Advantages of having 2 dogs?

If you are wondering what is the right dog for you, this is the place to be. In this introductory forum we talk about topics such as breed vs. mix, size, age, grooming, breeders, shelters, rescues as well as requirements for exercise, space and care. No question is too silly here. This particular forum is for getting and giving helpful, nice advice. It is definitely not a forum for criticizing someone else's opinion, knowledge or advice. This forum is all about tail wagging and learning.

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Shandi *Oct- 2006 - Aug 2012*

Barked: Wed Apr 16, '08 1:31pm PST 
Well we are thinking about getting another dog to keep Shandi company. We would probably end up adopting one from a shelter. I would like to know some advantages/disadvantages of owning two dogs. I would also like to know some of the right reasons to get another dog.

I am looking to get another dog because Shandi has always lived with another dog. Since coming to live with us she has been very destructive and was a little stressed at first. She has developed a little bit of seperation anxiety and has gotten out three times already (we have put a pad lock on the side gate so she is unable to get out anymore). Shandi also has alot of energy and we would love a playmate for her. Are these good reasons to get another dog?

I realise that it is alot of responsability owning two dogs and I have only ever owned one at a time. The dogs will get around 1 hour of exercise a day which will be broken up into two blocks.

Chilly dog!
Barked: Wed Apr 16, '08 2:02pm PST 
Don't get another dog as a companion for your current dog. Only get another dog if YOU want a second dog. Yes, it may be beneficial for your dog to have a friend/playmate, but it is also just as likely that they may dislike or barely tolerate each other. In cases of true SA, another dog will not help (you may even have to deal with 2 dogs with SA instead of just one).

Barked: Wed Apr 16, '08 5:39pm PST 
I believe dogs appreciate other dogs as companions. It's why we have two big guys and two little guys. My dogs LOVE each other. They are crazy about each other. The two pairs are literally inseparable from each other. They interact with each other in a way I can't, and I'm glad we could work it so they could each have a friend.

Advantages are, as long as they're a good match for each other and get along, that they'll expel additional exercise playing with each other on top of the playtime and exercise they get with you. Unlike Monty I believe a playmate could help with your Shandi's SA, key operative word there - "COULD." Training, desensitization and distractions are your best bet in helping her, you work the training and desensitization, and another dog could provide the distraction needed for her to get a bit better.

Disadvantages are double the vet bills, think about yearly exams and vaccinations. Double the pet food, double the toys destroyed that need to be replaced, double the poo outside, double the wear and tear on the house, double the eyes needed to keep them both out of trouble etc.

If you can handle all that then I think it's not a bad idea to look into getting another dog. JMHO but an older calmer dog Shandi's size would be what I would recommend. I think it's wonderful you're asking all the right questions about proceeding with this NOW as opposed to just getting another dog and trying to deal with any repercussions later way to go


I'm just a- little brown- bear!
Barked: Wed Apr 16, '08 8:08pm PST 
Getting Kira as our second dog was one of the best decisions we've ever made smile Helix loves having a little sister to wrestle around with and as a result, he demands way less attention from us. He's mellowed out significantly and he is much calmer and more cuddly. Kira is the opposite of Helix in a lot of ways. She's calm and obedient, gentle and smart. She loves just being with us and she is very people-focussed (where as Helix is not!). We made sure that they were a good match when they met (Helix made the final adoption decision, BOL!) and we've had no problems at all. Two are definitely more expensive though, and they can be hard to walk together (but we just need to be better about training them for that). Good luck!
Lily Jane

The original- dachshund- supermodel!
Barked: Wed Apr 16, '08 11:59pm PST 
Bear with me here. I just love telling this story about my naughty pup!

I had wanted to get another dog for quite a while but was reluctant due to the cons...double the housetraining, double the vet bills, double the barking, etc. Well, Lily had developed some rather bad habits including barking nonstop when I left for work and urinating on the bed a lot. After ruling out veterinary causes for the latter, I was at wit's end over why she wouldn't stop urinating. Some people say that dogs can't communicate emotions as humans can, but I say they can because one night Lily sauntered into my bedroom, hopped on my lap and peed right on top of me!!! eek And then she just looked at me like...well? What are you expecting of me, tootz?! I'm lonely!

That was the deciding factor. I went out and adopted Lucy fairly soon after that. I was worried about her being 14, and Lily being so rambunctious. But it's been great. Lily keeps Lucy active; Lucy calms Lily down! Also, Lily hasn't barked like she used to and hasn't even hinted at urinating on the bed ever since the day that Lucy came home. It was the best thing I could've done for Lily by far. And it turned out pretty darn good for Lucy, too. And frankly, it's been good for me, too. cloud 9
Josie - CGC

California Girl
Barked: Thu Apr 17, '08 10:19am PST 
Shandi, as long as you want another dog for yourself, that does sound like favorable conditions for a second dog.

The most important thing in selecting a second dog is to match personalities with both your current dog and you. Invest your time at multiple shelters, it may take months to find one (it did me). However, you may find a match the first day! (it did my friend). A new dog must get along in harmony with your house. If not, you'll only make yourselves miserable... So invest your time! Don't fall for the first pretty face -- fall for the best pretty personality.

And thanks for considering adopting!!~~!@@# My BF just adopted yesterday... and I have a mad crush on his new pup!

When you visit shelters, pick first the dogs who fit your size/grooming/age requirements and you think look nice. Do not pick a dog based on their personality in the kennel! Almost every dog is a little bit different once they get out into fresh air (more/less energetic, more/less vocal, etc.). Take each dog you pick out in the shelter's "meeting area" for at least 10-20 minutes -- Little tip: let them sniff around and empty their bladders first before you expect them to focus on you.

If you you've found a dog you connect with, bring your current dog to the shelter to interview them together. They should get along well and play. A good match will be close in personality types, energy levels, and mesh well in general. The dog you pick should have a slightly lower energy level to ensure that when you take it home, it does not bully your current dog and take over the house. If a dog does not match, then keep your chin up and keep looking. The perfect dog is out there, waiting to come home!
blue dog
Levi - CGC

Can I catch it?- Can I eat it?- What's it?
Barked: Thu Apr 17, '08 10:33am PST 
Hi, this is Josie's "brother" Levi! wave I want to tell you about the pros and cons of having two dogs over one.


puppy Double the responsibilities.
puppy Double the dog training.
puppy Double the poop clean up.
puppy Extra energy spent on keeping the house in harmony. (NILIF)
puppy Two dogs can get into mischief together.
puppy Double the muscle required to keep dogs away from cats, squirrels.
puppy Double the bad habits, such as chewing and house destruction.
puppy Double the noise, maybe even 5x because they can easily set each other off.


puppy Dogs keep each other company when you're away.
puppy Some dogs play with each other, which burns some energy and releases some restfulness.
puppy Double the adorableness/hilarity/hijinks.
puppy Double the love. cloud 9

An hour of exercise is a good amount for most dogs. However, since Shandi is destructive and anxious already, you may want to consider investing another 0.5 hr. in exercise (1.5+ hr total). Do you have a dog park nearby you can let her run in? Does she play fetch? Give her something really strenuous to do. Consider getting her a doggy backpack to walk with. A second dog can help calm her down when you're away by keeping her company, but if the problem is a lack of exercise then a second dog could equate to double the destruction.
Cookies 'n'- Creme- (1998-2011)

Heart of a lion,- soul of a lamb
Barked: Thu Apr 17, '08 10:40am PST 
Two dogs are more entertaining.
When you leave to go somewhere, especially for a long time, they can keep each other company (if they like each other).
That's all I can think of, and I have two dogs.
When you get a new dog, it's always a good idea to have your current dog meet the new one on neutral (away from home) turf (like the park). If they like each other and you have decided that the new dog would be right for you, then go for it.way to go
More work (but worth it for me)
They will have scwabbles sometimes (Cookie and Treader do)

Edited by author Thu Apr 17, '08 10:42am PST

Shandi *Oct- 2006 - Aug 2012*

Barked: Thu Apr 17, '08 1:23pm PST 
You are being really helpful. I can see some great points.

Before we adopted Shandi we were actually thinking of getting a second dog when we had Sharna. I would just love to have a second dog and I am not just looking for one to cure Shandi's SA.

Our home is the second home Shandi has lived in and unlike my previous dogs I know all about Shandi's history. Her mum gave birth to her and she was the puppy that the people kept so she has lived with anyother dog her whole life. She has 2 dog friends that come around and she just lights up when she see's them. She anjoys playing and being around other dogs so much.

I have been volunteering at the local shelter for 4 years know so I know all about not picking the first dog. I prefer to get to know the dogs over the period of the day. I am not the type of person that buys a dog because they are cute. I am willing to wait until I find the perfect dog for me and Shandi. I searched for 3 months before I found Shandi but the wait is always worth it.

I am actually going to the shelter this weekend so I will check out the dogs then. I need a dog that can handle Shandi playing rough but I also don't want another large dog. I would like a dog around Beagle size. I probably won't adopt another dog for a few months but thanks to all of you dogsters I think we will be saving another lifesmile

Silly dog,- tricks are for- puppies!
Barked: Thu Apr 17, '08 7:49pm PST 
Getting Lobo has been GREAT. big grin This is the first time I've had more than one dog as well.

We started looking around for a dog, and I checked on Petfinder. What did I come across but Camey--the adorable pup that had been there all Summer. (I volunteer down there when off school.) We headed down to the shelter right away.

My aunt came with me, and being rather insecure around big dogs, tried to get me to look at an ugly little pug mix. big laugh Nope, I'd have nothing of it. Camey was mine, and it would be secured by the cat test, which she passed with flying colors.

When we got home, we did the whole introduce-on-neutral-territory thing, but Tank and her hit it off right away. During the first few weeks Tankey had to get used to sharing the space and not always being the center of attention, but loved her all the same. Though Camey--now Lobo--is literally three times his size in height and weight, she's incredibly gentle and they're constantly playing. happy dance I even put together a training act where Tank jumps over her and they do a Simon Says deal. laugh out loud

Overall, there have been no difficulties whatsoever with a new pup. She came to us antisocial and unsure, but is now well-adjusted and a great new member of the family. smile
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