Ep #2 (transcript): Should I Get a Second Dog: The best age, gender, and timing for adding a second dog

Are your kids begging for another puppy? Do you think your current dog would love a friend, or that a puppy would help resolve separation anxiety or an abundance of energy?

Today's episode will walk you through the questions to think through before taking the leap and share the BIGGEST mistake I see when people add a doodle puppy to their family with another dog.

Highlights:

  • Your “Why” (1:20)
  • How will your current dog fare? Does a second dog help with separation anxiety or with a reactive dog?(3:53)
  • Is it the right time and is your first dog the right age? (8:31)
  • Gender: Choosing a male or female (12:46)
  • Costs (14:08)
  • Biggest Second Dog Mistake (14:41)
  • The Joy a Second Dog Brings (16:36)

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Read the transcript:

(autogenerated)

Doodle breed dogs are easy to love, but can be challenging to parent I'm doodle expert. Coringa your heart also known as the doodle pro and I'm here to help doodle parents have a more fulfilling and rewarding experience with their doodles. No one has professionally worked with as many different doodle breeds or has more experience with doodles than I have. And I love to share my expertise in a fun,

compassionate, and nonjudgmental way. From my years of work in education and the pet care and dog training industry, I have an incredible network of skilled training grooming and veterinary professionals to share their knowledge with you and give you the doodle specific answers you're looking for. I hope you enjoy today's episode as I help you parent your doodle like a pro, have you been toying with the idea of adding a second doodle to your family?

Are your kids asking for a puppy and saying that your other doodle would love it today? We're going to discuss if adding a new puppy to your family is the right choice. Your first question is asking yourself, why are you adding this doodle? Are you thinking that your doodle needs a playmate and that they're bored? Or are your children begging for a puppy,

or are you just so full of love for doodles that you have the energy and time to devote to training and other puppy? And you just have more love to give those are some important questions to ask. If your doodle is looking for a playmate or likes to get some energy out, a puppy can be helpful for that as they get older, but it can also double the chaos in your home already.

There are other ways to find enrichment and add to your current dog's life without adding the double, the cost and time and investment that another puppy takes. If your children are begging for a puppy, go ahead and do what you probably did with your first dog and decide if you have the time and resources yourself to devote, to training that new doodle and puppy.

As most of us parents know, I know that my children, when we added our second doodle Nestle or kava poo, there were so many promises of the walks that they would take and how they would feed them because they wanted Nestle to fall in love with them. And all of our doodles fall in love with me not to sound immodest, but I am the one who provides them all the great things,

such as walks and training and feed them every meal and every treat. So it's no surprise that the dogs are bonding to me. As you can guess how things ended within the week. Those promises were already broken and they knew I was already head over heels in love with our doodle, that it didn't matter. And as much as I like to follow through on consequences,

getting rid of Nestle because they weren't following through on their chores would never ever happen. Another question you want to ask about your current dog is if they're well suited for a puppy, as dogs get older, they become more dog selective. That doesn't mean anything's wrong with your older dog. It just means that they're growing or grownup just like us. We used to be able to go to the playground.

We were a kid and maybe play with any old kid that we meet. Now, we go to a cocktail party. There are certain people that just might rub us the wrong way. Can't even tell you why. Or maybe we could tell you lots of reasons why. And we are often drawn to the same friends over at the kitchen or in the quarter on the sofa that we just love to chat and get along with.

And some other people we'd rather take a pass. Well, your dog is the same. Not every dog they meet is going to be their best friend. And the older they get, the more dog selective that they'll grow to be as well. So you're going to ask yourself is your current dog, dog friendly? Meaning when they meet a new dog,

they're super excited to play with them no matter who they are or dog neutral, meaning meeting other dogs is neither too exciting nor terrifying, or putting them off a dog friendly or dog neutral dog in your home already can be a great fit to add another dog to your home. Are you hoping that your current dog will be better behaved if you add a puppy?

Well, that's a question that should give you some pause. If your current dog already has some separation anxiety, it's a really common thought of, well, I'll give them some company. They won't miss me when I'm gone. As long as they have a friend, unfortunately, that doesn't really change the dynamic of some isolation anxiety. And in fact, the next dog,

the puppy usually learns the behaviors that are sourced from anxiety from the older dog. So if your first dog is barking or pacing or panting, they're teaching that puppy. That that is the appropriate way to feel and behave when you're gone. So now you have two dogs with separation, anxiety, keeping each other company. Another common thought is my dog has difficulty with other dogs.

So the way to solve their resource guarding or their aggression is by adding a second dog so they can learn to trust other dogs. Unfortunately, that can be a recipe for disaster and dangerous as well. So by bringing a second dog into the home in hopes to solve separation or aggression issues, it doesn't solve the original issue. It just brings additional triggers into their home.

So if you have a dog who already has separation anxiety, I recommend that you contact a C-SAT. So that's a certified separation anxiety trainer, and they can help you usually remotely. And they do virtual consults and training with you to help your current dog to feel more confident and comfortable while you're away. So they don't pass on those behaviors and that anxiety to any new dogs that you would bring into your home.

If your current dog has any resource guarding issues, I recommend getting into contact with a fear-free and force free trainer to work with you on helping them resolve their resource guarding issues. Lots of people think that resource guarding is sign of a bad or a moral failure on the part of the dog. And that is not the case. We all resource guard. If you have a dog,

try to grab food from your plate and you stop them and say, no, or move the plate away, you just guarded your resource. If you have a spot on the sofa, that is your spot, just like Sheldon on big bang theory, he's got his spot. Well, he's guarding that resource. Those aren't moral failures, but we can change the perspective of your dog when they see someone going for that resource,

that they actually have a positive, emotional response. And instead see it as they're going to get something even better. If you love learning about dogs on an academic side, like I do, I would strongly recommend the book mine by Jean Donaldson, one of my mentors. And it's an excellent guide on how to work on resource guarding in your own home. So if you've decided first that your current dog would love a playmate and is in the behavioral space to welcome one,

and you have the time and resources to devote to another dog, there are some new questions to ask when. So if you're deciding, when is the best time to bring in a new puppy, you want to again, look at your current dog and see how old are they. Most trainers recommend that your dog is at least one to two years old.

Now we know that doodles in general have a longer puppy hood than many other breeds. So that means that we're waiting closer to that two year old range. You want them to have gotten through adolescents and be very well-trained and behaved before the next dog comes into the home. If you already have a puppy and you're thinking, well, I might as well get this stage over with.

I understand my sister and I are only 13 months apart. And my mom said that she just raised us like twins. She got through the diaper phase. At the same time, she went through many different parenting phases and kept us even at the same bedtime, et cetera. And she said that she got through those sleepless years all at once. It is understandable to want to do the same with a puppy.

Unfortunately, there's a significant issue called litter mates syndrome that can arise when young dogs, within six months of age are raised in the same household. A common misconception about litter mates syndrome is that they need to be from the same litter. That is not the case. They just need to join your home within six months of each other's age and can be completely different breeds,

completely different breeders. And of course, completely different litters. They don't care about the same litter or breeder or even breed part. What happens is they bond to each other instead of you. And instead of double the training effort, it's quadruple, you have to make sure that you are training each one individually away from the other. So you don't have a dependence issue between the two.

I have some clients who have some doodles and pets with litter mates syndrome and the distress that they feel when they're away from their sibling is just heartbreaking. They don't need to have been from the same litter. I have these two Moodle clients that came from different parts of the country and one came home. And then a few months later, the second came home.

And the second one it's like, he can't breathe without his sibling, the distress that he feels away from him and the one who came home first, he cannot eat. If his sibling is not near him, it is just too distressing for him. And there are times where one dog is going to have to go to the vet or somewhere else. And you don't want to have litter mates syndrome and have them be that distressed when they are apart from each other.

So even though it sounds like a great idea for them to puppies to wear each other out. And gosh, when you're looking at a litter of puppies who wouldn't want to bring their brother's sister home, but if you're looking for a companion dog, that's also going to bond with you. You want to wait until they're at least one years old. Two is more ideal before you bring home.

That second dog. I mentioned having younger dogs, when you bring a puppy home, the other side of the coin is having a senior. Well, this stress, your medically fragile older dog, too much. I've had clients who have said that, bringing home a puppy seemed to rejuvenate and bring new life into their older dogs home. And they perked up and they saw energy out of them.

They never had before. I've also had clients who say, bring home puppy seemed to really age their current dog. And it created so much stress. And they were sad to say that it contributed to them passing sooner than they had hoped. Let's say you have decided that your older dog is a great fit for a puppy and you are ready for that investment.

You have some more questions to ask yourself, what sex dog are you looking to bring home? My favorite mixes are a male and female and a male and male. Assuming of course that you stay a neuter. Your doodles to mature females have the highest likelihood of problems after both have matured. Unfortunately, that can seem really surprising. As most people think of males as aggressive with cultural norms,

but that isn't the case for dogs. And two females can have the most difficulty after the second female has matured. Secondly, if you're bringing home that puppy, you need to make sure that you've created space for your older dog, to be able to find their own space in your home, to be able to take a break from the puppy. Your older dog did not ask for a younger sibling and it is not their job to correct them.

It might seem funny or cute to have the puppy crawling all over your older dog, but you want to pay very close to the subtle signs that your older dog has giving such as lip licking whale eye. That means you can see the white in their eyes, ears, pin back. And of course, tail tucked, et cetera. Yawning is another sign of stress.

We don't want to stress. The dog though is already in our home that we love. We want to give them their own attention and give them space when they're ready to walk away from the puppy and take a break that they can putting a puppy and an adult dog together is like asking a teenager to be a toddler's primary playmate. You want to find fellow toddlers and fellow puppies for that puppy to get their energy out on another piece.

To remember as you're making the decision, whether or not to bring home another dog, if you are financially able to take on that second cost, the cost of having a second dog are really doubled. You'll save on some toys or a treat jar or using a baby gate. But the big ticket items like the vet grooming boarding and training costs are all duplicated.

And that brings one of the biggest mistakes I see with loving doodle families. When they get a second doodle, they usually assume that their puppy has a playmate and that they don't need to go to the puppy socialization or training classes because they're able to get their energy out and are able to play with the dog. That is the biggest mistake because dogs have a different outlook on familiar versus unfamiliar dogs,

just because your doodle puppy gets along with your other dog does not mean that they feel confident or comfortable with unfamiliar dogs. You want to really be intentional about giving them the same amount of positive exposures with different dogs, different breeds, different areas of socialization that we'll cover in another podcast. And not assume that since they're able to tag along with their older sibling and play with them,

that all of their socialization needs are met. I find second dogs that have been raised that way to be more fearful, less confident, and sometimes have higher reactivity due to being under socialized as a puppy. It makes sense. They're both happily playing and they seem like they've got a built-in best friend, but the puppy still needs exposure to unfamiliar environments and dogs and people beyond your current dog.

Now I've given all of these warnings, I've discussed all of the ways that things could go wrong or be difficult in adding a second dog that said getting our second doodle was the biggest gift to our family. We had before Nestle, our kava poo came to us. We adored our standard poodle Hershey. She is the light of our life, best friend to all of our shed,

FreeState guests here in Denver. And I just adored her that doesn't even cover it. I have goosebumps talking about her. We unexpectedly had Nestle come into our family. We were not looking for a second dog. And luckily for us as we board doodles, he came into our family during COVID. So even though he wasn't fully vaccinated, et cetera, it was the perfect time to welcome him into our home.

As we had to be closed due to the health and safety restrictions going on with the pandemic. I did not think that we wanted a second dog nor did I think that we had the time for it. But of course I created the time. And as I tell my kids, my heart grows with each family member and it doesn't lesson for who is already there.

Then within a few months are dearly beloved standard poodle Hershey. She passed away from a congenital defect in her liver. It was sudden, and I didn't get out of bed for a week, but Nestle greeting me and cuddling me was one of the most healing aspects of my grief journey with Hershey. Having Nestle was the biggest gift that I didn't know we needed,

and I will always have a second dog. Now Nestle's just turning two. And I don't know when it will be appropriate for our family to have a second dog, but I never just want to have one dog again, because if I had to go from having Hershey, our beloved poodle to no dog and having that emptiness, that would've just been heartbreaking and it would have been too much for me.

So I went through all of these reasons why it could be adding difficulty to your time or finances or things you need to be aware of for your original dog. But if you have all of those figured out, I say, go for it. And I am here to support you. And if you have any questions, reach out to me and I love that you have listened to this far and being intentional about adding a,

another doodle to your home. Thank you for listening. Thanks for joining me on this episode of the doodle pro podcast. If you enjoyed the show, don't forget to rate and review us wherever you get your podcasts. And I invite you to follow me on Instagram at the doodle pro for behind the scenes, peeks at all of the adorable doodles. I work with daily ever drop your doodle off at the groomer and wish you could be a fly on the wall and your groomers break room.

Here's your chance. We interview groomers across the U S and gave them a chance to give real talk anonymously on what frustrates them and what they wish we doodle parents knew about doodle brushing, become your doodle groomer's new favorite client and learn how to brush your doodle like a pro with our free gift. Download your free uncensored doodle brushing guide@thedoodlepro.com backslash uncensored.

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have a pawsome day!

Corinne

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corinne the doodle pro

oh hey there!

I’m Corinne, The Doodle Pro™

DOODLES ARE DIFFERENT, THEY DESERVE SOMEONE WHO KNOWS WHAT THEY NEED.

That’s why I, The Doodle Pro™, do things differently.

All of my training methods are positive, research-based, and Doodle-specific. 

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