions a couple times a day every other day or so. The tracking takes up the most time (load up dogs, go lay tracks, work one dog, put away, work other dog, put away, go home) but I can only do it in the spring/summer/fall so I try to get in as much as possible.

I LOVE working two dogs but then I have no life outside of my dogs so I suppose that makes sense. ;)
 

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A little late to chime in, but like some of the other posters, I find getting a puppy when a current dog is about 3 yrs is the best gap in age for me. The pup can only do so much foundation work for about 2 years while I am competing the older dog.

Rex is 8 and semi retired, Cheers 5 and ready to roll in Utility in 2012, and Wally 2.5 and just about ready to do his CD. He has his CH and about to finish the Beg Novice optional title. Oh yeah- he'll be ready for Novice agility next spring also.

Personally, I need to have 2 dogs in work or I worry I'll burn one dog out! I'm too energetic for just one dog. Wally doing conformation was a walk in the park as far as training and conditioning efforts on my part were concerned. He did puppy agility classes from 6 months of age for socializing and having fun. I did my obedience at our local drop in class every Mon night, as Cheers and Rexy went there already.

I took Cheers to compete in obedience at many of the same venues young Wally was doing conformation. Often I had to leave him with his handler, then dash across the show grounds and compete with Miss Cheers- dash back and see Wally if possible, or just collect him (with points we always hoped!) and go home. Fun times...


* I also never got more than a CD on my dogs when my children were small. Too many other activities, horse and soccer competitions, etc filled our days. It was a fun and busy time when my children were home, but I certainly love the commitment I can now make to dog training!
 
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