Last week we looked after Ruby, a beautiful King Charles Cavalier who belongs to our friends, for a whole week. In the past, when dogs have come over to our apartment Toby has ignored them and showed no interest in them being at our place, it’s as if he is saying, ‘This is my house, go away.’ This has pleased me as Andrew has always said we should get another dog to keep Toby company but the way Toby behaves when other dogs are over tells me he doesn’t need a companion.
This changed when Ruby stayed with us, the way they were together melted my heart and it was obvious that Toby loved her company. They were as thick as thieves and never left each others side, Toby would teach Ruby how to jump up onto the bed or into the car (Ruby isn’t the greatest jumper) or which way to go when exploring the park. When they ran through the park Toby and Ruby would have their heads pressed together and run through the wind, making sure they never separated. It was so beautiful to see. When Ruby’s parents came to collect her, said bye and left, Toby sat by the front door for a very long time, waiting for Ruby to come back. Toby was very sad that day and it got me thinking, should we get a brother or sister for Toby?
I did some research to see what the experts say, is Toby better off with a friend or is it fine to be an only fur child?
Your dog has a personality that tells you exactly what kind of dog they are. Some dogs don’t do well with other dogs, they feel intimidated or scared around them, they don’t know how to socialise and get along with them. Some dogs have been attacked by other dogs and now have a fear of being around them. Some dogs just love their humans and love being around them. If your dog has this kind of personality, your pooch may not enjoy or tolerate having another dog in the house and a second dog may even interfere with the connection they feel with you. However, if you have a dog that loves to socialise with other dogs, loves being around them or seems lonely and disconnected from their owner, a companion would suit their personality.
If you want to get another dog of the same gender you may want to reconsider. Opposite genders get along better with each other because there is no competition to who is top dog of the house. Maybe this is why Toby loved having Ruby over so much.
When you are out, dogs go to sleep, they don’t wait at the front door for hours on end eagerly waiting for your return. The most likely scenario is they wait for a few minutes to see if you are coming back, realise you’re not and go find their favourite spot to sleep and stay there until you come back. Most dogs are sleeping and relaxing while you’re at work and there is no need for you to feel guilty about leaving them alone. Feeling guilty should not be the only reason why you get a second dog. In reality, you will just have two dogs that sleep all day and wait for your return as opposed to them having a party every day while you’re at work.
It’s not good for dogs to be left on their own for extensive periods of time without a walk in the morning before you go to work and after work. They get bored and from that boredom comes mischief or bad behavior. If you work long hours a second dog can be a great companion during the day but you can’t replace another dog for human interaction. It is still vital that you continue to make time for your dog on a daily basis by taking them out for walks or plays in the park.
If you know your dog suffers from genuine extreme separation anxiety and barks, whines, defecates because you are leaving and have tried alternative ways to control this behaviour, a second dog may help.
Think About It
Getting a second dog as a playmate for your dog can be a good idea but it’s not something that you should rush into without thinking it through. A lot of people say there is no difference between one and two dogs, but there is. Consider your situation, your time and how your dog is likely to react with a second pooch in the house before making the life long commitment to another dog.
Are you thinking of getting another dog? What are your reasons for another pooch in your life?