Bringing home another dog changes the whole dynamic in your house. Make sure you and your dog are prepared for those changes before you decide to bring another dog home. These are our tips for helping to decide if you are ready for another dog in your life.
Your current dog has rock solid training.
Second dog creates a built in distraction for everyday things. I am not talking about your current dog sort of knows stuff when you are holding a treat. If a majority of your life is a dream with your dog regardless of the circumstance, then you might be ready for next dog. Are you managing interactions at the door by holding current dogs’ collars? Maybe spend some time working on door manners before the next dog comes home. Wrangling two dogs is going to be much more frustrating than one.
Also keep in mind that just because you were able to train one dog by themselves, does not mean that the second dog is going to learn as quickly and easily. Be ready to reach out to a certified dog trainer for help as soon as trouble begins!
Your current dog is at least 18 months old
Dogs really don’t begin to mature and have their personalities settle in until they are 18 months old. Bringing home another dog before your current dog has the chance to really mature into the adult they are going to be can become overwhelming if the current dog needs some training or behavioral help. Some dogs also decide that they do not care for other dog friends as they mature. Give your current dog the time to mature and see if they actually enjoy the companionship of another dog.
A lifestyle that leads itself to training and working multiple dogs
Take a look at your everyday life. Do you have the time to carve out for a second dog’s training and care? Getting a second dog to keep current dog company usually leads to “littermate syndrome” where your dogs bond more closely with each other than with the humans. This typically creates issues with fighting with each other or the inability to cope with the world around them unless they are together. Are you prepared to train each dog alone, and together? Are you financially capable for food, training, veterinary care, and boarding for multiple dogs?
Who raised your last dog?
This is one of the questions that I have to unpack for many of my puppy clients. They have always had dogs in their lives and now they are older, kids are grown and away at college or have their own families. Their last dog was raised by a family with an older dog in the home. Now the kids and older dog are gone, and raising a new dog has fallen all on one person. It can be overwhelming and bringing home another dog can feel like a simple solution. I promise it is only going to create more work for the one person raising this dog.
Of course these are our tips for being successful. It does not mean you can’t be successful if you don’t meet these criteria. If all these boxes are checked and you still think you want another dog be ready for a big change in your day to day routine. Even the easiest of puppies can create havoc!