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Choosing Your Second Dog: What to Consider Before Adding to Your Pack

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choosing your second dog

Choosing Your Second Dog

Adding a second dog to your family can bring double the love, double the fun, and double the cuddles. But before you rush out to adopt another furry friend, there are several important factors to consider. From temperament compatibility to financial considerations, choosing your second dog requires careful thought and planning. In this blog post, we’ll explore what you need to think about before expanding your pack and ensuring a smooth transition for both your current pup and their new sibling. Let’s dive in!

Benefits of Getting a Second Dog

  1. Companionship: One of the greatest benefits of having multiple dogs is that they provide each other with companionship. Dogs are social animals and thrive in packs. Having another dog around means that they always have a friend to play with, snuggle with, or even just hang out with.
  2. Reduced separation anxiety: Many dogs struggle with separation anxiety when left alone for extended periods. However, when there is more than one dog in the house, they often feel less anxious because they have company.
  3. Learning from each other: Just like humans, dogs can learn from each other’s behavior. If you have a well-trained older dog at home, bringing in a new puppy can help them learn good behaviors faster by observing their older companion.
  4. More exercise opportunities: With two or more dogs in the house, you’ll have double the energy levels! This means more walks, runs, and outdoor activities for both you and your furry friends.
  5. Double the love and entertainment: Let’s face it; who doesn’t love coming home to wagging tails and happy barks? With multiple dogs at home, you’ll never run short on unconditional love and entertainment.

The Challenges When Adding a Second Dog

  1. Cost: Adding another dog to your household also means doubling up on expenses such as food, grooming costs, vet bills, etc., which can add up quickly!
  2. Competition for attention: While most dogs are happy to share their owner’s love, there may be instances where they will compete for attention, which can cause tension and jealousy between them.
  3. Potential behavior problems: Bringing a new dog into the household can disrupt the established hierarchy and dynamics between your existing dog(s), potentially leading to behavior problems such as aggression or resource guarding.
  4. Training needs: With more than one dog in the house, training can become more challenging as you have to juggle multiple personalities and behaviors at once.

Adding a second dog to your pack can be an exciting and fulfilling experience for both you and your current furry companion. While it may seem like double the work, there are many benefits to having two dogs in your household.

Friend for Your Resident Dog

First and foremost, having two dogs can provide companionship for each other. Dogs are social animals and thrive on interaction with others, including their kind. By adding a second dog to your pack, you are giving your current dog a constant playmate and friend to keep them company when you’re away or busy with other tasks. This can help prevent feelings of loneliness or boredom that may lead to destructive behaviors.

Moreover, a second dog can also help with separation anxiety. If your resident dog experiences distress when left alone, having another canine companion around can provide comfort and alleviate their anxiety. This is especially beneficial if you have a busy schedule or need to leave your dogs at home for extended periods.


Another advantage of adding a second dog is that it can improve the overall behavior of both dogs. With another canine around, they will learn valuable social skills such as sharing toys and space, taking turns during playtime, and understanding body language cues from each other. This can result in better behavior towards other dogs they may encounter on walks or at the park.

Socialization is a big deal when it comes to puppies. You could get a dog with severe issues if they are not socialized correctly as a young dog. Adopting a puppy from a good breeder who raises them responsibly is important.
Early neurological stimulation is an exercise performed on a young puppy to help them respond healthier to stressful situations. Here at Golden Crest Retrievers, we raise our puppies around our children. We wish all our puppies to be friends with everyone and every dog.

Improved Behavior

Furthermore, owning two dogs means twice as much love and affection in your home! Your new addition will bring even more joy into your life with their unique personality and quirks. Watching them interact with each other and bond over shared experiences will warm any pet parent’s heart.

Having multiple dogs also means more opportunities for physical activity. Playing fetch or going on walks together not only provides exercise but also strengthens the bond between them as well as with their owners. Plus, having another energetic pooch around might motivate your older or lazier dog to be more active!

While there are certain factors to consider before adding a second dog to your pack, the potential benefits make it an appealing option for many pet owners. With companionship, improved behavior increased physical activity, and love, having two dogs can bring even more happiness into your home.

Factor to Consider

  1. Your Current Dog’s Personality: The first and most crucial factor to consider is your current dog’s personality. It’s important to choose a new dog that will complement their energy level, temperament, and play style. This will ensure compatibility between the two dogs and reduce the chances of conflicts arising.
  2. Size and Breed: Another important consideration is the size and breed of your second dog. If you have a large breed already, it may be best to choose a smaller or medium-sized dog as their companion. Additionally, certain breeds have specific traits that may or may not be compatible with your current pup’s personality.
  3. Age Difference: The age difference between your current dog and the new addition is also something to think about. Bringing home a puppy when you have an older dog may cause stress for both animals as they adjust to each other’s energy levels and boundaries.
  4. Gender: Some experts suggest choosing opposite genders for better compatibility among dogs in multi-dog households. However, this ultimately depends on each animal’s personality and should not be taken as a hard rule.
  5. Training Needs: Consider whether you want another well-trained or socialized dog or if you’re willing to take on the responsibility of training from scratch with a new puppy or rescue dog.
  6. Space Availability: Adding another canine companion means more space will be needed in your home – especially if you have limited space already with one pet.
  7. Time Commitment: Owning two dogs requires double the time commitment for walks, training sessions, vet visits, etc., so make sure you have the time and energy to devote to both animals.
  8. Financial Considerations: Bringing a second dog into your home also means increased expenses for food, grooming, vet bills, and other supplies. Make sure you can comfortably afford these costs in addition to those of your current dog.
  9. Your Lifestyle: It’s essential to consider how a second dog will fit into your lifestyle. If you’re an active person who likes to hike or run with your pup, make sure your new dog will be able to keep up. Alternatively, if you prefer more laid-back activities, choose a calmer breed that will match your pace.

Preparing for Your New Addition

Bringing a second dog into your family is an exciting and fulfilling decision. However, it also requires careful planning and preparation to ensure a smooth transition for both your current dog and the new addition.

  1. Space and Resources: It is recommended that the puppy have a crate to sleep in. They will start with a smaller crate and grow into a larger one. This is their space where they can feel safe as they adjust to their new home.
  2. Compatibility with Your Current Dog: Before bringing in a second dog, it’s crucial to consider their compatibility with your current canine companion. Thankfully puppies are very friendly so you typically do not have to worry about the new pup getting along with your current dog.
  3. Age and Energy Level: A young puppy or high-energy dog may not be suitable for an older or low-energy dog who prefers a calmer environment. It is good to keep this in mind and have periods where the older dog can break from the young dog.
  4. Training Needs: A puppy is going to require more time for training. It is recommended your resident dog has commented on their training before bringing home a second dog.
dog pack

Does Gender Matter When Choosing Your Second Dog?

Gender is one of the more popular topics when choosing your second dog for your home. There is no sure way to know how two dogs will get along. Each puppy is an individual and has its unique personality.

Most experts on the subject will agree that dogs of the opposite sex are more likely to get along.

Same-sex dog companions could try to establish pack order. Two males are just as likely to fight for the alfa position as two females. The alfa is the leader of the pack. Hormones and social status could lead to more challenges in the home. It is strongly encouraged to have your dogs spayed or neutered to help decrease these instincts and reduce the risk of injury to the two dogs.

Bringing in a puppy vs. a grown dog as the second dog could help decrease these challenges as your current dog may not see a puppy as a competitor. 

Should I Adopt Litter Mates?

Let’s say you found the perfect breeder in Colorado that has Golden Retrievers or Goldendoodle puppies for sale and you are tempted to adopt 2 puppies at the same time.

In theory, bringing home litter mates is a beautiful idea. They will not be lonely. They will have each other as playmates.

Although this might sound like a good idea, we do not advise doing so.

Now you might be wondering why we here at Golden Crest Retrievers would advise against something that sounds like such a perfect solution to puppy loneliness. It is beneficial for the puppy’s development to learn how to be alone, something they will likely not learn if you have two puppies together. Two puppies will probably have a stronger bond with each other than with their owners.

We would suggest stair-stepping your adoptions. We could suggest waiting 6 months to get your next puppy.

Having two puppies to train could be a nightmare. Training sections may be more than twice as difficult as just training one puppy.

Potty training would be more difficult as the puppies would be more active, increasing the frequency of them needing to be let outside for potty time.

If you think you can handle littermates and would like to give it a try then check out this article of someone who has littermates and their strategy for success.

In conclusion…

It’s such an exciting time when choosing your second dog for your home, but it’s essential to do your research. It is hard to know how two dogs will interact with each other. Each dog is different, and so are people’s lifestyles.

There are many factors to consider when choosing your second dog, but ultimately you need to do what you feel is best for you and your household. You may have two spayed females that will never butt heads. There is no set rule on how two dogs will behave around each other. That said, the common theory is that most times, two dogs of the opposite sex will be more likely to get along well.

Puppies are an excellent choice when choosing your second dog, as you can train a puppy around your resident dog, and they are more likely to be friends.

Golden Crest Retrievers has been providing families with their next furry friend for years and would love to talk to you about their Golden Retriever puppies in Colorado

If you are looking for a hypoallergenic puppy then a Goldendoodle puppy maybe the best puppy for you. 

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