Companionship for each other
May strive to be top dog
May fight and not get on
Could be a handful to look after
If you have a dog that is happy and settled in your home, you need to think very carefully before taking on another dog to live with you. It is so easy to view your pet as lonely and imagine that it seeks companionship. Although this could be the case, your dog may be perfectly happy having you all to itself and another dog could bring untold problems.
As someone who has owned more than one dog occasionally, I know what the problems can be. My first additional dog was many years ago and was via my husband, who brought a stray dog home. This dog was the cutest looking dog but it had many problems.
Having two male dogs, neither of which had been neutered, led to some trying times. As both would vie for top dog status is was a constant struggle to keep the peace. Our adopted dog was demanding and would have been happier in a one-dog environment. He hated children but of course, as he looked sweet they all made a bee-line for him.
We had this dog for around ten years and I thought my other dog would miss him when he was no longer with us. Fat chance. It was as if this eleven-year-old dog had been given a new lease of life. He was able to run off his lead in suitable surroundings, eat and sleep in peace and generally enjoy his home. So much of this had needed to be different when we had our stray.
Do not get me wrong though I loved both dogs to bits but the stray was very hard work. Experience has since taught me some of where we went wrong.
Currently I have two dogs.
One is a rescue dog who resided with us for a year or so before we took in a foster dog. My bright idea. I thought a companion would do the dog good. Wrong. He was quite happy on his own.
I also should have realised that, unlike myself, my husband would find it hard to part with this foster dog. That is the whole point of fostering though. You take the dog into your home until suitable accommodation is found.
Five years down the road, we are all settled living together but again there have been problems. Both dogs had been badly maltreated and so they were not easy to handle. The male dog has the sweetest disposition whilst the bitch, the foster dog, was rather wild. Still, she was only around nine months old when she came to us and had already been abused.
One problem is the bitch has just grown and grown. I hoped to have a dog a similar size to the one we already had, but this was not to be.
Both my husband and I are not ones to give up on dogs. If we had been, it may have been a different outcome. As it is, the dog was castrated and the bitch spayed when the time was right. As adult dogs, they amble along fine now. They play together and rarely fight. Wherever the dog lies, the bitch follows and lays on him as if he were a pillow. In some ways they are like an old married couple.
If you are considering bringing a second, or third, or whatever dog into you home give the matter serious thought. Extra veterinarian bills for vaccinations and the like, double the dog food bill and more can all be a strain on your resources. Walking two dogs can be tricky depending on their size. Kennelling will be more expensive. Above all the two may not get on. Just like people, some matches are made in heaven and others in hell.