T Nation

Dog Dilemma


We should be closing on our house this month and talked about getting a 2nd dog (1 Great Dane right now).

After thinking about it a month ago I was leaning towards not getting another simply because when we have to go out of town (3-4 times/yr) to see the wife's family we can't bring our dog since they don't like dogs. It's usually not a big deal in the sense that we can drop the dog off at my mom's.

another thing though is we take short out of town trips (dog can come) to my family probably once per month on the weekend. If we got a 2nd dog, I doubt it would work out bringing 2 dogs. That would mean more drop offs to my mom (again in theory that's ok, depending on size/behavior of the 2nd dog).

Well, here's the dilemma ex-fiance said she has to get rid of her Great Dane, when we were together we raised him from a pup to about 2 yrs old when we split. He's an awesome dog, and I would love to have him. However, it's not (at least all this is from what I remember of him 4 yrs ago) as calm/laid back as our current Great Dane. And he's fricken huge (which is normally a plus for me), but my Mom's house is a rather small (guess I should be asking her thoughts as well).

I would rather take him than him go to a stranger, and the ex has said if it doesn't work out that she would take him back. However, is this fair to the dog? On one hand, I'd like to give it a real shot so he's with me and our dog, but on the other I don't want to jerk the dog around.

figured I'd post on here.

my gut tells me might best not to take him, but my heart for a long time has missed that dog and would love to take him.

Oh, taking them to a kennel when we travel wouldn't be an option for a few reasons, though if there were someone we could pay to come to the house to let them out that might possibly be an idea.


I went through something similar a couple of years ago. Same feelings, it was a friend's dog that I had at my place for a few months and had done lots of work with and rather than have her go to a stranger, my wife and I were going to take her. That was going to put us up from 2 dogs to 3, and this 3rd one was going to be a handful. Much larger dog, not well trained, etc.

We decided as much as we didn't want the dog to go to a stranger, we couldn't take on another dog and provide the proper care and attention to all 3 given everything that was going on in our lives at the time. So, instead we got involved trying to help find a good home for the dog where she was going to be well looked after.

Our hearts wanted to take her, but our heads knew that probably wasn't the best choice. In the end, the friend was able to keep the dog and we see her fairly often, but I think our choice to say no, and instead get involved in helping find a new home was the right one.

I think your gut is probably right. Who knows what the last 4 years have been like for the dog and now that he's 6 (assuming my math is correct) integrating him into a new house would probably be a lot of work. Besides, maybe he'll make a great companion for someone else. If you can help her find someone, then that might take care of any concerns about where he ends up.


Let me get this straight, you want to bring a dog from your ex-fiancees and yours relationship to live the first house of you and your wife?

Great Danes live what, 7 or 8 years. How long do you want to be with your wife?

By all means help her find the dog a home but do not bring it in to yours.


fair point. It crossed my mind, hence that was one of the concerns I raised to my wife. but, she didn't mind. The dog I have now since she was a pup was originally the ex's, but when we split I kept the dog. It's all the same I guess.

Danes live to 6/7-9 from what I've read. Ours is 7.5 and doing great (top of the line dog food and fish oil every day). The other one, I'm sure is still on the same Pedigree dog food, which is another issue we would be paying about $100/month in dog food with 2 of them. Not a problem, but it does add up.


I have found that when SO's say they did not mind means they can rationalize why it is a good idea but I have also found it generally means they would rather not. Just my observations.


You're complicating things unnecessarily.

You have 3 options.

  1. Do not take on another dog.
  2. Take on the dog and hire a sitter when you're out of town (not fair to impose on family with those monsters).
  3. Take on dog and kennel the dog when you're out of town (you don't say why that's not an option, which is odd).

If you do not want to do 2 or 3 above, your option is 1. Simple.


My buddy has a similar problem, he and his ex have a kid. The ex wants to give him shared custody, but his new gf is just so needy and insecure. I don't know what he did with all his old clothes, furniture and CDs. Probably burned them.


Nice one. Funny thing is, if this were the ex I was currently with she probably would have a huge problem with this idea because of the insecurity issue. Hence one reason I married my wife, she's just a normal chic without any drama.