Getting a Second Dog – What You Need To Know
By Andrew Strachan
As many dog lovers find, having one dog is sometimes just not enough. Many people feel that their existing dog would enjoy the company of a new play friend or they may feel that a second dog would make the family complete. Whatever the reasons for wanting another dog, there are a few important things that you may want to consider.
First, you may want to consider your dog’s nature. If your beloved pet is a bit of a bully and the new dog isn’t submissive, there are going to be some major battles before they sort out which dog is in charge. Sometimes, two dogs are equally dominant and these battles flare up again and again. By the time you visit your veterinarian for the fourth or fifth time to have their battle scars treated, you may be regretting the purchase of a second dog.
If you have a very timid dog as your first dog, you may also run into difficulty. Your new dog may bully your first dog and make her life a misery. The ideal second dog is one that doesn’t lean too far in either direction. Make your choice for a second dog around the personality of your existing dog. If you have a submissive dog at home, try and choose a dog that will not be too boisterous and domineering.
Also consider your current dog’s size. If you have a Shih Tzu, you may not want to buy a Rottweiler puppy. A big, puppy can hurt a small dog quite a few times before it realizes its own strength.
Unaltered female dogs are often upset when another female dog enters their domain. You may need to alter your dog before she will accept another female. She may still show some aggression after being spayed, so a male puppy may be a wiser choice. (Don’t forget to have at least one of your pets altered, unless you intend having a new litter of puppies.)
If you have an older dog, it may be best not to buy a puppy. These dogs often have aches and pains and are less patient than they were when they were younger. Instead, you may want to consider adding a more settled and mature dog to the family. After all, it will be easier on your older dog to adjust to a dog that has finished teething and chewing.
Finally, some breeds of dogs have more trouble accepting a new puppy than other breeds. Some of the toy breeds become a bit spoiled and jealous of other dogs. If you have a pampered Yorkshire Terrier or Miniature Pinscher, you may find that introducing the new puppy can be a bit of a challenge. Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, and other breeds that have problems with aggression may have problems, as well. However, each dog is an individual and some dogs who are members of these breeds have no problem accepting a new puppy.
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