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So I currently have a six month old cocker spaniel - chihuahua puppy. We got her when she was 10 weeks old. Training is coming along nicely. She is super playful and has quite a few tricks under her belt. But one thing we have noticed is that she has trouble being alone. She just LOVES being around other dogs (and people). For this reason I feel quite guilty when we have to leave her home alone a few hours a few days a week. I am considering getting a second dog AT SOME POINT. I know this will not cure her seperation anxiety and that is something we will continue to work on. However I have never had a dog that LOVES other dogs this much so this whole second dog thing is new to me. Any advice on this would be great. I have read that I should wait until she is at least a year old, but have also read that introducing a second dog while she is young is also good so that she does not get too used to being an only dog. Also from what I have heard, getting a dog of the opposite sex is the best bet in terms of the two dogs getting along. I'll also mention that I am open to the second dog being either older or younger than her. What do you think would be best? Any advice is greatly appreciated! Thank you!
 

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I would recommend waiting a minimum of two years before adding a second dog for several reasons:

1. You can "finish" training your current dog and can work out any "bad" behaviours before they get passed on to the second puppy.
2. You will know your current puppy's adult behaviour/mentality and will be better able to judge what type of other dog would suit best.
3. Littermate syndrome can happen to puppies even of different ages. Your current puppy already loves other dogs so much so this would be a potential risk.
4. If you have dogs close to the same age you have to consider the possibility of losing both of them to old age at close to the same time. Also 2 senior dogs = higher vet bill (same with 2 puppies).
5. It's A LOT harder to train when you have two dogs (unless you have someone to help you all the time). So for two young dogs/puppies who need a lot of training it can be difficult.

She just LOVES being around other dogs (and people). For this reason I feel quite guilty when we have to leave her home alone a few hours a few days a week. I am considering getting a second dog AT SOME POINT. I know this will not cure her seperation anxiety and that is something we will continue to work on.
Getting a second dog for this reason could backfire. You could end up with a dog who simply CAN'T be alone because she's used to another dog always being there.


Also from what I have heard, getting a dog of the opposite sex is the best bet in terms of the two dogs getting along
This is true. Male-female is best, then male-male, and female-female is the worst combination (though it does depend a lot on the individual dogs of course).


I had planned to wait 4 years before adding a second dog, but that didn't happen. Ours are two years apart and even with two years, we did have some challenges because they were both very young (even mentally). It can be done of course, it's just good to be aware of the possible issues.

Your puppy is super cute btw :)
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Thank you so much for your reply! It makes total sense that trying to raise two puppies together would have its issues, so as much as I have puppy fever I'm not going to do that lol. I have thought about possibly an adult rescue (2 years or older maybe). I see what you're saying in that I should wait to understand my pup's adult personality, but for some reason I'm afraid that if I wait too long she may be less accepting of a new dog in the house. She loves other dogs but she is also very very bonded to me and my family, so I'm kind of worried that as time goes on she will be less willing to share us. I'm curious what you think about the idea of getting an older dog. Do you think it would still be best to wait until she is at least two years old?
 

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I would recommend waiting a minimum of two years before adding a second dog for several reasons:

1. You can "finish" training your current dog and can work out any "bad" behaviours before they get passed on to the second puppy.
2. You will know your current puppy's adult behaviour/mentality and will be better able to judge what type of other dog would suit best.
3. Littermate syndrome can happen to puppies even of different ages. Your current puppy already loves other dogs so much so this would be a potential risk.
4. If you have dogs close to the same age you have to consider the possibility of losing both of them to old age at close to the same time. Also 2 senior dogs = higher vet bill (same with 2 puppies).
5. It's A LOT harder to train when you have two dogs (unless you have someone to help you all the time). So for two young dogs/puppies who need a lot of training it can be difficult.

Getting a second dog for this reason could backfire. You could end up with a dog who simply CAN'T be alone because she's used to another dog always being there.


This is true. Male-female is best, then male-male, and female-female is the worst combination (though it does depend a lot on the individual dogs of course).


I had planned to wait 4 years before adding a second dog, but that didn't happen. Ours are two years apart and even with two years, we did have some challenges because they were both very young (even mentally). It can be done of course, it's just good to be aware of the possible issues.

Your puppy is super cute btw :)
Thank you so much for your reply! It makes total sense that trying to raise two puppies together would have its issues, so as much as I have puppy fever I'm not going to do that lol. I have thought about possibly an adult rescue (2 years or older maybe). I see what you're saying in that I should wait to understand my pup's adult personality, but for some reason I'm afraid that if I wait too long she may be less accepting of a new dog in the house. She loves other dogs but she is also very very bonded to me and my family, so I'm kind of worried that as time goes on she will be less willing to share us. I'm curious what you think about the idea of getting an older dog. Do you think it would still be best to wait until she is at least two years old?
 

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I see what you're saying in that I should wait to understand my pup's adult personality, but for some reason I'm afraid that if I wait too long she may be less accepting of a new dog in the house.
I think this could happen even if you got a second dog now. Then you'd end up with two dogs who don't get along. Not fun.

Personally I still think it's best to wait, but that's really just my opinion. People do it all the time and it can be done.
 

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In general, dogs who are dog-friendly by nature and dog-socialized by nurture (play dates, puppy kindergarten, meeting dogs owned by friends and family) will be able to accomodate the introduction of a new dog into the household as adults just fine. Supervision and some household management in thw beginning particularly but nothing overwhelming.

Personally, I would wait a year or so. Till pup is at least 1.5 to 2 years old. Enjoy the one on one time and build a strong bond and training foundation while also seeing what dogs she likes as she matures (big, small, male, female, bouncy or laid back etc)

Then you can either dive into puppyhood all over again or consider adult rescue. Maybe going for an adult 3-4 years of age so you can really see how the mesh together
 

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I would deal with the separation anxiety first. If she is stressing because -you- are leaving, then another dog probably isn't going to help. In fact dogs that are stressed from SA can make another dog in the house stressed while you are gone as well. Or I've also seen the dog with SA suddenly get snappy with the other dog because they are stressed from you being gone.

Though I'm not sure what level of SA you are talking about. Barking? Destroying? Panicking? I would consult a positive reinforcement based trainer/behaviorist and deal with that first.

Other than that.. I'm not the type to tell people when the best time to get a new dog is. That is different for everyone.

Mine are 2 years apart but I would have been fine getting another when my first was about a year old. I only waited because I plan on more dogs down the road and puppies exhaust me for awhile. Also if you've never had two dogs before it can be kind of a shock. One to two dogs is usually a big jump for a lot of people and can be a heck of a lot more work.
 

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I agree with the others. Wait and get your current puppy trained and behaving like you want. It may sound odd, but I have learned over the years that you do not REALLY "know" the dog you have until he or she is about 3 years old. This is with regular training (both formal and informal). I think it is like this because it takes about that long for the dog to solidify their adult behavior.

I also suggest something else. Get your dogs spaced even further apart in age. Elder dogs can run into some pretty expensive medical issues just like older humans. If you wait and have your dogs separated in age by 5-6 years, you won't be dealing with two elder dogs at the same time. I never thought about this a lot until I was in that situation with cats. Suddenly my cats were all 15 to 16 years old and it felt like my paycheck was going to the vet. Then they started to pass away and I went from 4 cats to no cats in about 18 months. That was tough too.

Enjoy the dog you have for awhile. You need your dog to bond to YOU and not to another dog.
 

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We got our second puppy when the first one was 7 months and we had no issues, honestly, but it really depends on the dogs. Our first one didn't have any 'bad' behavior to pass down. We had no litter syndrome issues at all.

Now we have a 1yo and a 13yo (almost 14) and we will eventually get another dog when our first one is gone. We'll have to figure out things like where to keep the crate (our current puppy has a huge one and there's not really room for another one in this room), how to handle walks (can't imagine walking two dogs at once considering how crazy the puppy gets on walks chasing squirrels or barking at other dogs - she's leash reactive).. lots of logistic questions to think about.
 

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I'm planning on waiting until 4-5 year-old before adding a new dog. My Rottie mix is currently 2. He's a challenging dog to train and needs a lot of one on one time. It'll also give him a bit more time to mellow out a bit. In the meantime, I'm continuing to set up playdates with compatible dogs so he gets puppy playtime.
 
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