Your Questions: 'Should we take on a third puppy?'
Cahal Milmo is the chief reporter of The Independent and has been with the paper since 2000. He was born in London and previously worked at the Press Association news agency. He has reported on assignment at home and abroad, including Rwanda, Sudan and Burkina Faso, the phone hacking scandal and the London Olympics. In his spare time he is a keen runner and cyclist, and keeps an allotment.
Saturday 14 March 2009
Q. We recently bought a new male Yorkshire Terrier puppy to keep our five-year-old female Cavalier company. Everything is going well and they are settling in nicely together. The breeder asked us if we would consider taking on one of the other male puppies that has been returned to her. We are worried it might unsettle the others. Mary, via e-mail
A. There are a few issues here, but first you need to consider the financial implication. Having just one dog can be very expensive, as you will know. There are the vet bills (vaccinations, flea treatment, neutering, etc), food, grooming and if you go away, you need someone to look after it. A friend may take one dog but they certainly won't take three! And the initial cost of getting a puppy is high.
Provided you are happy with these costs, the next thing to consider is that if having one puppy is hard, having two is almost impossible, especially siblings! When you get pups from the same litter they have an incredible bond with each other, which makes training impossible – you might want to instill discipline, but all they want to do is run around and play together and not listen to you! When the brothers reach maturity, if there is no clear hierarchy in your pack: you may have to deal with fighting among them. And if you think that two tiny Yorkies fighting isn't a big deal, think again. They can cause a lot of damage and they will be very good at it because they have been practising during play times.
In your case, I would concentrate on your new puppy and maybe wait until he is older to add another dog; or you can prove me wrong and write me a letter in six months time telling me how wonderful it is having three dogs. These things can happen. You just have to be very patient and very lucky.
Remember that if an animal shows signs of distress or discomfort an early visit to the vet is always recommended
The battle for control of Stieg Larsson's £30m legacy
Geoffrey Macnab does not like the comedian's big screen debut
Michelle Nijhuis' daughter insists (s)he is, and she learnt a valuable lesson on gender in books
newsFormer soldier taped 33 of the animals to the floor and then stamped on them one by one
Life & Style blogs
Exclusive: Young people ‘want UK to stay in Europe’: Four in 10 adults aged 18 to 24 are ‘firmly in favour’ of membership, poll shows
Tom Daley ‘is gay because his father died’ says UK evangelist
Iain Duncan Smith leaves Commons food banks debate early
Kiss and yell: Italian protester charged with sexual assault after kissing riot police officer
PM denies two child limit for benefits is part of Tory welfare policy
Anachronistic and iniquitous, grammar schools are a blot on the British education system
- 1 Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
- 2 Christmas comes early: Justin Bieber is 'retiring from music'
- 3 Iain Duncan Smith leaves Commons food banks debate early
- 4 Cycle death inquest: Boyfriend hugs driver of 32 tonne tipper truck that killed his girlfriend
- 5 Burglar steals video tapes of child abuse, hands them into police
£40000 - £55000 per annum: Pro-Recruitment Group: This Big 4 giant is seeking ...
£35000 - £50000 per annum: Pro-Recruitment Group: Do you have personal tax exp...
£22000 - £37000 per annum: Capita Education Resourcing Permanent Team: This se...
£27000 - £30000 per annum: Capita Education Resourcing Permanent Team: Capita ...