Your News: More dogs –mayhem or fun?

Dog trainer Karen Wild
Dog trainer Karen Wild

On walks locally I often see owners who tell me they are thinking about getting a companion for their single dog. What is the secret to having a happy home with more than one dog?

Every dog interacts with you and the family but add extra dogs, and they also interact with each other. This makes for complex family relationships! A single dog may already be tricky to control; any additional dogs may follow their example.

Walking more than one dog can be a trial if they are not trained to come back, or if they pull on the lead. Some owners seek my help for these problems because they cannot control both dogs, whereas with only one dog they had no such problems. Train them separately for best results. It takes extra time, but it is worth it!

On the plus side, another dog can be a ready-made companion for your existing dog. Dogs can communicate in ways which we can only dream of, and can play in ways we certainly would NOT dream of. Will your dog enjoy sharing everything in their home? Provide extra sleeping areas, toys, and separate feeding areas to prevent conflict. If you are planning to add to your dog family, check compatibility first, consider a rescue dog, and remember that it may be an extra dog but it is more than double the workload.

Most of all, avoid the temptation to get two puppies at once, unless you have nerves (and furniture) made of steel!