Would a male dog get along better with another male? Or female?
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Thread: Would a male dog get along better with another male? Or female?

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    Would a male dog get along better with another male? Or female?

    Hi everyone,

    Our family rescued a border collie/foxie (?) mix a couple months ago from the local shelter. He's a small guy, 13 pounds at 7 months old and probably won't be getting much bigger. Full of energy though, fun little dude

    Anyway, we've learned that he absolutely LOVES being around other dogs. Whenever we take him on walks, he wants nothing more than to run up and play with every dog we come across. That, and the fact that he spends a lot of time during the day alone (family at school and work), we've decided to consider getting a second dog so that they can keep eachother company.

    That said, we have no idea what to look for. We would like a bigger breed as our second pet. Do males generally get along better with other males? Or do they respond better to females? Is a bigger dog a reasonable idea, or should small dogs be paired with other small dogs?

    Any advice would be appreciated, thanks!

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    Senior Member rosemaryninja's Avatar
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    Re: Would a male dog get along better with another male? Or female?

    I wouldn't base your second dog choice on your current pet. Sure, you will need to take your first dog into account, but don't get a certain breed or gender just because it's supposedly more "compatible" with your first dog. Get a dog that suits you and your family, first and foremost -- in terms of exercise and grooming needs, looks, size, temperament and trainability.

    I'm not faulting you; it's just a warning as many people end up getting dogs for their dogs, without being able to handle the huge amount of work that comes with TWO adolescent dogs under the same roof.

    Generally, though, dogs of opposite sexes tend to do best together. Having a bigger dog would not be unreasonable at all, but it does mean you want to be much more careful about preventing aggression issues (a fight could be fatal) and even just watching their interactions together. A big dog can hurt a little one through play without realising it.

    How big do you mean when you say you would like a bigger breed? Do you mean Beagle size, Border Collie size, German Shepherd size, Great Dane size? My Beagles are just over 30 lbs (I think...not very good with the conversion) and play very comfortably with dogs around the size of Golden Retrievers, though I do watch carefully when they are wrestling.
    -Melissa
    Life is never dull with a Beagle

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    Senior Member FilleBelle's Avatar
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    Re: Would a male dog get along better with another male? Or female?

    Although it would make the most sense to get two dogs of similar sizes, the size of the dogs probably doesn't matter too much, as long as you have time for training and can keep an eye on them.

    In general, opposite sexes get along better than same sex pairs, but that can be an indivual thing, too. It's best to take your current dog to meet whatever dog you are considering bringing home. You should be able to tell relatively quickly if they will be able to at least tolerate each other.


    RIP Clifford, who never met a stranger

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    Senior Member Inga's Avatar
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    Re: Would a male dog get along better with another male? Or female?

    A general rule is male and female rather then male-male or female-female but each dog is an individual. Having your dog be a part of the decision making is a good idea as is good multi dog management on your part. My males get along great as did my multiple females in the house. Another rule of thumb is that males are easier from the perspective that if males get into a fight it is often over in a flash where as females will often fight until one is damaged so bad it cannot continue. Often to the death. Males fight over girls where girls fight over territory. Having 2 females in the house that do not get along is HELL! It would mean you have to keep them separate at ALL times. Any laps in that could mean coming home to a dead dog. I have been very lucky in my pairings and I think that constant management has made it possible to live in the house with same sex parings as well.


    “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” Gandhi

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    Senior Member FilleBelle's Avatar
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    Re: Would a male dog get along better with another male? Or female?

    On the flip side of dogs who want to kill each other are dogs who just don't care. Another reason to have the dogs meet (maybe a couple times) before you bring your second home is to make sure they actually like each other. My two boys completely ignore each other, each pretending he is the only dog in the house. If I'd gotten Clifford to keep Alvin company, I would have been sorely disappointed!


    RIP Clifford, who never met a stranger

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    Senior Member pamperedpups's Avatar
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    Re: Would a male dog get along better with another male? Or female?

    Socialization, training and management will all play a part in your success. Just be sure you are getting a dog for YOU that will get along with your other dog. If you are doing this more for your dog I would instead look into training classes, daycare or a dog walker for your dog to keep him entertained.

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    Re: Would a male dog get along better with another male? Or female?

    Thanks guys!

    I appreciate the advice on making sure that we find a dog suitable for us first and foremost. I didn't mean to imply originally that we wanted a second dog solely as a companion for our first. Any other dog we get will get just as much love and attention as Benji (the one we have now), rest assured

    We're intent on a larger breed mostly because that's what we've always had in the past. We had to put down our 9 year old golden retriever a few months ago due to an autoimmune disease, and even though we love Benji to death, we still miss having a bigger dog around the house.

    That said, the biggest breed we'd consider is another golden retriever, but we're set on rescuing one from a local shelter and goldens aren't exactly common there.

    Thanks again everyone!

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    Senior Member rosemaryninja's Avatar
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    Re: Would a male dog get along better with another male? Or female?

    If you want to go into Golden rescue, I would start with breed-specific rescues in your area. Many of the general animal shelters won't have purebred Goldens, but a breed rescue may be able to help you out. I would also try Petfinder.com -- key in your location and breed of choice, and it will give you some options for rescue in your area.

    Where do you live? Several of our members are very active in rescue and might be able to point you in the right direction.
    -Melissa
    Life is never dull with a Beagle

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    Re: Would a male dog get along better with another male? Or female?

    Thanks for the offer Melissa! As of yesterday though, we adopted our newest family furball.

    Furball is probably the wrong word to use though, as she's a healthy sized (55lb) 1 year old yellow lab. We found her at a local shelter, she had been brought in the day before by her previous owners because they had a newborn and "didn't want to risk having a dog around" It's a lab...

    She's awfully sweet, very timid though...but that's to be expected when you've just been abandoned by your family the day before. She was in a cage with another (very hyper) lab, so we're assuming that she'll get along with our smaller dog. We'll be sure to introduce them in a neutral setting though, as the kennel advised us to. Can't bring her home until tomorrow after she's been fixed.

    Thanks again for the advice everyone!
    Last edited by eon_blue; 12-14-2008 at 01:39 PM.

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