One dog or two?
Should we get 2 dogs?
Bringing a new puppy into the household is a big responsibility, with a significant investment in time and money to be made. For this reason, many people balk at the idea of buying a second dog. Yet many others consider getting a second puppy to be a great idea. They know their busy schedule will keep them away from the house for many hours of the day and the puppies can keep each other company while they are out. For many smaller breeds such as Cavoodles and Cavachons, having another dog with them makes them feel safer and happier when you are not home. For certain households this strategy of owning 2 dogs makes sense but there are a few factors to consider when it comes to deciding whether you get one puppy or two.
What are the negatives of owning two dogs?
Two pups growing up together can create a couple of drawbacks. The most obvious being some extra work, and of course, double the mess. Two pups can also become dependent on each other and subsequently pay less attention to their human owners during training, creating issues with trying to train both at the same time. It can be very difficult to train two pups simultaneously who are used to each other’s’ company and can be distracted by each other. Separating them during training will help in the early stages of learning each new trick, and will help to speed up training efforts.
While you may be starting to think that maybe two puppies aren’t such a good idea after all, there is actually a way to bring two animals into the home which negates all of the above problems – simply wait a while before introducing the second puppy. This gives the original pup plenty of time to bond with his human family and find his place in the world. The original animal then has a chance to develop at his own pace, receive focused training, and become a good leader by learning from his own mistakes.
So when do you introduce the second puppy?
Opinions vary and some experts recommend at least 12 months should pass before introducing another puppy to the household, while others believe 2 pups from the same litter have already worked out who is the leader of the two.
When the second puppy arrives in a year or so he will have a well-adjusted animal he can look up to for guidance. The established dog will be in a position of authority and can discipline the younger pup when appropriate, but still be young enough that both can enjoy a bit of puppy rough housing. Young pups are also more likely to show respect towards an adult dog than they would towards a puppy of the same age and the older dog will relish having a puppy to lead around the house.
Are 2 dogs double the work?
Often, many owners who have only ever had one dog worry that two dogs means double the work they need to put in compared to having just the one dog but in most cases the opposite is true. A second dog gives the first dog an outlet for excess energy built up during the day so they are calmer by the time you come home from work.
Will they bond less with me?
Dogs are pack animals and as such, relish the opportunity to spend time with other dogs. As close as we are to our dogs, we can never be the same as another dog to our own pet. Dogs in the same household share a special bond, very similar to human sibling children, arguing and competing at times, but ultimately happy to have each other to play with. Ultimately though, we as humans are the pack leaders, and dogs will always try to strengthen their bond with the pack leader. Owning two dogs will not cause your first dog to forget about you but usually try to become your favourite of the two!
There are plenty of great reasons to get two dogs but when and how you do it is a decision that needs some thought. This isn’t to say that it is for everyone, but it pays to give it some consideration, and if possible visit or speak to friends or family who own two dogs for their advice also. You may think it’s double the work, but it could also prove to be double the fun!