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Do dogs prefer to be the only dog or prefer to have a dog pal in the house?

(15 Posts)
insanityscratching Sat 31-Jan-15 22:03:53

Eric is a wonderful, happy, little dog. He loves people and seems to really enjoy being part of our big family (6 adults and dd 11 here). He is rarely left alone because of me being SAHM and then others working, college, school means that there is regularly someone at home if I'm not but he's happy alone for up to four hours if needs be.
We originally planned to have a second dog (a poodle) in the next year or so and Eric has lots of doggy playmates when out on his walks and loves their company too.
Now that the time comes I'm wondering whether we really need a second dog and whether a second dog might change Eric. Would he not be so people focused? Would he be jealous? Because he likes dogs out of the house does that mean he'd be happy to share his home?
So does having a second dog impact on the first? Good or bad? What have been your experiences?

StripeyCustard Sat 31-Jan-15 23:11:51

Marking place!

SunshineAndShadows Sat 31-Jan-15 23:17:47

Really glad u got my second dig. Sure they squabble occasionally but no one like everyone all the time. But they sleep together, play together and I think, are both happier.

VivaLeBeaver Sat 31-Jan-15 23:21:48

My first dog loves our new dog.

They play together lots, but both still snuggle up to me for cuddles. I just feel it benefits them to have someone to rough and tumble round the house with. My two are always wrestling or chasing each other round the garden. They're best mates.

Chattymummyhere Sat 31-Jan-15 23:25:44

Our three have their issues at times but that's more due to keeping intact females and a male. Overall all however they all "love" each other. Sometimes they all sleep pretty much cuddled up other times they have their own areas (obviously when bitches in season the male is away but he does not pester them anyway as he knows better than to approach a bitcb who's not receptive)

They all have great fun racing around when out in the fields and swimming in the lake, if one goes out without the rest the house does become a bit unsettled as they don't understand why dog1 is out while they are in. No blood shed fights or anything like that which is always a risk with intact dogs being kept together mostly between bitches I think what helped was its mother and daughter so dog2 was not brought in as some crazy bouncy puppy.

TheFantasticMrsFox Sun 01-Feb-15 02:14:50

We have three <gentle sob>

When our old girl died it left DDog1 on his own a rather enjoyable experience WRT mess, money, time, exercise etc DDog1 however literally fell to pieces on his own. Admittedly he is a nervous, anxious dog by nature and had viewed our old girl as a sort of mother figure, but the depths of his misery were so great that we ended up getting a second several months before the litter we had planned.

So in his case no, he wouldn't have adjusted and was thoroughly miserable on his own so would never be an only dog. The funny thing is that DDogs2&3 are much younger than him, and he spends many hours eyeing them balefully and doing cats bum mouths at their antics.

In your situation OP I would consider very hard whether you mind upsetting the status quo (if I'm correct, it's you with the DD who is so attached to DDog?) It sound as if DDog is happy as on only and has plenty of opportunities to play with other dogs outside the house smile

AimlesslyPurposeful Sun 01-Feb-15 03:03:20

You could always knit him a friend. grin

Misfitless Sun 01-Feb-15 07:38:25

Oh Aimlessly that's adorable!


isitsnowingyet Sun 01-Feb-15 07:54:34

Eric is such a cute name for a dog <I might nick it one day> -love it.

I come from the side of the fence that says one dog is enough. Especially as he already sounds like he is perfectly happy and adjusted. Why rock the boat?

This might be a tad hypocritical, as in our house, we have one dog and 2 cats. The cats came as brother and sister, and got on well as kittens. Now they fight on a regular basis, despite having both been 'done', and I'm thinking maybe one cat should have been our policy too!

insanityscratching Sun 01-Feb-15 08:04:14

Aimlessly smile I love that! Daren't show dd though because I'm not much of a knitter.

housemoverihope Sun 01-Feb-15 08:20:28

We got our second dog specifically to help our nervous rescue who hated being alone. It worked a treat but I underestimated how much extra work it would be! Our second dog is bonkers even after lots of training and she is now nearly 3. Lots more dog hair as well! We do however love her to bits and she has done wonders for our first dogs confidence. I wouldn't rock the boat if you have no need to!

TheKitchenWitch Sun 01-Feb-15 10:38:33

I think ultimately if you get another dog, it should be because you want another dog. They may get on brilliantly, they may tolerate each other, or they may really hate each other. Whichever way it goes, you can deal with it and not feel that you did the "wrong" thing by getting another dog iyswim.

insanityscratching Sun 01-Feb-15 11:22:57

KitchenWitch for now I don't think we will have a second dog tbh because Eric's happy as he is and there doesn't seem to be the need to upset the apple cart I suppose. Yes I would love to have a poodle but not if it meant that everything altered for the worse here because of it. Maybe when the older ones have flown the nest and the house isn't so busy then we will think again if Eric seemed to be missing out on company but for now we'll stick with his dog friends living elsewhere I think.

BearsAndAngels Sun 01-Feb-15 16:37:20

I had visions of it being like pp when we got a second dog with them being great buddies as dog 1 always loved other dogs when we were out, but in truth dog 1 never really welcomed dog 2. They got on ok, but dog 2 would try to get in dog 1s bed and dog 1 really did not like that. she really spent 5 years getting up and moving as soon as dog 2 came to lie with her. The only time it was fab was on walks where they would chase around together for a few mins.

dog 1 died first and left dog 2 bereft, which is another thing to consider. Of course we went and got another companion after a couple of months and exactly the same thing happened. dog 3 wanted to snuggle dog 2, but dog 2 was not interested and spent her time moving out of dog 3's way!

Now we have 1 dog and that's just fine!

TheCunnyFunt Sun 01-Feb-15 17:17:48

I think it depends on the dog. My dog is a fussy bugger and is ok with some dogs, growls at some and goes completely batshit at others. I can't, for the life of me, work out a trigger. Because of his unpredictability I (probably) wouldn't be able to get another dog.

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