Bringing Home a Second Puppy: How to Raise Multiple Dogs in Your Home


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Raising a puppy is difficult, but getting another one? It would be one heck of a challenge. For one, not all dogs get along with each other. You have to be careful about what breed you’ll choose to ensure that your pooches will live in harmony. Still bringing home a second puppy isn’t just about picking the right breed. You also have to know to introduce it to your older doggo.

This is where the hard part starts. Your first dog may get jealous.

After years of having the house to itself, the older dog may snob the new pup in the house. And like a toddler meeting its new baby brother, the doggo may get heartsick and jealous.

To help you in bringing home another furry baby, here are some points you should keep in mind.

Is your first dog ready?

No matter how much you want to bring home a new puppy, you should check if the only doggo in the house is prepared to welcome a new friend. Try introducing the pooch to other dogs in the block. If the dog reacts aggressively, you may want to subject him to training before introducing a new pup.

As you know, your first dog is the ‘top dog’ and it’s used to being the center of attention. Is your top dog playful with other canines? Is he more of a loner? Knowing this will give you an idea of how the new pup and the old dog will deal with each other.

Once you know how your top dog reacts to the presence of another dog, you can prepare ahead of time. You may need to use a baby gate or a crate to separate the two while allowing them to socialize.

If your top dog is a bit snobbish and unwelcoming of the new pup, it may take a while before the two become best buddies.

How about you? Are you really ready for a second dog? Watch this video to find out:

Selecting the second dog

Before you even get that new puppy, it’s important that it will get along with your top dog properly. Some dogs become aggressive in the presence of other canines while others don’t mind welcoming another pooch in the pack.

When choosing a new pup, here’s what you should consider:

Choose a different gender

This is a matter of assessing your top dog and the new pup’s personality. Some dog breeds like Pitbulls and bulldogs find same-sex dogs dominating. They might perceive the same sex pup as a threat and a rival to their turf.

Take note that female dogs tend to stir fights as they mature. And if you don’t want to breed the dogs, you can spay them even before they come in heat. Neutering will also dampen the potential aggressiveness of your pooch.

Pick the right size

Imagine this: you have a Saint Bernard, are you going to get a Chihuahua? As much as the large size gap may not be a problem, it would be ideal to get a medium-sized pooch to accompany a large top dog. If you want a teacup dog, your top dog should be a medium-sized one or smaller.

Sizing the dog up is important before bringing home a second puppy. As you know, large dogs may get unintentionally rowdy which may crush or injure a very tiny puppy.

Check the temperament

If there’s one aspect you should look into, it’s the temperament of the puppy you’re getting. Will it match the personality and behavior of your top dog? If you have a very gentle dog, say a Golden Retriever, at home, it’s best to get a similarly calm puppy.

You can get a Labrador Retriever, a Poodle, or a Great Dane. These dogs share a well-mannered nature which will help them get along in the future.

But what if your dog is aggressive toward another canine? This will take a little while and a different approach which we discussed below.

Grooming and health needs

This part doesn’t have anything to do with your top dog. Still, you should check the grooming and health needs of your new pup to save yourself from the hassle of endless vet visits. Two dogs can be a handful, and if you don’t have the time to keep them groomed, you might as well get a low-maintenance puppy.

If you have a shedder top dog, it would be better to get a non-shedding one. It can be a Poodle, Lhasa Apso, Puli, and the likes. Again, you should ensure that the temperament of the new pup matches your top doggo.

Energy levels

This part concerns both you and your top dog. If you have a couch potato, you have to think carefully if getting a vibrant pup like a Beagle would be a good idea. Some dog owners prefer this for a change while others opt to match the energy level of the top dog to the new pup.

You have to consider that a high-energy dog may bother a couch potato canine. Most of the time, finding a puppy that matches your top dog’s behavior would be ideal. It would be faster for them to get along if they have a lot in common.

To make it simple, here’s a short guide in choosing your second dog: 

Plan the first meeting

Once you found that pup which you think will get along with your older pooch, it’s now time to plan the first meeting. This is like a first date. You have to do it right or you’re going to mess up the bond.

When it comes to bringing home a second puppy, we need to script the introduction. Here’s what I recommend that you do:

Choose a neutral ground

Never, ever, bring the new pup to your old dog’s turf. Getting a second dog jealousy will ensue if you do this. Also, dogs are naturally territorial. If you violate their space by bringing in a new pooch, they will become heartsick, snobbish, and unwelcoming.

I suggest that you pick a neutral ground. Pick a room in your house where your top dog hasn’t stayed for long. Clean this up and remove any toys, food bowls, or anything that may distract any of the doggos.

Ask a friend to bring the new pup in while you handle your top dog. This way, your older pooch will think that this is just another play date. Getting them used to this setup will make the introduction calm and slow.

Leash the dogs

For dogs with tendencies to become aggressive, I suggest that you put both on a leash. Still, keep it loose so they can move in their own terms.

When introducing the puppy, never hold it in your arms. First, your top dog will become jealous and the puppy will be terrified. Let both of them approach each other at their own pace.

Some snacks will become handy too. While you let the dogs identify the presence of each other, you can feed them with goodies. Ditch the treats slowly until the two pooches have nothing to do but mingle with each other.

Observe interactions

When you first introduce the pup to your older pooch, it’s crucial to see their reactions. If any of the doggos wag their tail, become alert or became tense, you don’t need to worry. These are acceptable reactions but you should keep an eye in the next moments.

In case any of the dog exhibit aggression like intense barking, growling, bared teeth, or snarling, you may need the help of a professional dog trainer.

You can do these introductions multiple times. If the two proved to be a tough brood, you can crate the new pup for the meantime while you let your top dog get used to it.

Slow your roll

Don’t force any of the dogs to mingle right away. Like what I said, let them do it at their own pace. Leaning the pup to the top dog’s face is a no-no as this can overwhelm the two.

If you want, you can separate them using a baby gate. This will let the two see and sniff each other without the risk of injuries and aggression.

I think one reason why top dogs tend to get jealous is the sudden lack of attention. With this, always give your older dog TLC more than you’ll do even before the pup arrives. This way, your top dog will perceive the new doggo as something good since they get the reward of affection.

Feed them separately

Food altercations are normal between dogs. To prevent this from happening, make sure that you feed the two dogs separately. You can bring the new pup to another room or a crate and feed it there.

Never use bowl-sharing as a way to form their bond. This never works and it will just fuel the dislike of your top dog to the new pup. As much as possible, we want to avoid anything that will stir competition.

Walk them together

After a few days or weeks, you can take both your dogs to a walk around the block. Always put them on a leash. This way, they will recognize that you’re the leader of the pack. Bringing home a second puppy will also need a lot of work on your end.

It’s crucial that you walk ahead of your dog or let them follow you side by side. Don’t let them lead the way or the doggo will think that they have the upper hand.

bringing home a second puppy

My dog is jealous of my new pup!

You should expect this to happen, especially if your older doggo has been with you for long. When jealous, your older dog will try to show his dominance over the new pup. It may initiate rough play, but try not to get in the middle unless things are going out of hand.

Don’t scold, shout, or punish the older pooch if it seems to be ruff on the pup. This will just worsen the jealousy.

Let them mingle and soon enough, the two doggos can work things out with the hierarchy. This is just a normal thing for dogs as they live in packs.

Most of all, never give the things of your older dog to the new pup. Getting a second dog jealousy will be intense if you do this. Let the old doggo keep its stuff.

If you are to reward the doggos, always prioritize the older one. This way, the pooch won’t feel left out or “less” of a favorite. If you’re arriving home from work, always greet the older dog first no matter how excited the new pup is.

Some do’s and don’ts to keep you sane

To save you from the guessing game of introducing a new pup to your older dog, here are some tips to minimize fights and jealousy:

Don’t put them in the same crate. Unless you want bloodshed, this isn’t a good idea.

Always break a fight. If the two doggos get into a fight, stop it the moment it starts. Letting it go on will only establish a bad relationship between the two of them.

If the older dog bullies the puppy, try to bring him back to his spot to avoid injuring the little pup.

Don’t let the older dog bully the puppy by getting his food. Reprimand the pooch with a firm “no” if he tries to establish his dominance through this way.

Always monitor the doggos. Even if the two seem to get along when you’re around, it’s best to spy on them while you’re away. Use handy cameras to check how your older dog treats the new pup and the other way around.

Train them together. By running drills together, the two doggos will get familiar with each other. Still, don’t compete them against each other.

Bringing home a second puppy is a delicate move. You have to do it right to make your dog welcoming of its new furry buddy. Above all, giving the older dog enough TLC and attention is the key to avoid jealousy.