You have what is unequivocally the best dog of all time. No questions asked. But you’ve got the space and the extra time. Your kids were quite responsible with their first four-legged friend.
So is there another pooch there that could stand side by side with your wonderful pet and complement them?
Even if your dog is the greatest that an owner could ever ask for, the time may come that you want to welcome a second canine into your home. But will your current dog like this new roommate?
Why Get a Second Dog if You Already Have One?
There are several factors to take into account while selecting whether or not to buy a second dog. Why do most people bring home two at once or add another to their already seemingly perfect pet?
Their first puppy offered them so much love and joy that they desire more! Nothing like coming home to a pup that unconditionally loves you—and you can double down on that love with a second fuzzy family member. And it's nice for your current dog to have another animal it can socialize with.
Any animal that you’re accepting the responsibility for deserves to be handled and fostered carefully and responsibly. As if they were the only thing in your world that matters.
Dogs are pack animals. If properly socialized with their family and friends, they’re always ready and willing to interact and play with those fluffy ones that look like them. Sharing a walk with their new sibling can be a blessing for those that have only experienced this with their bipedal counterparts. Rather than frolicking around their backyard by themselves, they now have a friend to wander and explore with.
Introducing a second pup to your life is a significant choice, and living in a multi-dog household is different from living with just one dog. However, if done thoughtfully and under careful consideration, it can be extremely rewarding for both humans and canines alike. Make sure that this is the right conclusion for the long term.
Adding a Second Dog in a Way That Won't Make Your First Dog Feel Replaced
We’ve discussed in detail the pluses and minuses of a second dog in your home. We’ve even discussed when the right time to do so is. But let’s review together to ensure you’re making the right decision for you and yours.
There's an optimal age to introduce a new dog into your primary pup's environment. Two puppies homed at the same time, generally speaking, is a nightmare waiting to happen.
As your first dog begins to mature, a second dog might jump in. Let's consider you like dog training or exercise, but your senior dog is losing momentum. You may relieve some of its load by bringing in younger people to help. This also applies to working dogs, such as ranch dogs or livestock guardian dogs.
Another consideration: Is your dog well-trained? If not, you'll have a lot on your plate with a second dog. This entails teaching each dog independently, followed by training the two together. It takes a lot of dedicated effort!
Having a single inadequately trained dog is difficult enough, but having multiple may be disastrous. You must train your present dog before getting another. Then, in principle, your well-trained dog may assist in the training of your new dog!
The attitude of your first dog might influence other aspects of your new puppy's behavior. This can be devastating in ways you've probably never considered.
The owner believes that the first dog will teach the second dog all he requires. However, if the second is prone to anxiety, the first becomes a crutch for him. This may mean he never learns how to deal with the world on his own. He gets frightened or perhaps angry.
Purchasing a second dog because your first is bored and destructive will only lead to heartache and a wrecked living room. While introducing another dog may ease some of the boredom, you are merely addressing a symptom rather than the underlying ailment. You'll eventually have two bored, destructive dogs on your hands.
Will My First Dog Resent the Second Dog in the House?
Many people believe that their dog will feel replaced if they get a second dog. Is there any truth in that? The answer is… yes and no.
We like to think of our pets as monolithic, non-emotional creatures that don’t feel like we do. That’s simply not true. Depending on the species and breed, they understand and feel things as well and in rare cases, even more so than a person may.
Your dog may see your new canine companion as an interloper. You want them to see their new puppy pal as a roommate and not as an intruder or competition.
Aggression is a thing. For some, it's harder to control than others. Same goes for our dear dogs. While some may be trained and worked with to keep it under wraps, this may be ignited if a second fido is added to the mix.
Your dog loves you - unconditionally, as a matter of fact. If a second dog is brought into your home your first could see him/her as a threat. That aggression might even revolve around you.
Copacetic when left together to play or lounge, as soon as you enter the picture, the attitude of your first dog can change. They want to protect you or to have all of your attention directed toward themselves.
Assess if, properly socialized, they can handle the emotional burden of having to share their space, time and attention. They’ll let you know how you feel about things nonverbally. Just be ready to pick up on their cues. And, be prepared in knowing, a second dog might never be a viable option.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) has outlined the “whens” and “whys” to get a second dog. An excellent point they brought up was this:
“What kind of dog do you want to add to the pack? Is your current dog large or small? Do you have space for two dogs, and will you be able to walk two dogs at once? Dogs with similar energy levels make the best companions.”
Companion breeds are always recommended. Those with similar personalities and tolerances are also recommended. There are, of course, breeds out there that won’t get along with much of anyone or anything. Others will love and make friends with everyone they come into contact with. Research to see if the pieces of your new family puzzle will fit together
The fact of the matter is your first dog is a highly intelligent, sensing and feeling individual. While you should be ready to take on all the responsibility for your new dog, not taking into account your faithful current companion might be cruel.
Should My Second Pet Be a Dog at All?
This is a question you should definitely propose to yourself and your family. There are plenty of pets that can get along with a dog. If you’re not sold on a second dog, bring home another furry - or scaly - friend.
Smaller pets who don’t take up a gigantic footprint in your home such as rabbits or fish can easily be homed in the same house as your dog. Those of a similar size such as gerbils and hamsters can be kept in a room away from your pup if that’s what you think is best.
Birds won’t be bopping up and down your hallways for the most part. Hanging from the ceiling or sitting on a shelf, these pets will more than likely just ignore your dog.
It might feel counterintuitive, but reptiles such as snakes and iguanas can be friendly with your dog.
Are you considering purchasing a second pup? As a dog lover, you may believe that the more the merrier! While this is true in some aspects, you should be aware that introducing an additional dog to your household is a major undertaking.
Consider it carefully before deciding on dog number two.
Our dogs rely on us to provide a secure and healthy environment for them. If you believe that the burden of living with another dog will be too much for your present doggie, simply enjoy spending time with your existing best friend before considering adding one more.
Jenna and the JLDD Team