Why Getting A Second Dog Is A Good Idea

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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.

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65 Comments

  1. 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.

    1. 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!

  2. 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 🙂

    1. 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.

  3. 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

    1. 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.

  4. 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!

  5. 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!

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

  6. 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!

    1. 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

  7. 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.

    1. 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.

  8. 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!

  9. 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!

    1. 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.

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