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Will Getting Another Dog Help with My Nervous, Anxious Dog?

Updated: Oct 3, 2023

Picture this: You come home after a long day, and there's your beloved dog, tail tucked, eyes wide with anxiety, seeking comfort from you. You've tried your best to soothe their nerves, yet you can't help but wonder if there's something more you can do to make your dog feel at ease.


two white and brown goldendoodle puppies cuddling


The idea of bringing a new puppy pal into your home to provide companionship and support to your anxious dog can be tempting. But is it the right solution for your nervous dog?

Let's embark on this journey together and discover if another pup is the missing piece to help your distressed dog find peace and happiness.


Pros of Getting Another Dog to Help Comfort Your Current One


1. Companionship


One of the most compelling reasons to consider getting another dog when you have a nervous counterpart is the promise of companionship. Dogs are social animals, and just like humans, they can experience loneliness and separation anxiety. Adding a new furry friend to the household can provide your dog with constant company, helping to reduce feelings of isolation and unease.


Imagine your anxious dog having a loyal buddy by their side, day and night. They can snuggle together, share the same space, and find comfort in the presence of a fellow canine. This companionship can be a powerful source of emotional support, offering your nervous dog a sense of security and reassurance.


2. Socialization


Is your dog timid or anxious around other dogs or strangers? If so, introducing a second canine to your family could be a wonderful way to address this issue. The presence of a confident and well-socialized companion can serve as a positive role model for your nervous shy pup.


As they observe their new friend's behavior and interactions with other dogs and people, your anxious dog may begin to learn that there's nothing to fear. They may gradually adopt more relaxed and confident social skills, which can be a significant boost to their overall well-being. Over time, they might even become more comfortable in various social situations, making outings and encounters with other dogs less stressful.


3. Play and Exercise


Dogs have boundless energy, and playtime is not only enjoyable but also crucial for their physical and mental health. When you have two dogs, they can engage in play and exercise together, creating an environment of fun and activity that can help alleviate anxiety and stress.


Playtime between dogs often involves games of chase, wrestling, and interactive play with toys. This not only burns off excess energy but also stimulates their minds, providing mental enrichment. Additionally, the joy of watching your two dogs romp and play together can be heartwarming and entertaining for you as well.


two white and brown goldendoodle puppies

The regular exercise and play sessions shared between two dogs can lead to a calmer and happier atmosphere in your home, benefiting both your nervous dog and its new playmate.


Cons of Getting a Second Dog


1. Increased Responsibility


While the idea of bringing home a second dog is appealing, caring for two dogs requires more time, attention, and effort. You'll need to feed, groom, exercise, and provide medical care for both dogs. This added responsibility can be challenging, especially if you're already dedicated to meeting the needs of your first fido.


Training is another aspect that demands attention. Each dog has its unique personality and needs, and you'll need to invest time in training both dogs individually and, if necessary, together. This can be particularly demanding if one or both of the dogs require specialized training, such as addressing behavioral issues related to anxiety.


2. Compatibility


The compatibility between your current dog and the potential second dog is a critical factor to consider. Not all dogs get along seamlessly, and introducing a new dog into your home without considering their temperament and energy level can lead to conflicts and stress.


Some dogs may thrive in a household with another dog, while others may prefer to be the only canine in the spotlight. A careful assessment of both dogs' behavior and compatibility can help prevent unnecessary tension and ensure a harmonious household.


Proper introduction and supervision during the initial stages of their relationship are vital to allow them to get to know each other gradually and comfortably.


3. Financial Considerations


Adding another dog to your family also means an increase in financial responsibilities. Dogs come with ongoing costs, including food, grooming, routine veterinary care, vaccinations, and preventive medications. These expenses can add up significantly, especially if you're caring for two dogs simultaneously.


In addition to routine costs, you should be prepared for unexpected veterinary bills, which can arise due to accidents or unforeseen health issues. Adequate pet insurance or an emergency fund can help mitigate these financial burdens.


Consider your current budget and whether you can comfortably accommodate the additional expenses associated with another dog.


Considerations for a Potential Second Dog


1. Choosing the Right Breed


Selecting a suitable breed for your second dog is a crucial decision, especially if you have experience with doodle breeds like those found at JennaLee Designer Doodles. While there's no one-size-fits-all answer, there are some factors to consider.


Selecting a companion for your nervous dog requires careful consideration. Begin by assessing the potential dog's temperament. Research breeds or individual dogs whose dispositions complement your current dog's personality. Some breeds are naturally laid-back, while others are more energetic or protective.


Energy levels are crucial; a well-matched energy level ensures both dogs can enjoy compatible activities. Avoid introducing a high-energy breed to a low-energy dog to prevent conflicts.


Size compatibility is vital to ensure safe interactions. Be certain the new dog's size aligns with your current dog's to avoid accidents or dominance-related issues.


Assess compatibility by arranging a meet-and-greet between your dog and the potential companion. This interaction provides insights into their rapport.


2. Understanding Your Current Dog's Needs


Your nervous dog's personality and needs are paramount when choosing a new pup.


Begin by evaluating your current dog's unique needs and circumstances. Reflect on your dog's behavior and specific anxiety triggers. If your dog is uneasy around dominant or high-energy dogs, consider a companion with a calmer demeanor to reduce potential conflicts.


Take into account your dog's age and health status; older dogs may appreciate the company of a younger, less active companion, while dogs with health issues may require a gentler and more considerate friend.


Assess your dog's training and socialization level. If your dog faces behavioral challenges, ensure that the new dog can be a positive influence. In cases of persistent issues, consulting a professional dog trainer or behaviorist can be beneficial.


You must have enough space, resources, and time to cater to both dogs' needs. This includes providing separate feeding areas, individual attention, and designated spaces for rest and play.


Alternatives to Getting Another Dog


While the idea of getting another dog as a companion for your nervous canine is appealing, it's not the only solution to consider. There are several alternative methods and strategies that can be highly effective in helping your anxious pup find peace and happiness.


Professional training involves expert assessment of your dog's behavior, identification of triggers, and personalized training plans to reduce anxiety. Techniques like desensitization and positive reinforcement can build your dog's confidence.


Behavioral therapy, led by certified animal behaviorists, focuses on addressing canine behavior issues. Your dog can learn coping mechanisms and relaxation techniques to manage anxiety. Therapists can also help create a supportive home environment.


Your veterinarian is crucial for ruling out medical causes of anxiety and providing guidance on medication or supplements. However, these should be administered under veterinary supervision.


Desensitization and gradual exposure at home can help your dog become more comfortable with triggers. Controlled exposure, paired with positive experiences, can reduce anxiety over time.


Creating a calming environment is effective. Offering a safe retreat, using pheromone diffusers, or playing soothing music fosters relaxation. Remember, each dog is unique. Patience, persistence, and guidance from professionals tailored to your dog's specific needs are key to success.


link to doodle breed match quiz

The prospect of adding another dog to your household as a companion for your nervous pooch is undoubtedly enticing, offering the promise of companionship, improved socialization, and shared playtime. As we've explored, this decision carries its share of responsibilities and considerations.


Every dog is a distinct individual, and what brings comfort to one may not suit another. Ultimately, the choice should align with your current dog's temperament, triggers, and overall well-being.


Whether you decide to introduce a new furry friend or embark on an alternative path, the central theme remains consistent: the unwavering commitment to provide your nervous dog with love, care, and understanding.


Jenna and the JLDD Team


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