Sibling Rivalry or Sibling Love?
I have one dog – a wonderful mixed breed, but mostly lab/pittie that we rescued from the local shelter. I’d like to adopt another dog, but we wonder and worry about having two dogs and how they will get along. I’ve heard some horror stories about dogs not getting along. What tips can you give us to help me make the decision and pick out the right sibling?
Two Dog Hopeful
Of course you can get another dog! Bravo for wanting to adopt another – there are so many out there needing homes. And besides, having more than one dog is twice the fun SlimDoggy says! There are a few things you should take into account. Here’s a few things we thought about and I open this up to our readers as many have multiple dog families.
- Understand your current dogs personality & their reaction to other dogs to gauge how easily another dog will fit into your existing ‘pack’. For instance, when we adopted Becca, our dog Tino was old and blind – it wouldn’t have been fair to him for us to get a puppy! Instead we got an older, sedate, former service dog. They got along famously.
- Be sure that YOU have the time and energy to care for another dog. It’s faulty logic to think that two dogs will ‘tire each other out’. Dogs need more than just playtime 24/7. They need structured activities and learning exercises – just like kids. And two dogs means double the time to do that work.
- Be sure to pick a dog with the right energy for your household and your current pet. This is similar to #1, but the other side of the adoption. Know as much about the dog you are adopting as you can and either accept the behavior challenges they might have or look elsewhere if the dog is not the right fit. Cute and cuddly is wonderful, but it wears off fast in the light of day if the dog is bouncing off the walls or tormenting your cat. When we adopted Jack, I looked at several dogs before him and while they were all loves, I wanted a dog who would be willing and able to run with me. Even though Jack was overweight, I knew he was an ox and would soon shed the extra weight and join in the family running.
- Another dog also costs more, be sure the financial expenses are within your reach.
Having dog’s that are compatible is critical or at least optimal. If they like each other and play with each other, even better, but there’s no guarantee. Sally loved to play, but she rarely played with Tino – not exactly sure why – I think she might have just preferred to play with us. But look at these two guys – SlimDoggy friends Mojo & Gypsy…they are truly best buds.
Here’s a few additional sources you can read for some added insights:
What to Consider Before Getting a Second Dog
Does Gender Matter when Adopting a Second Dog?
Should you get a second dog?
Coping with canine rivalry
How about you readers? I know many of you have more than one dog – what advice do you have for Hopeful?
Our Dear Labby column is usually a little of this and a little of that, so we happily join our friends at 2 Brown Dawgs for This ‘N That Thursday Blog Hop!