Monday, November 9, 2009

Adding Another Dog

A common question I'm asked is, "should I add another dog to my house?" Answer is easy. First and foremost, is the dog you have now trouble free. This means, are there no fears, phobia's, aggression, or lack of training? Before you bring another dog into your house you should be absolutely sure that the dog(s) you have now are under control, obedience trained, housebroken and a joy to live with. Then, and only then, should you think further on the idea of bringing in a new dog. So often I've had folks get a dog when their "senior" dog still doesn't listen to foundation obedience (sit/stay/down/come!). I'm not saying you have to have an obedience champion in your house, but at least have a dog with a solid foundation under his/her "collar" and has no temperment issues that could be passed onto the incoming dog. Also, be sure that senior dog is healthy enough to enjoy or tolerate a new young one in the group. It's sad to see a 12 year old dog having to put up with a puppy in the house because the humans wanted a 'replacement" for when the senior dog leaves. Most older dogs would really prefer to retire in peace! That said, I do know of a few friends who's older dogs enjoy puppies to pieces and loved having the addition of a young one. Gauge it by your dog's needs - not yours!

And of course, always consider the fact that adding another dog means double the dollars going out for pet care, vet care, food, etc. And, now you have another dog to train. I always wait until my "puppy" is at least two years old before I consider getting another dog. By that time I know the young dog inside and out, and if he needs me for more training or attention, I'm aware and won't be adding a new dog till he's ready! So, think hard about adding another dog...and never buy a pet for your pet! Only get another dog if YOU want one, not to keep senior company!

Enjoy your "pack"..we sure do!

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