Benefits of Having a Second Dog
We certainly appreciate the benefits of having a second dog. We have a saved kill-shelter dog who simply didn’t get much attention as a puppy. It was clear early on that he wasn’t going to be happy away from his new family. A second dog was a pretty brilliant addition. He was thrilled for the new companionship–especially since his new pal never had to go off to work. We also know that a second dog has the benefit of another dog to do some training. Our first dog seemed really happy to show the new all the ropes–like the backyard and the best schedule for going to the bathroom.
Ensure Your Dog Is Friendly
First, however, we took our original pet off to the dog park on a busy day. We knew that we had a dog who was friendly, but we wanted to be sure that he wasn’t skittish around smaller dogs. Or hairless dog, or yappy dogs.
We were also aware that we had hopes that Dog #2 was going to fix some behavioral problems with Dog #1. That made us a little nervous. We felt a little bit like a married couple that had to be told that having another baby wasn’t the fix for a troubled relationship. It didn’t take much research to learn that plenty of dogs with serious separation issues won’t even notice another dog being around. The owner is the official big deal. We got lucky with our dogs, but we also made sure going into this that we weren’t expecting this second dog to be a miracle worker. And everyone really did like the idea of (in our case) a smaller dog around the house.
Housebreaking & Marking Their Territory
Of course, a second dog means new housebreaking–even with the older dog to show the way. Some people have to worry about double housebreaking problems. We all know about how dogs need to mark their territory. A second dog can get an older dog awfully anxious to mark his old territory all around the house. You know, just for good measure.
This concern had us orchestrating an elaborate–but very useful–introductory process. The new dog first met the old dog in a public place. There was plenty of urine and marking going on with each other. Fortunately, our older dog really got along with the new one. He didn’t even seem that surprised when they got in the car together for the trip home. We’re hoping that doesn’t become an expectation for every dog that he meets.
Make Sure The Older Dog Feels The Love
Then we got home and each person spent some time with each dog in a separate area. That gave our older dog the clear impression that he wasn’t being robbed of his old space. Also, this gave the old dog a chance to get used to that new dog smell, while understanding that he wasn’t going to be missing out on any attention.
Yes, that all might sound a little wild. More like the kind of thing you do when bringing a new baby home from the hospital–but we have responsibilities for both a dog’s physical and mental well-being. It’s just part of taking care of them. And hopefully avoiding any new urine stains on the carpet.