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
Getting a second dog, advice please(8 Posts)
Hi, we have a beautiful girl dog who is approx 18 months old. She’s quite lively and active, and we enjoy that, however I have started to think that she might like a buddy. This time, I’d want to get an older rescue dog. Am I right in thinking that 2 digs has lots of benefits, or am I crazy to introduce a rescue dog at this stage?!
Having two dogs isn't crazy but there are a few things I'd think about.
Firstly, how well-trained is your current dog? Wrangling a dog with limited recall and an unsettled new rescue could be really, really stressful. Walking two dogs that pull on the lead is a lot worse than walking one puller. And so on.
Secondly, does your current dog like other dogs? Would she be happy having another dog in the house full-time?
Thirdly, do you have the time to invest in two dogs? When my middle dog was 18 months old, she was still being taken out for daily one to one training sessions with me, partly because she needed it mentally, but also partly because I wanted a really reliable, steady dog.
Secondly, consider the age gap between your dogs. We generally try to arrange it so that we don't have two dogs very close in age. Of course you can never guarantee a dog's health but I'd like to avoid losing two in quick succession if I can. On the other hand, a big age gap can mean one doddery old dog and a middle-aged loon who thinks he's a puppy, so it's hard to juggle walks.
Other than that... IME having more than one a dog is hard work but good fun.
We had 2 dogs till they were 13 ish and a while after they had both died we got another, but only one this time. After a year the family said that we should have got 2 and that our boy needed company if we were out. We looked at a rescue this time and it was the best thing we did. We had to introduce them at the rescue centre a couple of times and also in our home before we could keep her. Yes it was difficult at first as our boy was still lively and I must admit that initially I wondered what we'd done! However, they soon became inseparable and spend their time playing or cuddled up together.
As a previous poster said, a lot depends on your current dog, how they cope with other dogs and how well you think they will adapt.
The other consideration of course is the cost. Two lots of food, vets fees, kennel fees etc doesn't come cheap. We'll worth it in my opinion though!
Think about what type of dog she likes to play with. I have labs, and when getting my second, who was a rescue, I was sure I wanted a gun dog breed as they play well together & have similar personalities.
Likewise do they need & enjoy similar amounts and types of exercise?
Also does she feel more comfortable around males or females? Your vet or trainer may give you some good insights ( for example mine said definitely a female to pair with my boy, as he is a sap).
If you have not already done this, try her out in your home with a friends dog. Is she tolerant of another dog in her space?
Mine are 4 years apart, but would have been closer in age had I found the right one sooner.
Love having 2. Their relationship with ea h other is fascinating 😁
Pick dogs with similar energy levels both mine can go out for hours or be happy going for 20 minutes occasionally, but one can't go off lead and the other is fab but struggles around other dogs whereas the one on lead is friendly to every dog he sees.
Thank you all very much for those tips and insights, still mulling it over...thinking my dog would be happy with a friend because she loves other dogs, but it’s definitely a consideration- how well trained she is on recall does need work.
For me it would be a no. I think you want another because you really enjoy the one you have. That's exactly why we did just that.
We got a rescue who was a few months old when our dog was young, but fully grown. The one we already had was very lively, so was a handful anyway, but manageable. We thought they'd play and help burn eachothers energy off. But instead they both fought for 'top dog' position constantly. The rescue had very little training so was a real challenge too. It was a big mistake.
The rescue dog sadly died at only 2 years old from a heart condition. So we went back to having one dog for a few years.
Eventually we got a puppy. This made for a much better relationship between the dogs as the older dog was very well established as top dog and the pup knew it.
The eldest dog sadly died earlier this year. We won't be getting another dog because I don't think the remaining dog would take well to it, and it's too much to train a puppy with having a family now.
I definitely wouldn't consider getting another rescue unless it was going to be a lone dog.
Two dogs are a lot more work than one, and a rescue adds a whole other layer of potential hard work to that.