Updated: Jun 30
You’ve invited your first puppy into your family and your home. You’ve answered all the questions that any great dog owner should. Is your house big enough? Will they get along with the children? Do I have enough time to dedicate to this precious new member of the group?
But maybe after a bit, you’ve still got room in your heart and your home. Should you get a second dog? If the answer is yes, should they be the same gender? Let’s talk about that.
Why does a dog's age and gender matter when living together?
While you may think that bringing two puppies home at the same time would be the best idea, you might want to reconsider.
Littermate Syndrome is a real thing. “What’s that?” you might ask. Simply put, this is what occurs when two dogs from the same litter are so attached to each other that they can’t function on their own, thus preventing themselves from reaching their full potential. It causes the pair to be nearly impossible to train, they can suffer separation anxiety due to their co-dependence and almost definitely make it harder for them to socialize with other dogs or people.
Interested in adding a new puppy to your family?
Even if they come from the same mother and father, they have different wants, needs and desires. They have their own adorable personalities.
Two puppies require twice as much money, attention and time. You’ll want to train them separately (even if training in a group teaches them socialization skills). These newfound family members need time to form their own bonds and become confident in themselves.
This is before we talk about housetraining… Accidents are a thing. And two puppies could have twice as many accidents. You’ve heard the term “alpha” and “beta.” The alpha is in charge.
They set the hierarchy for the rest of the pack. They look for esteem and regard themselves as the top dog. Betas generally are still happy and, even though they take the lead and enforce the rules set up by the alpha, they lead well-rounded lives themselves.
As you might expect, males can be aggressive and territorial. As long as they have their own spaces, places to eat, their own beds and don’t feel like one can roam more freely than the other, no serious brawls should break out.
Why might two female dogs not get along?
You might think that two females are better than two males. Boys may be boys, girls will be women, they say. But this is an oversimplification for puppies and dogs. Two female dogs could act exactly like their male counterparts. As young pups, these two new female puppies may be friendly and pal around as you’d expect. But when they get a little older, they could vie for dominance.
Did you know that dogs reach sexual maturity between six and nine months, but they don’t reach social maturity until they’re twelve to thirty-six months of age? With each of these milestones, new challenges can present themselves. Changes in hormones and social status could cause fights.
A male dog more than likely will only fight till he’s hurt. A vet friend of ours shared that when they witnessed two female dogs getting into a squabble it was to end the argument once and for all. At the risk of sounding overly severe, these fights could end in serious injury or even death.
While you’ve made a choice to bring a second female dog into the house, in nature, you’d rarely—if ever—find multiple females living under the same “roof.” Why would you expect something different from your furry friends?
What should you expect when you finally do bring an additional female dog into the house?
You care so deeply about your newfound four-legged family members, but they won’t always see things the same way. Whether it be snipping, biting over a toy or seeking your attention, it will take some training to perfect their behavior.
The best place to start is by making sure that one or both of your female dogs is spayed. We here at JennaLee’s Designer Doodles recommend this be done at about six months of age. The worst fights between two female dogs could happen when one or both are pregnant or in heat. These squabbles could occur even with the most docile dog. This still might only be a partial solution, however.
If one of the other dogs has reached social maturity and are of the same gender, make sure that they are continuing to get along. If you see a change in either of their attitudes, you may want to consider professional training, whether that be a veterinarian or an animal behaviorist.
Don’t be complacent if, after the first fight, you feel things are now “under control.” The fighting between these two ladies could become seriously worse, requiring that both dogs are under constant supervision, crated or muzzled at certain times, or, in the most severe cases, that one or both is rehoused.
Before you consider a second dog, make sure you answer the following questions for your family:
Is your dog social?
We all know people that aren’t “people” people. The same is true of dogs. Does your dog socialize well? While some pups work well with adults and even children, another dog in the house might be one too many. As we mentioned before, there can only be one alpha in the pack.
Is your original dog trained?
Does your dog listen to your commands and obey immediately? If not, you might want to wait until your pup is a well-behaved mirror of their master. And no matter how much a spectacular parent you’ve been to your four-legged fur baby, this day might never come. And that’s okay.
When does age become a factor?
Age isn’t just a number. An older dog might be set in its ways. While you may want to introduce a pup to your family so that you can temper its lack of experience combined with your older dog’s well-worn routine this might throw things out of whack in your household.
A young puppy might jump on his elder’s last proverbial nerve. Use your best judgment and proceed with caution so that you and your forever family will stay as happy as it can for as long as it can.
At JLDD, we work to educate you in every aspect of owning a dog that we possibly can. We take seriously that your needs and space and family fit as perfectly as they possibly can with one the newest editions to our kennel. Not hands off at all, we work with you through the highly lauded JennaLee’s Exclusive Puppy Matchmaking System that the friend you’ve made through us is one you’ll have for life.
Are two female doodles more likely to get along?
We wish the answer was a clear black and white, yes or no. But it’s not that simple. Across all breeds, canines are like people. They have their own personalities. They have their own foibles.
The poodle is a loving and loyal breed that’s highly intelligent. These have been cross-bred with golden retrievers (outgoing, gentle, friendly), English sheepdogs (enthusiastic and sociable) and Bernese mountain dogs (affectionate and good-natured). All of these are pluses in our book.
While you might have more success with two dogs of doodle breeding, the same issues that you find in other breeds could be present.
We would recommend that if you’re thinking about adding a new member to your family that you’ll match a male with a female and that you’ll at least wait the proper amount of time (we recommend your first dog is at least a year old; others recommend as many as two years).
Doodles are amazingly wonderful and loving dogs. Adding a second might keep them from becoming bored or lonely.
Remember you’re not adding a toaster or microwave to your clan. This is a living breathing creature that needs your love and support. While a second dog might seem like the right choice for you, we encourage you to make sure that it’s the best move for them as well. Be certain you’re ready to love and support them both!