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How many dogs does it take?

 
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What is the favorite number of dog/dogs to keep both you and your honestead/living place in working order and happy? Why do you prefer that number? Does your other half or partner agree with that number? Has the number of dogs needed changed throughout your life? Would love to hear the stories of your favorite dog.
 
steward
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I feel a person's situation might dictate how many dogs they have.  

Such as wife's dog, husband's dog, and children's dog.

Or if someone has a homestead they might have an inside dog and one or two LGD for their animals.

To me, as long as the dogs are well fed and loved several dogs are not too many.

I currently have one dog.  Before that, I had two dogs and before that, I had lots of dogs because I bred german shepherd dogs.

I wish I knew a good dog story though.
 
master steward
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I have a Border Collie and an Australian Shepherd on 11 acres and am happy with them. I should note there are hundreds of acres of connected farmland and woods for them to explore without getting into trouble. I also check with my neighbors.

I generally rotate them on shifts, one is in a pen while the other is on duty. Two or three times a week I let them both out at the same time for a good run.
 
pollinator
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I'll be happy when I'm down to one. Right now I have a very old basset hound who lives in the house and ventures outside to do his rounds and check on the other dog a few times a day. My other dog is an lgd who lives outside.

My basset is absolutely miserable and tries to pick fights with the lgd all the time. He used to bully my very mild mannered lab mutt horribly when the lab was still alive.

My lgd is a rescue dog and needs a bit more one on one time than some other dogs might or he gets stressed. I wouldn't want to get another dog while he's alive.

Growing up, we had a brother and sister from the same litter that were a good pair. When I got my first dog, bought with babysitting money and paid for in installments, the dynamics totally changed, and not for the better.

Long story short, I think it depends on the dogs.
 
pollinator
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We usually like having two.  When older reaches 5, we get a puppy. Occasionally we have had an overlap of three dogs.  Due to family illnesses, we didn’t follow our usual pattern. We just lost our shepherd at age 14 and our 5 year old rottie is now an only dog and doesn’t like it.  In the spring, we will be looking for a new pup.

Older dogs can be great to help train the new dogs in routines and they keep each other company.
 
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We live in the suburbs and our dogs are for company. It's difficult to give general guidance on how many dogs one should have; each one has their personality, and temperament.

I agree with Anne, as long as each dog is getting enough love and attention relative to their needs. Definitely not a one-size fits all.

We initially had small breed dogs, e.g. poodles, and then two golden retrievers. Be prepared when you get large dogs, the amount of maintenance work for larger breeds is not linear w.r.t proportions! Imagine tasks like washing, grooming, feeding, and moving them can be.  
 
pollinator
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Location: 2300' elev., southern oregon
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Howdy,

I have 2 dogs, both are "rescued". Badger is some kind of herding dog, about 45lbs. Kona is a Siberian Husky that was in the city and climbing fence and running off, he's about 60-75lbs., won't let me weigh him. Both are fixed males.

I live on 40 forested mtn. acres and border NF/BLM, no one above me for 100,000 of acres. I've asked my neighbors if they have seen my dogs and they never have. So I assume they stick around the property.
Badger seems to be the dominate one, sticks by me, and also tries to herd Kona around. They do occasionally play together. I have watched Kona chase bears off the property, behind them as close as 6-8 ft and then coming home when he "feels" they have been moved a safe distance.  Both have treed bobcats and mtn. lion/cougars 50-75-100 ft from backdoor, and badger has been the one to alert me of this to where I can get my camera and photo.  

I have 2 dogs so they each have a companion. To keep them from following me when I leave, I have to put Badger in the house. I think how a person treats their pets affects how they feel about "staying home".  I know my dogs "roam", but not around my neighbors, who at different times have dogs. My dogs have alerted me and I have seen other dogs up here, but my dogs don't follow them off my property, and it must have something to do with how you treat your pets, as partners. I don't hit my animals as in training. I don't really scold them. and I do give treats for good behavior and other things.

 
pollinator
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<<<What is the favorite number of dog/dogs to keep both you and your honestead/living place in working order and happy? >>>

No particular favorite number, but while both hubby and I worked outside the home, we always had at least two house dogs so that they could keep each other company. Dogs, after all, are instinctively pack animals. I’ve seen people here complaining that novices should always buy at least 2 cows, 2 goats, or 2 sheep because they are herding animals. Hummmm, I wonder how many of those think nothing about having only one dog?. As for working dogs/farm dogs, we have had anywhere from 1 to 4 at a time. It all depends upon what we needed. When I was showing and breeding dogs, I had upward to 50, but we had a very special arrangement for that many.  I do not believe in stashing a dog in a small pen and feeding it once a day. A dog needs far more interaction that than.

<<<  Does your other half or partner agree with that number? >>>

We have had upward to 5 house dogs at once, and hubby has never been against that. Usually we only have 2 as house dogs at a time. He had no interest in showing dogs, so he moaned if they interfered with his weekend plans. That’s quite understandable. We worked it out, though he would have preferred I gave up showing. Eventually I did when we moved to Hawaii.

<<<Has the number of dogs needed changed throughout your life? >>>

Yup. Already explained that.

<<<Would love to hear the stories of your favorite dog.>>>

Wow, where to begin? I could write a book, because we have had dozens of favorites. They were all different, so it’s impossible to narrow it down to one dog. We would have been happy to spend our entire lives with dozens of our favorites.  
…Stella (shiba inu), by far the most visual observant dog we had. Smartest problem solver. Crazy, in a nice way.
…Nitchka (Siberian husky), smart, cunning, self centered, but smart enough not to get into a situation that was detrimental to herself. My first dog who taught me so much.
…Ba (basenji). The David Niven of the dog world. Amazing dog.
…Tiki (shiba inu). Amazingly brave and defensive when it came to our safety, but at the same time the sweetest, nicest dog at home and in public.
…Collywobbly (border collie) best close-in herding dog I’ve ever had.
…Patrick (border collie) best distance herder. Could bring in a flock from literally a mile or more away!
…Snobear (Siberian husky) quietly smart, cooperative, and viewed as some sort of elder or shaman by the other dogs. So different for a husky, but she still loved to go sled racing.
…Sugarbooger (Siberian husky) daughter of Snobear. This dog was the most cooperative family member. She could read our minds.  We could have had this dog forever and been content.
…Crusty (mutt) amazingly smart. The best all around farm dog ever! He’s a legend.
…..the list could go on because so many had traits that stood out. And I enjoyed spending time with them all. Out of all the dogs we have had, I’d say about half or two thirds were super, outstanding dogs. They other third we just never clicked with for one reason or another. Those we rehomed rather than have them spend their lives unappreciated.
 
pollinator
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Location: Ban Mak Ya Thailand Zone 11-12
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I have 2 stray brothers and one bitch and beside that the two bros are growling permanently to each other (which is normal as long they not start fighting, then it's time to interrupt) all three are getting well along.
Especially when it is time for alarming or protecting the turf they join together and even coordinate their approach towards the intruder/burglar or other "disturbance".

Well raised they will give their life for you as a pack.

Below picture shows one of the brothers after he got stabbed by a burglar 6 years ago.
That fellow managed to knife one but even with very serious wounds he and his brother brought the culprit to the ground and prepared him proper for the hospital.

My dog had to stay almost two month in the dog hospital and I spent almost 200k Thai baht (5500 USD) to get him back to life.
Despite the wounds he would have never made it on his own, the Burglar was drugged with Yaa Baa and felt nothing until the 2nd dog arrived and pulled him down to the ground.
The 2nd dog had some cuts but nothing that serious as his brother.

From then I decided 3 dogs is the right number for a pack if you have enough land to let them freely run.
YOU as owner also need to train them proper so that they not attack anyone who visits you and enter your turf without expecting the dogs.
As soon the intruder shows aggression or pulling a gun or knife he is fair game.  
Also they should not take any food handed or thrown by a stranger.

weeks in tears, a daily visit at the hospital and still I thank the doctor and his team not to give up our little boy..

IMG-20210702-WA0008.jpg
[Thumbnail for IMG-20210702-WA0008.jpg]
 
pollinator
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Atta Boys! I am very glad to see your dog made it. After all that I can see why you spent the money...

I had one dog until a few months ago. She was too wild for the world, a good dog but no ideas of self preservation. Better to burn out than fade away I guess... Best dog ever.

Less than a month ago we picked up some free pups (for $100............. liars!) off of a facebook page or something similar. We realized how much time the dog(s) of the house are home alone and thought they could do with some company. Really I think it does depend on how often someone can be with the dog and of course the dogs tolerance of being alone. Pack animals, yada yada.
 
pollinator
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See Hes wrote:I have 2 stray brothers and one bitch and beside that the two bros are growling permanently to each other (which is normal as long they not start fighting, then it's time to interrupt) all three are getting well along.
Especially when it is time for alarming or protecting the turf they join together and even coordinate their approach towards the intruder/burglar or other "disturbance".

Well raised they will give their life for you as a pack.

Below picture shows one of the brothers after he got stabbed by a burglar 6 years ago.
That fellow managed to knife one but even with very serious wounds he and his brother brought the culprit to the ground and prepared him proper for the hospital.

My dog had to stay almost two month in the dog hospital and I spent almost 200k Thai baht (5500 USD) to get him back to life.
Despite the wounds he would have never made it on his own, the Burglar was drugged with Yaa Baa and felt nothing until the 2nd dog arrived and pulled him down to the ground.
The 2nd dog had some cuts but nothing that serious as his brother.

From then I decided 3 dogs is the right number for a pack if you have enough land to let them freely run.
YOU as owner also need to train them proper so that they not attack anyone who visits you and enter your turf without expecting the dogs.
As soon the intruder shows aggression or pulling a gun or knife he is fair game.  
Also they should not take any food handed or thrown by a stranger.

weeks in tears, a daily visit at the hospital and still I thank the doctor and his team not to give up our little boy..



So glad your wonderful dog survived, and good on you for paying those large bills and not giving up on him.

My answer is, you can never have enough dogs.  And no, my other half does not agree.  She doesn't agree quite strenuously in fact :)  We have three right now.

I think the perfect number is the number you can afford to take care of appropriately, and just as importantly, the number that you have time to love and care for.
 
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