Updated: Oct 19, 2021
You’ve had several dogs in the past. Maybe your one adorable pup doesn’t quite feel like “enough.” Or could it be possible that your forever friend is getting up in age and you believe they might want a compatriot to share the rest of their lives with?
Whatever the reason, you’ve made the decision to add one more to your home’s roster.
Perhaps you think that bringing two puppies home at the same time would be the best idea so they can grow up together. It also could be you’re in a situation in which you already have a dog with a few years under its belt and want to introduce a new puppy to the family.
Sounds like a great idea, right? Well, in either of these cases, you’ll want to read the advice in this post first!
What are the pluses of having two dogs?
Friendship between two dogs might just be the perfect blend-ship, but keep in mind that dogs have emotions just like us. You know this as a dog owner. They leap into your arms before you can jimmy the key from the lock. They love you and can be loyal to a fault.
Just because they have everything they need physically, you might want to confirm they're being fully compensated emotionally.
Your doggo could get lonely and this is where another four-legged friend of the canine variety comes into play. Dogs are pack animals after all. If you do bring a second one into your home, you could spend your evenings watching them pounce on one another while wrestling over their favorite toy. (And we all love watching our fur babies play!)
What are the minuses to having two dogs?
You already have a dog, and you’re considering that they might be lonely. But what if, even though they started as part of a pack as all dogs do, they’ve gotten set in their individualistic ways?
Picture this: you’re a lifelong bachelor or bachelorette. You like things just the way you like them. Then, without asking, your landlord allows someone else to move in with you, providing no warning whatsoever.
We don’t think you’d love that any more than we would. Your dog might feel the same way. Your family is their family, and they might not want anyone or anything taking attention away from them.
Change is hard. We all know this, and it’s important to be patient with your original dog if you make the choice to add a second to your furry family.
Puppies get older no matter how much we might not want them to. It’s important that on their march to adulthood they have a partner in this exciting journey. Make sure that you’re bringing a new dog puppy home that will respect your current resident pooch. More than likely the dog already in the house will want to take the lead.
We take all this under consideration. With JennaLee’s Exclusive Puppy Matchmaking System, we look at all factors to ensure that if there’s already a dog in your household, they’re paired up with a companion that they’ll consider a friend for life.
What’s the right time to bring home a new dog?
If you have kids or are thinking about having kids, consider how they might feel if you brought a new baby into the house with no fanfare or discussion.
They might think they’ll have to share your attention, your time, their space. That may or may not be reality, but it could be their perception. Your dog will likely feel the same way as your kids.
At a certain age, however, these issues are moot. You want to make sure that your dog is trained well enough to follow your commands without question, is bonded to you and your family, and that no unwanted tension is added within your home.
What’s right for some dogs might not be right for yours. All in all, dogs that are closer to each other’s age might be more prone to disagreements.
If you have a dog already inhabiting your humble abode, how old should they be when you add a new puppy? Experts recommend they should be a minimum of a year old. We recommend that the ideal age is when your first dog is about 7 to 8 years old. They’re old enough to show the new recruit the “ropes,” but youthful enough to not be annoyed by the puppy’s more grating habits. Any older than that? It may be best to let your pal live their best life in peace.
Let’s discuss each of the issues you might see with these age limits.
How late is too late for a second dog?
Remember the bachelor/bachelorette metaphor from earlier? Still applies. Imagine if you’re in your retirement year ready to read your favorite novels in peace and someone gifts you the most rambunctious and rebellious teenager you’ve ever known.
You want to make sure that the newest edition to your family can learn from your old reliable friend, not be bothered by them. You don’t want any mental or physical issues exacerbated by someone your current dog doesn’t know.
How soon is too soon?
To you, a new puppy is a tubby little pup all stuffed with fluff. To the dog already inhabiting your domicile, you’ve just unleashed a hairy wrecking ball into their personal space.
As mentioned prior, you want to make sure that your dog has its routine down. If you’ve got a puppy paired with another puppy, they might wrestle or codify the worst in each other. Then there is the dreaded Littermate Syndrome. Don’t make the mistake of housing two dogs from the same litter as they could become anxious and nearly impossible to train. You want your puppy to be confident and comfortable in their own fur.
Dogs take about 6 months to get used to their new surroundings. You then want to make sure that your pet has another six months or so to bond with you and your family. We also can’t stress enough: training, training, training. Make sure that they are ready to fall in line and work with you when welcoming a new member to your family.
Your first steps after their first steps…
If you’re curious what a two (or more) dog household might look like, hire a dog walker who walks several dogs together. Or try the dog park and see how they interact with other pooches.
Do your research to make sure that you’ve got two dogs with compatible breeds. If you have a doodle already and are looking for a second dog, a doodle is a perfect match due to their shared parent breeds. Doodles are great with most other dogs because of their loyal, loving and gentle lineages.
We spoke recently about mixing genders. We definitely recommend that if you have a male or a female dog, you should choose the opposite if you plan on getting another. If you’d like more specifics on what might happen or why we make this recommendation, you can check it out here. (hyperlink here)
When is the “perfect” time to introduce a new puppy? A few closing thoughts
There might not ever be a “perfect” time. Your puppy is a living, breathing and – most importantly – feeling creature. Each owner, each dog, each situation is going to be different and require careful consideration and maneuvering to make sure that any decisions made will benefit all members of your family – pets included.
Don’t forget, we can take the worry out of the process with the JLDD Exclusive Matchmaking System. We have combined decades worth of experience in housing the finest the doodle world has to offer. Let us help you through this transition.
Most importantly, be thoughtful. Be caring. Pay attention and things will turn out for the best. Your dog wants you to be happy. Make sure that you’re doing the same for them. They’re a wonderful and rare gift. Before you consider opening your doors to a new puppy pal, make sure your old kid on the block remains content and thriving.
Jenna and the JLDD Team