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I adopted my current dog 3 years ago, at 8 months. She was trouble at first but has matured into such a lovely, stable, friendly pup. In the years I've had her we have dogsat multiple times, walked various dogs, etc. It always works very well, Thea truly thrives in the company of other dogs and has no problems sharing toys/treats/chews (we usually hide chews in case other dogs guard, but on occasion they've found one we missed). She often goes off her food for a few days after her buddies go home.

We've been considering adding a second dog for quite a while. My partner has only ever had dogs in twos, and assures me it's no more work than just having one. I, on the other hand, have only ever had single dogs and am a bit nervous. We can definitely afford it, and while we don't have a backyard we have access to miles and miles of trails. I'm confident in my ability to train it for basic stuff, and we have access to great trainers for anything I can't handle. My main worry is that the dogs will become too dependent on each other, or the second dog won't bond as much with us.

So basically, when did you decide to get a second dog, and how much extra work was/is it? How did your first dog adjust, and did you take any steps to ensure the dogs weren't too attached to each other? Anything you wish you would have done differently?
 

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It's much more work at first if you get a puppy... then it's really not. The 'walking two dogs at once' part can be a bit difficult though, so you're going to need a plan for that (but with two of you, that's easier). And obviously they still both need attention. But really, as long as they get along (obviously), it's not really more work. Take them out at the same time, feed them at the same time...

We actually got our second dog when our first was 7 months, and we had no issue at all with the second dog not bonding with us. Then again, we got a puppy last year when our dog was 13... no problem there either (obviously - going from an old dog to a puppy was a HUGE change). The only reason we didn't get a second dog for years (we had to rehome the first one after he snapped at my toddlers and he was barking all day if he was not with us - we lived in an apartment at the time) is because we thought our old dog was dog aggressive... when really he was only leash reactive.

Anyway - dogs are pack animals and I do believe that they are happier with another one. I mean, my two dogs don't really interact much because my old dog is just so old, but they do sniff each other and they still have each other's company. We're actually on the list for another puppy, we don't want our young dog to be alone down the road, and you can tell that she misses playing with other dogs (she's also leash reactive, so it limits what we can do unfortunately - but we've watched a friend's dog a few times and she definitely loves playing with him).
 

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Thanks for your input. :) Should have specified, we're not looking for a puppy, but rather hoping for a dog between 8 months and 4 years. Looking at private rehomes and shelters.
 

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Many dogs enjoy the company of other dogs, but not all do. (It sounds like yours does.)

We had three dogs until fairly recently when we lost two of them. (All seniors.) Molly, the dog we still have, got along fine with the other two but was iffy around strange dogs. Even at home, she was an anxious and neurotic (though affectionate) girl.

I thought she would get worse when we lost her "sister but, to my surprise, she blossomed. She's more confident, less whiney and just generally a joy to be around.

I'm quite sure this has little to do with your situation, but I wanted to point out that some dogs prefer to be an only dog.
 

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Two dogs are about 4x as much work as one. Maybe you can walk them together but before that happens you might have an extensive period of training the new one to walk nicely then retrain to walk them together. Double the food bill. Double the kennel bill. Double the vet bills. They will 'pack up' and be a nuisance greeting people, egg one another on when hunting critters in the yard and so on. That's all if the two get along all the time.

I love having 2 dogs though. I can train twice as much. One of my dogs hates running so I take the other when I ride my trike. The circus act when they think it is time to get up in the morning is so silly, annoying and funny. I can be patient when the one takes her sweet time bringing me back her toy because the other is good about bringing things to more or less hand.

Edit. forgot grooming. You may need new tools and it will take twice as long to bathe and groom and trim nails and such.
 

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As long as you’re ready, and your dog responds well to other dogs, then you shouldn’t overthink it. How much work this second dog will be depends upon their breed, age, etc. Quite obviously, if you adopt a pup, they’re going to require care and training. It should also be noted that your dog may not enjoy a puppy straight away, until they’re older and trained. Since it seems you’re not looking for a dog that is very young, I don’t foresee this being an issue.
However, a second dog does not usually add much more work in all honesty. It only becomes more complicated when you have 3-4 dogs. The two dogs I share my home with are no more or less work alone than they are together. Most dogs will adapt to the schedule and routine of your current dog. While it does come down to the individual, it’s usually safe to say that it isn’t much different having two dogs rather than one.
Dogs should have another dog. They do so much better when kept in groups. It stimulates them, allows them to practice natural behavior, and provides security. I personally would not keep a dog alone if I had the choice. I would not overthink this frankly. Sounds to me like you’re alrwady fully prepared. Good luck finding a new dog! Congrats on expanding your furry family!
 

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Be very careful of gender. I strongly suggest whatever gender the dog you have now is, I would get a second dog of the opposite gender. I am in the process of re-homing a beautifully well bred and well trained (titled)5 year old dog that is a female that does not see eye to eye with the older female I have and is ready to stop trialing. She just wants to be the "house dog." It cannot work between the two.. so keep that in mind. Your current dog may not want another dog around.

I am soon to be down to two dogs. I never let me dogs together so two is twice the work for me. I always walk mine separately.

I like to keep a spread between dogs age wise. When one dog turns 7, it is time to get a puppy. "Four years to train; Four years to Trial; Four years retired" is how I do it.
 

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My partner has only ever had dogs in twos, and assures me it's no more work than just having one.
Your partner lies! Haha! My experience has been more like Kathyy's:
Two dogs are about 4x as much work as one. Maybe you can walk them together but before that happens you might have an extensive period of training the new one to walk nicely then retrain to walk them together. Double the food bill. Double the kennel bill. Double the vet bills. They will 'pack up' and be a nuisance greeting people, egg one another on when hunting critters in the yard and so on. That's all if the two get along all the time.
It will especially be more work for the first year or so while you're figuring it all out and training the new dog. I could see two small dogs not being that much more work, but two big dog? Um yeah. It's a lot more work. And that's if they get along okay and don't have any major personality issues.

Overall though, both my dogs are happier having each other. Pepper has someone to play with all the time and Kane has someone to just be with so he's not alone.

It is important for them to have time alone, especially your current dog - it sounds like she could become dependent on the new dog. That's one of the things we didn't do enough of when we added Kane and he now has bad separation anxiety. It's not that we didn't know that it was important, it's just with only two of us in the household it didn't work with our schedule to do things with them separately. That part would be easier with more people in the house to help.

We got Kane when Pepper was only two so not a great age gap between them. If I were to do it again I would wait until the first dog was at least 3 or 4 and fully matured (mentally). Pepper adjusted fine to having Kane around because at the time she was still basically a puppy herself (still thinks she is) so she thought it was great to have a playmate. However it didn't take long to realize Kane had issues we weren't prepared for. He was pushy and wouldn't back down from anything. Pepper would try to correct him for things and instead of taking the hint, he would get aggressive with her and fights would break out. It took a couple of years for both them and us to figure this all out. We figured out what the triggers were, and Pepper basically backed off and let him be the "boss". We had never had two dogs before so didn't know what was normal and what wasn't, but man those first 6 months or so were quite stressful for me.

Overall the dogs are happier having each other around, but personally I don't think I would ever have 2 big dogs again. Together they outweigh me by over 30lbs so it's quite challenging to walk them together, especially now that Pepper has become leash reactive and Kane has major fear issues.

Having said all that though, lots of people successfully have 2 or more dogs without any issues so I think it depends a lot on the dogs and their personalities. Also what 3GSD4IPO said about genders is something to consider. You have a female already so I would not get another female. A male would have a better chance of success.
 

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It is definitely more work with 2 dogs.. but once you are used to 2 then it really isn't I guess? It helps when you have two well trained/behaving dogs. My two girls when one was 2 and the other just a pup was kind of chaos at times. Now they are 3 1/2 and 5.. so have calmed down considerably. Also lots of training and they are both fairly well trained.. except when we have visitors the first few minutes is always chaos.

It sounds like you already have a well established/trained adult.. so that helps. Seek a personality that is middle of the road, friendly, not overly hyper. Talk to rescues about what you are looking for. The better the personalities of the dogs mesh with you and the other dog.. the easier owning 2 dogs is.

I sometimes do miss having only one. I loved devoting all my time and energy into just my Kai. But having 2 is also a joy in its own way. It really is just something you have to get used to.
 

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It depends on so many things!

I felt like I added Brae at the perfect time. Sor was 11 yrs old when I brought 8.5 week Brae into our lives. Sor was at an age where I shouldn't be pushing him as hard anymore, and it was great for me to have a very demanding pup to start out fresh with. That said, I feel like I put a lot of pressure on my dogs. I don't own dogs 'just to have dogs' and I couldn't imagine doing all that I do for two dogs at once. This is why I waited so long before getting Brae. So when Sor is gone, I won't feel any need to add another dog. But if I do, it's my partner's turn to choose and we'll likely get a pretty easy going pup. It would actually be nice for Brae to have a playmate but for me to not feel any pressure to train the dog.

In terms of work, I think two dogs are 4x the work. But again with my expectations... Also, my situation is unique in that I knew going into things that Sor is a resource guarder, that I would have two males, that I live in a tiny house. So there was a lot of management and separate training going on. I never expected to have a normal 'two loving dogs' situation. I have something close to that now, but it still blows my mind every time my dogs lie down next to each other. I lucked out because Brae's personality is a perfect compliment to Sor's. But it was still a hard adjustment for Soro. A lot of moping, clinginess, and hiding in the back room since he hated the new puppy.

Logistically, my life is structured to have one dog at a time. My tiny car barely fits both dogs. And actually, I can't comfortably drive both of them around because Sor's leg hurts if he lies down wrong and he will also growl at Brae for moving too close in the car. Brae is pretty much frozen and afraid of upsetting Sor when they are in the car together. I can't fit two dogs on my paddleboard. Little details like that are important to me. But mostly, it's a mental/emotional thing.

There's also the financial aspect. I spend sooo much money on food for 140# of dog, vet bills for a very senior dog, vet bills for a brash young dog. And I double most of what I buy because of the resource guarding issue, 'fairness', and all that.

If I owned my own property, if I had more financial stability, if I had a larger vehicle, if I had a larger house... A lot of 'ifs' would change the picture for me. For example, I don't see getting a small dog to be the same amount of work as getting another med-large dog. And Brae is so social, adding another dog will be much easier with him compared to how it was with Soro. And maybe one day I will mentally be able to get a dog and just let the dog be a dog without doing all of the training I want to do now. Expectations and lifestyle are everything.
 

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Thanks for the input everyone! Some very good points have been made!

Your partner lies! Haha! I could see two small dogs not being that much more work, but two big dog?
To be fair, he did grow up with small dogs! Haha

I do feel like our dog being 4 and overall very easygoing (no behavioural or health issues) makes much easier. I definitely would not have added a second dog when she was younger, but she's such a lovely, stable dog now that I'm not worried about having to focus on training another one.

It is important for them to have time alone, especially your current dog - it sounds like she could become dependent on the new dog.
This is what I'm afraid of. She has some minor separation anxiety with us, and I'm afraid it may translate into separation anxiety with a new dog. However, the trainers I've spoken to seem to think that as long as we find a mellow/non-anxious dog, it would actually be very good for her to have a second dog in the house.

There's also the financial aspect. I spend sooo much money on food for 140# of dog, vet bills for a very senior dog, vet bills for a brash young dog. And I double most of what I buy because of the resource guarding issue, 'fairness', and all that.
That's definitely another thing to consider! Thankfully, I can get food/treats/accessories almost at cost through work at the moment which helps a lot (could still afford to feed dogs without it, but it's nice being able to save money!).

The opposite sex thing is definitely something to consider, since I was actually leaning towards another female.
 

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I know PLENTY of homes with two or more of the same gender and absolutely no issues. Yes, opposite genders are nice. And same-sex aggression is a thing. But usually that's something you know about your dog before getting another dog. Regardless, I don't know any statistical data that backs up that claim. I think it really comes down to individual personality. For example, if your female dog has never had issues with other female dogs, I wouldn't expect same-sex aggression to spontaneously pop up with any female dog you bring home.
 

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I know PLENTY of homes with two or more of the same gender and absolutely no issues. Yes, opposite genders are nice. And same-sex aggression is a thing. But usually that's something you know about your dog before getting another dog. Regardless, I don't know any statistical data that backs up that claim. I think it really comes down to individual personality. For example, if your female dog has never had issues with other female dogs, I wouldn't expect same-sex aggression to spontaneously pop up with any female dog you bring home.
This is very true. I guess the only thing I'd be wary of would be that the other female, if adopted before she was fully mature, would eventually develop same-sex aggression. But definitely something to think about!
 

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I know PLENTY of homes with two or more of the same gender and absolutely no issues. Yes, opposite genders are nice. And same-sex aggression is a thing. But usually that's something you know about your dog before getting another dog. Regardless, I don't know any statistical data that backs up that claim. I think it really comes down to individual personality. For example, if your female dog has never had issues with other female dogs, I wouldn't expect same-sex aggression to spontaneously pop up with any female dog you bring home.
The issue is this.. the dog that starts a bitch fight is almost always the dog that is weaker.. the dog you would LEAST expect it from. Yes. I know females that live together but after ONE bitch fight you won't ever trust it again.

In my case, I have an 8 year old Show Line (German) female. She has been in the house and in a kennel, but as she aged more in the house. She is a dependent dog and not strong at all. She is nervy in not a good way (too much nerve). The second female was started in the house (as all my dogs are) and both were in the house from day 1 of the second dog coming home (I just used gates and crates to keep them apart as I wanted each dog to bond to me, not to each other). On rare occasion they were together. There were no problems but it was not a frequent thing.

I titled the young dog. She is a bossy bitch but is not interested in the older bitch.. not at all. I have had them together in the house. I have watched them. This is what happens.

The older bitch lays on her bed or on the rug and is either sleeping or gnawing a bone or playing with the cat. The young bitch is doing her thing with a ball or bone of her own. The young one will come to me and deposit a ball or toy in my lap. As she is focused on me and her ball, the older bitch "sees an opening" and for an old dog can move VERY fast. She is up on her feet and ready to "start it." I stopped it every time BEFORE it started. Now that I have seen this twice, I know. I never let them together. I swap them through the house.

More recently if one or the other walks past the other one's outdoor kennel they get a bit snarky though the fence. It is brewing..

The bigger issue is that bitches fight to the death. Both usually end up badly injured. One or both can end up dead. Once it actually starts, it is hate forever. It is truly dangerous. You cannot predict what bitches will or will not "start it." Certainly no one would ever think my older dog would start anything.. but she would and has shown she would.

Males will also fight.. but usually not with the intensity of females UNLESS a female is in season. They will "argue" but are much less inclined to do serious harm.

The saying is this:
Males fight for Breeding Rights.

Females fight of BREATHING rights.

FWIW both of these dogs are spayed. Both were spayed after have a few heats. Both have been spayed for over 2 years. Both dogs have been trained in IPO.
 

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The issue is this.. the dog that starts a bitch fight is almost always the dog that is weaker.. the dog you would LEAST expect it from. Yes. I know females that live together but after ONE bitch fight you won't ever trust it again.

In my case, I have an 8 year old Show Line (German) female. She has been in the house and in a kennel, but as she aged more in the house. She is a dependent dog and not strong at all. She is nervy in not a good way (too much nerve). The second female was started in the house (as all my dogs are) and both were in the house from day 1 of the second dog coming home (I just used gates and crates to keep them apart as I wanted each dog to bond to me, not to each other). On rare occasion they were together. There were no problems but it was not a frequent thing.

I titled the young dog. She is a bossy bitch but is not interested in the older bitch.. not at all. I have had them together in the house. I have watched them. This is what happens.

The older bitch lays on her bed or on the rug and is either sleeping or gnawing a bone or playing with the cat. The young bitch is doing her thing with a ball or bone of her own. The young one will come to me and deposit a ball or toy in my lap. As she is focused on me and her ball, the older bitch "sees an opening" and for an old dog can move VERY fast. She is up on her feet and ready to "start it." I stopped it every time BEFORE it started. Now that I have seen this twice, I know. I never let them together. I swap them through the house.

More recently if one or the other walks past the other one's outdoor kennel they get a bit snarky though the fence. It is brewing..

The bigger issue is that bitches fight to the death. Both usually end up badly injured. One or both can end up dead. Once it actually starts, it is hate forever. It is truly dangerous. You cannot predict what bitches will or will not "start it." Certainly no one would ever think my older dog would start anything.. but she would and has shown she would.

Males will also fight.. but usually not with the intensity of females UNLESS a female is in season. They will "argue" but are much less inclined to do serious harm.

The saying is this:
Males fight for Breeding Rights.

Females fight of BREATHING rights.

FWIW both of these dogs are spayed. Both were spayed after have a few heats. Both have been spayed for over 2 years. Both dogs have been trained in IPO.
But these fights can and have happened with dogs of opposite genders. My girls growing up and current HAVE had little squabbles that never led to full blown fights. They snark, I say "HEY!" and they are done. They go back to business as usual.. no further issues. I even had intact females. Same deal. I know males that have killed each other. I know opposite genders who have fought. Breed same sex aggression is absolutely a thing but I really have yet to see same genders being as big of a problem as often stated by people on here. I still really think personality is key in a lot of dogs.
 

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Bitch battles are not little spats. Once started they are calculated to the point of one dog stalking the other.. waiting for that momentary opening.

They will kill each other and that is the full intent. Truly. Will. Kill.

The problem is common enough.
 

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Bitch battles are not little spats. Once started they are calculated to the point of one dog stalking the other.. waiting for that momentary opening.

They will kill each other and that is the full intent. Truly. Will. Kill.

The problem is common enough.
But. I still don't think it is just a "bitch" thing.

I have definitely known males to go after and kill another male in the same household. And now that I really think about it I DO remember a male killing a female in a fairly recent incident.. lived together several years but had squabbles until it was unsupervised and ended badly. I don't actually know of any female-female killing incidents and I know a lot of people who have same gender households. So.. yeah. I know it can happen but it's not as super common or cut and dry as it is made out to be.

If I'm going by my local experiences it would be don't ever get two males.. but I know plenty of happy male only households, too. Your experiences say females together are an issue. Mine say it isn't an issue. I don't really know what is right because experience here and experience there say completely different things. Which is why I no longer believe it is really a "gender thing" so much as a "personality/genetics thing" as well as management etc.

So. I think you can get unlucky no matter what. Or you are fine. Just depends.
 

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But. I still don't think it is just a "bitch" thing.

I have definitely known males to go after and kill another male in the same household. And now that I really think about it I DO remember a male killing a female in a fairly recent incident.. lived together several years but had squabbles until it was unsupervised and ended badly. I don't actually know of any female-female killing incidents and I know a lot of people who have same gender households. So.. yeah. I know it can happen but it's not as super common or cut and dry as it is made out to be.

If I'm going by my local experiences it would be don't ever get two males.. but I know plenty of happy male only households, too. Your experiences say females together are an issue. Mine say it isn't an issue. I don't really know what is right because experience here and experience there say completely different things. Which is why I no longer believe it is really a "gender thing" so much as a "personality/genetics thing" as well as management etc.

So. I think you can get unlucky no matter what. Or you are fine. Just depends.

Absolutely just depends. The only serious fight I've had among my dogs was Thud and Jack (now deceased, and not from the fight). The girls never, ever so much as snark at each other. The boys are best friends. Kylie yells at Kiran a lot, though like your girls it's a 'hey' and done thing.

There are 3 girls here, by the way. They're 12ish, 6 and 4. And, again, never had an issue. Kylie mostly ignores both of them (her yelling at Kiran is consistently about Kiran stepping on her/her thinking Kiran's going to step on her), Bug and Molly are the best friends ever. Bug snuggles up to Molly a lot, and Molly, when Bug wakes up and can't find people (deaf) and howls runs off to lead Bug to us.
 
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