If you’re anything like us, once you have one dog, you just keep wanting more! You couldn’t get enough of their puppy days before they grew up…It’s almost like baby fever for us dog lovers. And after all, wouldn’t your dog love a friend to play with when you’re out?
Adding a second dog can mean double the cuteness… but it can quickly turn into double the trouble, if he’s not properly integrated into your home. Just as there are steps you need to take in order to “puppy proof” your home when getting a first dog, there are steps that need to be taken to make the adjustment smooth for both the new dog and your beloved first furry friend. If you do choose to get a second dog, take precautions, and avoid these common mistakes to ensure that both dogs will be healthy and happy in their environment.
Common Mistakes When Getting a Second Dog:
1.Getting two dogs of the same sex and breed
Who doesn’t love twins, right? Wrong. Although it may be adorable to walk around with two dogs that are almost identical, you’ll probably realize that there is quite a bit of tension between the two. Studies have shown that two dogs in the same household of the same sex and breed are much more likely to have inter-dog aggression. Since they have the same “hardwired” behaviors, it will take a lot of work in the training phase. When it comes to dogs, opposites certainly attract. Try getting a second dog whose behaviors will complement those of the first dog.
2. The two dogs are not introduced gradually
We often just assume that two dogs will meet and automatically get along. However, when was the last time you met someone, became best friends in five minutes, and are ready to spend every waking moment with them? You wouldn’t do that to humans, so it’s not fair to do to our pets either. It can take several weeks for dogs to become comfortable with each other. Gradual, supervised interactions are often the best way to introduce the two dogs until they can eventually be left alone together.
3. Getting a second dog before the first is trained and socialized
The best time to introduce a new dog to the family is when the first dog is already properly socialized and well trained in household etiquette. This makes it easier for you, the owner, to be able to dedicate your time to training the new dog.
4. Assuming the second dog will learn manners from the first dog
This is a common misconception among dog owners. In an ideal world, yes, the second dog would be able to learn right from wrong just by watching the first dog. However, we have to remember that he is just a puppy and is going to need all the same training that the first dog needed. Take him to private lessons, and on individual walks to teach him leash manners before taking them out together. Training or walking them together could cause one to pick up on bad habits from the other.
5. The new dog never gets alone time
We typically don’t realize how dependent the second dog become on dog #1, until they are separated. The first dog is well-socialized, but the second dog became so reliant on the first dog that he does not know how to act when he is not around. It is important that he learns to be independent from the beginning. Leave him home alone without the first dog, take him to the park alone, etc. until he feels comfortable.
Contact Canine College
For more tips and training techniques, contact Canine College! We offer private lessons, group classes, and more to make the transition of adding a new dog to your home seamless! Fill out our form or call us today.