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Pros and Cons of Adopting Two Dogs at Once

By: Jeff Noce, Voyce President

If you’ve ever adopted a dog or puppy – or are thinking about it right now – you may have wondered if it would be a good idea to adopt two at the same time.

After all, how great would it for your new puppy to spend its life with a sibling by its side? And, of course, there are numerous bonded adult dogs who are looking for a home together.

Like anything, there are pros and cons to adopting two littermates or a closely bonded pair. Weigh both sides carefully before making a decision.

THE GOOD

Companionship

Dogs are pack animals and most feel happier and more secure with a companion, whether human or canine. Bringing home two pups ensure that they’ll never be lonely when you have to go to work. They’ll also help keep each other entertained, meaning they’ll be less likely to get bored and get into mischief.

Training

Things like house training, crate training and general “do’s and don’ts” can be just as easy with two as with one. Maybe even easier! Both dogs will start out with the same routines, learn the same rules at the same time and understand the same commands.

Socialization

Although there have been no conclusive studies, anecdotal evidence suggests that dogs may learn by watching each other. So if you have an outgoing dog, he may help socialize your shyer dog by demonstrating that there’s nothing to fear.

THINGS TO CONSIDER

Two of Everything

Two dogs mean twice the fun, laughter and love. They can also mean twice the mess, twice the work and twice the expense. It’s important to ask yourself whether you have the time, energy and disposable income to devote to a pair of pups.

Potential Bonding Issues

Littermates and closely bonded adult dogs can have difficulty forming deep attachments with their owners. They may learn to rely on and take their cues from each other instead of the humans in the household. This can potentially lead to problem behavior and fear of other dogs and people.

Separation Anxiety

Eventually, the day will come when you have to take one dog to the vet or groomer by himself. The downside to your dog having a constant companion is that they may become stressed when left alone, even for short periods of time. Separation anxiety can result in destructive behavior and can be difficult to overcome.

If you do decide to bring home two dogs at once, many of the “cons” above can be mitigated or eliminated by doing a few simple things.

Make a point of spending quality time with each pup individually. Take them on walks, to the park or to obedience classes without their pal. Make separate grooming and vet appointments for your dogs. Yes, that means twice the trips but it will pay off in the long run. It will boost their confidence and teach them to look to you for guidance and comfort.

These outings are beneficial for the dog that’s left at home, too, by helping him be comfortable alone. Be sure to provide him with something fun or tasty to keep him entertained while you’re away.

I’d like to hear from you! If you have questions you’d like me to address on this blog regarding pet health or behavior, send an email to askjeff@mydogsvoyce.com.

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Posted on Aug 20, 2015 by VOYCE Behavior & Training
Lifestyle