Adopting a Second Dog?


There are lots of things to consider when you are thinking of adding a new companion to your home.  The very first should be to see if you are financially and physically prepared to care for a new dog. Realistically look at your expenses you have for your current dog and then double it.  Can you afford another dog?  Can  you afford training classes for two dogs?  Can you afford a good quality kibble for a second dog?  It’s not a good idea to consider downgrading your current kibble to afford a second dog.

Is your current dog neutered or spayed?  If your dog is neutered or spayed, it may help make a transition with a new pet easier as there will not be reproductive tensions in the home.  If you have a male dog, it would be easier to add a female dog and vice versa. We always support rescue over purchasing and adults over puppies.  When you adopt an adult dog, you know what you are getting (size, shape, personality and tolerance for other animals).  If you haven’t completed the vetting on the first dog....why get a second?  Please have your first dog spayed/neutered before adding another dog.

Is your current dog well trained?  If you are adding another dog, it is important to have a well trained first dog.  If your current dog has any bad habits or undesirable behaviors, you need to get those under control BEFORE you get another dog.  Dogs learn from each other so instead of having one badly behaved behaved dog, you will have two and the behavior will be much harder to correct.  Can you afford training classes for not only one but two dogs?

Do you have enough time for a second dog?  Do you exercise your first dog enough?  Adding a second dog will not alleviate the need to walk and exercise your first dog. It adds that much more to your task list. You will now have to walk and exercise two dogs.  It may even be necessary to walk and exercise them separately.  Are you physically able to do this?  If you are adopting a second dog as a playmate for your first dog so you don’t have to work as hard...think again. Two dogs is TWICE the work of one dog.

What breed will be the best?  Since you are on a pit bull site, we may assume you are looking for a pit bull or am staff.  Keep in mind that these dogs are terrier types which can be scrappy and don’t always do well with other dogs.  Some terriers do best as only dogs.  Consider what your dogs needs are and whether your dog has a social or solitary nature.  Dogs are companions for people, they don’t necessarily need other dogs.  They need us first and foremost.  You should read up on dog tolerances to figure out what kind of dog you have, his or her personality before thinking of adding another dog.  Your dog may not want to share you.  Lets face it, this breed was bred to be a gladiator of sorts with it’s own kind. Proper dog management is going to be important and not something that can simply be taken for granted.

Do you have other small pets?  Terriers of all types have been involved in hunting activities, in their breed development and some still today.  Terriers can have a high prey drive and this includes the pit bull terriers and am staff terriers too. You need to consider the safety of your other small pets when considering another dog.  Your new dog may not be adaptable to small animals regardless of when you get it. Some puppies grow up to have a high prey drive despite training and socialization.  You need to be aware of all possibilities before adding a dog.

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What happens if?  What happens if despite your best intentions, the dogs don’t get along?  Are you prepared to house them separately?  Will you return the new dog to the shelter?  Turn in the older dog?  How will you manage this situation?  Will you supervise and separate?  Train your dogs to tolerate each other’s presence while you are there?  Separate them the moment you need to leave them alone?  Be realistic in your expectations.  Remember to get another dog because you WANT the other dog, not just as a companion or playmate to your current dog.

How old is your current dog?  If your dog is elderly, do you think they will enjoy a puppy?  Are you prepared to socialize and train the puppy to have good manners around your adult dog?  It is not fair to force an older dog to accept the many times unwanted attention of a younger dog. Their joints might hurt, they might not see or hear as well. You need to be kind to your older dog.  Make sure they are never in a position where they feel they need to “correct” a puppy’s bad behavior. That needs to be your job.  Sounds like a lot of work doesn’t it?  It is.