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Should you get one or multiple dogs? Here’s all you need to know
If you already have a dog in your house – let’s say a toy Goldendoodle – does it make any sense to get another one – say a labradoodle?
Yes and No!
Yes: because if you get a second dog, they can keep each other’s company, as well as make your home a livelier place to be.
No: because bringing in a second dog may not go down well with the first, leading to constant fights and tussles between the creatures.
But they say dogs are pack animals!
Although books and literature label dogs as pack animals, there is nothing “packie” about the way most dogs react to having another canine come live with them in their abode. In fact, for most dogs, another canine is not a little pal but a competition for everything that matters to them.
So, by bringing in another dog to join your furry friend at home, you might end up creating a bigger problem rather than solving one.
Having said that, can we now conclude that one shouldn’t have more than one dog pet at home?
No, not exactly.
You can have more than one if you wish to.
But here are some rules you must follow.
- Ensure the new dog is different from the old dog
When buying a new dog, you need to ensure that the breed is completely different in every way possible from the one already at home.
For example, if the existing dog at home is a toy-orientated dog, you want to ensure you aren’t bringing another toy-orientated dog into the house. Otherwise, you may have to keep settling toy-fights and toy-tussles almost every day.
Instead, you can bring in a scent-orientated dog to complement a toy-orientated dog. Since their choices and interests are different, they will have lesser reasons to clash.
- Go for opposite sex if you’re getting the same breed
Some dog lovers love some particular breeds of dogs so much that they don’t mind having a dozen of them running around the house.
If you’re one such person, then you may want to consider making your new dog the opposite gender of the old one. Remember, a male dog will generally be happier with a bitch; but it is a lot of work to keep a household of bitches or male dogs calm.
- Make your choice based on the purpose each dog will serve
Another mistake people make is buying two dogs that serve the same purpose.
If you don’t want any behavioral issues or conflicts on your hands, you should try your best not to buy a new dog that will fight the old one over tasks and activities.
For instance, if you already have a parlor dog, you might create a tension in the house by bringing in another parlor dog.
So, generally speaking, you should look at the purpose the first breed is serving, and pick a new dog whose purpose is different so that they won’t have a reason to be fighting over the same activities.
- Keep their spaces separate
Same breed or not, same gender or not, same age or not, every dog loves to have their own space, meals, and time to themselves. So, if you’re bringing in a new canine pal, you need to ensure they aren’t eating into the space, meal, and attention of the other one.
As a general rule of thumb, you should keep their beds apart, offer each one a separate feeding and water bowl, and avoid restricting them to congested areas.
By and large, you should ensure the presence of one doesn’t affect the other in any way.
- Build an intimate first meeting
Sometimes the reason why most dogs frown at the arrival of another canine is because of the way in which you, the owner, introduced them to each other.
Most owners, after buying a new dog from a breeder, just bring the dog home straight and throw him in with the other one without any Oirmal introduction or association.
This is a very bad approach.
Imagine your partner bringing home a stranger without any prior notice and then telling you, “babe, this is X, and she’s your new friend.” How will you feel?
Instead of bringing the two dogs head-on to meet in the compound, you can prepare them by walking them together a few times before the new dog comes home. Do this with one handler per dog, and walk them parallel to each other with handlers in between.
Once all seems tranquil, they can be allowed off-lead together.
This way, the two can form a positive association with each other during the pleasant activity of taking exercises.