Five Reasons Why Two Dogs Are Better Than One

Jeaninne has been a dog owner her whole life and loves raising two dogs together.

Surprisingly, Two Dogs Aren't Twice the Work!

From the time I was five until forty years old, I had one dog at a time. Things changed when my beloved Golden Retriever, B.J., was dying of kidney failure. I had just met, Glenn, the man with whom I was destined to spend the rest of my life, when my best canine friend became ill. A trusted friend called me and said she had found a loving stray retriever mix who could use a good home. Glenn and I discussed bringing home a friend for B.J. to watch over her when we were at work. Bogey turned out to be a wonderful addition to our family and cared for our girl when we couldn’t. We even witnessed a positive change in B.J.’s behavior because of Bogey’s attention. When B.J. passed, Bogey seemed more anxious because he no longer had a purpose. Thus, the tradition began. Glenn and I have been married for twenty-one years, and we have always had two dogs.

Dogs Are Pack Animals

Humans are special companions for our canine friends, but most humans spend half of their waking time at work. Solo dogs are often left to pace in yards and dig at fences due to loneliness and boredom. In the worst-case scenario, some people don’t even bring their lonely pup in the house when they do get home. Ask any vet about the resultant abnormal behaviors when a dog is lonely or largely ignored. If two dogs are left in a yard, they spend much of their time playing and napping together. Their instinct to travel in a pack is satiated so that nervous digging and destroying behaviors are lessened. Imagine how you would feel if you were left in a yard by yourself all day?

An Older Dog Can Raise a Puppy

We got our Golden Retriever/Lab mix, Brindey, as a twelve-week-old puppy. Other than the initial puppy care of putting her on a feeding/play schedule and crating her a night, our older Border Collie/Golden mix, Benny, took over her care during the day when we worked. We had a large, shaded yard with a doggy door into the garage for inclement weather. We felt confident leaving our puppy home alone with Benny because Benny kept his eyes on her at all times. We would often watch him play with her and scold her for things she shouldn’t do, like jumping up on the screen door. Brindey adored Benny and followed him everywhere. We even put them in the garage to sleep together because she hated being in a crate away from Benny’s side. Within a month, Brindey was totally trained to the rules of the house.

A Pair of Dogs Are Less Needy

Sadly, Benny recently passed over the Rainbow Bridge at fourteen years old, leaving Brindey to go it alone. We gave her constant love and attention to get her over the loss. However, she became a different dog. She didn’t want us to leave her side; she followed me every time I stood up to go in an adjacent room; and, she hated going outside. A month ago, we brought home, Bobby, an eleven-week old German Shepherd mix, to give Brindey new purpose. Other than being tired from outside puppy care, she has lost her separation anxiety. She seems much calmer in the home and seems to enjoy raising Bobby. I’d like to think she remembers when Benny cared for her.

Two Dogs Are Better Security

Brindey has proven to be a great watchdog. We live on a greenbelt, so she has her radar fixed on every living thing that doesn’t belong in the yard. She is teaching Bobby when to bark and how to detect danger. When we had Brindey and Benny at our previous home, neighbors told us that they wouldn’t dare go into our yard unless the dogs were put in the house. Glenn and I always had a sense of security when we left them to watch our home. Also, coyotes from the greenbelt don’t usually try to hunt two large dogs, even if they could scale the fence. (By the way, if you have small pets, keep them inside at night and always in your view if you live near coyote and large cat habitats.) Two dogs are more imposing, and they have each other for support when left alone to guard the house.

Two Dogs Are Not That Much More Expensive

I’m sure some of you are thinking, “Two dogs are twice the expense.” Believe me, I know that mantra. However, we buy discount care packages at local vet clinics such as Banfield’s in the Pet Smart stores. For one lump sum a year, and fairly reasonable, it is possible to get good vet care at a fraction of the cost. Mixed breeds are less susceptible to health issues because they are not in-bred by breeders. Other than usual vaccinations and check-ups, our rescue dogs have been very healthy; and, all of our dogs have lived until at least fourteen years old. The most important point of this article is that you are committed to giving your pets a full life of care, love, and attention. Obviously, if you are in no position to give your best, then no dogs are better than two.

© 2016 Jeaninne Escallier Kato

Sawyer on February 18, 2019:

Thank you!

Jeaninne Escallier Kato (author) from Rocklin, CA on February 17, 2019:

Well, Sawyer another dog is a new responsibility and added commitment. If you have the space, the time for training, and ample funds for vet care, then I say yes! Giving your dog a new friend will decrease loneliness and add much love, enough for everyone!

Sawyer on February 17, 2019:

I am trying to convince my parents to have us get another Ridgeback puppy. We live in the NYC but have a house in CT, do you think it will be to much work?

Jeaninne Escallier Kato (author) from Rocklin, CA on June 02, 2018:

I think it's okay to add in any aged dog as long as there is close monitoring from the owner or owners. Watch how they interact, then go from there. We kept a very close eye on how our grown dog interacted with our new puppy. We eased them both into each other as dogs can be as upset and jealous as children over attention issues.Only when we were sure they got along did we leave them alone together. Remember, the older puppy will invariably be the Alpha Dog. Let him or her take that role, within reason.

Stacyot97 on June 02, 2018:

Is it ok to add a 14 week old puppy to a 7 month old puppy household

Jeaninne Escallier Kato (author) from Rocklin, CA on May 19, 2018:

No, because your Cavodle has already established his or her dominance. We found that when we add a second dog to the mix, the dominant dog is even more dominant. However, that also depends on the breeds and ages. Our big girl has taught our little male dog to be a watch dog like her. Again, depends on the dogs because like people, no two dogs are alike.

Rick on May 19, 2018:

I have a 4 year old Cavodle who is very protective of us when other dogs come close. Would having another dog stop this

Jeaninne Escallier Kato (author) from Rocklin, CA on March 14, 2018:

Molly, We have always had female and male dogs together. However, we always spay and neuter our dogs so that there aren't any hormonal issues. Good luck with your new family member!

Molly on March 14, 2018:

Hi my name is Molly . I am begging my dad for another puppy. We have a boy goldendoodle . We want a girl mini goldendoodle . Is it good if you have a boy dog and a girl dog together?

Bonnie on February 07, 2018:

This is a great article - worth researching your specific breed before adding a second pup to the mix though! Boxers give people a fright when they add a puppy, because their friendly, goofy, sociable dog suddenly becomes an Uber Protector Of The Puppy.

Jeaninne Escallier Kato (author) from Rocklin, CA on August 13, 2017:

Dear Kathie, Let me alter my statement and say that it has been my experience that mixed breeds are healthier. Keep in mind this article is based upon opinion and not fact. And Mala, before you commit to another dog, practice putting your shy Pitt with friends' dogs to see how she does. My sister has many Pitts and she has to separate a few from one another. I still believe in more than one dog.

Mala on August 12, 2017:

I have a four year old Pitt mix and am thinking of getting a second dog to keep her company and alleviate her shyness. Is this a good idea?

Kathie on August 13, 2016:

Great article until "mixed breeds Are less susceptible to health issues ..." You are wrong. They may carry the health issues of the two or more breeds that were used in their breeding. Too bad, you brought up some very good points.

peachy from Home Sweet Home on February 22, 2016:

they have a mate for each other, no more sad days

Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent from Mississauga, ON on February 21, 2016:

What a great hub!

Based on my own experience and what I have heard from others, a pair of dogs can play together whenever they want, leaving the owners to take a break here and there. So you are absolutely correct here. Also, you are correct in that two dogs are better security than one. This is why livestock owners always have livestock protection dogs at least in pairs. Research (available on youtube) has proved that if burglars invade a house when no humans are around, one dog can get easily intimidated. However, if there are two of them, their confidence level is high and so is the security.

Dogs are pack animals. Their instinct is to be a companion, and what better companion than that of your own species? It’s also been easier to leave them at home. Ranger used to get extremely anxious when we left and would throw fits, but he’s been acting so much better since having a friend at home with him. They eat, sleep and play together, and it’s the cutest thing to know they’ll grow up alongside each other.

Let me start by saying that the opposite MIGHT happen – the first might learn bad behaviors from the second, but typically, a puppy would have someone to learn from and train with. We put so much time and energy into training Ranger, that he’s made it easier for us to teach Cowboy the same. It’s been a slower process, just because of our laziness, but he learns quickly and has an example to look up to.

Top reasons to adopt a pet

Each year, it's estimated that more than one million adoptable dogs and cats are euthanized in the United States, simply because too many pets come into shelters and too few people consider adoption when looking for a pet.

The number of euthanized animals could be reduced dramatically if more people adopted pets instead of buying them. When you adopt, you save a loving animal by making them part of your family and open up shelter space for another animal who might desperately need it.

Which Dogs Get Along Best?

Adopting a second pet is a good deed, as you can save another life. But don’t be in a hurry first, you need to ensure that your “new kid” can get along well with your other pets. The good news is that many animal shelters allow people to take a dog-in-need for a while to make sure they have a match made in heaven.

“Dogs of the opposite sex tend to get along better than same-sex pairs,” says Dr. Karen Shaw Becker. Your male dog can feel that his authority is challenged and will not accept another canine. The dominant pet will be overly dominant, and another dog will live in permanent stress. Two female dogs are also far from being a perfect combo, which can lead to constant fights or even a fatal outcome.

So it is better to choose dogs of the opposite sex if you consider two furry family members for your household. For maintaining harmony, anecdotally the best match is (maybe) a larger male and a smaller female as there is less chance of inter-dog aggression. Sometimes, the pets make a connection right away, but they often need weeks (to month) to learn to get along with a stranger. Of course, if neither are neutered this will eventually result in puppies. Breeding is not something that should be done by the inexperienced owner and requires a lot of planning and foresight if it is to be done right. Ideally, both would be neutered once suitable as this also provides additional health benefits.

“There are always exceptions, but terrier-type breeds and other aggressive dogs may not be able to control their instinct to chase a scurrying creature and attack it”, claims Amy Shojai, a certified animal behavior consultant.

Avoid getting a boisterous puppy or young pet if your current pet is elderly or has underlying medical issues as they are unlikely to be able to cope with the pup and may resort to hiding away or even snapping at them in an attempt to restore the peace.

The Bottom Line

If you want to get a second four-legged friend, go ahead and adopt a new dog. Bear in mind that it is better to keep a larger male and a smaller female to avoid double the trouble.

In many cases, having two fluffy buddies in the crew can be much better than having one, as they bring double joy to your family!

ThePets is an informational website that features articles written by qualified veterinarians and professional writers. You can learn more about our editorial process. When selecting food for your pet, use Pet Food Finder, and search for the clinic to treat your pet using Vet Clinics Locator.

7 Reasons Why Dogs Make the Best Pets

Dogs are the most loyal creatures on 4 legs. Here’s 7 reasons why owning a dog is a smart choice.

1 September 2015 • 2 min read

The science backs it up too – dogs really are the best pets. Here's why.

1. They evolved to love us

There’s evidence to suggest that we didn’t domesticate wolves – they came to us first. The friendliest ones hung around our ancestors’ campsites and so began the evolution of the modern dog.

2. They’re super smart

It’s no coincidence that dogs are so easy to teach. Dogs’ super social nature has allowed them to develop bigger brains, and those smarts are what make them so trainable.

3. They make you healthier

Dog owners are 34% more likely to get enough exercise than non-pet owners are. Walks aren’t just good for your pet, they’re great for you too – dog owners have also been found to have lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

4. They make you happier

Interacting with a pet dog actively lowers your stress levels, leading to more relaxation, better moods, and less anxiety. One study even found that dogs are more effective at lowering people’s stress levels than their significant others.

5. They can even make your richer

A UK study found that pet owners earn upwards of $6,000 more per year than non pet owners.That seems like a pretty worthwhile investment.

6. They really do understand you

It’s recently been discovered that dogs can tell the difference between happy and angry human facial expressions. What does that mean? Well, when your pet looks like she knows she’s done something wrong, it’s probably because she does.

7. Look at that little face!

Your dog makes your life better – so give them the best care with Medibank Pet Insurance.

Looking for Pet Insurance?В

Get peace of mind with Medibank Pet Insurance. Plus, health members save 10%.

Important things you should know

Terms, conditions and waiting periods apply. Medibank Pet Insurance is general insurance issued by the insurer The Hollard Insurance Company Pty Ltd (ACN 090 584 473 AFSL 241436) (Hollard), is promoted by Medibank Private Limited (ACN 080 890 259 AR 286089) (Medibank) and administered by PetSure (Australia) Pty Ltd (ACN 075 949 923 AFSL 420183) (PetSure). Medibank acts as an authorised representative of PetSure. Medibank will receive a commission which is a percentage of the premium paid to Hollard and PetSure may receive a portion of the underwriting profit, if any - ask PetSure for more details.

Any advice provided is general only, has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs and may not be right for you. Consequently, before acting on this information, you should consider the appropriateness of this information having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. You should obtain and consider theВ Product Disclosure Statement (PDS)В in deciding whether to acquire, or continue to hold, Medibank Pet Insurance. PetSure can be contacted by telephone: 132 331 or by mail: Locked Bag 9021, Castle Hill, NSW 1765.

Watch the video: Introducing Two Dogs with Problematic Behaviors (September 2021).