An extra dog in the house, now what?
The more the merrier. A slogan that sounds quite familiar to you. This can apply to both humans and dogs. A new playmate at first seems like nothing but roses and moons, but the reality is that it is the other way around. But with good preparation, you are already one step ahead of that negative reality!
TIP: NEVER take a second dog if you are already short of time for your first dog. It may seem like the ideal solution for both dogs to be able to entertain each other during the hours when they are alone at home. Yet nothing could be further from the truth, this is rather a recipe for misery. Your newest dog will have difficulties in training, especially when it comes to listening to his owner and the two dogs will be more fond of each other than their owner. So think before you start!
Does your dog agree to this?
A second (or maybe even third, fourth or fifth) dog in the house, your current dog may like this very much or nothing at all. Not every dog is eager for a new four-legged friend in the house. Some dogs have a stronger "pack feeling" than others and you should always respect this.
Suddenly a new puppy in the house can pose a risk. In the eyes of your current dog, there is suddenly an intruder in the house with whom he has to share everything for the rest of his days. Although this is not always the case, some matches are better than others. It is often recommended to put a male and a female together, which does not alter the fact that both 2 males and 2 females can get along perfectly. The best way to find the ideal match is to see if their energies match.
Have the first encounter in a neutral place with both dogs on a leash. Take a walk with the dogs together and always reward good behavior, so you create a group feeling for them between the two. After the walk, go into your house with both dogs.
The first weeks are always the hardest, everyone is trying to find their way in the new home situation and this can sometimes cause some fireworks. It is best to take some measures to avoid troubles. Like giving each their own toys or taking them away for the initial period. If you feel tension between the two dogs, separate them for a while. Also give each dog its own sleeping place with a basket and its own food bowl.
Dogs need structure, especially if they live with several people. Times when they are being chased (such as the moment just before they eat, or for a walk, etc.) can sometimes be the perfect excuse to set both dogs on fire at each other. So always avoid such a moment by keeping a close eye on their body language. Do you see one of the dogs getting agitated? Send your dogs back to their place until things calm down.
If you take a second dog (or maybe a third, fourth or fifth dog yourself), take the consequences into account. Multiple dogs in the house also means twice as much dog hair in the house, twice as much dog supplies, double vet costs, etc. A dog that comes into your life usually stays there for 10 to 15 years. Keep in mind whether your dog fits into your future plans. Adding a dog costs time and money but brings you back so much more. An extra dog immediately provides that extra portion of dog love!