There are very few sights as nice as seeing two or more, happy, contented dogs, snuggling up together in devoted bliss or enjoying a play fight. From an evolutionary basis the dog is ‘programmed’ to be happiest when living with other dogs or, if this is not possible, spending regular quality time with a canine buddy. Of course, each dog is an individual and his life experiences will affect how easy bringing another dog into the home will be for him.
There are many things that need to be considered when deciding whether or not to have more than one dog, one of which is the cost implications, but probably the most important is whether your present dog would be happy to share his home with another. There is no easy way to tell if he will be happy or not until you actually try it, so when you rehome from us your dog will have a chance to meet the new dog during the rehoming process. If despite the best efforts of the centre staff and the family the match does not work out, the dog can be returned to us.
As a general rule, the more differences there are between the two dogs (age, sex, size and personality), the more likely they will get on with each other. This is because it is easier for them to recognise who is more likely to win without actually having to fight and bicker over things like attention, food bowls, toys and their place on the sofa as they might with similar dogs.
You are also less likely to have fights if you have a male and a female dog together (as long as one - preferably both - has been neutered); however this is not always true. The main point to remember is that all dogs have different personalities and needs and this is what will ultimately affect how they get on together.
Puppies will of course get on or try to get on famously with any other dog. The only problem here is that the puppy will be more interested in your older dog than they will be in you. The puppy will tend to learn from and bond with the other dog and pay less attention to you, which can be very frustrating. You will need to spend a lot of extra time alone with your puppy, training and playing, so that he will relate to you as much as to your other dog.
You can find out more about how to introduce a new dog in our first introductions section.