View Full Version : Thinking of adding a second dog to our home

8th March 2013, 05:06 PM
This is a great and informative site, I have been searching away topics for a few days. My wife fell in love with a neighbour's Chihuahua this week. We have an awesome six year old submissive female ruby. I think our poor pooch would be sad to share the spotlight intially but she does socialize with other dogs well.

I'm trying to get my mind around how much extra work, mess and cost would be for another dog. If I were to consider another dog it would be a boston terrier or another cavalier. However, we are tired of expensive trips to groomers, so another cavalier may be out of the question.

I'm nervous that introducing another puppy might really mess up our perfectly behaved and well trained cav! :p

I read a few articles online that suggested you only add an opposite sex dog into the mix. Is there any truth to this? I will continue to scour this site for someone in a similar situation but would love to know if anyone has a cav/chihuahua combo presently.

Many thanks.

9th March 2013, 05:12 PM
Often adding a second is easier than having one alone. It also gives a richer life to a singleton dog as having another dog companion means they have a canine relationship that is different and fuller for them in many ways than one with us. Also it is much nicer for a dog that gets left on its own even occasionally.

On the flip side, Of course it is going to be twice the cost, twice the mess (if you view things that way :) ), and extra work because each dog --just like each child in a family -- needs personal time with owners, not always everything done together.

If you are nervous of a puppy why not opt for an adult dog? many reputable and responsible, health focused breeders retire out their breeding dogs or decide to home older dogs that they decide for whatever reason, not to show. Often dogs by age 1 do not keep the promise they had for showing and are rehomed.

To me just reading between the lines -- I would think perhaps a second dog isn't for you and maybe you want that confirmed? Some people are a lot happier with one dog, and can easily make sure their dog gets other dog company regularly -- important for every dog -- by visiting friends with dogs, leaving their dog into a good doggie day care centre, etc. :)

If you have any doubts at all, it isn't a good idea to get a second dog. Especially not if you want one very similar to your current dog :lol: -- chances are that, like children, they will be quite different! :p It's a very personal decision. A second dog will need as much commitment though as your first.

10th March 2013, 12:50 PM
I agree with Karlin, if you have any doubts I do not think you should go ahead with another dog. It seems like you are very happy with your little ruby and just like having a second child adding a second dog DOES change the dynamic of the family. Plus 2 dogs do mean twice the work and expense.
Personally I think adding a another dog of the opposite sex is silly advice, unless your ruby is not spade. IF you choose to add another dog I would go with an adult dog, not a puppy. Try rescue groups, try to find a dog who had a similar personality as your ruby. Many rescue groups are great at finding the "right" dog for you and your family. However, if you choose a rescue remember there is NO turning back you will have no choice but to do whatever is needed to make this work---just like you cannot take a second baby back to the hospital like every first child requests ;) In the end its a personal choice.

10th March 2013, 01:21 PM
just like you cannot take a second baby back to the hospital like every first child requests ;) In the end its a personal choice.

When my parents brought my younger brother home I told them to go back and exchange him for a sister. :)

It seems like there are people here, one who would like to try adding a second dog, one who is more hesitant. Out of curiosity, who does most of the walking, bathing, cleaning up when the dog is sick, giving medicine (if that's difficult), etc.

If a second dog will mean twice the work for the person with reservations I would say no. While you will love the new dog, and will do what's necessary to keep it well cared for, it's just not the right decision, or right time.

Maybe you would be interested in serving as foster home for small dogs through a rescue group. You'd be really helping dogs who need care, training, socialisation, etc.

10th March 2013, 02:57 PM
However, if you choose a rescue remember there is NO turning back you will have no choice but to do whatever is needed to make this work.

Having worked in rescue for many years, I strongly disagree with this. Rescue groups want to make successful placements; they don't want to place a dog into a situation that does not work. I always reassured people that if a placement did not work, the dog would come back into the rescue group and there would be no grief given to the adopter and the dog would be cared for and rehomed.

I have had 20 rescue dogs myself, including 12 rescue Cavaliers. I returned one Cavalier to the rescue group because he relentlessly bullied my senior Cavaliers (three aged 11, 13 and 14) and made them miserable. (He also bit me, but that was something I could have tolerated.) The group was very gracious and knew to place the dog into a single-dog home with someone prepared to do some extensive training the next time. Feedback like this will help a dog end up in the right home.

The beauty of rescue groups is that there is a safety net if a placement doesn't work. If people didn't know that, very few dogs would be adopted.


10th March 2013, 04:18 PM
Agree Pat -- no responsible rescue would ever be so, dare I say, cavalier as to expect someone to hang on to a dog that isn't the right fit. In my years of doing rescue I not only stressed to people that they could always call me at any time in the lifetime of the rescue dog if they felt things weren't working out, for any reason whatsoever, and I'd take him back. This is not only the policy of every goo rescue I know, most will also have it written into their homing contract that the dog must come back to the rescue if ever needing to be rehomed. :) That said there are definitely some awful rescues out there that might not -- I sure know places I'd never give a dog to!

There are good reasons to why it is generally recommended to get a dog of the opposite sex if adding a dog. It's a good rule -- two of the opposite sex almost always will be far less likely to have problems than two of the same sex. Most fights are between two females. or two males (usually, two females, despite popular belief that males fight more...many rescues I know will not adopt a female dog to a home with a single female dog, in particular...). We have discussed this many times here (and I include a lot of info in the 'adding a second dog' thread in the Library) -- this is a good general rule to follow BUT not as applicable to cavaliers, which tend to get along a lot better amongst themselves than many other breeds (and I never was concerned when doing rescue about the gender issue though would explain the possibility). My own experience: I have had three F cavaliers in the past, and two M, and the girls never ever fought. Jaspar and Leo can get in scuffles on rare occasions -- chews are the trigger so have to be carefully managed.

However -- if adding a different breed, I'd generally recommend to add one of the opposite sex -- can save a lot of potential trouble. :thmbsup:

Kate H
10th March 2013, 05:19 PM
I'd like to pick up on a remark you made in your original post: 'we are tired of expensive trips to groomers, so another cavalier may be out of the question'. I've had Cavaliers for 30 years and not a single one of them has ever been near a groomer. The breed standard specifically says that they should not be trimmed and that their coat should be kept as natural as possible. They only need to be bathed 2 or 3 times a year (with the odd wipe down in between if they get really mucky), plus a few minutes daily to deal with tangles round their ears or feathering. Plenty of road walking keeps their nails short, or they are pretty easy to trim with nail clippers, or you can ask your vet to do it for you with the money you save on not taking yours to the groomers!

Until four years ago I only had one Cavalier at a time; they had plenty of contact with other dogs on their walks and at training class, they had full and interesting lives going everywhere with me, and they never seemed to worry at being a singleton. Four years ago I added a rescue after much thought, and it took my older dog and myself several months to get used to not doing things on our own, because we had a great relationship; but Aled is well integrated into the household now. My older dog is an unneutered male, the rescue is a neutered male, and apart from having to watch them with food (they get fed in separate rooms), they never really argue. But with Cavaliers I think it is the relationship with their human that is most important to them, and if you give them plenty of your company and do things with them (walks, training, outings, grooming, cuddling up on the sofa) they don't seem to miss the constant company of another dog, although they enjoy meeting their friends.

Kate, Oliver and Aled

10th March 2013, 05:44 PM
"Many rescue groups are great at finding the "right" dog for you and your family. However, if you choose a rescue remember there is NO turning back you will have no choice but to do whatever is needed to make this work"

I can see how my statement was misunderstood- I do think rescue groups get placement of dogs right the first time, thus avoiding situations where ANOTHER re-homing is rightly needed. And of course ANY caring rescue group would happily take a dog back no questions asked. I just firmly believe any adopter needs to be 110% committed to being this rescue dogs' forever home.

Pat wrote: " The beauty of rescue groups is that there is a safety net if a placement doesn't work. If people didn't know that, very few dogs would be adopted." I think the real beauty of rescue groups is yes the support but the fostering of dogs BEFORE they are placed that way the foster can get to know the dog. Every opinion and individual situation is different. But I have to believe both your commitment to owning all the rescue you have AND the ability of the rescue group to make the "right" re-homing match have lead to all your success with these dogs. Returning 1 of 20 rescue dogs IS a success.

Personally, I like so many of us do not want anyone to get a dog on a whim. Its a serious thing to consider and when in doubt don't.

10th March 2013, 08:22 PM
Hi. I competely understand all that you've been wrestling with. Our six year old Blenheim, Annie, has been the love of our lives. We play golf a lot during the summer, and have talked about getting another pup to keep her company. Friends told us all of the usual things....our pooches are pack animals, need a companion, etc. I was concerned, however, about Annie's reaction to suddenly "sharing the spotlight", just as you have been. These Cavs are so tender hearted. Before Christmas, we caved in and got a new male Tri-colored Cav, Teddy. He is completely different than Annie, needing constant affirmation and attention. I've spent well over two months in our baby-gated kitchen. He is a sweetheart, and we are attached to him already, but it is SO MUCH WORK!!!!!!! My main concern is wondering how long it will take for Teddy to calm down and stop jumping on Annie, wanting to play...nipping at her ears, etc. We have to keep them apart, but they are getting to know each other through the baby gates, and when we hold them together on the couch...not allowing Teddy to pounce on Annie. So, think long and hard about disrupting life with a puppy at this point.(as I know you are) Best wishes!

10th March 2013, 11:24 PM
Actually -- puppies -- and this breed generally -- require a fair amount of human interaction -- very normal for both breed and pups! And -- waht you are observing is also absolutely normal dog play-especially if this is a young dog or puppy. I sure wouldn't keep them penned apart like that but let them interact and play. She will let him know what is OK and what is not -- and this is excellent socialisation for HIM to learn good dog-to-dog manners :) (which you cannot teach -- he must have these interactions). He will not learn penned in the kitchen.

I'd read up a but on adding a second dog and what to expect as I think it would make you less worried. Keeping him penned off means he is not having normal interactions, is deprived of a friend to get to know and play with, and is 100% less likely to learn the polite dog behaviour you want him to learn. he won't suddenly just figure things out -- he needs normal interactions. :thmbsup:

Unless he is absolutely tormenting her -- in which case I would seriously consider returning him to the breeder -- they need to be allowed to be normal dogs and establish their own relationship. Dogs play by pulling on ears, etc. Especially puppies. :)

This might be a helpful article for you -- it is the same for any two dogs, doesn't need to be a puppy. :D


And: http://dogs.about.com/cs/generalcare/a/dognumbertwo.htm


11th March 2013, 01:40 PM
I agree with Karlin to maybe consider an older dog. You could introduce it to your current dog and better determine whether their personalities would be a good mix. Plus an adult dog is generally much easier to deal with than a puppy.

I got Gracie when my tricolour was about 7 months old. Gracie was 3 at the time but came from a breeder so she was very socialized and well trained. It took a bit of work for the first month for everyone to adjust but she fits in so well and is a well-behaved angel compared to a rambunctious puppy :).

Since your current dog is 6 and you don't seem to want to take on too much more work, an adult dog would be a lot easier than a puppy.

Also, I don't find that taking care of two is all that much harder than 1. It is twice the cost though!

12th March 2013, 09:28 PM
I have 3 dogs. The first was a Japanese Chin and the second was a Japanese Chin, with the third being a CKC. From my experience, the 1st chin was thrilled to have a companion, and it certainly brought out a happier side to my first chin, which was a pleasure to see. Bosco, our CKC, is devoted to people, especially me. He will play with the Chins, but clearly prefers people to dogs. So, if you have just 1 CKC and your are happy with the present situation, and your dog is happy, I would leave things be. Having 1 or 2 or 3 dogs is not so much work, but the dynamics of the pack interest me very much. I think chins need other chins, but I think a sole CKC would be just fine.


12th March 2013, 10:17 PM
We got a rescue when Brooky was two...I was really worried as Brooklyn was our whole hearts. I knew I could not handle another puppy, and prefer a dog past that phase now ;) but we got Toby a boy who was 6 (Brooky is a girl).

I will tell you...to be honest...we were totally sure if we wanted a second when we adopted Toby, and that made it a LOT harder to adjust to everything. My situation is a bit different as Toby came with a lot of medical and behavioral issues, but after we figured out how to make it all work, about a month in, we are very happy. But it did take adjusting and in my opinion, two is harder than one for sure...but I think this really depends on what kind of person you are to feel if two is harder, the same or easier.

What has been amazing is the relationship between Brooky and Toby. I could never imagine not having another dog for Brooklyn now. They enjoy hanging out alone when we are gone now, snuggle, play and seek eachother out when the are nervous etc. they joy and support I think they give to eachother is priceless. But as others said, you have to be ready.

Rescuing or getting an adult dog does take out all the heart ache of potty training, chewing, training etc! Toby is SO good, it was instant in terms of "house rules". :)