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How To Choose A Second Dog

Once you own a dog, you’re likely to be bitten – not by the dog, but by the dog bug! If one is good, you’ll ask yourself, well how about two?

Getting a second dog can be a great idea, but only if you have the time, money and space for it. Even then, is it necessary?

Breeds Fox terriers in car
Are two Fox Terriers better than one? That's something you'll have to work out for yourself

Dogs are generally very happy with just the attention of you and your family, and it isn’t essential for you to get another dog to keep them company. Don't just assume that getting another dog will simply replace your absence. The fact is, the more dogs you have, the more time you have to spend with them. With you as their leader, multiple dogs might start to squabble about their place in “the pack” and might even fight when you’re not around.

It's also really only a good idea to think about getting more than one dog if you already have experience of keeping dogs. In other words, always start with just one.

Dog training walking heel
Happy families - two well-trained dogs who also happen to be best friends

Which Dogs Get On Best?

It is very helpful to choose dog breeds that have similar temperaments and exercise requirements, and it is equally important that you choose the gender of each dog very carefully. Dogs of the opposite sex tend to get on best, whereas same sex dogs are more likely to fight – even neutered ones.

A gentle German Shepherd with its adorable little puppy
A German Shepherd mom and her puppy - an obvious match

Males in particular tend to challenge each other’s position in the pack and may find it difficult to agree on who gets what, who owns what, and who deserves the attention. She-dogs together will, like males, struggle to sort out the “pack” order and may fight over the top position. Sometimes it will all calm down, only to flare up again as the balance shifts in ways invisible to you but clearly very provocative for the dog.

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