Our fearless leader at the Doggie Diva Dog Boutique introduced a new puppy to her already well-trained and loving Australian Shepherd. Little Kya is a girl, like Rain, so they are like big and little sister in the household canine status. I have two dogs also, the second that was introduced to our mature 7-year-old male mixed Golden Lab. Sophie is a Labrador Retriever and she really had to work her way into Shiloh’s world! The result of having two dogs rather than just one is a benefit that both of our families appreciate! Why? Here are 5 main reasons.
The advantage of an older dog paired with a new pup means they have each other to prevent loneliness or separation anxiety. Since the lone fur partner has had the family all to him or herself, the introduction of a new fur buddy can cause some initial jealousy. As long as we, the masters, continue to show equal affection and attention to our “first-born” the older dog will respond quickly to the newer one out of simple curiosity. Early encouragement of having the two eat together, get treats at the same time and sleeping near each other will soon have them bonding as a pair.
The elder of the two companions will have a perfect chance to show off their superiority when it comes to obeying commands and performing any tricks they know. The younger pup will be fascinated with the older one’s talent, and naturally start to imitate their behavior. Of course, your time spent training your new family member will be just as important as it was for your first dog, the time may be greatly reduced, since you have a four-pawed training assistant to demonstrate the desired behavior. On the “Lucky Dog” CBS show, Brandon McMillan, often links a new rescue at the Lucky Dog Ranch by leash to a more experienced resident not only for training in the commands, but also for trust and socialization behaviors.
Have you ever taken your dog to friends’ homes where there is another dog? When they play together, you often find they want to show off right in front of you! Since K9’s are pack animals, their play and getting to know each other’s characteristics can be a huge source of entertainment for their humans! More than that, observing animal behaviors between two dogs is a lesson in itself. Two dogs will not only sniff, nose bump and wag their tails at each other. They will also eventually have their own form of face to face or laying side by side means of communications. Sophie and Shiloh have regular conversations by one walking up to the other, staring him down then both approaching me to look up together for a bone or a trip outside. We have even found that when Sophie cannot get us to do something she wants, she will go to Shiloh and he will be the one to approach us to do the asking!
If you have one quiet pooch and the other is barky, then you have a built-in alarm system! When you walk both fur BFF’s together, you will be less likely to experience harassment or unwanted attention. This can be important in an urban area. Two dogs who belong in the same household will also tend to look after each other. So, when a strange dog enters your yard or the pair’s territory, they will look out for each other. One protection behavior we have noticed over the years, is that Shiloh, the more laid back of the two, will go up to a more aggressive dog if they show attention to Sophie, and Shiloh will lay his head over the stranger dog’s neck. The assertive one will calm down instantly and leave the yard.
When our older dogs start to age, we tend to be so in love with that fuzzy family member, that we declare we could never have another canine companion when the first-born is gone. So, if you introduce a new pup into the household, you will soon find out that the younger one will become just as loved and adored, so that when your old boy or girl’s life runs out, you will have your younger one to soften the blow! Another advantage of two woofers approximately 7 years apart in age, is that the younger one will keep the older one spry and young much longer!
The joy of two dogs, no matter what their age, size, mix or breed is almost always worth the additional time, pet care and loving attention. Just think, when you leave the two of them to go to work or even travel, they have each other to rely on either at home or at the kennel. Then when you return home with them, you have double the unconditional love and licks from two precious tail wagging kiddos!