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Adding a second dog to the family


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We have an almost three year old female golden doodle, and we're looking at getting her a sister. But nearly everybody has suggested we get a brother due to two girls fighting a lot.  She's the sweetest girl who gets along with everybody.  Still, it adding a brother is likely to be easier on them both, I'm fine with that. 

What are your experiences/tips/caveats about adding a second dog to your family? 

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Two female dogs certainly can get along. There are many bonded female pairs. But when two females don't get along it can sometimes be really, really bad. As in vicious fights that leave one or both requiring veterinary care. When opposite sexes or two males have spats they're generally not as violent. Getting opposite sexes with dogs is no guarantee, but the belief is that it stacks the decks in your favor. I've never had any significant trouble adding another dog or bringing in a foster. There's lots of info available on doing proper introductions (both dogs leashed and on neutral territory with an adult or trustworthy older kid to handle each dog, etc.). You need to watch them very closely around food and toys for awhile, being alert for any signs of possession aggression over those things (and possessiveness about people, too). Toys, food, and their people are the things that often trigger dog/dog possession aggression. If you adopt an adult dog who seems very, very good from the first moment, assume he's on "honeymoon" behavior and to eventually see some naughtiness or outright bad behavior once he feels more comfortable. It's just like kids who are on good behavior in public and aren't so great at home. They let go where/when they feel comfortable, and with the person (usually mom) they feel most comfortable with. So normal and natural and to be expected once an adopted dog starts settling in and feeling comfortable. Good luck!

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34 minutes ago, Pawz4me said:

Two female dogs certainly can get along. There are many bonded female pairs. But when two females don't get along it can sometimes be really, really bad. As in vicious fights that leave one or both requiring veterinary care. When opposite sexes or two males have spats they're generally not as violent. Getting opposite sexes with dogs is no guarantee, but the belief is that it stacks the decks in your favor. I've never had any significant trouble adding another dog or bringing in a foster. There's lots of info available on doing proper introductions (both dogs leashed and on neutral territory with an adult or trustworthy older kid to handle each dog, etc.). You need to watch them very closely around food and toys for awhile, being alert for any signs of possession aggression over those things (and possessiveness about people, too). Toys, food, and their people are the things that often trigger dog/dog possession aggression. If you adopt an adult dog who seems very, very good from the first moment, assume he's on "honeymoon" behavior and to eventually see some naughtiness or outright bad behavior once he feels more comfortable. It's just like kids who are on good behavior in public and aren't so great at home. They let go where/when they feel comfortable, and with the person (usually mom) they feel most comfortable with. So normal and natural and to be expected once an adopted dog starts settling in and feeling comfortable. Good luck!

Yes! 

Two males will make a lot of noise but often it isn't a true fight - they like to "trash talk". Lots of posturing, growling, snarling, noise, and even rolling around with teeth bared and looking vicious but when you get them apart no one has a scratch on them. All noise - it is evolution's way of letting them battle for "top dog" without actually injuring anyone. 

Two opposite sex dogs rarely fight - they can, especially if one is just aggressive in general - but usually don't get into it as they occupy different slots in the organizational chart - they can both be top dog basically. 

Two females - usually don't fight that much but when they do - someone is getting stitched up. At best. The absolute worst injuries we saw at the veterinary clinic were female vs female. They fight to the death. Seriously. The word term for a female dog became an insult for a reason. 

Now, that said, I've had two female dogs many times with zero fighting. And you know your dog and if it is a happy go lucky sort around other dogs, etc. Honestly, it's probably fine. 

My own pack I had zero issues with two females, and got the "trash talk" stuff when having two males. Which sounds scary and is a PIA when the younger dog hits about 2 yrs old and decides to test his luck with the older one, until they sort things out. But never a scratch, and easy for me to say "knock it off". But yeah, annoying. My preference is opposite sex pairs or two females even with all I said above. Mostly because I prefer female dogs, lol. And feel confident handling any issues. 

But for the majority of the time yes, opposite sex pair is the smart way to go. 

Are you looking for another golden mix? We got our golden doodle "blend" from Golden Retriever Rescue here in Florida. They were really good about listening to what we wanted and getting us the right dog for our needs. 

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We have three female dogs.

We got our German shepherd mix, Kylie, as a 9 week old puppy from the shelter. She needed a companion once I went to work full-time outside the home when she was 2yo, so we scoured the shelters to find another female dog about the same age and got a (probably) golden retriever/rottweiler mix who was 1.5yo at the time, Jenny. They do get along very well, but Jenny has abandonment issues from having been left at the shelter twice and she has a lot of anxiety. I feed them in their crates because Jenny can be defensive around food.

It has worked out fine because Kylie is submissive.

Then three years ago my youngest got a 12 week old rough collie puppy with eye problems from a breeder who couldn't use her for showing or for breeding. We were worried that there would be problems with Jenny, but Jenny still sees Aspen as a puppy even though she is 3yo now. 

It may help that Kylie and Jenny are both mine while Aspen is my 21yo's dog.  Or my 21yo belongs to Aspen while I belong to Kylie and Jenny.

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We’ve had no issues with opposite sex dogs.  Nothing special really needed.  Current dog arrived when prior dog was too old to really appreciate a puppy, but was sometimes willing to play tug or cuddle.  Other times she’d let him know she was not in puppy mood.

Other opposite sex dog pairs have gotten on well.

I just tried to be fair with them.  Not necessarily identical if one liked fetch say and one didn’t, or different size / age meant need for different size _____, but fair for both attention, privileges as fit age and housetraining, food, treats 

Ive had two major same sex dog fights in my life.  And Would be wary of possibly repeating that.  

In both cases it was the younger dog attacking the older one. And serious in both cases, worse with the 2 males actually.   And in case of the 2 females they had seemed ok together for 2 years or so, until suddenly they didn’t.  Possibly related to younger dog feeling ready to take over as primary dog or b—-ch even if neutered.  

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We've had 2 female dogs do well together and currently have a male and female pair. In neither pair did they join our family at the same time. With the females, there was about a 5 or 6 month wait before the second dog. They were inseparable and had no problems getting along. Of our current 2 dogs, we had the female about 2 years before we added the male dog. We have had only one fight and it was fairly easily broken up. However, as the female has aged and lost some of her vision and hearing, the younger male dog has become more demanding of the female. She has become more snippy, so I won't be entirely surprised if they have a fight.

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