Why Getting A Second Dog Is A Good Idea

Today I’m jumping into the time machine turning the clocks back to 2004 when I first picked up my rescue dog, Linus and also the first time I thought about getting a second dog.

When I was a kid my mother read me Where the Red Fern Grows (affiliate link) and ever since then I always wanted two dogs: a brother (Old Dan) and a his little sister (Little Ann).  However, after doing a ton of research and reading several books on raising and training puppies I decided that picking up two puppies at the same time was probably not the best idea.  I guess I wouldn’t be living my childhood dream to be like little Billy Colman and his two Coonhounds.

So how did I end up with two dogs?  Keep reading to find out!

Why Not Two Puppies?

Golden Retriever Puppies

Be careful! Your two adorable puppies could end up being a two-headed MONSTER!

Before finding Linus at our local shelter I researched the many different dog breeds and studied everything from potty training to basic obedience to crate training.  I was prepared to adopt my first puppy and during this time I learned that two puppies was not necessarily twice the fun.

I can tell you now from experience that raising one puppy takes up almost all of your time and tests your patience to the limit.  Now lets consider two puppies.  Two pups require extra attention as they should be coddled and trained separately within your home otherwise you risk the two pups bonding to each other more than they bond with you.

Now imagine trying to housetrain two puppies at the same time…can you say, “twice as many accidents in the house!”  While Snoopy from Snoopy’s Dog Blog would be thrilled to hear all of the mischief surrounding two puppies I don’t think I could put up with more than one mischievous puppy at a time.

The Temptation Of Two Puppies

As fate would have it when I went to our local animal shelter and found Linus low and behold he was lying right next to his sister.  She was a beautiful tri-color Australian Shepherd mix.  She looked much more like an Aussie than Linus who was all black.  I was very tempted to bring them both home with me, but decided to stick with the experts advice and wait at least a year before getting a second dog.

Should I Get A Second Dog?

First take a gander at this wonderful video from Pets Add Life (PAL) showing why “Pets need a pal to talk to”.

When Linus was about 2 years old I decided just like the video that he needed a pal to talk to and play with.  I started by fostering puppies and dogs for one of our local dog rescues called Cuddly Canines.  I was probably within inches of adopting one of our German Shepherd foster pups, but all 7 found homes fairly quickly and I was happy to see the smiles on each family that brought home a pup.

In the end I started volunteering as a puppy raiser for Guide Dogs of America.  After my first puppy in training, Stetson was career changed I ended up adopting him as my forever pet.

It was a long journey to a household with two dogs.  Our city only allows each household to have three total dogs and so I have not yet adopted another dog as I still volunteer as a guide dog puppy raiser and also as a foster.  So even though I have only two dogs of my own I often have three dogs living at my house.

What About Doggy Number Three?

There’s always that possibility that I might end up with doggy number three perhaps keeping one of my fosters or another career changed guide dog.  After all there are so many benefits to owning a pet or two or three :)

If you’re looking to add that second or third dog I highly recommend adopting from your local shelter or rescue.  Across the country there are millions of homeless pets who need your help.  From puppies to kittens to senior cats and dogs (and everywhere in between).  Furry, scaly, big, or small all homeless pets deserve a second chance.

Pets Add Life (PAL) put together a Facebook Pledge Page to help these homeless pets by asking people to take action now!  Take a look, make a pledge, and please share with your friends and family.  Here’s a link to the PAL Facebook Pledge Page.

Does your dog or pet need a friend?  Are you thinking about getting a second dog?  How many pets do you have in your house?  Tell us all about your pets in the comment section below.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by the Pets Add Life campaign and the American Pet Products Association. We are being compensated for helping spread the word about the benefits and joys of pet ownership.

Comments

  1. says

    I wish one of my brothers or sisters could have come home with me, we’d be able to make LOTS of mischief together. My humans told me, that if I’m a good girl and everything is ‘just right’ then I’ll be allowed to have some pups one day. I’m only a pup myself, so it’s a long way off but my human said I’d get to keep one when I do. ONLY if I’m a good girl and teach it ALL the rules. I’ve got two rabbits though, so I talk to them when I’m bored.

    • says

      Hi Bella,

      I’m glad you have a couple rabbits to talk to when you’re bored. Yes, two pups make lots of mischief and I’m sure you would have caused some real trouble together.

      Thanks for stopping by!
      Colby

  2. says

    On seeing the same breed every living being will feel better,It would be so nice to play,eat,and share other feel together.Having more puppies will make our home so beautiful.But managing all these is little bit difficult.

  3. says

    We’re always tempted to adopt a second puppy, but I know it would be too much extra work and expense. Since I work from home, Daisy’s not left alone every day, but I’d still love for her to have a full-time playmate. Ah well, maybe if we win the lottery! :)

    • says

      Hi Daisy,

      We really enjoy having two dogs at home, but you’re right, if you can’t handle the extra work and expenses then it’s not a good idea. One thing you could try if you were interested is helping your local rescue by fostering. We did this way back when we only had Linus. Depending on the dog it could be a lot or very little work. We actually raised several litters of puppies which was a lot, lot, lot of work, but the rescue paid all the expenses (vaccinations, vet checks, spay/neuter, etc).

      Thanks for stopping by!
      Colby

  4. says

    Getting Torrey was a huge decision, we thought about it a lot. At first Roxy, who was 7, was not thrilled. Now they play together, and are great buddies. I think Roxy would miss her, and I know for sure Torrey would miss Roxy.

    • says

      That’s great that Torrey and Roxy get along so well. Stetson and Linus used to play together in their younger days, but now that their older they kind of do their own things…I do think they would miss each other though.

  5. says

    Hi Y’all!

    Just hoppin’ by to say “hi”.

    Hey, don’t give my Human ideas! I used to live in a huge family and like be the one and only!

    Y’all come by now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

    • says

      Are you sure Hawk? You might enjoy having another buddy around to romp and play with. Maybe you should try fostering to see how you like having a live in playmate!

  6. says

    Hi Colby,

    You’re right, I say the more puppies and Mischief the better!! Tee Hee :)

    When my Mum was getting a Golden years ago she was going to get 2 puppies at the same time and like you decided it was best to get one and then get the second one a year later.

    Just after she got the second one she broke her leg and was on crutches for 3 months.

    She clearly remembers all the Mischief of the little pup and 1 year old pup, as she was trying to avoid her crutches sliding on the tiles when she was potty training the second one and the first thought it would be fun Mischief to pee over it (despite previously being potty trained!)

    I would love to have a Cat or Dog to play with, but Mum says it’s too much and so I play with Cosmo next door :)

    Big Wags to all,

    Your pal Snoopy :)

    • says

      Hi Snoopy,

      I’m glad Stetson and Linus haven’t pee’d over any of the little pups potty messes. I think you should lobby for a kitty or puppy. Just tell your Mum that it will make for some great Snoopy plus puppy mischief stories and would be perfect for your book!

      Take care,
      Colby

  7. says

    Your babies are beautiful. Our babies came as a set. Aussie mixes, they were rescues, brother/sister litter mates. I love that they were already housebroken when they came to us. Sure, they love each other very much, but the male bonded with me and the female bonded with my husband. Having two dogs is definitely better than having one, just like having two ducks is better than just one. :)

    • says

      That’s awesome that they came housebroken. I wish I got that every time I started raising a puppy. Perfect that one bonded with you and the other with your husband. One of my friends dogs bonded really closely with the other dog and unfortunately any time their separated one dog doesn’t care, but the other one cries.

      Thanks for stopping by!
      Colby

  8. says

    We actually do plan on getting a second dog, and I always ask people with two dogs for advice and what they think about having two dogs. One woman told me it was the best decision she ever made and will never go back to having just one dog. We just need a bigger place first. :)

    • says

      I love having two dogs. When I have three it got a bit difficult because it takes forever to take all 3 dogs out on a walk. I’d love to get a bigger place too so my boys could run around and play, but for now we’re in a small condo so we just go on several long walks every day.

  9. says

    That’s funny! I loved that book always dreamed of having two coonhounds. Fortunately, I did some research on the breed and realized they probably would not be happy living in a residential neighborhood. But they are beautiful dogs!

    I still just have Blueberry. Still haven’t pulled the trigger on fostering a dog yet. I used to have two dogs – but it was a lot of work for just me. Although I did enjoy it when they would play together and I could chill out and just watch them play. I don’t know – it has its pros and cons like anything else.

    • says

      I never really looked into getting coonhounds I was just interested in getting a brother and sister when I was a kid.

      It’s a lot of work especially if you decide to foster puppies. It’s just me when I was taking care of Linus, fostering puppies, and raising guide dogs. It’s definitely tough and takes up a lot of time. It would be a lot easier with someone else to help with all the dogs.

      You might start talking to your local rescues. They’ve asked me to do some short term fosters for only about 2 weeks which might be up your ally.

      • Alan says

        Hi Colby and Doggies,
        What you explained here was rather interesting for me, especially now that I am considering getting a second dog, a female Mini Schnauzer puppy that is. My biggest concern relies on our current dog, 7-month-old briskful Mini Schnauzer: he is beyond stable, obedient, doesn´t bark, doesn´t chew/bite things that aren´t his, always goes potty outside (apartment life here – in Madrid, Spain) since his first week of training. In sum, with my 24/7 training/educating and his noble innate characteristics, Nano has been a dream dog so far. So, what is your opinion regarding my scenario? Awaiting your reply, I greet you all guys. Hugs, Alan.

        • says

          Hi Alan,

          I felt ready for a second dog when Linus was about 2 years old. At 2 years old Linus did great adjusting to life with a new puppy. Getting a second dog is a big decision. It’s up to you to decide whether you and your current dog are ready to bring in another dog into the household. All I can say is I really enjoy having multiple dogs at my house.

          Good luck with your decision.

          Take care,
          Colby

  10. says

    Rooo I would love to have a little puppy around to play with, but I think my humans need another couple of years rest before getting a second puppy. Apparently I’m ‘hard work’ – no idea why they say that *waggy tail*

    • says

      Hi Alfie,

      You may be “hard work”, but I bet you’re loads of fun! Raising a second puppy definitely is a lot of work. The guide dog school keeps calling me asking me if I’m ready to raise another puppy, but I keep telling them I need a little bit longer break just like your parents. I’m sure they’ll get you a little friend to play with someday.

      Take care,
      Colby

  11. says

    Mom so loves pets – we are 2 dogs and 2 cats. She would love more but she wants to make sure she can give us the best life possible and vet bills can add up so she is holding steady with 2 and 2. We dog sit a lot for others which gives her the 3rd dog for free. We love it but we are also happy when we are back to just our family. Emma :)

    • says

      Hi Emma,

      I agree with the getting back to just your own family. After raising Dublin then Apache for the last 2+ years and then another month of puppy sitting it’s finally back to just me and my two boys: Stetson and Linus. We’re going to take a little break for now.

      Thanks for stopping by,
      Colby

  12. Ali says

    My parents’ dog definitely needs a friend, although she’s been spoiled as an “only child” and I’m not sure how well she would respond to something else in the house getting more attention than her. I do think it would help her to have someone to play with whenever she wanted…rather than trying to play with my parents. I think they should get another dog!

  13. says

    oh oh,

    i could not share my main peep. it is hard enough when she holds lil humans in her arms. another dog would have to be the other peeps in the house!

    my pal Rocky was raised with another pup and just like you said, they bonded well to each other…

    • says

      Hi Scrappy,

      You already have lil humans to compete with for attention in your house? I think Linus doesn’t like the new pups at first, but he likes to tell them who’s boss and I also think he likes showing all the youngsters who’s the king of the house.

      Thanks for stopping by!
      Colby

  14. says

    Well, with four we’re at our limit, and I’m happy with that. It means that we can take two out with us and nobody is left at home alone. I still have days when I wonder if we’ll survive Kuster’s puppyhood! lol

    • says

      Every time I bring home a puppy I wonder if I’m going to survive puppyhood. My first goal is getting them to sleep through the night which is sometimes very challenging.

  15. says

    I remember reading “Where the Red Fern Grows” What a great book!

    3 dogs and a guinea pig are my limit, well maybe a friend for the guinea pig is in the future:)
    I remember when my husband said he wanted another Newf. I already had one Newf and a Beagle and 2 small kids. I didn’t want another dogs, my hands were full and I knew it. But I’m a pushover and we got Leroy:) who has proven to be a bigger handful than the other 2 dogs combined, but……I couldn’t imagine my life without him now!

    • says

      I couldn’t imagine your blog without Leroy! It sounds like your house is full. I’m not sure how you were able to do it with 2 small kids, 2 dogs and then adding another. I can’t wait to hear about your next addition…a friend for the guinea pig :)

  16. says

    Where The Red Fern Grows was one of my favorite movies as a kid. I too, always wanted two dogs. But thankfully I never got two puppies together. Years ago, our Belgian Shepherd was 6 when we got our first Basset Hound puppy and Freddie was 1 when we adopted Gloria last year. She was 5. It has worked out great giving Fred someone to play with. They have bonded beautifully. :)

  17. Irene says

    I think our dog needs a buddy to play with as she constantly wants our attention. However, I think she would be so jealous if we brought another puppy home.

  18. says

    I have 2 dogs…3 years apart, but I could easily have many more. I have to restrain myself! I know my older dog helped train my younger dog when he came home. The second was much easier.

    • says

      I agree. I could easily have more too. It does take some restraint plus their are limits in our county. I like where we’re at right now with two dogs that are my own plus always fostering or raising guide dog pups.

  19. Dorothy Miles says

    Having a second dog is a good idea as once you started having pets you would enjoy adding more and more as you would them. Having a dog is one way to release stress like many people say.

    Dorothy Miles
    Pet animals

  20. Miko says

    It’s hard to think about getting two dogs when I don’t even have one yet. Although, sometimes I think my cat Lulu would appreciate having a dog companion since she doesn’t like other cats. She used to love playing with Linus when they were young, but now she’s turning into an only child. Maybe this is reason to get a dog, but I think if I got two, Lulu would leave me!

    • says

      I think Lulu would like to have a doggy friend. Maybe you could try fostering until you find a dog that Lulu gets along with. I bet she’d like hanging with Linus again if he stayed at your house for a longer period of time…like a month or more.

  21. says

    Hey Linus, Hey Stetson, Jet here. Hi Mr. Colby.

    Mr. Colby, you are so wise. Mom adopts older K9s, however, one at a time so far a few years apart.

    We LOVED your golden 2 headed monster pic… super cool!

  22. emi says

    Well, since I’m a cat person I’ll tell you what happened to us. My 1st cat Mochi slept all day so I adopted Ninja to keep him company (11 months old). Mochi did not like Ninja at all …I felt bad for Ninja so when I was at Petsmart I was going to adopt 1 more cat for Ninja to play with. I liked this one cat (about 8 months old) but when I told the volunteer I was thinking about taking this cat she said “Oh, you have to adopt his brother too …he’ll be so lonely”. I’m so glad I took both of them because the other brother was so frightened and a little more ferrel than the one I was going to adopt. He’s a very sweet cat but getting to know him took a long time. So we ended up with 4 cats! We also adopted a dog. It was easy adopting 2 cats at the same time, but I don’t think adopting 2 “puppies” is a good idea. The dog we adopted was already crate trained and older.

    • says

      Good job! That’s a lot of adopting over a short period of time. So you went above and beyond and instead of adding just one new pet you added 4 (3 cats and a dog). And I’m so happy you adopted them all from the animal rescue.

  23. Marilyn says

    It’s interesting what you say about getting two puppies at once — that they will bond with each other more than they will bond with you. This was also a reason why we got our puppy, Snowie, alone. But then, speaking to people who did get two puppies at once, they all said their dogs are wonderful and connect with them. And I must say, having Snowie all alone is a lot of hard work — keeping him entertained and ensuring he doesn’t chew what he shouldn’t chew. It would be so much easier if he had a playmate, and I think he’d be a lot happier being at home with a playmate. When I take him to the dog park (every day), he is the happiest dog in the world. We are intending to get a second dog, but the thought of going through the potty training, getting up in the middle of the night, the puppy training … it would’ve been easier (I think!) if we’d gotten it all over and done with in one go!

    • says

      Hi Marilyn,

      In my experience I have seen puppies who have bonded very closely with each other and some that have not. Two Huskies in our puppy kindergarten class couldn’t even be separated by 10 feet when working on their training without the other one whining. I think it a lot of this depends on the individual pups.

      Also, another thing to keep in mind is even if you get your second puppy several years after the first they still may form a stronger bond with each other then with you. I have a friend who got puppies 5 years apart. The older dog does just fine, but when the younger dog who is now 5 years old is separated from the older dog he whines and barks.

      Bringing home two puppies at the same time is not necessarily a bad thing as long as you know the potential pitfalls and work hard on their individual training.

      Another option you might consider is adopting an older dog that is already house trained or perhaps fostering dogs.

      Take care,
      Colby

  24. says

    My dog lost his best mate after 14 years, and been thinking in getting a new dog, still don’t know if it will be a good idea, even though my dog now does some of the things that my other one used to do… he is more playful then before or probably i think he is because now he turns to me when it is to play, instead to Meg…. The video lol is hilarious!

    • says

      That’s a tough decision. Ultimately you need to decide what is best for the whole family before deciding to get a second dog.

  25. says

    Hi Colby,

    I really do admire your concern and love for dogs and animal welfare. Doing something like adopting two dogs is really something strange knowing that it will not came across the mind of a self made man like you. However, just always know that in every good things you do, the karma will always be all for the best. Just continue in your hobby and we’ll just be here “your readers” to support you all the way!

  26. says

    The first time I had a dog ( my own dog with all the responsibilities that come with it), I was overwhelmed… especially with the vet bills and the vaccinations. It really took a chunk out of my salary… but then it became easier and my sister had a couple of dogs. Unfortunately, since I had thought that he would be in better hands than mine, I left him with her and he wasn’t taught proper socialization skills and such.

    Now I am reunited with him, I had to start from scratch with a tiny aggressive dog. So I guess it just shows that no matter how prepared we can be, there will always be problems that may come our way which is why it is important to start from 1 and assess yourself as a pet owner.

    Huggies and Cheese,

    Haopee

    • says

      Good point! I just spoke with my co-workers wife tonight and she expressed interest in getting two puppies at the same time. She sounds like she’s very prepared to raise a puppy which is great, but I also talked to her about why getting two pups at the same time can be more difficult. I think as long as you know what you’re getting into by raising two pups at the same time things will be okay with extra effort. I worry about those who don’t know what they’re getting themselves into.

  27. says

    Thank you for posting this really helpful article – especially the video. We currently have two Rhodesian Ridgebacks and In the process of thinking of a third and can certainly relate to a lot in this post :-)

    • says

      Thanks! I’m glad the article was helpful. It’s always a good idea to think things through before getting your first, second, third, or more dogs.

  28. says

    I loved reading that book when I was younger! I have two dogs, both a year apart in age, both different breeds. We didn’t get the second until our golden was almost three, and it has worked out great for us.

    • says

      I loved that book too! I still kind of wish I picked up Linus and his sister that day at the animal shelter. I’m sure the first few nights would have been a little easier. I’m guessing not as much whining and crying. However, I’m pretty sure Linus would have bonded very closely with his sister and would have had separation anxiety from his sibling.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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