A Second Helping of Dog

Your current dog might not accept a new canine roommate without proper preparation.

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Two puppies playing
Before adding a second dog, Tracy Tennison, owner of Citrus Hill Canine Center in Riverside, Calif., says you should carefully consider your rationale. “Many think a playmate will eliminate their current dog’s undesirable behaviors, but usually the new dog follows the resident dog’s lead. The real answers are owner attention, exercise, and training,” she says.  

For those prepared to provide the latter times two, a second dog promises twice the fun. Tennison offers the following tips to help avoid problems.

  • Resolve your resident dog’s issues before adopting another dog.

  • Opposite-sex dogs generally get along amicably.

  • Wait two years before getting a second dog so your resident dog is already trained.

  • Spay or neuter after growth plates close to prevent unwanted litters. Consult your veterinarian about the appropriate age to spay or neuter each dog.

  • Introduce dogs on neutral ground where neither lives.

  • Don’t obviously favor either dog – dogs do become jealous.

  • Take daily on-leash walks with both dogs to promote canine pack behavior and help the dogs bond.
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Janet   Bethlehem, PA

12/5/2010 6:17:00 AM

good article, thanks

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June   Tempe, AZ

3/31/2010 5:59:54 PM

Excellent suggestions. We have always introduced our dogs on neutral territory, and they have always gotten along great. The only problem we've had with this is about 6 months after adopting one of our dogs, she started showing outward signs of dominance over the other 3 dogs. She was getting 2 of them by the throat and causing puncture wounds on one of them. Being that she was so much bigger than the other 3, they didn't even stand a chance against her. After working with our trainer and veterinarian on this matter, we had to find her a new home where she was the only dog. She was as sweet as sugar with people, but she definitely could not be around other dogs.

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Cheryl   Kansas City, KS

3/31/2010 7:20:36 AM

These are some good suggestions, but I think it varies with each dog.

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Maggie   Lancaster, PA

3/31/2010 5:29:10 AM

excellant suggestions.

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