Mumsnet does not check the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you're worried about your pet's health, please speak to a vet or qualified professional.
This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
Pros and cons of owning 2(11 Posts)
Our spaniel is 18 months now and is the perfect pet for us. She's never really been any bother, great with the kids, great with other dogs, easy to toilet train etc. She pulls on the lead too much for my liking, but we mainly do off lead beach walks anyway.
Things have gone so well that we're debating getting another once she is 2. I figure they would be great company for each other and that 2 can't be much harder than 1. Am I totally deluded?
I would like another bitch but I have heard they can fight, however our spaniel has never even snarled at another Dog so I'm hoping they wouldn't.
Anyone want to share the joys and horrors of owning 2?
I'd not get another until your first one's recall is rock solid - and maybe her lead walking too, because dealing with two pullers is bloody hard work.
That aside, the cons of two:
Finding enough time to give both some individual attention
Finding the time to train the puppy
With luck, the older dog will play with the puppy and teach it good manners (rather than bad ones)
Company for each other when you go out.
- the expense
- needing to train the puppy and walk them both separately for a good while until the puppy can do long walks
- they might not get on
- needing to separate them when the older dog has enough
- pup might pick up bad habits
- company for the older dog
- puppy might pick up good habits
- they might be happier left alone if there's two of them
We always have two at the same time, also spaniels. They are great company for each other, get on well, can be left alone for a bit longer than I'd be comfortable to leave just one. The only con is that sometimes the younger one will listen to the older one instead of us & lose his recall, which has always been better than the older one's. Older one can't be off lead if we have the two of them out together. We currently have a dog & a bitch & they get on great, better than the two bitches we had previously. I think it's nice for a dog to have a companion of its own kind, it's lovely to see the doggy play that goes on between then & I wouldn't have an only dog again.
I much prefer having two. In fact I wouldn’t have a single dog again.
Lots of positives. Company, someone to play with, tend to be less interested in playing with strange dogs, don’t feel so bad if I leave them as they have eachother.
Cons I would say individual training is hard. Separation problems within the pair and the obvious expense and time. Oh and double the hair and mud.
I would say that the right match for your existing dog is the most important thing. I try and match a bossy one with a quieter one and also prefer a male and female mix.
We have had two dogs at the same time and I wouldn't do it again.
Pros - they had company
Puppy learnt really quickly as copied older dog (this includes bad points too tho)
Cons -.totally changed the dynamic
Much more mess in the house/garden as they used to play fight/chase each other
Much more difficult to walk as had different needs until they were both adults
Took up much more time as having to walk/train dogs separately.
Harder to get friends/family to watch dogs if we were out.
I think it would work if you had two extremely well behaved dogs. Ours were ok behaved (totally our fault as didn't have enough time to do things separately all the time) but in hindsight we should have waited until original dog was completely and reliably trained.
We have two. Different ages,breed, sex. They get along really well and we love them both. But I took on one of the dogs as a rescue, it wasn't my plan to have two, so it could have turned out they didn't get along and that would've been an awful pain.
Plus vets and kennels are obviously now quite expensive. Plus the mess made when they're both tearing about play fighting!
I think it's always a risk introducing a new pet when you already have one well established on its own turf.
I have two different breeds, different ages, both females. I love to see them playing together. So joyful. Yes the costs are double. And I find it harder to go away with them. But that is more because I have been unable to train a reliable recall around other dogs with the elder one. And certainly not for lack of trying. This way she gets to play doggie games and I don't feel guilty keeping her away from other dogs.
I think it depends on your dog. Some dogs love to be with other dogs and some are not really interested. It was hard work for the first year because I walked them both separately. Six walks a day!
We've had two dogs on several occasions. I agree with what others have said, plus, we found the biggest problem was jealousy. Your dog loves you and probably doesn't want to share you with another dog. It changes how you interact with your original much loved pet, and then you feel guilty because the intimacy of your relationship has gone. That's how it felt to me anyway.
Two is easy—I have four!
Things to think about—transport. Can you comfortably fit two in the car? The leash pulling. If it does really bother you then it’ll be worse with two. Think about working on that before adding another. Barking. As I’ve added more dogs they’ve gotten louder as they get each other all riled up. They’re not bad for barking but they do bark at the doorbell and it can be irritating. Training. It’s more challenging training multiple dogs so be 100% realistic about the standard of training of your current dog—it’s much easier if the older dog knows what to do. What will you do if they just don’t get on? I think it’s good to have a contingency plan because you never know.
And yes—sometimes bitches can be more impatient with each other. If it was me I’d get a dog. I have two bitches and two dogs and the ladies are much more intense and less tolerant than the boys. But that’s really a personal opinion of mine and also down to the individual dogs.
Thanks all. Some really interesting comments that has given me something to think about. I’’m still undecided and will stick with 1 dog until I am 100% sure introducing a second is the right thing fòr everyone. I think I am just feeling puppy broody! In the meantime I am going to make more of an effort to work on the lead pulling. Thankfully her recall is pretty good.