General Question

janbb's avatar

Are two dogs who get along easier or harder to own than one?

Asked by janbb (57138points) November 12th, 2014

As asked. Pros and cons.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

40 Answers

snowberry's avatar

Two dogs keep each other company (and if they are of a mind to exercise each other). My mother said they were generally healthier than single dogs in the same circumstances.

gailcalled's avatar

My best friends up the road have three springer spaniels who share the same mother but are not from the same litters. They have different personalities and some different habits and health issues but they get along just fine. They all spring up and down rambunctiously at the slightest provocation and rush around joyfully at the slightest hint of a chipmunk or squirrel. But they do have 5 acres on which to romp and can go in and out at will during daylight hours.

They also get taken on most local car trips, which they prefer to being left at home – alone – and seem very compatible piled into an old Subaru Forester. They greet any passerby who gives them the time of day with rapturous grins and tail-wagging.

marinelife's avatar


Two dogs keep each other company when you are away.
Twice the fun and twice the love.

Two dogs are more difficult to walk.
Vet bills and food cost twice as much.

picante's avatar

Can’t add anything substantive to the comments posted above me, but I will say that they’re twice the love and adoration in both directions (if they truly get along well).

ucme's avatar

Only add that when one dog dies, it leaves the other utterly bereft.

jaytkay's avatar

My brother always has two dogs, or when one is getting old, he gets a spare so no dog is left alone.

filmfann's avatar

2 give them company, as long as they get along.

longgone's avatar

Hm. That’s difficult to answer. Can you tell us more about age, sex, training and history of the two? Are they siblings? How do they approach humans and other dogs?

I’ll be back later, with general points – I’m on my mobile.

josie's avatar

Pros-Nothing better than a good dog. Thus, nothing better still than two good dogs

Double the food cost
Double the vet costs
Double the boarding costs if you have to leave them
Double the dog shit to clean up
Double the fur to clean up if they shed

canidmajor's avatar

What @marinelife said. I have had bunches of combos of 2 dogs. When one passes, I bring in another. I’ve had raised-from-puppy with adopted-severely-abused, only-dog-from-puppyhood-to-over-10-years-old and then brought in another, various combos like that. Different breeds, different temperaments, different ages, and all has been good. Most dogs are good at joining a new pack. Because you specified “dogs who get along” I figure you’re not looking for cases that didn’t work.

Are you thinking of acquiring a brace? I highly recommend it, but they do need more time than one.

Edit to add: I have also been able to effectively retrain older dogs to my needs.

janbb's avatar

This is a pair of adorable sisters that must be adopted together. Havanese-Shih Tzu mix. Still not certain whether any dog ownership makes sense again for me.

canidmajor's avatar

Oh, and check with your boarding kennel. My dogs go into the same run, so it’s not double the the cost. And they only charge for one playtime if both dogs are together. I buy food in greater bulk so it’s not quite twice the cost, either.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

After having two goldens that were really tight I doubt I’d ever have a single dog. These two took care of each other. And they were inseparable. If one went to the vet, the other one went too. It was against the vet’s rules, but they made an exception for these two. Once the male got an injury and had to have some repair work. When I brought him home from the vet with the female, there was a strange dog in our yard. He wanted to make friends, but she got scared. The male immediately turned all macho, cone on his head and all. They were with me for over 14 years and she had had one litter of pups, so they made it to 15 or 16, which is ancient for goldens. But when he died, she didn’t make it more than a month. Yeah the expenses were higher, but so wasn’t the return.

Coloma's avatar

Pros: Companionship between the dogs.

Cons: Double the food, vet bills, noise, dog hair, and poop scooping.

gailcalled's avatar

@janbb: Why not post the pix of the sisters? That way you will only get objective advice. And be sure not to tell us that together, the sisters tip the scales at 19 lbs.

janbb's avatar

Here they are. Irresistible, no?

canidmajor's avatar

Irresistible, absolutely.
You have been exhibiting pining behaviors since having to give up Frodo. It is certainly easier not to have pets, but infinitely less satisfying. You need to give these girls a happy forever home.

do it do it do it do it do it do it do it do it do it :-)

longgone's avatar

You’ll be fine! At that age, the things I was going to warn you about won’t become a problem.

As long as you’re okay financially?

Yes…do it, do it, do it!

janbb's avatar

The thing is getting coverage for when I travel and I plan to spend a lot of time in California post retirement. Don’t think I could take two dogs.

@longgone Why don’t you come and move in?

OpryLeigh's avatar

In some cases, siblings can be harder as they are so closely bonded to each other if they have always been together that they don’t bond as easily with their new human which can make training more difficult initially. However, with time and dedication this can be overcome.

janbb's avatar

If I do apply to adopt them, should I mention rodo and thistory with him or would that turn off the rescue org?

snowberry's avatar

@janbb I don’t know how it would be relevant. Didn’t you return him because he was vicious? Are you concerned they’d blame you for that?

janbb's avatar

@snowberry Yes. They ask your history with other pets. I don’t know if some rescue orgs would think I was a failure.

Coloma's avatar

@janbb Forget passing muster with a lot of these elitist and extremist rescue groups. Go to your local shelter and spend time with dogs that interest you. You still have a 30 day window to return the animal if it is not working out and you don’t have to feel you are being put through the 3rd degree. I adopted both my cats 3 and 4 years ago from my local shelter after jumping through the hoops of a rescue group run by neurotic fanatics, never again.
A few bad apples spoiled the barrel for me.

I was blacklisted because I said I did believe in letting my cats out during the day on my rural property. Nope, not acceptable to these people, sooo, they turned down someone who would have given the cat a lifelong home, good care, plenty of love all because I let them out to play in the sunshine, climb trees and be cats on a zero traffic private road , with a kitty door they could access at any time and always in by dark. Pffft!

snowberry's avatar

@janbb I guess you could call and ask anonymously, but I’d think they’re simply trying to weed out the abusers. When you returned him, was his bad behavior well documented?

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@janbb I would be honest with them. Some people can handle more dog than another.

chyna's avatar

My unbiased opinion is GET THEM BOTH! They are adorable!
You haven’t picked them up yet? And they have really cute names. All my dogs had silly names that I changed.
Edited to add: I should answer the original question since this is in General. I get the people saying it will be double the expenses and it’s true, but it is double the pleasure. If you think you can take on these dogs and be able to be separated from them when you are traveling, you should do it.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

@janbb, they are so very cute and I know you’d love another dog. I have two dogs and they’ve never been a problem. They do keep each other company. I can’t think of any problems we’ve had by having two dogs apart from the costs and walking two dog issues. However, you’re not talking huge dogs in terms of the walking issue. The worst thing would be my little girl is flighty and full of beans and my boy is more reserved. She keeps him fit.

@ucme makes a good point. My boy is getting on and while he’s fit as a fiddle right now, I’m conscious of his age. I’m going to think about @jaytkay‘s point. I’m worried about how my girl will be if he goes first.

canidmajor's avatar

@Coloma is rather unfortunately correct, a number of places will judge you harshly for having returned Frodo to foster. While I appreciate that they try to do their best, I have seen animals not go to excellent homes, in spite of letters of recommendation from vets and trainers, because of things like not having a fenced yard, returning an aggressive dog to fosterage, or euthanizing a younger dog for extreme health issues. I don’t think such places are necessarily elitist so much as unrealistically over-zealous.

janbb's avatar

@canidmajor I think you may be right. if any of you remember, a zealot from the first rescue group made me crazy when I was giving back Frodo.

Waking up with a wiser head today, I’m not sure I’m in a place to take on a dog or dogs right now. I’m still in a time of transition. I have to ponder it more.

canidmajor's avatar

i don’t know how it is where you are, but where I have been the dog rescue/adoption community is pretty small. When you’re ready, talk to your vet, I got one of my best dogs from my vet after a rescue group turned me down because of no fenced yard. I brought that dog back from severe neglect and abuse and cherished him for 14 years. There are always good pups that need good homes that are not registered with rescue groups.

I wish you best of times finding a happy new canine friend! :-D

snowberry's avatar

We got an awesome dog from the local Humane Society. They didn’t make us miserable with details. But that’s the most generic of rescue groups.

janbb's avatar

My local SPCA tends to have pit bulls mainly. I know they can be good dogs but I don’t like their looks.

gailcalled's avatar

Jan, my sister passes on one more thought. She suggests that getting two real sisters (from the same litter) means you are inheriting a ready-made, tightly-bonded pack. You will be the interloper.

rojo's avatar

Yes, dogs are pack animals and having two means that they are never alone.

longgone's avatar

Okay, so one dog, you would simply take along? I agree two might be a little much there.

I have time now, so I’ll be answering this question for future generations to peruse.

* Two dogs will keep each other company. Most of them enjoy having someone who speaks the same language
* Leaving two dogs can feel better than leaving one
* Watching dogs interact with each other is a lot of fun
* When one dies, you will still have another dog to keep you active, which may help
*...and the obvious: Twice the fun.

* Two dogs living together may gang up on strange dogs. Siblings even more so.
* Two dogs may decide they do not really need their humans. However, I consider this rare. Or rather, it is rarely the real reason for a less-than-perfect relationship. If it does happen, individual walks often help.
* Two dogs who are inseperable are very inconvenient. When one is in heat, hurt, sick, or simply less active than the other, it can be a pain if separating them is difficult.
* While dogs do not often pick up good habits, they readily adopt other dogs’ bad ideas. Like kids.
* Twice the hassle on walks, if your dogs are not leash-trained
* Twice the money.

I will gladly come and stay with you. May I bring a lovely Labrador? :]

OpryLeigh's avatar

@longgone We have two Beagles (Beagles will be the reason I have a nervous breakdown by the way) that come to our daycare centre. They are litter sisters and very tightly bonded, they don’t pay much attention to humans (their own or anyone else) apart from for the odd cuddle and as a food dispenser. However, they also squabble like human siblings. I actually said “I’m going to bang your heads together” today like my mum used to say to me and my brother!!!

longgone's avatar

^ “Beagles will be the reason I have a nervous breakdown by the way.”

I have a foster beagle – I know where you’re coming from. Have you ever met a trained beagle? I haven’t. They’re lovable, though.

OpryLeigh's avatar

They are so loveable, I agree and I love all the beagles I work with. I also love to give them back to their owners :D

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I love beagles. I used to take my neighbors beagle out rabbit hunting. A baying beagle is a cool sound. He was so well trained when he got tired he’d run back to his house and leave me in the woods.

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