Are 2 Dogs Better Than 1?
by Ron King
How could 1 dog ever be enough for a dog lover?
Before you decide to add another dog to the family, there are some important concerns about your current dog you should consider.
Your current canine companion loves you, but how will it feel about sharing you? If it is sweet, servile and submissive, a new dog could bully your first dog into a life of fear and despair. With a submissive dog, never accept a puppy that won't let you cradle it upside down in your arms. A puppy that will let you hold it as you would an infant is willing to be submissive.
If your dog is a bit of a bully with other dogs and the new dog shares the same trait, beware! There are major battles on the horizon, until they sort out who is the alpha dog. Sometimes, with equally dominant personalities, the battles never end. After a few skirmishes and trips to the vet, you'll be regretting the new addition to your family.
Your best chance for adding a new dog to the mix are with a balanced and confident current pet. Dogs that are neither overly dominant, nor submissive, are more likely to accept and survive the addition of another dog in the household.
Your next consideration is the size of your dog. If you have a little terrier, you should avoid a Great Dane pup. A large, energetic puppy can accidentally injure a small dog repeatedly before it's aware of its strength. On the other hand, if you currently own a full-grown Golden Retriever, which undoubtedly has a terrific temperament, you may be able to bring a small-breed puppy into the family.
You should watch the dogs closely in the early days when they're together. More than 1 German Shepard has become the devoted protector of an iddy-biddy lap dog.
If your dog is an unaltered female, she may become very unhappy if another female dog enters her domain. She may need to be altered before she will accept a second female in the pack. She could still show some aggression even after being spayed. A male puppy might be a wiser choice. Besides, unless you're prepared to suddenly be the proud owner of a half-dozen more dogs, you'll have to alter at least 1 of them.
If your dog is older, you may want to reconsider buying a puppy. Older dogs often have aches and pains, and are more impatient than when they were younger. Instead, think about getting a mature dog. It will be an easier adjustment for your older dog.
Mix And Match
Toy lap-dog breeds tend to be spoiled by their owners and are jealous of other dogs. Getting a new puppy with child-like demands on your time is not going to bring out the best from the dog that has grown to expect your undivided attention. A pampered pooch can be a challenge. The more aggressive breeds, such as Rottweilers and Pit Bulls, are also likely to have problems. Some dogs simply don't adjust well to competition -- ever.
In the final analysis, all dogs are individuals with independent personalities. You should know best whether a new puppy will be welcomed.