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Should I Get a Second Dog?

At Big Rock Labradoodles, we often celebrate the joy of having more than one dog with our favorite hashtag #canthavejustone. While introducing a second dog into your home can significantly enrich your first pet’s life, it’s a decision that requires careful consideration. This guide explores when adding another dog is a beneficial choice and when it might not be the right time.

Table of Contents

Understanding Canine Companionship

Historically, dogs have always been close companions to humans, following them throughout the day. Unlike the past, when dogs freely roamed neighborhoods, modern dogs often experience more solitary lives, with socialization relegated to scheduled playdates or outings. This shift underscores the potential benefits of having a second dog, especially for pets that spend long hours alone.

The Right Time to Add Another Dog

Adding a second dog can provide companionship for your first dog, helping to alleviate loneliness and boredom. This is particularly true for highly social breeds like Doodles. However, the decision should not be made lightly. Consider the following factors to ensure a harmonious addition to your household.

Similar Activity Levels

Choose a second dog whose energy level matches your current pet’s. Dogs of the same breed may share common behaviors and play styles, making the integration smoother. However, aligning their exercise needs and stimulation preferences is crucial for a balanced home environment.

Consider Health and Age Compatibility

While dogs don’t need to be the same age, their health status should be compatible. An older dog may enjoy the energy of a younger companion, but only if they’re physically up for the challenge. The goal is to complement your first dog’s lifestyle without causing undue stress.

Introducing Gender Dynamics

Mixed-gender pairings often result in less conflict, though this is not a strict rule. Be mindful of the dynamics between two females, as studies suggest they are more prone to conflict. A balanced approach, considering neutering and individual temperaments, can help facilitate a peaceful coexistence.

Successful Integration Strategies

Thoughtful Introductions

Introduce the dogs on neutral ground with both on leashes. This initial meeting should be followed by attentive observation as they explore each other and their shared environment. Prioritize your first dog’s comfort to prevent feelings of displacement.

The first step is the introduction.  Introduce the dogs on neutral ground with both on leashes.  When you bring puppy home, have your first dog come outside so they meet on neutral turf.  I suggest the sidewalk across the street or in front of your neighbor’s house.  Allow them to sniff each other out and see what the other is all about.  

If, after a few minutes, it seems that all is well and the two dogs are relaxed and at ease, it’s time to enter the home.  But very important — allow the first dog to enter the house first.  After all, it’s his turf.  Once both dogs are inside, remove the leashes and let them continue to explore each other. 

If you’re bringing home a new puppy, rather than a young dog, be sure to get the puppy out to the potty area after only about 5 minutes of this new situation.

Maintaining Priority for the First Dog

In the early days, ensure your first dog doesn’t feel overshadowed by the newcomer. A new puppy is very exciting, and everyone wants to spend time with and play with him, but it is so important that your first dog does not feel “replaced” or cast aside in favor of the new puppy.  

The new pet is going to require some extra attention to help it adapt to its new home environment, but be careful not to alienate your old dog, or this can strain the new relationship between the two dogs..

Observing and Adjusting to Their Hierarchy

Over time, the dogs will naturally establish their own hierarchy based on their personalities and preferences.  It will depend too on what resources are more important to each dog. One may need to be the first to be pet, while the other may need to be the first to be fed.  Rarely do we see one dog need to be the top dog in all matters. You’ll see how it all shakes out for them as time goes on.

Expanding Your Canine Family

Bringing a second dog into your home can be a wonderful way to enhance your pet’s life, offering them companionship and enrichment. However, it’s crucial to approach this decision with a clear understanding of your current dog’s needs, the potential dynamics between the two pets, and the commitment required to ensure a harmonious household. With patience and thoughtful planning, you can create a loving, inclusive environment for both your Wonderful Woofies.


Alana Holst
Australian Labradoodle Breeder  at 

Since 2011, I've dedicated myself to breeding Standard Sized Australian Labradoodles, fueled by a passion for holistic practices and exceptional quality. My focus lies in fostering strong bonds between humans and dogs, crafting loyal companions for therapy, service, and family — spreading love, one precious puppy at a time.

Alana Holst

Alana Holst

Australian Labradoodle Breeder

We make a heartfelt promise to our cherished puppies and their new families, dedicating ourselves to the health, happiness, and lifelong well-being of every Labradoodle we raise and to fostering a supportive community among our adoptive families. Learn more about us.

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Australian Labradoodle Momma at Big Rock Labradoodles

Where Care Meets Excellence!

At Big Rock Labradoodles, we champion a comprehensive, science-based, and holistic approach in breeding and nurturing exceptional standard-sized genuine Multigenerational Australian Labradoodles. Our commitment to atypical rearing strategies ensures that we never settle for the ordinary — we strive for extraordinary dogs destined for prolonged and fulfilling lives. Learn more about our code of ethics and our adoption process. When you feel ready to welcome a new family member, we invite you to fill out our adoption application — the first step towards finding your new furry family member.