(Closed) How is having 2 dogs different than just one?

posted 7 years ago in Pets
Post # 3
5473 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

When I brought a second dog into the home with my existing dog, I took my dog to a neutral place to meet the other dog.  I let them sniff it out, hang out, play a little bit.  I just kind of hung back and observed their interactions.

I knew it would all be ok when the new dog jumped into the back of my car and my dog just looked at me like “So can we keep it? Can we keep it?  Can we keep it ma?”

I did the same “neutral ground” intros with my third dog as well… and honestly it was easier to go from two to three dogs than it was to go from one to two.

I had to leash walk my dog and continued to do the leash walking with the second dog (but moved into a house with a fenced yard before getting the third dog).

I had double the vet bills, but I was able to stagger their annual appointments (one in the fall, one in the spring) to help spread out the cost.

Heart worm and flea/tick prevention is also pretty expensive, but I get mine from 1800 pet meds and I get the generic brands, so that helps some.

If you travel boarding is crazy expensive with just one dog.  With three dogs we usually just end up having someone come stay at our house to keep their routines smiliar and it saves us a boatload of dough.

Good luck!  Two dogs is twice the money, and twice the work, but it’s also TWICE THE FUN!

Post # 4
535 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2014

Most shelters here ask that you bring your other dogs in before adopting to see if they get along. Or they’ll allow you to return the dog if it isn’t a good match. I’ve had a mini poodle for 12 years and we’ve now adopted 2 large breed dogs in the last year. First tip is to make sure that your current dog is good with other dogs. Can you borrow someone else’s dog for a few days as a test run? I would suggest introducing them on neutral territory, sometimes it prevents the current dog from getting upset at another dog in ‘his’ home. 


Having two dogs means they’ll entertain each other (hopefully). This has a side effect of tiring them out so they’re less likely to destroy the house. (In theory, our dogs seem to want to carry everything outside and play with them there.) It also means you have to be prepared for food aggression or territorial squabbles. We’ve been lucky, only one with territory issues is the poodle and the ither two think he’s playing.

Post # 5
543 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

@HopefulForLittleOne:  Our dog was around 5 when we got a second dog, a puppy. We felt the older, female dog would get along better with a young, male dog. That seems to be her preference for playmates. We knew she’d do best with a calm, predictable, submissive playmate who would prefer to snuggle on the couch over all other activities. So we set out to find a second dog with that personality in mind. The shelter was quite helpful in assessing a potential dog’s personality. They met our older dog and assisted us to make sure initial greetings went smoothly. 

Walking two dogs takes a bit of practice. 10 months since adopting our puppy, I’m still getting used to it! We were able to contain the puppy in his crate to give our older dog a break while she was getting used to having him around. 

While I totally sympathize with falling in love with the photo of a dog who needs a home, but be sure to go in with an open mind, and your current dog’s best interests in your heart. Hopefully, you’ll find a good match, but it’s still a big change in all of your lives!


Post # 6
326 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

@HopefulForLittleOne:  We got a second dog a little over a year ago. Our Dogs have very different personalities but compliment each other very well. One cuddles, the other does not. One is more playful, the other is lazy (i cant imagine having to large high strung dogs in my house!)  I believe as long as your dog is not agressive to other dogs they will establish a pack mentality. I didnt think our slightly older dog would like having a ‘friend’ but its amazing how they wait for each other and care about each other once they are part of the pack.

I understood that two dogs meant – twice as much food, poop, fur, and just general costs. It amazes me just how much food those two can pack away. They go through 3 GIANT bags of food a month. The amount of poop we clean up is unbelievable. Vet insurance is now $140 a month instead of $70. Boarding costs double as welll when we are on vacation. It was alot of things we didnt consider at the time, and thankfully we can afford all of them. I caution you to seriously consider ALL the costs involved before adopting. If both were to need emergency vet care at the same time, could you finacially handle it.

I wouldnt trade either dog for anything in the world. Just make sure you know what you are getting into first!

Post # 7
1197 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

@HopefulForLittleOne:  we had our little dog for about a year before we got her a sister.  our little one was a little crazy, but she sadly turned into a a jealous monster when our older dog arrived.  but they do play together, so they get along for the most part.

apart from the obvious (food, leashes, bowls etc) two dogs need twice the attention.  I thought they would just play with each other, and I was so wrong!  they climb into our laps all the time, and if one is being cuddled, the other one will want to as well.  they also mimic each other’s behaviour, which is so adorable. 

walking them is a little difficult.  we initially got a leash splitter, but since they are such different sizes, we just walk them with two leashes.  they have occasionally tripped me/my FH, but nothing serious.  honestly, all pros outweigh the cons.  having two dogs has been awesome.

Post # 8
881 posts
Busy bee

Just for some background we had a responsible-breeder purchased dog and then got a shelter dog as our second dog. She has great dog social skills, and honestly it was our current dog that presented many of the problems. Whie he gets along great with other dogs, he guards things like food against other dogs, as well as high value treats (rawhides, deer antlers, marrow bones) which we had no idea because those aren’t in dog parks. But definitely make sure to have them play a bit on neutral ground first. 

Other than that here are some things we learned:

  • It really tests how much you know about your dog — from the very beginning. As a previous poster mentioned, you need to know what dog would best compliment their personality. Once you get a dog, you need to be a mediator in the beginning. If they need breaks from play, you need to be the one to separate them. If you can see that one dog is getting annoyed, or bullying, you need to be able to read their body language. Respect their boundaries, and don’t leave them alone for the first several months. 
  • Your dog you currently own is going to need YOU time. Training classes, walks, dog-park visits — it’s very important that you keep up one-on-one time with your current dog in the beginning because they can get jealous. 
  • They will learn good and bad habits from each other. If you have anything that you aren’t completely satisfied with in your dog’s training, nail it down before getting a second dog. If the new dog has never lived in a home, and doesn’t jump on visitors but your current dog does, you will soon have two jumping fiends — just as an example. 
  • Work, money, and training doesn’t double with two dogs, it quadrouples: Yes you need two leashes, collars, heartworm/flea, toys, licenses, etc. There’s double the chance that something could go wrong, particularly if they are around the same age and will get old at the same time. It’s also so much more fun, but none of the above doubles. 

Post # 9
1138 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

View original reply
@FutureMrsA2014:  This is a really good point about the costs, especially the double boarding while on vacation–it’s already SO expensive to have our puppy watched while we are gone! Though if she had a friend, I might actually feel more comfortable leaving them alone because they would have each other. Right now I feel like I have to put her in daycare or she’d be too lonely! 

View original reply
@baileyjosephine:  That’s a really interesting point about how they need twice as much attention. I would definitely have assumed they would play with each other !

Post # 10
937 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

@HopefulForLittleOne:  DH suckered me in to our second dog when our first puppy was just over a year old. (The new puppy was 4mths.) We knew our dog was kind low to medium energy  but the puppy was always high. We thought they might play together and balance each other out. At first our 1at dog wanted nothing to do with the new puppy. She did not like having to share Mommy and Daddy, but somewhere down the line things changed. Our 1st realized how broken the new puppy was and kind of took her under her wing. Sort of like a surrogate mom. Now they are inseparable and we have added yet another dog to the mix. 

I will say this though, I found it to be far more easy to add the second dog who was untraine and only a puppy than it was to add our third who was untrained and 5 yrs old. He is set in his ways and it makes for a more difficult situation. Either way adding this fur babies to our house was one of the best decisions of my life. But don’t tell DH I said that! Lol

Post # 11
503 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

For me I love having 2 small dogs.its taken as awhile to find our match. But as long as you spend time with each of them and treat them the same than it shouldnt be a problem. My jack/pug was a little jealous in the beginning but its normal for some dogs. But she loves the new addition and loves playing her. 

Post # 12
416 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

We only have our one dog, but visiting with my sister’s dog has made me feel very confident that we are not a two-dog type of household.  The two of them get along very well, but there are fights over toys, running around the house, bumping into things, etc.  Additionally, any time you show one of them attention, the other one comes over to demand some loving.  By the end of the weekend, our dog keeps looking at us like “can we please just go home, I want to lay here in peace.” 

Obviously they wouldn’t be the best fit for our household together, and while I appreciated that both dogs got more exercise and entertainment, it was exhausting having to constantly get up and referree things or put them outside when they were being too rowdy.  A fenced-in yard is helpful, but I would also think carefully about energy levels, and whether you want to risk hyping everything up.

In the meantime, I’ll just go back to snuggling my (mostly mellow) puppy.

Post # 14
1988 posts
Buzzing bee

Twice the work, twice the expenses, twice the LOVE. That’s how I’d describe it.

For me and also at my brother’s house, we have shih tzus and they were very lonely and my brother’s female pup has terrible separation anxiety. That all ended when he brought a new pup to the house. Same with my dogs. Now they run like crazy at times and look like little tazmanian devils. All in good fun. I love watching them having fun and also I like knowing that with my long hours out of the house they keep each other company

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