Peas in a Pod or Double Trouble?

July 25, 2018

Thinking of introducing a second dog to your brood? Pets Training & Boarding takes a look at the pros and cons of having two dogs, and if your household is ready for the power of two pooches.

Having two dogs is simply wonderful. They can help keep each other busy and happy, and certainly provide a lovely amount of companionship and friendship to each other. However, there are the right reasons for getting another dog, and the wrong reasons that may actually invite a whole host of issues into your happy home.

The RIGHT Reasons
1. We all want another dog in the home
2. We have the time to train and socialise our new puppy alongside our existing dog
3. Our older dog needs some livening-up and we want a new puppy
4. We have been thinking of this for a long time and now the time is right
5. Our existing dog has no behavioural issues
6. Our dog loves other dogs, and now he has finished grieving for his old mate, it’s time to introduce a puppy into his life.

Loneliness
“My dog is lonely,” is a very common reason why some people invest in a second dog. This can be true however, it is important to understand that your dog is lonely for their existing ‘pack’ (AKA you) and not for a bouncing little puppy. If your dog is lonely because they are spending a lot of time away from you it could be that introducing a second dog may also introduce more expectations on your as a pet parent. It’s a good idea to think about the following;

  • Do I really have time to exercise and train an additional dog?
  • Why is my dog lonely?
  • Should I be spending more quality time with my dog, so they are not lonely?
  • If I get another dog, will I just have two lonely dogs on my hands?

If you are getting a second dog to help with loneliness it can certainly be a positive thing. But it is important to remember that the second dog will need as much as your attention as your current dog. Replacing daily walks or attention or time, with a second dog can be a recipe for disaster and certainly spell out double trouble for your home.

Another misconception that some pet people have is introducing a puppy too soon after another dog has passed away. In many circumstances, it is best to wait until your dog is no longer grieving the loss of their furry companion before introducing a puppy or another dog. Remember that they will grieve for their long-lost friend, with or without a bouncing pup around.

Behaviour Problems
If your current dog is showing symptoms of behavioural or training issues, call in the experts before getting another dog. Nine times out of 10, your new pup will learn these bad behaviours also and you will have two dogs with problems on your hands.

Boredom is a big one here. If your dog is bored and is digging giant holes in your yard or chewing everything in sight, investing in a second dog now before you have tackled this problem may cause a huge amount of problems. Chances are you will have two dogs exhibiting this behaviour instead of one. They will dig and chew and escape together. Consider enriching your pet’s environment and adding some extra exercise and training in. Once the problem is under control then consider adding a second dog to the home.

READY SET GO!
Now you are ready to be the proud pet parent of two dogs, remember to take your introductions slowly. Dogs are pack animals and introducing a new puppy will take a little time and patience. Some dogs will be super happy and jump in with love and forever cuddles, while others may take a little time to establish new boundaries.

Top tips include:

  • Go slowly
  • Introduce through a door so they can smell each other
  • Allow your current dog time and space
  • Don’t allow your puppy to constantly jump all over your excising dog
  • Lots of praise and pats
  • Remember nose to bum is polite “hello” doggy talk

Any problems or concerns call in the experts.

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