Chula’s Compass is pointed to the USA, where ARME’s Got A Second? campaign encourages the adoption of a second dog from a shelter or rescue group.
Many of us enjoy the love of a companion dog. They are our best friends, our couch snugglers, our exercise partners and more. But what some don’t realize is that most dogs enjoy the companionship of another companion dog. We have seen this first hand when our adopters introduced a second dog into their family.
ARME’s Got A Second campaign encourages the adoption of a second dog from a shelter or rescue organization.
Our staff of experts are here to assist you with any questions about bringing a second dog into your home.
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The Benefits of A Second Dog
People are often torn at the decision of getting a second dog. This is particularly true if they’ve had a single dog for any duration. If you’re on the fence, some things that may go through your head are: Will he or she (my dog) be jealous? Will they get along? Do I have enough time for two dogs? Is my life going to be more complicated with another dog?
Well to answer this simply, “It all depends.” You can make it as complicated or as fun as you’d like, but remember, getting a second dog is often a great decision for your current dog. Dogs love to play with other dogs and dogs are oftentimes better company for dogs than humans.
The first thing to think about is “What is your goal in your current relationship with your dog?” If you are looking to compete in obedience then you might not want to get a second dog because it will make life more complicated, but if you want to keep your dog occupied and happy, getting a second dog will do just that. Dogs often relate better to other dogs than to humans and enjoy the company of another dog. Dogs play together, bond together and relax together – they are pack animals.
If your current dog never had a friend, the best option is to go for a dog of similar drive (energy levels) and opposite sex. Same sex dogs are more likely to have struggles than opposite sex pairs. This is in particularly true with two females. Bringing two females together is more complicated than a mixed sex pair or two males. Also, bringing a young puppy into the house with a very old dog is often not a good idea either. That being said, getting a younger dog for a mature dog can help the mature dog revisit his youth and bring some joy and play back to his soul. Young dogs can do that much easier than people. The mature dog will correct the puppy and teach him the ways of the house, but be aware that you are still in charge, so anything more than a quick correction should be dealt with by you.
Having two dogs in your home balances the energy and can reduce the stress level of a dog that is left alone when you go off to work. Dogs don’t like to be alone and adding a friend can keep your dog occupied during the hours that you are taking care of your life.
I don’t recommend getting two littermates. This will be a lot of work in training and bonding. These dogs will relate more strongly to each other than they ever will to a human. In order to make this work you’ll have to do a lot of separating. The best time to get a second dog is when your relationship with your current dog is solid and your training is pretty stable. This balance in your current relationship will carry into the new dog as long as you spend a little time when you first bring home the new dog. I suggest starting the new dog off in a crate and starting their friendship off in a structured way. It is the way I’ve brought all of my dogs together and I’ve never had an issue. You could try to wing it, but then your chances of success go down. It will take a week or two to see how the progress is going, but once they bond under a structured relationship (one that is put in place by you) they will be one happy team.
My dog Goofy was ecstatic when I brought Maya home. For the first few weeks they didn’t play freely, but now they love, kiss and play all day long. We still do our individual training and bonding, but these two are best of friends. And, since getting Maya, I look at Goofy with so much more love. He opened his home and his heart to another dog, Maya is appreciative and loving of the home we give her and I am so grateful to be able to share my life with these two. Each and every day they bring a smile to my face.
I know many friends who have more than one dog and every one of them says that it didn’t make life harder, it actually made life easier because they feel secure knowing that their dog has a friend when they can’t pay attention to them. I’ve proven over and over in shelters that by grouping dogs together in kennels, the dogs fare much better. Their stress is greatly reduced and they are quieter and more at ease.
Robert Cabral is the founder of Bound Angels and a dog trainer / behavior specialist in Malibu, CA.
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