Getting a second dog: Tips to survive

Getting a second dog will not be as easy as you may think. Even if you dream they will be friends since the first day (playing together from dusk til dawn and sleeping in the same bed) reality might unfortunately be quite different. 

We are not friends with everyone we meet , most of us have just acquaintances and only a small group of close friends that we really like. 

It is unlikely our dog will love every other dog because we do. In the best scenario the 2 members of the pack will just patiently coexist and will never be the best buds we want them to be. 

A very careful selection must occur in the choice of a second pet:

~ he needs to match with our dog personality, to compliment the personal traits

~ a confident dog is positive to help teaching the other one to be more secure in the environment

~ a senior dog will not match good with a puppy who wants to play all the time and has the energy of ten dogs: —- } better in this specific case to adopt an older one (3 to 5 y.o.) or another senior like our currently one to obtain a better coexistence.

~ if our dog has behaviour issue it is legit to wonder if it is a good idea to get another one: it is quite sure that those bad behaviours will get worse with the arrival of a new dog

~ gender and size are an important matter too because opposite sex get along better than same gender.

~ Second best option is to have two males

~ Two females are the most likely to have issues.

~ recommendations: buy different food and water bowls and put them far from one another

~ buy two different dog beds in different places

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~ Keeps the dogs separated at first. 24 hours of separation are helpful to adapt and create a smoother transition. it becomes more calm and balanced.

~ even the easiest dogs get stressed when another dog enter their territory

~ new dog should never run loose in the house, a leash is highly recommended in beginning to understand the behavior and the reaction.

~ use a baby gate to separate the area for the new dog in order to relax and adjust. 


Introduction stage begins. 

~ never introduce the new dog inside your house

~ take both dogs for a long walk

~ walk parallel to each other, one in front and one in the back (you gonna need the help of second person )

~ when after the walk both dogs seem calm, allow them to sniff each other. 

~ watch the body language: showing teeth, growling, erect tail, ears back are bad signs, separate the dogs and walk again. 

~ interactions must be short and sweet

~ once the meeting is successful, bring the dogs inside the house. 

~ resident dog enters first and welcomes the new one inside.

~ let the dogs run around the backyards together but keep it short and never leave the two dogs alone. 

~ continue being super aware of their spaces and personal toys that must stay separated even for months, depending on the dog personality and temperament. It takes time to unwind and help both dogs understand the situation. 


Consider everything that goes into owning two dogs: 

~ more dog poop to pick up

~ more dog hair

~ more expensive vet bills

~ think if your dog really wants a companion or it is just you who thinks about that.

Having two dogs can be a lot of fun but take into consideration all the points above.

Good Luck!!

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