Often we hear things like:
‘My dog is ripping up my yard. I think it’s lonely, I’m thinking of getting another dog to keep it company.’ or;
‘We are about to purchase 2 puppies so they won’t be lonely.’ or;
‘If I get another dog, that means I won’t have to walk the first one because they will play all day and wear each other out.’
I hate to break it to you but two dogs does not equal half the work load. In fact, it’s more likely to triple it. Also, getting another dog does not guarantee that your first dog will stop tearing up your yard. You may just end up with two dogs working in a team to tear up the new garden bed you just put in up the back.
Purchasing two puppies at once is like committing to having twins. You will never sleep again. Ok, maybe that’s an exaggeration but seriously, it’s a lot of hard work and expense in the beginning.
My suggestion is always to make sure your first dog is trained and then purchase a second. You will find that most pups or new dogs will look to the other dog for guidance before they look to you. So if your first dog is shredding your pool pump for entertainment, the likelihood of your second dog joining in is fairly high. If you train your first dog and it knows all the rules and is settled into a nice routine, you will find that it will teach the second dog the good stuff 🙂
Be careful of the age gap when purchasing a new dog also. Often, older dogs will struggle with a new puppy in the house. It’s like grandparents living with the grand kids. If they never get a break, they get worn out! The energy levels aren’t the same.
Getting a second dog doesn’t mean your walking duties are over. Dogs are just like us, they get cabin fever. Imagine being locked inside your house for weeks on end. You would go crazy!! Dogs need different environmental stimulation also.
Below is a great example of how bringing another dog into the picture can create extra work.
The picture is of Nuggett who is currently 12 and Mick who is 3. Both get along when training but generally are given separate areas for 3/4 of the day. Nuggett is too old to cope with Mick’s shenanigans. Mick being a typical young dog is full of energy and is incredibly cheeky. His favourite game is to bop Nuggs on the head with his paw and then dodge being bitten. Nuggs is a serious old man so supervision is necessary when they are together. Leaving them alone together all day would end badly.
Which brings me to my next point. There is no guarantee that your dogs are going to like each other. This is fair. After all, you don’t like everybody that you meet, do you. If that happens, you have to be prepared to put in the work to help them either get along or separate and supervise.
Saying all of that, having more than 1 dog can be fantastic. We currently have 3 and couldn’t imagine our life without any of them. If you are considering getting another dog, take into consideration the points above and if you have the time, money and patience then go ahead!! If you are short of any of those, maybe 1 dog is right for you at this time 🙂
We hope this helped 🙂