Friday, August 9, 2013

Double Trouble: Why Two Dogs are Sometimes Not Better than One

There is so much joy a new puppy can bring you; those cute puppy dog eyes, puppy breath and that playful carefree demeanor. So what happens when you fall in love with two new puppies instead of one? Do you adopt those cute little puppies, or do you resist the urge you have to adopt both and consider all of the facts first? A single puppy is a lot of work and, although two puppies can sound wonderful, they are also twice the work.  If you really want two pooches, first consider your motive behind wanting to get them. Today we are going to debunk the common reasons why people say they want two puppies, and why two puppies might not be the best idea for your family.

My dog needs someone to keep them company while I am gone.

Dogs do enjoy the company of other dogs and other people, but it’s also important to remember what can go on while you are not home. Double the dogs mean double the trouble; hours of being home alone could mean hours of mischief for both of your pets. Another good thing to keep in mind is that dogs from the same litter that grow up together usually bond closer with each other more than they bond with any human. This is commonly known as littermate syndrome, and can lead to issues when training.  Since training can usually bond a human and a dog, consider whether two dogs will be excited to work with you in class, or more interested in what their littermate is doing.

Since they are the same age, it won’t be much more work.

Getting a second dog means twice the amount of work, if not more. When it comes to training, housetraining, and vet visiting, it means you have to do twice the amount of what you expected to do with one dog. It is recommended that you bring your new dogs to training class separately, that means clearing at least two different class times in your schedule. It also means that when you are house training two dogs, if you spotted an accident, would you know what dog it was? Remember that having two dogs doubles your load of work. Do you have the time for both of your pooches?

My kids each want their own dogs, so I need to get two.

This idea sounds nice, but in reality you are going to be the one responsible most of the time for the dogs. Don’t let your kids be the deciding factor in getting a second dog. Your kids can share and bond with your pet in different ways. Look for classes that are offered that involve children, like our Kids Training Dogs class at Morris K9 Campus; it’s a great way to train your pet while helping to establish a connection between your child and your dog.

If I don’t take home the other dog, no one else will.

Don’t adopt a second dog out of sympathy. Remember that a dog is a 15 year commitment that shouldn’t be made just because you feel sorry for another dog. Adopt your puppy from a no-kill shelter and you can make sure the rescue will find the other pups a good home. If you are getting your dog from a breeder, don’t worry, the breeder will keep looking to find a suitable home.

Getting two dogs at the same time can be difficult, regardless if they are puppies or adult dogs.  Usually a good rule to go by is to wait at least 6 months in between getting dogs. This makes sure that your dog has time to adjust to their new household and that they also have time to bond with you. If you do end up getting two dogs together, it best to consult a local trainer for advice. Trainers can be helpful for anything from housebreaking to how they should be left when they are home alone. A puppy can be fun, but it’s also a lot of work, so make sure you are prepared before brining your new puppy home.

1 comment:

  1. My parents gave into the two puppies for two kids thing... those huskies had bad littermate syndrome, my parents divorced, my brother and I went off to college... There were HUGE medical bills for two teenage huskies while having two kids in college... A lot of people see me now, with my three dogs, and say they want to get another to keep their dog company and I always advice against it!