Most dog lovers will at least consider having more than one dog at a time. Best dog buddies can be wonderful companions, but they can also exponentially increase your dog troubles. This is the good and the bad.
- Doggy Thieving. Dogs will quickly figure out that toy snatching is a good way to initiate play. This can be cute but can also cause problems. A dog that’s constantly having his chew toy snatched might decide to chew on something less mobile, like furniture. They’re also primed to develop resource guarding. You’ll need to be vigilant about training polite behavior, provide plenty of extra toys and private areas to chew and relax for each dog.
- Training En Masse. First, you’ll need to train things individually. Then you’ll have to start at very easy level in a group. And it’s got to be solid. If one dog only kinda understands a new behavior and your other dog starts acting like an asshole, it’s going to spread.
- The Other Dogs Are Cooler Than You. Your other dogs are probably much more interested in digging after moles, sniffing gross stuff, and barking at squirrels than you are. With just one dog, it’s easy to keep your dog’s attention but you’re going to have to be more fun if you’re competing with another litter box connisure.
- Phobias Are Catching. If one dog is afraid of something, barks at something, or chases something, there’s a good chance your other dog will, too. Not always, but in general, they teach each other the least desirable reactions and habits.
- All The Benefits Go If They Don’t Get Along. Living with dogs that don’t get along is the stuff of nightmares. Things like old age, chronic pain, or medication can make former buddies stop getting along and then you’ve got added stress on top of the original condition.
- Company. Most of us are busy and most dogs are fairly social animals. Some are completely fine by themselves all day, but in general, they like the company. Another dog to play with, snuggle with, and interact with can take some of the pressure off of you. They still need regular attention and mental stimulation but an overnight trip isn’t quite as boring with another dog to hang out with.
- Exercise. Your dog is probably more athletic than you are. Dogs love to run and explore but doing that stuff alone or at people speed isn’t as much fun. Generally, two dogs will naturally get in more physical activity than one.
- Hilarity. One dog is funny, but multiples are way funnier. Sit back and watch as they play tricks on each other, wrestle adorably, and lounge together in absurd positions.
- Extra Extra Snuggles. With multiple dogs around there’s always someone ready to cuddle or hang out. There’s nothing better than being in the middle of a dog sandwich.
Having more than one dog has its downfalls, but can be pretty awesome. The important thing is to know what you’re signing up for and keep realistic expectations.