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A Second Dog?

new-dogOwning two dogs can be twice the fun or double the trouble. Think about why you are considering another dog. If, for example, you have a dog that suffers from separation anxiety, then rather than solving the problem, your second dog may learn from your first and you then have two dogs with the problem instead of one.

The same applies if you have an unruly adolescent, cure the problem first and only introduce a second dog when your first is balanced.

A second dog will mean double vet’s fees, groomer’s fees, insurance and food. You may also need a larger car and holidays will be more problematic. Sit down with a calculator and work out the expected expense – you may be surprised!

Two dogs will need training, both separately and together. If the dogs do not receive enough individual attention they may form a strong bond with each other at the expense of their bond with you.

If you are tempted to buy two puppies from the same litter - DON’T! Your chances of creating a good bond with the puppies is very low and behaviour problems with siblings are very common.

Your dog may be sociable with other dogs but will not necessarily accept another dog into the household. You may find it useful to borrow a friend’s dog which is familiar with your own and have a “dummy run” of life in a two dog household.

Research your considered breed well, it may be best to buy a completely different breed to add balance. If you have a very active dog, would a quieter one be best to balance his high energy or would you enjoy the challenge of keeping two high energy dogs?

You will also need to think of any problems that may occur from keeping dogs of different sizes and ages. If you own an elderly Chihuahua then an adolescent Labradoodle may not be a good choice! If you decide to purchase a puppy, you will need to think very carefully about the amount of time and energy that will be involved in caring for two dogs with very different needs. A young puppy will need to have his exercise restricted until he has finished growing and will also need individual time for training.

Dogs of the same sex can and do live amicably in the same household, although harmony is more likely with a dog and bitch combination. If you decide to keep a dog and bitch together, then you will obviously need to address the neutering issue.

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