Here are some points to consider before bringing home a dog to keep your first dog company
By Shirin Merchant
Nandini’s dog Bruno a GSD was about 7 years old when she saw him slow down and stop playing as enthusiastically as he used. She remembered how much fun he used to have playing with other dogs when he was younger and so she brought home a puppy to help Bruno get out of his lethargy and to give him a doggy companion to play with. But when the pup came home, Bruno was extremely displeased and growled at the pup and refused to have anything to do with him. Nandini was surprised and unhappy. Why did Bruno reject the puppy? Most people think that their dogs will accept a second dog at home without a hitch, but that can sometimes end up going wrong. So if you are considering bringing home a second dog, here are some reasons to reconsider your decision.
- Getting a 2nd dog to help your current dog get over his fears or aggression towards other dogs.
If your dog already dislikes other dogs, bringing home a 2nd dog would be his worst nightmare come true. Most of the time this decision ends up with fights between the two dogs, or the first dog sulking in a corner or withdrawing altogether. If your dog is not friendly with other dogs, it is alright to teach him to stay away from other dogs. There is no need for him to have doggy friends to be a happy complete dog. He can play with his own family and be content enough.
- To perk up a lethargic elderly dog
Bringing home a puppy to perk up the energy of an older dog is a bad idea. Very few adult dogs enjoy having a pup around. Pups can be quite a nuisance – biting the ears of the older dog when he is trying to take a nap, using his tail as a tug toy and even worse, being cute and stealing plenty of love, attention and cuddles away from the older dog. Many an older dog sulks and withdraws from company altogether when a pup enters the equation. Do keep in mind that your older dog has enjoyed all the love and attention all these years, many resent having to share that with a newcomer.
- Because you don’t have time to spend with your first dog and he is lonely.
If you don’t have time for one dog, how are you going to have time for two? Both dogs will need your time and effort to train, play, spend quality time and exercise them. Two dogs don’t mean half the effort, its actually double the effort.
If you cannot put that in, you will likely end up with two dogs that have created a relationship and left you out of it.
- To give your dog a friend because he enjoys playing with other dogs.
Dog that enjoy playing with other dogs outside of their home may not share the same enthusiasm to share their home, bed, toys, treats and human affection with another dog. Before you bring home a second dog, do a test run with a foster dog if possible to see whether your dog enjoys sharing his home with a second dog.
- Because dogs need doggy friends
This though process has led to so many situations of dog to dog aggression. Whilst every dog needs to play, they do not need to have doggy friends to feel fulfilled; they can play with us- their human family. So taking your dog to doggy parks, doggy play dates and even dog events to help him make dog friends is not always in your dog’s best interest. In many of these places, dogs end up either playing games where they bully other dogs, get bullied or practice subtle forms of aggression. The best friend your dog should have should be you.
If this has raised doubt in your mind about bringing home a second dog; a trial run with a foster dog or a friend’s dog for a few weeks should give you a better answer to whether your dog would enjoy sharing his home and family with a second dog.