Two Dogs vs. One Dog

Watching Kiera and Graidy playing with each other this morning, I’m more keenly aware than usual of the benefits of having two dogs.

I’ve just come back from a visit to my mother’s. She has one dog, Zoe; a beautiful, 4 yr old German Shepherd, who’s a ball nut.

zoe1.jpg Because Zoe is a high energy dog, and doesn’t have another dog to help tire her out, she is constantly looking for someone to throw her ball. My mother does her best. Even so, I know I’ll wind up taking Zoe out a bunch more times. With all of that, it hardly puts a dent in her desire for activity; it’s only enough to take the edge off.

My two, on the other hand, spend several hours a day playing with each other. They think up all kinds of fun games. There’s the outside games: the Tag game, the Let’s-Dig-Up-All-The-Moles game, the Chase-The- -Birds-Overhead game, the Leap-Frog game, the Butt-Tucking-Zoomies game, and the Whose-Stick-Is-It-Now game. There’s the inside games: the Hide-And-Seek game (which is too funny for words), the Jump-On-The-Bed-And-Wrestle game, the Jump-On-Mom-And-Wrestle game, the We’re-Tired-Of-Playing-With-Each-Other-Let’s-Go-Get-Finn game. The list goes on and on. Below is the ever popular Ma-He’s-Touching-Me! game.

mahestouchingme1.jpgOn top of this, Andrew will take Kiera for 3-mile runs, plus I’ll take her for walks, and she’ll usually get to go herding once a week (we had a short season this year because of an injury). Graidy doesn’t want to leave the property. Having been lost once in his life and winding up in Rescue (that’s where we got him), he doesn’t ever want to get lost again; he loves it here. Open up the front door, and Graidy shoots back into the kitchen. So Graidy and I do stuff together at home.

But I think you’re getting my point. They’re happy, tired dogs by the end of the day. I can’t imagine what it would be like if they didn’t have each other to help me exercise them. Granted, I have one full herding dog, and one part herding-part bird dog. So they have energy to spare even after the most physically demanding of activities.

Having two dogs to run each other ragged is only one of the many benefits. They keep each other company and shore each other up when I have to go out. They have a lot to say to each other, in fact they sometimes talk a blue streak. It’s hysterical. They’re best buds, as only dogs can be to each other.

Is there a down side to having more than one dog? Andrew would tell you that it’s double the trouble. And it’s double the expense. It’s certainly double the hair and dirt and barking. It’s also double the training, though I didn’t get them at the same time or from the same litter (neither is advisable). It’s not as easy to get that special time with each one alone; I have to plan for that. Plus, you need enough space to accommodate more than one. But, overall, I find it easier to have two. While I know there are some dogs who are happy being the only, and while I’ve had only’s before, I don’t think I could ever go back.

46 thoughts on “Two Dogs vs. One Dog”

  1. Hi. We have an adorable 11wk old black male lab. We are considering getting a 7 wk old choc female lab. I’ve read all of the advise about crating, feeding, exercising and training them separately and understand that it is an undertaking:) Our black lab loves playing with his cousins a yellow lab and dachshund. We think he will love having a permanent playmate and friend. We are able to spend a lot of time with them and are really excited about having the 2 dogs. We had a 12 yr old black lab who we loved dearly and always intended to add another but never got there before he got sick with cancer:( Any added advise on raising the 2 puppies….I guess the strike they have against them is they are around the same age.

    • Ahhhh, brings back memories. I’ve done this a couple of times — two puppies close in age. Having been there, I’d have to say that I actually have mixed feelings about getting two young puppies together. On the good side of the equation: house-training and obedience training can be tackled and over with all at once, teething and resulting destruction of possessions will be over with mostly all at once, and they will definitely enjoy having each other’s company and will bond very strongly with each other.
      On the bad side of the equation: they will bond very strongly with each other — so strongly, that you are going to have to work extra hard to insert yourself into the mix to get them to bond with you. If you know that going in and you realize that you need to spend chunks of one-on-one time with each puppy separately to help them bond with you, then you should be fine. As they get old, they get old at the same rate–which means you could be looking at them dying on the heals of each other, and that’s a heavy emotional hit.
      But if you’ve got the time and energy, and are going in with your eyes open–it can be a very good thing.
      Good Luck!

  2. Aww, this makes me wish I could get a second dog but my little Lucy ( would never allow it. She’s never been fond of other dogs (not even the brother from the same litter) and refuses to socialize, even when left in private homes for boarding or when we stay at the homes of friends’ with dogs. She thinks she’s one of the big girls and just wants to hang out with adults.
    Hope your pooches are still having fun together. They’re beautiful.



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