April 4, 2010
A graduate of one of my Loose Leash Walking dog training classes emailed me on behalf of a friend of hers asking what are some tips regarding adopting a second dog into the household. As a certified professional dog trainer I can’t tell you how happy it makes me when someone actually takes the time to plan ahead!
Here is a look into our conversation: (Names have been changed to protect privacy)
I have a question for you. My friend Boris is looking for a companion for his dog, Timmy. He is looking for a large dog such as a retriever, lab, or Newfoundland. He is looking for a dog that must have a good temperament and is good around kids, cats, and other dogs. Do u have any advice for him or know of any places where he should look for a companion. Thank you so much ~AMN
Thanks so much for thinking of me and for reaching out for your friend. Hmm, there are a few questions I’d want to ask him to help narrow it down:
- Is he open to adopting from a rescue/shelter? Or does he want to go the breeder route?
- Does he want an adult dog or a puppy?
- Male or female?
- Open to any dog that gets along with his resident dog?
- Is his goal for a “companion” because his resident dog is bored and he thinks another dog is going to keep the other one occupied?
- What if the dogs don’t end up getting along after a few months, what would he do then?
With so many families losing their homes and having to move, there are more and more adult dogs ending up in shelters – many of them coming from homes that had kids, cats etc… If he is willing to go the rescue route, then I’d say he should go to shelters and meet as many dogs as he can – they can help match up a dog that would fit the household. Then, after all is said and done, have the resident dog meet as many dogs as he can – this way Timmy can choose which companion he wants We are fortunate enough to be able to choose our friends, our dogs should be that fortunate too
Let me know if you have any other questions – I’d be more than happy to answer them. Cheers, Joan
Here are his answers to your questions…. We are looking at the animal shelter in Camarillo. Are there any shelters that u recommend?
- Does he want an adult dog or a puppy? Doesn’t matter
- Male or female? Male
- Open to any dog that gets along with his resident dog? Yes I am. We always had good luck with labs so I always stuck with them. I like large dogs. Over 80lbs.
- Is his goal for a “companion” because his resident dog is bored and he thinks another dog is going to keep the other one occupied? No. We always had two dogs. I mourned Otto’s loss for a year now I am ready to give a home to another dog who needs it. Timmy is great with whoever he meets.
- What if the dogs don’t end up getting along after a few months, what would he do then? Training. But I honestly don’t know. Timmy gets along with everybody. One reason I was looking at a younger dog.
Thank you Joan.
Wow, what a great dog guardian he is! I’m available for adoption <kidding>
I would go back to my answer of introducing Timmy to lots and lots of dogs – Have Timmy “choose” – if possible…
He can look on http://www.petfinder.com/index.html – look around at all the dogs that are available – go by the descriptions, then contact the folks who have the dog and mention the situation. They might have the perfect dog for Timmy to meet… There is also breed specific rescue: http://www.labrescue.org/ http://www.sclrr.org/pollyfund.cgi
Let me know what happens or if you have additional questions…Joan
Hey Joan, thank you for all your advice. He adopted a 2 year old lab at the animal shelter in Camarillo. Thank you again.
What a nice ending to this story. I’m happy to hear that he found a suitable companion for his dog and his home, and that he was able to rescue at the same time.
One main point I’d like to make regarding adopting a second (or third etc…) dog into the household, is remember that your resident dog should have some say in it. As humans we are able to choose who we like to hang out with, and just because we’re of the same species doesn’t mean we always get along.
Kudos to Boris for taking the steps in finding the ideal addition for his human and canine family!