Many people ask me if they should get a second dog to keep their first dog company. So many of us work outside the home during the day, and we know the dogs get lonely.
Have you ever heard the quote from David Frost about two children? He said “One kid makes you a parent; two kids make you a referee.”
The same holds true for dogs. If you are thinking about getting a second dog so they can do dog training and exercise together, think again. Before you introduce a second dog into the family, be mindful of the pros and cons:
1. The dog will have a friend/playmate.
2. You will receive double the kisses.
3. More family members can make the pack feel more secure and protected.
4. Having a companion may reduce a dog’s separation anxiety.
5. Many time dogs are just happier and better behaved with a fellow canine.
1. They will each need to go through dog training individually before they are trained together. It is better to be happy with the behavior of a first dog before adding the second.
2. Don’t look to the first dog to necessarily teach the second dog good habits.
3. The costs associated with a dog – food, vet bills, dog toys, etc. will be double.
4. They will both need personalized, individual attention from you.
5. They will create double the dog fur!
6. There may be sibling rivalry and jealousy issues.
Introducing a second dog into your family can be chaotic to a family’s routine, particularly if the first dog does not like other dogs. Know that it is instinctual for the dogs to compete to see who is first in the pecking order, which is why it is so important to establish yourself as the pack leader.
Important questions to ask yourself: What kind of dog does my dog like? Who does he/she tend to socialize well with? Does he/she get along better with male or female dogs? Here’s a good article from Bark Busters on selecting the right dog. https://www.barkbusters.com/repository/tips/Selecting_Right_Dog(clr).pdf
If one dog is older and the new dog is a puppy, it might not be fair to either of them. The old dog may just want to live in peace in his older years, while a puppy will want to play, play, play. However, I have also seen older dogs revitalized by the introduction of a puppy, usually if the older dog is healthy and doesn’t have any joint issues.
Ensuring that the dog’s personalities or temperaments are a good fit for one another (and for your family as well) is your first step to a harmonious multiple dog home.