(Closed) For Dog Owners With More Than 1 Dog….

posted 10 years ago in Pets
Post # 3
670 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

I hope your boy was neutered, not spayed πŸ™‚


Having just failed at adding a 2nd dog to our household, I think the only advice I can give (for what it’s worth) is no matter what age, breed of dog you get, ensure the temperment’s of both dogs match. The puppy we had to find a new home for was wonderful, trainable, easy to work with, but on top of her puppy energy was more of a spitfire in terms of temperment. Our first/current dog, male, Golden Ret, almost 2 yrs old, is very mellow, very laid back. He loved to play for a short while, but grew tired of her very quickly, and it wasn’t fair to him, you could tell he was miserable, and just wanted to be left alone.


Our guy is very sociable, but when it came down to it, between him, and us, we realized a very hard way we were not a two-dog household. We had to learn something a really crappy way, we loved her to bits, but she altered our household far from the way we antipated it would, and far from the reason we wanted a second dog. Her new family just lost their first dog, and wanted a companion for their second dog, and we hope we made the best decision for everyone.


For you, I don’t think age matters, I think each age range comes with its own set of differences that you have to be willing to adapt to until the transition and regular routine of the 2nd dog has become natural.

We have a male already, and got a female. I don’t think it matters, I know lots of people with males, females and one of each πŸ™‚

Post # 4
1947 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

LOL!  I don’t think your current boy is spayed, since that involves removing the uterus.  If you had his testicles removed, he has been NEUTERED.  

To answer your questions though, the gender thing depends on your dog and the dog you are considering adopting.  We have a male dog and have done foster care for several other dogs of various genders.  My dog is very laid-back and will tolerate almost anything.  But he will NOT tolerate a male dog trying to hump him.  He does fine with male dogs who know to keep all four on the floor.  So if we foster or adopt another dog, it will be a female or another neutered male.  If your dog has experience at dog parks or has play-dates with other dogs, it will give you and idea of what gender dog he gets along better with, (or if he gets along with both males and females equally well).

The age thing also depends a lot on your dog.  Is your dog generally a dominant or submissive dog?  If he’s got a dominant personality with other dogs, finding a younger dog or an older dog who isn’t likely to challenge him for dominance is a good idea.  If he’s more on the submissive side himself, you have more options, (though you don’t want a dog so pushy your own dog is getting bullied).

Most rescues and sheters will work with you to find a dog your dog will get along with.  Our most recent foster was adopted by a gentleman who already had a dog, and when they came to visit, he brought her with him so we could observe how the two dogs interacted and he could decide if our foster dog was a good fit for him and his current dog.  Some rescues also have a “foster-to-adopt” option, where bascially you foster the dog for a short period of time with the intention of adopting the dog if he or she is a good fit for your family.

Post # 5
661 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2010

We have three dogs– a two year old, a three year old, and a 9 year old. The three year old came first, and then the 9 year old was added around the same time as the two year old. We got the 9 year old, because a family member could no longer care for it after we had adopted the two year old…definitely didn’t plan on three.

Adopting an older dog, for us, was an interesting transition. There were definitely some dominance issues, but they resolved it themselves within the first couple of days. It was hard to teach the older dog to respect the commands/training that we used with our younger dogs. She was also a HUGE beggar, which ended up rubbing off on the younger dogs. It was very difficult to break her bad habits and keep her from teaching the younger dogs those habits. After the first couple of weeks, things in our household settled down quite a bit. I think choosing an older dog can work in some situations.

Two of our dogs are female, one is male. They get along, and honestly our issues come from the females fighting over food rather than male-female interaction. All of our pets are fixed.

Post # 7
661 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2010

@miss_blondie86:  Our two that are close in age really love playing together– like true brother/sister. The older one is kind of the oddball out during playtime (she sits there and barks at them as if saying “I’m going to go tell mom that you’re roughhousing again.” lol). Getting a puppy really might be the way to go πŸ™‚

Post # 8
66 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: March 2013


Our dog was 2 years old when we had our puppy. I’m not sure if it makes any difference whether you introduce an older or younger dog, but we were advised that we would be better having a female as sometimes two boys will compete for ‘top dog’.

I’m not sure if this is true but it worked for us, we’ve been a 2 dog family for almost 3 years now and our pup’s adore each other!

Post # 9
881 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

We added a second dog to our household when he was 10 months old. We went with another puppy.

I do agree about the temperament / energy level of your current dog. Do you go to the dog park or interact with other dogs?  Have you had other dogs at your house?

Prior to getting our second dog, my sister had her dog over to spend a night. My dog drove her insane (as he was a young pup), but they got along pretty well otherwise. We bring the neighbors dog over as well. With that, we knew another dog would be okay. We currently had a lab mix (lab/chow/who knows what else), so we went with a purebred lab (DH wanted a purebred this time around, as our current dog had hip issues).

We added a second male, just for preference, but you could get either. My sister has 4 (2 males, 2 females), don’t know how she does it!

Just make sure you introduce them in a neutral environment, and if possible, introduce them before you commit to the new dog. We didn’t get to introduce ours before, we are purchased our lab from a breeder out of state. I knew my dogs liking beforehand. They get along great – sure our ‘older pup’ beat up the new one, but they worked it out and are the best of friends. Granted, they have our moments, but they do great.

Post # 10
170 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

I have a 4 yo boxer/lab mix and now a 1 yo lab since 5 months ago. My 4 yo dog is female and had been exposed to other dogs but she did have isssues with a certain female dog at my street (no clue why) so it became a joke for me and my neighbor to avoid each other at our walking trips. πŸ˜‰ I took a risk with not only introducing another dog in our home but a male comparable-sized dog. There was no way for them to meet prior to the adoption since I rescued him from the South. We had the dogs meet at neutral ground. I walked the male black lab and Fiance walked our female dog with distance. We slowly introduced them and it was a fairly good transition. Labs tend to have puppy mentality for a while so the biggest hurdle has been for the new lab to not pounce on our female dog as much. But, it actually is the best thing we’ve done. They tire each other out and are each other’s playmates.

Post # 11
3993 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: March 2012

1) Is it okay to adopt an older dog, or is it better for the second dog to be younger than the first (or does it make absolutely no difference?) I don’t think it *really* matters, depending upon how old your current dog is. Ours are only like 4 months apart in age. We adopted Lucy at 3 months from a shelter and went back a few months later and adopted Chevy at around 2 months. They’ve grown up together, but they got along with a dog we fostered that was like 8 (female.)


2) We have a boy dog now. Can we get another boy? Or is it better to get a dog of the opposite sex? I don’t really have a good answer to this one, I think it’s all about temperament. Our only real “issue” we’ve had is that neither of ours are particularly dominant, so they flip-flop. It’s very weird, but even our trainer acknowledged it. Lucy is bigger (60-ish lbs) and slightly older, but Chevy is more vocal and slightly more aggressive. It’s interesting. Another thing to note is that I find the more dogs you have the less sex matters. My dad has 6 dogs, 4 females and 2 males. All are fixed. The most dominant are kind of a crapshoot – one male and one female are more dominant and the others follow along. The male is clearly THE dominant one, I think a lot of it has to do with his size. He’s pretty huge (lab/pit mix.)

Post # 12
1835 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

As for which sex to adopt, it can depend on the breed as well as your dogs’ personalities. Most of the time it doesn’t matter, but there are certain breeds that are more prone to dog aggression than others, and trainers generally don’t reccommend adopting two dogs of the same sex in those situations.

Dog aggresion becomes apparent any time between 4 months and 4 years, depending on how early the dog enters maturity, which also can depend on the breed. Male/female pairings have the least potential for conflict, followed by male/male and finally female/female (according to a dog trainer I know,) but the potential is also diminished if the dogs are fixed and if they are a few years apart in age.

 EDIT: Just a personal story for reference. My dog did not even start growing out of her puppy mentality until she was about 3 years old. As a puppy–for years–she loved all other dogs, loved to play, very submissie, etc. Now, however, she’s very selective with what dogs she will play with and it takes her a while to warm up to a particular dog. And she definitely takes an alpha attitude at first.

So try to remember that the way your dog behaves towards other animals now, as a puppy at 10 months old, is not necessarily the same way it will behave as an adult dog. And of course it likes playing with puppies more–older dogs don’t take all the biting as well! πŸ˜‰ If I were in your situation, I would either adopt an adult dog whose temperament is not likely going to change to introduce to your pup, or I would wait until your dog is at least 2 or 3 before getting another puppy.

Good luck!

Post # 13
2662 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

I can only say what I know from personal experience as we went throught he same issues twice!

We have an almost 3 year old Boston Terrier who is very playful (he has mellowed out some but in the beginning he was a tornado!) We wanted to get him a playmate and figured with his energy, a puppy would be best suited for him. We adoped a border collie mix puppy and honestly, my dog wanted nothing to do with him! We couldnt figure it out, he was pretty frightened of him in fact! We ended up adopting him out to another loving family with kids and decided to try again with a female puppy of the same breed. He loved her! They demolish toys together, eat together, go outside together, EVERYTHING!

I’m not sure if the first dog being a male was part of the problem, but thats what we figured. Our male is neutered and will be getting the female done this year as well, he hasnt really bothered with her (dominance wise) so no issue there. Bostons are a super smart breed, so we honestly think he just connected better with a dog that looked just like him! We got him from the same reputable breeder that she came from as well.

Post # 15
7941 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

@Beebug:  think the only advice I can give (for what it’s worth) is no matter what age, breed of dog you get, ensure the temperment’s of both dogs match.

I couldn’t agree more.

We adopted our second Pom (female) when our male was a year old. The transition couldn’t have been more perfect because they are literally like peas and carrots. However, my male is very stubborn in his ways and dislikes many if not almost all other dogs so had she not had the right personality and termperment it could have gone very wrong.

Post # 16
71 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

It really doesn’t matter either way, just make sure the new dog has been fixed. I foster dogs with a rescue organization and have a total of 5 at my house right now. I literally have a revolving door of dogs in and out! I have 2 dogs of my own both boys, and they love eachother. 

 I’ve had older dogs who want to play all day, I’ve had older dogs who want to be left alone, young dogs that didn’t want to play with eachother, girls that would only get along with boys, and boys that would get along fine with girls, but fight with other boys…etc! There really is no rhyme or reason to it. 

When you are ready, and If you are going to rescue a dog, fosters or rescue organizations can work with you since we already know the temperament of the dog. There are dogs that we know must absolutely be in a home with another dog, and we could tell you if it would be best if they were alone. 

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