Twice as Nice or
Two Dogs in the Family
One of the most
common questions I'm asked is about getting a second dog.
Owners, especially those who work all day, believe a second dog will be
company for the existing dog and be a lot of fun for the family.
It can work out
that way. Dogs are socialable and many love playing with
guidelines, it's usually not a good idea to have two females. A
female and male or two males usually work better. Also, most dogs get
best with their same breed although some dogs; i.e., Cavalier King
Spaniel, like just about any dog breed.
If you do have two
males, it's a good idea to have at least one of them
neutered to minimize the dominance problems that often appear during
adolescence. If they're having a problem sorting out which is top dog,
neutering the less dominant one will resolve that quickly!
It's also not a
good idea to get two puppies. Not only is that an amazingly
greater amount of work for you, it's likely the puppies, especially if
the same litter, will bound better with each other than you.
Before you get that
second dog, do answer these seven questions.
1. Is your existing
dog sociable and good with other dogs? If not, he may
become a recluse or act aggressively with the new dog.
2. Are you hoping
to cure a behavior problem of your existing dog's? More
likely the new dog will adopt the same neuroses.
3. Are you trying
to minimize the time you spend with your dog? Dogs need
human company and most dogs benefit from a daily walk with their owner.
You'll need to spend individual quality time with each dog to get to
him as an individual.
4. Have you
budgeted for two dogs? They may not be double trouble but they
will be double bills. More food, grooming and vet bills can mount up
5. Do you want to
travel or take lengthy vacations? Many places that will
take one dog
may be reluctant to have two dogs. If you leave the dogs at a kennel,
now have double kennel fees.
6. Are you prepared
to train two dogs? Each will need to be trained
separately. This also gives them time apart so they get used to being
You don't want them to become distressed by suddenly being split up, as
instance if one of them has to be at an animal hospital.
7. Are you
emotionally ready to accept
the two dogs bonding more closely to each
other than to you? That's not uncommon.
Many people have
two, and sometimes more, dogs so it can be done but you
should think carefully before you make that commitment.
Louise Louis is
a certified canine
specialist, dog owner and all-round
Copyright 2004 by Canyon New Media, LLC.
All rights reserved.