If you’re considering a second dog, you’ll need to think about what would best suit your lifestyle, including the dog you already have. But how do you decide on what the best combination is for your two future canine companions?
Male or female?
In general, one dog of each sex works best. This is because males, especially if both are intact, have a tendency to challenge each other, which can result in bickering matches or even a few no-holds-barred fights.
The same can occur with two female dogs. In fact, two female dogs in the same household are more likely to fight one another in a struggle to decide who will be crowned top dog. And, more often than not, the instigator is the female dog who was most recently introduced to the home.
This doesn’t mean that a male and female dog are guaranteed to get along though. There’s more than just sex when it comes to finding the perfect pairing.
Having a second dog in the family means another pet to love and share your life with, but before making a decision based on your wants, it’s important to consider how your dog will respond. Do they get along with your friends’ dogs? Do they become overwhelmed easily? How do they behave when another dog comes into their space? These are the questions you need to ask and truly think about, when considering whether an additional dog will be beneficial for your pup.
Once everyone has agreed on the idea, it’s time to find a compatible canine. Having a sociable dog who loves to play with others when they’re at the park doesn’t mean they’ll necessarily get along when it comes to having their territory invaded. Before bringing your second dog home, have them meet on neutral ground outdoors, keeping dog leashes on, but allow them both to sniff each other.
You can then move on to walking them at a distance from one another, keeping watch of their body language. Read our Dog body language guide to identify any signs of aggression or stress. As they warm up to one another, walk them closer, again watching their body language. After a few walks like this, introduce off-leash playtime, where you can get a better idea of how they interact.
The final step is meeting at home. Keep close supervision still, also remove any items such as dog toys and food bowls that your existing dog may guard. Ensuring both dogs are crate-trained is especially important during this time, as it allows them to have a physical barrier from each other, and provides them each with their own safe space.
Little and large
In general two large dogs and two small dogs are often a better fit. A smaller dog may become overwhelmed by one much larger than themselves, and during rough play, could even get hurt. Two dogs of different sizes can definitely get along in the same household though, but it is often a case of them having already been brought up together. Dog breed also matters when it comes to pairing little and large. A larger dog with a very high prey drive won’t be compatible with a small dog.
Room for one more?
If you already have a second dog and are considering a third, there’s even more to think about. But before anything else, ensure both are highly trained and that you have the resources for one more.
If you already have two of the same sex, the best combination is either one male and two females or two males and one female. The temperament, breed and size of another potential dog needs to be assessed carefully before making this even bigger decision.
Omlet and your dogs
One, two, three (or more!), Omlet pet products support the needs of both dogs and their owners. From dog crates for creating safe spaces to ultra-cozy dog beds for dreamy dens and designer dog leashes, we observe, ask and invent remarkable products to bring you and your dogs closer as you dive into the adventure of multiple pet parenthood.