Having a dog is one of life’s greatest joys, so two means twice the fun right? Dogs are social creatures so getting a second canine addition to the family can enrich the lives of both your dog and family. We’ve all had the dream of bringing a new sibling home, double the love, instant bond and Instagram-worthy family pictures but before you dive into two-pet parenting, it’s time to understand what you’re getting into and whether it is a decision for you! In this article, we’ll take you through common questions, the benefits, and other things to consider if you’re thinking of bringing a second pup into the family.
Is it too early?
There is no hard and fast rule when it comes to what age is best for you and your dog because temperament and behaviours are not subjected to age. More importantly, personalities will play a pivotal role in building relationships. Consider factors like is your dog a couch potato or has high energy levels? How does he/she interact with other dogs? It helps to have dogs that have similar energy capabilities! Also, think about size differences, if you have a small dog for example a Pomeranian, getting a large breed like a Husky can cause serious injuries to the smaller breed.
You should also ask yourself if your dog is fully trained and well-bonded to you, if your family is on-board and do you have the time and financial means to care for a second dog. Every dog has individual personalities, it is crucial to understand your dog’s personality and energy levels before adding another to your home and enjoy the benefits of a second friend!
01 Your dog will have a personalised friend/companion
Playtime is essential for a dog’s health, happiness and socialisation. While a second dog is not a substitute for one-on-one time with your dogs, it is an easy (and adorable) way to keep your dog’s exercise levels up. Not to mention, they will keep each other entertained and company while you are out of the house. We all know a bored dog can be a mischievous dog, adding a personalised friend and companion can help with that.
02 Training is easier
You might be surprised that training will be easier with two dogs! The older sibling can teach a new dog tricks and even the rules of the house. Dogs are pack animals and your new pup will likely look for a pack leader or in other words an older sister or brother, a role that your older dog will naturally take on. Having an older dog can also make potty training easier (Phew!). Dogs pick up habits fast and usually do their business where other dogs have gone so potty training can come more naturally with a senior pup around.
03 Happier dogs
It is a common misconception that getting a second dog will solve your first dog’s behavioural issues. That being said, there are generally many emotional benefits (for you and your dog!) by bringing a second canine friend into the family. Dogs are pack animals and a second enforces a “pack feel” and can make your dog feel more secure. Dogs are very sociable creatures and having a permanent playmate can bring lots of comfort and love into both the dogs’ lives. This is especially so when you’re away and the house is empty for longer periods, having a friend around can keep your dog calm and entertained.
04 Decreased Exercising needs
You may be thinking that twice the dogs mean twice the exercising but that’s not true. Having a second dog may actually decrease exercise time. Exercise can take up a huge chunk of your day depending on the breed and size of your dog, an additional benefit to having a personalised companion is that they will be more engaged with each other outside. It takes some of the physical exercise off you while you watch your two dogs happily play and enjoy life together!
05 Twice the love to give and enjoy
The benefit we’ve all been waiting for. Most people want a second dog because of the love and joy their first one brought into the home and there’s truly nothing better! Two dogs will mean more work but it also means double the love. There are both pros and cons you and/or your family have to weigh, getting a second dog is a huge commitment but if it’s right for you, it can be incredibly rewarding for both you and your two pups! From easier training, emotional health for pups and giving a second puppy a home, there are many solid reasons that two are better than one.
Concerns you may have
#1 Are opposite genders better?
We’re here to dispel the myth that opposite genders are better! What is the most important when looking to bring a second dog into the family is the compatibility of your first dog’s personality with the new pup. Consider things like how sociable your current dog is, what his energy levels are like and his character when interacting with other dogs. Understanding the personality and behaviours of your first dog is key to adding a second friend into the family!
#2 Will my other dog get jealous?
Even though jealousy can be a real possibility, there are many things you can do to help your current dog adjust to the new pup! Oftentimes everyone’s excited and wants to give all their attention to the new puppy and the first step to avoiding jealousy is to not neglect your older dog and continue showering him/her with plenty of love and attention. This will help build a harmonious relationship between your two dogs!
#3 Will my dog get very attached to the new pup?
When your two dogs get along (which is the dream!) they will become very good friends in no time. But if you are concerned that you might be replaced, not to worry! Dogs are loyal animals that form bonds with their owners that are not easily broken as I’m sure you know. Just like how a second dog should not be a replacement for a busy owner, a second canine won’t replace you!
#4 How much harder is it to take care of two dogs?
There will be times when double the love means more work but you’ll be surprised that it won’t be that much more work with two dogs. You’ll continue doing everything you’re doing with your current dog just with a second friend in the mix! Having two canine buddies will double the cuteness, love and fun without doubling your work!
Tips on bringing home your second dog
Here are some training tips you can do for a smooth transition into bringing a second dog into your family!
- Positive reinforcement training works! You want your dogs to share positive first-time experiences with each other. Firstly, allow your two dogs to sniff and normally greet each other with your supervision. Use positive reinforcements with praises and let them explore, throughout their interaction you can also begin incorporating simple commands like “sit” and “stay” before allowing them to interact again
- Make sure to observe any signs or behaviours of both your dogs as they adjust to one another. Give them separate food and water bowls with no food after mealtime. It is also best to separate toys until you know they’ll get along.
- Reward your dog with praises and treats when you start to see your dog get along with his new puppy friend, this will enforce positive behaviour! Remember your job is to supervise during this adjustment period, patience is key and it may take time but the result is so worth it! We wish you all the best!
Bringing home a second dog can be nerve wrecking and we hope this article helped answer some questions you may have had. We definitely think that the pros outweigh the cons! There’s nothing better than coming home to two dogs who you love and who love you unconditionally. If you are considering a second dog, you’re not alone! It isn’t a decision to be taken lightly, there are many considerations and we are here to help! Like any training process patience is key, introducing a new dog into the family and socialisation between your new and current dog will take time and most importantly, enjoy the process!
Here at PMP, we believe that transparency is key and we maintain such a relationship with our breeders in Australia and Germany. We are passionate about spreading awareness and educating new owners about the importance of sourcing from ethical breeders that surround their puppies with love and care. Our breeders make sure that parents are cleared for all genetic diseases and only reproduce 3-4 times in their lifetime. Sourcing your puppy from ethical breeders is the first step in ensuring a happy and healthy life for your puppy. We’re here to guide you along with the knowledge, skills and community necessary to care for your new pup with confidence.