Should You Adopt a Second Dog?
Dogster: My husband and I frequently debate about whether to add another dog to our family. We adopted Sasha, our Australian Shepherd/Border Collie mix, five years ago when she was three years old, and she’s brought so much joy into our lives. Wouldn’t two dogs be twice as fun? I think that dogs are pack animals and most would prefer to live with other dogs. My husband contends that Sasha would prefer to be an “only dog” and not have a canine sibling. I can’t tell if he really believes this or is projecting his anxieties about getting a second dog.
Is there room on the couch for another dog besides Sasha?
It doesn’t help that I volunteer for Copper’s Dream, a rescue organization that saves dogs from high-kill shelters in Central California and brings them to foster homes in the San Francisco Bay Area for adoption. I help post adoptable dogs on Craigslist, and at least once a week I fall in love with a dog’s smile or beautiful sad eyes. Like many of us dog lovers, I feel the urge to save them all.
I consulted with a couple of dog trainers to get professional opinions on this topic. It turns out that neither me nor my husband are correct (darn!). What it boils down to is whether the pet parents are prepared to take on the additional responsibility and how the introduction between the dogs is handled.
Gloria Post, a certified dog trainer with Hands On Dog Training, recommends that pet parents consider the following factors when weighing whether to add another dog to the family:
- Do you have the time to commit to another dog? For instance, time for walks and training?
- What type of temperament does your current dog have? What would be a good match for your dog? Does your dog like to run and play all day or is the dog contented to stretch out on the couch and relax?
- If you decide to get another dog who is the same age as your resident dog, you should consider that someday they will both be old at the same time. This might involve large medical expenses. Is that something that you’re willing to do? A three to five year age span seems to work best between dogs.
Post added that dogs of the opposite gender seem to be more compatible than same-gender dogs, and some rescue organizations or shelters may restrict adoptive parents to only adopt a dog of a different gender from their current dog. She says terriers are most prone to this sensitivity.
Once you’ve determined that you are indeed ready to adopt another dog, keep in mind the age, personality and gender of the dog that might be most compatible with your family when you conduct your search. When you find a dog that might be a match, set up a play date for the dogs. Marthina McClay, certified dog trainer with Dog Training for People, suggests you schedule one or two play dates and let your dog decide if he or she likes the other dog. “Go slow, don’t rush things,” she advises.
And don’t bring the new dog into the house (aka your dog’s territory) right away. Instead, have them meet on neutral territory and slowly check each other out. If things appear to be going well, then bring them to the front yard and later inside the house. This means that both dogs appear relaxed and neither dog is exhibiting rude behavior such as mounting the other dog. McClay advises keeping an eye on the dogs’ posture to see their level of acceptance with the new arrangement and that neither dog appears overly aroused, nervous, stiff or fearful. And above all, don’t lavish too more attention on the new dog, so that you’re resident dog doesn’t feel left out.
Read more on getting a new dog:
- How to Introduce Your New Dog to Your Resident Dog
- 5 Things to Consider Before Getting a Second Dog
- Will a Second Dog Cure My Pet’s Separation Anxiety?
- A Guide to Puppy Socialization
- Socializing Older Dogs and Adult Dogs
JOMP: We have 4 furkids and due to business related moves, we have had to temporarily introduce a new dog into our pack twice now in two years and amazingly, even though ours are little hesitant to socialize because they have developed a bit of a pack mentality, they have adjusted both times without any problem…
August 19, 2013 - Posted by justonemorepet | Adopt Just One More Pet, animal behavior, Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Related Education, Animal Rescues, animals, Chihuahua, Chiweenie, Dogs, Dogs, Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Adoption, Pet and Animal Training, Pet Friendship and Love, Pets, responsible pet ownership, Success Stories | Adopt Just One More Pet, furkids, JOMP, Just One More Pet, pack mentality, packs
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Save a Life…Adopt Just One More…Pet!
Everyday we read or hear another story about pets and other animals being abandoned in record numbers while at the same time we regularly hear about crazy new rules and laws being passed limiting the amount of pets that people may have, even down to one or two… or worse yet, none.
Nobody is promoting hoarding pets or animals, but at a time when there are more pets and animals of all types being abandoned or being taken to shelters already bursting at the seams, there is nothing crazier than legislating away the ability of willing adoptive families to take in just one more pet!!
Our goal is to raise awareness and help find homes for all pets and animals that need one by helping to match them with loving families and positive situations. Our goal is also to help fight the trend of unfavorable legislation and rules in an attempt to stop unnecessary Euthenization!!
“All over the world, major universities are researching the therapeutic value of pets in our society and the number of hospitals, nursing homes, prisons and mental institutions which are employing full-time pet therapists and animals is increasing daily.” ~ Betty White, American Actress, Animal Activist, and Author of Pet Love
So if you have the room in your home and the love in your heart… Adopt Just One More Pet or consider becoming a Foster parent for pets… Also check out: Little Critter: Just One More Pet
Photos By: Marion Algier – The UCLA Shutterbug
There is always room for Just One More Pet. So if you have room in your home and room in your heart… Adopt Just One More! If you live in an area that promotes unreasonable limitations on pets… fight the good fight and help change the rules and legislation…
Save the Life of Just One More…Animal!
Recent and Seasonal Shots
As I have been fighting Cancer… A battle I am gratefully winning, my furkids have not left my side. They have been a large part of my recovery!! Ask Marion
Photos by the UCLA Shutterbug are protected by copyright, Please email at JustOneMorePet@gmail.com or find us on twitter @JustOneMorePet for permission to duplicate for commerical purposes or to purchase photos.
If you can adopt or foster just one more pet, you could be saving a life, while adding joy to your own! Our shelters are over-flowing… Please join the fight to make them all ‘NO-Kill’ facilities.
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If You Were Stranded On An Island…A recent national survey revealed just how much Americans love their companion animals. When respondents were asked whether they’d like to spend life stranded on a deserted island with either their spouse or their pet, over 60% said they would prefer their dog or cat for companionship!
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